How to Estimate the Carbohydrate Content of Any Dog Food


How to Calculate Dog Food Carbohydrates

When comparing dog foods, the carbohydrate content of each product can be difficult.

That’s because dog food companies are not required by law to disclose the actual “carb” content of their products.

In fact, current Food and Drug Administration labeling rules require the inclusion of just four nutrients…

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Fiber
  • Moisture

How to Estimate the Carbohydrate
Content of Any Dog Food

So, if knowing the carb content is important to you — and it should be — here’s a quick and easy way to estimate the amount of carbohydrates in any dog food — yourself.

Basically, all foods contain the same four major nutrients — known as macronutrients:

  • Proteins
  • Fats
  • Carbohydrates
  • Moisture (water)

In addition, all foods also contain ash — the non-combustible mineral residue remaining after burning away all the protein, fat and carbs.

Ash content can vary — but typically measures about five to eight percent for most dog foods1

So, for consistency, we routinely use 8 percent as a benchmark for this important variable (ash) throughout this site.

Making the Calculation

When making this calculation, it’s important to keep in mind the following scientific principle:

Protein + fat + ash + carbohydrate + water must always equal 100 percent of the total pre-cooking weight of any dog food.

So, you can use simple math to reveal the missing amount on any other variable — which in this case of a pet food would be the carbohydrates.

Simply start with 100 percent and subtract the percentage for each of the known macronurients.

By the way, you can ignore the fiber content because fiber is a type of carbohydrate and would be automatically included in your carbohydrate calculation.

Here’s an Example

Say a particular dog food contains 26% protein, 14% fat and 10% water. How much carbohydrate should we expect to find in that product?

To estimate the amount of carbohydrate present in this example, simply start with a total of 100 percent. Then subtract the protein, fat and moisture percentages.

And of course, don’t forget to allow for an ash content of about 8 percent, too.

So, your math would look like this:

Carbohydrates = 100% – 26% – 14% – 10% – 8% = 42%

In other words, if you subtract all the “known” nutrients, you’d be left with the missing variable — carbohydrates — which in our example would be about 42 percent.

An Important Caveat

Now, keep in mind, when using a pet food’s “Guaranteed Analysis” as a product’s protein and fat content, you’re not using the true percentages of those nutrients.

You’re using the minimums — the amount each manufacturer is willing to “guarantee” to be the minimum protein or fat found in the recipe.

For example, if a label claims a food includes a minimum fat level of (say) 15%, it could — and nearly always does — contain a fat content notably higher than that stated amount.

So, by the laws of basic mathematics…

Since protein and fat are nearly always understated on the label, the estimated carbohydrate figure must also be automatically overstated.

The Bottom Line

So, to estimate the percentage of carbohydrates in any pet food when that figure is not known, use the simple formula discussed in this article to obtain a reasonable estimate.

However, be sure to keep in mind that…

The more a company understates a food’s protein or fat content, the more overstated you should expect your estimate of its carbohydrate content to be, too.

In closing, on the rare occasion the actual amounts for protein, fat and carbohydrates are reported by a company on its website, it’s always better to ignore our estimate and go with those figures instead.


  1. Brown S., Taylor B., “See Spot Live Longer”, 2007 Creekobear Press, Eugene, OR USA, p 55
  • iliza

    Hi! I’ve heard Orijen dog foods are pretty popular for diabetic pets due to the limited percentage of carbs and fats that could spike the blood sugars.

  • dcdawn

    Same with people…

  • aimee

    Hi Amy Murphy Burch,

    If your Basset has yeasty skin limiting carbohydrates will not have any effect. Malassezia, the yeast that is on skin, feeds off of fats not carbohydrates.

    Besides, even if Malassezia did feed off of carbs, changing carbs level in the diet wouldn’t have any effect because the yeast is very superficial on the skin, on the outside the body and far removed from glucose swings in the blood that occur after eating.

    Here is a good link on the myths and facts of Yeasty dogs

  • Amy Murphy Burch

    Hi Geocal
    I also have a female Basset Hound with yeast issues and have been advised by my vet to limit her carbo intake Have you found any foods that work?

  • aimee

    Hi geocal,

    Here is an article on treating yeast infections in skin.

    . Ask whoever advised you to limit carbohydrate for data showing that this recommendation is useful. It makes no sense to me.

