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Agar Gum

A dried hydrophilic, colloidal polygalactoside extracted from Gelidium Cartilagineum, Gracilaria Confervoides and related red algae. Used in pet food as a thickener, emulsifier, firming agent, and stabilizer; it functions to thicken fluids, increase viscosity and reduce ice crystal formation.

Alfalfa (Dehydrated)

Dehydrated alfalfa is a meal product resulting from the rapid drying of alfalfa by artificial means.

Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate

The extracted, concentrated form of alfalfa nutrition.


An edible nut, oval in shape with a woody shell.

Almond Oil

Ripe almonds pressed to extract the oil with minimal heat.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Made from fermented apple juice.

Ascorbic Acid

Added into pet kibbles as a preservative to extend shelf life, or to try and add additional nutrition to the pet food. This is referring to the additive form of ascorbic acid, NOT the ascorbic acid that is naturally occurring in whole foods.


a leguminous plant with clover-like leaves and bluish flowers, native to southwestern Asia and widely grown for fodder. Typically used as an inexpensive filler in pet foods.

Alfalfa Meal Concentrate

A fertilizer made from fermented alfalfa plants.


The meat from an alligator.

Alligator Meal

Alligator remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


A small common forage fish.

Anchovy Meal

The dried, ground tissue of the small, marine Anchovy fish.


A sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree.



Pork that is salted and cured. Different than the raw pork meat due to the process it undergoes to become bacon.


A major cultivated cereal grain.

Barley Grass

The young green shoots of barley that form before the grain.


The meat from cattle.

Beef Fat

The fat of beef meat that comes from cattle.

Beef Hide

The skin of beef.

Beef Kidney

The kidney of cattle.

Beef Meal

All beef tissues from the processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans. Made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.

Beet (Beetroot)

The taproot portion of a beet plant.


Biotin is a water soluble B vitamin that is essential for protein and fatty acid metabolism. Water soluble, which means that the body will not store excess amounts which are eliminated during urination. This is added into pet foods as an added supplement in the synthetic form. This is NOT referring to the biotin that is naturally occurring in whole foods.

Bison Meal

All bison tissues from the processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans. Made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.

Bone Meal

A mixture of finely and coarsely ground animal bones and slaughter-house waste products.

Brewers Yeast

Made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a one-celled fungus. Sometimes used as an added supplement in pet kibbles.


A green plant in the cabbage family that is known for its edible flower head and stalk.

Brown Sugar

A sucrose sugar product with a distinctive brown color due to the presence of molasses.


A long, curved fruit with edible flesh and yellow skin.


An aromatic herb. Typically used as a natural antioxidant in pet food.

Bee Pollen

A mix of pollen from flower blossoms that is gathered by bees and mixes with enzymes that come from the bees.

Beef Broth

A savory liquid made of water in which beef bones have been simmered.

Beef Heart

The heart of cattle. Considered an organ and a muscle.

Beef Jerky

Lean, trimmed meat that has been cut into strips and dried to prevent spoilage. Normally, this drying includes the addition of salt to prevent bacteria growth before the meat has finished the dehydrating process.

Beef Liver

The liver of cattle.

Beef Tallow

A rendered or cooked form of beef fat.

Bison (Buffalo)

Meat from a bison or buffalo

Black Beans

Black beans are classified as legumes. Also known as turtle beans because of their hard, shell-like appearance, black beans are, in fact, the edible seeds of the plant. Contains protein and should only be fed to pets in moderation.


The small, sweet blue-black edible berry of the blueberry plant.

Blue #1 Dye

Also known as Brilliant Blue FCF. It is a synthetic organic compound used primarily as a blue colorant.

Blue #2 Dye

Also called indigo blue or indigotine. It is a synthetic version of indigo, a dye naturally produced from plants.

Brewers Rice

The small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice.

A processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice. Contrary to what many pet food companies want to make you believe, this is not a high quality ingredient, just much cheaper than whole grain rice.

Brown Rice

Brown rice is whole-grain rice with the inedible outer hull removed.

