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Commercial pet food's claim to fame is/was 'Complete and Balanced'. From the very beginning of commercial pet food pet owners were warned - 'Don't Feed Table Scraps or People Food - it's not complete and balanced'. Just how 'Complete and Balanced' is pet food?

Complete and Balanced and Misleading

Commercial pet food’s claim to fame is/was ‘Complete and Balanced’.  From the very beginning of commercial pet food pet owners were warned – ‘Don’t Feed Table Scraps or People Food – it’s not complete and balanced’.  Just how ‘Complete and Balanced’ is pet food?

It’s supposedly an important thing…”100% Precisely Balanced Nutrition.”

ScienceDietBalanced

 

And they all brag about it…

NaturallBalanceBalanced

 

But how complete is complete?  And how balanced is balanced?

Complete is defined as: having all the necessary or appropriate parts.  Balanced is defined as: arranged in good proportions.

myplate_greenFor humans, a balanced diet means eating a variety of foods in proper portions as described by the MyPlate.gov image (right).    Though we humans are capable of properly filling our own plate, we somehow are not capable of properly filling our pets plate.  We are told commercial pet food is the only way to make certain a pet consumes the proper amount of nutrition.

Further, pet food is advertized to provide the specialized nutrition our pets need.  They – pet food manufacturers – offer us kitten/puppy foods, weight loss foods, and senior pet foods as well as regular adult pet foods.   We are ‘sold’ through advertising that general pet foods and specialty pet foods (kitten/puppy, senior, weight loss) are all – as stated in the Science Diet claim above – 100% precisely balanced nutrition specific to the need of our pet.

Consumers are told by most authorities to only purchase a pet food that provides Complete and Balanced nutrition.  You’ve probably seen the statement on your pet food label “This product meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog or Cat Food Nutrient Profiles”.

To meet that ‘Complete and Balanced’ claim, AAFCO has established nutrient requirements for cat foods and dog foods.  With most of the nutritional requirements established by AAFCO, there are only minimums – no maximum nutrient levels are established as law.  Example – an adult cat food must contain a minimum of 26% protein — there is no legally established maximum level for protein in the cat food.  Thus an adult cat food could contain 26% protein or it could contain 50% proteinAnd both of these foods would be provided the same claim – ‘Complete and Balanced’ – even though the nutritional content of these pet foods varies dramatically. 

There are only a small handful of pet food nutrients that have a legal maximum – thus with most having no maximum you can just imagine how varied all of our ‘Complete and Balanced’ pet foods actually are.   Let’s look at how varied our ‘Complete and Balanced’ pet foods are.

 

First, the AAFCO established regulations.  Regulation requirements for protein and fat in pet foods are…

Cat Food

  • Adult Maintenance Cat Food must contain a minimum of 26% protein, 9% fat.  There is NO maximum for protein or fat.
  • Kitten Food must contain a minimum of 30% protein, 9% fat.  There is NO maximum for protein or fat.
  • Senior Cat Food has the same requirements as Adult Maintenance.  There is NO maximum for protein or fat.

Dog Food

  • Adult Maintenance Dog Food must contain a minimum of 18% protein, 5% fat.  There is NO maximum for protein or fat.
  • Puppy Food must contain a minimum of 22% protein, 8% fat.  There is NO maximum for protein or fat.
  • Senior Dog Food has the same requirements as Adult Maintenance.  There is NO maximum for protein or fat.

 

Knowing what the regulations are, now let’s compare various pet food ingredients, protein percentage, fat percentage and calorie content.  For comparison purposes – no consideration will be given to quality of ingredients.  We are only going to compare the ingredients in the pet food (first five ingredients) and the protein percentage, fat percentage and calories per cup.  Again for comparison purposes, most foods chosen were chicken variety.  All pet foods compared are kibble.

