Product labels should clearly state where the food originates from and eliminate any additives or confusing terms.
For example, a product label that lists “meat meal” or uses a term like “Chicken Entree For Dogs With Salmon Flavor” is unclear and a little distracting.
The purpose for those types of terms is used to comply with specific standards by the FDA, but they aren’t wholly accurate.
The FDA claims that manufacturers must list the food in a way that describes the ingredients’ content, but if you don’t know how to read it, it may seem like you’re making a healthy choice when in reality, it’s anything but.
There are four main terms to look for and understand what each means. Those terms are known as:
The 95% Rule
The 95% rule means that when a product is listed, such as “turkey,” then it must make up 95% of the recipe as detailed.
The 25% Rule
When food labels claim something like “salmon platter, lamb dinner, or chicken entree,” the FDA requires food manufacturers to include these terms when a product such as chicken only comprises 25-94% of the total ingredients.
The “With” Rule
The term “with” such as “dog food with lamb” means that the product is only required to have 3% of lamb in the ingredient list. This tactic is one way that subpar food manufacturers follow to get around the reality that it does not include much protein.
The “Flavor” Rule
Like the “with” rule, any ingredient list that uses “flavor” isn’t required to have much of the protein they claim.
Basically, the “flavor” rule is that if it is a term used to describe a product, it only needs enough protein source to be traceable. The protein doesn’t even need to have been included!