You may have noticed a Guaranteed Analysis section on a pet food label before. The Guaranteed Analysis is similar to the Nutrition Facts panel on every human food in the United States. It helps you, the pet owner, understand the product’s nutrition content and guarantees it reaches the minimum or maximum of certain nutrients. But what does the Guaranteed Analysis really mean?
Let’s start with the basics
The Guaranteed Analysis provides information regarding the levels
of at least four main nutrients – protein, fat, fiber and moisture. Additional
nutrients are also included if the product label makes a claim that mentions a
specific nutrient. For example, if a product claims to have extra calcium for
strong bones, calcium must be listed on the Guaranteed Analysis.
Some states have regulations requiring the minimum amount of nutrients a pet food must contain, as well as the maximum amount of moisture and crude fiber. The Guaranteed Analysis shows that those levels are met.
What does “crude” mean?
You might have also seen the word “crude” when looking at protein and fat on the Guaranteed Analysis. The term crude refers to the method used to determine the amount of nutrients in your pet’s food. It does not have any tie to the quality of the ingredients within the food.
How are these levels calculated?
The levels listed in the Guaranteed Analysis are calculated with the help of sophisticated computer software or by laboratory analysis. A “proximate analysis” of the finished products includes testing for protein, fat, moisture and fiber, in addition to ash. Results are usually reported in percentages, as you have probably noticed on the label.
Why the Guaranteed Analysis matters
The Guaranteed Analysis is required by law, but it also serves as a tool to understand what is in the food you are giving your dog or cat. While only four nutrients are required by law, Supreme Source products list a number of other nutrients in our Guaranteed Analysis to show you exactly what your pet is being fed. Along with the ingredient list, the Guaranteed Analysis is an important part of any pet food package.