About Dog Food Labels

Depending on what information you are looking to find on a dog food label, these can be quite confusing to read. In the UK, all pet and animal food labels are strictly regulated by the EU and have to use specific terms and phrases to meet their regulatory requirements. Below is a guide to some of the more obscure phrases.

Complete diets

As all Gilbertson and Page foods are complete diets, there is no need to supplement as they are designed to provide all aspects of a balanced diet.

Feeding Guidelines

All our feeding guidelines show a daily recommended amount for dogs of different sizes and weights. However, there are many different reasons why your dog might need more or less than this amount. For example, life style, age, work, exercise level, digestion etc. With a new food it is advisable to start at the recommended amount and then adjust to your individual dog. This can alter throughout the year, so regular weighing sessions for your dog are essential to ensure their requirements are being met and any weight issues can quickly be resolved.


If you refer to the ingredient page you can see a range of our typical ingredients that we use to make up our formulations. On the label this will be listed in the composition section in two different ways. Either we will be using category declaration for our foods that we need to protect from competitor plagiarism. In this case ingredients are covered by titles, e.g. wheat, rice and barley would all be called ‘cereals’, chicken, lamb and duck would be called ‘meat and animal derivatives’. Despite many internet sites claiming that using these terms implies very poor quality ingredients, this is rarely true as in the UK, we are strictly regulated and in many instances use ingredients of human grade.

On other dog food labels we may list the individual ingredients. These will be in descending order by weight of their inclusion. If special mention is made of one particular ingredient, then the amount of that ingredient will also be stated.


This is a misunderstood name for what are often very beneficial ingredients. On a dog food label this section includes: vitamins, minerals, special nutritional supplements, colourants and antioxidants. It is worth noting that the vitamins and minerals are listed by the amount added during the process, not the amount present in the bag, which will be lower because of reductions due to the heat of cooking and oxidation over time. However, these reductions are taken account of by us and we ensure that the required amounts and ratios of vitamins and minerals are present in each bag of food to match the dog’s requirements.

Analytical constituents

This is essentially a nutritional analysis showing the percentage levels of protein, fat, fibre and ash. These are all called ‘crude’ to reference the type of test that is conducted to measure the amounts present in the diets. The amounts are always on an ‘as fed’ basis so it is not always easy to compare nutrient levels between dry and wet foods which will appear to have vastly different levels of nutrients. Typically our diets will contain between 8-10% moisture compared to 80% moisture in a wet diet. So if on a dry matter basis, wet and dry food may have similar nutrient levels, you would need to feed considerably more wet than dry food as the dry food contains more concentrated nutrients.

If you need more clarification on one of our labels then please contact us directly and we would be happy to help.


Product and ingredient quality are essential to us and our manufacturing process aims to ensure that every bag of dog food is consistent in quality and palatability to meet our customers’ expectations. All our diets are cooked to precise scientifically formulated recipes and extensive nutrient and quality testing is undergone with every batch to ensure we meet every requirement of the diet and dog.

For our new foods we rely on even further nutrient and quality analysis and alongside this some at home palatability testing with pets and working dogs to ensure our diets are all well accepted.

We are proud to be accredited to the standard ISO/9001.