Pedigree Dog Food Ingredients

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Pedigree manufactures roughly 57 different dog food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Pedigree ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Pedigree uses roughly 139 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Pedigree, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. water sufficient for processing
  2. chicken
  3. meat by-products
  4. gelatin
  5. gum arabic

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Pedigree is water sufficient for processing. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken, followed by meat by-products, gelatin, and gum arabic.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Our records indicate that Pedigree does use artificial food coloring dyes. More specifically, we've identified 6 artificial food dyes used by Pedigree.

Although these food dyes are classified as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, we recommend avoiding them when possible.

According to the Center For Research In The Public Interest (CSPI), there are many potential health risks associated with the consumption of artificial food coloring dyes.

Given that most pets consume the same products for prolonged periods of time, these concerns should be taken seriously. In general, we recommend pet owners avoid feeding products which contain artificial food coloring dyes.

For more information regarding the CSPI's findings, read our artificial food coloring article.

yellow 5
22 Recipes

Yellow 5 is an artificial dye which may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. Like other dyes, yellow 5 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain yellow 5:

red 3
2 Recipes

Red 3 is an artificial dye which the FDA has confirmed can cause cancer in laboratory animals.

The following recipes contain red 3:

added color
29 Recipes

The ingredient "added color" is ambiguous and may include various artificial dyes. Most artificial dyes have been linked to various chronic diseases.

The following recipes contain added color:

Animal By-Products

Pedigree does indeed use animal by-products. More specifically, 3 animal by-product ingredients were found during our analysis of Pedigree dog food ingredients.

According to AAFCO, by-products are defined as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. In other words, animal by-products are the leftover ingredients that humans typically do not consume (lung, heart, tongue, stomach, intestine, blood, etc).

Many consumers have equated animal by-products with slaughterhouse waste. Animal by-products are still very controversial. Most premium brands have abandoned them in favor of specific named organ ingredients (duck liver, chicken heart, etc).

If you must feed a product with animal by-products, ensure that the specific animal source is specified. In other words, avoid ingredients such as meat by-products or poultry by-products.

meat by-products
31 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

chicken by-product meal
10 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

chicken by-products
12 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of the chicken which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-products:

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 5 anonymous meat ingredients used by Pedigree.

meat and bone meal
10 Recipes

Meat and bone meal is produced by cooking meat and bone using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of meat and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the source animal for the meat is not specified. These type of anonymous ingredient are typically very low quality and certainly inexpensive additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the meat source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat and bone meal:

meat by-products
31 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

animal plasma
4 Recipes

Animal plasma can be a nutritious addition to pet food, however, the source should be specified. In this case, the animal source is not specified and therefore we cannot determine which animal was used to obtain the plasma.

The following recipes contain animal plasma:

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce dog foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 19 controversial ingredients inside Pedigree products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

dried tomato pomace
2 Recipes

Dried tomato pomace is a by-product of tomato manufacturing. It's considered a controversial ingredient because many people believe it is an inexpensive low quality filler. However, tomato pomace provides a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, Lycopene, and vitamin A. Although it is a very inexpensive ingredient, it is not nutritionally empty.

The following recipes contain dried tomato pomace:

meat and bone meal
10 Recipes

Meat and bone meal is produced by cooking meat and bone using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of meat and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the source animal for the meat is not specified. These type of anonymous ingredient are typically very low quality and certainly inexpensive additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the meat source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat and bone meal:

brewers rice
21 Recipes

Brewer's rice is the small fragments of rice kernel that are separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. The fragments do not contain the same nutrition profile of the whole kernel and therefore brewer's rice is a lower quality grain. Brewer's rice is typically regarded as an inexpensive and low quality filler.

The following recipes contain brewers rice:

ground whole grain corn
10 Recipes

Ground whole grain corn contains the entire corn kernel (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in dog food.</p><p>Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.</p><p>Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.</p><p>In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.</p><p>Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.

The following recipes contain ground whole grain corn:

caramel color
3 Recipes

Caramel color is a concentrated form of caramel, a natural food colorant. Caramel color has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel color is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.

The following recipes contain caramel color:

beet pulp
3 Recipes

Beet pulp is the by-product which remains once sugar has been extracted from sugar beets. The primary contribution of beet pulp is dietary fiber.</p><p>We'd also like to note that beet pulp is fairly controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that beet pulp can promote intestinal health and regulate blood sugar. However, opponents claim that beet pulp is an inexpensive filler.

The following recipes contain beet pulp:

liver
3 Recipes

Liver is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous animal ingredients are typically very low quality and may contain almost any animal, including dogs and cats!

The following recipes contain liver:

meat by-products
31 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

animal plasma
4 Recipes

Animal plasma can be a nutritious addition to pet food, however, the source should be specified. In this case, the animal source is not specified and therefore we cannot determine which animal was used to obtain the plasma.

