Understanding Pet Food Labels

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Pet food labelling in Europe falls under EU legislation and means that all pet foods have to show certain information on the label. The label must state what animal the food is intended for whether dog, cat, rabbit etc. whether the food is complete, provides all nutritional needs on its own, or complementary, requires other food to be nutritionally balanced. The label must also give you a guideline to feeding, this is usually accompanied by a statement about making sure clean fresh water is always available.

The information on the label contains the ingredients of the food, usually referred to as composition. The ingredients are listed by weight order and be listed as categories, e.g. cereals, meat and meat derivatives, or they can be listed as individual names. If a mention is made that the product contains a particular ingredient e.g. with beef the percentage of that particular ingredient must be included. Any additives such as colours and vitamins and a nutritional analysis of the food. The nutritional analysis of the food usually contains the term ash or crude ash this is not an ingredient but refers to the mineral content of the food determined by burning the product.

The label must also show a batch number or the date of manufacture so the product can be traced. The net weight must also be shown and the name and address of the company responsible for the product this doesn't have to be the manufacturer but can be the distributer, importer, seller or packer. 


understanding pet food labels

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