Cat and Dog Food Ingredient Definitions

We offer only the finest ingredients in our pet foods because the health of your cats and dogs is extremely important to us. For your reference, we've provided a list of the common ingredients in pet foods. We hope that this will help you understand what is in your pet's food and how our foods can help your cats and dogs.

Alfalfa Alfalfa supplies protein, calcium, carotene, water-soluble vitamins, alpha tocopherols (Vitamin E), and Vitamin D.
Amino Acids Component part of all protein.
Amylase An enzyme that breaks down carbohydrates.
Ascorbic Acid A crystalline Vitamin C found in citrus, fresh fruits, tomatoes, potatoes, and green leafy vegetables.
Aspergillus Niger Digestive aid.
Bacillus Subtillis and Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Products Digestive aid.
Bacillus Subtillis A beneficial bacterium and digestive aid.
Beet Pulp Best source of fiber; helps develop good fecal consistency; acts as a calming base for forming the stool in the colon. It is made by drying residual beet chips after sugar extraction.
Biotin Part of B-Complex vitamins (Vitamin B7). An important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and protein.
D-Biotin Supplement B-complex vitamins.
Blood Meal A cheap ingredient made from dried blood.
Bromelain Enzymes from pineapple plant, believed to help with the digestion of protein.
Calcium Mineral for bones, teeth, and muscles.
Calcium Pantothenate Source of vitamin B5.
Canola Oil One of the best oils for heart health. Made from crushed canola seeds, it has less saturated fat than any other oil commonly used in the U.S. A diet low in saturated fat helps lower cholesterol levels. It's also very high in healthier unsaturated fats — higher than any other oil except flaxseed oil. Our canola oil is GMO-free. (Contrary to claims found on the Internet, canola oil has low levels of erucic acid, is safe, and has many health benefits.)
Chelated Mineral A mineral dietary supplement; an essential mineral that has been treated to make it more absorbable by the body when used as a dietary supplement.
Chicken, Whole Fresh, whole chicken without any by-products, feet, heads, feathers, or intestines. Excellent source of amino acids, fatty acids, and biotin.
Chicken Meal Moist-cooked fresh chicken meat without by-products, feet, heads, feathers, or intestines that is fine ground into a meal.
Chicken Fat An excellent source of palatability, essential fatty acids, and energy.
Choline Although choline is not by strict definition a vitamin, it is an essential nutrient. Choline is used in the synthesis of cell membranes and helps to prevent fat from being deposited in the liver.
Citrus By-Products Residue of citrus pulp and seed products resulting from production of citrus juices.
Cobalt Proteinate Chelate of cobalt (cobalt wrapped in an easy-to-digest protein (kelp) for better absorption)
Cod Liver Oil Excellent source of unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin A. Important for cats.
Copper A small amount of copper improves utilization of iron.
Copper Sulfate Source of copper.
Copper Proteinate Chelate of Copper.
Cottage Cheese and Whole Egg High-quality protein; including tryptophan, calcium, and lecithin from the egg yolk.
DL-Methionine An essential amino acid that contributes to improving the tone and pliability of the skin, conditioning the hair, strengthening nails, and protecting the cells from airborne pollutants. Methionine is a urinary acidifier. It is used for the treatment and prevention of certain types (struvite) of urinary stones.
Enzymes A protein that speeds up chemical reactions in the body, such as digestion.
Fat Fat is an important component of the diet. Twenty-five to fifty percent of the dietary energy of dogs can come from fat. Fats are also needed for the absorption of some vitamins (the “fat-soluble” vitamins: A, D, E, and K) and are a source of essential fatty acids. The essential fatty acids have the potential to become oxidized (rancid) if sufficient amounts of antioxidants are not present. Deficiencies can alter the oil film on the skin, leading to flaky skin and a lusterless coat, and may also predispose to skin infections. In suspected cases of fatty acid deficiencies, they can be supplemented by adding 1 teaspoon of soy or corn oil to each cup of dry food. Capsules containing fish oils have a more profound effect on the skin and hair coat. One of the most important functions of the fat content of dog foods is to enhance palatability, or acceptability, of the food. A well-balanced diet does no good if the dog won't eat an adequate amount. Both dogs and people tend to like the taste of fatty foods. Some manufacturers of dry dog foods use a technique more commonly used with dry cat foods. A coating of fat is sprayed on the outside of each kibble after it has been dried. Other pet food companies will spray the dry food with a material called “digest.” Digest is partially degraded animal tissue such as ground viscera of poultry, fish liver, and beef lungs. Either of these techniques can enhance the palatability of pet food and does not detract from its nutritional values. However, it is a good idea not to purchase a bag of dry dog food with evidence of fat soaking through to the outside (“grease out”).
