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08/31/2021

How to prepare a dog food label

There are two important parties to consider when crafting a compliant dog food label and several steps to take.
Dan Ochwat
Executive Editor
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A key part of packaging is ensuring that the dog food label is clear and compliant, and there are two parties to please: pet parents and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

The organization based in Champaign, ill., has no statutory authority to regulate pet products but the group does create standards for pet food developers to follow. Alphia, a producer of pet food and products for private label partners, has created a list of tips to help write a dog food label that will satisfy AAFCO and earn trust from pet parents.

Alphia, Bern, Kan., covers eight important areas when creating a dog food label in its list of tips. Some highlights include how a company names its dog food must be reflected in the food itself. For example, Alphia said, if the food is called “Dog Food with Chicken,” the formula requires at least 3% chicken, whereas if a food is called “Chicken and Rice Dinner,” the formula associated must have at minimum 25% chicken and rice.

Additionally, if a food package is making claims, such as the dog food is a “good source of zinc,” the label must clarify within the guaranteed analysis portion of the label and can callback to AAFCO.

In its blog post, Alphia also covers how to list ingredients, writing a nutritional adequacy statement for pet parents to understand the dog food label and what it provides the animal, calorie statements, manufacturer contact information and more.

For the full walkthrough on building out the dog food label, see the blog post here.