What Your Dog Thinks of Pedigree Dog Food

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Years back, PSB conducted an online survey among 900 dog-owners in the US and over 50% indicated that they think about their dog’s nutrition severally. In other words, they worry about what each of the commercial brands has in the kibble and whether they are good for dogs.

That brings me to my main question..

Is Pedigree dog food bad?

In a range of 11 dry dog food that Pedigree dog food brand manufacturers and retails, there is not a single recipe that has received a 4 or 5-star review. In fact, the average rating of all their recipes is 2 to 2.5 stars from commercial dog food online retailers such as Chewy and Amazon.

Dog Food Advisors, a site known for objective dog food reviews gave a 1-star out of five. Other experts have slammed their recipes for having low-quality ingredients, and fillers, and for being overpriced.

Pedigree dog food brand has evolved and over the years, it has gained a reputation from its partnership with Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show. This focus towards breeders and show dogs has since shifted with the company now focussing on shelter dogs. They have ended their partnership with the popular dog show.

In 2015, pet owners claimed that fibers in Pedigree dog food were making their pets sick. They described the fibers as ‘clear, wiry, string-like’ but Pedigree responded by saying those fibers were part of the natural ingredients. 

There was a Pedigree Dog Food Lawsuit filed by dog owners who claimed that Pedigree kibble literally killed their dogs using heavy metals such as arsenic and mercury in their dog food recipes. Read the lawsuit story here.

pedigree dog food

Some of the criticism that experts have about Pedigree’s recipes include:

1. Low-quality protein sources:

The first several ingredients in most of their recipes are usually some form of protein by-products. Protein by-products are considered low quality and lacking in the number of amini-acids it can offer your dog.

2. Inadequate fat content:

For dogs, fat is an essential nutrient that helps with brain development, joint health, and a shiny coat. However, most of Pedigree’s recipes have below-average fat levels which may not be sufficient for some dogs.

3. High levels of carbohydrates:

Dogs are not as efficient in metabolizing carbohydrates as they are in metabolizing protein and fat. This means that high levels of carbs in their diet can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

Controversial ingredients:

Some of the ingredients used in Pedigree’s recipes are controversial and not commonly used in dog food. These include

Propylene glycol:

a synthetic substance that is used as a humectant (to keep food moist) and an emulsifier (to prevent the separation of ingredients). It is considered safe for dogs by the FDA but some experts believe it may be linked to liver and kidney problems.

Soybean Meal:

This is a cheap ingredient that is often used as a source of protein in dog food. However, it is a controversial ingredient because it is an inexpensive filler and some dogs may be allergic to it.

Beet pulp:

Another controversial ingredient in Pedigree dog food is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a by-product of sugar beet processing and is used as a source of fiber in dog food. Some experts believe that it is an unnecessary ingredient while others consider it a healthy source of fiber.

Brewers Rice:

Another controversial ingredient is Brewers rice. Brewers rice is a by-product of the brewing process and is considered an inferior source of nutrients.

Ground Whole Grain Corn:

They are considered filler ingredients as they have low nutritional value.

Sodium hexametaphosphate:

Another ingredient that has raised some concerns is sodium hexametaphosphate. This ingredient is used as a water softener, sequestering agent, and emulsifier. It has been linked to gastrointestinal issues in dogs.

Meat and Bone Meal:

Pedigree doesn’t indicate the source of proteins in some of their bone meal ingredients and this tells you that the quality of the protein is low. Bone and meat meal is a rendered product made from animal bones and tissues. It can be a source of controversy as it is not regulated and the quality can vary greatly.

Sodium Selenite:

Sodium selenite is an inorganic form of selenium that is often used as a dietary supplement. However, some experts believe that it may be toxic in high doses.

Fillers and artificial additives:

Pedigree’s recipes also contain several fillers and artificial additives. These include corn, soy, and wheat – all of which are common allergens. They also contain artificial colors and flavors which are not necessary for dogs and may be harmful.

Lack of transparency:

Another criticism of Pedigree’s recipes is the lack of transparency when it comes to their ingredients. The company does not disclose where they source their ingredients or what goes into their recipes. This makes it difficult for pet owners to make informed decisions about the food they are feeding their dogs.

While they have indicated in their recipes that their kibble is made here in the US, they have not provided detailed information on the sourcing of their ingredients.

What can you do to improve transparency:

I encourage you to share your feedback on any Pedigree dog food brand – wet or dry indicating whether your dog had an allergic reaction or mention any helpful feedback such as whether your dog liked it or not. If your dog experienced stomach issues such as diarrhea, please share that as well in dog food review comment sections and by writing detailed reviews on Amazon, Chewy, or Petco.