 

Let’s start by looking at some Senior Cat Foods…

Senior Cat Food

Brand/Variety First Five Ingredients

Protein – Fat – Calories

Artemis Senior Chicken, chicken meal, barley, fish meal, rice

28 – 14 – 317

Blue Buffalo Wilderness Mature Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal potato starch, peas

38 – 14 – 373

Fromm Mature Gold

Duck, chicken meal, pearled barley, rice, potato

30 – 10 – 422

Innova Senior Turkey, chicken, chicken meal, whole grain barley, whole grain brown rice

38 – 12 – 446

Merrick Healthy Bistro Senior Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, dried potato, peas

38 – 12 – 353

Nutram Senior Chicken meal, ground rice, whole ground corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat

28 – 16 – 450

NutriSource Senior/Wt Mgt Chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, pea flour

27 – 9 – 359

Nutro Natural Choice Senior Chicken, chicken meal, pea protein, whole brown rice, chicken fat

36 – 17 – 392

Petcurean Now GF Senior Deboned turkey, potato flour, peas, pea fibre, whole dried egg

30 – 14 – 393

Precise Senior Chicken meal, ground brown rice, oat groats, chicken fat, beet pulp

28 – 10 – 406

Purina One Smartblend Maturity Chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal

36 – 13 – ?

Science Diet Senior Chicken, whole grain wheat, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, pork fat

33 – 21 – 510

 

On the surface, they all look fairly similar.  All have a chicken or chicken meal ingredient, most have a grain.  But…in these twelve Senior Cat Foods – all providing senior cats ‘Complete and Balanced’ nutrition we find…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 27% to 38%

SeniorCatFoodProtein

[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 9% to 21%

SeniorCatFoodFat

[/col] [col col=4]And calories per cup varied from 317 to 510

SeniorCatCalories1

[/col] [/row]

[row] [col col=4]27% protein is balanced nutrition for senior cats; but 38% protein is balanced nutrition too.[/col] [col col=4]9% fat is balanced nutrition for senior cats; but 21% fat is balanced nutrition too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 317 calories for senior cats; but 510 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

How can specialized nutrition specific to senior cats have so much variation?  Is 28% protein, 14% fat and 317 calories per cup precisely balanced nutrition or is 38% protein, 12% fat and 446 calories per cup precisely balanced nutrition for senior cats?

 

Comparing 16 Senior Dog Foods…

Senior Dog Foods
Brand/Variety First Five Ingredients

Protein – Fat – Calories

Biljac Senior Chicken by-products, corn meal, chicken, oatmeal, dried beet pulp

20 – 12 – ?

Blue Buffalo Senior Deboned turkey, whole ground brown rice, turkey meal, potatoes, peas

20 – 10 – 342

California Natural Chicken Senior Chicken meal, brown rice, rice, chicken fat, herring oil

24 – 8 – 354

Drs Foster Smith Senior Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, barley, brewers rice

21 – 10 – 360

Eagle Pack Senior Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground yellow corn, oatmeal, chicken fat

26 – 12 – 362

Evolve Senior/Lite Chicken, rice, rice flour, chicken meal, dried beet pulp

18 – 7 – ?

Flint River Senior Wheat flour, ground whole brown rice, ground whole white rice, chicken meal, oatmeal

18 – 8 – 421

Fromm Mature Adult Chicken, chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, white rice

21 – 11 – 388

Kumpi Senior Corn meal, chicken meal, dried beet pulp, chicken fat, rice flour

20 – 8 – 382

Lassie Senior Ground rice, chicken meal, rice flour, rice bran, dried beet pulp

20 – 10 – ?

Loyall Senior Chicken by-product meal, oat groats, brewers rice, ground whole barley, ground whole corn

25 – 10 – 230

Merrick Senior Chicken Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, peas

30 – 11 – 340

Nutram Senior Chicken meal, ground rice, oatmeal, whole ground corn, fresh chicken

24 – 12 – 400

Orijen Senior Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, turkey meal

38 – 15 – 445

Petcurean Go Senior Chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, de-boned chicken, de-boned turkey

32 – 14 – 394

Purina One Smartblend Maturity Chicken, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, soybean meal

28 – 12 – 363

 

Again, on the surface most of these senior dog foods look similar.  Most of them contain chicken or chicken meal as the first ingredient, most have grains.  But…in these Senior Dog Foods – all providing senior dogs ‘Complete and Balanced’ nutrition we find…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 18% to 38%.

