Pedigree is owned by Mars, Incorporated, a worldwide manufacturing concern probably best-known as a candy manufacturer. Mars has annual sales of some $30 billion and is headquartered in McClean, Virginia. They are entirely owned by the Mars family. Their pet care division is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. In addition to Pedigree, they also produce Nutro and Royal Canin pet foods, as well as a number of cat foods.
In the 1980s Pedigree marketed itself to dog breeders with an attractive ad campaign featuring breeders and their dogs. They sponsored lots of dog shows for many years, including the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. However, over the years the brand's philosophy changed and they became oriented toward shelter dog owners. They cut their sponsorship of dog shows and their commercials featured shelter dogs at the expense of purebred dogs. There was a great deal of ill feeling from the dog show community when Pedigree featured sad shelter dogs in commercials on Westminster broadcasts and used the show as a way to raise money for shelter dogs without making any donations to purebred rescue groups. As a result, Pedigree created the Pedigree Foundation which is said to make donations to shelters and to breed rescue groups. However, the Westminster Kennel Club changed sponsors for their show and chose Purina to replace Pedigree. Pedigree expressed astonishment.
The Pedigree brand includes dry and canned foods as well as treats and snacks. They also produce foods that are targeted for oral care, hip and joint health, weight control, and other health concerns. Like many other brands, they divide their foods by age - adult, puppy, and senior foods; and by the size of the dog - small, medium, large breed.
In the marketplace, Pedigree is an old, established brand and it is sold in grocery stores. It is priced to fit lower budgets.
Ground whole corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA/citric acid), soybean meal, ground whole wheat, brewers rice, dried plain beet pulp, natural flavor, salt, vegetable oil ([source of linoleic acid] preserved with BHA/BHT), potassium chloride, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin e], niacin, biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement [vitamin b2], pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin a supplement, vitamin b12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin b1], vitamin d3 supplement) minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate), added fd&c colors (red 40, yellow 5, blue 2)
I've chosen Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition for Dogs as a representative food for Pedigree simply because it's probably very easy for anyone to find in the store.
You will note from looking at the ingredient list that the first and predominant ingredient is ground whole corn. This is not usually a good sign. While corn isn't a bad ingredient, no one really likes to see it as the first ingredient in dog food. Dogs do best when they have meat protein from good sources. Obviously, if your dog has any allergies to corn or other grains, you need to stay away from this food. Corn will provide some protein and some energy to your dog but it's not as easy for dogs to digest as animal protein and it's likely that this food will produce lots of waste for you to scoop in the yard. That means your dog will be getting fewer nutrients.
Meat and bone meal is the second ingredient. Meat and bone meal is "the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices," per AAFCO. So it will have lots of protein but since it says it's from "meat" you don't know the source of the meat and bone meal. It could come from any kind of meat. This is not usually the kind of animal protein that owners want their dogs to eat.
You also find corn gluten meal, soybean meal, and ground whole wheat in the next several ingredients. That's lots of grain and plant matter which means it's not so easy for your dog to digest and it can produce more waste. This looks like a food that will make your dog gassy and flatulent. Soybean and soy products are being used more and more by dog food companies as a filler. With the price of corn rising, it can cost less to use soy products in foods but that doesn't mean they are beneficial for your dog.
The fats in the food are also troubling. They show animal fat (preserved with BHA/citric acid) and vegetable oil ([source of linoleic acid] preserved with BHA/BHT). The source of the animal fat isn't identified so it could be any kind of animal. And we don't know the source of the vegetable oil. Is this fresh vegetable oil or a re-used oil? What's also troubling is that these fats have been preserved with BHA and/or BHT which are artificial preservatives that have been linked to cancer and other illnesses. You should always look for natural preservatives in your dog's food when possible.
The quality of the ingredients shown here looks low. Not as low as possible. There are worse ingredients. But they don't look good.
In addition to the problems with the ingredients already pointed out, there are a lot of colorings and dyes in this food. Your dog doesn't need colored dog food. He doesn't care what the food looks like. Colors and dyes are only added to attract the consumer. What's worse, some of these colors and dyes could be harmful to your dog.
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by The AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles
Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition for Dogs provides 21 percent crude protein (Minimum), which is above the government's recommendations (18 percent for adult dogs). Much of this protein probably comes from the corn and other grains in the food so it is questionable how much of the protein your dog will be able to use. However, the meat and bone meal is also high in protein and your dog can easily digest it. The food has 10 percent (Minimum) fat which is within the government's recommendations (9 to 15 percent) for an adult dog. It's doubtful that your dog is going to have good skin or coat with this food and you could see lower energy. If your dog has any tendency toward allergies or immune system problems, this food could exacerbate them.
Calorie Content Metabolizable Energy (ME) 335 kcal/cup
Pedigree occasionally has product recalls. They also produce food for some lesser-known brands at their plants and some of these foods have had limited recalls. Pedigree has a good company name with the general public but they are not as respected by dog people.
This is not a food you want to feed your dog if you have alternatives. There are some other foods that have some of the same ingredients, but this food has none of the better ingredients you usually find to offset ingredients you don't like.
Pedigree Dog Food has received our 1 paw rating.