Pedigree Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Pedigree Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Pedigree product line includes ten dry dog foods.

Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Pedigree Puppy Growth and Protection
  • Pedigree Healthy Longevity Chicken Flavor
  • Pedigree Healthy Weight Complete Nutrition
  • Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Lamb Flavor
  • Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Steak Flavor
  • Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition Chicken Flavor
  • Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Steak Flavor
  • Pedigree Small Dog Healthy Longevity Salmon Flavor
  • Pedigree Large Dog Complete Nutrition Chicken Flavor
  • Pedigree Small Dog Complete Nutrition Chicken Flavor

Pedigree Large Dog Complete Nutrition Chicken Flavor was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pedigree Large Dog Complete Nutrition Chicken Flavor

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 25% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 56%

Ingredients: Ground whole grain corn, poultry by-product meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), corn gluten meal, animal fat (source of omega 6 fatty acids [preserved with BHA & citric acid]), meat and bone meal (source of calcium), soybean meal, ground whole grain wheat, brewers rice, natural flavor, chicken by-product meal, dried plain beet pulp, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dried peas, zinc sulfate, dl-methionine, monocalcium phosphate, 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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis22%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis25%11%56%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%26%51%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 26% | Carbs = 51%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

The second ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry 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).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

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

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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 fourth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The fifth ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

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 allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

The sixth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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 seventh ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The eighth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

After the natural flavor, we find chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from 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 feathers.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

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, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

Next, dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, 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.

We’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

And lastly, this food is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

Pedigree Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pedigree Dog Food looks like a below-average dry 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 25%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 56%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, soybean meal and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pedigree is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of poultry by-product or meat and bone meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

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
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

09/17/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  • Sierra McPherson

    Don’t.ever.buy.predigree.dog.food. not the dry food and not the wet food. Its horrible an will make ur dog vomit every meal and have diarrhea and they will have blood in their poop, and eventually become constipated and only poop blood. We got our dog in sept. 16′ and she was being fed the puppy dry food and eventually we switched her to alpo. in Feb.17′ she got a uti and started throwing up on her meds, after we balanced her diet back, we decided to switch her to adult pedigree, and she started throwing up just about every meal after 2 weeks of eating it. we thought it was because she was eating kitty poop, but after we solved that problem, she continued throwing up. we thought maybe its because shes not a year old yet(she was born july16′) and that it was too much for her tummy, so we switched her to the steak,chicken, and county stew chunk wet food, and although she stopped throwing up(as much, she was still throwing up every other day), she started to get diarrhea, then she started getting blood in her poop. We knew at this point it had to be the brand, we googled some reviews and everything we found was horrible. most everyone who feeds their dog this food has the EXACT same issues .also, I should point out that one day a while back when she puked, there was an unexplainable blue plastic piece in it, and when we looked at reviews people have had the same exaxct blue pieces in their dog food. this brand of dog food needs to be recalled for good!!!! Now, we make chicken and rice for her as much as possible, and when we cant, we give her Rachel ray dog food. You have been warned!!

  • Lisangela Gonzalez

    My pitbull we had for almost 10 years and throughout those 10 years we have been feeding him pedigree and everything was all well he was normal and healthy but the last bag we got ,most likely in December, was a Bad batch… we found out through one of these sites that pedigree wasn’t a good brand for dogs and we also saw that alot of people’s dogs were becoming really unhealthy and getting sick. It got to the point where some of their dogs passed away. My dog was one of those victims who got very ill.. he shedded, didn’t want to eat and drink water, didn’t use the bathroom, breathing hard, and also throwing up alot. After almost two weeks of going through this he got better then a couple of days later he got ill again. On February 16, 2017 my dog, Turbo, started to throw up again and a couple minutes later he collapsed… my dog passed away that day. And just letting you know i am a customer of pedigree and i did go through this and suffered the worst day of my life. Never will i ever forget what pedigree did to my pitbull turbo.. RIP Turbo Gonzalez 2/16/17

  • InkedMarie

    That’s great but you’re posting in the Pedigree dog food review.Thats why I suggested posting in the RR review

  • Loo-loo

    The reviews are all over the place… Some people love it some people hate… I really wanted somebody that used a product that would give me pros and cons

  • rreighe

    Read reviews and information on many different websites, forums, and subreddits/reddit threads. You’ll notice patterns after a few weeks of a lot of researching. Main reason not to go to one site or only one thread is you don’t know if the author or commenter is a shill or a paid slanderer- or a legit customer or expert. But you’ll pick on these things after looking all over the place.

  • InkedMarie

    How about reading the review for Rachel Ray food?

  • Loo-loo

    Anybody know anything about Rachel Ray… My new dog is 11 months old and I started him with Rachel Ray dry and a quarter cup of blue buffalo …Anybody know anything about Rachel Ray?

  • HippyNouveau

    Don’t forget that they may have just opted to translate it differently… a by-product is a derivative… and not necessarily a bad thing…
    1- organs are by products, or derivatives, but we all know that the heart, livers, and even brains of some animals are chock full of protein and are higher in fats that are GOOD for animals to eat (especially mothers and young puppies, sometimes I wonder about older dogs as well)… but so is a beak, a hoof, a feather… and those things are not so good for animals. Since my Spanish is only faltering, I couldn’t fathom a true guess but I wish you luck (I still would NOT feed that bag…)

  • HippyNouveau

    Merrick is made by Purina. Another problem is people THINK they know “who” makes a food, and that the maker is all that matters.

    My 17 year old dog (large breed, BORDER COLLIE which is one of the HEALTHIEST of breeds because they’re bred for health and skill over looks and titles) ate Pedigree for 13 years (my parents didn’t believe in good food for dogs). I swapped him when he was 13 to a rotational diet…raw rabbit, fine ground and frozen, never refridgerated, Sunday mornings… fast Sunday nights…

    Monday through Saturday he gets Dave’s brand, made by Dave Ratner in the USA…a “Healthy Adult” kibble and a restricted protein and phos canned food mixed in OR Science Diet Joint can mixed in… and Honest Kitchen Keen for dinner. He gets the lowest amounts of protein I could find in OTC foods… because his kidneys are STARTING to show early failure.

    I blame the years eating this crap food (Pedigree) and also the misinformation out there about how much protein dogs actually need, who makes what food and what ingredients ACTUALLY go into it, and also the idea that EVERY meal needs to have ingredients X, Y, and Z in it to be “balanced” – the dog’s body takes what it needs and the rest goes through kidneys, either passing well or else punching holes as it goes… I fed TOTW and Nutro forever, not realizing Nutro was made by Mars *NOT a reputable company owned by itself like I thought* and that TOTW was Diamond (who has had a lot of recalls) and is WAY too high in protein (the average couch po-pooch-o only need 18% a day to maintain his healthy adult size…).

    Keen Honest Kitchen is 24%, DMB… and then Dave’s is about the same, except the restricted cans which actually have the 18.94% MINIMUM required.

    No dog deserves to be treated like “Every other dog” and no food should be either…

    I laugh at the comment that most people here are feeding their kids McD’s… yup. (As a vegetarian I don’t consume that, and if I HAD kids, they’d have the choice to but I’d tell them exactly what makes a nugget and why a chicken breast from a butcher is a safer food…)