What are the AAFCO guidelines?
Complete and Balanced Dog Food Should Follow AAFCO Guidelines.
AFFCO is a private, nonprofit organization that defines the ingredients used in animal feed and pet food.
AAFCO helps ensure that animal feed and pet food products have undergone the appropriate analyses and have the necessary, required nutrients. A nutritional adequacy statement by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) helps pet parents identify products that meet their dog’s daily nutrient requirements.
AAFCO Label Requirements
Every pet diet and supplemental diet should include a statement from AAFCO and proper labeling to help consumers understand how much of each nutrient is needed daily and for what life stages. Keep in mind that pet food labels are different than human food product labels, which makes comparing food products difficult.
There are eight things that should be included on the bag or can:
– Brand and product name
– Name of species for which the pet food is intended
– Quality statement
– Guaranteed analysis. This lists the percentage of each of the nutrients in the food. It must be given in a particular order, in specified units, and as a minimum or maximum, depending on the nutrient.
– Ingredient statement
– Nutritional Adequacy Statement that “indicates that the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as growth, reproduction, adult maintenance or a combination of these, or intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only.”
– Feeding Directions
-Name and address of manufacture or distributor
AAFCO Nutrient Requirements
AAFCO states that are six essential nutrients that are required in order to support life and function in dogs. These are:
– Carbohydrates (including fiber)