The following recipes contain animal plasma:

chicken by-product meal
10 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

tomato pomace
1 Recipes

Tomato pomace is a by-product of tomato manufacturing. It's considered a controversial ingredient because many people believe it is an inexpensive low quality filler. However, tomato pomace provides a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, Lycopene, and vitamin A. Although it is a very inexpensive ingredient, it is not nutritionally empty.

The following recipes contain tomato pomace:

vegetable oil
1 Recipes

Specific vegetable oils are typically positive ingredients; however, this ingredient does not specify which vegetable(s) were used to produce the oil.</p><p>Without this information, it is impossible for us to make any specific statements. With any fat source, it is important to know the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio, a property which cannot be determined with this ingredient. Thus, we have marked vegetable oil as a controversial ingredient.

The following recipes contain vegetable oil:

ground whole grain wheat
10 Recipes

Ground whole grain wheat contains the entire grain of wheat (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Wheat is the second most-produced cereal grain in the world (corn is the first). Although wheat is a controversial ingredient, it is not necessarily undesirable because it provides dietary fiber and many other nutrients. However, wheat contains a notable amount of plant based protein, which is inferior to meat based protein and therefore an undesirable substitution.</p><p>Wheat is also one of the most common ingredients to cause food allergies or intolerance. However, grains such as wheat are typically low offenders in comparison to certain protein sources (such as beef).

The following recipes contain ground whole grain wheat:

chicken by-products
12 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of the chicken which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-products:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting Pedigree for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 8 harmful ingredients used in certain Pedigree recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

BHA
2 Recipes

Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is an artificial preservative and possible cancer-causing agent. Studies have show that BHA can be linked to various tumors in laboratory animals.

The following recipes contain BHA:

yellow 5
22 Recipes

Yellow 5 is an artificial dye which may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. Like other dyes, yellow 5 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain yellow 5:

red 3
2 Recipes

Red 3 is an artificial dye which the FDA has confirmed can cause cancer in laboratory animals.

The following recipes contain red 3:

added color
29 Recipes

The ingredient "added color" is ambiguous and may include various artificial dyes. Most artificial dyes have been linked to various chronic diseases.

The following recipes contain added color:

Pedigree Dog Food Ingredient Lists

Pedigree Dentastix Bacon Flavor Large

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Pedigree Dentastix Bacon Flavor Toy/Small

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Pedigree Dentastix Beef Flavor Large

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Pedigree Dentastix Beef Flavor Small/Medium

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Pedigree Dentastix Beef Flavor Toy/Small

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Pedigree Dentastix Fresh Large

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Pedigree Dentastix Fresh Small/Medium

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Pedigree Dentastix Fresh Toy/Small

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Pedigree Dentastix Grain Free Large

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Pedigree Dentastix Grain Free Small/Medium

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Pedigree Dentastix Grain Free Toy/Small

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Pedigree Dentastix Original Large

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Pedigree Dentastix Original Small/Medium

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Pedigree Dentastix Original Toy/Small

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Pedigree Dentastix Puppy Chicken Flavor

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Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Roasted Lamb, Rice & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Active Senior Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Healthy Weight Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree High Protein With Red Meat Beef & Lamb Flavor

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Pedigree For Big Dogs Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Puppy Growth & Protection Chicken & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Beef, Noodles & Vegetables Flavor In Sauce

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Chicken Casserole In Gravy

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Country Stew

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Filet Mignon Flavor In Gravy

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Prime Rib & Bacon Flavor

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Steak & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy With Beef

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Chicken & Rice Flavor

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy With Chicken

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Pedigree Choice Cuts In Gravy Lamb & Vegetable Flavor

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Bacon and Filet Mignon Flavor

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Bacon Cheeseburger Flavors

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Beef, Bacon and Cheese Flavors

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Chicken & Rice Dinner

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Filet Mignon & Bacon Flavor

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Filet Mignon Flavor

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Meaty Ground Dinner With Hearty Chicken

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Meaty Ground Dinner With Slow Cooked Beef

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner T-bone Steak Flavor

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Pedigree Homestyle Meals Porterhouse Steak & Vegetable Flavor In Gravy

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Pedigree Homestyle Meals Prime Rib, Rice & Vegetable Flavor In Gravy

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Pedigree Homestyle Meals Roasted Chicken, Rice & Vegetable Flavor In Gravy

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Combo With Chicken, Liver & Beef

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner With Beef

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner With Chicken

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Beef, Bacon & Cheese Flavor

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Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner Turkey & Bacon Flavor

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Pedigree Puppy Chopped Ground Dinner With Chicken & Beef

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Pedigree Puppy Chopped Ground Dinner With Lamb & Rice

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Pedigree Puppy Morsels In Sauce With Chicken

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Pedigree Weight Management Chopped Ground Dinner Beef & Liver Flavor In Meaty Juices

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Pedigree Weight Management Chopped Ground Dinner Chicken & Rice Flavor In Meaty Juices

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