How to Properly Read a Dog Food Label

You are probably well acquainted with how to read the nutritional label on your food labels.   However, reading a dog food label may be a bit trickier.  Here are some tips you should keep in mind to ensure your dog is getting great nutrition!

As with nutrition labels on human foods, dog food nutrition labels will list the ingredients from heaviest to lightest.  If your dog food has meat products in it, it is likely that either meat or water will be the first ingredient.  Meat is made up of water, so water usually becomes a “heavily weighted” ingredient in your dog’s food when meat is present.

Do you ever notice that your dog’s food says it contains “byproducts”?  This does not have a definitive meaning, as it could be a bad thing or a good thing.  For example, liver is considered a “byproduct,” but it actually contains very healthy nutrients for your dog. However, “byproducts” can sometimes mean that your dog food contains unhealthy meat byproducts like udders, intestines, brains, even blood!  If your dog food contains byproducts, try to find out which byproducts the food contains.

Keep in mind that the FDA would not approve dog food that could potentially harm your dog.  If your dog food is labeled “complete and balanced,” this means that it is safe for your dog because it contains a healthy balance of nutrients.  You should not trust a label that says the food is made of “human-grade ingredients.”  Nor if it says “made in a USDA inspected facility.”  Neither of these two labels are approved by the FDA, and do not prove that the food is healthy for the dog.

I pay a lot of attention to the food labels of my dog’s food.  One dog food brand that I found that I really like is Earthborn Holistic.  For my adult dog, I feed him the Earthborn Adult Vantage Dog Food, pictured above.  It has a large amount of meat proteins like chicken meal and whitefish meal.  It also has high levels of calcium and phosphorous which help maintain strong teeth and bones.  It also contains healthy grains that aid in digestion, like oatmeal and brown rice.  Also, it is infused with Omega 3’s and 6’s, and we all know how healthy these fatty acids are!  My dog absolutely loves the taste of Earthborn Adult Vantage Dog Food, and yours will too!

If you have a dog that weighs less than 20 pounds, Earthborn Holistic has a formula of dog food specifically for small dogs:  Earthborn Small Breed.   It contains the same beneficial ingredients as the Earthborn Adult Vanage Dog Food, but is made to provide the special nutrients little dogs need to live a long life!