Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. This means the food formulation has been determined to meet nutrition levels established by the AAFCO using laboratory analysis versus being actually determined by feeding to animals.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Scientific research has shown that an adult dog`s daily diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates by weight, including 2.5–4.5% from fiber. A minimum of approximately 5.5% of the diet should come from fats and 10% from protein.
The minimum dietary protein requirement for a growing dog is 18% dry matter, or DM, and 8% DM for an adult dog. This is based on feeding a high-quality protein and again, is a minimum amount. AAFCO recommends that the daily requirements for dog diets should contain at least 22% DM for growth and 18% DM for maintenance.
The nutrients used by animals include carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Carbohydrates are the basic source of energy for all animals. Animals obtain their carbohydrates from the external environment (compared with plants, which synthesize carbohydrates by photosynthesis).
You can determine if a pet food meets your pet`s nutritional needs by looking at the nutritional adequacy statement on the label. If this statement includes the phrase “complete and balanced,” then the product is intended to be fed as a pet`s sole diet and should be nutritionally balanced.
What are the nutritional requirements for dogs? The six basic nutrients are water, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. These essential nutrients are required as part of the dog`s regular diet and are involved in all of the basic functions of the body.
Dogs diets are meant to be protein-based so 30% protein isn`t too high for a dog, but what`s most important is making sure that you`re choosing a nutritionally balanced dog food that meets AAFCO`s standards for a complete & balanced diet.
Research shows that dogs have a high capacity for digesting and utilizing diets containing more than thirty percent protein on a dry weight basis. (Dry weight basis means the food with no moisture present. Dry dog food in a bag usually has 10 percent moisture and canned food has about 74 percent moisture.)
If you`re still at a loss, try PetMD`s general rule of thumb for adult dogs: Toy Breeds (3-6 pounds): 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup per day. Small Breeds (10-20 pounds): 3/4 cup to 1 1/2 cups per day. Medium Breeds (30-50 pounds) 1 3/4 to 2 2/3 cups per day.
A 15kg dog requires approximately 300g per day, or 2.1kg over a week.
Nutrients are normally divided into five categories: Water, protein, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. Water is the main constituent of the body. Two‐thirds of the body is water, thus, an animal can live much longer without feed than water. Water helps the body digest food and carries nutrients to body tissues.
Food is made up of three main macronutrients, carbohydrates, protein and lipids. All animals, including both livestock and humans, need the correct amount of each to be healthy.
In theory, optimal nutritional status should be attained by consuming sufficient, but not excessive, sources of energy, essential nutrients, and other food components (such as dietary fiber) not containing toxins or contaminants.
Adult dogs require sufficient nutrients to meet energy needs and to maintain and repair body tissues. The amount you feed your adult dog should be based on his or her size and energy output. Activity levels may vary dramatically between pets, and will play an important role in determining caloric intake.
The six major classes of nutrients are water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins.
(Resting Energy Requirements or RER), which can be calculated by multiplying the animal`s body weight in kilograms raised to the ¾ power by 70, for example, a 10kg (22lb) adult neutered dog of healthy weight needs RER = 70(10kg)3/4 ≈ 400 Calories/day.
So, what is the right protein content for your dog? It is likely not in the range of over 60% or even 40% DM. However, this question could be more complicated. It also depends on your dog`s age, current weight, health and reproductive status (check out How to Choose the Best High-Quality Dog Food).
Dogs on a commercial complete diet containing too much protein can suffer from anxiety, aggression, restlessness, light sleep and depression. Too much protein in the diet can also exacerbate existing mental health/nervous system issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
The recommended protein range for healthy puppy growth is 22-32% on a dry matter basis. These levels support optimal growth, so it is not recommended to exceed these protein levels.
Recommended Protein levels

A moderately active dog only needs about 21 to 26 percent crude protein. Working dogs however, need higher levels to maintain their health and energy whilst active.

