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Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

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Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

Post  northernwitch on 12/13/2009, 5:53 pm

I have used this a lot and it's very helpful in understanding what, exactly, is in your dog food.

Interpretation of Label Ingredients—the “Meat & Potatoes” (or, Let’s Talk Turkey!!)

Ground yellow corn is the entire corn kernel, ground or chopped. While the whole corn kernel is nutritious and follows good philosophy of supplying whole grain nutrition, corn is considered to be highly allergenic.

Corn meal is the entire corn kernel, finely ground. While the whole corn kernel is nutritious and follows good philosophy of supplying whole grain nutrition, corn is considered to be highly allergenic.

Corn gluten meal is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. Corn gluten meal is a low ash source of protein and acts as a urine acidifier in CAT formulas. Cats vs Dogs: While not the best quality source of protein, the use of corn gluten in small amounts offer preventive health benefits for cats. In addition, unlike dogs, cats do not usually show signs of allergic reactions to corn products. Holistic vets feel strongly, however, that there is no justification for the use of corn gluten in dog foods and considers it to be only a cheap protein filler when used in this manner.

Soybean meal is the product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from soybeans by a solvent or mechanical extraction process. Soybean meal is a poor quality protein filler. The "Crude Protein" analysis on pet food labels is only a measurement of the amount of nitrogen in a food -- not the quality of the protein. Because of this, pet food companies can use the cheaper by-products of human food production, such as soybean meal to boost protein numbers.

Meat is always the best source of quality protein. Meat protein is better absorbed and retained and is higher in essential amino acids like methionine, arginine, and taurine. Soybean meal has a biologic value less than 50% of that of chicken meal.

BHA/BHT is short for Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), both of which are chemical preservatives. BHA and BHT have been banned from human use in many countries. They are known carcinogens. In the US, they are still permitted in pet foods. Good quality foods use no chemical preservatives of any kind. They are naturally preserved with Vitamins E and C.

Chicken byproduct meal consists of the dry, ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines -- exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Chicken byproduct meal is an inconsistent ingredient because of the multiple organs used, their constantly changing proportions, and their questionable nutritional value. Chicken byproduct meal is much less expensive and less digestible than chicken meal, which is considered the single best source of protein.

Chicken meal
is the dry rendered (cooked down) product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts of whole carcasses of chicken -- exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, or entrails. Chicken meal is considered to be the single best source of protein in commercial pet foods. High quality, low ash chicken meal should be used. This ingredient is very digestible, very palatable, and very expensive.

Chicken is the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken- exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. Chicken is an excellent source of protein. The chicken the higher quality foods use is not only human grade, but also tested to be free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. They do not add these harmful ingredients. This is an important distinction, because manufacturers are not required to list substances that are present in the ingredients when they go into the pet food.

Turkey is the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey or a combination of thereof - exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails. Turkey is an excellent source of highly digestible protein. Table-quality turkey always preferred. The turkey high quality foods use is not only human grade, but also tested to be free of hormones, antibiotics and pesticides, as well as chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin. This is an important distinction because manufacturers are not required to list substances that are present in the ingredients when they go into the pet food.

Turkey meal is the dry rendered (cooked down) product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone derived from the parts of whole carcasses of turkey--exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, or entrails. Turkey meal is an excellent source of protein in commercial pet foods. This ingredient is very digestible and very palatable.

Lamb
consists of lamb tissue, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents. Before you buy a product containing lamb or lamb meal (dried lamb), ask the manufacturer about the origin of the lamb they use. Premium brands use human-grade New Zealand lamb.

Lamb meal is the dry rendered (cooked down) product from lamb tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Lamb meal is simply lamb meat with the moisture removed, making it suitable for use in dry food. Before you buy a product containing lamb meal, ask the manufacturer about the origin of the lamb meal they use. The best use only high quality lamb meat from New Zealand, not the lamb by-products found in some other pet foods.

Duck is the clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck or a combination thereof - exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails. Duck is an excellent source of protein and includes important amino acids for healthy skin and coats.

Beef meal
is the rendered product from beef tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Beef meal is a by-product made from beef parts which are not suitable for human consumption. It can incorporate the whole cow. Instead, most higher quality dog foods select only fresh human-grade meats like you would buy in a supermarket. Most actually do not use beef in any of their recipes as it is a common cause of skin allergies in dogs.