  • Pitlove

    This is the only starch free food on the market and reads 4% carbs on a dry matter basis:

    excellent food and something to consider.

  • geocal

    We have a Bassett Hound who suffers from chronic yeast eruptions on her skin. We’ve been advised to try to limit her carbohydrate intake. What is the best choice for dry dog food. Almost every “grain free” dry food I’ve looked at has sweet potato or potato and other high carb ingredients.

  • Monish S


    i have a 23 pound diabetic pug and was wondering how much complex carb i can give him so his insulin levels wont spike. is there a minim and maximum per 10 pounds i can give him to maybe start a carb cycle on him. thanks

  • el doctor

    Great advice, Thank you for replying to me!

  • Micromanaging comments (or worse, deleting them) is sometimes just as harmful to the mood of our community as posting these kinds of comments to begin with.

    For everyone here, the best way to deal with these unfriendly exchanges is to simply avoid getting involved in them in the first place.

    Posting links to comments you don’t like and don’t want others to read only brings greater attention to them.

    So, to ALL involved in this antagonistic discussion, please stop your participation in this feud immediately. Thank you.

  • Please see my reply to your previous comment to understand why pet food companies report separate figures.

  • Nutrition science recognizes only 3 macronutrients: protein, fat and carbohydrates.

    As explained in our article, fiber is considered a type of carbohydrate — and is thus automatically (by default) included in the TOTAL carb content of any food.

    The animal feed industry (AAFCO) uses what’s known as the nitrogen-free extract (NFE) method to estimate the carbohydrate content of a food.

    However, the NFE method is designed to include only the soluble fraction (starch, sugar and soluble fiber) of the total carbohydrate content of a food.

    NFE intentionally ignores the insoluble fiber — listed separately as “crude fiber” in the Guaranteed Analysis panel of every pet food label.

    Human food labels do not make this pet food industry distinction — not including all fiber in its total carb content.

    That is why some pet food companies (like Hill’s) do indeed disclose partial carbohydrate content using the NFE method.

    By the way, we commend Hill’s for disclosing the carbohydrate content of its foods on its labels. Most pet food companies make no effort to share this valuable information with consumers.

    On this website, we have elected to estimate the TOTAL carbohydrate content in our reviews.

    Hope this helps.

  • ChiChi

    Yes not ignore it, bad wording on my part 🙂 But to include it as part of the carb content.

    What I found odd is that most dog food companies do not include the fiber in the carb percentage. They state the carbs and fiber as separate percentages.

  • el doctor

    Hi Chi Chi

    There are 4 maim categories in ALL foods and everything else is part of 1 of the categories.

    1) Protein
    2) Fat
    3) Carbohydrate
    4) Ash
    5) Moisture

    Fiber is a type of carb. The article is just telling you that fiber is a carb and when calculating the total makeup of a food using the 4 categories I mentioned, fiber is part of the total carb content.

    I don’t think he meant to ignore it as an ingredient because various fiber percentages would influence the result the food has on each particular dog.

    Hard poop or straining could mean you need more fiber, and so on.

    Hope this helps 😉

  • ChiChi

    Not sure which is wrong here. This tells you to ignore the fiber and count it in the carb percentage. But if you ask any dog food company for the carb percentage in their food the percentage never includes the fiber, it’s always separate. Which is wrong, this person’s advice or the dozens of dog food companies who do it a different way??

  • Great White

    So how is it going with this food?

  • Crazy4cats

    That’s what I was thinking! Thank you.

  • Bobby dog

    If I don’t feel like contacting the company for a specific number I always use 2%.

  • Crazy4cats

    Anyone? When computing the dry matter basis for a kibble, if the ash is not listed, 8% should be used to determine carb content. But, when computing DMB for canned, what percent should be used for ash if it is not listed on the label?

  • This site uses the posted guaranteed analysis on the company’s website. The protein and fat amounts listed are minimums only, not exact amounts.

  • Deb Litterer

    I have a dog with frito feet. I’ve just read that this is due to the presence of yeast and I should look for foods that avoid carbohydrates. Suggestions here?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Okay, thanks. I will remember that.

  • theBCnut

    The only time this method is off by too much is when a company is not accurately reporting nutrient levels, like in certain canned foods, where they are under reporting fat. So looking at the ingredient list and seeing if the numbers they are reporting make sense is a must.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I can’t belive I didn’t think of this, it is so, so simple!