Brussel Sprouts

The Brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages, grown for its edible buds. The leaf vegetables are typically 1.5–4.0 cm in diameter and look like miniature cabbages. Good for pets to eat in moderation. Can cause extreme flatulence.



Cabbage is a leafy green, red, or white biennial plant grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. Aids in digestion for pets, but can cause flatulence.

Calcium Carbonate

Added to pet food for 3 primary reasons. First, it is an inexpensive source of calcium, which is an essential mineral for dogs and cats. Second, it is used as a preservative. Thirdly, it is used as a color retention agent. Naturally occurring in pearls and the shells of marine organisms, snails, and eggs. The Calcium Carbonate we test for refers to the synthetically made ingredient added into pet foods.

Calcium Iodate

An inorganic compound composed of calcium and iodate anion. Added to pet foods as a synthetic iodine supplement.

Calcium Sulfate

A calcium salt used as a firming agent in pet food.

Canola Oil

A monounsaturated fat that is derived from the rapeseed plant.


Also called L-Carnitine. Has a role in energy production. It transports long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so they can be oxidized (“burned”) to produce energy. Commonly found in low-fat, light or so-called diet foods for both dogs and cats.


Also called carrageenins. A family of linear sulfated polysaccharides that are extracted from red edible seaweeds. They are widely used in pet food for their gelling, thickening, and stabilizing properties.


A freshwater or marine fish with barbels resembling whiskers around the mouth, typically bottom-dwelling.


A perennial herb that is a member of the mint family. The chemical compound in the plant that attracts and affects mainly cats is called nepetalactone. It is found in the leaves and stems.

Cheese (Cheddar)

A relatively hard cheese that made from pasteurized cow’s milk.

Cheese (Swiss)

A shiny, pale, yellow cheese with a mild, nutty flavor. Some Swiss cheese is characterized by the notable holes throughout the cheese. Contains less lactose than other cheeses.


The meat of a chicken.

Chicken Broth

Broth is a savory liquid made of water in which chicken bones have been simmered.

Chicken By Product

Chicken by-product meal is used as a major component in some pet foods. It is made from grinding rendered parts of chicken carcasses and can contain bones, offal, undeveloped eggs, and sometimes feathers.

Chicken Meal

All chicken tissues from the processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans. Made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


An annual herb in the family Apiaceae.

Citric Acid

A synthetic preservative used in pet foods. Not referring to the naturally occurring citric acid found in citrus fruit.

Collard Greens

Loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea, the same species as many common vegetables, including cabbage and broccoli. Has large, dark-colored, edible leaves.


Also known as Maize. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits.

Corn Meal

Corn meal is a meal ground from dried corn. It is ground to fine, medium, and coarse consistencies.


Very small, red colored fruit.


A crustacean with edible flesh.

Calcium Chloride

Used as an additive in pet foods as a firming agent. Can also be used as a synthetic source of calcium.

Calcium Pantothenate

Also called D-Calcium Pantothenate. The calcium salt of the water-soluble vitamin B5, ubiquitously found in plants and animal tissues with antioxidant property. A synthetic supplement added to aid in metabolism in pets.

Canola Meal

Canola meal is the ground meal that is left after the oil has been pressed from canola seeds.

Caramel Color

Caramel is a coloring agent that helps provide consistency and product appeal in pet foods. Can help achieve the target appearance when the base ingredients pull it in another direction, such as grey or white.


Orange colored, tapering root vegetable.

Cashew Nut

Edible kidney shaped nut.

Catfish Meal

All catfish tissues from the processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans. Made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


Has a long fibrous stalk tapering into leaves.

Cheese (American)

A type of processed cheese made from cheddar, colby, or similar cheeses. It is mild with a creamy and salty flavor, has a medium-firm consistency, and has a low melting point. It can be yellow or white in color.

Cheese (Cottage)

A cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is not aged. It is made by draining the cheese, as opposed to pressing it – retaining some of the whey, keeping the curds loose.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are oval and gray with black and white spots, having a diameter around 1 millimeter. Chia seeds are added to pet foods as a source of fiber and omega-3.

