New personalised pet food retailer and champion of honest dog food, Paws.com, has launched today with a dog food checker that aims to “revolutionise” the £3bn UK pet food industry.
The Dog Food Checker is designed to “demystify” dog food ingredients, and make it easy for dog owners to make the best nutrition decisions for their pets at a glance.
The tool allows users to search for any dry dog food sold in UK supermarkets and Amazon’s bestseller list, and provides a ‘traffic light’ rating for each nutritional component of the food. It is the world’s first traffic light grading system for dog food, giving green, amber or red ratings – similar to on human food labels. The tool also allows users to compare different foods, making it easy to understand the nutritional values and trade-offs between price and quality.
Alongside the checker, Paws has released the UK Dog Food Transparency Report – its extensive research of UK dog food labels. The results suggested that dog food brands relied on “misleading” labelling to avoid revealing the exact ingredients in products, with 95% of dog food owned by big brands containing at least one undisclosed ingredient. This means that brands are opting to use generic terms in ingredients lists – such as “meat and animal derivatives”, which could include beaks, hooves, feathers and wool.
Paws.com’s research showed that 42% of dogs owners felt misled after finding out that food labelled as ‘with chicken’ could contain as little as 4% chicken. As such, dog owners across the UK are calling for clearer labelling, with 89% of dog owners saying it’s important that dog food labels list exact ingredients. Currently, 47% said they found it hard to understand a dog food label and 39% couldn’t tell if a food will be good for their dog or not.
To tackle this, Paws.com only sells foods that disclose their exact ingredients and meet a standard of quality and nutrition, devised by a team of veterinary and pet nutrition experts.
Neil Hutchinson, founder and CEO of Paws.com, said: “We want to radically transform the way pet parents think about the dog food they buy. Currently, most dog food labels aren’t helpful and it’s easy for well-meaning pet parents to buy something they believe is great for their dog, but actually doesn’t even come close to giving them the nutrition they need to thrive.
“Our Dog Food Checker, which has the world’s first traffic light system for dog food, aims to empower pet parents to understand the nutritional value of any food at a glance. Your pet is family, so why wouldn’t you want to know what you’re feeding them?”