As a good pet parent, feeding your dog is something you should take comfort in, not second guess. Best Bully Sticks wants to help you feel that comfort by understanding and knowing how to read pet food and treat labels. Last week, BBS looked at reading the ingredient list and this week we’ll look at reading the guaranteed analysis. The term “guaranteed analysis” may not mean anything to you outright, but you’ll definitely recognize it when you see it.

The guaranteed analysis is nothing more than a chart detailing the amounts of crude elements in your dog’s food. Crude doesn’t mean the quality of the nutrient, but the way in which the nutrient is measured. Crude measurements are the content regardless of quality or digestibility. The guarantee states that the minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat and the maximum of crude fiber and water.  Other nutrients are sometimes included. For example, sometimes the minimum percentage levels of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and linoleic acid are included.

The guarantee also doesn’t clue you in to the digestibility of the mentioned nutrients.  For example, a chunk of meat and a handful of ground up feathers are both sources of protein and chicken fat and discarded restaurant grease both provide fat. It’s up to you as your pet’s owner and parent to look closely at the ingredient list to see what you’re feeding your dog. Guarantees are stated “as fed,” which means the amounts present in the product as it is found in the can or bag. This chart shouldn’t be confused with the ingredient list. Reading the ingredients is the only way to know exactly what your dog is eating.

We hope you know more now about what your dog is eating and how to interpret those intimidating charts and figures on the back of the food or treat package.