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Some companies use clever ways to trick you into thinking the brand has more meat than it actually does. Let me explain with an example. Listed below are the top 10 ingredient of two brands. Let’s compare them.


Brand A Brand B

Fresh boneless chicken

Ground Whole Corn

Dehydrated chicken meat

Meat and Bone Meal


Corn Gluten Meal

Chicken fat

Animal fat

Dehydrated whole eggs

Soybean meal

Fresh herring, Dehydrated herring

Ground Whole wheat, Brewers Rice

Fibre Vegetable of Peas

Dried Plain Beet Pulp

Dried carrots

Natural Flavour

Dried alfalfa


When evaluating pet food ingredient listings, Always stop and consider these factors:

  • The first ingredient by weight is the most important because there is more of that ingredient than any other. All dog foods must list the ingredients of their food in order of weight. When you compare the labels below, you see the first ingredient in Brand A is real deboned chicken. In contrast, the first ingredient in Brand B pet food is ground yellow corn (which has very little nutritional value, and has been linked to allergies in some dogs).
  • The top 10 ingredients usually comprise 80% or more of a dry pet food's entire formula and give you a real insight into the formula’s overall quality. For example, if you compare the top 10 ingredients in BRAND A dog food to Brand B, the differences in ingredient quality are clear.
  • Some pet food brands define their ingredients in several different ways so that the ones of lower quality appear further down the ingredient list. For example, a product list could contain chicken, ground corn, corn gluten, ground wheat and corn bran. And, if you were to group all of the corn ingredients as one, they might far out-weigh the amount of chicken in that food, and be the first listed ingredient.
  • Be sure to read all of the ingredients at the end of the listing to know if any artificial preservatives and colourings are being used.



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September 26, 2014 by barksnlicks team

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