How we test - Dog food

We test for the nutritional quality in dog food. Photo: Johanna Ronquist.

Ours tests of dog food are carried out by the independent laboratory for the analysis of food and feed, Eurofins Food & Feed Testing Sweden.

Published: 9 Nov, 2023

The laboratory's analysis includes the following main parameters:

  • Energy content
  • Fatty acid composition
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins
  • Pesticides

Energy content
The total energy content of the feed and the distribution between fat, protein and carbohydrates. It is important that the feed maintains a high energy level and that the distribution between the various energy sources is right for the dog.

Fatty acid composition
Fat has several important functions. In addition to being an efficient source of energy, fat is important for skin and fur, but also for brain development. Fat is made up of different types of fatty acids, some of which are more important for the dog's health than others. Some fatty acids must be supplied through the feed and are therefore referred to as essential. In addition to the total fat content, the feed's fatty acid composition is analysed.

Carbohydrates are a less important source of energy for the dog. The function of carbohydrates is above all to form blood sugar, something that the animal can also produce from the fat in the feed. Carbohydrates consist of sugar, starch and dietary fibre. Too large a proportion of carbohydrates, and especially dietary fibre, can cause diarrhea and have an impact on the animal's nutrient absorption.

Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, selenium, sodium and iodine fulfill several important functions in the feed. They promote, among other things, the building of the bone structure and the formation of skin and fur.

Calcium: above all important for building and maintaining bones and teeth, but muscles and nerves also need calcium. Calcium also affects how the dog can assimilate other minerals and vitamins, where too high a calcium intake can have a negative impact on absorption.

Phosphorus: works in conjunction with calcium and is an important mineral for building muscles and for activating certain vitamins. It is important that the feed contains the right amount of both calcium and phosphorus, but also that the balance between these two minerals is correct. It is a prerequisite for harmonious growth and well-functioning organs. Too much phosphorus or a skewed relationship between calcium and phosphorus can, for example, lead to osteoporosis.

Selenium: is a mineral and an antioxidant. Selenium protects the body's cells, among other things, and together with vitamin E, Selenium has an important function in the immune system and reduces the risk of cancer.

Just like minerals, vitamins fulfill several important functions in the feed. In addition to acting as antioxidants, they promote metabolism and the formation of important fatty acids, among other things.

Vitamin A: is a fat-soluble vitamin which, among other things, is important for the immune system, vision, hearing and skin and fur.

Vitamin D: is a fat-soluble vitamin whose main task is to ensure the body's absorption of calcium and phosphorus. In other words, vitamin D is important for the animal's bones, teeth, muscles and nerves.

Pesticides and heavy metals
Pesticides are used to protect plants and plant products against pests, weeds and mould. Residues of pesticides and heavy metals can be found in the feed and in higher concentrations these can cause poisoning and other health problems for the dog. The analysis includes arsenic and lead. The analysis showed no elevated values ​​for lead or arsenic for any of the feeds.