Guaranteed Analysis – Finding the Right Food For Your Dog
What to Feed Your Dog
For first time dog owners, and even for seasoned veterans, it can be difficult to figure out what to feed your dog. With so many options out there, all claiming to be the best brand available, it can be hard to know how different dog foods measure up against each other. From generic to gourmet, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer variety of options. In addition, many owners struggle to ensure that their dog is eating healthy and nutritious food without hurting their own wallet. What’s a responsible dog owner to do? Introducing “Guaranteed Analysis”.
What is Guaranteed Analysis?
One helpful measurement by which you can assess the health benefits of different dog food brands is by looking at the “guaranteed analysis” listed on the package. Guaranteed analysis of dog food is similar to a list of nutritional facts for human food in that it breaks down the main ingredients of the product so that consumers know what makes up the food. Like nutritional facts, guaranteed analysis is regulated by the government to ensure that pet food meets certain dietary and health requirements. While a guaranteed analysis list isn’t quite as detailed or regulated as a nutritional facts label, it still provides some helpful information that helps pet owners to select a nutritious and balanced diet for their pets.
The first component of a guaranteed analysis label is the minimum percentages of fat and protein. Both of these ingredients are key to your dog’s health. The second component is the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture. Some dog foods also list other ingredients in their guaranteed analysis, such as ash, calcium, vitamin E, and fatty acids. The ratio of these ingredients is important to consider – you should look for a brand that has a high level of protein.
A Word of Caution
While guaranteed analysis is a great way to compare different brands of dog food, it can be a little tricky as the ratios between dry kibble and wet or canned food can vary greatly. Since wet food has a lot more moisture in it, the percentages of the other ingredients can appear much lower as a result. In order to properly compare different types of wet and dry food, it’s necessary to view the guaranteed analysis as a ratio between ingredients rather than as a set of fixed numbers.
Finally, looking at the guaranteed analysis alone gives you an incomplete picture of the health benefits of particular brands of food. While some brands may have an excellent guaranteed analysis ratio, they may not be made of the highest quality ingredients. Cheaper brands of pet food often substitute in protein and fat sources that are low quality and hard for pets to digest, such as leather or meat byproducts. In addition, some pet food splits up several sources of carbohydrates such as corn or wheat into their byproducts to make food seem as if it contains more protein than it does.
When reviewing different brands of pet food, it is always best to look at both the guaranteed analysis and the ingredient list. You should consider selecting a brand of pet food that has one or more high quality sources of protein, such meat, fish, or eggs. In addition, you should choose a brand that doesn’t have too many sources of carbohydrates, as these are often used as filler and are detrimental to the health of your pet. By reading pet food labels carefully and weighing the analysis label as well as the list of ingredients, you should be able to pick out a healthy and nutritious food for your pet!