Beef & bone meal is the rendered product from beef tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. Beef & bone meal is a byproduct made from beef parts which are not suitable for human consumption. It can incorporate the entire cow, including the bone -- although the quality cuts of
meat are always removed before beef & bone meal is made. Instead, higher quality dog foods select only fresh human-grade meats like you would buy in a supermarket. Most actually do not use beef in any of their recipes as it is a common cause of skin allergies in dogs.


Herring meal is the clean, rendered (cooked down), dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole herring or herring cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. Herring meal is a good source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. The best use the whole herring including the oil from this excellent food fish in our cat food products.

Salmon is a marine and freshwater food fish. We use the clean tissue of undecomposed whole salmon and/or salmon cuttings. There is currently no official AAFCO definition for salmon. Premium foods use whole, table quality salmon, which are ground and added to the ingredient mix. Salmon is an excellent single-source protein. It is also an excellent source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which play a vital role in the structures of cell membranes. Essential fatty acids stimulate growth, benefit skin and hair, influence the inflammatory response and affect the development of the nervous system, including the brain.

Menhaden fish meal is the clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. Menhaden fish is not sold for human consumption. Menhaden fish meal is a source of protein and oils, but it is preferred to use only table quality ingredients.

Fish meal is the clean, rendered (cooked down), dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. Fish meal is made from unspecified types of fish. While fish meal can be a good source of essential fatty acids and is very palatable, the ambiguous nature of this ingredient puts it on our unapproved ingredient list.

Animal digest is a material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind or flavor(s), it must correspond thereto. Animal digest is a cooked-down broth made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. Any kind of animal can be included: goats, pigs, horses, rats, etc. The animals can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. High quality foods use only human grade, single-source meats.

Ground barley is the entire barley kernel, ground or chopped. Ground barley is a good quality source of carbohydrates. If the entire kernel is used, it contributes additional protein, barley oil, bran, and vitamins and minerals to the diet. This is in contrast to the fractionated grain ingredients used by some manufacturers, such as cracked pearl barley or barley flour, which are leeched of much of their nutritional value.

Oatmeal is the dry ground product of cleaned oats with the hulls removed. Oatmeal is a good source of carbohydrate energy. High quality foods use Oatmeal with its natural nutrients intact and without preprocessing. This is in contrast to the fractionated oat ingredients used by some manufacturers such as oat bran, oat flour or feeding oat meal, which have been leeched of much of their nutritional value. A natural, healthy grain that's rich in B vitamins, oatmeal is the featured grain in many dog foods because its sticky texture helps hold the biscuit shape together without using artificial binders.

Sorghum is the ground grain of the sorghum plant. Sorghum is a member of the grass family; its leaves and stalk resemble corn but it does not have ears. Although sorghum is good source of carbohydrates, it is low in digestibility and therefore not used in higher quality dog food products. Essentially, a filler.

Flaxseed is the whole seed of the flax plant. What makes flaxseed so outstanding is its mix in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Together these fibers aid in digestion and help to prevent constipation, thereby offering protection against cancer. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of Omega 6 and Omega 3 essential fatty acids. These fatty acids help produce the soft, luxuriant coat on your pet. The richest source of alpha-linoleic acid is found in flaxseed.

Salt is a natural mineral, necessary for life and good health. Most pet food ingredients contain enough sodium to meet a dog or cat's nutritional needs. The sodium in the good quality products comes only from the natural ingredients, with no added salt or sodium products as flavor enhancers.

Canola oil is the oil obtained from the repeated pressing of canola seeds. Canola oil, although a single-source oil, is lower in the essential linoleic
acids which provide a lustrous coat and soft, supple skin. Instead of canola, many foods use pure Sunflower Oil which is the most expensive and highest in linoleic acid of all table-quality oils. However, sunflower oil HAS been linked to cancer.


Sunflower oil is obtained by extracting oil from sunflower seeds. Sunflower oil has a high concentration of linoleic acid (73%), which is important for good skin and coat health. The best to use is sunflower oil that has been cold-pressed and protected from exposure to heat and light. This very high quality, very palatable fat, but HAS been linked to cancer.

