Dog food unwrapped

Dog food production is regulated by law to ensure it is both nutritious and safe for your pet to eat. 

Dog food manufacturers produce food, and label it, to comply with EU legislation on animal nutrition; and follow FEDIAF (The European Pet Food Industry Federation) Nutritional Guidelines.

FEDIAF work closely with the independent scientists that make up the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB offer ongoing scientific support to ensure that the nutrient levels advised within the Nutritional Guidelines are based on the latest research. The guidelines are reviewed yearly and updated when there are relevant developments in pet nutrition.


Dog food labelling falls under EU legislation for animal feed and the law requires that the label include certain key pieces of information:

COMPOSITION: A list of ingredients ordered in descending weight – the main ingredient is always listed first.

ADDITIVES: A list of vitamins, flavours, preservatives, antioxidants and colours added to the food.

ANALYTICAL CONSTITUENTS: A % nutritional analysis of the crude ash, minimum protein and fat content and the maximum fibre and moisture content.

(The crude ash is the mineral content of the food, it is determined by burning the product).

FEEDING GUIDELINES: Advice on the amount to feed individual dogs and whether the food is complete or complementary. 

(Complete means that the product contains all the nutrients your dog needs to support its daily life when fed as directed. Complementary means that other food must be added in order to achieve nutritional balance – such as a mixer).

The name of the product and its producer, with contact details, should be clearly on display; as should a Batch Code for traceability and a Best Before Date with storage instructions to aid maintenance of freshness. Any claims made must be verifiable and the label must not be misleading or ambiguous. 

COMPARING PRODUCTS – calculate contents on a ‘dry matter basis’.

The dog food label is designed to advise you about the nutritional content of that food and help you compare products. However, It is important to make accurate comparisons when looking at different types of dog food.

A dry food will contain less than 14% moisture, a semi moist pet food has 14-60% moisture and a wet food will have a moisture content of 60% or more. The nutritional analysis listed on the label often represents the % on an ‘as fed basis’, thereby not accounting for differences in moisture content. To make the comparison fair, one needs to account for this difference in moisture content.

For example, when looking for a low fat food for your dog:

DRY FOOD X : Fat content = 8%, Moisture content = 9%.

WET FOOD Y: Fat content= 5.8%, Moisture content = 69%.

You may initially think the wet food is lower in fat BUT once you have taken the moisture content into account with the dry matter calculation….

FOOD X : 100% – 9% moisture = 91% dry matter, so fat dry matter =8\91 X 100 =8.8%. fat by Dry Matter.

FOOD Y:100% -69%moisture = 31% dry matter, so fat dry matter=5.8\31 X 100=18.7% fat by Dry Matter.

… The wet food contains more than twice the amount of fat!


As a minimum, a dog food needs to be complete and balanced – therefore providing adequate amounts of required nutrients in the correct proportions; be digestible, palatable and safe.

 At Different Dog , we product test and lab test our food regularly to be confident that we comply with these basic requirements – but we’re aiming higher!

We want your dog to thrive in the short and long term on our minimally processed, preservative free and antioxidant rich diet. We are proud of the simple list of traceable, quality ingredients that go in to each and every one of our recipes.

You won’t see the term “meat and animal derivatives” on any of our labels. These refer to mixed meat proteins taken from any part of the carcass. Unspecified meat and animal derivatives means you don’t know what animal protein your dog is eating- so if they suffer from an allergy or intolerance to a particular protein you would be unaware if that food contained it.

Legally to be labelled as “Chicken” it must contain at least 4% chicken but may contain other meat and animal derivatives. At Different Dog, we include 60% meat of one animal source in each recipe- so “chicken” really does mean “chicken!”

We are more than happy to answer any questions you have about our food- please feel free to phone or email us with any queries.

[email protected]

01743 384 562