Dog Food Information

Dog Food Ingredients – Terms used in the Dog Food Comparison Charts


Alfalfa Meal
The finely ground product of the alfalfa plant.
Is considered to be the father to all grains that are currently grown. It is thought to be a superior source of carbohydrates, minerals and rich flavor.
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.
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.
Cereal Food Fines
The by-product of breakfast cereal production which consists of particles of the foods.
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.
Corn Meal (also called ground corn or corn chop)
The entire corn kernel ground or chopped. It must contain no more than 4% foreign material.
Flaxseed (also called 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.
Grain Sorghum
A variety of sorghum that is high in nitrogen and grown especially for the rounded, starchy seeds. The grain serves as a substitute 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.
Grass Sorghum
A variety of sorghums grown green pasture feed and hay.
Ground Grain Sorghum
Made by grinding grain sorghum.
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; an excellent fiber source and is clinically proven to lower LDL cholesterol.
The endosperm of durum wheat is called semolina, high protein used in fine pasta.
Sorghum is a member of the Grass family and is closely related to our native prairie grasses. There are about 30 species of sorghum grasses raised for grains. They can be classified into 4 groups – grain sorghums (milo), grass sorghums (hay), sweet sorghums (sweeteners and syrups), and broom corn (for brooms and brushes).
Soybean Meal
By-product of the production of soybean oil.
Sweet Sorghum
A variety of sorghums used to produce sorghum syrups such as molasses.  These varieties have a sweet juicy stem. Animal feeds and silage can also be made for the sweet sorghums.
Meats and Meat By-Products
Animal By-Products
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.
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.
Bone Meal and Meat 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.
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.
Dehydrated Eggs
Whole poultry eggs which are dried.
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.
Meat By-Products
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.
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%.
Poultry By-Products
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.
A fish that is an excellent source of protein and fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Whole Fresh Eggs
This is the highest rated source of usable protein, ranking above all meats and meat products. Shells are a great source of calcium carbonate, which builds strong healthy teeth.
Fruits and Vegetables
Beet Pulp
The dried residue from production of sugar from sugar beets.
Are used as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals they also provide a flavor that both dogs and cats love.
Has calcium, high in vitamins C and 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.
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.)
An excellent source of vitamins and minerals with a flavor that both dogs and cats enjoy.
Abundant in carotenoids, beta-carotene, and vitamins A and C. They are also an antioxidant, acidifier and a fiber source.
Turnip Greens
Contains some calcium, Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and C.
Probiotics are dietary supplements containing potentially beneficial bacteria or yeast.  Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are the most commonly used probiotic.  Probiotic bacterial cultures are intended to assist the body’s naturally occurring flora within the digestive tract to reestablish themselves. They are sometimes recommended by doctors, and, more frequently, by nutritionists, after a course of antibiotics, or as part of the treatment for candidiasis. Many probiotics are present in natural sources such as lactobacillus in yogurt and sauerkraut. Claims are made that probiotics strengthen the immune system and provide for more efficient utilization of food.  Animal studies demonstrate their ability to lower serum cholesterol.  It is important to note that probiotics are heat sensitive.
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.
Blue-Green Algae
Blue-green algae (BGA) is a type of bacteria (cyanobacteria) that grow in water and are photosynthetic.  Nontoxic BGA species include Spirulinais associated with increased energy, improved immune response and promoting normal cholesterol levels.  High in omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, B-12, all essential amino acids, sulfonolipids and glycolipids, diverse spectrum of vitamins, BGA contains a 95% usable protein complex, 17 bata-carotenoids, thousands of enzymes, and a vast mineral array.   Illnesses associated with BGA include gastroenteritis (abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea), liver toxicity, and kidney toxicity.
Dried Kelp (Seaweed)
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 trilodothyronine. 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, thereby improving the overall health and performance of your dog.The maximum percentage of salt and minimum percentage of potassium and iodine must be declared.
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.
A natural means of eliminating parasites.  Garlic provides a good source of potassium, zinc, selenium, and vitamin C. Garlic has been found to have effective antimicrobial properties, inhibiting the growth of both bacteria and fungi. Garlic helps stabilize blood pressure and gives a good solid boost to the immune system, keeping at bay infections of various sorts particularly upper respiratory tract infections.
Ginkgo Biloba
A tree leave that claims to improve mental and memory functions of older animals by increasing blood flow to the brain. It is also believed to help improve hearing and equilibrium.  Generally considered safe but may cause headache, GI distress and inhibit blood clotting. Note:  Herb-Drug Interaction – Ginko Biloba interferes with anti-clotting drugs and blood thinning agents.
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.  May relieve pain and improve mobility, but additional research studies are need to confirm these claims. 
This phospholipid is a good source of energy and omega 3 fatty acids; lowers blood cholesterol levels and increases dog’s digestion of fat and fatty acids. It is believed to that it strengthens arteries thus controlling blood pressure. It also helps to reduce the fat content within arterial walls.
Olive Oil
Is monounsaturated, one of the finest sources of fat and lowers LDL (harmful) blood cholesterol.  The useful fat in olive oil helps carry important vitamins through your pet’s body like A, D, E and K.
Peanut Hulls
The outer hull of the peanut shell, used in dog food for filler or fiber and have no significant nutritional value. 
Shark Cartilage
This is an excellent source of calcium and it is also believed that it will help strengthen bones and prevent osteoarthritis.
Butylated hydroxyanisole preservative generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid.  It is found in butter, meats, cereals, chewing gums, beer and snack foods.  It is also used as a preservative in cosmetics, rubber products and petroleum products.  BHA which has been associated with liver damage, fetal abnormalities, and metabolic stress.  It may contribute to carcinogencity (cancer) and/or tumorgencity (development of tumors), and may have an antiviral and anti-microbial activity associated with it.  Research is underway concerning the use of BHT in the treatment of herpes simplex and AIDS.
Patented in 1947, butylated hydroxytoluene is a fat-soluble compound used as a preservative in food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, jet fuels, petroleum products and rubber.  Serious concerns have been raised about the use of BHT in food products, which has been associated with liver damage, fetal abnormalities, and metabolic stress.  BHT is a suspected mutagen and carcinogen.  BHT has been banned for use in Japan, Romania, Sweden and Australia.  The USA has barred it from being used in infant foods.
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
A white powder used in bakery products as a mold inhibitor; may act as a skin, eye or respiratory irritant.
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
A mild preservative, primary use is as a food preservative.  Potassium sorbate is used to inhibit molds and yeast growth in cheese, wine, yogurt, dried fruits, and baked goods. This gentle preservative is considered to be safe and mild because of its long term safety record and non-toxic profile. Potassium sorbate is non-irritating and non-sensitizing. Allergic reactions are very rare and it is well tolerated when administered internally.
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.
Miscellaneous Ingredients
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.

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