Vital Essentials Dog Food Ingredients

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Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Vital Essentials uses roughly 57 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 Vital Essentials, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. beef
  2. chicken heart
  3. chicken liver
  4. herring oil
  5. mixed tocopherols

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Vital Essentials is beef. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken heart, followed by chicken liver, herring oil, and mixed tocopherols.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Vital Essentials does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 57 Vital Essentials dog foods contain artificial food dyes.

Artificial food coloring dyes are unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. In general, we not not recommend feeding any pet foods that contain artificial dyes.

In 2010, the CSPI raised serious concerns regarding the safety of many artificial dyes. Most of the studies referenced by the CSPI involved prolonged or excessive consumption. Since most dogs consume the same foods throughout their lives, concerns raised by the CSPI are alarming to say the least.

To read more about Artificial Food Dyes, click here.

Animal By-Products

According to our records, Vital Essentials does not contain any animal by-products.

Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.

Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including Vital Essentials have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).

For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are inexpensive low-quality ingredients that can come from practically any animal. These type of ingredients are often used to produce very inexpensive dog foods.

In general, we prefer ingredients which specify the animal source used to derive the ingredient. For example, ingredients such as duck fat are much better than animal fat or poultry fat.

In our analysis, we've looked through all 57 Vital Essentials ingredients. According to our data, Vital Essentials does not contain any anonymous animal-based ingredients.

Controversial Ingredients

Brands which do not use any controversial ingredients are typically top-of-the-line. Avoiding all controversial ingredients indicates that the brand has not sacrificed quality for cost savings.

Our research indicates that Vital Essentials is one of these top-notch brands. We've looked through all 57 Vital Essentials ingredients and none of these ingredients were classified as controversial in our system

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.

During our review, none of the Vital Essentials ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium dog food brand.

Vital Essentials Dog Food Ingredient Lists