It’s common for dog owners to select a dog food based on the protein percentage printed on the label, but many people are unaware of the math needed to calculate the actual percentage of protein in their dogs’ food.

Dog food manufacturers measure the quantity of each ingredient with its moisture content in-tact, making the percentage on the food’s label only relative. Once the moisture content is factored out, the actual protein percentage increases dramatically.

Although the process sounds difficult, the equation to find the actual protein percentage is fairly simple:

(everything) – (moisture) = dry matter
(protein listed on label) / (dry matter) = actual protein in food
(actual protein in food) x 100 = actual percentage of protein

Okay, it may look like a nightmare straight from your middle school’s math book, but relax. I’ll walk you through it by finding the actual protein percentage of Kibbles N’ Bits’ Bistro Grilled Chicken dry kibble.

To start off with, we have to find the amount of dry matter in the kibble. To do this, take 100% (this number represents everything in the kibble) minus the moisture content printed on the label, which is 18% for this food.

100% – 18% = 82%

We now know that this food is made up of 82% dry matter.

Now we need to find the actual amount of protein that’s in the food. To do this, find the protein percentage that’s on the label (which is 19% for this food) and divide it by the percentage of dry matter found in the previous step (82%).

19% / 82% = .23

Almost done! See, this is easy! Now just take your answer (.23) and multiply it by 100 to get your percentage.

.23 x 100 = 23%

The actual percentage of protein in Kibbles N’ Bits’ Bistro Grilled Chicken dry kibble is 23%, compared to the 19% that is listed on the label. See how the two numbers differ?

Dog foods should have a dry matter protein content of at least 20%, so Kibbles N’ Bits’ Bistro Grilled Chicken dry kibble passes the test. To learn more about giving your dog a balanced bowl, click here.

This equation can be used on all pet foods. Will you use this equation to find out the actual protein content in your pet’s food? Let me know in the comments, and be sure to follow me on Twitter to stay up-to-date on pet product recalls, pet safety concerns, and pet company lawsuits!