Ferrous Sulfate Source of iron.
Fish Meal Ground white fish, sardines, and anchovies. Excellent source of methionine, selenium, and lysine.
Flax Seed High proportion base of unsaturated essential fatty acids. Best vegetal source of Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy skin and a shiny coat. Also, a source of Omega-6 fatty acids.
Folic Acid For blood, reproduction, and normal metabolic maintenance. A B-complex vitamin (Vitamin B9)
Garlic Helps tone digestive tract and discourage worms and other parasites, including fleas.
Grapeseed Oil Rich in vitamin E and loaded with omega-6 (linoleic) fatty acids, which are excellent for the skin and coat. Contains nearly 76% essential omega-6 and omega-3, and is highly stable.
Inulin Naturally derived from chicory root, inulin supports digestive health in a number of ways: it's a soluble dietary fiber, it aids in digestion and absorption of nutrients (especially calcium), and is a prebiotic (a food source for the good bacteria in the intestines). It's also a bit sweet — healthy good taste!
Iodine For prevention of goiter. Has profound effect on growth and development. The thyroid gland stores and uses iodine.
Iron For healthy blood. More important for dogs than cats since cats eat more meat. A deficiency of iron causes nutritional anemia.
Iron Proteinate Chelate of iron.
Kelp Source of iodine as well as an easy-to-digest protein wrapping for chelated minerals.
L–Lysine Essential amino acid.
Lecithin Phosphorized fat from plants/animals. Important for body tissue and cells. Protects cell membrane from damage caused by oxidation. Largely composed of the essential nutrient choline. As an emulsifier, it provides an excellent addition to the diet facilitating fat soluble vitamin absorption.
Linoleic Acid For skin and coat; also known as omega-6 fatty acid (studies have shown linoleic acid to be a natural anticarcinogen in mice and rats. Further study needed for other animals and humans).
Lipase Enzyme, aids in proper fat absorption; important for healthy skin and coat.
Magnesium Mineral needed for healthy muscles, blood, and bones
Manganese Proteinate Chelate of manganese.
Manganous Oxide Source of manganese. Manganese is essential for the proper use of protein and carbohydrates by the body, reproduction, and the action of many enzymes in the body responsible for the production of energy and making fatty acids.
Meat Clean, wholesome flesh of slaughtered animals.
Minerals A number of minerals are required by the body in small amounts, but they serve a number of important functions, including muscle contraction, nerve conduction, and structural integrity of bones. The proportions of different minerals, especially the calcium phosphorus ratio, is crucial to their function. Dog foods are formulated to contain the proper amounts and proportions of minerals. Indiscriminate supplementation by well-meaning owners is the main cause of mineral imbalances in dogs.
Monosodium Phosphate Acts as an antioxidant synergist, a stabiliser, and a buffer.
Niacin Water-soluble Vitamin B3. Helps to maintain normal function of skin, nerves, digestive system.
Oats Toasted oats are highly nutritious, have natural palatability enhancements, and, combined with whole oat flour, provide extraordinary grain-based nutrition. An excellent source of protein without the allergy causing glutens found in wheat and other grains. Rich soluble fiber for better health.
Pantothenic Acid Vitamin B5; for appetite, normal growth and development, and digestion.
Papain and Alpha-Amylase Enzymes Enzymes added to facilitate digestion and absorption of protein and carbohydrates. Amylase activity is derived from aspergillus niger, a microorganism in the mod genera family, which produces an enzyme that helps to break down starches into simple sugars for energy and metabolism.
Papain Vegetable enzyme, used as a digestive aid (from papaya).
Potassium Mineral vital in proper muscle functioning and growth.
Potassium Chloride A source of potassium.
Potassium Sorbate A chemical preservative.
Potatoes Rich in potassium, lysine, and other minerals. An excellent carbohydrate source (energy).
Probiotics Used to facilitate good health and wellness. They inhibit unfriendly bacteria proliferation, help nutrient absorption, and facilitate digestion.
Protein Proteins are the building blocks in animal nutrition. They are one of the most important nutrients in the diet. Proteins are necessary for all aspects of growth and development and are very important in structural make-up and the immune system. In addition, they are burned as calories and can be converted to and stored as fat. Most important is the type of protein in the food, not the quantity. The “Crude Protein” lists the total amount of protein, not the amount that can be digested.
Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) Promotes normal red blood cell formation. Maintains chemical balance among body fluids. Regulates excretion of water. Helps in energy production and resistance to stress. Acts as co-enzyme in carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism.
Pyridoxine Hydrochloride Source of Vitamin B6.
