Canine food labeling and dog foods regulation requirements are probably not something that you think about on a regular basis but if you are a pet lover they are something you need to create a priority to familiarize yourself with. The regrettable truth is that the rules and regulations that control pet food have not been made to make sure that what your dog is eating will be nutritious, safe and is accurately reflected on the labeling of the food.
The truth is that the rules often allow for producers to lead consumers into false beliefs on what they are feeding their dogs. The problem lies in the labels specifics. For example , if your product states “With Chicken Flavor” the taste only needs to be detectable but there does not have to be any actual poultry meat present in the product. How about one that’s labeled “Beef Dinner”, this product only has to contain 25% Beef and even worse, a product that states “With Beef” only has to contain at least 3% beef!
So while you are buying a product that you believe is “With Beef” and in the mind that means it’s full of hearty meat, you better think again! What you need to keep an eye out for are whole products for example beef, chicken, salmon or venison. If a product says “Salmon With regard to Dogs”, then at least 95% of this product must be Salmon and/or 70% including the water.
It’s just as well easy to be fooled into considering you are purchasing a wholesome product for your dog. You need to be able to decipher the particular labeling on the products you are purchasing to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition you are intending them to get.
Currently the pet food industry is being supervised by three different agencies. These agencies each play a different part in trying to ensure pet foods safety. **FDA Center Veterinary Medicine**
The FDA division for Vet Medicine of course deals with animals and another of their functions is to make sure that the ingredients that are used in pet food are safe. The ingredients in pet food should also serve a functional purpose such as nourishment, flavor or vitamins and minerals. Any additional substances such as preservatives or additives must be specifically approved before they can be additional.
**Association of American Feed Control Officials**
AAFCO is not a govt agency like the FDA, instead the members are made up of state and federal employees from various agencies and employees through pet food companies. They have additional rules and dog food tag regulations on top of the FDA rules for pet foods. However , canine fd. regulations vary from state to convey and not all states agree to AAFCO regulations.
The AAFCO require canine fd. to obtain the AAFCO Nutritional Adequacy Statement in order for them to utilize the term “complete and balanced” on their packaging. It can basically their way of guaranteed compliance for nutritional standards and statements and ingredients. If a dog fd. product acquires the AAFCO Dietary Adequacy Statement, it has met the Nutritional Profile based on the laboratory screening or it has successfully passed the feeding trial on live canines.
Currently there are only two particular Nutrient Profiles being used:
**Growth, Lactation and Reproduction
**Pet Food Institute**
The Pet Food Institute is the voice of the U. S i9000. Pet food manufacturers. It deals with the industry’s public education and media relations and a representative before the U.
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S. Congress and federal and state agencies. They organize informational workshops and educational programs and coordinate to organizations. The PFI represents 98% of all dog and cat food manufacturers in the U. S.
**Please see resource box for links to these agencies
PFI dedicates itself to the following:
Promote overall care and well being associated with pets
Support initiatives to advance the quality of dog and cat food
Support research within pet nutrition and the important role associated with pets in our society
Informing and educating the public on pet correct feeding and pet care
Symbolizing the pet food industry before Government and State governments
Although these types of three separate agencies work diligently to protect the pet food industry, it is necessary that you make an effort to learn to understand and read the label on your dog’s foods. Because even though there are food label regulations in place, they are full of loopholes and allow for clever wording or lack of descriptions to be left out of the pet food labels.
To start with the FDA does set forth this set of rules on all dog foods labeling:
The product must be identified as a puppy fd.
The weight, volume or count of the dog fd.
Name and placement of the manufacturer
Listing of all elements by their common name
Listing of almost all ingredients in descending order by weight
With all of these types of agencies and rules and regulations in place I’m sure you are wondering why this doesn’t take care of the standard issues within the pet food market. For starters, the AAFCO statements is just used on commercial pet foods. Which means that anything produced under the “All Organic or Homemade” heading does not have to conform to this standard and cannot be compared.
Next, you should note that when they design these dog foods, they are simply a base nutritional food. What I mean is usually, that they have not accounted for each dog’s individual needs in any way. For example , my puppy Rodeo is a Border Collie and works cattle almost every weekend. They are an extremely active dog that requires high amounts of energy. This means he needs an excellent quality food with good protein and quality carbohydrates along with balanced fats, vitamins and minerals of course. The dietary plan would not be suitable for a small dog that lazes around the house all day on the couch taking naps, living the pampered pup life.