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Follow Pet Food Labeling Requirements to Keep Animals Healthy

Pet Food LabelsNutrition Facts are Necessary Components of Pet Product Labels

As is the case with food items for humans, nutrition facts are necessary parts of pet product labels. As Hill's Pet Nutrition noted, a pet food label is a legal document that must be attached to packaging and is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). It's often the prime means of communication between the pet food manufacturers and pet owners. Understanding pet food products is important, particularly for new owners. If they want to make their new pet feel at home and help them acclimate to their living conditions, providing them with healthy, nutritious edibles can play a large role in that process. If people aren't feeding their pets well, animals won't be able to get comfortable in the home.

Making Nutrition Labels

For the average customer, pet nutrition labels can be difficult to understand. Many people still have difficulty coming to terms with nutrition labels on the food they eat every day, let alone goods designed for animals. In order to comply with regulations set forth by the AAFCO, all animal food product nutrition labels need to contain the following information:

  • Ingredients: Much like any food label, ingredients must be listed in an understandable manner. Ingredients should be listed in descending order by weight. Generally speaking, this means high water content (such as chicken) will come before dry grains and vitamins.
  • Guaranteed analysis: This section indicates the minimum and maximum levels of nutrients, such as protein, fat, fiber and moisture. Generally speaking, it does not provide exact levels but provides effective ballpark numbers.
  • Nutritional adequacy statement: This is a legally required statement that verifies the testing methods that producers leverage in order to ensure the nutritional adequacy of the product being sold, according to the news source.
  • A toll-free number: Finally, all packages should include numbers for customers to call with any questions or complaints. This enables manufacturers to improve the quality of their products as well as execute any necessary recalls.

Pet Safety Starts with the Label

If owners want to guarantee pet safety, it starts with the label. This allows buyers to make the best purchase decisions. As such, it's pivotal that manufacturers produce labels with all the requisite data points to inform their customers.