DogFoodSeniorProtein[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 7% to 15%.

SeniorDogFat1[/col] [col col=4]And calories per cup varied from 230 to 445.

SeniorDogCalories1[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]18% protein is complete and balanced nutrition for senior dogs; but 38 % protein is complete and balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]7% fat is complete and balanced nutrition for senior dogs; but 15% fat is complete and balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Complete and balanced nutrition is provided by 230 calories for senior dogs; but 445 calories also provides complete and balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Which food really does have precisely balanced nutrition for a senior dog?

 

Kitten Foods…

Click Here to View list of Kitten Foods compared.

26 Complete and Balanced Kitten Foods were compared – we find…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 34% to 41%

KittenProtein1[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 16% to 25%

KittenFat[/col] [col col=4]And calories per cup varied from 370 to 553

KittenCalories1[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]34% protein is balanced nutrition for kittens; but 41 % protein is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]16% fat is balanced nutrition for kittens; but 25% fat is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 370 calories for kittens; but 553 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Puppy Foods…

Click Here to view list of Puppy Foods compared.

41 Complete and Balanced Puppy Foods were compared – we find…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 25% to 38%.

PuppyProtein[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 11% to 21%.

PuppyFat[/col] [col col=4]And calories per cup varied from 305 to 570.

PuppyCalories[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]25% protein is balanced nutrition for puppies; but 38 % protein is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]11% fat is balanced nutrition for puppies; but 21% fat is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 305 calories for puppies; but 570 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Now let’s compare Lite, Light, Weight Management Cat Foods…

Click Here to view full list of cat foods compared.

16 Complete and Balanced Lite, Light, Weight Management or Weight Loss Cat foods were compared.  We found…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 27% to 50%.

CatLiteProtein[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 9% to 15%.

CatLiteFat1[/col] [col col=4]And Calories per Cup varied from 302 to 481.

CatLiteCalories1[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]27% protein is balanced nutrition for lite/weight management cat food; but 50% protein is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]9% fat is balanced nutrition for lite/weight management cat food; but 15% fat is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 302 calories for lite/weight management cat food; but 445 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Lite, Light, Weight Management Dog Foods…

Click Here to view full list of dog foods compared.

28 Complete and Balanced Lite, Light, Weight Management or Weight Loss Dog Foods were compared.  We found…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 18% to 52%.

DogLiteProtein[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 6% to 15%.

DogLiteFat[/col] [col col=4]Calories per cup varied from 245 to 450.

DogLiteCalories[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]18% protein is balanced nutrition for lite/weight management dog food; but 52% protein is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]6% fat is balanced nutrition for lite/weight management dog food; but 15% fat is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 245 calories for lite/weight management dog food; but 440 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Adult Cat Foods…

Click Here to view full list of cat foods reviewed.

71 Complete and Balanced Adult Maintenance Cat Foods were compared, we find…

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 27% to 50%.

CatProtein[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 11% to 24%.

CatFat[/col] [col col=4]Calories per cup varied from 333 to 602.

CatCalories[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]27% protein is balanced nutrition for adult cat food; but 50% protein is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]11% fat is balanced nutrition for adult cat food; but 24% fat is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 333 calories for lite/weight management cat food; but 602 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Look at these two Complete and Balanced Adult Cat Food options…

Loyall Chicken by-product meal, brewers rice, ground whole corn, wheat flour, corn gluten meal

30 – 15 – 363

Evo Turkey, chicken meal, chicken, herring, chicken fat

50 – 22 – 602

Could two cat foods be more different?  The Loyall Adult Cat Food contains a by-product and four grain ingredients within the first five ingredients.  The Evo Adult Cat Food contains four animal protein ingredients of the first five.   Protein, Fat and Calories in the Evo Cat Food are almost double that of the Loyall.

