In our new series of articles, we’ll be diving deep into some popular pet food brands to see if they really are healthy for your dog.
In this article, we’re taking a closer look at the Pedigree dog food brand. We’ll examine the ingredients, nutritional values, the company’s history, and more to help you become an informed consumer.
Is Pedigree a good dog food?
No, we can’t recommend Pedigree as a good dog food. When it comes to dog foods, Pedigree really is the bottom of the barrel. There’s very little that’s redeeming here, and their packaging is honestly extremely misleading.
While the package shows pictures of tasty meats and healthy veggies, the truth is, this food is really a meat flavored dog cereal. It has very little nutritional value, and almost every ingredient is downright horrible.
If you’d like to know the full story, then keep reading. If not, we’d suggest picking up a healthier food for your dog, because Pedigree is not it. If you need a suggestion then you can see some of our top picks below.
PS. If you need to save some cash on a healthy dog food for your best friend, then Chewy will give you a great deal. You’ll get 30% off for your first auto-ship order, and then 5-10% for every order after that!
Psst! Need a healthier dog food? Try one of these!
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Pedigree Ingredient Analysis
Pedigree Adult Complete Roasted Chicken, Rice, and Vegetables Ingredients
Ground Whole Grain Corn, Meat And Bone Meal Source Of Calcium, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat Source Of Omega 6 Fatty Acids Preserved With BHA & Citric Acid, Soybean Meal, Natural Flavor, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Rice, Choline Chloride, Dried Peas, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Vitamin B3, Biotin, Dried Carrots, L-Tryptophan, BHA & Citric Acid A Preservative, Blue 2, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, D-Calcium Pantothenate Source Of Vitamin B5, Riboflavin Supplement Vitamin B2, Red 40, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Vitamin B6, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
The first few ingredients for a dog food are the most important ones. That’s because pet food manufacturers are required to list ingredients in order of prominence. That means if you see an ingredient way down the list, then it’s almost non-existent in the food.
This is important, because sometimes pet food manufacturers will try to misrepresent how much of a high-quality ingredient is in the food. Don’t be fooled by pretty pictures on the package, all that matters is the ingredients list!
So, let’s see what Pedigree’s ingredient list has to say about this food by examining the first five.
#1 – Ground Whole Grain Corn
Whole many people equate whole grains with healthy, the truth is, this is just a grain. It’s a cheap filler item that pet food manufacturers like to include because it saves them money, but it offers little nutritional value for your dog.
Having corn listed as the first ingredient is a sure sign that you’re buying a cheap dog food, and at beanietoes, we avoid corn at all costs in the foods we feed our furry ambassadors. Always make sure the foods you buy have a high-quality meat in the first spot like salmon or turkey.
#2 – Meat and Bone Meal
The second ingredient is an unnamed mystery meat product. This is a garbage ingredient with questionable origins made from whatever bone and meat bits are laying around, including euthanized animals.
This scary ingredient could literally be anything, and it’s often difficult for dogs to digest. If your pup has problems with vomiting or diarrhea, then a mystery meat ingredient may be to blame.
If your dog has allergies, then it also makes it impossible to figure out what they are when feeding them ingredients like this.
#3 – Corn Gluten Meal
It wasn’t enough apparently to have the first ingredient as corn, so Pedigree added some more! This is actually a product that’s made from processing corn.
Budget pet food manufacturers add this so that they can boot the protein to acceptable requirements since they don’t include much in the way of real meat. Dogs need meat, and this is not an acceptable substitution.
#4 – Animal Fat
While this doesn’t seem that horrible, it’s the fact that they won’t say where the fat sourced that makes this one bad. This ingredient could be sourced from literally anything, which includes animals which have died from diseases or other unknown causes.
Some pet foods recently were recalled for containing trace amount of Pentobarbital, a euthanasia drug, which likely entered the pet food from the usage of these “4D” grade meats.
#5 – Soy Bean Meal
This ingredient, like the corn gluten meal, is intended to up the protein rating for the food, because there’s little meat to do the job.
In short, it’s really just another cheap filler product to take the place of truly nutritious ingredients.
The ingredients really don’t improve from here, and it’s safe to say that this food is really just full of cheap fillers and slaughterhouse waste. Hence the score that we’ve given this manufacturer for their foods.
While we’ve given them a few points for “affordability”, we feel bad doing so, because ingredients like this are never really a “deal”. Especially when the package shows pictures of tasty and healthy foods which clearly are not in this bag anywhere.
Pedigree Nutritional Breakdown
The ingredients don’t always tell the whole story for a pet food brand, so we’re also going to dive into the nutritional breakdown as well.
In this section, we’ll look at the protein, carbohydrates, and the fat in this recipe to see how balanced it is.
Is Pedigree good for dogs nutritionally?
Below you can see a pie chart which gives a visual breakdown of the nutritional break down for Pedigree’s dog foods.