  • Fred Koehler

    Just wanted to comment regarding one of the links below that referred to some capsule/Apocaps that appears in some shills website/blog that then points to that shill’s other website selling something to people who are potentially distressed and looking for anything to possible help their pet. Also speaking as someone who lost a parent to a stage 4 glioblastoma brain tumor.

    I’ll just point you to this guys blog, wherein he brings up some very pointed questions not asked/answered on the shill’s website, not too mention he seems to have a firm grasp of microbiology.

    There is now tons of proof that high-fat/protein, low carb diets do indeed make cancer’s existence difficult in the body. Cancer cells must have glucose (carbs) to create ATP, whereas normal cells can use glucose or ketones.

    A low-carb, high fat/protein diet ( ketogenic diet) seems to works for omnivorous humans, certainly makes sense that it would work at least as well if not better on an almost-obligate carnivore like dogs.

  • Every product varies in ash content. We would prefer to know the actual ash content of each recipe.

    However, because in most cases we’re not given this figure, we use the dry matter average for ash content of about 8% for all products.

    Again, please keep in mind, this figure is only a good faith estimate for all products. Hope this helps

  • scottandscott

    Dr. Mike,

    Caned, Freeze Dried, Dehydrated foods… Can we use the same factor for ash as we can in dry?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    In addition to what Patty said (and what goes along with the veggies being low carb), veggies are generally very low calorie and thus would have a minimal contribution to the overall nutrient values of the food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Most raw diets have only a very small amount of those fruits and veggies. Most of the veggies they use are low carb veggies.

  • 918thor

    I did the calculations on the dry kibble but than I did it for the raw food diet. With this math, you get 95% for raw leaving carbs with 5%. However, when you review the list of ingredients, I see lots and lots of fruits and veggies which are typically considered carbs. How do I resolve this difference?

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  • Shawna

    Hi Sisu,

    I agree whole heartedly with your recommendation to do raw.. Dr. Martin Goldstein is somewhat famous for taking on cancer patients that other vets have given up on.. He puts the dogs on a raw diet along with other holistic treatments..

    My dog was born with kidney disease and has been on high protein raw her whole life. She will be seven years old next month an has an EXCELLENT quality of life. 🙂

    I posted however to mention to you human oncologist Dr. William Li’s work with anti-angiogenic foods — or foods that cut off the blood supply to tumors and thus starve them. Most on the list are carbs but if I or my dog had cancer these are carbs I would load up on :). His video “Can We Eat to Starve Cancer?” can be found here and the list of foods is here

    Also wanted to mention that vet Dr. Demian Dressler of the dog cancer blog demonstrates a link between cancer and most kibbled diets. Hopefully those with cancer dogs will follow your lead and feed raw or at least home prepared. “Dog Food: Is There A Cancer Risk?”

    Best of luck and health!!!!

  • sisu

    I am so sorry to hear about your Greyhound.

    A high protein low carb diet is essential for a dog with cancer as it “feeds” on the carbs. The 80% protein. 10% bone, 5% liver, 5% other secreting organs Prey Model diet is ideal. Other choices are balanced home cooked, canned, dehydrated or pre-made raw depending on the ingredients. If feeding kibble select a brand that is high in animal protein. Many companies will not provide this information stating it is proprietary. I suggest avoiding companies that will not reveal what is being purchased.

    Below are the animal protein percentages of various foods. These are the percentage of the protein amount stated in the Guaranteed Analysis. For example, the Guaranteed Analysis of EVO Turkey and Chicken is 42% Protein. 42% times 80% = 33.6% animal protein in the food. The extreme formulas are designed for hard working dogs such as sled dogs and are too high in fat for the average pet.

    Dr. Tim Hunt, a veterinarian, seems to be one of the good guys of the dog food industry. Victor can be difficult to find but produces a quality food at a reasonable price.

    Diamond Extreme Athlete 93%
    Dr. Tim’s Momentum 94%
    Dr. Tim’s Kinesis Grain Free 84%
    EVO 76%-80%
    Horizon Legacy 80%
    Inukshuk Pro Extreme 95%
    Merrick Grain Free 70%
    Natures Variety Instinct 70%-72%
    Native Level 4 93%
    Orijen 80%
    Victor 68%-83%

    I currently have a dog with malignant oral melanoma. Statistics indicate a survival time of 3-7 months from the time of diagnosis. Two vets stated 3 weeks was to be expected. The diagnosis was 3 1/2 years ago. Genetics are a factor but I believe the Prey Model Raw diet has contributed to her longevity.

