What Does the AAFCO Statement on Pet Food Bags Mean?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has set forth standards for pet food companies to ensure that pets’ nutritional needs are met. Anytime you choose a pet food, choose a food that meets AAFCO’s standards stated on the side or back of the bag. It will say something like “this food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO for maintenance (for adult pets), for gestation / lactation (for pregnant females), growth (for puppies and kittens), or all life stages (any dog or cat)”.

Foods that are formulated for “all life stages” are essentially puppy/kitten foods.  They generally contain more calories and fat than is needed for adult pets.  For this reason, these foods should be avoided for older pets.  For adult pets, always choose a food that is balanced for “maintenance” to minimize the risk of obesity.

Should you have questions about your pet’s food, or should you wish to discuss appropriate diets for your pet, please schedule a consultation with us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital. Our doctors would be happy to help you.


Dr. Crane

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