Pet food labels can be confusing. To make it easy to read, you need to know the basic ingredients and nutritional analysis. Pet food manufacturers market their products with the consumer in mind. That means they research the marketing claims to ensure that they don’t mislead you. In addition, cats and dogs are carnivores. Therefore, they should eat meat, which should be listed as the first three ingredients.
Meat is primarily muscle tissue. It may also contain fat, gristle, and other tissues, including the unappetizing parts. This cut of meat is separated from the bone. Often, meat for pet food is mechanically separated so that the muscle is free from the bone. The result is a fine-ground product similar to hot dogs. While this process does result in a meat product with a consistency similar to hot dog meat, it can still contain harmful substances that are harmful to your pet.
To make sure your pet is getting the right nutrients, choose a brand labeled as complete and balanced. AAFCO, a group of animal nutrition experts, lists the nutrients that a dog needs in the right proportions. Complete and balanced food won’t require supplements, but make sure to ask for a copy of the nutritional analysis on the label. There is a cheat sheet available that can help you work out the percentages of each ingredient in your pet food.