Vitamins, minerals, fatty acids-does your dog food contain all of the necessities?  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. WOW! We thought we had enough to worry about with our own food, much less for our pets. And the kicker is, these ingredients are all considered essential. And if they aren’t there, in the right amounts, well, Rover may not be feeling that well. So, will you ever be sure your dog’s food is meeting all of the standards?

The Secret to the best dog food in Sarasota

When you go into the store to buy Rover’s food, just how closely do you inspect his labels? Do you check every one for every ingredient that should be there, and in the correct quantity? Hey, we don’t even check that closely for our own food. So chances are you’re not doing your job for Rover either.

But there’s a solution. Dog food experts know the secret. And that secret is the National Adequacy Statement. Once you understand it and know where it is, this can be the shortcut to your dog’s health.

There’s a Way to Know if Your Dog’s Food Meets Nutritional Requirements

According to the industry, if a dog food can be eaten as the dog’s sole ration, then it is classified as nutritionally complete. What this means is, you can feed your dog this food, and nothing else except water, and it will be sufficient to sustain life. It goes on to say that a good balanced food has all the right nutrients in the right proportions and in the right amounts.

So, what do you think would happen if a dog food was sold as a complete and balanced food, when in reality, it was missing a key ingredient? That’s why this statement is so important. It’s not the answer to all of the industry problems, but it goes a long way toward making sure our pets are being take care of properly and they are receiving the essentials.

The Important AAFCO Statement

The officials have stated that no dog food supplier can label their food as “balanced and complete” unless it’s validated in at least one of two possibilities. The first refers to the laboratory analysis to assure that it meets the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile. You’ll recognize these with a statement similar to “(Name of Product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrition Profiles.” The second way is to not only meet the AAFCO profile, but additionally by conducting field trials on dogs. If the company takes this approach, the label will be similar to “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition.” Obviously, the second method carries the most validity and should be more heavily considered.

Finding the Right Dog Food for the Right Life Stage

So, are we dealing with a puppy, adult or senior? These AAFCO statements must also clarify which stage of life this product is best suited for. These standards can be for one of two profiles:

● Adult maintenance

● Growth and reproduction

This adult maintenance category includes just non-reproducing adults that are normally active. This food shouldn’t be used for any other category. If a product is classified as available for “all life stages” then it has to meet the needs of the growth and reproduction category. And, in certain cases, there are foods classified for one particular stage, like “senior dogs”. These guidelines are not clear-cut, but they are important for the protection of our dog’s nutrition. If food cannot meet these standards, then the statement must include this statement “This product is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding” which means, this food cannot be used for the long-term.

Nutritional Adequacy Statements Conclusion

These statements can really save you a lot of time when shopping for your dog’s food. And they will provide some assurance that the food will meet your dog’s needs for proper nutrition. The problem is, you can’t always find the statements on the food packaging. They could be anywhere. But, don’t worry, they are supposed to there. If the statement isn’t obvious, or it doesn’t state that the product is complete and balanced and the right food for your dog, PASS. DO NOT BUY IT! Here’s what can happen. If you dog eats a deficient food consistently over time, it could mean the life of your dog. Please don’t allow that to happen. Look for the statement, read it carefully and keep Rover healthy for a long as possible.