Anywhere from 10% to 35% of your calories should come from protein. So if your needs are 2,000 calories, that`s 200–700 calories from protein, or 50–175 grams. The recommended dietary allowance to prevent deficiency for an average sedentary adult is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
Older dogs need about 50 percent more protein to maintain muscle mass compared to younger ones. But, diets formulated for adult maintenance diets often don`t have enough protein to satisfy these needs.
If you feed your dog too little, they can suffer from nutritional deficiencies. However, If you feed your dog too much, it will eventually result in obesity and its related health issues, like: Musculoskeletal problems like osteoarthritis, cruciate ligament ruptures, and intervertebral disk disease.
Feeding 3 oz Cans of Wet Dog Food Give your dog one 3 oz can per 3 – 3½ pounds of body weight daily, divided into two or more meals. Adjust this amount as needed to help maintain your dog`s ideal body condition.
For example, a 10kg dog would require 200-300 grams of food per day.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. What is a statement of nutritional adequacy?
ANSWER : A. The AAFCO requires this statement on all pet foods that claim to meet nutritional profiles as established by the AAFCO to ensure complete nutrition. Foods can either be formulated to meet these requirements or be tested in animals according to specific AAFCO-dictated procedures demonstrating that the food is nutritionally adequate. The statement must describe which life stage the product is suited for, such as for “growth”, “maintenance”, etc.

Q. What is a “minimum nutrition requirement”?
ANSWER : A. This means the food formulation has been determined to meet nutrition levels established by the AAFCO using laboratory analysis versus being actually determined by feeding to animals.

Q. What kind of food is recommended for a puppy Labrador and how often should I feed him?
ANSWER : A. Puppy food is designed specifically for the nutritional needs of young and still growing dogs, with twice the daily nutritional requirements that a mature dog needs.

Puppies are growing and developing rapidly — in their bones, muscles, joints, internal organs and immune system, to name but a few of the developmental needs that are being met by nutrition. A well balanced puppy food contains those nutrients that a puppy specifically need for this purpose, nutrients that are not necessary once the puppy has finished growing into a dog and that are not added to adult formula dog foods. For example, to build a strong body, puppy food contains about 30 percent protein, as well as the vitamins and minerals that are needed for a puppy to be healthy.

Q. How were the nutrient ratios in MyBowl determined?
ANSWER : A. Veterinarians and veterinary nutritionists collaborated together to determine the appropriate ratios for each MyBowl nutrient category using reference texts such as Small Animal Clinical Nutrition 5th edition, the National Research Council’s (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats and the Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) Official Publication. All of the nutrient proportions in MyBowl comply with the NRC’s and AAFCO’s most recent nutritional standards.

Q. I have a 7 yo mixed breed. I feed her Fresh Pet rolls with chicken, brown rice and vegetables. Does this food supply her with all she needs.
ANSWER : A. It looks like FreshPet is made and sold in the U.S., and laws here require that all commercially available dog foods be formulated to meet minimum nutritional levels. There is an organization called AAFCO that determines what commercial dog food must have in it in terms of macronutrients and acceptable ingredients. You can read more about them at aafco.org.

Some people also like to add an omega 3 supplement (a product formulated for dogs like 3-V caps) to their pet’s regimen for skin and coat health.

Q. We are picking up our new Toy Maltese on Saturday. He was born on July 3. What shots should we expect him to already have and what name brand?
ANSWER : A. It depends what country you live in as to which are required and the brand depends upon the vet you use. Most countries require parvo, distemper, lepto, hepatitis, parainfluenza and some countries require rabies too. Your vet will be able to guide you.

Read Full Q/A … : Leerburg

Q. Hello – Is it safe to take a 7 week old Boston terrier as an ESA with my on a 2 hour domestic flight?
ANSWER : A. ESA dogs must be registered and have proof of registration. You may also require a doctor’s note for ESA eligibility. I do not know if you can claim a young puppy as an ESA dog. You will need to look up the regulations for your area. The most important thing to do is to check the airline’s requirements to allow your dog to fly. Most small dogs can be brought in the cabin via a carry-on bag but there are some vaccine requirements. Contact your airline company for more information.

Read Full Q/A … : Vetinfo

Q. Why should I buy cat food according to my cat’s life stage?
ANSWER : A. The nutritional needs for your cat vary depending on their life stage. Kittens should follow a diet that is higher in protein and calories to meet their growth requirements (without consuming excess). For adult cats, it’s important to remember that an “all life stage” cat food may seem like a good idea, but may have an adverse effect for some adult and senior cats due to excess nutrients. If you’re tempted to feed your kitten an “all life stage” food this may result in health concerns as well. “All life stage” cat food must meet or exceed requirements needed for growth and when fed to a kitten the food may have a harmful effect on their health and weight. As always, it’s best to consult a veterinarian so he or she can help you make an educated decision about what type of food is best for your cat’s individual needs.