Hello mate! Don’t you know that at the back of every pet food package, a list of nitty-gritty details about the pet food are found. These information lists tell us of what’s in the dog food and these listings should provide a guaranteed analysis of what’s in the food, ingredient list, feeding guidelines, nutritional adequacy statement, and manufacturer’s contact information. But the most important out of these listings is the guaranteed analysis, why? Because this is the real meat of the information about the dog food.
The Guaranteed Analysis
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets a legal guideline for labelling food for dogs and surprisingly, the only required pet food manufacturers to give minimum requirements for fat and protein for both puppies and adult dogs. The most weird about this is that the AAFCO protein and fat level are listed for dry-weight basis, while fats and proteins in all pet food labels are listed in as-is basis with moisture. Cool, right? No! It’s confusing! This disparity leads to a confusing figure about the nutritive value when compared with other pet foods, not to mention that other dog package has different moisture percentage which affects the total value of the nutrients if you get the actual dry weight basis.
Let’s compare the dry and wet dog food (Let’s use protein as an example, but this equation is also applicable to the percentage of fiber, protein and other nutrients).
1. Take a percentage of protein.
2. Take the percentage of moisture.
3. Subtract the percentage of moisture from 100 to get the percentage of the dry weight of the nutrient.
4. The final result is the total percentage of protein in dry weight basis.
Here is an example of how to compute the percentage of protein in a dry dog food:
- A dry food package for your dog indicates that it contains 28 percent protein and 15 percent moisture.
- Get the 15 percent moisture and subtract it from 100, which gives you 85 percent dry weight.
- Take the 28 percent protein and divide it by 85 percent dry, then multiply it by 100, and you get 32 percent total of protein on dry weight basis.
Here is an example of how to compute the percentage of protein in a canned food:
- You bought a canned food for your dog and the label indicates that it has 9 percent protein with 85 percent moisture.
- Take the 85 percent moisture and subtract it from 100, which gives you 15 percent dry.
- Take the 9 percent protein and divide it by 15 percent dry, then multiply it by 100, and you get 60 percent total of protein on dry weight basis.
What these mathematical facts tell you? If you just compared the dog food labels, you would have thought with ease that the dry food has more protein (because the dry food label tells you that it contain 28 percent protein and the canned food contain 9 percent protein only). But when you do the math, the canned pet food actually contains 60 percent protein on a dry weight basis, compared to the 32 percent protein in the dry food. Buddy, now you know which is which. That is the importance of dog food information panel.