Understanding Pet Food Labels

Pet Food Labels

All commercial pet food must have certain information printed on the packaging and these are dictated by European legislation.

The items that must be present are:

  • The Products name
  • Net Weight of the bag’s contents
  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • The words Dog Food or Cat Food, so humans don’t confuse it with human food
  •  The wording Complete or Complementary
  • A statement to say if the food is made for a certain purpose. For example, a puppy or kitten, a working dog or a senior pet.
  • The guaranteed analysis, which must include:
    • Crude Protein
    • Crude Fat
    • Fibre
    • Ash
    • Moisture
  • Ingredients – these are listed in descending order by weigh 

Unfortunately, legislation does not compel any pet food company to say how high or low the digestibility of their product is.

The easiest way to determine the digestibility of a pet food is to look at the amount of stools produced by your pet. The higher the digestibility of the food then less stools are produced. That is because the animal can digest and utilise more nutrients in a higher quality food. So, in general terms, if the number of stools produced is low compared to the amount of food fed each day, then the digestibility of the food is good.


 A highly digestible source of protein is essential. If the protein is poorly digestible it means it can’t be broken down by the intestinal tract. In general, proteins from animal sources are of higher quality than plant proteins because they provide a more complete complement of essential and non-essential amino acids. 

The chicken fat used in FourFriends has a digestibility of 97 % and the chicken meat used in the formulas has a digestibility of 95 %. There is no calculation for each food and you always have to take in to account every individual dog. Some can easily digest the food, others can have problems due to different diseases in the gut flora. However, cereal proteins are alway less digestible.

You can read more about this Here

 We are more than happy to provide the Protein Digestibility of any food in the FourFriends range.  Just give us a call on 01302 637377 Option 2.

Article by FourFriends Pet Food,