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Pet Food Label Secrets Revealed! Know What You Are Feeding Your Dog And Cat


Reading a pet food label, how difficult can it be? You just pick up your regular brand and look at the variety on the front, right? Not so fast! Reading a pet food label isn't as easy as you may think. It's not just ingredients and feeding suggestions. There's also a "secret code" you should know about. The code helps you separate the Chicken Formula from the Chicken Dinner and the Beef and Bacon from the Beef with Bacon. You may be thinking "Aren't they all the same?" and the answer is no.

While pet food labeling is regulated at the federal level, some states have their own labeling laws. Many follow the Pet Food Regulations established by the AAFOC (Association of American Food Control Officials).

The secret of pet food descriptions are dictated by four AAFCO rules...

1) The 95% Rule - The products that fall under this regulation have simple descriptions such as "Chicken Cat Food" or "Beef for Dogs". These foods must contain at least 95% (not including water) of the named ingredient. In this case, chicken or beef. If a food description contains more than one meat, poultry or fish ingredient such as "Chicken and Liver Cat Food" , then both ingredients combined must equal 95%, with the first named ingredient being the highest percentage of the two. The 95% rule does not apply to grains and vegetables, so "Chicken and Rice Dog Food" must still contain 95% chicken.

2) The 25% or "Dinner" Rule - If the named descriptive ingredient falls between 25%-94% of the total product (still not counting water), then the description must include a qualifying word such as "Dinner", "Platter", "Formula", etc. As in the first rule two listed ingredients must have be at least 25% of the total weight combined. So, "Chicken Dinner" only has to contain 25% chicken, while "Chicken and Liver Dinner" only has to contain 25% of the two combined. (Minimum of 3% of any named ingredient.) Unlike the first rule, the 25% rule applies to all food, not just meat sources.

3) The 3% or "With" Rule - This is where things get a little sneaky. Any ingredient on a label proceeded by "with" must equal at least 3% of the total weight (minus water). That might sound all right if the food is "Beef with Chicken" (95% beef, 3% chicken), but how does it sound in this form..."Dog Food with Beef"? Yep, that tells you that it only has to contain 3% beef! (Makes you wonder what the other 97% contains doesn't it?)

4) The "Flavor" rule - There is no percentage attached to an ingredient described as a "flavor". There only needs to be an amount sufficient enough to be detected by test methods. As you can probably guess "Chicken Flavored Cat Food" may contain very little chicken. In this case it doesn't even need to be chicken as we normally think about it, but instead can be chicken meal or chicken by-products.

Premium Food - Looking down the pet food aisle you may be attracted to foods listed as "Premium" or "Gourmet". These descriptive words have no requirements attached to them, so while a "Premium" food may sound like it's higher quality food, in reality it doesn't have to be any better than anything else on the shelf.

Now you know the secret of pet food descriptions and can be confident that the next time you're scanning the different varieties of food for your best friend you'll be able to tell the difference between "Beef for Dogs", "Beef Dinner", or "Dog Food with Beef".

Jill Richards is the Owner/Operator of "Have Leash, Will Travel - Pet Sitting" in Aurora, CO and offers t-shirts, sweatshirts, and stickers to Pet Professionals, Animal Rescue Workers, Anti-Breed Ban/BSL Fighters, and Pet Lovers through USPetPros.com


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Thu. May / 06 / 2021

How to prepare your pets for your return to work - Times Union
How to prepare your pets for your return to work  Times Union

The best hip and joint supplement for pets - WKRG News 5
The best hip and joint supplement for pets  WKRG News 5

‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office - Digiday
‘Pet anxiety is real’: More employers willing to allow pandemic-pets when staff return to the office  Digiday

8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021 - NBC News
8 best pet hair removal tools for 2021  NBC News

Pets of the Week - Chico Enterprise-Record
Pets of the Week  Chico Enterprise-Record

Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest - Dayton Daily News
Military pets can fetch $3,000 in prizes in photo contest  Dayton Daily News

Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week - WOODTV.com
Empty the Shelters: Help pets find forever homes this week  WOODTV.com