Choline is a dietary supplement included in the B complex vitamins. It is necessary to nerve function and fat metabolism and can be manufactured in the body but not at a sufficient rate to meet health requirements. Dietary choline protects against poor growth, fatty liver and renal damage in many animals.

Alfalfa meal is the aerial portion of the alfalfa plant, reasonably free of other crop plants, weeds and mold, which has been finely ground. Alfalfa is an excellent source of phytochemicals and phytoestrogens and their antioxidant effect stimulates the immune system. The best sources, however, use only the unprocessed sprout form of the alfalfa plant.

Natural flavors are minimally processed flavor ingredients that do not contain synthetic or artificial components. Good brands use only quality chicken broth.

Dried carrots are the roots of the carrot plant that have had the moisture removed. Although dried fruits and vegetables can be nutrient dense, Most higher quality food does not use any dried or dehydrated ingredients in their products. Instead they should use whole steamed carrots which are free of pesticides.

Apple pomace is the waste product from juicing apples. Apple pomace has low nutritional value, and is mainly used as an inexpensive source of fiber. Fiber can come from whole ground grains, fruits and vegetables which supply a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Apples are a member of the rose family, the apple has a compartmented core and is thus classified as a pome fruit. Apples are an excellent source of dietary fiber. About 81 percent of the fiber is soluble; most of it is of a type called pectin. Apples provide both soluble and insoluble fiber, some vitamin C and beta carotene, and potassium and boron.

Kelp is dried seaweed of the families Laminariacae and Fucaeae. Kelp is a general term used to describe large brown seaweeds. Seaweeds have been used throughout the world for centuries as a rich source of natural organic minerals and vitamins like iodine, potassium and calcium. The thyroid gland depends upon minerals, especially iodine, to function properly and to secrete adequate amounts of thyroxin and triiodothyronine. These hormones influence metabolic rate and body temperature. Kelp is not only rich in iodine, but is also an additional natural source of beta-carotene, B vitamins and vitamin C. This beneficial supplement helps to improve the utilization of all ingredients in dog food, thereby improving the overall health and performance of your dog.

Vitamins are organic compounds that function as parts of enzyme systems essential for the transmission of energy and the regulation of metabolisms of the body.

Minerals
are inorganic substances essential for a host of vital processes within the body. AAFCO regulates minimum standard quantities of vitamins and minerals in levels that pets need to survive. All pet food manufacturers supplement their products with vitamins and minerals. Mainly because the manufacturing process kills most of them. Beyond meeting these minimum requirements, all good products contain a complete vitamin and mineral supplement program that helps pets to thrive, not just survive. The minerals should be chelated, providing three to ten times greater assimilation than common minerals. Included in foods are some of the following: Ascorbic Acid, Beta Carotene, Biotin, Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Iodate, Choline Chloride, Cobalt Carbonate, Cobalt Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Dicalcium Pantothenate, dl-Methionine, Folic Acid, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Niacin, Potassium Chloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin C Supplement (Sodium Ascorbate), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement (Alpha Tocopherol), Zinc Proteinate Of course, they need to be added in proper balance to ensure that your pet gets all the necessary nutrients for life and good health every day.


Ground brown rice is the entire product obtained in grinding the rice kernels after the hulls have been removed. Ground brown rice is a high quality source of carbohydrates and natural fiber. Many foods add brown rice—“ to provide excellent nutritional value and a 'nutty' flavor in dog and cat foods.” Ground brown rice is slightly less digestible than ground (white) rice.

Ground rice is the de-hulled rice kernel, ground or chopped, with the bran removed -- known as white rice. Rice is a high quality source of carbohydrates. Found in most products, rice is the most digestible grain for pet foods and is relatively hypo-allergenic. Some manufacturers use rice fractions, such as rice polishings, rice bran, or brewers rice, which have been leeched of much of their nutritional value. Brown rice comes from the same plant as white rice, but has the bran intact.

Rice bran is the pericarp or bran layer and germ of the rice. Rice bran adds a rich, hearty natural flavor to the food and has a positive effect on proper digestion due to the high fiber content, but is leeched of it’s nutritional value.

Rice flour consists principally of the soft, finely ground and bolted meal obtained from milling rice (containing essentially the starch and gluten of the endosperm) together with fine particles of rice bran and the offal from the 'tail of the mill.' Whenever flour is part of an ingredient's name, the grain has been processed and some (or all) of the nutritional value has been lost. Frequently these flour ingredients are simply the leftover dust from processing human food ingredients.

