Unable to Locate Complete Label Info
On Company Website1
Pedigree Plus Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Pedigree Plus product line includes three canned dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- Pedigree Plus Healthy Heart [U]
- Pedigree Plus Healthy Digestion [U]
- Pedigree Plus Healthy Joints (2.5 stars) [U]
Pedigree Plus Healthy Heart was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Pedigree Plus Healthy Heart
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken by-products, chicken, meat by-products, liver, whole grain brown rice, dehulled oatmeal, barley, vegetable oil, dried chicory pulp, flaxseed, dried yam, calcium carbonate, carrageenan, taurine, dried tomato pomace, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), natural flavor blend, vitamins (l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of vitamin C], dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], vitamin A & D supplements), guar gum, marigold extract, xanthan gum, l-carnitine, fish oil (source of omega fatty acids)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||23%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||44%||26%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
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”.2
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.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 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 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 brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The eighth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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, we find 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 oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.
Next, chicory pulp is what remains of chicory root once all the healthy inulin has been extracted.
This agricultural by-product is more typically associated with cattle feeds and is most likely used here for its digestible dietary fiber.
In addition, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, 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.
We also note the inclusion of tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
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 Plus Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pedigree Plus 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 36% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 79%.
Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Pedigree Plus is a meat-based wet dog food using a moderate amount of chicken and generic by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
07/14/2017 Last Update