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What is ‘Ash’ in dog food?

You may have read the title of this article and now be thinking “What? My dog’s eating ash every day?” and running to your dog’s food, vigorously going through the ingredients list to see if it’s included. We don’t blame you, it sounds absurd. However, it’s actually perfectly healthy and is a key component of a dog’s diet.

What is ‘ash’ in dog food

You might have seen ‘Crude ash’, ‘incinerated residue’, or ‘inorganic matter’ on the back of your pup’s food packaging. But it’s not the leftovers from yesterday’s bonfire. 

Actually, ‘ash’ is the ‘mineral substance’ needed for your pup to have a complete, healthy, balanced diet. It contains a range of minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, and calcium, that ensures your dog stays healthy and strong.

But why is it called ‘ash’?

Well, if you were to burn your dog’s food, eventually all the major nutrients (protein, fats, and carbohydrates) would burn off, leaving only the mineral content. In fact, it’s this process that food scientists use to determine the energy density of the food (that’s how many calories are in it). 

It’s this process that is the starting point for the precise feeding recommendations we give you in the PitPat app. We calculate the energy density of PitPat Food and tell you exactly how much food your dog needs based on the number of calories they burn each day.

Is ash in dog food good for my dog? 

Yes! It’s an essential nutritional aspect of a healthy diet that every furry companion needs. It helps to balance their body fluids and has a hand in helping them grow big and strong.

The calcium from these minerals strengthens bones and joints, resulting in fewer chances of injury, and the magnesium sourced in crude ash will provide the key nutrients in energy production, to help your dog’s brain and body perform to their full potential. And to top it all off phosphorus helps kidney function, allowing your pooch to flush out all those toxins they encounter.

This means they can tear around to their heart’s content for longer, and be happier for it. 

Why is ash on the list of ingredients?

Most dog food companies are required to include information about ash content on their packaging by law (although some don’t at all).  It’s worth noting that ‘crude ash’ is not added to the food. The reason it’s included on the back of food packets is to help owners gauge how much mineral content there is. 

It’s very useful to have it, in case you ever need to monitor the number of minerals your dog is getting for dietary management. 

How much ash should there be in my dog’s food? 

As not all dog grub is made by the same people, there can be variants in the amount of crude ash found in your dog’s food, however, most commercial dog foods contain 5-8% of crude ash. 

If you do come across food that has a percentage of crude ash above 8%, or one that doesn’t include it in their list of ingredients, you should consider avoiding it. This is because these foods tend to be of poor quality with lots of filler ingredients.

So now you know what ash content is, and why it’s a useful measurement, you’re all set to find the perfect food for your dog. That’s where PitPat Food comes in. 

Our recipes have been carefully formulated by expert nutritionists to provide your dog with everything they need, with high-quality meat and no added nasties.

 Even better, you can use the PitPat app to get an exact feeding recommendation for your dog based on their age, breed, weight, sex, and, if they have a PitPat Dog GPS Tracker, their activity levels too.

So say goodbye to vague feeding recommendations on the back of food bags, and hello to feeding recommendations that are exactly tailored to your dog.

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