Kibble Ingredients

by Mary Ellen R. Lunde

(Reprinted with permission by the Author)

So many of us ask for recommendations on what to feed our furkids. To help YOU decide, what is best for YOUR fuzzbutt, I have listed the top 5 ingredients of some major kibbles below. If the product uses ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT as a preservative it is also shown. The list includes:

  • Adult dry dog food
  • Premium and Super-premium brands; no supermarket kibbles
  • Address, phone #, e-mail and web site info

I have asterisked certain ingredients that can, but not always, denote inferior sources of nutrition. The AAFCO definition of these ingredients, along with further explanations, is after the kibble list.

This list is strictly meant as a starting point. One of the big things missing from any ingredient list, is the quality of the ingredients. For example, two products could list chicken or chicken meal but you would not know from the list, if it is pet grade chicken, meaning unfit for human consumption. Pet-grade could include the diseased-ridden, e.g. salmonella-infected, rejects.

Another thing to think about when reading labels is that the ingredients are supposed to be listed in weight order. However, "creative" labeling does occur. For example, the Science Diet Lamb Meal and Rice kibble shows Lamb meal first, so you might think that there was more lamb than any other ingredient. Well..... note that the second, third and fourth ingredients are brewers rice, rice flour, and rice gluten. It is quite possible that there are more substandard rice derivatives in this product than lamb.

At the end of the list are my personal opinions and recommendations on what to feed.