Brewer's rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. Brewer's rice is a lower quality rice product that is missing many of the nutrients found in ground rice and ground brown rice. (See the descriptions for those ingredients.). Another filler.

Taurine is the 11th essential amino acid required by cats. insufficient levels of taurine can lead to blindness and cardiac problems in cats. Meat is naturally high in taurine, so most high quality foods contain high levels of this important nutrient. Natural taurine is also added to cat foods to ensure cats get enough of this essential amino acid.Cats vs Dogs: While dogs can synthesize taurine in their systems, cats cannot and must have additional amounts added to their diet for proper health. Recent university research has suggested, however, that like cats, some breeds of dogs may benefit from Taurine in the diet.

Chicken fat is obtained from the tissues of chickens in the commercial process of rendering or extracting. Chicken fat is the highest of all animal sources in linoleic acid (over 23%), An important element for skin and coat health. The higher the quality of chicken, the higher quality source of fat.

Poultry fat is obtained from the tissues of poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting. Poultry fat is a byproduct of meat processing. The origin of the contributing animals is never known; the source can be any fowl (turkey, chicken, geese, buzzard, etc.) and the resulting oil is very low in linoleic acid -- an essential fatty acid that is important for skin and coat health.

Suncured alfalfa meal is the aerial portion of the alfalfa plant, reasonably free of other crop plants, weeds and mold, which has been suncured and finely ground. Alfalfa is known for its excellent source of phytochemicals and phytoestrogens and their antioxidant effect stimulates the immune system. Alfalfa is a good source, also, of vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, niacin and pantothenic acid. The best use the unprocessed sprout instead of the ground meal.

Lecithin is a specific phospholipid and the principal constituent of crude phosphatides derived from oil-bearing seeds. Lecithin is essential for normal fatty acid transport within cells. It is obtained chiefly from soybeans, corn and egg yolk. The best sources are whole grains, fresh fruits and natural protein sources which provide all the essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals necessary for the life and health of our pets.

Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid derived from edible fats and oils. Dog and cat foods should contain substantial amounts of the fatty acid, linoleic acid, to help promote good skin and a lustrous coat. The linoleic acid is derived from the chicken fat, the sunflower oil and the hemp oil found in some products.

Rosemary
is an evergreen shrub of Rosemarinus Officinalis. Rosemary, along with its cancer prevention properties, is a highly effective preservative.

Sage is a perennial evergreen shrub with grayish green foliage. This herb is one of several used in petfoods as a preservative--a natural preservative for the chicken fat in the dg food formula.

Yeast culture is the dried product composed of yeast and the media on which it is grown, dried in such a manner as to preserve the fermenting activity of the yeast. Yeast culture is an unnecessary flavoring ingredient, used in inexpensive pet foods in attempt to compensate for a lack of real food flavors. In addition, yeast is an allergen for some animals.

Potatoes are whole, freshly cooked, Idaho russet potatoes, that include the skins. They should not be pre-processed, so they retain all of their important nutrients (including 'protector' antioxidants). Potatoes provide B vitamins, carbohydrates, zinc, vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, niacin and potassium.

Pearled barley is barley that has been dehulled by machine brushing. Pearled barley has the bran removed but leaves the endosperm and germ intact, thereby contributing additional protein, barley oil and vitamins and minerals to the diet. Sometimes used to help maintain proper fiber and carbohydrate levels.

Ground millet is any of various cereal grasses cultivated for grain or fodder. According to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, millet is an important food staple in much of Asia, Russia, and western Africa. In the United States and Western Europe, millet grains are are used chiefly for pasture or to
produce hay. The nutrient content in millet is not as biologically available to animals as other grains. Instead of millet, whole grains such as barley, oats and rice with higher biological values are preferred.


Egg product
is product obtained from egg graders, egg breakers, and/or hatchery operations that is dehydrated, handled as liquid, or frozen. Egg product consists of the unused leftovers from eggs for human production. It can include undeveloped eggs, shells, and other tissues unfit for human consumption. Obviously, premium foods use only human grade whole eggs.