    Previously, I had a dog with bladder cancer. Vets gave her 30 days from the time of diagnosis. She was fed EVO Herring and Salmon with a lot of fresh turkey added. The high protein, low carb, high Omega 3 diet allowed her to survive for another 4 months.

    Wishing you and your dog all the best.

  • leeroy1798

    That’s REALLY useful, thanks. My Greyhound has lung cancer so we have had to change his diet. For anyone that doesn’t know, carbs for cancer patients (well, dogs, anyway) are bad – talk to your vet for more information if you’re unlucky enough to be in this situation.

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  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi jeddoknightwife –

    To convert fat, protein, vitamins/minerals, etc. from a percentage you would multiply the percentage listed by the weight of the food. In general 1 C. dry food weighs about 120 g.

    So for example, let’s say a food lists that it contains 30% protein, 18% fat and 1.5% calcium. 1 C. of this food would contain:

    120 g. X 0.30 = 36 g. protein
    120 g. X 0.18 = 21.6 g. fat
    120 X 0.015 = 1.8 g. calcium

  • Pattyvaughn

    Fatty acids are part of the protein, fat, carb equation, not in addition to it. Calcium, as a mineral, would be ash.

  • Jeddoknightwife

    How do you count the fatty acids, and calcium as well as other items that list a percentage?

  • Pattyvaughn

    What kind of numbers did you do this with?

  • diggypop

    I did this calculation and got a -2

  • Emily

    Thanks for the great information.  I consider myself very well educated on dog food but never knew how much carbs were healthy for my dogs (six).  I give them high end grain free kibble and raw and homemade plus supplements and fish oil. 

  • buglady

    I don’t understand why ash would be deducted from total to find carb content.  Minerals are part of both meats, grains and other starchy compounds put in dog food.  I notice that Wysong doesn’t list it.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Anstine1951 –

    35-35% carbs. would be considered low for a dry dog food, it’s not really possible for a dry food to be as low in carbs as dogs should be eating because kibble is a bakery product and has to contain some starch (be it grains, potatoes, tapioca, legumes) for a binder. If you use a canned or raw food you can get closer to the ideal 15-20% carbs. The five star foods on this site are all high protein and lower in carbs.

  • Anstine1951

    What is considered a low carbohydrate content for dog food?

  • sharron

    Hi Mike

    what percentage of carbs is good for a dog prone to weight gain – the food she is on now the carbs work out to 36%


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  • HiJGR789,

    When you add together protein, fat, carbs, moisture and minerals (ash), the result always equals very close to 100% for every food (treats included).

    Hope this helps.

  • JGR789

    Does this formula:  “Simply start with a total of 100 percent… then subtract the protein, fat and moisture.  And don’t forget to allow for an average ash content of about 8 percent, too.”
    apply to figuring out the carb content of dog treats as well?

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  • Huntgirl

    Check out Canine Caviar dog food – I sell it in my holistic pet supply store – best diet for your dogs is actually a home-cooked (cooked on low & not well-done) diet, but most of us opt for convenience of kibble & cans. Raw is also an option. FYI, I feed my dogs mostly kibble, a few cans a week, raw bones once a week (outside) & cooked food about 3 times a week as a treat/supplement – this gives them varied nutrients (important for health) & varied textures & temperatures (important for your dog’s happiness). Be sure the basis of their diet is a nutritionally balanced kibble with few grains/glutens (if any) & high-quality protein. No wheat, soy, by-products or harmful preservatives! Good luck ^..^

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I’m very sorry to hear about your two dogs.  I don’t know about any articles on cancer diets, but I’ve heard that Canine Caviar is a food that’s supposed to be good to feed a dog with cancer.  I’d go to their website for more info.  

  • Sharonkinsey

    I am trying to figure out the best diet for my two dogs just diagnosed with bone cancer.  The carbs are key but protein is also important – are there any good articles on appropriate cancer diets where various dog foods have been discussed?


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  • Hi Sheila… The carbohydrate figures I post on the dashboard of each review are an estimate of total carbs only. Since fiber is a carbohydrate, you can compute net carbs by simply subtracting fiber from total carbs (in grams). Since my figures are based upon percentages (not grams), that same computation would probably not be as accurate. Hope this helps.