Best In Show
(All human grade)
Chicken
Chicken Meal
Barley
Brown Rice
Millet
PO Box 850, Jupiter FL 33468-0850
1-800-DOG-EATS (1-800-364-3287)
Local 561-747-3287, FAX 561-745-0283
bisfood@aol.com
http://www.bestinshowpowerfood.com
California Natural
(All human grade)
Lamb Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Ground Rice
Sunflower Oil
Natura Pet Products
P.O. Box 271
Santa Clara, CA 95052
408-261 0770
800-532-7261 natpetfd@aol.com
http://www.naturapet.com
Diamond Premium Lamb Meal;
Brewers Rice*
Brown Rice
Rice Flour*
Turkey By-Product Meal*
Diamond
PO Box 156
Meta, MO 65058
1-800-442-0402
http://www.diamondpet.com
Eagle Natural Pack Lamb Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Ground Yellow Corn*
Ground Whole Wheat
Chicken Meal
PO Box 506
Mishawaka, IN 46546-0506
1-800-286-4849
ameagle@bccom.com
http://www.eaglepack.com/
Eukanuba Adult Chicken
Chicken by-product meal*
Rice flour*
Ground corn*
Ground grain sorghum*
The IAMS Co
7250 Poe Ave
Dayton OH 45414
1-800-525-4267
http://www.iamsco.com and
http://www.iams.com
customer.service@iams.com
Eukanuba Natural
Lamb & Rice
Lamb
Rice flour*
Ground corn*
Fish Meal
Ground grain sorghum*
The IAMS Co
7250 Poe Ave.
Dayton OH 45414
1-800-525-4267
http://www.iamsco.com and
http://www.iams.com
customer.service@iams.com
Flint River Ranch
(All human grade)
Chicken Meal
Wheat Flour
Ground Rice
Lamb Meal
Poultry Fat
1243 Columbia Ave, B6
Riverside, CA 92507
909-682-5048
Fax: 909-682-5057
Distributor Sites:
http://www.flintriverranch.com/
IAMS Chunks Chicken By-Product Meal*
Ground Corn*
Rice Flour*
Ground grain sorghum
Animal Fat*
The IAMS Co
7250 Poe Ave.
Dayton OH 45414
1-800-525-4267
http://www.iamsco.com and
http://www.iams.com
customer.service@iams.com
IAMS Lamb Meal
and Rice
Lamb Meal
Rice Flour*
Ground Corn*
Ground Grain Sorghum*
Fish Meal
The IAMS Co
7250 Poe Ave.
Dayton OH 45414
1-800-525-4267
http://www.iamsco.com and
http://www.iams.com
customer.service@iams.com
Innova
(All human grade)
Turkey
Chicken
Chicken Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Whole Steamed Potatoes
Natura Pet Products
P.O. Box 271
Santa Clara, CA 95052
408-261 0770
800-532-7261
http://www.naturapet.com
natpetfd@aol.com
Natural Life
Lamb & Rice
Lamaderm
Lamb Meal
Whole Brown Rice
Ground Grain Sorghum*
Oatmeal
Poultry Fat
Natural Life
PO Box 943
Frontenac, KS 66763-2391
1-800-367-2391
http://www.nlpp.com/
Nature's Recipe
Lamb & Rice
Ground Whole Wheat
Lamb Meal
Ground Rice
Wheat Bran
Animal Fat*
Nature's Recipe
1 Riverfront Place
Newport, KY 41071
1-800-843-4008
http://www.petsmart.com
http://www.naturesrecipe.heinzpetproducts.com/pages/index.asp
Nutra Nuggets
Lamb and Rice
Lamb Meal
Brewers Rice*
Brown Rice
Rice Flour*,
Turkey By-Product Meal*
Nutra Nuggets
PO Box 204
St. Thomas, MO 65076
1-800-544-3959
http://www.diamondpet.com
Nutro's Lamb Meal
& Rice
Lamb Meal
Ground rice
Rice Bran*
Rice Flour*
Sunflower Oil
Nutro
445 Wilson Way
City of Industry, CA 91744
1-800-833-5330
http://www.nutroproducts.com/
PetGuard Chicken
Chicken Meal
Ground Whole Brown Rice
Ground Whole Yellow Corn*
Pet Guard, Inc.
PO Box 728
Orange Park, FL 32067-0728
1-800-874-3221
http://www.petguard.com/
customerservice@petguard.com
PHD
(All human grade)
Lamb Meal
Poultry Meal
Brown Rice
Whole Corn*
Poultry Fat
PHD
PO Box 8313
White Plains, NY 10602
1-800-863-3403
http://phdproducts.net/
bonnie@phdproducts.net
Precise
Foundation
Chicken Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Ground Whole Wheat
Ground Yellow Corn*
Poultry Fat
Precise
PO Box 630009
Nacogdoches, TX 75963
800-446-7148
http://www.precisepet.com/dogprod.asp
debbie@netdot.com
Precise
Sensicare formula
Lamb Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Ground Oats
Rice bran*
Linseed meal
Precise
PO Box 630009
Nacogdoches, TX 75963
800-446-7148
http://www.precisepet.com/dogprod.asp
debbie@netdot.com
ProPlan Natural Turkey
Barley
Corn*
Corn Gluten Meal*
Animal Fat*
Ralston Purina
PO Box 1606,
St. Louis MO 63188
1-800-778-7462
http://www.proplan.com
http://www.purina.com/products/products.asp?item=ProPlan
oteam@ralston.com
Quality Care Plus Chicken
Chicken Meal
Ground Brown Rice
Corn Gluten Meal*
Oatmeal
Quality Care Plus
PO Box 1475
Battle Creek, MI 49016-1475
1-616-965-2275
1-800-915-PETS
http://www.qcplus.com
Science Diet
Canine Maintenance
Corn*
Poultry By-Product Meal*
Soybean Meal*
Animal Fat*
Natural Flavors
BHA, PPG, Citric Acid
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
PO Box 148
Topeka KS 66601-0148
1-800-445-5777
http://www.hillspet.com
Science Diet
Lamb Meal & Rice
Lamb Meal
Brewers Rice*
Rice Flour*
Rice gluten*
Poultry Fat
Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc.
PO Box 148
Topeka KS 66601-0148
1-800-445-5777
http://www.hillspet.com
Solid Gold
(All human grade)
USDA Lamb Meal
Whole Ground Millet
Ground Brown Rice
Whole Ground Barley
Amaranth
1483 N. Cuyamaca
El Cajon, CA 92020
1-800-DOG-HUND
619-258-1914 Fax - 619-258-3907
East Coast 1-800-521-0010
E-mail: dane@electriciti.com
http://www.solidgoldhealth.com/
VIP
(All human grade)
Chicken Meal
Turkey Meal
Whole Brown Rice
Brewers Rice*
Whole Oats
Sirius Pet Food Co., Inc
408 Wilson Ave
Mingo Junction OH 43938-1552
1-800-BARK-MEOW
Waltham Rice
Ground Corn*
Chicken by-Product Meal*
Ground Wheat
Corn Gluten Meal*
Kal Kan Pet Care
PO Box 58853
Vernon, CA 90058-0853
1-800-525-5273
http://www.petsource.com/WALTHAM.HTM
Wysong
(All human grade)
Chicken
Ground Whole Corn Grain*
Ground Whole Wheat Grain
Ground Whole Brown Rice
Ground Extruded Whole Soybeans*
1880 N Eastman
Midland, MI 48640
800-748-0233
517-631-0009
http://www.wysong.net