Chicken Fat

The fat of a chicken.

Chicken Heart

The heart of a chicken.

Chicken Liver

The liver of a chicken.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Cultivated legume. High in protein.

Chicory Root

A large, tuberous root commonly baked, ground, and used as an additive source of soluble fiber.

Chicory Root Extract

The concentrated form of chicory root used as a soluble fiber additive in pet foods.

Choline Chloride

Choline chloride is a source of the essential B vitamincholine that naturally occurs in animal and plant sources, especially in eggs, liver, fish, meats, soybeans, and wheat germ.


Chlorella is a type of algae that grows in fresh water. The whole plant is used to make nutritional supplements and medicine for humans and pets. Chlorella is rich in the powerful detoxifier chlorophyll and contains a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and high levels of protein.

Coconut Oil

Extracted from mature coconuts and takes the form of an edible oil.

Cod Liver Oil

Oil pressed from the fresh liver of cod. Used as an Omega fatty acid supplement.

Copper Sulfate

An inorganic compound that combines sulfur with copper. Copper in copper sulfate binds to proteins in fungi and algae. Controversial ingredient in pet foods because it can be an irritant. Synthetic form is added to ensure pets have enough copper, but copper is naturally occurring in other ingredients.

Cow's Milk

Milk from a cow.


Dandelion Greens

Dandelion greens are the leaves of the dandelion plant, which is easily recognizable by its yellow flower and its status as a weed in yards around the world. Contains vitamins A, C, K, D, B complex, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.


The meat of a waterbird with a broad blunt bill, short legs, webbed feet, and a waddling gait.

Duck Liver

The liver of a duck.

Dicalcium Phosphate

Also known as dibasic calcium phosphate or calcium monohydrogen phosphate. Produced by the neutralization of calcium hydroxide with phosphoric acid, which precipitates the dihydrate as a solid. Typically used as a synthetic calcium supplement or used to improve the texture of pet food. It cannot absorb water and is basically insoluble. Known to sometimes cause calcification of soft tissue.

Duck Gizzard

An organ found in the duck’s digestive tract.

Duck Meal

All duck tissues from the processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans. Made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


E 306 Natural tocopherols (Vitamin E)

A natural antioxidant for polyunsaturated fatty acids in tissue fats. Commercially it can be extracted, by distillation in a vacuum, from cottonseed, maize, rice germ, soya been oil, wheat germ, or green leaves and may, therefore, come from Genetically Modified sources.

E 308 Gamma-tocopherol (Tocopherol)

A chemical compound that is a synthetic antioxidant and supplement considered “Vitamin E.” The difference between each type of tocopherol is determined by the number and position of methyl groups on the chromanol ring.


The meat of an elk.

Egg Yolk

The yellow internal part of an egg. Contains more nutritional value than the egg white. Rich in vitamins and protein. High in fat and cholesterol.

E 307 Alpha-tocopherol (Tocopherol)

A chemical compound that is a synthetic antioxidant and supplement considered “Vitamin E.” The difference between each type of tocopherol is determined by the number and position of methyl groups on the chromanol ring.

E 309 Delta-tocopherol (Tocopherol)

A chemical compound considered a synthetic form of “Vitamin E.” The difference between each type of tocopherol is determined by the number and position of methyl groups on the chromanol ring.

Egg white

The clear, viscous substance surrounding the egg yolk. Turns white when cooked. Low in fat, calories, and vitamins. High in protein.


Fenugreek Seed

Small, golden-brown seeds. Can be used as a spice and a thickening agent in pet food.


A soft, sweet fruit. Its skin is very thin and has many small seeds inside of it.

Fish Broth

Fish broth or stock comes from simmering the bone marrow, cartilage and other connective tissue in liquid. Connective tissue contains collagen, which is converted into gelatin that thickens the liquid.


The seeds of a flax plant. Also known as linseed. It is added into pet foods as an inexpensive additive. Contains protein and fiber.

