On the other hand, in an era of Salmonella contamination scares and the 2007 melamine pet food recall, it is hard to know which “big brand” you can trust these days. While it offers the trendy “grain-free” formulas, it also makes most of its dog foods with grains that are less likely to cause allergies such as whole-grain oats and brown rice. Hill’s Science Diet. If your dog is very active or just has a high metabolism, the bare minimum may not be enough. Optimal Calcium Level has been defined for Large Breed Puppies (puppies who will be 70lbs+ as an adult). If you have any questions about the ingredients in NUTRO® Pet Food, you can consult our Ingredient and Nutrient Glossary. Low-quality ingredients in cat food include mystery meats, carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and … In order to be labeled “complete and balanced” by the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), dog food must meet certain minimum requirements.. I think you should too. There are certain things that you should be looking for in order to make sure the dog food you select is going to give your pet the nutrition that he requires. Many veterinarians would recommended this brand of dog food as one of the top choices among grain-free dog foods. When you look at a bag of industrial pet food food, AAFCO confirms that it will be 100% complete and balanced according to them if it meets their standards. Hill has been … There are two main bodies that have some say over how pet food is manufactured and labeled: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Would you like to proceed? Redford Naturals is a grain-friendly dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars. AAFCO advises pet food manufacturers and state legislators on the appropriate nutritional values needed to support animals at different life stages (ex. Topping my list of vet recommended dog food brands is Hill’s Science Diet. Most of us have learned to check the ingredients list on dog food, but there’s another set of information on pet food labels that merits your attention: the guaranteed analysis.Understanding this information, based on the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, provides you with yet another essential tool in the marketplace. Calorie Content is now required on all forms of pet food – previously it was not required for mixers, toppers and treats. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. However, it's also very expensive, which may not be ideal for many pet parents. Many ingredients such as meat, poultry and grains are considered safe and do not require pre-market approval. Most of us have learned to check the ingredients list on cat food, but there’s another set of information that merits your attention: the guaranteed analysis. In 1995, AAFCO changed these standards to incorporate ‘new scientific information’ completed by the pet food manufacturers. If laboratory analysis has been used, the text will read: (Name of product) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for (lifestage). AAFCO stands for the American Association of Feed Control Officials. Most commercial cat food (that meets AAFCO standards) is full of low-quality ingredients. As previously mentioned, AAFCO does not approve any feed products. The nutrition that your dog requires is based on a lot of variables. RELATED: Why and Where to Shop for Wholesale Pet Supplies. Click here to visit our contact form. Understanding this information, which is based on the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, provides you with another important tool in the … All of my vet recommended dog food brands meet AAFCO standards. AAFCO has recommended that any dog foods that exceed this amount be reformulated to meet the new standard. It's a great option and I have a lot of trust in their future dog food releases. If your dog has sensitive skin and is a toy breed that needs a small kibble, Iams/Eukanuba will have the diet for you. The Association of American Feed Control Officials sets nutritional standards for pet food. Understanding this information, which is based on the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, provides you with another important tool in the marketplace. Top Dog Tips have done a complete breakdown of the pet food market and picked the best dog food brand that's holistic, human-grade and completely natural. The Association of American Feed Control Officials sets nutritional standards for pet food. If you see a company claim that their pet food is ‘nutritionally complete’, they must meet AAFCO’s nutritional and feed ingredient requirements: A reputable pet food brand will work to meet and even exceed the AAFCO listed minimum and maximum levels for protein, fat, vitamin and mineral content. In the United States, nearly all major dog food companies formulate products to meet the nutritional standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). One that doesn't is just junk. Even most of the mid-grade brands exceed the AAFCO standards. Meet AAFCO standards as a complete and balanced dog food? A complete and balanced pet food formulation accounts for this variation to meet all of the nutritional requirements of a cat or dog for its particular life stage. To learn more about impacted Wellness wet dog products, click here. Recommended daily calorie intake has been refined.Â. If it does, the dog food label will read “[Product Name] is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles.” AAFCO-Compliant Feeding Trial: In addition to the laboratory analysis, this method includes feeding trials with real dogs to demonstrate the food’s nutritional values. Is My Dog Food AAFCO Approved? One of these is the “Nutritional Adequacy statement.” This may also be called the “AAFCO statement” because it is based on the nutritional profiles that the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) publishes annually. We are committed to making our website accessible to everyone, including those with disabilities. Do you have any questions about AAFCO or a product you're currently feeding? As a veterinarian, dog lovers are always asking me for my opinion on what are top vet recommended dog food brands that are healthy for dogs. But when it comes to premade raw dog food, few claim to meet AAFCO standards for “complete and balanced.” Purchasing a dog is... Not just any dog is cut out for farm life. The AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles express nutrient levels on a "dry matter," or moisture-free, basis. Orijen is a Canadian pet food company dedicated to sourcing its raw ingredients from Canada only. AAFCO is a non-profit organization