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Dog Food Ratings

Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food

by Pedigree
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy is a low-priced dog food that is overall a lower quality. This product has 6 controversial ingredients, including artificial colors. It has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs with meats and fats that are of a mixed quality. Pedigree has an average number of recalls, and overall was pretty transparent when answering our questions.

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TYPE
Wet Dog Food
PRICE
$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
-
PACKAGE
22 oz, 16.5 lbs
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
Mars, Inc.

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Nutrition

Nutrition

This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.

To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 44.44%

Min. Fat 16.67%

Min. Carbs 27.78%

Max. Fiber 5.56%

Max. Ash 11.11%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 8%

Min Fat: 3%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 82%

Calories

Calories

544 Calories per Can

This product has an above average amount of calories for wet food. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount.

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FDA Alert

FDA Alert

Grain-Free Dog Foods

This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.

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30.0%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
21%
31
Total Ingredients
6
Controversial Ingredients

Sufficient Water For Processing, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Beef, Liver, Wheat Gluten, Salt, Added Color, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Vegetable Oil (Source Of Linoleic Acid), Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Lysine Complex, Copper sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Natural Smoke Flavor, Xanthan Gum, Onion Powder, Bay Leaves, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate {Vitamin B1}, Biotin), Garlic Powder, Sodium Nitrite (For Color Retention).

The average dog food we reviewed had 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 6 total controversial ingredients and 2 of them are in the first five ingredients. This is concerning because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the product’s weight, so you want to always pay special attention here. Let’s take a closer look:


  • Top 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.


  • Sufficient Water For Processing
    This is just another name for water, which doesn't add nutrients to the food but is routinely used in dog food manufacturing (especially for canned foods). It's a standard dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken
    Chicken is a nutritious meat that provides protein, fat and other nutrients to dogs. Raw meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product's weight. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals in the first five ingredients (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein). However, chicken is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Meat By-Products
    Meat by-products are animal parts other than meat that are left over at the slaughterhouse. This can include the lung, spleen, brain, liver, blood, bone, beaks, kidneys, fatty tissue, and intestines. Because there is a wide variety of animal parts companies can use, and because details don't need to be disclosed, it's tough to compare the quality of different by-products. Generally speaking, by-products can provide important nutrients for dogs but can be of lower quality than meats and meat meals. Additionally, this ingredient doesn't identify the species it comes from making it questionable and intransparent. This includes the potential that rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources could have been used. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.

  • Wheat Flour
    Wheat flour is made by grinding wheat grains into a powder. Wheat is a grass and cereal grain often used in dog food. It provides protein, dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, B vitamins and minerals. Some dogs may develop wheat allergies, though they are a lot less common than allergies to beef, dairy and soy. The jury is still out on whether wheat is a high-quality dog food ingredient so please consult your vet if you suspect your dog may be allergic or has food sensitivities. Grain-alternatives like potatoes, peas and legumes may be linked to canine heart disease (it's too early to say this conclusively), so keep that in mind when buying foods without wheat and other grains.

  • Beef
    Beef is the culinary name for cuts of meat from cattle, particularly skeletal muscle. In dog food, beef can also include muscle tissues from the tongue, heart, diaphragm or esophagus. Beef is rich in protein and nutrients like niacin, vitamin B12, creatine, iron and zinc. Beef is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Whole meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein).

