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Aafco Approved Dog Food List

Purina Pro Plan Adult Large Dry Dog Food

The only nutritionally BALANCED homemade dog food (featuring 5 AAFCO tested recipes)

Purina says it employs several veterinary nutritionists to help determine healthy formulations and ingredients the brands highly rated Pro Plan dog food can be good for dogs of different sizes and in all stages of life, including large breed adults and puppies, Purina says. The Purina Pro Plan formula contains natural prebiotic fiber for digestive health and omega-6 fatty acids and vitamin A for skin and coat health, according to the brand. Select writer Zoe Malin said her large 100-pound yellow lab Chance eats the weight management dry kibble from the brand which Purina says contains a more optimized protein-to-fat ratio since hes 9 years old and less active compared to when he was a puppy.

Is Kirkland Dog Food Authorized By The Aafco

Kirkland dog chow is a private label brand created exclusively for CostCo, a major store. Diamond Pet Foods, Inc., which is owned by Schell and Kampeter, Inc., produces it. They are a pet food company headquartered in the United States, having facilities in Meta, Missouri, Lathrop, California, and Gaston, South Carolina.

Best Wet Food For Puppies

Dry food isn’t the only option for puppies. Wet food is another tasty option and offers several advantages for puppies. “Wet food can help puppies transition from a liquid diet to solid food,” says Shepherd. She adds that this transition, which should begin before a puppy is fully weaned, helps puppies accept solid food and learn how to drink water.

Wet food is also easy for puppies to eat. Without sturdy adult teeth, young puppies can struggle to munch on dry kibble, making wet food’s soft and moist texture ideal. In addition, wet food is packed with flavor, providing tasty enticement for a picky or hesitant eater. However, Shepherd recommends consulting your veterinarian if your puppy’s appetite is poor as there may be an underlying condition.

When reading a label for wet puppy food, look for the AAFCO statement that says the food provides complete and balanced nutrition for growth or all life stages. Also, remember that wet food tends to cost more than kibble and needs to be refrigerated and used within a few days to prevent spoiling.

Wet food certainly has its benefits for puppies, but it’s not a necessity. “The decision to feed dry versus wet food is very individual, depending on the individual puppy’s needs and owner’s desires and resources,” says Shepherd.

Our picks for wet puppy food:

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Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Small Adult Formula Dog Dry Food

Royal Canin offers some of the most diverse dog food options on the market the brand makes both dry and wet food for a variety of dog sizes, breeds and dietary restrictions, including food sensitivities and gastrointestinal issues. I feed my 4-year-old Havachon, Bella, this small breed kibble from the brand which is formulated for small dogs from 10 months old to 8 years old that weigh 9 pounds to 22 pounds after it was recommended by my veterinarian. Bella tends to eat this brand faster than others, some of which she would leave half-eaten. Selects manager of editorial operations Shari Uyehara said she also feeds her dog Loki, an 11-month-old cavalier King Charles spaniel, the brands puppy formula, which was recommended by Lokis breeder. The brand also offers its dry food formula for medium and largebreeds.

Is Human Grade Food Better For Dogs

Purpose: Pet Food that Reflects the Values of Animal Lovers by Purpose ...

Human-grade foods can be a great addition to your dogs diet. But since there are no real standards for what human-grade food means, human-grade labeling does not inherently indicate a high quality food.

Watch for qualifiers like sourced from or contains some. Phrases like this can be a tip-off that the meat is not actually human-grade. As larger pet food companies enter the human-grade dog food market, you will need to watch closely for guideline changes.

Also Check: Best Food To Feed German Shepherd Puppy

What Is The Aafco

The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a non-profit organization whose primary goal is to regulate safe practices in the pet and animal food industry. Membership includes government officials who are able to regulate how animal consumables are sold.

Concerned with the nutritional value of animal feed and pet food, the AAFCO began over a century ago. The organization was concerned that pet food lacked the proper nutritional value and has worked since its birth to improve quality standards.

While they have no real power to create legal regulations, their membership includes powerful individuals or organizations, most of which are part of the government, that can work together to create change.

Best For Dogs With Food Sensitivities: Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet With Healthy Grains Real Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food


  • Made with 10 ingredients or less

  • Available in several flavors

For dogs with specific food sensitivities, Merrick Limited Ingredient dog foods are made with 10 ingredients or less, yet they still deliver complete, balanced nutrition to your pet. This line of food is available in both wet and dry formulas, and it comes in a variety of flavors, all of which have deboned meat, fish, or poultry as the first ingredient.

Merrick is part of Nestlé Purina, meaning they use the same team of nutritionists, veterinarians, and behaviorists when creating their dog food formulas. The brand also has its own Ph.D. nutritionists on staff. Merrick dog foods dont contain any fillers, additives, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives, and theyre made in the companys Texas-based kitchen.

No matter what type of dog you own, Purina Pro Plan is a top choice for its dog food. This highly trusted brand is extremely transparent about its processes, and it offers a wide range of formulas for dogs of all sizes, ages, and lifestyles. If youre looking for a less-expensive dog food, Pedigree offers complete and balanced formulas for dogs of all ages.

