Pedigree Dog Food (Canned)

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Rating: ★½☆☆☆

Pedigree canned dog food receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1.5 stars.

The Pedigree product line includes 19 canned dog foods.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the Pedigree website, 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 with Beef
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Chicken
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy Country Stew
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Rice
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chunky Beef
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Liver
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chopped Beef
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Barley
  • Pedigree Weight Management Beef and Liver Dinner
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chunky Chicken
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Chicken and Rice
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chopped Chicken
  • Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy with Lamb and Vegetables
  • Pedigree Puppy Meaty Ground Dinner with Lamb and Rice
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chopped Liver and Beef
  • Pedigree Puppy Meaty Ground Dinner with Chicken and Beef
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chunky Turkey and Bacon
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner with Chunky Beef, Bacon and Cheese
  • Pedigree Meaty Ground Dinner Chopped Combo w/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

Protein = 36% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, chicken by-products, chicken, meat by-products, liver, beef, bacon, wheat gluten, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, citrus pectin, minerals (calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), guar gum, cheese, vegetable oil (source of linoleic acid), sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, added color, dried yam, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, onion powder, vitamins (vitamin E, A & D3 supplements, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B], biotin), garlic powder, sodium nitrite (for color retention)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%27%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%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 is chicken by-products, or slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In a nutshell, chicken by-products are those unsavory leftovers usually considered “unfit for human consumption”.

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 is meat by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime cuts have been removed.

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal. So, this meat can come from almost anywhere, even diseased or dying livestock.

Although meat by-products can be high in protein, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The fifth ingredient is 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.

The eighth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in many of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

Next, we find corn gluten meal, another plant-based protein booster.

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 six notable exceptions

First, vegetable oil is 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.

Next, 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 kibble is?

Onion and garlic are controversial items. In rare cases, onion and garlic have been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs3.

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of onion or garlic– especially used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

Additionally, we also 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, 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten and corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pedigree is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of generic meat and chicken by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

04/23/2012 Original review
11/02/2013 Review updated
11/02/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • CONCERNED MOM

    OMG MY DOG ATE SOME OF THIS FOOD AND IT GOT RABIES AND STARTED FOAMING FROM THE MOUTH. HIS POOP WAS LIKE 2 DIFFERENT COLORS AND HIS EYES CHANGED COLORS.

  • http://www.lilledoodles.com Kimberly

    MY 3 YEAR OLD DOG ALSO BECAME VIOLENTLY ILL AND DIED AFTER 4 DAYS. WE HAD TWO DOGS IN THE SAME KENNEL AND GAVE THEM A CAN OF PEDIGREE WET DOG FOOD. THE 3 YEAR OLD DIED AS SHE CONSUMED THE MAJORITY AND THE 14 YEAR OLD WAS VERY SICK WITH ALl THE SAME SYMPTOMS JUST NOT AS SEVERE AS HE ONLY GOT THE RESIDULE THAT WAS LEFT IN THE BOWL. DEHYDRATION, LETHARGIC, VOMITING AND BLOODY STOOLS. THAT IS WHEN I FOUND THE LIST OF ALL THE SAME COMPLAINTS FROM OTHERS WHOSE PETS SUFFERED ALL THE SAME SYMPTOMS AS MINE!!! PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD TO NOT BUY THIS DEADLY FOOD AND PROTECT THE ANIMALS THAT CANT PROTECT THEMSELVES!!! THERE SHOULD BE A RECALL!!!

  • Heidi

    ANY dog can develop cancer. Your just associating this brand to it.
    Our neighbor’s Husky developed cancer at a very young age, and he was on Buffalo Blue brand, which is a high rating.

  • Heidi

    I don’t know……..our dogs have been on this wet and dry food brand for years (10+yrs)! Two Labs, a Schnauzer, and a mix breed. Never had any issues with Pedigree. Our 2 Labs lived to 16yrs old, and our Schnauzer, 18yrs old. We still have our mix pup, 12yrs old.
    Suing? That is going to be real tough to do. You would have to prove that your dog is actually allergic to it.
    Some animals have allergic reactions to certain foods, and yet it can be frustrating.
    All of you that say that your dog has gotten this or that from it, may not actually be because of this brand of food.
    I know some pet owner’s, AND breeders, that are on the Top Brand list of foods, and some still get sick, and have developed cancer, pancreatic etc.