‍‍Controversial Ingredients

  1. Meat By-Products
  2. Meat by-products are animal parts other than meat that are left over at the slaughterhouse. This can include the lung, spleen, brain, liver, blood, bone, beaks, kidneys, fatty tissue, and intestines. Because there is a wide variety of animal parts companies can use, and because details don't need to be disclosed, it's tough to compare the quality of different by-products. Generally speaking, by-products can provide important nutrients for dogs but can be of lower quality than meats and meat meals. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.
  1. Wheat Flour
  2. Wheat flour is not simply good or bad. It's a lower cost ingredient that does provide energy, but some dogs can have a sensitivity to it. Wheat is not generally considered a controversial ingredient, but is controversial when it is used in the top five ingredients (which make up about 80% of the food's weight) where a named meat or lean protein would be more nutritious.
  1. Liver
  2. The liver is an organ that's rich in iron, copper, and vitamin A and B. Generally, the liver is a nutritious and healthy ingredient, but this ingredient doesn't identify the species it comes from making it questionable and intransparent. This includes the potential that rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources could have been used. For these reasons, it's controversial.
  1. Added Color
  2. Added generically refers to synthetic dyes used to change the color of food, cosmetics and medications. In humans added colors can cause reactions that include headaches, asthma attacks, itching or hives, insomnia, and hyperactivity. What's most concerning is these ingredients are completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color of their food.
  1. Vegetable Oil (Source Of Linoleic Acid)
  2. An oil that is extracted from a mixture of seeds which contain Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids and is commonly used to supply additional energy and flavor. However, since this ingredient is not specifically listing it's plant source it's not possible to determine the quality.
  1. Sodium Nitrite (For Color Retention)
  2. A food preservative that prevents the growth of microorganisms while giving taste and color to processed meats. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified Sodium Nitrite as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

Country of Origin

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy is made in the USA. That’s very positive, because ingredient and manufacturing standards are high in the United States, ensuring a certain level of product quality for dog foods made here.


Meat & Fat Quality

The meat quality of this food is inconsistent. On the one hand, Pedigree includes clearly identified protein sources like  Chicken and Beef in this food. On the other hand, the ingredient list contains items like Meat By-Products and Liver, which do not explain what species they come from. That’s intransparent and therefore not a good thing. Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy also uses “Vegetable Oil (Source Of Linoleic Acid)” as an added fat source. Again, this doesn’t identify which plant source the oil comes from, making it potentially low quality. Clearly stating what’s in your food should be a no-brainer, in our view.


Artificial Preservatives

‍This product contains no controversial preservatives, excellent. It’s good to know that ‍not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives as controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.


Artificial Colors

This dog food has one artificial color called Added Color. This can mean any number of synthetic dyes that are used to change food color. Dogs are happy to eat food of any color and “Added Color” could potentially cause health issues, so this ingredient has no value.


Artificial Flavors

No artificial flavors are found in this food, very good. This is what you want to see.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
45%
4
Brand Recalls

Pedigree’s track record shows an above-average number of dog food recalls.

Date:
8/21/2014
Recalled Products:
PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food sold under the Pedigree brand in 15 and 55 lbs. bags.
Cause:
Mars Petcare US is recalling specific 15 and 55 pound bags of PEDIGREE Adult Complete Nutrition Dry Dog Food because they may contain metal fragments.
Class:
II
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
1) 15 lbs. bags: 72 bags; 2) 55 lbs. bags: 1,685 bags
Source
Date:
6/29/2012
Recalled Products:
PEDIGREE+ Healthy Weight Premium Ground Entree in Meaty Juices, 375 g (13.2 oz) cans, FOOD FOR DOGS, Ingredients: Sufficient Water For Processing: Chicken, Meat By-Products, Liver, Chicken By-Products, chicken Breast, Carrots, Spinach, Brewers Rice 1-800-525-5273 Distributed by Mars Petcare US, Inc., P. O. Box 683006, Franklin, TN 37068-3006 , UPC 0 23100 34974 9. PEDIGREE Weight Management Meaty Ground Dinner Beef & Liver Dinner in Meaty Juices, 375 g (13.2 oz) cans, Ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Meat By-Products, Chicken, Beef, Liver, Brewers Rice 1-800-525-5273 Distributed by Mars Petcare US PO Box 683006, Franklin, TN 37068-3006 , UPC 0 23100 01913 0. PEDIGREE Weight Management Meaty Ground Dinner Chicken & Rice Dinner in Meaty Juices, 375 g (13.2 oz) cans, Ingredients: Sufficient Water for Processing, Chicken, Meat By-Products, Chicken By-Products (Source of Linoleic Acid), Liver, Brewers Rice 1-800-525-5273 Distributed by Mars Petcare US P. O. Box 683006, Franklin, TN 37068-3006 , UPC 0 23100 23045 9
Cause:
Product is being recalled because it may contain small pieces (2/3 x 2/3 x 2/5) of blue plastic. These pieces may represent a choking hazard to dogs.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
18,877 cs/12/13.2 oz cans = 226,524 cans, 18,877 cs/12/13.2 oz cans = 226,524 cans, 23,897 cs/24/13.2 oz cans = 573,528 cans, and 35,551 cs/24/13.2 oz cans = 853,224 cans
Source
Date:
9/12/2008
Recalled Products:
The following Pedigree dry dog foods with a “PAE” in the 6th, 7th and 8th digits of the Lot Code on the bag, manufactured at Mars Petcare’s Everson, Pennsylvania, facility from Feb. 18 to July 29, 2008: Large Breed Adult Nutrition, 20 lb, 30.1 lb., 36.4 lb., 40 lb., Small Crunchy Bites Adult Nutrition, 4.4 lb., 8.8 lb., 20 lb., 32 lb., 40 lb., 44 lb., 52 lb.
Cause:
Possible salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
8/8/2008
Recalled Products:
20 lb. bags of Pedigree Complete Nutrition Small Crunchy Bites sold in Albertsons stores in Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada (Lot #830BFCAT02, “Best By” July 2009).
Cause:
Possible salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
75%

