Understanding Dog Foods and Dog Food Labels


 

This page has been taken from The Food Comparison Chart Hompage


Much of this information comes from the AAFCO (Association of Animal Feed Control Officals) Handbook
DISSECTING THE FOOD LABEL - PART II
By Earl Wolfe

Grains
Meats and Meat by-Products 

Fruits and Veggies

Misc 

Preservatives


Some of this information came off the dog food bags, cans, etc. No one company or distributor has compiled or produced a chart that I know of which compares the major brands of dog foods at this time and has made it FREE for you to use.
These charts are meant to give you some idea as to what goes into the food we feed our pets. These charts are**NOT** meant to tell you what to buy or feed your pet. Their purpose is to show you what goes into dog food, and that is all. Only you can determine what to feed your pet!!
DOG FOOD INGREDIENTS
(These are the terms used in the Dog Food Comparison Charts)

Grains 

Amaranth - Is considered to be the father to all grains that are currently grown. It is considered to be a superior source of carbohydraes, minerals and rich flavor
Corn Gluten Meal - The by-product after the manufacture of corn syrup or starch which is the dried residue after the removal of the bran, germ, and starch.
Alfalfa Meal - The finely ground product of the alfalfa plant.
Semolina - The endosperm of durum wheat is called semolina, high protein used in fine pasta.
Barley - At least 80% good quality barley; no more than 3% heat damaged kernels, 6 percent foreign material, 20% other grains or 10% wild oats.
Barley Flour - The soft finely ground barley meal obtained from the milling of barley.
Ground Corn (also called Corn Meal or Corn Chop) - The entire corn kernel ground or chopped. It must contain no more than 4% foreign material.
Brewer's Rice - The small fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from larger kernels of milled rice.
Brown Rice - The unpolished rice left over after the kernels have been removed.
Soybean Meal - By-product of the production of soybean oil.
Grain Sorghum - Sorghum is a member of the Grass family. There are many different varieties. They can be clasified into 4 groups. 
Grain Sorghums 
Grass Sorghums 
Sweet Sorghums 
Broomcorn 

Broomcorn is grown for the brush or brances of the seed cluster. The fibers are used in the manufacture of brooms. 
Sweet Sorghums of sorgos, have a sweet juicy stem. These are used to produce sorghum syrup. Animal Feeds and silage can also be made for the sweet sorghums. 
Grass Sorghums are grown for green feed and hay but can be found in Kansas fields of weeds. Two types are Sudan and Johnson grass. 
Grain Sorghums are grown especially for the rounded, starchy seeds. The grain Serves as A substitue for corn in feeding animals. Some grain sorghums grow as much as 15 feet high. The entire plant can be used to make silage. World wide, common grain sorghums include milo, durra and kafir. 
Ground Grain Sorghum - Made by grinding grains of sorghum.
Cereal Food Fines - The by-product of breakfast cereal production which consists of particles of the foods.
Flaxseed - Is also known as Linseed. It is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Once a container of this is open it will spoil rapidly. It is best to keep it under refrigeration.
Linseed Meal - The residue of flaxseed oil production, ground into a meal.
Mesquite Bean Meal- This is full of essential nutrients, helps regulate blood sugar, and is an excellent source of carbohydrates.
Oatmeal - Is a heart smart food that is an excellent fiber source and is clinically proven to lower cholesterol.

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Meats and Meat by-Products 

Meat or Meat Based - Meat is the clean flesh of slaughtered cattle, swine, sheep or goats. The flesh can include striated skeletal muscle, tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus, overlying fat, and the portions of skin, sinew, nerves, and blood vessels normally found with that flesh.
Meat Meal - Rendered meal made from animal tissue. It cannot contain hair, hoof, blood, horn, hide trimmings, stomach or rumen (the first stomach) contents, or manure except for amounts that may not be avoided during processing. It cannot contain any added foreign matter and may not contain more than 14% indigestible materials. Indigestible crude protein in the meal cannot be more than 11%.
Meat By-Product - Clean parts of slaughtered animals, not including meat. These parts include lungs, kidneys, brain, spleen, liver, bone, blood, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, stomach, and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, teeth, hooves or horns. Only 14% may be indigestible residue and no more than 11% indigestible crude protein.
Chicken Liver - Organic meat , highly usable protein source containing vitamins A , K and Foliate. It also contains minerals Phosphorus and potassium. Many Amino Acids are also found in Chicken Liver.
Poultry By-Product - Clean parts of slaughtered poultry, such as heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, feet, abdomen, intestines, and heads and must not contain feces or foreign matter except that which is unavoidable and then only in trace amounts.
Poultry By-Product Meal - Made up of ground, rendered, and clean parts of slaughtered poultry, such as undeveloped eggs, necks, feet, and intestines. It does not contain feathers except those which are unavoidable during processing.
Dehydrated Eggs - Whole poultry eggs which are dried.
Meat and Bone Meal - Rendered from meat and bone, but it does not include hair, blood, horn, hoof, manure, hide trimmings, stomach, or rumen contents except that which is unavoidable during processing. It does not include any foreign matter. Like meat meal, only 14% may be indigestible residue and no more than 11% indigestible crude protein.
Whole Fresh eggs - This is the Highest rated source of usable Protein, and rates above all meats and meat products. Shells are a great source of Calcium Carbonate good for strong healthy teeth.
Beef Tallow - This is the Very Hard white fatty substance which is rock hard and looks like a bone. Most dogs have great difficulty in digesting this substance.
Animal By-Product Meal - Consists of rendered animal tissue which does not fit in any of the other categories. It cannot contain hoof, hide trimmings, extra hair, horn, stomach or rumen contents, manure or any foreign matter.
Animal Digest - A powder or liquid made by taking clean under-composed animal tissue and breaking it down using chemical and or emblematic hydrolysis. It does not contain horn, teeth, hair, hooves, or feathers except in trace amounts which are unavoidable, Digest names must be descriptive of their contents....that is, chicken digest must be made from chicken and beef digest made from beef.
Fish Meal - Clean, dried, and ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings which may or may not have the oil removed. It is also considered an excellent source for Omega 3 fatty acids. 
Salmon - Excellent source of protein and fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6.

