AAFCO’s Established Guidelines – Dog Feeding Trial Method

PALM BEACH, FL - SEPTEMBER 06:  Dog food sits ...

AAFCO's established guidelines for dog food

This is the 3rd post talking about the AAFCO‘s established guidelines and how much weight you should put in them when picking a dog food.  We started this conversation on this post “Who is the AAFCO and What DO They Do?” and it was a reaction to articles by Dr. Julie Churchill, when she made this statements…

You can spend a lot, you can spend a little, with a few tools you can learn what to look for in a bag and make a few choices to help you do a great job at feeding your pet,” University of Minnesota Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Julie Churchill says.

Tool number one agreed on by all of our experts is to make sure the dog food you give your pet has the American Association of Feed Control Officials nutritional adequacy statement listed on the dog food bag.

After reading my last post and this one. I’ll leave it up to you how valuable these two statements are, as far as picking a healthy dog food.

Today we are talking about the AAFCO’s established guideline statement “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that (name of product) provides complete and balanced nutrition for (specific life stage).”

The key words here are “feeding tests” and we did some research to see what this really meant.here is what we learned.

Here are the testing requirements to satisfy this statement…

  1. A minimum of only eight dogs are required for the tests.
  2. The tests run for a six month period.
  3. During the duration of the test, 25% of the animals can be removed for varying reasons, and
  4. It is permissible for the remaining dogs to lose up to 15% of their starting body weight.

Okay, so to be able to qualify a dog food for this labeling, the formula needed to be fed to at least 8 dogs for 6  months.  25% of the dogs, can be removed from the test for varying reasons, like they wouldn’t eat the food, or maybe it made them sick, it really doesn’t matter 2 of the 8 dogs can drop out of the test, and the food will still get a passing grade.

Now here is the kicker… if all 6 of the remaining dogs lost up to 15% of their starting body weight this formula would still pass this test and be allowed to use the AAFCO’s established guideline statement above on their packaging.

So if your dog’s weight was 30 lbs when entering this six month test and loss 4.5 lbs, during the six month testing period, would that be a passing grade for you?

This is not scientific test criteria, this is a joke!  Only 75% success rate with one of the test standards being a loss of 15% body weight… come on! Yet Veterinary Nutritionist Dr. Julie Churchill says these guidelines are the number one tool to pick a dog food… give me a break!

With misleading information like this being published by a Veterinary Nutritionist, how do dog parents have a chance in picking a healthy dog food formula? Things like this is exactly why I have spent so much time doing research on this subject, and why I wrote the book titled “Give Your Dog a Fighting Chance to a Longer Life – Healthy Dog Food Buyer’s Guide for Dog Parents” that is available on Amazon.

With so called experts so willing to mislead dog parents, you have no choice, but to educate yourself.

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