When it comes to our cuddly, adorable pets, we treat them as part of the family and want the very best for them including their diet. Whether its for your dog, cat, hamster or rabbit you want to know what is in their food and what to look out for on the label with so many pet food brands on the market. Whether you are looking to launch a new pet food range or are a pet owner, our short blog should give you some guidance into the secrets behind a pet food label.

Front of the pet food label

The front of a tin or packet of pet food should always tell you what animal the food is for, the name of the brand, the flavour of food and the life stage of the pet (adult, senior, pup etc.).

Extra information may also be provided on the front of the label to say if it’s a diet for a specific condition or if the food is suitable for hypoallergenic pets for example.

Legally the label should also state somewhere (although not always on the front of the label) whether the food is complete or complementary.

Complete – If your label states ‘complete’ this means it supplies a complete diet which contains all the nutrients a pet needs, including all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

Complementary – If you label states ‘complementary’ this means it is likely to be a treat or a mixer which is meant to be used alongside a main diet to get all the nutrients they require.

Back of the pet food label

The back or side of the pet food tin or packet is used for the small print, the important stuff including the full ingredients, the nutritional additives and the feeding guidelines. This is also where the company add information about them and how to contact them, for all their customers to have easy access to get in touch should they need to.

Good to know: Ingredients are listed in descending order of weight (biggest ingredient first) so this is where you would like to see the meat listed first, for a good quality pet food.

Easy Reading

Just by glancing at the front of the food pack you should be able to easily work out how much of the main ingredients are included in the food.  The claims written on pet food labels should read clearly and shouldn’t be in any way misleading.

If a pet food states ‘Chicken & Turkey Cat Food’ or ‘Beef for Dogs’ it needs to contain at least 70% of those stated ingredients which is reassuring for buyers and knowing what it is in your pets food.

However, be very careful because if a food states ‘Dog food WITH beef’ the food only needs to contain 3% of that beef mentioned. Interesting!

Premium Pet Food Labels

If you’re looking for a premium pet food range unfortunately just because the label says ‘premium’ doesn’t mean it is. Spoiler alert: there is no law or requirement to add any additional nutritional value or better quality ingredients when using the word ‘premium’ ‘ultra-premium’ or ‘gourmet’ on a pet food label.

Additional information

Other information which maybe used on a pet food label is if it is suitable for certain health conditions, if it contains any extra which will benefit the pet such as joint supplements, storage instructions and a best before date.

Label Design

Yes, the label design is a very important factor on a pet food product as it entices the shoppers, it provides the information needed and it tells the story of the brand. Getting the design right requires research, a graphic designer and a good label manufacturer to print quality labels. If you would like to see a sample pack of our pet food labels request yours today. If you are a pet owner then we hope our blog has provided some useful tips for when you next go to buy your beloved furry friends food.