Quinoa A highly nutritious, gluten-free grain from South America. A high andes grain that is 100% organically grown, rich in amino acids, and an excellent energy source.
Riboflavin Vitamin B2. Vitamin necessary for red blood cell formation, antibody protection, cell respiration, and growth. It alleviates eye fatigue.
Rice Excellent carbohydrate source.
Rice, Ground Product obtained by coarse grinding the whole grain rice.
Rice Bran The bran or internal germ of the rice.
Rice Flour Product obtained by fine grinding the whole grain rice.
Rosemary Extract Concentrated with rich, naturally-occurring phenolic compounds that provide excellent antioxidant activity to protect the fats, preventing harmful peroxide and free radical formulation that reduces the nutrient quality.
Safflower Oil Highly unsaturated oil extracted from safflower seeds; excellent for the skin and coat.
Sage Extract Concentrated with rich, naturally-occurring phenolic compounds that provide excellent antioxidant activity to protect the fats, preventing harmful peroxide and free radical formulation that reduces the nutrient quality.
Sodium Chloride Typically known as salt; it maintains normal body functions such as digestion, pH, ability of muscles to contract, and a healthy skin and coat.
Sodium Selenite Source of Selenium, one of the seven trace minerals considered essential in a pet's diet. Selenium acts to naturally “detox” an animal's cells.
Soybean Oil Oil extracted from the soybean. Source of protein, a glyceride ester of 90% fatty acids. Good for the skin and coat.
Tapioca From the root of the cassava plant, tapioca has a variety of uses in baking, most commonly in puddings. It provides a slightly sweet flavor, and helps give foods a chewy and/or crisp texture. Tapioca is perfect for a grain-free diet for dogs as it has a flavor that dogs enjoy, is a novel carbohydrate, and has high digestibility.
Taurine An essential amino acid necessary for proper bile formation, health of the eye, and functioning of the heart muscle. Cats require a high amount of taurine for their body functions, yet have limited enzymes which can produce taurine from other amino acids such as methionine and cysteine. Therefore, cats need a diet high in taurine.
Thiamine Vitamin B1; for appetite, growth, and muscles.
Thiamine Mononitrate Source of Vitamin B1.
Tocopherols Closely related Vitamin E fat soluble compounds in vegetables. Antioxidant and natural preservative.
a-Tocopherol Acetate alpha-Tocopherol Acetate. The most biologically active form of vitamin E, and that is preferentially absorbed and accumulated in humans.
Tomato Flakes and Pomace Excellent source of protein, vitamins (especially A and C), minerals, and fiber. Aids in digestion.
Vegetables Rich in bioflavonoids (sometimes referred to as Vitamin P, though this name is not generally accepted). Help with Vitamin C absorption and are natural antioxidants.
Dehydrated and Freeze Dried Vegetables Carrot flakes, peas, tomato flakes, celery, garlic granules, spinach, parsley flakes, and green bell peppers.
Vitamins Vitamins are a class of nutrient required in small amounts, less than 1% of the entire diet. They all serve as enzymes, substances that regulate chemical reactions in the body. These reactions include digestion of all other nutrients, nerve and muscle function, as well as energy utilization. Routine vitamin supplementation is usually unnecessary when a healthy dog is eating a quality commercial diet.
Vitamin A Supplement For eyes, appetite, and growth.
Vitamin Bl2 Supplement For growth and blood.
Vitamin D3 Supplement For bones and teeth; responsible for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus from the intestines and subsequent deposition as bone.
Vitamin E An antioxidant that helps preserve and protect the Vitamin A and other fatty acids. Needed for reproduction, fights disease, and minimizes the effects of pollution.
Water Water may be considered a nutrient, as it is a component of all foods and is required by the body in a larger amount than any other nutrient. A 10% loss of total body water (dehydration) results in serious disease, and a 15% loss results in death. As a general rule, water of good quality should be available to the animal at all times. Dogs usually prefer it cooler than room temperature. When consuming only dry dog food, containing only about 9% moisture, an animal will usually drink more of his free choice water than when consuming all canned dog food. This ensures that the total amount of water entering the body stays the same, regardless of the form of the food. Dry foods and canned foods are of equal value nutritionally, as both should provide a complete and balanced diet. However, dogs consuming only dry food usually have less dental disease, because less plaque is deposited on the teeth than with canned food.
Whey Dried whey (dried milk).
Yucca Schidigera Extract Reacts with the urease enzyme activity to reduce ammonia production in urine and feces. Significantly reduces the odor. Yucca extract is derived from the yucca plant, pulp, and juices.
Zinc Important for growth and immune system function.
Zinc Oxide Source of zinc.

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