Splitting Pet Food Ingredients
What is splitting and why is it used?
Splitting ingredients refers to the way a single ingredient may be listed multiple times. As you read a label to compare dog food or cat food ingredients, you’ll discover a few reasons to do this.
Splitting ingredients often obscures the fact that there is more of an “undesirable” ingredient in a pet food than a consumer may otherwise recognize. As a result, it can also be used to discern when there is more grain than meat in a food.
These practices are legal, common, and easy to understand. You will recognize these tactics as you do your own pet food comparison.
As you may have read previously, the order in which dog food ingredients must be listed on the label can be misleading. If a meat is listed as the first ingredient, does that always mean high quality nutrition?
A fresh meat typically contains a high percentage of water in its weight. It is not unusual to find a fresh meat listed first, followed by 4 or more grain- based ingredients. This tells you there is a good chance a majority of both protein and carbs may be coming from grain based sources, rather than that fresh meat.
If you’re looking at a food with a fresh meat as the first ingredient, look further down the list. You’ll want to see one or more of the following:
• another specific fresh meat protein source
• a specific meat meal ingredient
• a limited number of other ingredients before hitting the vitamin/ mineral listing.
What does all this have to do with splitting ingredients?
It allows you to determine what those 4 or more grain-based ingredients actually are. They could be a single ingredient (splitting), two separate ingredients (splitting) or multiple grain ingredients which, when combined, make up the majority of your food.
This is how recognizing splitting ingredients immediately alerts you to what is really in the bag.