How to understand what you are REALLY getting in a feed supplement!

Concentration, Content & Percentage on your feed supplements can be confusing at best and completely misleading at worst.…

Concentration, Content & Percentage on your feed supplements can be confusing at best and completely misleading at worst.

Supplements should not always be cheap! In particular, horses are very large animals to feed and higher amounts of active ingredients would be required compared to a dog or cat. This makes them expensive animals to supplement and so it is even more important to understand how to read your product labels. If they are cheap then they probably don’t contain:

  • High quality active ingredients
  • Very many active ingredients
  • High amounts of active ingredients

You may feel safe because your product of choice tells you why it should be fed to your horse/pet, displays a list of ingredients, whilst recommending how many scoops to feed. But do you really know what you are feeding?

Range of Riaflex Products
Riaflex believe in full disclosure of ALL ingredients and their content

Some companies will choose to make their product look good by marketing it based on Percentage ingredients or concentration rather than on CONTENT alongside a claim that they contain NO FILLERS. Now don’t get me wrong, containing no fillers is an advantage in some situations. But it can also be completely misleading. There are times when fillers are required for even distribution of ingredients, for ease of dosing (being able to use a 10 ml scoop oppose to a 7.8ml scoop), or to improve shelf life of a product.  There are also times when fillers are quite obviously used to make you think you are getting more for your money.

This is why you really NEED to know the EXACT CONTENT. How much is your horse or dog actually getting from the recommended daily feeding rate.  Percentage (%) & Concentration (g/100g or g/kg) are completely MEANINGLESS in the context of supplements if the daily dose level provided is inadequate.

To help you understand:

PERCENTAGE is the amount of an ingredient in a supplement in grams/total grams x 100. So, if there is 10g of ingredient in 100g of supplement this would be 10% (10/100 x 100).

It is also the same for CONCENTRATION. You will sometimes see the amount of an ingredient expressed as g/kg or mg/kg. This is a concentration but could be converted to a %. 

For example if you had a tub of MSM with nothing else added then the PERCENTAGE  or CONCENTRATION would be 100%. But this does NOT tell you how much you will get of the active ingredient. For that you have to know the FEEDING RATE (amount of supplement fed per day). 

So for example, if the feeding rate is 3g per day and there is 1000g/kg or 100g/100g (these are the same) the percentage of product is 100% but the amounts the horse gets per day (THE CONTENT) is just 3g.  Not an adequate amount to be effective.

So, on paper a company might claim that their supplement has no fillers and provides 100% MSM, but when you take into account the FEEDING RATE it may deliver much less active ingredient per day than one where the PERCENTAGE is only 50%.

Example: Supplement A: MSM % is 100%. MSM concentration is 1000g/kg. Feeding rate is 10g per day based on 500kg weight. MSM content (amount horse actually gets) is 10g per day.

Supplement B: MSM Percentage is 30%. MSM concentration is 300g/kg. Feeding rate is 100g per day for 500kg in weight. MSM CONTENT (amount horse actually gets) is 30g

So Supplement A is 100% MSM but only delivers 10g MSM per day whilst supplement B is only 30% concentration but delivers 30g MSM per day.

Bottom line is PERCENTAGE or CONCENTRATION on their own are meaningless and misleading!

Just because a tub may last 120 days and has no fillers or has loads of ingredients in it does NOT make it good value for money or beneficial for your horse/pet. It is easy to make a product look good with clever marketing but if it isn’t providing a high daily amount correct for body weight then quite frankly you might as well not feed it at all.

This concept is more difficult to understand when you are looking at products with more than one ingredient so always remember this one simple rule. Know EXACTLY what you are feeding per day of each ingredient (your daily dose level). If a company is not willing to disclose this information or it is not readily available then it may be worth considering looking elsewhere.