Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Review

Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

PawDiet Rating

1.00
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Review of Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition
Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor

This product is manufactured by Mars Petcare Inc..

According to our data, this Pedigree recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for the maintenance of adult dogs. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.

Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for the maintenance of adult dogs.

Ingredient Review

We'll begin this review of Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.

The first ingredient is ground whole grain corn. 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.

Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

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.

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.

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 second ingredient is poultry by-product meal. Poultry by-product meal is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous ingredients such as poultry by-product meal are typically low-quality ingredients in comparison to named protein by-product meals (e.g. chicken by-product meal, turkey by-product meal, duck by-product meal).

The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the production of various corn products (corn starch, corn syrup, etc). It's very high in protein (nearly 60% protein) and therefore can significant boost the protein content of the product. Because plant based proteins such as corn gluten meal are inferior to meat based proteins (lack many essential amino acids), they are not suitable substitutes.

The fourth ingredient is animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid). Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats. What's more, this ingredient is preserved with BHA, an artificial preservative and possible carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.

The fifth ingredient is meat and bone meal. 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.

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.

Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor are not as important as the first five ingredients.

However, collectively they still have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Therefore, we'll continue discussing the remaining ingredients in this Pedigree recipe.

Next we have soybean meal. Soybean meal contains more than 50% protein. Therefore, soybean can significantly boost the protein content of the product. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.

The next ingredient is ground whole grain wheat. 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.

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).

Then we have natural flavor, which enhances the flavor of the food.

Moving on, we have brewers rice. 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.

Moving on with this review, we have chicken by-product meal. 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.

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 next ingredient in this review is salt. Salt is an important mineral for both humans and dogs. Depending on the quantity of salt used (which we cannot determine), salt may or may not be a nutritious addition in the recipe.

Our next ingredient is potassium chloride, which is a potassium supplement.

The remaining ingredients in this Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition recipe are unlikely to affect the overall rating of the product.

Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives most of its protein from animal based sources. This is an excellent property because meat based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs. In our option, this is one of the most important properties to judge when reviewing pet food, therefore we believe this is an exceptional product in this regard.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, this product contains artificial colors, artificial preservatives, and anonymous meat ingredients. These type of ingredients are typically undesirable in any pet food. We'll discuss each category to clarify our position.

Many artificial preservatives contribute to adverse health affects and therefore we prefer products preserved naturally. However, artificial preservatives used in very small quantities do not necessarily imply the product is unhealthy or low quality.

Studies have show that many artificial preservatives are typically safe in small quantities. However, our pets typically consume the same product for multiple years and this type of exposure is not necessarily well researched.

In regards to the anonymous meat ingredients, These are not necessarily always negative; however, they are typically low quality and inexpensive additions. If the particular anonymous meat ingredient is controversial or low quality, it should have been mentioned earlier in this review. Otherwise, it is safe to assume the anonymous meat ingredient is an acceptable addition.

Finally, in regards to the artificial colors, although the FDA has approved the artificial colors used in this product, they are unnecessary and unhealthy additions. Long term exposure can have serious consequences. See our article on artificial food dyes for more information.

The official PawDiet rating for Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Grilled Steak & Vegetable Flavor is 1.0 out of 5.