But…both foods provide adult cats the same “Complete and Balanced Nutrition”.

 

Lastly Adult Maintenance Dog Foods…

Click Here to view the full list of dog foods compared.

71 Complete and Balanced Adult Dog Foods were compared, we find that…

 

[row] [col col=4]Protein percentage varied from 19% to 42%.

DogProtein[/col] [col col=4]Fat percentage varied from 7% to 22%.

DogFat1[/col] [col col=4]And calories per cup varied from 334 to 599.

DogCalories[/col] [/row] [row] [col col=4]19% protein is balanced nutrition for adult dog food; but 42% protein is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]7% fat is balanced nutrition for adult dog food; but 22% fat is balanced too.[/col] [col col=4]Balanced nutrition is provided by 334 calories for adult dog food; but 599 calories also provides balanced nutrition.[/col] [/row]

 

Compare these two Adult Maintenance Complete and Balanced Dog Foods…

Pedigree Ground whole corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat, soybean meal

21 – 10 – 335

Orijen Boneless chicken, chicken meal, chicken liver, whole herring, boneless turkey

38 – 18 – 478

 

Again…it has to be asked…could two kibble dog foods be more different?  How can both of these foods tout the very same claim?  100% Complete and Balanced Nutrition?

 

[row] [col col=6]How can this be balanced nutrition for an adult cat?

CatPlatelow[/col] [col col=6]And this can be balanced nutrition for the same adult cat too?

CatPlatehigh[/col] [/row]

 

[row] [col col=6]How can this be balanced nutrition for an adult dog?

DogPlatelow[/col] [col col=6]And this provide balanced nutrition for that same adult dog?

DogPlatehigh[/col] [/row]

 

And one more thing…all of the stated protein and fat percentages listed above (and on all labels)…pet food is only required to tell us minimums.  Which means each of the above dramatic differences in nutritional content could be even more dramatic if we were told the actual protein and fat content of the pet food we are buying.

The New York Times defines ‘a balanced diet’ as: “A balanced diet means getting the right types and amounts of foods and drinks to supply nutrition and energy for maintaining body cells, tissues, and organs, and for supporting normal growth and development.”

For our pets, regulations define a balanced diet as…

  • only possible from a commercial pet food;
  • in nutritional amounts anywhere from here to eternity.

 

It’s inexcusable.

 

 

Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author Buyer Beware, Co-Author Dinner PAWsible
TruthaboutPetFood.com
Association for Truth in Pet Food

What’s in Your Pet’s Food?
Is your dog or cat eating risk ingredients?  Chinese imports?  Petsumer Report tells the ‘rest of the story’ on over 2500 cat foods, dog foods,  and pet treats.  30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. www.PetsumerReport.com

 

Listimagesmall

 

2014 List
Susan’s List of trusted pet foods.  Click Here

 

 

Have you read Buyer Beware?  Click Here

Cooking for pets made easy, Dinner PAWsible

Find Healthy Pet Foods in Your Area Click Here

 

 

14 comments

  1. we do not carry kitten, puppy, weight management, senior, hairball, indoor cat, or any of these other “special” foods in our store. We’ve always said a good clean FOOD is the best food. With proper sourcing, fed in proper amounts. My opinion has always been these “special” foods are nothing but a marketing trick. And one that does much harm.

  2. Consider also that the so-called “studies” which many of the big name brands claim to have done, are only done with 8 animals and for 6 months. During that time ANYTHING short of death can happen within the animal’s system: infections, sickness, etc… as long as the blood panel comes back within “normal parameters” and the animal doesn’t die, well, that proves the “food” is quality for the life of the animal, doncha know. Talk about deceptive!!