*Animal Fat

  • AAFCO - Animal Fat is obtained from the tissues of mammals and/or poultry in the commercial process of rendering or extracting.
  • Natura - A byproduct of meat meal processing. The origin of the contributing animals is never known, and the resulting oil is very low in linoleic acid — an essential fatty acid that is important for skin and coat health.

*Beet Pulp (Sugar) - CONTROVERSIAL

  • AAFCO - Beet Pulp is the dried residue from sugar beets which has been cleaned and extracted in the process of manufacturing sugar.
  • Natura uses it because - "it as a good source of fiber and a stool hardener". However, it is not found in their Innova or California Natural products.
  • Solid Gold doesn't use it because they believe it is: "Added to pet food to slow down the transition of rancid animal fats (think toxic waste). This holds the waste in. Kidneys and liver work overtime. Dogs may chew their lower backs. Feet may swell, so the dogs lick their feet. Sugar is a contributing factor to ear infections and cataracts".

Beet pulp is rather controversial, many think that it is an excellent additive and source of fiber and that all sugar has been completely extracted before being added as a pet food ingredients. If this is the only "problem" ingredient in a kibble, other factors will have to help you decide.

*Beef Tallow

  • AAFCO - Beef Tallow is obtained from the tissue of cattle in the commercial process of rendering.
  • Natura states: "Although this is a very palatable source of fat, it is low in linoleic acid,which is necessary for skin and coat health"
  • Wendy Volhard in "The Holistic Guide for a Healthy Dog" also shows that beef tallow is a saturated fat whose main purpose is flavoring and palatability of food. Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated fat and the acid should should constitute about 1% of diet.

*Brewers Rice

  • AAFCO - Brewer's Rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice.
  • Natura will not use it because they state it is a "lower quality rice product that is missing many of the nutrients found in Ground Rice and Ground Brown Rice." Solid Gold says that is the sweepings from the floor of the mill.

*Chicken By-Products

  • AAFCO - Chicken By-Products consist of the rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered chicken, such as necks, beaks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines -- exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
  • Natura states that they do not use it because it is an inconsistent ingredient because of the multiple organs used and their constantly changing proportions. Chicken By-Products are much less expensive and less digestible than Chicken Meal.

*Corn Gluten Meal

  • AAFCO - 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.
  • Solid Gold states that it is: "Added to pet food to slow down the transition of rancid animal fats (think toxic waste). This holds the waste in. Kidneys and liver work overtime. Dogs may chew their lower backs. Feet may swell, so the dogs lick their feet. Corn is thought to be the #3 common cause of food allergies in dogs.
  • Natura uses it in cat foods because "Corn Gluten Meal is a plant protein source that is low in ash. It is used in Natura cat foods to balance the natural ash in chicken."

