Some Examples of Splitting
Let’s take a look at the two best selling dog foods in the nation, Ol’ Roy and Pedigree.
Here’s the beginning of the ingredient list from Ol’ Roy:
Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, ground whole wheat, corn syrup, poultry fat, Meat and bone meal (Animal Fat Preserved with BHA and Citric Acid), Chicken by-product Meal, Rice. . ..
First glance (first 5 ingredients) Grain, sugar and fat. Followed by a generic meat (what kind?) and bone meal (how much?)
Our conclusion: Not a top contender by our evaluation standards.
Here’s the start of the ingredient list from Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition formula:
Ground Whole Corn, Meat And Bone Meal, Ground Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved With BHA/BHT), Wheat Mill Run, Wheat Flour, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Caramel Color, Chicken By-Product Meal, Rice
First glance (first 5 ingredients) Grain, generic protein, more grain.
• Lots of corn. Not necessarily bad, but not good for a primary protein source.
• Meat and Bone meal is the primary protein source. But what meat? And how much bone?
• Ground Wheat, Wheat Mill Run and Wheat flour could conceivably be combined in weight to end up sending wheat much higher on the listing than its current 3rd position.
So, what have we here, are two very affordable (and popular) bags of “dog food”. Pedigree makes a better example of splitting ingredients than Ol’ Roy.
Another example of splitting:
Science Diet Original formula:
Chicken, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Wheat, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal. . .
First glance: Fresh meat (supported by. . . . by-products and soybeans in 5th and 6th position), balance of primary nutrition provided by grains.
Our conclusions: We’d prefer to see a more digestible protein source in a higher position and less grain. Soy is considered by many a rather difficult protein source for dogs to digest. It is often used as an ingredient to provide insoluble fiber.
Beginning to see how splitting dog food ingredients works in different ways? Fresh chicken as a first ingredient in the above is a great start. But we’d prefer to see it “supported” in position 2 or 3 by chicken meal or another fresh meat protein source. The protein contained in chicken by-product meal is usually not comparable to what is found in chicken meal.
By-products can be a great source of beneficial nutrition, if they consist of specific internal organs like liver or kidney from organically fed animals. This is rarely the case.
By-products will normally consist of lower quality ingredients- necks, feet, bone, blood, stomach and other tasty cast-offs. Not a quality source of protein.