Dried skim milk is the residue obtained by drying defatted milk. High quality dog foods have only lactose-free whole pasteurized milk for its important calcium and phosphorus content, as most dogs and cats are lactose-intolerant.

Cranberry powder is the dehydrated form of the cranberry plant. Although dried or dehydrated fruits and vegetables can be nutrient dense, it is preferred to use them in their whole state without the removal of water or other liquids. Ideally, whole cranberries are all-natural and pesticide free.

Dried beet pulp is the dried residue from sugar beets which has been cleaned, freed from crowns, leaves, and sand, and extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar. Dried beet pulp is added to some pet foods to act as a fibrous stool hardener. All-natural ingredients are best as stool hardeners, and the sugar added from the beet is an unnecessary ingredient.

Beet pulp is the residue from sugar beets which has been cleaned, freed from crowns, leaves, and sand, and extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar. Beet pulp is added to some pet foods to act as a fibrous stool hardener. The fiber in dog food products is best derived from all-natural ingredients. Beet pulp is an unnecessary ingredient. A cheap filler.

Beets, also known as beetroot, are a biennial or annual root vegetable of the family Chenopodiaceae (goosefoot family). Beets are high in protein, iron, potassium, folacin and fiber. The leaves of the beetroot are especially high in calcium. This is a very nutritious and beneficial ingredient.

Brewer's dried yeast is the dried, non-fermentive, non-extracted yeast that results as a by-product of the brewing of beer and ale. Although brewer's yeast is a good source of Vitamin B, it is a potential allergen for some animals and should not be included in dog foods.

Glucosamine hydrochloride is a compound that occurs naturally in the cartilage cushioning the joints. Glucosamine, together with chondroitin sulfate, is believed to stimulate the rebuilding of the cartilage matrix and to play a role in the fight against osteoarthritis. Unfortunately, the levels in most dog foods are far too low to actually enjoy their benefits. Dogs (based upon size/weight) require approx. 1000 mg/day for efficacy. One should NOT feed food with glucosamine to dogs who have no arthritic symptoms, as it is NOT a preventative.

Yucca schidigera is a supplement from the yucca plant. There is some evidence that consecutive use of yucca can interfere with absorption of fat soluble vitamins.

Tomato pomace is the mixture of tomato skins, pulp, and crushed seeds. This is an inexpensive byproduct with the potential for pesticide residues in discarded tomato skins, which are the largest component of tomato pomace.

Yogurt is the product resulting from the culturing of a mixture of milk and cream products with the lactic acid-producing bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus. Other bacterial cultures and select strains of bacteria may also be used. Sweeteners, flavorings, and other ingredients may be added. There is no official definition of yogurt by AAFCO. Yogurt is a very good source of calcium, protein, potassium and magnesium. It can aid in bone growth and maintenance.

Cheese is defined as the fresh or matured product obtained by draining the whey of the original milk after coagulation of casein, milk's major protein. There is no official definition by AAFCO. Cheese provides many essential nutrients and is an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals. In its concentrated form, it contains many of milk's nutrients.

Spinach is an annual vegetable plant grown for its leaves. Fresh spinach leaves are a rich source of Vitamin A, C and iron. This is an excellent addition to any pet food.

Viable Naturally Occurring Microorganisms are freeze-dried bacteria that are cultured in a labratory and include Lactobacillus acidophillus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium thermophilium & Enterococcus faecium fermentation product. These beneficial bacteria (similar to what's found in yogurt) are naturally occurring in the microflora of the hind gut of your pet. They help to prevent disease and sickness, aid in digestion, improve nutrition, ease food sensitivity and contribute to the overall health and microbial balance of the intestinal tract. Commonly known as Probiotics, these are especially effective when pets are experiencing stress (i.e. transporting, boarding, surgery and disease). Stress can reduce the number of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Probiotics are used to replace the depleted beneficial organisms.

Amaranth is a seed plant which is a good alternative source of carbohydrate energy. It is a valuable carbohydrate ingredient with a unique flavor. It is also high in linoleic acids, which are good for skin and coat.

Dried Chicory Root is the dried, non-roasted root Cichorium intybus L., used as a source of inulin, as soluble, fermentable fiber. It shall contain no less than 50% inulin and no more than 13% moisture. Chicory Root is a thick-rooted blue-flowered European perennial composite herb widely grown for its roots and as a salad plant. Commonly known as a "prebiotic," the inulin derived from the Chicory Root is a fructooligosaccharide added to accomplish the same purpose as supplementing probiotics. The prebiotic feeds the "good bacteria" and hinders the growth of bad bacteria in the pet's digestive tract.

