Choosing Standards

NRC

NRC standards for “National Research Council.” NRC guidelines are based on the NRC 2006 publication.

When to Use: NRC is recommended for fresh diets, which generally includes all homemade diets.

FEDIAF

FEDIAF standards for “European Pet Food Industry Federation.” FEDIAF guidelines are based on the FEDIAF 2019 publication.

When to Use: FEDIAF is the guideline used for most UK commercial formulations. FEDIAF establishes recommendations based on research (including overlap with research used to define NRC requirements). When using FEDIAF for fresh diets, you should become familiar with the requirements and upper limits, as some of them are set with commercial formulations in mind, which may use less bio-available or supplement forms that have lower safe upper limits.

 

FEDIAF Dogs and Cats

Both requirements are based on a dry matter basis. This means that as you add more ingredients, and thus, more dry matter, to your recipe builder, the values will change continuously.

This may lead to some odd looking percentage bars when you are first starting your recipe! This is because when you have very little dry matter in the recipe (ie you just have a few, nutrient dense ingredients inputted), you may have a very high level of particular nutrients for a very small amount of dry matter. Shown below are two screenshots of the same recipe, after 1 ingredients vs after all 5 ingredients.

Even though the same amount of RMB is used (150g turkey neck), the Ca in the first screenshot shows that Ca is at 1185% of RA, while the second screenshot shows 259%. This is because we added more dry matter to the recipe, without adding more Ca.

Important Note!

FEDIAF requirements assume the diet has an energy density of 4000kcal/1kg DMB. Many fresh diets exceed this energy density, which means that the requirements are no longer accurate for that diet. Please keep this in mind when formulating with FEDIAF.

Future Changes

V4 of the RFN Spreadsheet will switch to using FEDIAF values by ME, on a recipe caloric basis.

AAFCO

AAFCO standards for “Association of American Feed Control Officials.” AAFCO guidelines are based on the AAFCO 2019 publication.

When to Use: AAFCO is the guideline used for most US commercial formulations. They are based on the NRC requirements, and adjusted to suit commercial diets, such as accounting for lower bio-availability ingredients, extrusion, and commercial supplementation forms. We do not recommend using it for fresh diets.

AAFCO Dogs and Cats

Both requirements are based on a dry matter basis. This means that as you add more ingredients, and thus, more dry matter, to your recipe builder, the values will change continuously.

This may lead to some odd looking percentage bars when you are first starting your recipe! This is because when you have very little dry matter in the recipe (ie you just have a few, nutrient dense ingredients inputted), you may have a very high level of particular nutrients for a very small amount of dry matter. Shown below are two screenshots of the same recipe, after 1 ingredients vs after all 5 ingredients.

Even though the same amount of RMB is used (150g turkey neck), the Ca in the first screenshot shows that Ca is at 1185% of RA, while the second screenshot shows 259%. This is because we added more dry matter to the recipe, without adding more Ca.

Important Note!

AAFCO requirements assume the diet has an energy density of 4000kcal/1kg DMB. Many fresh diets exceed this energy density, which means that the requirements are no longer accurate for that diet. Please keep this in mind when formulating with FEDIAF.

Future Changes

V4 of the RFN Spreadsheet will switch to using FEDIAF values by ME, on a recipe caloric basis.