Read Also: Best Husky Puppy Dog Food

How Often Should I Feed My Dog

Swanson explains that several factors determine the frequency of feeding, such as life stage, health status, and palatability. “The most important thing is to feed a complete and balanced diet and provide controlled amounts of food. Monitor your dog’s body weight and body condition over time and adjust feeding amounts so that a healthy body weight is maintained,” he says.

Dog food labels include feeding guidelines. However, these are general recommendations. Your veterinarian can provide individualized feeding recommendations for your dog to ensure proper nutrition and calorie intake.

Free choice feeding is not recommended because it can lead to overeating. Dogs aren’t known for their portion control, so food should not be left out for all-day eating.

Many dog owners love to feed treats to their dogs. When overdone, though, treats can add lots of extra calories to a dog’s diet, possibly leading to weight gain. Treats should comprise no more than 10% of a dog’s daily caloric intake. Your veterinarian can help you determine how many “treat” calories your dog can have each day.

Aafco Your First Defense In Choosing Pet Foods

10 Vet Recommended Dog Food Brands (That are Inexpensive) (2022)

AAFCO is an abbreviation for Association of American Feed Control Officials.

The AAFCO label must be on any food that is imported or exported in of Canada. It is your first line determining if a pet food is right for your dog or cat. It has two significant pieces of information that you can use to rule out certain diets. First, it will tell you if the food has been subjected to feeding trials, or if it was formulated. In most cases, people do not like the idea of animal testing, but in this case, we do. The food is fed to a group of 8 pets for 10 to 26 weeks depending on their life stage. Then the animals undergo specific diagnostic testing to prove whether they thrived on the diet in question. If there were no feeding trials done, then the AAFCO label would say that the food was formulated. It is this writers opinion that a formulated diet makes your pet the test subject. It also prevents the company from getting any feedback or follow-up as to how well a pet would do consuming it as a primary food source.

All Life Stages Diets If you look at the AAFCO label for an all life stage diet you will find that it is a puppy/kitten food. This type of diet must reach the minimum requirements for all stages of life, and a growing animal has the highest requirements, therefore all life stages is essentially a puppy/kitten food.

Food companies are very clever and spend large amounts of money annually on marketing.

Read Also: Can You Freeze Freshpet Dog Food

Are Dog Food Products That Dont Meet These Standards Allowed On Shelves

Yes, dog food products that do not meet AAFCOs nutrient profile standards are allowed on shelves. In some cases, the label may say, This product is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only.

This usually applies to treats and supplements, which are formulated to make up a small portion of your dogs total caloric intake . It can also apply to some veterinary diets, as these are formulated to address specific nutritional needs.

All of Purinas dog food products meet or exceed AAFCOs nutrient profile standards, so you can feel confident knowing your dog is eating a complete and balanced diet. Explore all our dog foods and dont miss out on other dog nutrition articles.

List Of Dog Foods That Meet Aafco Standards

Aafco does not provide a list of approved dog foods however, they do provide a list of nutrients and their profiles that would make a dog food ideal in terms of nourishment. Please refer to the attached list that contains nutrients categorised in terms of dry matter and profiles.

When you buy dog food, if it contains the below-mentioned nutrients comparable to the below mentioned table then you can assume that it would be beneficial for your dog as the manufacturer has made the product according to the guidelines set by Aafco.

Read Also: Is It Ok To Change Dog Food Flavors

For Pups With Short Attention Spans

AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Official. They provide a set of guidelines that reputable dog food brand follow in order to help consumers understand the purpose and nutrient profiles of their chosen dog food. Look for the Complete and Balanced label to be sure your food meets the standards of the AAFCO.

Perhaps you and your family have just chosen to adopt your first pup and youre taking a plunge into relevant research. Or maybe your adolescent Boston terriers darling, enormous eyes are trying to tell you he doesnt feel so hotand it may be because of his diet.

Feeding your pup the proper nutrition can improve your dogs health and longevity. Fortunately, following AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles and nutritional standards are a fantastic place to start when curating your dogs diet.

Now, lets get the inside scoop.

What To Look For In Dog Food In Order Of Importance:

Why AAFCO Guidelines Are Useless For Raw Dog Food

AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement: This is the most crucial factor in determining whether a dog food is healthy or not. Any food you feed your dog should say on the label that it meets the nutritional standards established by the AAFCO. This means the food is “complete and balanced” for the dog’s life stage. You can find out more about these standards and definitions in the next slide.

Guaranteed analysis: This is where you’ll find the percentages of the most important nutrients in the food: protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Sometimes, you might find other nutrients like glucosamine, chondroitin, and omega fatty acids listed in the guaranteed analysis, too. It’s worth checking if the brand routinely tests their finished product to ensure it meets standards, Shepherd says. All of the foods in this guide have moderate to high protein and low to moderate fat .

