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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 Homestyle Meals Hearty Chicken is a lower quality dog food at a low-price. This product has 6 controversial ingredients, including artificial colors. It has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs and uses relatively low-quality meats and fats. Pedigree has an average number of recalls and was overall pretty transparent when answering our questions.Read the Full Review Below
Learn what makes a great dog food and get expert advice on how to choose the best food for your dog.Learn More
This dog food review was created by experts who love dogs. Find out more about our team and mission.About Watchdog Labs
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
Min. Protein 44.44%
Min. Fat 16.67%
Min. Carbs 27.78%
Max. Fiber 5.56%
Max. Ash 11.11%
Max. Moisture 0%
Min. Protein: 8.0%
Min Fat: 3.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 1.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 82%
329 Calories per Can
This product has below the 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.
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.Learn More
Sufficient Water For Processing, Chicken Source Of Linoleic Acid, Meat By-Products, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Salt, Dried Peas, Dehydrated Carrots, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Minerals Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper sulfate, Dehydrated Potatoes, Xanthan Gum, Added Color, Vitamins Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate Vitamin B1, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Natural Smoke Flavor, Yellow #6, Yellow #5.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 6 total controversial ingredients and 3 of them are in the first five ingredients. This is concerning because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the product.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight on the label. Always take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They typically make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
Pedigree Homestyle Meals Hearty Chicken is made in the U.S. That’s great because of high quality and ingredient standards.
Meat & Fat Quality
The meat quality of this food is mixed, because it uses both ingredients that identify the animal species they come from (ike chicken) but also those that do not (like meat by-products). There are no added oils on the ingredient list, so fats come from other ingredients like the meat. Because the meat quality is mixed, the fat quality likely varies as well.
Pedigree Homestyle Meals Hearty Chicken does not contain any controversial preservatives - excellent! Please note that not all artificial preservatives are an issue. 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. Here, we found none of them.
Pedigree Homestyle Meals Hearty Chicken uses three artificial colors - Added Color, Yellow #5 and Yellow #6. All of them are unnecessary (dogs don’t care about the color) and potentially unhealthy in dog food. We prefer products that skip them, because they’re added for making the food look better to us, not our dogs.
This food doesn’t include any artificial flavors, great. We love the lack of artificial preservatives and flavors. Skipping artificial colors would have made this a better food.
Pedigree has an above average number of dog food recalls.
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?
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.
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.