Teachers struggle to care for turtles, tortoises and other class pets during pandemic - Union Democrat
Teachers struggle to care for turtles, tortoises and other class pets during pandemic  Union Democrat

Great River Rescue to host pet wellness clinic - Bemidji Pioneer
Great River Rescue to host pet wellness clinic  Bemidji Pioneer

A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved' - Chicago Tribune
A special breed: Fostering pets 'not just about saving the life of the animal, but also helps the people involved'  Chicago Tribune

Fire Chief: Wise County home destroyed, pets killed in fire - WYMT News
Fire Chief: Wise County home destroyed, pets killed in fire  WYMT News

Megan Thee Stallion launching Snapchat show all about pets - Music News
Megan Thee Stallion launching Snapchat show all about pets  Music News

Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, May 5 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

Pets have allergies too - FOX 5 NY
Pets have allergies too  FOX 5 NY

City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need - 13WHAM-TV
City offering temporary pet boarding for residents in need  13WHAM-TV

China's netizens call for crackdown after "blind box" pet rescue - Successful Farming
China's netizens call for crackdown after "blind box" pet rescue  Successful Farming

How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger - The New York Times
How Losing a Pet Can Make You Stronger  The New York Times

Missouri Bill Would Allow Restraining Orders to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors - PEOPLE
Missouri Bill Would Allow Restraining Orders to Protect Pets of Domestic Violence Survivors  PEOPLE

Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Milo, Gibbs, Braxton, Birdie, Mabel - Patch.com
Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Milo, Gibbs, Braxton, Birdie, Mabel  Patch.com

10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents - PEOPLE
10 Cute Mother's Day Gifts for Devoted Pet Parents  PEOPLE

Barking news: Political pets are relevant again - uscannenbergmedia.com
Barking news: Political pets are relevant again  uscannenbergmedia.com

Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire - Kankakee Daily Journal
Kankakee man saves his family, pets from house fire  Kankakee Daily Journal

Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire - WJHL-TV News Channel 11
Norton Fire Chief: Wise Co. home destroyed, pets killed in Tuesday night fire  WJHL-TV News Channel 11

Man allegedly killing pets has St. Louis neighborhood up in arms - CBS News
Man allegedly killing pets has St. Louis neighborhood up in arms  CBS News

Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community - The Leader
Some pet-safe plants repel mosquitoes | Community  The Leader

Global Pet Care E-commerce Market Report 2021 Featuring Amazon, Chewy, PETstock. BarkBox, PetSmart, Walmart, PetMed Express, Petco Animal Supplies, TABcom, Nestle, & PetFlow - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Yahoo Finance
Global Pet Care E-commerce Market Report 2021 Featuring Amazon, Chewy, PETstock. BarkBox, PetSmart, Walmart, PetMed Express, Petco Animal Supplies, TABcom, Nestle, & PetFlow - ResearchAndMarkets.com  Yahoo Finance

Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly - Influencive
Keeping a pet – a Guide for the Elderly  Influencive

PHOTOS: Pets available for adoption this week at Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society - May 5 - The Albany Herald
PHOTOS: Pets available for adoption this week at Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society - May 5  The Albany Herald

Fendi Releases Pet Travel Line – WWD – WWD - WWD
Fendi Releases Pet Travel Line – WWD – WWD  WWD

City of Rochester implements ‘Pet Safety Net’ program - RochesterFirst
City of Rochester implements ‘Pet Safety Net’ program  RochesterFirst

NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits - WPIX 11 New York
NYS Senate passes bill banning pet stores from selling dogs, cats and rabbits  WPIX 11 New York

Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing - WLNS
Animals stolen from Preuss Pets in Lansing  WLNS

Exotic pet numbers increasing nationwide | Public Safety | newspressnow.com - News-Press Now
Exotic pet numbers increasing nationwide | Public Safety | newspressnow.com  News-Press Now

Shelter pets get anxiety vests at Pitt County Animal Shelter - WNCT
Shelter pets get anxiety vests at Pitt County Animal Shelter  WNCT

Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic - CNN
Hilton launches a dog menu for pets who helped their owners through the pandemic  CNN

