Reading Dog Food Labels

Reading and understanding the label on a package of dog food can seem like an overwhelming task, but it's a great way to make sure you're giving your puppy the vitamins and nutrients that his body requires.

First of all, see if the package indicates that the food is appropriate for a certain life stage. For example, it may say "puppies" or "seniors," in which case the food is specially formulated for a dog at a particular stage of life. Obviously, a food that's made for seniors would not be appropriate for a growing puppy. If, however, the label says the food is "100% nutritionally complete," the food is appropriate for dogs of all ages.

The next thing you should look at is the list of ingredients. They are listed in descending order of amount, so the first few ingredients should be the high-quality ingredients, like meat and whole grains. Be wary of foods that include "animal by-products," because, although they aren't necessarily detrimental to a dog's health, they have no nutritional value.


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