We want to hear from dogs and you can play a role.

The more a kibble brand is associated with any particular health issue, the easier it will be for Pedigree to listen to criticism and rectify the offending ingredients. You could literally save a kibble by sharing your dog’s experience.

There are also some things to like about Pedigree’s kibble brands.

Here are some of the things that experts say are good about their recipes:

1. Good digestibility:

One of the benefits of Pedigree’s recipes is that they are highly digestible. This means that your dog will be able to absorb more of the nutrients in their food.

2. High-quality ingredients:

Another positive aspect of Pedigree’s recipes is that a few of their brands use high-quality ingredients. This includes chicken, lamb, and beef as well as fruits and vegetables.

3. Affordable:

Pedigree’s recipes are also affordable compared to other premium dog food brands. This makes them a great option for budget-conscious pet owners.

4. Contains no artificial flavors or colors:

A few of their recent kibble brands contain no artificial flavors or colors. This is a plus for pet owners who are looking for a food that is free of these additives.

What does this mean for you as a dog owner?

If you are feeding your dog Pedigree, it is important to be aware of the criticisms that have been leveled against their recipes. Some of these criticisms may be valid while others may not.

Go for their highly-rated brands that do not contain any controversial ingredients discussed above.

For High-protein Pedigree Dog food:

For Protein-diet by Pedigree, go for PEDIGREE High Protein Adult Dry Dog Food Beef and Lamb Flavor Dog Kibble. It is made of red meat.

High-protein line Pedigree dog food is made of high-quality protein that make up at least 6% more protein than their standard line dog food brands. They are good for adult dogs that need more protein in their diets such as working dogs and those recuperating from an injury or surgery.

PEDIGREE High Protein Dog Food comes in three flavors: Beef & Lamb, Chicken & Turkey, and Salmon & Rice.

Pedigree High Protein Line

However, it is up to you as an informed pet owner to decide what is best for your dog. There are many other brands of dog food on the market that may be better suited to your dog’s needs such as;

  1. If you want grain-free kibble, go for brands such as Blue Buffalo, Wellness, or Natural Balance.
  2. If you are looking for a food with higher fat content, go for brands such as Taste of the Wild or Orijen.
  3. And if you want a food that is more transparent about their ingredients and sourcing, go for brands such as Acana or Fromm.
  4. In the end, it is up to you to decide what is best for your dog. Do your research and choose a food that you feel confident in feeding your furry friend.

Other food brand alternatives:

Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Natural Balance, Orijen, Acana, and many others. If you have any concerns about the food you are feeding your dog, we recommend that you speak with your veterinarian.

So, Is pedigree dog food good?

It depends on who you ask. Some experts feel that their recipes are not up to par while others appreciate the fact that they use high-quality ingredients and their kibble is highly digestible. It is important to be aware of the criticisms leveled against Pedigree’s recipes so that you can make an informed decision about the food you feed your dog. Consider trying one of their newer, grain-free recipes if you are looking for a food that does not contain any controversial ingredients.

Is pedigree dog food made in china?

No, Pedigree dog food is not made in China. Their products are manufactured in the United States, England, Brazil and India. As of this publication in May 2022, Pedigree dog food is distributed in the following countries;

Feeding Chart:

Which Dogs Can Benefit from Pedigree?

For rescue centers looking for affordable kibble on a budget:

If you have to feed a lot of dogs in places such as a volunteer-funded dog rescue center, Pedigree dog food could be a great affordable option to be able to feed those rescue dogs that would have gone without food.

During dog food shortage:

If you are unable to find your usual dog kibble brand and can only find Pedigree dog food brand on sale, go for it. Over the past year, there have been a lot of shortages that have partly been brought about by COVID-related Supply chain issues and a few FDA recalls on dog food brands. Read about the Pedigree dog food recall including 2021 recall here.

However, with the low-quality ingredients and with their protein having lower-than-average biological value, I find it difficult to recommend this kibble to anyone’s dog.

Which Dogs will not benefit from Pedigree Dog Food:

Active dogs:

Active and growing dogs that require high-protein diets to support their lifestyle should not feed on this brand.

Dogs with allergies:

The fact that Pedigree hasn’t disclosed the ingredients in some of their kibbles should get you worried if you have a dog allergic to some ingredients. Avoid this brand if your dog is allergic to some kibble ingredients.

Dogs with food allergies or sensitivities may do better on a limited ingredient or hypoallergenic diet. And since Pedigree uses chicken by-product meal as their main source of protein, this could be a problem for some dogs.


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