2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People' - PEOPLE
2-Legged Cat Uses Instagram to Promote Special Needs Pet Adoptions: 'He Can Teach People'  PEOPLE

Helping four-legged friends: Hope Before Heaven to host community food drive for WNY pets - WIVB.com - News 4
Helping four-legged friends: Hope Before Heaven to host community food drive for WNY pets  WIVB.com - News 4

Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report - Forbes
Pet CBD Product Sales Estimated To Rack Up $629 Million This Year, Says New Report  Forbes

Eckerd College holds graduation ceremony for students' pets - WTSP.com
Eckerd College holds graduation ceremony for students' pets  WTSP.com

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of May 2  Summit Daily News

How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks - Local Profile
How to Keep Your Pet Safe From Bobcat Attacks  Local Profile

Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois' - Chicago Tribune
Aurora committee may recommend Humane Ordinance for pet sales in the city; 'Aurora is the puppy mill capital of Illinois'  Chicago Tribune

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (5/5/21)  ABC15 Arizona

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Old Yeller  KCBD

‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side - The New York Times
‘The Traveling Zoo’: Life on the Road, With Pets at Their Side  The New York Times

The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work - CNN
The time has come to start training the pets for your return to work  CNN

Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda - WXII12 Winston-Salem
Noon Pet Of The Week: Freda  WXII12 Winston-Salem

Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram! - POPSUGAR
Need More Cute Animal Content? Follow the Pets of Netflix's Pet Stars on Instagram!  POPSUGAR

Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation - Danbury News Times
Sen. Blumenthal calls for ‘crackdown’ on pet scams following Hearst CT investigation  Danbury News Times

Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month - El Paso Inc.
Mr. Handyman presents fifth annual "My 'Pet' Peeves" photo contest for National Pet Month  El Paso Inc.

Donate To Help Pet Food Pantry & Get Beer - LevittownNow.com
Donate To Help Pet Food Pantry & Get Beer  LevittownNow.com

Pet Adoption, Food Sales Grow as Birth Rate Slips - The Food Institute - Food Institute Blog
Pet Adoption, Food Sales Grow as Birth Rate Slips - The Food Institute  Food Institute Blog

U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress - Reuters
U.S. pet adoptions still strong as cats, dogs melt stress  Reuters

Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event - Focusdailynews
Operation Kindness and Pet Supplies Team Up to Host Dog Adoption Event  Focusdailynews

Are cicadas dangerous for your pets to eat? A Virginia Beach veterinarian weighs in - wtkr.com
Are cicadas dangerous for your pets to eat? A Virginia Beach veterinarian weighs in  wtkr.com

It’s National Pet Week! - KOIN.com
It’s National Pet Week!  KOIN.com

Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash - CBS San Francisco
Family Pet Triggers Fiery Concord Gas Station Crash  CBS San Francisco

Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety - NEWS10 ABC
Poll: Returning to work, pet owners worry about post-COVID separation anxiety  NEWS10 ABC

LUXURY EXPERIENCE & CO CELEBRITY AND INFLUENCER PETS VIRTUAL GIFTING LOUNGE EXPERIENCE - EIN News
LUXURY EXPERIENCE & CO CELEBRITY AND INFLUENCER PETS VIRTUAL GIFTING LOUNGE EXPERIENCE  EIN News

Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Rally  ARLnow

5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police - ABC News
5 arrested after Lady Gaga's dog walker shot, pets kidnapped: Police  ABC News

Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah' - KKCO-TV
Roice-Hurst Pet of the Week: 'Meet Kyah'  KKCO-TV

Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21) - KoamNewsNow.com
Pet Vet on Call (5/5/21)  KoamNewsNow.com

Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15 - Patch.com
Adopt A Pet At Camden County Auto Show May 15  Patch.com

Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for loving homes  Tampa Bay Times

Family, pets safe after massive Commerce Township house fire - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Family, pets safe after massive Commerce Township house fire  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer - KXXV News Channel 25
Texas A&M's Veterinary Emergency Team debuts new pet evacuation trailer  KXXV News Channel 25

