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Mike Sagman

“…for me the ingredient list plays a minor role in my overall assessment of a food.”

Nope. That’s not true for me.

The complete assessment of any pet food is never only about the ingredients list. It’s also about ALL of the information included on the label. Verifiable facts like caloric density, the Statement of Nutritional Adequacy (AAFCO), fat-to-protein ratios, preservative content, moisture content (which affects comparative macronutrient content) and much more.

I would never recommend ignoring or minimizing the label content. The information contained on the label is required by U.S. Federal Law for a reason and must be an important part of choosing any dog food.

Without label analysis and a science-based understanding of ingredient splitting and dry matter basis, how could you possibly compare the relative amounts of various ingredients or the primary components in any food? They can easily and legally be manipulated by the manufacturer. Yes, even by Purina or Royal Canin. They do it all the time.

Nope. That’s not for me. I’ve always been and still am an avid label reader whenever I buy ANY food (for humans or pets).

After studying more than 5900 different recipes every day for the past 14 years, ingredient lists combined with a solid understanding of AAFCO nutrient profiles (which are based on the data included in the “Nutritional Requirements of Dogs and Cats” and published by the National Academies of Science cited above), I’m not sure how any processed food can ever be magically better than the ingredients that were used to make it?

Of course, labels should never be the only thing to study when choosing food. But they provide a critically important piece of the puzzle. They’re a valuable and informative place to start. And a risky thing to ignore.