Dog food labels “too hard to read for almost of half of Brits”

Research from Paws.com claims that millions of Brits are becoming increasingly confused by food labels and are unsure as to what is in the food they are feeding their dogs.

The company said that key statistics from its research include:

  • 44% say that dog food labels are difficult and at times impossible to read;
  • 30% say that dog food labels make it harder to maintain a healthy diet for their dog;
  • 28% say that the complicated food labels are the primary reason they find dog food shopping difficult;
  • 39% don’t feel that they know enough about the ingredients in the food they feed their dogs; and
  • 44% of Brits wish there was a solution that would make figuring out dog food ingredients easier.

Stephanie Wenban, a vet at Paws.com and dog health expert, said: “The vast majority of pet owners want to provide nutrient rich foods for their animals. Many different dog breeds have different nutritional needs and may require different food to others; however it is becoming increasingly hard to decipher confusing labels that come with dog food packages. There needs to be a simpler solution to finding your loved pet the best food for them.”

Paws.com has an innovative traffic light labelling system for all of the food that it provides so pet owners know exactly what is going into their dog’s meal.

Michael Bellingham, chief executive of the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA), said: “We recognise that pet food labelling isn’t as pet owner friendly as we would like it to be; sometimes the terminology can be confusing; however we believe that a traffic light system on pet food labels does not work as it  overly simplifies what are currently complex labelling regulations.

“Pet food labelling falls under EU legislation for all animal feed, meaning that the way information is listed on-pack is not always understandable for pet owners, although well understood by farmers. The good news is that most pet food manufacturers provide full product information on company websites and have dedicated customer care lines to provide further support and advice to pet owners.”

Mr Bellingham said the most important piece of information on a pet food label for an owner to understand is the term ‘complete’.

“This is a legal definition and any product labelled as ‘complete’ must by law provide all the nutrients a pet needs for healthy bodily function,” he said. “Our advice to owners is to choose a ‘complete’ pet food appropriate for their pet’s life stage and lifestyle while suiting the pet owner’s budget.”

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