Ferrous Sulfate

Ferrous sulfate is a compound iron supplement. Many other ingredients contain enough iron, but a number of pet food companies add it to their mix.

Fish Meal

The rendered, dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. Like with all other animal sources, if a type isn’t specified, you never know what type or quality of fish is used. According to US Coast Guard regulations, all fish meal not destined for human consumption must be conserved with Ethoxyquin (unless the manufacturer has a special permit). This preservative is banned from use in foods for human consumption except for the use of very small quantities as a color preservative for spices. So unless the manufacturer either presents a permit or states “human grade” fish or fish meal is used, you can be pretty sure Ethoxyquin is present in the food even if it is not listed.

Folic Acid

The synthetic form of Vitamin B9. It is the fully oxidized monoglutamate form of the vitamin that is used in fortified foods and as a dietary supplements.



A translucent, colorless, flavorless food ingredient, derived from collagen taken from animal body parts. It is brittle when dry and gummy when moist. Used as a binder in pet food.

Goats Milk

Milk from the goat.

Ground Yellow Corn

Specifically yellow corn ground to a thin consistency.


The organic form of a flowering plant whose rhizome, ginger root or ginger, is widely used.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride

An amino sugar and a prominent precursor in the biochemical synthesis of glycosylated proteins and lipids. Also known as glucosamine HCL, it’s also found in shellfish shells, but doesn’t contain sulfate. It’s more concentrated than glucosamine sulfate but in studies it’s proven less effective in helping joints

Green Bean

The unripe, young fruit and protective pods of various cultivars of the common bean. Also called French beans, snap beans, snaps, and string beans.

Guar Gum

Guar gum, also called guaran, is a galactomannan polysaccharide extracted from guar beans that has thickening and stabilizing properties used in pet food. The guar seeds are mechanically dehusked, hydrated, milled and screened according to application.



The meat of the Halibut which is Northern marine fish.

Hemp Seed Oil

Oil extracted from the seeds of the hemp plant.

Herring Meal

Herring Meal is the ground and dried protein product that remains after oil and moisture have been extracted in the normal rendering process.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

A type of artificial sugar made from corn syrup.


A strain of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp is classified to contain 0.3% or less of THC.


The meat of a Herring. A small, silvery fish.

Herring Oil

Herring oil is an animal oil and is obtained from the fatty tissue of fish of the herring type by boiling and subsequent expression. It has a characteristic odor and taste.


The sweet, viscous food substance produced by bees and some related insects. Bees produce honey from the sugary secretions of plants or from secretions of other insects, by regurgitation, enzymatic activity, and water evaporation.



A carbocyclic sugar that is abundant in brain and other mammalian tissues, mediates cell signal transduction in response to a variety of hormones, neurotransmitters and growth factors and participates in osmoregulation.


Manufactured commercially and used as a synthetic supplement in pet foods for digestion.



The meat of the largest living marsupials from the family Macropodidae.


Kelp is large brown/green algae seaweeds that make up the order Laminariales. Grows in “underwater forests” in shallow oceans.


Lactobacillus Acidophilus

A homofermentative, microaerophilic species, fermenting sugars into lactic acid, and grows readily at rather low pH values. Occurs naturally in the human and animal gastrointestinal tract and mouth.

Lamb Meal

Lamb remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


An edible legume. They come in a variety of colors, including green, brown, red, and black, and they resemble very tiny beans in shape. It is a source of protein, fiber, and iron.


Flesh of a young sheep.


Yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues which are amphiphilic – they attract both water and fatty substances. They are used for smoothing pet food textures, emulsifying, and homogenizing liquid mixtures.


The meat of a lobster marine crustaceans. Lobsters have long bodies with muscular tails, and live in crevices or burrows on the sea floor.



The meat of a Mackerel fish. Greenish-blue in color.

Manganese Sulfate

A synthetic compound that is a source of manganese. Can help metabolism and the nervous system. It is a pale pink solid.


A group of highly variable small-seeded grasses. Easier to digest than wheat for dogs.