  • Sheila

    Hi Mike,

    Of course you are right in terms of taking into account the glycemic index. However, that turns into advanced science for most people. The “carb counting” with the glycemic index knowledge can support the best control. Again, if people can match up how much insulin a dog needs for how many grams of carb, that is basically all they need, to start.

    The glycemic index will tell them if the sugars will go up rapidly, (and any slow acting insulin may take hours to reduce it), and they can use the curve of the insulin along with the glycemic knowledge to match the curves.

    If I had any recommendation, it would be to aim for high fibre and low glycemic index carbs in any food (for humans or for dogs). this will combat blood sugar spikes.

    Additionally, I’d be interested to hear whether people are actually monitoring their dog’s blood sugars (the finger prick of blood onto the way-overpriced test strips), or whether they are doing the urine tests (which will only show sugar if the sugar levels are beyond a certain threshold (usually around 10.5 mmol/L.) Note that if the dog is spilling sugar it is because the kidneys are on back up to remove excess from the blood. that is not a good use of kidneys and is one of the main causes of kidney disease in diabetics.

    Lastly, while I’m on this site to sort out how to find the actual carb content of my dog’s food, I do know that for the carb counting that human diabetics do, you look to the nutritional label – so my granola bar says 29g of carb, but 3g of fibre. I need to reduce the carb count by the fibre count to calculate the right amount of insulin to take. 29-3 = 26g carb.

    I don’t know that this jibes with what you have Mike, in terms of you saying that the fibre is in the carbs. I’d like to understand more of what you mean.

    thanks! great site for the conversation and knowledge sharing

  • Hi Michelle… What’s most important in your computations is the final ratio served “as fed” to your dog. These figures are useless without knowing the protein percentage after the meat is added. And, of course, that changes the rations of fats, carbs, moisture and fiber, too.

    This is the reason we make no attempt to rate premix products on our website. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Michelle

    I have a question regarding Carbs and Fiber. I have been trying a PetMix by Birkdale where you add your own protein source like chicken, beef etc… The ingredient List Reads as: Whole Egg, Human Quality Vegetable Mix (Broccoli Crowns, Carrots, Parsley Leaf), Apple, Vegetable Pomace, Flax Meal, Blueberries, Kelp, Ginger Root, Garlic, Calcium Citrate. The guaranteed analysis Reads:
    Crude Protein: not less than 20.1%
    Crude Fat: not less than 6.5%
    Crude Fiber: not less than 15.4%
    Moisture: not more than 7%

    I am trying to figure out the Carbohydrate content of this mix but I am confused, if you add in the Fiber content the carbs are extremely high, the company prides themselves on having a low Carb Pet Mix. One of my main Questions is, Do I subtract the fiber listed or leave it out. Also Is 15.4% Fiber very high in a dog food and does that make it a higher Carb dog food than most? Thanks so much I am just kind of confused!

  • christine walsh

    Hi Mike,

    I just checked out your list of manufacturers who produce low glycemic foods. Horizon Legacy and Complete (dry) are both listed, but Horizon has a new(er) line called Amicus. This line is formulated for the needs of small breeds, and includes a small breed puppy formula. Amicus is the lowest glycemic of all the Horizon products – it uses Red Lentils because of the low GI rating (and high antioxidant properties). Legacy – grain free would be the next lowest GI of the Horizon offerings with Complete rounding things off.
    I thought I’d mention the Amicus so you can add it to your list – once you investigate it and agree on the low GI level.


    Chris Walsh

  • Hi Meagan… You can figure it either way. If you use the “as fed” basis on the package, you’ll get the carb content on an as fed basis with your calculations. If you use the dry matter basis, your carbohydrate answer will also be on a dry matter basis. Hope this helps.

  • Meagan

    Mike- Do the figures need to be in “dry matter basis” before I figure up the carb % content?

  • Hi Sheila… Carbs are the “old fashioned” and somewhat less useful way of measuring the potential effect of a particular food on blood sugar levels for diabetics. The gold standard for measuring this effect today is known as either the glycemic index or glycemic load (related but not the same). There’s no way to “estimate” this figure properly as it relates to other factors such as how refined that carbohydrate ingredient might be. You might look at this short list of some of the foods some manufacturers have already labeled as low glycemic. Our carbohydrate figures here are only estimates. Hope this helps.