  3. If meat is only 16 – 20% protein & that’s what natural dogs (wolves) eat .. what does dry food contain the 40% + that soy has ????? dO YOU SEE THE PROBLEM??? Soy is not meat & does not do the same in the body … especially a carnivore!!!

  4. AAFCO is a voluntary commercial enterprise, and your essay displays why I have no respect for their declaration of authority or “approval” on any pet food. AAFCO testing standards are extraordinary meager: trials of only 8 animals must complete a 26 week feeding trial with 75% (6 of 8) not showing clinical or pathological signs of nutritional deficiency or excess. This is determined by measuring 4 blood values after the trial (hemoglobin, packed cell volume, serum alkaline phosphatase, and serum albumin) and the average values of the test subjects must meet minimum levels. No animal is allowed to lose more than 15% of its starting weight. And two of the animals can be dropped from the test for “non-diet” reasons. When pet food manufacturers complained that the tests were inconvenient, AAFCO established a new standard: foods can pass if they comply with “nutrient profiles.” But as Susan/Mollie have written here, there are a myriad of ways to do that… So really… no testing is even required. Products meeting either of these AAFCO standards can bear the designation: “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (product name) provides complete and balanced nutrition…” No long-term testing of these products has been undertaken: it is the dog or cat guardian who conducts “feeding trials” when they use these products!

  5. Numbers show that since the advent of people feeding kibble rather than table scraps, dog cancers have become the #1 killer for dogs. (I don’t know about cats). Since cats never eat grains in the wild, and I know that grains are indigestable “filler” for dogs, that they are even included in pet foods is theft. They are not “food” for dogs or cats. And I try to avoid all “foods” with soy, which is 99% GMO, in addition to other problems.

  6. Love these educated comments found here. Great article revealing the lunacy surrounding “complete and balanced” claim from AAFCO. Absolutely worthless.

    I agree that foods labeled “puppy”, “Weight Management/Senior” are just marketing ploys.

    Another issue that needs to be addressed as well is that pets’ bodies are not fully able to truly utilize the plant proteins that are included in that “Guaranteed Protein Analysis” percentage. It is the animal protein that is most important. Very few dry kibble manufacturers state what the “Animal Protein Inclusion” percentage that is found in that GA. Hello???? Carnivores thrive on animal protein not plant protein. Got to know that answer.

    Beyond that, to make a dry kibble style food you have to have a starch of some kind to act as a binder. Dogs don’t need carbs in general as they can promote inflammation in the body ( not to mention the rise of diabetic animals or that carbs/sugar also feeds cancer. That all being said, if a carb has to be used to make a kibble then whatever starch is being used does not have to be high glycemic such as potato or tapioca ( by the way tapioca, while very palatable AND adds nothing in the way of nutritive value ) is higher than table sugar on the glycemic scale. Therefore if choosing to feed dry kibble ( equal to our human diet as a processed food ) it would be advisable to search for a kibble that utilizes a low glycemic starch.

    Finally, kibble is hard to digest. Once eaten, swallowed usually whole, a dogs digestion begins in their acid pit of a stomach. Dogs digestion does not begin in their mouth as humans as they do not have the enzymes in their saliva to chew and begin the breakdown process. That’s why when a dog or cat regurgitates right after eating food has the same shape as it started. Furthermore their teeth are made specifically for ripping and tearing as compared with a cows teeth for example which are flat for chewing. When that mostly whole kibble hits the stomach , it has to be hydrated before digestion can begin. Hydration of dry food takes a lot of water. Therefore animals that are only kibble feed tend to run a bit dehydrated and that in itself is difficult on all organs to work efficiently for the life of the dog. Digestion of kibble is difficult and long.