that sets standards for both animal feeds and pet foods in the United States. Here’s What This Means (and what to do), My Dog Has a Bump on Her Private Area (14 Possible Causes), 7 Most Common Dog Paw Problems and What to Do About Them, 5 Signs of Dog Anal Glands Problems (And What to Do). Meatand poultry by-products are considered raw products, even though they are cooked in the pet food manufacturing process. ProPlan, Purina’s more “premium” line, is a favorite of veterinarians and dogs alike. As we strive to exceed the expectations of the industry and craft the best natural food for our pets, we look to AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) to guide our decision-making when it comes to formulating and labeling our products. The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Redford … This program is voluntary for manufacturers of pet products and is recognized by AAFCO as an approved certification for compliance to requirements of the AAFCO Official Publication 2017 guidance for “human grade”. On their website, the company publishes the exact province where the fish, meats, fruits, and vegetables are sourced for its products. It's affected by his breed, size, age, weight, skin and coat condition, medical history, and overall health just to name a few. One such change was to lower the minimum protein content from 22% to 18% which is noteworthy as protein is the most expensive ingredient on the dog food label. At Wellness, we hold ourselves to the strictest quality standards when it comes to sourcing our ingredients, manufacturing our foods and labeling or our products. Antibiotic Use in Pets. We'd be happy to talk. All NUTRO® Dog Foods meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. Glucosamine and chondroitin are two common supplements found in a lot of dog foods made specifically for active dogs and senior dogs. Traditional chat availability M-F | 9:00AM – 4:00PM ET. Rather, it establishes model labeling standards for manufacturers regarding the ingredient list and nutritional formula, and recommends laws or regulations to implement those guidelines. Sorry we aren't online at the moment. AAFCO has recommended that any dog foods that exceed this amount be reformulated to meet the new standard. What are AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles? 5 Benefits of Elevated Food Bowls for Dogs: Myths or Facts? Redford Naturals Dog Food Recall History. There is no requirement that pet food products have pre-market approval by the FDA. Immune-Mediated Thrombocytopenia (IMT) ... AAFCO Pet Food Labeling . Cat and Dog Food Ingredients. Their offerings include low-allergen duck and fish and whole grains like quinoa. Is My Dog Food AAFCO Approved? One was created specifically for kitten nutrition, and the other applies to adult cat nutrition maintenance. You can reach one of our knowledgeable Consumer Affairs team members Monday through Friday, 8am-5pm ET at 800.225.0904 or email us at info@wellpet.com. AAFCO does not regulate, test, approve or certify pet foods in any way. If you see a company claim that their pet food is ‘nutritionally complete’, they must meet AAFCO’s nutritional and feed ingredient requirements: A reputable pet food brand will work to meet and even exceed the AAFCO listed minimum and maximum levels for protein, fat, … If you are interested in whole, human-grade dog foods but don’t have the time to cook a balanced diet for your dog, The Honest Kitchen provides balanced, freeze-dried dog food that makes it easy to “cook up” your pup’s dinner in no time. As an advisory association, AAFCO does not actively regulate pet food products. Most commercial cat food (that meets AAFCO standards) is full of low-quality ingredients. As a pet parent, when choosing the best dog food brand for your Fido you need to consider the health and nutritional benefits of that dog food. Orijen is the best that you can get if you are concerned about human-grade food traceability. Personally, I have used them before myself with my own dogs and taste-wise, canines usually love this brand. In 1995, AAFCO changed these standards to incorporate ‘new scientific information’ completed by the pet food manufacturers. For example, the Royal Canin Yorkshire terrier dog food has appropriately sized and shaped kibble, making eating dry food much easier for tiny mouths. (Keep reading to find out how easy it is for even poor quality foods to meet those standards.) The recommended daily amount of Vitamin D has been reduced. Why All Dog Diets Should Meet AAFCO Nutrient Guidelines As a caring pet owner, you want your dog to have a balanced and healthy diet. For a product to meet one of the AAFCO nutrient profiles, it must contain every nutrient listed in the profile at the recommended level. If you are having difficulty accessing any part of our website or have any accessibility feedback, please complete our general contact form, below, or call (800) 225-0904. The agency doesn't endorse any dog food. Most of us have learned to check the ingredients list on cat food, but there’s another set of information that merits your attention: the guaranteed analysis. ACANA lands among the top of our list as one of the best dog foods … Going with a “boutique” raw diet or freshly-prepared diet won’t necessarily prevent food contamination either. While this list is a “top 10” of my vet recommended dog food brands, it is best for you to select the best food for your own budget, lifestyle, and dog’s individual needs. For example, meat and bone meal, a rendered byproduct, contains substantial quantities of natural calcium and phosphorus due to the bones included as part of the ingredient. The recommended daily amount of Vitamin D has been reduced. This list of veterinarian recommended dog foods will help you make a better choice for your Fido. Most of us have learned to check the ingredients list on dog food, but there’s another set of information on pet food labels that merits your attention: the guaranteed analysis.Understanding this information, based on the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines, provides … Cat food nutrition is regulated by a set of standards presented by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).Cat foods labeled "Complete and balanced" must adhere to these standards. Then you can use similar criteria when selecting your dog’s diet. Purina is one of the oldest pet food companies in North America and provides solid nutrition for a good price. JOIN OUR COMMUNITY& SAVE $3.00 ON WELLNESS! Hill’s Science Diet is at the top of this list. If raw foods are required to meet the same standards as kibble, AAFCO standards may actually