Identifying honest food labelling for your beloved pets

Last year, as a result of the scandals around our food not being properly labelled and recent scaremongering over sugar and salt content in our packaged foods, we surveyed people and found out that 31% do not trust the information provided on the labels. This year, we’re focusing in on something just as important: our pets.

Pets are everything to us, they successfully complete our homes, bring so much life towards our own and are a big part of our family. We would do anything for them, and as such would follow in their shoes or paws. The big question is: Are we supplying enough protein and nutrients for our cherished pets? In the bags of food we buy for them, can you get the correct information from the labels?

Some pet owners are unaware of the extra requirements needed for their cherished animals. We’ve spoken to independent pet food brand McAdams PetFoods and put together an infographic highlighting how pet food is currently labelled. The objective is for this to help notify people of the choices they have in their pet food purchases and allow them to make informed choices.

Recognising correct label information

Protein is important, not just for us humans, but for animals also. It originates from meat, fish, eggs and some plants. It is the value to steadily maintain healthy growth and survival.

Look out for labels on pet food you buy, as it’s important to make sure your much-loved animal is taken care of the right way. The labels should state feeding guidelines, to help people safely distribute out the correct amount of food portions for their beloved pets. Under supplying and over doing are both actions of risk towards the animal. The label should also state how to accurately store one’s supply of pet food, stating either a cool and dry place, to being in humid conditions.

Samples of pet food can be supplied to people to try to see whether it’s appropriate and satisfies their animal, whether or not to purchase and continue to buy more, or to skip and move onto the next brand. However, putting all the information onto a small packet can be tricky.

The same labelling rules apply to samples of pet food products, in however way it’s showed as long as the information reaches out to people. Displayed either on product packaging itself, if it’s able to fit, or attached to the packaging.

Issuing correct foods

Taking the example of dogs, ranging from all different sizes in weight, height and width from one another, altered protein needs to be given out correctly in the exact amount. As over use or under use of protein can be a bad thing. But even within good quality dog foods, the levels of protein compared to other ingredients can be very variable.

Creative Marketing

Often on labels, the important section is a small print not necessarily meant for our eyes and we tend to skip over reading it. However this likely could give you additional information about your beloved pet that you might be unaware of.

They state words that sound good but may conceal the behind the scenes manufacturing process so that it doesn’t truly explain to us the lower quality of the food our pets are getting. What consumer understands exactly what “animal derivatives” is when they see it in the ingredients list? Do you know exactly how “meat meal” is made and what it is?

As a call for less creative marketing on pet food labelling and clarity over what is going into our pets’ foods, we’ve spoken to McAdams PetFoods, an independent dog food manufacturer who strive to give consumers a choice, having all the facts about how their pet food is made and where the ingredients are sourced.

Neil McAdams, Managing Director of McAdams PetFoods said:

“Most customers view dogs as family members. We want the best for our pets’ health as we do for our children. With creative marketing, terms to describe food that is not necessarily made with fresh or ethically sourced ingredients can sound as if they are. It’s hugely important that the labelling makes it clear enough for consumers to be able to make the choice, to have all the facts to be able to make an informed decision. We strive to give consumers a choice, and this can only be successful with honest and clear labelling of ingredients including how and where they have been sourced.”

We have collated the information into an easy to read and understand infographic in order highlight and clarify terms which consumers may find misleading and to better explain them.

Data Label Pet Food Labelling infographic

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