    Other issues concerning kibble is the high heat at which most are cooked causing denatured protein and undesirable toxins. Lost nutrition from denatured meat protein means adding of synthetic premix vitamins that mostly comes from China to meet AAFCO nutrition standards. That’s the words at the end of the ingredient list you cannot pronounce without a chemistry degree. Yikes! Also the over fed dog/cat can in the course of time time build up to too much of these synthetic vitamins,which are difficult for the body to recognize/utilize, can become a toxic overload to the body (as opposed to readily recognized vitamins as found in more natural forms of whole food vitamins).

    Best advise is to seek out what is easily recognized, digestible, species appropriate diet for your pet. This site is a great place to become informed. It is worthwhile to garner as much information concerning the animal members of your family so that they can live vital lives, not just surviving but thriving. Bonus….keeps vet bills down. There is so much more information to discover. Be your pets’ advocate by taking the time to research. It’s at your fingertips. With good info, you can make good choices. Good luck to those in the search as the animal food world is at best a convoluted one indeed.

    • I agree – all terrific comments, and so many good points made. Heartening to be part of such a community, and man thanks to our fearless leader!

  7. One aspect of these food labels I want to point out: a label lists the first 3 ingredients chicken, chicken meal, ground brown rice, pea flour , etc.
    when calculations show 25% protein, we do not know what percentage is coming from each source listed. What is the concern with this? Each protein has a biological bioavailable rating.so if mist of the protein is coming from a high protein grain, or an egg vs. Chicken even, the quality of protein will vary. The higher the percent coming from a lower quality protein, the kess quality of the food. Most vary even batch to batch since companies put mire or less of the ingredients depending on market price.

  8. So true! Included in the Guaranteed Analysis is the percentage of all proteins. . That percentage is a combination of animal protein AND plant protein. Of the two, animal protein is the most easily utilized by the body. Therefore it is key for pet food companies to be upfront about how much animal protein you are getting in a bag of kibble. That is called “Animal Inclusion”. This is most often avoided by many pet food companies that want to use less animal protein because animal protein is more costly. They chose instead to bump up the protein percentage using plant protein. Way less expensive to utilize more plant protein. Keep in mind the goal for a species appropriate diet for a carnivore, be it canine or feline (an obligate carnivore ), is to get the most meat or animal protein ( including muscle meat, organ meat, and bone hopefully in proportion in percentage to what one would find in a whole animal ) you can buy in a bag of dog food. That is if kibble is your choice way of feeding your pet.

  9. Sorry to dissappoint you folks but the protein content is a laboratory analysis of the nitrogen content, not the food value.

    • I seriously doubt anyone here is in the least “disappointed”, Paw Paw Pete. On the contrary, NOTHING the PFI does will surprise most of us. We have been disappointed far too long in the PTB to be shocked at anything they throw at us. If you want to talk “food value”, though, we can start with quality of ingredients and the lack of any such guarantee in “pet food” thanks to the FDA compliance policy which pretty much leaves the door open for anything from feathers to rendered, 4 D animals to be mixed into kibble!

  10. Excellent article.
    It always amazes me that humans need to know little about nutrition or how to prepare a balanced diet and yet when it come to pet nutrition we have to have some “expert” prepare highly processed questionable ingredients for us to feed them.
    The food industry has Americans convinced they can buy nutrition out of a box, bag, or can while giving no regard to what a balanced diet really is. it doesn’t really matter does it? People will buy what tastes good to them and the food industry does not care if they get the proper nutrition as long as they buy.
    Pet food on the other hand has to be disguised as a mystery to humans since they might just think for themselves and buy something natural and healthy instead of the usual box, bag, or can.

  11. For the record if a food says that it contains a minimum of something, do you really think they would add “extra for free” if they didn’t have to? For example, if a food says “with chicken” the AAFCO standard is that it contain a MINIMUM of 3% chicken. Do you really think the company is going to give you more than that if they aren’t required to?

    • Chicken I doubt they would add more. But easily I could see a alternative protein source (such as a grain) could increase the stated protein percentage. And a larger concern would be fat. Again, I can easily see a manufacturer adding higher levels of fat to a formula while stating the minimum.

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