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Fruits and Veggies 

Turnip Greens - Contains some calcium, Omega-3 and vitamin A & C.
Tomatoes - Abundant in carotenoids, beta-carotene, and vitamins A & C. They are also an acidifier and a fiber source.
Peas and Carrots - Are used as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals they also provide a flavor that both dogs and cats love.
Oranges - Contain the pure Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) good for immune support, reduces cholesterol, powerful anti-cancer tool. A natural preservative and a digestive cleanser, The peel contains oils that stimulate the immune system ( used in cancer treatment.)
Grapefruit - Has calcium, high in vitamin C & A, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin K, carbohydrates, and increases the effectiveness of nutrient absorption and potency of other fruits and vegetables when combined. It acts as a preservative and lowers cholesterol. Combines with orange to form and effective cancer fighting tool.
Beet Pulp - The dried residue from production of sugar from sugar beets.

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Misc 

Biotin - Vitamin essential to cellular metabolism, it helps metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Biotin prevents anemia, muscular pain, and skin disorders. It also helps prevent heart disease. Is a concentrated, non-processed natural food source of active enzymes, probiotics cultures, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and various other micronutrient.
Dried Whey - The thin part of milk separated from the curd, or thicker part, when milk coagulates. Dried whey is this milk part, dried, and is not less than 11% protein or less than 61% other grains or 10% wild oats.
Probiotics and Probiotics - This is the natural micro-flora like enzymes and friendly bacteria that help in the digestive process. They provide for more efficient utilization of food. It is important to note that they are also heat sensitive.
Peanut Hulls - The outer hull of the peanut shell.
Dried Kelp or Dried Seaweed - The maximum percentage of salt and minimum percentage of potassium and iodine must be declared.
Ginkgo Biloba - This is a rejuvenating herb that helps with memory and mental functions of older animals by increasing blood flow to the brain. It is also believed to help improve hearing and equilibrium.
Glucosamine - This is made up of sugars (glucose) and amino acids (glutamine). It is the general believed that it also help in the treatment of osteoarthritis by helping to develop health bones and cartilage.
Fossil Mineral Flour - Finely ground Coral and Fossilized rock. These tiny crystals are eaten by parasites in the intestinal tract and lead to their expulsion from the body. It is one of natures ways of eliminating parasites. Another is Garlic
Lecithin - A Rich Nutrient that lowers Blood Cholesterol levels. It is believed to that it strengthens arteries thus controlling blood pressure. It also helps to reduce the fat content within arterial walls.
Blue-Green Algae - Humectant, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, High in B-12, all essential amino acids, sulfonolipids and glycolipids, diverse spectrum of vitamins, contains a 95% usable protein complex, 17 bata-carotenoids, thousands of enzymes, and a vast mineral array.
Olive Oil - Is monounsaturated, one of the finest sources of fat and lowers blood cholesterol especially the most harmful variety. The useful fat in olive oil helps carry important vitamins through your pet's body like A, D, E and K.
Apple Cider Vinegar - Contains cholesterol-reducing pectin and the perfect balance of 19 minerals. It contains 93 different components that can help regulate blood pressure, fight off infections, relieve arthritis pains, promote healthy digestion, and improve metabolism. Cleans out toxins from tissues and joints.
Shark Cartilage - This is an excellent source of Calcium and it is also believed that it will help strengthen bones and prevent osteoarthritis.

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Preservatives

(These terms are also used in the Dog Food Comparison Charts)
Brine - Is a pickling solution. Poured off after pickling leaving only a minimal salt residue.
Brown Sugar - Used as a pickling agent, moisture stabilizer, and a source of minerals.
Calcium Propionate -This chemical has been around for a long time. 
BHA and BHT - These are both preservatives. BHA is butylated hydroxyanisole. BHT is butyhlated hydroxytoluene. Both BHA and BHT have been associated with liver damage, fetal abnormalities, and metabolic stress. They also have a questionable relationship to cancer.
Ethoxyquin - This preservative has been the most highly debated item in dog foods for the last several years. It is a chemical preservative that has been widely used to prevent spoilage in dog foods. It is alleged that ethoxyquin has caused cancer, liver, kidney and thyroid dysfunctions, reproductive failure, and more, although the allegations have not been proven in tests to date.
Potassium Sorbate - This chemical has been around for a long time.
Propylene Glycol - This chemical preservative was designed for use in antifreeze, oil and waxes. It causes irregularities in the red blood cells of cats. Dogs and Cats can become addicted to it. It can cause skin problems, hair loss, dull coat, diarrhea, overweight and even death in both dogs and cats.
Sodium Nitrate - Used both as a food coloring (RED) and as a preservative. When used as a preservative, it produces carcinogenic substances called nitrosamines.
NOTE: Accidental ingestion of sodium nitrate by people can be fatal.
Tocopherols (Vitamins C and E) - Naturally occurring compounds used as natural preservatives. Tocopherols function as antioxidants, preventing the oxidation of fatty acids, vitamins, and some other nutrients. These are being used more frequently as preservatives, as many dog owners are more concerned about chemical preservatives. Tocopherols have a very short shelf life, especially once the bag of food has been opened.

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