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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Aids For Reading Pet Food Labels

It seems that pet nutrition is a common topic in the profession nowadays.  Just a couple of weeks ago DVM 360 posted an article on how to read and interpret pet food labels.  Along with the article they posted a couple of great client handouts on the topic.  I can't attach the files on Blogger, but here are direct links to the handouts.  I would encourage everyone to check them out.

The Pet Food Guessing Game  (information on what different words and phrases on a label really mean)

Forget The Packaging, Read The Ingredient List  (definitions of different terms in the ingredients)


  1. Thank you for that :)

    I have a question - what is your opinion of dog foods that have veggies in them? i.e. Spot's Stew, a dry food that has dehydrated peas in it. Are they of value??

    Thanks as always for your posts, I enjoy them.

    Roberta in California

  2. Great question, Roberta. Believe it or not, most food companies don't put anything in their food without good reason. Certain vegetables (not all) are included in foods because they do provide good nutrients. However, I'm not aware of any differences in the quality of nutrition with veggie pieces as opposed to it being mixed into the food. Yes, I know that in general raw, uncooked veggies have more vitamins than those that are cooked and processed. But dehydrated peas are still processed.

    The flip side of this is that a LOT of what goes into the appearance, labels, and ingredients in pet foods is all about marketing. Dogs don't care what color their food is or that it is in the shape of bones. Seeing the little pieces of meat and veggies is more about OUR perception of its value, not about the nutrition.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  3. Thanks Chris - I teach Nutrition to the vet nurses here in Christchurch and enjoy your words of wisdom - ill go check out theis site. I also wondered if your ead this today -

    1. Thanks for linking to that other blog, Fi! I think all of us in the profession can relate to her, and I think more clients need to read about that.

  4. Just as a footnote, my dogs are constantly at the foot of my African Grey's cage, as she eats fruits and vegetables constantly - and they eat a large part of what falls on the floor. They especially like the chunks of corn on the cob that are dropped. ; )


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