The first ingredient myth. What it might be hiding.

The first ingredient myth. What it might be hiding.

Pet food is a big industry, and unfortunately it is difficult to know exactly what is hiding behind that label unless you truly understand AAFCO standards.

AAFCO is the Association of the American Feed Control Officials, they are the main governing body for pet food.  One rule that is similar to how our food is packaged is that the ingredients are listed by weight.  This means that the 1st ingredient is the largest ingredient by weight.  However, this includes water weight.  Meat listed by the term chicken, salmon, beef and others will include the water weight which can be 70-80% water weight.  Without the water these ingredients would appear much lower on the ingredient list.

You often see chicken meal or another protein source.  According the AAFCO this is a protein source that has been ground and reduced in particle size.  This may mean in fact that a bag that reads beef, chicken meal, turkey meal may in fact have more chicken and turkey than beef.

Do you have any other questions about ingredients and how labels work?  Ask in the comments or questions and we will happily answer.

The AAFCO website is also a great source of information about pet food and the labeling requirements.

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