10909 Indian Head HighwayFort Washington, MD 20744(301) 292-1150(301) 292-1056

Questions to ask about your pet's diet:

  1. Who formulates the diets?
  2. Is there an address and 800 number for the manufacturer on the bag?
  3. Does the company have a board certified veterinary nutritionist on staff?
  4. What specific quality control measures does the company take to assure quality & consistency of the food?
  5. Look at the ingredient list.  The list is arranged in decreasing order of majority by weight.  Ingredients must be listed by their common name. Be aware that it is impossible to tell which portions of nutrients are coming from each ingredient, as the nutritional composition of each ingredient can vary and exact amounts are not disclosed.   This list may not be as helpful as you think it is!
  6. Where are the diets produced or manufactured?
  7. Can the company provide a complete nutrient analysis for all foods, including caloric density?
  8. Is the diet appropriate for your pet’s age, breed and activity?
  9. Look at the diet’s AAFCO (American Feed Control Officials) Nutritional Adequacy Statement -  Diet should have a statement that reads – “complete and balanced”. Be aware there are foods intended for supplemental or intermittent feeding only – They are not complete and balanced.

    1. Diet should have a statement that reads – “complete and balanced”. Be aware there are foods intended for supplemental or intermittent feeding only – They are not complete and balanced.

      1. The diet can be determined to be “complete and balanced” in one of 2 ways:

        1. By formulation – basically calculations based on the ingredients
        2. By feeding trials under AAFCO specifications ****PREFERED
  10. Is the food guaranteed?
  11. Does your pet like the food and appear healthy?
Be aware of words such as “holistic”, “organic” and “human grade” – They are primarily marketing terms and have no legal definition for pet foods.  The word “natural” means the food should not contain any chemically synthesized ingredients.

Most common food allergens in dogs (corn doesn’t make the list!)

–     Dogs: Beef, dairy, wheat, egg, chicken, lamb, soy
–     Cats: Beef, dairy, fish, lamb, poultry, barley/wheat

For More information go to:

–     American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition http://aavn.org
–     Veterinary Nutritional Consultants  http://petdiets.com

To convert from as-fed to dry basis:

–     % crude protein in dry basis = 100 (% crude protein as fed / % Dry Matter)
  • I.E a can food that is 10% crude protein as fed and 78% Moisture as fed
100 (10/78) = 12.8% Crude protein as dry basis.
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