We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.

How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?

Pedigree is part of the Mars family of brands and was pretty responsive. It only required one email, and they responded in 4 days. Not the fastest response time, but compared to the average it was good.  The answers provided were relatively complete, but in some ways felt like they were written more from a marketing perspective.

Does Pedigree have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

Mars Petcare US employs Associates with expertise in many different fields including nutrition, food science, animal science and veterinary sciences to name a few.

Did not answer the question directly. In a follow-up email no names for these professionals could be provided.  

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

Developing pet foods involves teams of Associates with expertise in many different fields including nutrition, food science, animal science and veterinary sciences.  Mars Petcare has been developing pet foods for over 80 years and the nutritional knowledge and expertise of our Associates goes into every diet we produce.  

The names of these professionals could not be provided.  

Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?

Our diets are tested either using AAFCO feeding trials or by analysis of the finished product to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles. It depends on the diet. Both ways of ensuring nutritional adequacy are acceptable methods and the method employed on a particular diet is listed on the diet itself within the nutritional adequacy statement. For those products that are formulated to meet nutrient profiles, we utilize our extensive database of the nutrient content of our ingredients and well as analytical values of key nutrients in order to ensure the delivery of the nutrient profiles of our diets.  

What country are your products manufactured?

In the U.S. we employ 25,000 Associates across 6 segments: Mars Food, Mars Drinks, Mars Petcare, Mars Chocolate, Mars Symbioscience and Wrigley.  We employ more than 75,000 Associates worldwide. We have 37 manufacturing plants in the U.S. and 43 U.S. states have Mars operations. For more than 100 years, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them.  By growing our footprint in the U.S., we are better able to introduce new products to meet consumer demand for greater choice and variety.  

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

At this time we do not offer public tours of our manufacturing facilities.  

Common answer for large companies like Mars.  

What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?

Quality is the cornerstone of every aspect of our business and the number one responsibility of all our employees, suppliers and distributors. At Mars Petcare, we have a vision for making A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS®. The health and wellbeing of pets is our absolute priority. Our products are manufactured in strict compliance with the stringent guidelines set down by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as well as each state's feed regulations and in many cases our own guidelines far exceed them. Under the Mars Supplier Quality Assurance Program, all of the raw materials that we and our suppliers use must meet our strict global internal quality and safety requirements, in addition to local laws and regulation. Our robust global standards, which apply at every stage of the supply chain, allow us to ensure that all of our products are safe, nutritious and enjoyable, meaning owners can feel confident that their pets will thrive on our products.

Does Pedigree (Mars) own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?

Yes.

Do any parts of your product come from China?

We source our ingredients for our North American plants as close to our facilities as possible. We do not purchase meat-based ingredients from China. Our vitamins and minerals often come from China, as that is often one of the only locations to source these ingredients globally, similar to human foods. Mars has an extensive Supplier Quality Assurance program, which includes audits and visits from our own associates to these suppliers.

We learned from speaking to many companies that sourcing quality ingredients at scale is a significant challenge. This reality means that companies like Mars who are supplying huge amounts of food to the entire world will often use a variety of sourcing options, including China.

Pedigree Choice Cuts in Gravy With Beef Canned Dog Food

by Pedigree
CHECK PRICE NOW
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