*Ground Corn

  • AAFCO - Ground Corn is the entire corn kernel, ground or chopped.
  • Neither Natura nor Solid Gold use it since: "Although Ground Corn is a good quality source of carbohydrates, it is thought to be the #3 common cause of food allergies in pets.

*Poultry By Product Meal

  • AAFCO - Poultry By-Product Meal consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, beaks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines -- exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.
  • Natura and Solid Gold feel that it is an "Inconsistent ingredient because of the multiple organs used and their constantly changing proportions. The origin is from any fowl (turkeys, ducks, geese, buzzards, etc.) instead of a single source, like chicken. Poultry By-Product Meal is much less expensive and less digestible than Chicken Meal."

*Rice Bran

  • AAFCO - Rice Bran is the outer coating of the rice kernel, with little or none of the starchy part of the germ.
  • Natura and Solid Gold reject it because it is "an inexpensive source of fiber that is considered a filler ingredient", i.e. devoid of nutrient value.

* Rice Flour

  • AAFCO - 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.'
  • Not used by natura or Solid Gold because "This is a highly pre-processed ingredient. All of the naturally occurring vitamins have been leeched out by the processing. Ground Rice with its natural nutrients intact would be preferable."

*Rice Gluten (Glue)

  • AAFCO - Rice Gluten Meal is the dried residue from rice 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 rice starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.
  • Natura does not use Rice Gluten Meal, 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 Rice Gluten Meal. 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. Rice Gluten Meal has a biologic value less than 50% of Chicken Meal.
  • Solid Gold states that any gluten is "Added to pet food to slow down the transition of rancid animal fats (think toxic waste). This holds the waste in. Kidneys and liver work overtime. Dogs may chew their lower backs. Feet may swell, so the dogs lick their feet.

*Sorghum

  • AAFCO - Sorghum is the ground grain of the sorghum plant.
  • Natura alleges that although sorghum is good source of carbohydrates, it is low in digestibility.

*Soybean Meal

  • AAFCO - 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.
  • Natura and Solid Gold state that it 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. 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 Chicken Meal. Some allege that soybeans are the #1 allergy of dogs."


Recommendations

My two goldens get 30% Solid Gold, Innova or California Natural with supplements and 70% natural (human) food, including meats, raw finely grated veggies, some grains/starches, limited dairy/fish.

I could recommend any of the kibbles that use only human grade products. You would need to investigate further to determine accesibility, cost and ascertain that your dog had no allergic reactions to any of the ingredients. I believe that no matter which kibble you choose, you will need a supplement. No kibble, since it is processed at over 120 degrees, can contain all the vitamins,minerals, enzymes that are needed for a well-nourished dog.

If you would like me to send you a scanned message about the top seven foods that I recommend and the specific reasons why, please email me.

Can You Stomach This - You Ask Your Dogs to Do So
The Truth about Commercial Petfood
What's Really in Pet Food

More In Depth Ingredient Listings

There is also a book entitled The Dry Dog Food Reference by Howard D. Coffman that compares almost 200 foods. Besides giving the complete ingredients list, it also has information on understanding pet food labels, nutrient descriptions, AAFCO Official Feed Term & Ingredient Definitions, Primary Ingredient comparisons. It is available from Direct Book Service - 1-800-776-2665

Alternatives to Processed Dog Foods

Processed dog food is just that - processed. While many of the above manufacturers have developed significant expertise in developing the best possible processed dog food, there is not getting away from the fact that raw and natural (just as with homo sapiens) is of much more beneficial quality.


For any questions about this page, please e-mail Mary Ellen R. Lunde at melunde@erols.com

Last Modified 3/7/99


Note: This section of the Canada's Guide to Dogs website is intended as a source of information only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Always consult with your Veterinarian about health related matters.