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Dog food brands missing ‘key nutritional information’ on labels

Research into 20 leading dog food brands and examining nutritional values has found many fail to list salt and carbohydrate levels in products.

The research conducted by pet insurance provider, Everypaw, supported by veterinary consultant Dr Eric Jackson, found that 30% of food brands didn’t label any information on the salt levels in foods – with many stipulating ‘no added salt’ on the label.

When looking at the total percentage of fats, 45% of brands omitted the quantities of carbohydrates contained in products.

The research also looked at the nutritional value of some of the best-selling dog food alongside popular raw, natural and grain-free pet food.

When examining wet foods, one of the brands researched was largely made up of 78% moisture, leaving just 22% of nutritional value made up of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Protein should make up around 15-30% of an adult dog’s diet, but protein content of the brands researched varied widely, from lows of 6% to highs of 28%.

According to the Food Standards Agency Animal Feed Regulation, pet foods with more than one group of nutritional characteristics for the same purpose can be defined in one group – meaning protein, fats and carbohydrates can all come under one nutritional term.

Jackson said: “Carbohydrates are the best source of energy, and should make up three times more of your dog’s diet than fats, whereas too much salt can cause hypertension, kidney problems and heart disease – with many brands neglecting to reveal the proper amounts, it can be difficult to monitor what your dog is consuming.

“More than 40% of dogs are considered to be overweight or obese by vets and being aware of the nutrients in their food is key for a healthy and happy life.”

He added: “Pet foods offering high meat content can contain a considerable amount of protein which may not be suitable for your dog if they have kidney or liver issues. It’s important to seek advice from your vet, contact the brand or carry out a dry matter basis test (DMB) if you’re unsure.”

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