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The NRC raw feeding philosophy is based on meeting the nutritional requirements of the NRC (National Research Council).

The NRC is a non-profit organization that evaluates research conducted by others.

  • The NRC is not part of the United States government
  • It is not a basic research organization
  • It is not an enforcement agency
  • Numerous ad hoc committees have assisted in developing the series, Nutrient Requirements of Domestic Animals. As part of that series, a new edition of Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats was published in 2006
  • Before that, the most current NRC recommendations for dogs and cats were published in 1985 and 1986, respectively

As stated in the Small Animal Clinical Nutrition; 5th Edition, page 193

Before the development and acceptance of AAFCO’s Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles, the NRC publications on nutrient requirements for normal dogs and cats were the recognized authority for substantiation of label claims on commercial pet foods.

The AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles have replaced the NRC recommendations as the standard to be used by pet food manufacturers in the United States for formulating foods for normal dogs and cats.

Currently, pet food labels in the United States that make reference to NRC nutritional recommendations are considered to be misbranded.

The NRC recommendations are still used by some pet food manufacturers in countries other than the United States and reference to NRC is still found on some pet food labels. With the most recent NRC edition, it is anticipated that AAFCO will reconvene its expert panel to review and update the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles in light of the new NRC recommendations.

AAFCO is not expected to reinstate the NRC recommendations as the authority cited on pet food labels.

YES NRC Standards are fantastic to follow

I have been asked about AAFCO’s statements on the NRC and why the Small Animal Clinical Nutrition textbook says what’s above because it can be confusing – what standards to follow.

Even though it is declared by AAFCO as outdated, raw feeders follow the NRC model because:

  • The focus is to meet all the nutrient requirements

Where it differs from other feeding styles is that:

  • Supplements are used
  • Raw Meaty Bones ones are not always used
  • Non species appropriate food ingredients like grain and seeds is allowed to meet the nutrient requirements

And if you’re interested in creating recipes to NRC’s standards you can turn to:

  • Formulation software like The Pet Diet Designer formulate to NRC requirements