If you are like me and read the labels and tables of human foods in the supermarket, they are fairly easy to understand. They break down total sugars, various vitamins and convert it to per 100gms so you can compare your options. The pet food industry is not so clear and many pet owners are surprised to see what a manufacturer can get away with. If you are buying commercially made food, here is a brief guide to help understand what it can mean.
The Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA) sets standards based on AAFCO guidelines for the naming of pet food products.
The ‘with’ rule
For products labelled as ‘with’ an ingredient, e.g. ‘Ocean Feast with Salmon’ there must not be less than 3% of the named ingredient included. If two ingredients are listed, e.g. ‘Homestyle casserole with beef and pasta’, the 3% rule applies to each ingredient.
The 25% rule
For products labelled with descriptors, e.g. ‘Beef Entree’ or ‘Chicken Dinner’, there must not be less than 10% of the named ingredient by weight and 25% by weight not including added water.
The ‘flavour’ rule
If a product is labelled as a particular flavour, e.g. ‘Beef flavour’, it only has to contain a listed ingredient (in any quantity) that provides the described flavour.
The 95% rule
For a product to be named after a certain ingredient or combination of ingredients those ingredients must make up at least 70% of the total product by weight, and at least 95% of the product by weight when water is removed. When two or more ingredients are specified, neither can be less than 3% of the total product weight.
For example, a dog food named ‘Chicken and Rice’, must contain at least 95% chicken and rice, not counting water, there must be more chicken than rice in the recipe (because it’s listed first), and there cannot be less than 3% of either chicken or rice in the total product weight.
Source credit : -https://www.petcircle.com.au/discover/premium-pet-food