How to Better
Compare Dog Foods

Table of Contents

How many carbs are in dog food?
Compare Wet and Dry Dog Foods
Sources

How many carbs are in dog food?
Compare Wet and Dry Dog Foods
Sources

How many carbs are in dog food?

Every dog food has something called the “Guaranteed Analysis” on the label. It’s the canine equivalent of the Nutrition Facts label you see on human foods. In short, the Guaranteed Analysis shows you the approximate protein, fat, fiber and moisture of the dog food.

However, most dog foods don’t show the percentage of carbohydrates on the Guaranteed Analysis. Carbs are a very important part of nutrition, especially for dogs, so how can you find out how many are in your dog’s food? Luckily, there’s a simple way to calculate the carbs.

Here’s the deal: We have already done all the work for you. Just check out our dog food reviews (in the section Nutrition). But if you want like to do it yourself, here’s how:

First things first. Your dog's food is made of protein, fat, carbs, ash and moisture. What’s ash? It’s essentially the total bone and mineral content of the food.

From the Guaranteed Analysis section of the food label you can see the protein, fat, ash and moisture. To get to carbs, we simply subtract them from the total, like this:

Carbs = 100% - Protein - Fat - Ash - Moisture

Let’s assume the Guaranteed Analysis shows the following on the food label:

Protein 5.0%
Fat 3.0%
Fiber 5.0%
Moisture 78%

So the carbs would be 9%:

100% - 5% - 3% - 5% - 78% = 9%

Now that we know the carbs, let’s talk about the moisture in your dog’s food.

How to Better Compare Wet and Dry Dog Foods

Different dog foods contain a different amounts of water. Many wet foods, for example, consist of 75% water, while many dry foods only have about 10% water. Because of that, the Guaranteed Analysis doesn’t let you to objectively compare wet and dry foods - the percentages of their dry nutrients, by comparison, are skewed because of the different moisture percentages. So on the surface, wet foods will often look like they have a lot fewer protein, fat and fiber than dry foods - which isn’t always true.

But there’s an easy solution! Enter the “dry matter basis” - it’s a simple calculation that removes all moisture from the food, so that you can compare the actual nutrition values between wet and dry foods.

For your convenience, we have calculated the dry matter basis for 3,000+ dog foods already. You can see them in the “Nutrition” section of each of our dog food reviews.

If you want to give the dry matter basis calculation a try yourself, here’s how to do it:

Look at the Guaranteed Analysis on the dog food label. Let’s say it’s a canned wet food that shows:

Protein 5.0%
Fat 3.0%
Carbs 9%
(calculated above)
Fiber 5.0%
Moisture 78%

Next, use the following formula to remove the moisture from the numbers:

Dry Matter Basis = (Original Number / 100% - Moisture) * 100

When we apply that, our numbers become:

Protein 22.73%
Fat 13.63%
Carbs 40.91%
Fiber 22.73%
Moisture 0%

Wow, looks pretty different, doesn’t it? After absorbing the water, these are the solid nutrients your dog actually gets from this wet food.
As you can see, removing the moisture is really important to objectively compare foods with different water content. So always compare the dry matter basis to prevent your nutrient numbers from being watered down… And now you know how!

Reviews

Short on time?
Find the best dog food quickly!

We've reviewed 3,000+ products.
Check out our ultimate list of the best dog foods.

https://extension.msstate.edu/sites/
default/files/topic-files/cattle-business-mississippi-articles/cattle-business-mississippi-articles-landing-page/stocker_feb2007.pdf

http://extensionpublications.unl.edu
/assets/html/g2093/build/g2093.htm


https://courses.ecampus.oregonstate
.edu/ans312/six/ration_2_trans.htm

https://engineering.purdue.edu/
~abe305/moisture/html/page9.htm


http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/tag/
nutrient-calculator/

Sources

https://extension.msstate.edu/sites/default/files/topic-files/cattle-business-mississippi-articles/cattle-business-mississippi-articles-landing-page/stocker_feb2007.pdf

http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/html/g2093/build/g2093.htm

https://courses.ecampus.oregonstate.edu/ans312/six/ration_2_trans.htm

https://engineering.purdue.edu/~abe305/moisture/html/page9.htm

http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/tag/nutrient-calculator/

Connect
Contact UsInstagramFacebook
Watchdog Labs
One Broadway, 14th Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
Disclaimer

Made with love in Cambridge, MA.
© 2019 Watchdog Labs Inc. All rights reserved.
Watchdog Labs, Watchdog Score and watchdoglabs.com are trademarks of Watchdog Labs Inc.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: All content on this website, including but not limited to statements about products are to be construed as opinions only. All statements made by or associated with Watchdog Labs, Inc., including but not limited to text, graphics, videos, web content, social media content, e-mails, marketing and informational materials, advertisements, statements made by company representatives, and repeated statements which originated from third-party sources are to be construed as opinions only. Watchdog Labs, Inc. is not responsible for the quality or the veracity of statements or information from third-party sources. Third-party sources shall include but not be limited to labs, online stores, sellers, other websites, brands and manufacturers.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: Our reviews and testing are necessarily limited in scope, and products may vary significantly from one package to another and from one store to another. We may only test one batch of a product from one store. Our opinion is based on that limited testing.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration or the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your veterinary professional before choosing any products for your pet.

Disclaimer

DISCLAIMER: Actual product packaging and materials may contain more and different information than what is shown on this website. Always read all labels, warnings, and directions before using a product.

Disclaimer

DISCLOSURE: When readers buy products on this site, we earn a commission that supports our work.

Disclaimer

Watchdog Labs is not affiliated, associated, authorized by, endorsed by, or in any way connected to the brands and companies mentioned on this website. All trademarks, copyrights, and other rights are the property of their respective owners. See our Terms of Service for DMCA notices.

Disclaimer

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. All prices on this site may change and those considered valid are displayed on Amazon.com