Manganese Proteinate

A synthetic chelated source of manganese used as an antioxidant. It can slow down the process of aging, activates many enzymes and helps utilize fatty acids.

Menhaden Fish Meal

The meal of the small oily fish that are caught along the Atlantic coastline of the United States. It is made by cooking remnants, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


The soft tissue inside the two hard, external shells of the mollusk named mussels. Used in pet food to deliver nutrients in the form of lipids.



A form of vitamin B3. It is found in foods such as yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, and cereal grains. Niacin is also produced in the body from tryptophan, which is found in protein-containing food.



A species of cereal grain grown for its seed, which is known by the same name.


A type of coarse flour made of hulled oat grains – groats – that have either been milled (ground), steel-cut, or rolled. Rolled oats can be either thick or thin, and may be “old-fashioned”, or “quick”, or “instant”.

Olive Oil

A liquid fat obtained from olives, a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives.


A salt-water bivalve mollusk that lives in marine or brackish habitats.


Oat Groats

The hulled kernels of various cereal grains- in this instance, from oats. Groats are whole grains that include the cereal germ and fiber-rich bran portion of the grain, as well as the endosperm.

Ocean Fish Meal

The rendered (cooked down), dried ground tissue of undecomposed whole ocean fish or ocean fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil.

Oregano Powder

A warm and aromatic yet slightly bitter herb in the mint family. Ground into powder form.

Omega 3 Fatty Acid

A polyunsaturated fatty acids characterized by the presence of a double bond three atoms away from the terminal methyl group in their chemical structure. This refers to the synthetically produced omega 3 used as an additive in pet foods. This does NOT refer to the naturally occurring omega 3 found in salmon, anchovies, chia seeds, etc.


A bright green herb used as a natural source of vitamins in pet foods.

Pea Protein

A by-product of pea processing. Can be used to inflate the overall proportion of protein within a dog food formula.

Peanut Butter

A food paste or spread made from ground dry-roasted peanuts. It often contains additional ingredients that modify the taste or texture, such as salt, sweeteners, or emulsifiers.


The small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the pod fruit Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas, which can be green or yellow.

Pheasant Gizzard

An organ in the digestive tract of a pheasant.

Pheasant Liver

The liver of a pheasant.


Plaice is a common name for a group of flatfish that comprises four species: the European, American, Alaskan and scale-eye plaice. White, tender, and subtle-flavored.


The meat of a domestic pig.

Pork Heart

The heart of a pig.

Pork Liver

The liver of a pig.

Pork Skins

The skin of the pork. Also called pork rinds.

Potato (White)

A starchy root vegetable. Added into pet foods for potassium and carbohydrates. For white potatoes, the texture is firmer, with slightly creamy and thin delicate skin. White potatoes are medium, round to long shape; their color ranges from white to tan skin with white flesh.

Potato (Yellow)

A starchy root vegetable. Added into pet foods for potassium and carbohydrates. Yellow potatoes can be round or slightly oval and flat in shape, with medium starch level; they are often sweeter. Yellow potatoes have a natural buttery flavor.

Potato Starch

A by-product of potato processing. Most commonly used as a binding agent in dog foods that do not contain traditional binding agents. Potato starch only contains starch which has little nutritional value to dogs beyond its carbohydrate content. Potato Starch has a poor nutritional profile as potato processing removes the skin of the potato which includes many of the beneficial minerals and vitamins.

Powdered Cellulose

A white, odorless powder that is most often produced as a low value byproduct of agriculture (e.g. corn stover, sugarcane bagasse, straw) or as waste material from saw mills and paper mills. Typically a poor choice of fiber for pets.


A large rounded orange-yellow fruit with a thick rind, edible flesh, and many seeds.

Parsley Flakes

The dried parsley herb.

Pea Fiber

Very high in dietary fiber, primarily insoluble fiber rather than soluble fiber. Beyond its fiber content, Pea Fiber has little to no nutritional value. While fiber is an important component of a dogs diet, Pea Fiber, in particular, can often be labeled as a filler and in high quantities can, in fact, have an adverse effect on digestion.


