Pedigree canned dog food receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1.5 stars.
The Pedigree product line includes 25 canned dog foods.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Beef
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Chicken
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chunky Beef
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Country Stew
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Beef and Rice
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chopped Beef
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Beef and Liver
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Beef and Barley
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chunky Chicken
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Chicken and Rice
- Pedigree Homestyle Meals Lamb and Rice Flavor
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chopped Chicken
- Pedigree Weight Management Beef and Liver Dinner
- Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Lamb and Vegetables
- Pedigree Puppy Meaty Ground Dinner Lamb and Rice
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chopped Liver and Beef
- Pedigree Puppy Meaty Ground Dinner Chicken and Beef
- Pedigree Homestyle Meals Chicken and Vegetable Flavor
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chunky Turkey and Bacon
- Pedigree Homestyle Meals Hearty Beef and Vegetable Flavor
- Pedigree Homestyle Meals Chicken, Rice and Vegetable Flavor
- Pedigree Homestyle Meals Prime Rib, Rice and Vegetable Flavor
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chunky Beef, Bacon and Cheese
- Pedigree Homestyle Meals Porterhouse Beef and Vegetable Flavor
- Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chopped Combo Chicken, Beef, and Liver
Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chunky Beef, Bacon, and Cheese was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chunky Beef, Bacon, and Cheese
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, chicken by-products, chicken, meat by-products, animal liver, beef, bacon, citrus pectin, minerals (calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, magnesium proteinate, zinc sulfate, copper lysine complex, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), cheese, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, vegetable oil (source of linoleic acid), dried yam, guar gum, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, added color, xanthan gum, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], biotin), sodium nitrite (for color retention)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||27%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||51%||22%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second ingredient includes chicken by-products, or slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).
Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth ingredient includes meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.
With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergies impossible.
Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.
The fifth ingredient is animal liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The sixth ingredient is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The seventh ingredient is bacon, the cured, fatty meat obtained from the belly of a pig.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With five notable exceptions…
First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
Next, we note the use of vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).
Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable cannot be considered a quality ingredient.
In addition, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any dog food. Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you, not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
Next, we note the presence of sodium nitrite, a controversial color preservative. Sodium nitrite has been linked to the production of cancer-causing substances (known as nitrosamines) when meats are exposed to high cooking temperatures.
And lastly, with the exception of magnesium, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Pedigree Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pedigree canned dog food looks like a below-average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of wheat gluten contained in some recipes, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Pedigree is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named and generic meats and by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Pedigree Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Pedigree Dog Food Recall Expanded (9/1/2014)
- Pedigree Dog Food Recall (8/27/2014)
- Pedigree Dog Food Recall (6/30/2012)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
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Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
11/03/2016 Last Update