How to Decipher Dog-Food Labels: Dates and Shelf Life
Opens a new window
What Is a Product Code?
A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product that a manufacturer produces to provide information about when the product was made.
As part of the product code, products manufactured by The IAMS™ Company include a 'Best Used By' date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats (line 1 below).
The second line represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control (line 2).
Depending upon the production line, pouch products might have code date information in a single or double line.
By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.
What Is Shelf Life?
Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a product that is stored properly maintains its freshness. This means that if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.
The shelf life for our dry dog and cat foods is 16 months. All canned and pouch formulas have a shelf life of 24 months. Biscuits have a 12-month shelf life, and sauce formulas have a 16-month shelf life.
What Is the Proper Way to Store Dry and Canned Products?
Unopened dry products are best stored off of the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry products also might be frozen without loss of nutrients.
Opened wet products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the can has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans or pouches. However, wet foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.
adp_related_article_block113 412 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …
- adp_description_block167Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
Opens a new window
How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the 'guaranteed analysis.' These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
adp_related_article_block445 98 YOUR --spice-- MAY ALSO LIKE …