Deciphering Dog Food Labels - Part II
Guaranteed Analysis
Compare Dry Dog Food with Canned Dog Food

AAFCO Label Rules

Required information
for dog food labels.

Product Name
List of Ingredients
Guaranteed Analysis
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
Dog Feeding Guidelines
Net Quantity Statement
Manufacturer's Name and Address

As directed by AAFCO, all dog food labels must have a "Guaranteed Analysis" section, which states the percentages of the main nutrients of the product.

It is normally found on the back of the packaging.

Click here to read more about AAFCO and the other organizations who regulate dog food.

Guaranteed Analysis

According to AAFCO rules, the guaranteed analysis must consist of the following:

  • Minimum Percentage of Protein

  • Minimum Percentage of Fat

  • Maximum Percentage of Fiber

  • Maximum Percentage of Moisture

How to Compare Dry Dog Food with Canned Dog Food

There is a huge difference in moisture content between dry dog food and canned. Canned dog food averages 75% water, whereas dry dog food averages about 10%.

Dry dog food vs. canned dog food

Therefore, in order to make a true dog food comparison of the nutrient levels, we need to convert both products to dry matter.

The formula is quite simple, really ... Grab your calculators and follow along with our example.

Percentage of Guaranteed Analysis Component
Divided by Percentage of Dry Matter
Multiplied by 100

Assuming a can of dog food contains:

  • 9% protein

  • 4% fat

  • 1% fiber

  • 81% moisture

At first glance, 9% protein looks on the very low side compared to dry dog food. Now watch this number after we convert it.

1. Calculate the dry matter of the canned food by deducting the moisture
percentage (81%) from 100.   i.e. 100 - 81 = 19%.

2. Now, using this dry matter figure of 19%, apply the formula to each of
the components, as follows:

Protein: 9 divided by 19 x 100 = 47.4%
Fat: 4 divided by 19 x 100 = 21%
Fiber: 1 divided by 19 x 100 = 5.3%

Notice the protein percentage now. You will find in many cases, canned dog food values tend to exceed that of dry dog food.

If you're weighing up the pros and cons of Canned Dog Food Versus Dry Dog Food, we also recommend you read our eye-opening articles on:

Dog Food Storage - What you need to know Before You BUY dog food, and

Risks of Pet Food Containers - What you need to know Before You OPEN dog food.

CONTINUE to Dog Food Labels - Part III

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