Psyllium husk, used as a fiber supplement, is obtained by milling the seed of the plant Plantago ovata to remove the hulls. It is a class of plant carbohydrate that resists digestion hydrolysis. Psyllium husk is a useful substance that helps regulate the bowels to help prevent constipation or diarrhea, for those foods that do not obtain that balance naturally. Premium foods are all-natural, along with fresh fruits and vegetables, and have proven to be effective in the regulation of bowel function in the majority of healthy pets.

Biotin is a water-soluble, nitrogen-containing acid essential for growth and well-being in animals and some microorganisms. Biotin is found in many different foods, but eggs provide a very rich source. Deficiencies are not generally a problem; however, the treatment of dogs and cats with antibiotics that decrease the bacterial population of the large intestine can cause an increase in the dietary requirement of biotin.

Methionine is a natural amino acid which serves as a urinary acidifier. Methionine is a principle supplier of sulfur which prevents disorders of the
hair, skin and nails. It helps lower cholesterol levels by increasing the liver's production of lecithin, reduces liver fat and protects the kidneys. Methionine also regulates the formation of ammonia and creates ammonia-free urine which reduces bladder irritation. Cat food manufacturers often add this ingredient to cat foods to create an acidic urine, which helps to prevent the formation of struvite crystals which can lead to urinary tract obstruction.


Calcium iodate is a nutritional source of iodine. Calcium iodate provides the Iodine needed by the body for proper thyroid functioning. The hormones of the thyroid regulate the rate of metabolism, growth, reproduction, nerve and muscle function, the synthesis of proteins, the growth of skin and hair, and the use of oxygen by cells.

Manganese is amicro-mineral and functions as a component of several cell enzymes that catalyze metabolic reactions. Manganese is necessary for normal bone development and reproduction. Foods that are good sources of manganese include legumes and whole-grain cereals. Naturally occurring manganese deficiency has not been reported in either dogs or cats.

Folic acid
is a Vitamin of the B complex that is water-soluble and essential in animal metabolism. Folic acid is absorbed from the small intestine and small amounts are stored in the liver and other tissues. Excess is excreted in the urine. Its main function is to maintain the cells' genetic code and regulate cell division. It is essential for the normal growth and maintenance of all cells. When folic acid is deficient in the body, the inability to produce adequate DNA leads to decreased cellular growth and maturation. Like several of the other B vitamins, folic acid is synthesized by the bacteria of the large intestine in dogs and cats.

Lysine is an amino acid released in the hydrolysis of many common proteins. The inclusion of meat proteins with cereal proteins in a pet food, coupled with properly controlled processing methods, ensures that the ration contains an adequate level of available lysine. In a completely cereal-based dog food, either supplemental lysine or a meat source of lysine must be added.

Zinc proteinate is a mineral and the chelated source of zinc. Zinc provides mineralization of bone, digestion of protein and the conversion of calorie-containing nutrients into energy. Zinc also functions in the production of proteins, the proper functioning of insulin, normal taste, wound healing and the maintenance of normal blood levels of vitamin A. Zinc plays a major role in the maintenance of the immune system and normal blood cholesterol levels.

These are just some of the ingredients one can find on the labels of dog food….I encourage you to do your own research, and to become an educated consumer and MOST IMPORTANTLY, a careful custodian of your dog’s nutrition and health!
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northernwitch
 
 

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Re: Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

Post  Aussie Witch on 12/13/2009, 5:58 pm

Amanda should make this a sticky.
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Re: Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

Post  Pugsaunt on 12/13/2009, 10:24 pm

Thanks, Blanche, for posting this, and thanks, Amanda, for making it a sticky. It should be required reading for all pet owners.
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Pugsaunt
 
 

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spa in british virgin island

Post  nicolejohn on 8/30/2012, 9:05 pm

Thanks for this informations.

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Re: Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

Post  Banditsmom on 8/31/2012, 3:18 pm

Thank you very much! Very infomative.

Do you recommend any partiular brands?
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Banditsmom
 
 

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Re: Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

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