  • Sheila

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention. If you are trying to calculate the carbs in grams, you subtract the frams of fibre from the grams of carb, for a truer (sugar) reading.

    by example, I feed my guy 475 g (4 cups) of dry kibble, twice a day (don’t ooh and ahh, he weighs 155 lbs and is pretty skinny).

    the break down of the kibble is:
    protein 23%
    fat 13%
    fibre 4%
    moisture 10%
    Ash 8% -estimated – not listed

    total = 54 (doesn’t include the fibre)
    carb = 46%

    4 cups kibble weigh 475 g x 46% = 218 g carb
    less fibre 472 x 4% = 18 g
    therefore, he’s getting 200 g carb per meal.

    With an ISF of 1:10, he’d need 20 units rapid acting insulin for that meal. Note, if you have your dog on a long acting insulin only, sort out when it peaks. For example, on N, it has an onset of 1–2 hours. Its peak is 4–10 hours and its duration is 18–24 hours. what this means is that if you give fido a shot when he eats, his sugars will go up (rapidly if there is a lot of corn or other high glycemic content in the kibble) and after an hour or two, the insulin will start to act, and will really start to bring the sugars down around the 6-7 hour mark. So my conclusion on this, is that the “meal” should be fed only about 5 hours after the shot, to follow the arc of the insulin. Alternately, a major reduction of the N (so the peak doesnt create a low) and use of rapid acting insulin. That allows the rapid acting to deal with the meal and leaves the N to act as background (very necessary).

    sorry for the long-winded post, but I am sorting out my thoughts on this and this seems to be the perfect forum. I thought I should share, and you should feel free to delete this if it is just annoying…. 🙂

  • Sheila

    Hey there, I have a recently diagnosed diabetic Great Dane. No problem for me, I’ve had the condition for upwards of 25 years. Trouble is, the way we deal with diabetes in humans, is we “carb count” – that is, we sort out how many grams of carb there are in any given meal, and then our ISF (insulin sensitivity factor) or how many units we need for each gram of carb. (Usually it is between 10-15 g require 1 unit of rapid acting insulin). I’m safe with this cuz my dog weighs (exactly) the same as I do.

    So, I’m trying to sort out the carb content of the kibble, and appreciate the great formulas above, but haven’t sorted out where to go with the %.

    Could it really be so easy as to weigh a cup of kibble and multiply it by the carb %? If so, I’ve just shown my math, and hopefully that helps anyone else who didn’t make the connexion…

    Great information. Thanks for the site.

  • Yes, Maegan. This figure is probably much better. But still (like most kibbles) the food may be a bit too high in carbs.

  • Meagan

    Sorry yes I was talking about the carbs they get. 🙂 Sorry I didn’t clarify. They are about to be transitioned to Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice 100%-23%-14%-10%-8%=45%. Is what I got. Wow my first 53% was wrong. Lol not sure how I even got that calculation. Anyway is 45% carbs sound better than what I said first time?
    What is the average carb content for dry kibbles?

  • Hi Tammy… Sorry to hear about your dog’s diagnosis. The recipe you’re looking for appears to be primarily fat with only a little bit of protein and carbohydrates. Unfortunately, the kind of macronutrient content you’re looking for appears to be very difficult to find. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Tammy

    My dog was diagnosed with anal sac adenocarcinoma and from my studies it is suggested that I feed a grain free diet of 18-22% protein, 55-60% fat, and 3-13% carbs. It seems almost impossible to find that combination in a kibble. Any suggestions?

  • Hi Meagan… Not sure what you mean by “my dogs get 53%”. Assuming you mean carbohydrates, 53% is close to (but slightly above) the average carb content of most kibbles. But kibbles are too high in carb content. In the long run, your dog will probably do better on more meat and less corn, rice or potatoes.

  • Meagan

    My dogs get 53%. Is that to much? We do exercise pretty much everyday once the weather is nice. Like bike riding, and taking to fields to run, and walking.

  • Hi Dee… The tens of thousands of specific and flagged ingredients displayed on our dashboard are cataloged and managed by custom software and the associated database I had developed especially for the Dog Food Advisor. Unfortunately, this information is not publicly accessible at this time.

  • dee

    where can i find the list of foods you mentioned that the software has done. yellow dashboard?
    please help.

