Guaranteed Analysis vs. Typical Analysis – what’s the difference?

Here at K9 Natural, we take pride in our transparency when it comes to the nutritional jigsaw puzzle that is pet food. In this blog, we focus on how our nutritional jigsaw puzzle stacks up by answering some of our most frequently asked questions;

Guaranteed Analysis vs. Typical Analysis – what’s the difference?

Broadly speaking, the Guaranteed Analysis (GA) is the nutrient profile found on the back of the bag or can. GAs divulge the diet’s basic nutrient composition (ie; the make-up of crude fat, crude protein, and moisture). To put it simply, GAs are just that – guaranteed. You know exactly what you are getting!

Typical Analysis (TA) is used to describe the nitty-gritty diet components like sodium, phosphorus, and calcium that ensure our diets are complete and balanced to support all stages of your pet’s life. They are ‘typical’ because wholefood ingredients are subject to seasonal variations, and as such it cannot be ‘guaranteed’ that the exact same level of nutrient will be present in every single batch of the diet produced. The K9 Natural and Feline Natural TA profile is calculated using actual lab testing and backed by the research of our in-house nutritionist. It is pivotal as it ensures our diets – regardless of seasonal variability – will always fall within AAFCO profile requirements and regulations. TA’s are helpful when determining if K9 Natural or Feline Natural’s specific nutrient make-up is suitable for your furry friend’s dietary requirements or deficiencies.

Why do we use Typical Analysis more often than Guaranteed Analysis?

Many of the raw materials we include in our K9 Natural and Feline Natural diets – i.e. meat, green lipped mussels, fruit & vegetables – nutritionally contribute more than their name. For example, K9 Natural’s meat ingredients contribute not just protein and fat to the nutritional makeup of the diet, but also calcium, sodium, and iron (to name a few). However, as the nutritional values derived from these wholefood ingredients are subject to seasonal variations, they may fluctuate slightly from batch to batch. Therefore, we do not provide customers with a guaranteed value of these nitty-gritty nutrients because that value wouldn’t necessarily be the same across a series of batches of the same diet produced.

Side note: Where certain nutritional levels are required to satisfy AAFCO regulations (i.e. taurine in our Feline Natural diets), we supplement to ensure these levels are met year-round. These added supplements are included in our vitamin and mineral fortifier and can be found in the appropriate spot on our ingredient list according to their incorporated level. However, it is important to note that we still present these supplemented values in a typical analysis format to account for the variation our wholefood ingredients contribute to these nutrients.

Game changer – Moisture

Moisture is a huge factor when dealing with nutrient profiles. Diets high in moisture (i.e. our canned products) will appear lower in nutritional values than diets low in moisture (like our freeze-dried products), even though both formats include the same nutrient composition. This is because the addition of moisture significantly decreases the density of the product, while the lack of moisture increases this density.

Moisture is also an important factor in the way GAs and TAs are presented. When a nutrient is presented as ‘as fed,’ it refers to the nutrient analysed in its entirety – with moisture included. Conversely, a nutrient presented on a Dry Matter Basis refers to the nutrient with moisture removed. Dry Matter Basis is a common method of comparing diets across formats to determine the best quantity of nutrient composition for your pet.

At K9 Natural, our default presentation of nutrients is ‘as fed.’ We do this for a couple reasons;

1. Moisture is an important component to any diet and therefore should be accounted for.
2. We prefer to present our diets holistically, as we believe the quality of the ingredients is just as important as the quantity of its inclusion.

How can a typical analysis be honest if it is not guaranteed?

Our commitment to the use of minimally processed wholefood ingredients means the nutrient composition of our diets does fluctuate from batch to batch. Therefore, our typical analysis nutrient profile is honest, because it allows us to remain as transparent as possible with our customers.

All K9 Natural and Feline Natural diets are AAFCO certified to be complete and balanced for all stages of your furry friend’s life through the nourishment of wholefood ingredients and the assurance of our vitamin and mineral fortifier. For more information on the nutrient composition of each of our core diets, please see the ‘nutritional information’ tab under each product on our website. Or reach out to us directly at bark@k9natural.com