While there will be slight differences between flavors, most manufacturers tend to stick pretty close to a nutritional profile. That makes this a fairly reliable way to judge the brand itself.
The first thing you’ll likely notice on the chart is just how large the slice dedicated to carbohydrates is. This food is more than 50% carbohydrates, and that’s bad news for dogs.
Dogs who eat a large number of carbohydrates are often obese, and this leads to many health problems down the line, including canine diabetes.
The protein ratio is also pretty pathetic, thanks to the paltry meat offering in this food, and we’d prefer a much higher number here.
Though honestly, the meat protein rating for this food would be even lower, because pretty much all of the protein is coming from the corn and soy beans and not from meat products, unfortunately.
While the fat rating isn’t horrible, it could be better, and we already know that they’re using low quality fats anyway, which makes this really just extra calories with no real benefits for your dog, other than adding some flavoring to Pedigree’s nasty meat cereal for dogs.
If you want to feed your pup a healthier diet, then look for a dog food which is much lower in carbohydrates and much higher in high-quality meat proteins like chicken, salmon, duck, or turkey.
Pedigree Company History
In the early 1930’s, the Chappell Brothers company, based in Manchester, began selling a canned dog food product. This product was manufactured using low-quality meats, and then marketed as Chappie Dog Food.
Mars continued to grow their pet food business, changing the company name from Chappie to PetFoods LTD to accommodate their growing line of products.
Eventually, this was changed again to Pedigree Pet Foods LTD in the 70s, shortly after Mars acquired struggling Kal Kan pet foods. Kal Kan’s foods then began using the Pedigree brand name to sell pet foods outside of the United States.
Today, Mars owns many different pet brands and services. This includes Pedigree, Caesar, Chappie, Eukanuba, Crave, Iams, Greenies, Sheba, Whiskas, Wisdom Panel, Royal Canin, Banfield pet hospitals, VCA Animal hospitals, and other brands as well.
Where is Pedigree made?
Pedigree says that its products are made in the United Sates, but we could not confirm whether the ingredients are sourced from the US or not. You may also need to check the labels for each product, because some treats don’t seem to display the made in the USA labeling and may be made elsewhere.
Has Pedigree ever been recalled?
Yes, Pedigree has been recalled several times during the brands history. This includes recalls for metal fragments and salmonella.
While having recalls in a brands history don’t necessarily mean that the brand will be recalled again, sometimes repeated recalls could reveal quality control issues.
Pedigree Recall History
- August 2014 – Dry dog foods recalled for possible metal fragments
- June 2012 – Wet dog foods recalled for potential choking hazard (plastic pieces)
- September 2008 – Dry dog foods recalled for salmonella contamination
- August 2008 – Dry dog foods recalled for salmonella contamination
It’s also important to keep in mind that this recall list is only for Pedigree specifically. Mars owns many pet food brands, and those have all had their own recalls.
This includes some of which that were involved in the melamine recall that killed many pets.
Complaints about Pedigree
Complaints from consumers are numerous regarding sick dogs. Most of these animals have experienced lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and bloody stools.
It’s not really a surprise. Pedigree’s low-quality ingredients can often be difficult on many dogs, and the fact that they use products which often contain questionable meats is also worrying.
Many consumers have noticed these issues disappearing after switching their dogs to a higher quality food.
There’s, of course, also the quality control issues. Mars inc, which owns Pedigree, has had several recalls for foods containing plastic or metal pieces which present a choking hazard to pets who gobble their food without looking.
Inspections had found that the company had not completed repairs to their facilities as promised, further putting more dogs in danger from these hazards.
The resulting facility inspection also found that one of their factories was infested with roaches, and that they failed to follow proper handling procedures for food safety.
Mars officials were also found to be interfering with FDA inspections, which included not allowing the inspectors to take photographs, not allowing them to review consumer complaints, and not providing photo copies of important records for consumer complaints, pest control, and shipping processes.
This is troubling to say the last, and any pet parents who currently feed their pups Pedigree should reconsider based on these factors alone.
However, even if we only consider the food itself, it’s composed of low value ingredients that come from questionable sources. While many pet parents purchase Pedigree due to its price, the truth is, you’re not even getting a good value since you’re not really paying for anything but junk.
We would encourage you to start your dogs on a better food as soon as possible. If you don’t know what food you should get for them, then we have a few recommendations for you below.
All of the below foods use only high-quality, named meat proteins, healthy fruits and veggies, and they don’t have a glut of carbohydrates or useless fillers.
While these foods will cost more than Pedigree, you’re paying for quality. Try to remember that purchasing a healthy food for your dog is an investment in their health and it increases the number of years that you get to spend with them.
Need a healthier option? Here’s our recommended dry foods!
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PS. If cost is an issue, then you can save 30% on your first auto-ship order at Chewy. Plus, you’ll get 5-10% off every order after that by purchasing your pet food online!
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