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AAFCO Statements Explained

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What is AAFCO?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) was formed in 1909 to establish a framework for uniform regulation of the feed industry. Although not a government agency, AAFCO operates within the guidelines of federal and state legislation including laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 

What Does AAFCO Do?

AAFCO establishes standards or models for regulations aimed at ensuring that manufacturers provide clear, accurate, and consistent information about animal feed, including pet food.
 

Every year AAFCO issues an official publication called the AAFCO Manual. This manual, in addition to listing ingredient definitions and feed terms, addresses labeling issues such as label format, ingredient lists, nutrition claims, and guaranteed analysis.
 

These model regulations are different than laws. However a large number of state governments have adopted AAFCO pet food model regulations into state law.

 

What Is an AAFCO Statement?

The “AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose,” also called a “nutrition claim” or “complete and balanced statement,” identifies which life stage and/or lifestyle the product has been approved for. Under AAFCO regulations, this statement must be substantiated by the manufacturer.

 

AAFCO recognizes three methods for substantiating the claim:

  • Laboratory analysis
    • The finished product is compared to minimum nutritional values established by AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for dogs or cats.
    • Label states: 'ABC Dog (Cat) Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog (Cat) Food Nutrient Profiles for (appropriate life stage).”
  • Feeding trials
    • The finished product that has been laboratory tested is fed to dogs or cats according to AAFCO protocols.
    • Label states: 'Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that ABC Dog (Cat) Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for (appropriate life stage).'
  • Analysis comparable in nutritional adequacy
    • The laboratory analysis of the finished product is compared with nutritional values from a similar product fed to dogs and cats according to AAFCO protocols.
    • Label states: 'ABC Dog (Cat) Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for (appropriate life stage) and is comparable in nutritional adequacy to a product which has been substantiated using AAFCO feeding tests.'

 

What Are AAFCO Feeding Protocols?

AAFCO has outlined very specific protocols, or guidelines, for conducting feeding tests. The protocols specify test criteria including such things as:

  • Minimum number of animals
  • Duration of test
  • Physical examinations by a veterinarian
  • Clinical observations and measurements including body weights, blood tests, and blood taurine testing for cats

 

Each life stage has its own protocol. Life stages are the same for both dogs and cats and are defined as:

  • Adult Maintenance
  • Growth
  • Gestation/Lactation
  • All Life Stages

 

What Does 'All Life Stages' Mean?

A pet food with an 'All Life Stages' claim can be used from weaning through adulthood. This claim is considered an unqualified (absolute) representation of nutritional adequacy. If substantiated through feeding trials, the protocol for gestation/lactation and growth must be performed sequentially, using the same group of animals.

 

What Does 'Intermittent Feeding' Mean?

AAFCO regulations state that specific wording must be used when a diet is intended for special nutritional or dietary needs that require the involvement of a veterinarian for diagnosis, management, and follow-up.

 

Conclusion

Understanding the AAFCO statements for nutritional adequacy can help customers choose a high-quality diet that provides complete and balanced nutrition for the appropriate life stage of their dog or cat.

  • Anti rabbies Vaccine
    Anti rabbies Vaccine
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    Anti rabbies Vaccine

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    Rabies is a dangerous virus that affects the warm-blooded animal kingdom. It spreads through the bite or starch of an infected animal, making the infection easily transmissible amongst animals and humans alike. Since there is no effective rabies treatment yet, the only solution to combat this fatal virus is through vaccination. Veterinarians recommend anti-rabies vaccine for pets to protect them and their humans from this deadly virus.
     

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccines for cats, in addition to the 4-in-1 cat vaccine. It helps prevent the cases of rabies in cats and kittens, contributing to the overall health of your feline friend. However, before getting your cat vaccinated with rabies injections, it is essential to know a few details about this disease and how to prevent it. So, let’s dive right into it.
     

    How does rabies spread?

    The rabies virus depends on the host body for survival. As the virus cannot survive outside of the host body, it spreads through open wounds and mucous membranes in the eye, mouth, and nose. The virus transmits through the saliva of the infected animal. If a rabies carrier bites or starches your pet, then it too becomes infected with the virus. Typically, the incubation for rabies in cats ranges from a few days to a few years.
     

    Since rabies is a deadly infection, it is imperative that you, as a cat parent, watch out for its symptoms. So, let’s take a look at a few signs of rabies in cats:

    1. Fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Difficulty breathing

    5. Hypersalivation

    6. Difficulty swallowing

    7. Abnormal behaviour

    Curing rabies is not an option post-incubation as there is no proper medication available in the market yet. Hence, keeping this fatal infection at bay is of paramount importance. And how can you do that? By ensuring that your cat is vaccinated with an anti-rabies injection.
     

    Do indoor cats need rabies vaccination?

    Anti-rabies vaccine for cats is a must. Veterinarians monitor rabies shots for both indoor and outdoor cats. While there is a misconception that rabies vastly affects dogs, it can find its way to cats and other warm-blooded animals as well. Cat’s rabies vaccination prepares your indoor kitty to fight the deadly virus. Hence, do not skip on annual booster shots for both indoor and outdoor cats.
     

    While you may think, your indoor cat is safe from the fatal disease, it is best to ensure complete healthcare for its overall well-being. Cats often socialise with outside cats by licking, sniffing, or starching each other. Indoor cats can get the rabies virus if they socialise in this manner with an infected outdoor or stray cat. Anti-rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid any remote possibility of your kitty getting infected. It builds antigens in the cat’s body, so your fur baby can tackle the rabies virus.
     

    How often should cats receive rabies vaccination?

    Various brands offer anti-rabies vaccines for cats in the market. Hence, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s advice regarding  vaccination. They will take multiple factors, such as your kitty’s age, breed, and lifestyle, into consideration before recommending a brand. Similarly, when it comes to the frequency of taking the anti-rabies vaccination, it all depends on the type of vaccine recommended for your pet. If your vet recommends an adjuvant vaccine, your cat might have to be inoculated once every year. On the other hand, if they suggest a non-adjuvant vaccine, you must note that these vaccines are generally administered once in three years. 
     

    When to schedule feline anti-rabies vaccination

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccinations for cats. It prepares your cat to fight the virus by boosting immunity. The first dose of the anti-rabies vaccine is administered once the kitty turns 12 weeks old. After the initial dose, depending on the type of vaccine, you will need to get your feline friend vaccinated either annually or once in three years.
     

    Side effects of the anti-rabies vaccine

    As a cat parent, you must know the potential side effects of this vaccine. So, let’s take a look at them:

    1. Low-grade fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Swelling and redness at the injected site

    Cat parents should monitor not only the anti-rabies vaccine but also other core vaccines like 4 in 1 cat vaccine, FeVac 5, and 3-in-1 cat vaccine. Regular vaccination and annual health check-ups ensure your kitty leads a healthy life. So, ascertain that you provide your fur baby with all the care it requires.