If you buy commercial dog food for your Morkie, you’ll want to read the label very carefully. That’s because the HUUUUGGGGEEE pet food industry is a little… shady… when it comes to truth in advertising.
For example, the industry has set its own rules for WHAT TO CALL dog food, based on what’s in it.
Dog food names and what they mean
The rules and regulations set out by the industry itself seem designed to confuse us! Just look at these examples below. You might think you’re buying a quality food, but take a closer look.
Packaging rules are defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO
is “a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.” In other words, it’s the industry regulating itself. Conflict of interest anyone???
The 95% Rule
The food must be made up of at least 95% of what’s named.
For example, Beef Dog Food means that the food is 95% BEEF. Sounds sensible, but from here, it goes down hill.
The 25% or “dinner” rule
The meat that’s named has to be only 25% of the food. So for example, Turkey Dinner is 25% turkey meat and 75% other ingredients.
Watch for any descriptors like dinner, entree, feast, platter, nuggets, formula, etc.
BUT…it can also mean that Meat + something else like rice, makes up the 25% of the food together. Lamb & Rice Feast could be 1% lamb, 24% rice and 75% other. It’s not usual, but it COULD happen.
The 3% or “with” rule
Anything named after the word “with” is only 3% of the food. Dog Dinner Delight With Liver means that the food can be just 3% liver, and 97% other ingredients.
Watch for “with” or “plus.”
The “flavor” rule
This just means that there is a ‘noticeable’ amount to imbue flavor. Beef Flavour Dog Food means there’s just enough beef to give some flavour, according tot he testing dog. How do they know the dog thinks it tastes like beef? Good question.
Watch for the word ‘flavor.’