  • middleoftheroad

    I fed it to my Shih Tzu until he was four years old and diagnosed with cancer.

  • Bruce

    This crap gave my dog explosive diarrhea and vomiting after only a third of a can. I have NEVER seen him react to wet food in this manner. It was their vegetable and lamb wet food.

    I’m honestly considering suing these idiots at pedigree for nearly killing my dog when he got severely dehydrated from his body trying to reject it (while spraying it all over every carpet and floor in my home, ruining all of them in the process). I have never seen my dog so sick.

    Do not touch this crap with a ten foot pole. I bought ten cans of it, used one, and threw the rest of it away. Utter crap, and dangerous too. What a waste of cash, I wish I had seen this beforehand. I will never buy this godawful product again.

  • Mania

    LongLegsChick, the reason I “get scared too easily” is because my perfectly healthy and jumpy dog got violently sick after I fed her her first 1/3(!!) can of Pedigree wet food (chopped combo with chicken, beef and liver). I thought it would be a nice treat and she ate up her dinner within 10 minutes. A little while later though, she had severe and bloody diarrhea and couldn’t get out of the house fast enough to relieve herself. When I fed her another 1/3 with her usual dry food, the diarrhea was even worse. So, unless you lack some compassion for our canine friends, feeling worried when our dog falls sick is perfectly normal. So YOU get over your condescending tone and allow for people to care about their pets, sheesh

  • Mike

    Hounddog is very young with a sharp tongue

  • Anna Boone

    longlegchick, while you may not be having any health problems atm with your dog, you could be in the future, and are most likely shortening your pets life span with out knowing it. You may be willing to ignore what is in front of you on your list of ingredience but My dog will most likely live longer than yours based on our difference of opinions.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Do you know that the chicken and other ingredients in this food don’t come from China?

  • LongLegsChick

    Geez, some folks are so gullible you get terrified of every little thing. I have a chichihua 3 years old and have been feeding him this brand of canned food since he was a little puppy and no health problems at all. Clean bill of health with every annual vet check up. Seriously, I don’t know what’s wrong with some of u ppl. You guys just get scared too easily with these scare tactics.

    Just stay away from any dog food and/or products made from China.

  • laboop2u

    Alexia – And dogs could kill or eat dead rats that have been poisoned! Those by products may not come from where you think! They could come from rendering plants that take in roadkill, animals PTS, diseased animals, dead animals from research labs, etc. They grind them all up – some with their flea collars and with maggots. You want to feed your pets these by products knowingly. Check youtube for Rendering plants and see how dog food is really made!

  • Stan DaMann

    I believe she is attracted by the hunting aspect. Dogs love to hunt for food. If you want your dog to eat something and are having trouble getting them to eat it, hide it somewhere where they usually walk, and they will eat it.

  • Betsy Greer

    Dogs love gross stuff like that. Maybe she’s on a protein seeking mission. What are you feeding her?

  • Stan DaMann

    I was reading the posts about dogs eating anything, and now I have to add that lately my dog is hunting dried up worms and eating them. She goes out in concrete/pavement areas that have cracks in them, and finds worms that wandered out and then couldn’t find their way back to ground.

  • TracyB

    DO NOT BUY ANY PEDIGREE PRODUCTS – MAKING ANIMALS SICK AND SOME ARE DYING. MY DOG GOT SICK AFTER EATING PEDIGREE DOG FOODS AND DIED ALL WITHIN FOUR DAYS. OVER 300 COMPLAINTS SINCE AUG 2013 AND STILL NO RECALL! STAY AWAY FROM THIS FOOD.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Don’t forget Baneful!

  • Dena

    It is, I have been told, Careegenan, don’t know if it is fact or not, but the guy that answers the phones for Ziwi Peak, told me that it actually separates from the contents of the food and you can just spoon it off.

  • Dena

    There is also Furina

  • Dena

    You must mean Deadagree right?