Pets of the Week: April 29, 2021 - WSIL TV
Pets of the Week: April 29, 2021  WSIL TV

Pet Expert on Microchipping Cats and Dogs: It's 'the Safest Way to Find and Keep Your Pets' - PEOPLE
Pet Expert on Microchipping Cats and Dogs: It's 'the Safest Way to Find and Keep Your Pets'  PEOPLE

Champaign County Pet of the Week - Springfield News Sun
Champaign County Pet of the Week  Springfield News Sun

Smithtown Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Gavin - Patch.com
Smithtown Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Gavin  Patch.com

Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards? - Vox
Are our pets fueling climate change and environmental hazards?  Vox

Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets hope to share their love with you  Tampa Bay Times

Pet Pals: Frannie - WLOS
Pet Pals: Frannie  WLOS

NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug - Wink News
NAMI in Collier County introduces pet therapy for those in need of a furry hug  Wink News

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — May 3 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — May 3  Gwinnettdailypost.com

SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets - American Veterinary Medical Association
SARS-CoV-2 variant found in pets  American Veterinary Medical Association

Innovative packaging designs for inventive pet food - PetfoodIndustry.com
Innovative packaging designs for inventive pet food  PetfoodIndustry.com

Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond - Patch.com
Brookhaven Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Diamond  Patch.com

Certain pet food brands become hard to find amid COVID-19 pandemic - WMTV - NBC15
Certain pet food brands become hard to find amid COVID-19 pandemic  WMTV - NBC15

Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us - The Washington Post
Humane Society president discusses the surge of pet ownership during the pandemic — and what animals can teach us  The Washington Post

Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals - U.S. News & World Report
Vegas Council OK's 5-Year Ban on Pet Abusers Owning Animals  U.S. News & World Report

Pet of the Week: Clementine - WITN
Pet of the Week: Clementine  WITN

Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: 2021 Mutt Strut  WISHTV.com

Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Over 40 Percent of Pet Parents Look at Their Cat or Dog as a 'Starter Child,' Survey Finds  PEOPLE

PLDPaws Pet of the Week: Cats - The Delaware County Daily Times
PLDPaws Pet of the Week: Cats  The Delaware County Daily Times

Jet Pet- Zane - YourErie
Jet Pet- Zane  YourErie

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners - New York Post
National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 40 essentials for new pet owners  New York Post

Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it - Spectrum News 1
Your pets can catch coronavirus, but don't spread it  Spectrum News 1

Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping - PRNewswire
Pet Supplies Plus Supports National Pet ID Week Through Discounted Microchipping  PRNewswire

Austin Pets Alive! shines spotlight on ‘differently abled’ pups with mobility problems - KXAN.com
Austin Pets Alive! shines spotlight on ‘differently abled’ pups with mobility problems  KXAN.com

Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits - Baltimore Sun
Pet Wise: Grooming pets provides health and safety benefits  Baltimore Sun

Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families - PRNewswire
Petco Love Launches Game-Changing Centralized Solution To Help Reunite Lost Pets With Their Families  PRNewswire

U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing - NBC News
U.K. police hunt rabbit thief after giant celebrity pet Darius goes missing  NBC News

Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat - Modern Farmer
Pet Food Companies Look to the Future With Cell-Cultured Meat  Modern Farmer

How to buy a pet without getting scammed - MarketWatch
How to buy a pet without getting scammed  MarketWatch

Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It. - Barron's
Barron’s Stock Pick: Pet Care Is Booming. Here’s a Stock to Play It.  Barron's

Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents | PEOPLE.com - PEOPLE
Netflix Reality Show Pet Stars Follows Hollywood Pet Talent Agents | PEOPLE.com  PEOPLE

Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder Is the Best Timed Pet Food Dispenser | PEOPLE.com - PEOPLE.com
Petlibro Automatic Cat Feeder Is the Best Timed Pet Food Dispenser | PEOPLE.com  PEOPLE.com

'Heartbroken': Owners say animals died in Fayetteville pet store fire - WRAL.com
'Heartbroken': Owners say animals died in Fayetteville pet store fire  WRAL.com

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