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Decoding Pet food label buzzwords

Have you ever wondered what the buzzwords on your pet food bags really mean? You might be surprised! We all know cats and dogs are meat eaters, so there should be a lot of meat in those bags...right?! Not necessarily! Here's how you can decode just how much meat is actually in your pet's food!

Once again, the marketing wizards of big pet food manufacturers don't want you to know their dirty little tricks, but we do! The actual percentage of meat (or protein) is not obvious until you know this nasty little secret! AFFCO dictates the wording that must be used on the front of the bag depending on the amount of protein the manufacturer is using.

If your label says FLAVOR there is 0% meat in the bag. So a food that indicates "made using real beef FLAVOR" is legally not required to include any meat in the bag at all. 😡

If your label indicates WITH there is 3% meat in the bag. The label that says "made WITH real chicken" will contain only 3% meat. 😬

The label that indicates you are serving a DINNER, NUGGETS or FORMULA must contain 25% meat. This sounds better than the previous two options but what's making up the other 75% of the "food"? 😳

The label that specifies DOG FOOD must contain 95% meat. This sounds like the best option, but remember when you're serving a dry food, these percentages are calculated prior to the moisture being removed.

As long as the manufacturer achieves the minimum requirements INSIDE the bag, they can make the OUTSIDE as appealing as they want to ensure you select their food and they really don't have to tell you what's in the bag or in this case...NOT in the bag!

Don't let the fancy packaging fool you, know what you're serving your pet and choose a food that is a balanced diet for optimum nutrition. If you want to understand more about choosing the best option, we're always happy to help!

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