  • Hi,

    I am doing a blog post on canine diabetes and relating the causes to those of humans.

    SINCERELY appreciate this page…. very informative!!!


  • sandy b

    Hi Bruce,

    Wellness Core Reduced Fat has 8.5% fiber and Core Ocean has 7% and both are grain free. I use them both.

  • Hi Pat… In your example, I’m getting about 33% for the carb reading.

  • Pat Buck

    Sorry, I’m old. Moisture should of said 82%. Mistook the 8 for a 3. Now I’m coming up w/16% carbohydrate. These numbers is for wellness turkey stew. The wellness turkey & sweet potato is protein 8%, fat 5% & moisture 78%. I’ll also check out the yellow dashboard, if I can find it. Thanks.

  • Hi Pat… I’m not sure you’re using the correct moisture content here. Which Wellness product has a moisture content of 32%?

    By the way, my software has already done this for many foods on this site. Just check out the gauges on the yellow dashboard with each review.

  • Pat Buck

    Mike, I use Wellness w/protein 8%, fat 4%, moisture 32%.
    Using the “dry matter basis”, I come up w/17% carbohydrate. It that correct? If my figures (never was good at math) are correct, is this a good dog food for losing weight? Thanks Pat

  • Pat Buck

    Loren, Thought I read where Mike said fiber is a carbohydrate. It’s percentage is figured in w/the carbohydrate content.

  • Loren

    In your formula for computing total carbs there is no consideration of fiber or am I mistaken? Thanks.

  • Hi Bruce… will get to work on this very soon. We’ll probably have to make our selections using our software’s estimated carb content as a proxy for low available sugars. Thanks for your suggestion.

  • Bruce Deitchman

    Mike, I too have been searching for a hi protein low fat low carb high fiber diet for my diabetic dog.
    I have been using paw naturaw bison and partly home cooked but can’t get a handle on sugars and fibers.
    PLEASE PLEASE hurry and recommend some good canned diabetic foods with low available (sugar) carbs and high fiber. I am an M.D. and have been trying to get thru this maze for almost a year. Finally found your site. Even a preliminary list would be helpful.

  • Hi Anita… we are planning to publish an article on feeding the diabetic dog along with some 4 and 5-star suggested products. But unfortunately, our research on this important subject is incomplete at this time.

    However, I’d like to suggest you look for two features… a food with moderately higher fiber content (between 5% and 9%, or so). Fiber (especially the soluble type) helps to significantly stabilize blood sugar.

    And foods with grains containing a lower glycemic index (brown rice, barley, sorghum, etc.) Corn and wheat (especially when finely ground) can have a high glycemic index).

    The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly the body can convert a food into blood sugar (glucose). Foods with slower glucose conversion times are said to have a lower glycemic index.

    “Meaty” foods have low carbs (which is good) but also zero fiber (which is not so good). Because they’re rich in carbohydrates, most kibbles have a notably higher glycemic index than quality canned foods.

    Can’t really recommend specific dog foods yet but stay tuned for that future article on feeding canine diabetics. Hope this helps.

  • Anita Davids

    I have a Labrador Retriever who is 7-1/2 yrs. old and was diagnosed with diabetes 5-1/2 months ago and we are still struggling to get her glucose levels in the normal range. She’s been on 2 insulin shots per day with the units varying because we can not find a consistent good reading so I’ve been thoroughly analyzing her diet. She is picky about the dry food the vet has per her on & I’ve not found a canned food that seems acceptable for her condition. Can you make any suggestions on a canned food that would have minimal sugar/carbs – so that maybe if I mix with her dry food she’ll be more apt to eat. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I have boiled chicken and added but the vet suggests that I not make a habit of giving any “people” food. Sincerely, Anita

  • John… thanks for bringing this to my attention. The original version of this post you saw did actually mention that the example was based on dry content. So, moisture did not need to be subtracted. However, your comment helped me see a better way to present this whole idea of carbohydrates and dry matter. I’ve rewritten this post to hopefully prevent any future misunderstandings. Thanks for keeping a watchful eye over my work. Mike

  • John L.

    Carbohydrates = 100% – 26% – 14% – 6% = 54%

    Your results reveal a carbohydrate content of about 54%

    Hello, you left out the moisture in the kibble 10%
    54% – 10% = 44% carbs.