  • Cecil Memmers

    Oh noeeezzz! Not Slow-Death-Pedigree! (it’s actual name)
    Some of the snobs on this site are laughable.

  • Pattyvaughn

    My dogs would happily eat the fur too. And I would much rather that they eat mice and rats than Pedigree. I feed my dogs by-products, but they are named by-products, like liver, kidney, lung, trachea, tripe, even eyeballs, and brains. I know what quality they are. You definitely don’t with Pedigree, or what else is in there.

  • GSDsForever

    Dogs and cats will also readily eat antifreeze. What’s your point?

    Just because a dog will naturally eat something does not mean it is good for them.

    There is also tremendous variation in quality and type, as well as quality control standards, among animal byproducts. Generally, it is good to know what species, what specific parts & ratios, what grades of animals (and whether 4D animals are used) and byproducts are allowed, and digestibility.

    And, I’m sorry, but you are very misinformed claiming that Pedigree was the only food not recalled during that incident. There are a number of foods that were not recalled, even though it is true that many were.

    Particularly in the clear were foods not made by the same copacker/manufacturer and foods that did not contain particular ingredients foudn to be contaminated. MenuFoods does not and never has made all other foods besides Pedigree, just as Diamond (another big manufacturer for others) does NOT make all other foods.

    My dog’s food, Timberwolf Organics, has a very good history of safety and responsiveness, and was NOT affected by that recall (China melamine/cyanuric acid) or the previous biggest recall (moldy grains with Diamond). I have fed it for many years with great success and know others who have as well. I am far more confident in every one of its ingredients than I would be in those in Pedigree.

    I’m glad you’re happy with Pedigree and hope your dog(s) continue to do well on it. I would personally trust feeding dozens of other foods over it. There are a lot of good choices out there now.

  • Alexia MacReady

    Dogs will kill a mouse, a rat, a chicken and they’ll eat everything except the fur from nose to butt. Why would I worry about by-products? Dogs love that stuff.

    Pedigree was the ONLY dog food not recalled a few years ago when China was busy poisoning all the other dog foods and dogs were dying in the USA from kidney failure.
    By products are good for dogs. Muscle meat is good for humans.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    dogaware.com has a section on home cooking. There are also several recipe books available to purchase online. Using a Premix is also an option. It takes the guess work out of homemade. All you do is add meat and sometimes oil.

  • Kristy Lynn Hall Howard

    Do you have any certain recipes or websites you might recommend, when choosing to start home cooking for dogs? Thank you for any advice you might be willing to share.

  • hugi

    bad food, dont feed it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1522128470 Donna Criswell Mollaun

    This is the brand that we fed our dogs before I started making their food.

  • JellyCat

     Don’t give this to your dog at all. Especially if you noticed something weird in the can. Although, this food is weird and sketchy in general.

  • John

    Has anyone noticed that Pedigree has a lot more gelatin stuff like in the cans lately?
    The 22 oz can had 6 oz of this stuff in it. Funny thing is when I separated it and put it on a plate next to the wet food my dog went for this mystery gel first. 

  • LabsRawesome

     Prand18, Pedigree uses much worse ingredients than onion powder. Chicken by-products, Meat by-products, wheat gluten, corn gluten, vegetable oil, sodium nitrate. The whole entire product is sketchy.

  • Prand18

    Pedigree uses onion powder in their canned foods…

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    It would be nice if you could politely suggest (or work it in to the conversation lol) a different food for this dog.  I know it’s hard sometimes because talking about dog food and suggesting that someone isn’t doing all they can for their dog is akin to talking about someone’s religion or politics lol.  I have family that I’ve even given up on feeding their animals better…sigh!

  • Marcia

    I do dog boarding and I am currently boarding a dog who is fed primarily Pedigree canned– as reviewed here.   I find that I can barely be in this dog’s presence because there is such a terrible odor wafting from her.  When I open the can, the odor is akin to this.  Most dogs I care for do not have body smells, and that is because they are fed better food.  it is my feeling that garbage in = garbage out.  I feel bad for this dog.  She seems basically healthy, so I don’t think her smell comes from a diseased state.  I have home cooked for my dogs for the last 30+ years and have never had a dog who smelled anything other than sweet.