How to Read a Pet Food Label
We thought we would take a little time out of our day today and give a little insight into how to select the proper diet. If you were to compare labels and see which food ingredient list looks better… they are all similar. What do you want to look for? First of all, every bag of food is required to have the AAFCO food statement below the ingredients. You should select a food that reads “tested” vs “formulated” because if it is tested they have backed up that product by years of testing the food on animals to ensure its accuracy. If it is only “formulated” then it’s that food company’s opinion that is “meets” the minimum AAFCO requirements. Do you want a pet food that only meets the minimum requirements? This is why we recommend Hill’s products because their products have been tested to confirm what the food should be doing (i.e… from allergy food to urinary issues and more). They also use high quality sources of ingredients instead of using a source that reads “chicken” but in reality their chicken source could be “chicken feathers”.
Another thing to look for is, what stage does the bag read it works for? Puppy, adult or senior? Or "All Life Stages". We feel not every pet food is designed for "All Life Stages" because you don't want to feed puppy food to your senior dog, do you? Unless it is a medical issue we have to address then a prescription diet would be fine for "All Life Stages".
Don't be fooled by all the "marketing" words some companies use. The difference between "Natural" and "Organic" is two completely different things. When a pet food is stamped "Organic", it has to pass USDA regulations and "Natural" does not have to pass anything to be stamped "Natural", which means "Natural" can go on any pet food. Any pet food labeled "Human Grade" just means it is edible.
Some of the prescription diets tend to be a bit pricier but that’s because they have been tested to prove they do work, they have veterinarians on their staff guiding the whole process and sold only through veterinarians to ensure your pet is recommended the proper prescription diet and monitored by your veterinarian. Since you have to feed your pet anyways, might as well address issues through diet too while saving money with less vet visits or medications treating their problem.