cause raw food manufacturers to do more harm than good. There are two different profiles for cat food nutrition. IMHA: Four Letters You Never Want your Dog or Cat to Meet. But what about a list of pet food products meeting the AAFCO standards? Foods that meet AAFCO standards are not necessarily what’s best for your cat. DHA is now recognized as an essential nutrient for the growth of puppies, so any product that is formulated for puppies should include DHA and report the DHA level in the Guaranteed Analysis on the product label. One thing I always mention is that even though I have my favorite vet approved dog food brands, each individual canine will have specific needs, and there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to dog nutrition and foods (source). With AAFCO being the only body to grade and judge the quality of the pet food, it is important to look for the AAFCO statement located on the label. AAFCO establishes the nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods, and it is the pet food company's responsibility to formulate their products according to the appropriate AAFCO standard. Most likely, you are one of the 97% of people in Australia who feeds their dog a manufactured dog food kibble or dog food can diet. Foods that are “intended for supplemental feeding only” – such as treats and toppers – do not contain all of the nutrients that your pet needs for optimal health and therefore must be fed along with other foods to ensure your pet gets all of the calories and nutrients that they need. AAFCO is an acronym for the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If you are a health nut and want the convenience of a relatively inexpensive commercial food, Wellness may be a good option for your pup. This did not affect our assessment of products. Read more here and find full disclosure here. If a laboratory analysis was used to verify that a pet food meets AAFCO’s nutrient profiles, the label will read: “(Name of food) is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO (Dog/Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for (life stage).” AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles Growth and Reproduction. These subcommittees established the "AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles" and the "AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles" that appeared in the Official Publication of the AAFCO in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Dog Won’t Open His Eyes? It offers some specific foods for particular breeds, which can be very helpful. ACANA lands among the top of our list as one of the best dog foods you can buy. Wellness provides whole-food based nutrition with a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and a boost of antioxidants and probiotics for healthy digestion. Castor & Pollux offers one of the only USDA Organic brands of dog foods. meet the intent of the AAFCO labeling standards for “human grade”. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Most commercial dog food companies formulate their dog foods for puppy, adult, and senior/mature life stages based on AAFCO’s standards. Your veterinarian knows your pet and understands his specific health needs. In short, here are top five most commonly recommended brands: * Click on the dog food brand for more information, prices and nutrition or scroll down below to read our overview. The number of products on the market precludes AAFCO from maintaining such a list. The fact of the matter is, however, that the standards of quality for ingredients used in pet foods are much lower – even in the United States. If the food has passed the feeding trials but doesn’t meet any of the nutrient profiles the label is … Nutro Ultra provides a natural blend of ingredients for optimal nutrition. The Benefits of Probiotic Dog Food & Cat Food, Why Your Cat Has a Sensitive Stomach (And Foods That Will Help), Finding The Best Puppy Food For Sensitive Stomachs. The AAFCO standards represent the MINIMUM nutrition a dog needs to stay in any semblance of health. While Natural Balance is not a “hypoallergenic” diet, many dogs with allergies benefit from its novel protein and carbohydrate recipes such as salmon and potato or venison and sweet potato. A 4-star dog food brand may not offer the same quality as a 5-star brand, but it is still a great option for your dog. These subcommittees established the "AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles" and the "AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles" that appeared in the Official Publication of the AAFCO in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Animal shelters are the unsung heroes of a modern society. One way to prove it is complete and balanced is to test the food and compare it to the AAFCO standards. 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All Orijen products meet AAFCO standards and Fido’s taste test, too! The … RELATED: Vet Recommended Safe Dog Treats for Snacking. AAFCO guidelines as a whole help define which pet foods are “complete & balanced” versus “intended for supplemental feeding only”. But one thing owners want to consider is the price range which they can afford, so I have to consider the best cheap dog food brands that are also good enough for pets. These high standards are held throughout the company, from ingredients selection and variety to company values and community involvement. Royal Canin is about on par with Hill’s Science Diet for quality and nutrition. In the United States, dog food manufacturing is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its subsidiary Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) in the same way that animal feed is regulated. While certain breeds don’t require different nutrients from other breeds, some characteristics of the Royal Canin breed-specific foods are quite appropriate. Speak to your veterinarian if you are concerned about your pet’s diet or health. Further in the article, I mention all the reasons why vets consider these dog foods best for our pets. To meet the AAFCO guidelines and to receive the AAFCO Statement, pet foods sold on the market have to be graded and judged before distribution. Start by reading dog food labels closely and analyze well what's on them. All rights reserved. Below I've chosen my top 10 vet recommended dog food brands, and I hope to explain a little more in detail what goes into my selection process. All NUTRO® Dog Foods meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. Some dogs are more “picky eaters” than others while some will eat whatever whenever. 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