The Well Dog Place

Dr. Ken Tudor Holistic Veterinarian

Dog food bowl, understanding dog food labels

Dog Nutrition 02 | Food Ingredient List - The First Ingredient Rule Myth

Did you know the first ingredient listed on a dog food label is not the main protein ingredient? This first “Ingredient Rule” is a total myth. The system of listing dog food ingredients is purposefully misleading. Here is an example of an ingredient list from a very popular, expensive dog food:

Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chickpeas, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, natural flavor, minerals….

Ingredients are listed in order by weight, so if bison is first it is the primary ingredient by weight, right?

AAFCO, the organization that oversees dog food, allows the ingredients to include their water weight. Well, meat is more than 80% water which has no nutritional value.

Lamb meal is a dry powder with no water weight. This is a lamb meal dog food with more pea and chickpea protein in it than bison. We have no idea how much bison protein is really in this dog food.

Here is the ingredient list from the most popular, expensive dog food brand:

Deboned duck, chicken meal, menhaden fish meal, tapioca, starch, dried tomato pomace, chicken fat

What is the main protein source? You guessed it-Chicken and Fish. This is a food advertised as duck formula yet the major sources of protein are chicken meal and fish meal. We have no idea how much duck is in this dog food.

Do you still believe “The First Ingredient Myth’? 

Ken Tudor DVM
Dr. Ken Tudor, Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Ken Tudor is a recognized expert and leader in the field of pet nutrition and fitness. He has developed a pet weight management program and served on the American Animal Hospital Association task force to develop their Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats. He is also a frequent guest on the Pet World Insider radio show and a popular guest on the televised Pet Ex Talks-Pet Experts Empowering Pet Parents show.

Dog Nutrition 02 | Food Ingredient List - The First Ingredient Rule Myth

Dog Nutrition

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