Marketers use clever tactics to disguise the contents of dog food products. For instance; the wording on the packaging is usually a code for how much protein the product contains.
FDA analysis of pet food labels drew some surprising results. Names like “chicken dog food,” or “beef dog food,” indicate that the contents of the product contain 95-percent meat, without the water content.
“Dinner” is another indicator to be wary of on your search for quality dog food. You may notice labels that include phrases such as “chicken stew dinner” and “salmon dog dinner.” These products feature 25-percent of the protein source, with the rest made up of grain. The same rule applies to labels that include the words “entree,” “platter,” “formula,” and “nuggets.” If there is more than one ingredient listed on the label, then the total amount of all the protein sources must only add up to 25-percent.
If you come across a label that states, “with salmon,” then you can expect the total amount of that protein to add up to a mere 3-percent of the total food. For example; if you pick up a can of food and the label reads, “Beef stew dinner for dogs with vegetables,” then the product contains 25-percent beef and 3-percent vegetables.
Finally, if the label reads “beef flavored,” then the product only needs a trace amount of the protein to achieve this wording.