Healthy extras: Some foods contain extra ingredients intended to support healthy skin, coat, and joints, Swanson notes. Examples include long-chain omega-3 fatty acids , omega-6 fatty acids , glucosamine, chondroitin, green-lipped mussels, and additional vitamins and minerals . Probiotics, prebiotics, and yeast can also benefit a puppy’s immature GI tract and probiotics may help boost overall immunity in senior dogs.

Read Also: When Do You Switch Puppy Food To Dog Food

Are Meat Byproducts Bad

AAFCO defines byproducts as “secondary products produced in addition to the principal product.” Pet food advertising often portrays byproducts as undesirable and unappetizing, but byproducts that are properly processed are safe and nutritious. Byproducts include liver, for example, which is full of vitamins and minerals that are good for pets.

Before meat byproducts can be used in dry or canned pet food, they must be heat-treated and undergo additional processing to eliminate all disease-causing bacteria. Sometimes, pet food manufacturing facilities will render byproducts, meaning that the byproducts are cooked to kill disease-causing bacteria.

On a dog food label, you will see a meat byproduct listed as “byproduct” or “meal.” Either term indicates that the meat ingredient has undergone additional processing and is safe for your dog to eat.

What Is The Best Food I Can Feed My Dog

There’s no end-all-be-all, best dog food ever. That’s because every dog is different. Some dogs may do better with more protein or fat and some with less. Dogs handle amounts of fiber differently too.It’s also important to find a food your dog enjoys eating, which can take some trial and error. According to Shepherd, you’ll know you’re feeding your dog a food that’s right for them, when they maintain a healthy weight have formed stool that’s easy to pick up, but not so firm that they’re having a hard time pooping aren’t vomiting between meals have healthy skin and coat and are growing appropriately if they’re a puppy.Other signs of good health, Osborne says, include clear eyes and nose, ears that aren’t smelly, and bowel movements that are homogeneous, meaning they don’t have little undigested pieces of food in them.

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Orijen Foods And Treats

ORIJEN represents the fullest expression of our Biologically Appropriate philosophy. ORIJENs recipes reflect diets as close as possible to what our dogs and cats ancestors found and consumed in nature. Our recipes feature 85%-95%* premium animal ingredients, with a variety of animal ingredients. With high meat inclusions from superior quality meat, poultry, and produce, feeding ORIJEN means feeding your pet the best.

*approximate and derived from the pre-processed state of the ingredients

What Are Dog Treats And Chews

Homemade Dog Food Recipe | Vet Approved | 100% Balanced #barfdiet #homemadedogfood

Treats are a type of pet food that isn’t intended to provide complete and balanced nourishment but rather to reward pets. Treats should be offered only occasionally because too many treats might disrupt a pet’s normally balanced diet and add unnecessary calories.

There are also other natural and manufactured pet chews and bones which can be made out of animal flesh, plastic or other synthetic materials. Those that are in their natural form are derived from animal parts such as:

Image by Monika Schröder from Pixabay

If the dog chews are clearly labelled as ”treats” or ”snacks”, they are exempt from registration and labelling because they are intended as treats only. However, if the producer states that it is intended as animal feed or that it gives nutritional value to the animal , the product is required to have full pet food labelling.

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What To Avoid In Dog Food

Dogs are usually not picky eaters, but that does not mean they can safely eat anything and everything. Certain ingredients should be avoided in dog food to keep dogs safe. Dr. Shepherd provided insight on which toxic ingredients dog owners should look out for, and avoid, when selecting a dog food:

  • Garlic powder: Garlic enhances the flavor of food but can damage red blood cells, leading to anemia. Signs of anemia in dogs include lethargy, pale gums, and weakness. Dr. Shepherd recommends avoiding any dog food that contains garlic powder.
  • Raw meat: Although raw food diets have become increasingly popular for dogs, raw meat may contain disease-causing bacteria, such as E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes, and genes that promote antibiotic resistance. Both the CDC and FDA advise against feeding raw meat. Dr. Shepherd points out that freeze-dried meat products should still be considered as raw food, and thus avoided, because their manufacturing process does not get rid of disease-causing pathogens. Read more about the harmful effects of feeding your dog a raw diet.
  • Specific allergens: For dogs with food allergies, certain ingredients should be avoided to prevent triggering an allergic reaction. For example, if a dog is allergic to chicken, their diet should not contain any form of chicken a diet containing a novel animal protein source, such as duck or kangaroo, would be a good choice. A food elimination trial is typically used to determine which particular ingredient to avoid.

What Is Aafco Pet Food Labeling And Why You Should Know About It

Posted byadminDecember 2, 2021Comments Off on What is AAFCO Pet Food Labeling and Why You Should Know About It

Have you ever been frustrated while trying to read the label on your pets food? You may have noticed the AAFCO label printed on your pets food bag, but most people do not know why it is significant.

Unfortunately, pet food labels do not look the same as our own food products. Choosing the right food for your pet can be difficult due to the high number of options and lack of information, but the following sections may make this process easier.

Pet foods and drugs require similar regulations as those surrounding human food manufacturing, sales, and distribution. The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of regulating safe practices for pet consumables, so who is the AAFCO and what are they responsible for?

Also Check: When Do You Switch Your Puppy To Dog Food

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