A legume crop grown mainly for its edible seeds. Contains high levels of fat and should only be given to pets in moderation.

Pearled Barley

Whole grain barley that has been processed to remove its fibrous outer hull and polished to remove some or all of the bran layer.


A large long-tailed game bird native to Asia, the male of which typically has very showy plumage.

Pheasant Heart

The heart of a pheasant.

Phosphoric Acid

A clear, colorless liquid that is added to pet foods primarily as an acidifier but is also used effectively as a flavoring, emulsifier and to prevent discoloration.

Pork Fat

The fat on the meat of a pig.

Pork Kidney

The kidney of a pig.

Pork Meal

All pork tissues from the processing factory remnants that are not edible for humans. Made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.

Potassium Chloride

A metal halide salt composed of potassium and chlorine. It is odorless and has a white or colorless vitreous crystal appearance. The solid dissolves readily in water, and its solutions have a salt-like taste. It is used as a flavor enhancer, flavoring agent, stabilizer or thickener in pet foods.

Potato Flour

Flour made from potatoes by dehydrated and crushing very fine.

Psyllium Seed Husk

A form of fiber made from the husks of the Plantago ovata plant’s seeds. It sometimes goes by the name ispaghula. It’s most commonly known as a laxative.

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Pyridoxine hydrochloride is a source of the B-complex vitamin pyridoxine. Used in medications and pet food as a synthetic supplement.



The meat of the quail, a small, short-tailed game bird.

Quinoa Powder

Dried and ground quinoa.


An annual seed-producing flowering plant grown as a grain crop. It is a pseudocereal, not a grass, unlike wheat and rice. Quinoa seeds are rich in protein, dietary fiber, B vitamins, and dietary minerals in amounts greater than in many grains. It is gluten-free.



The meat of the small mammal with fluffy, short tails, whiskers and distinctive long ears.

Rabbit Liver

The liver of a rabbit.


An edible soft fruit, consisting of a cluster of reddish-pink drupelets.

Red #40 Dye

Also known as Allura Red. An artificial food coloring that comes from petroleum distillates or coal tars.

Rice Bran

Bran, also known as miller’s bran, is the hard outer layers of cereal grain. It consists of the combined aleurone and pericarp. Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a byproduct of milling in the production of refined grains.


A woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers. Frequently used in dog food as a natural anti-oxidant and preservative.

Rosemary Extract

Concentrated form of the herb, Rosemary. Typically used as a preservative in pet foods.

Rabbit Heart

The heart of a rabbit.

Rabbit Meal

Rabbit remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.


A yellow vitamin of the B complex which is essential for metabolic energy production. This refers to the riboflavin processed and added to pet foods. NOT the naturally occurring riboflavin in egg yolk, poultry meat, fish, beef, etc.

Rice Flour

Rice flour is a form of flour made from finely milled rice.


A grass grown extensively as a grain, a cover crop and a forage crop.



A perennial, evergreen subshrub, with woody stems, grayish leaves, and blue to purplish flowers. Used in pet food as a source of vitamins and nutrients.

Salmon Meal

Salmon remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.

Sardine Meal

Sardine remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.

Sea Bass

Any of a number of marine fishes that are related to or resemble the common perch.

Sodium Chloride

An ionic compound. Known as salt.

Sole Fish

A type of lean flatfish.

Soy Grits

Soy grits are made from lightly toasted soybeans that have been ground into coarse pieces. The toasting brings out a nutty flavor.

Soy Protein Concentrate

Basically defatted soy flour without the water-soluble carbohydrates. It is made by removing part of the carbohydrates (soluble sugars) from dehulled and defatted soybeans.

Soybean Meal

The product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from soybeans by a solvent or mechanical extraction process. A poor quality protein filler used to boost the protein content of low quality pet foods.


A widely cultivated edible Asian plant of the goosefoot family, with large, dark green leaves.

Squash (Butternut)

A type of winter squash that grows on a vine. It has a sweet, nutty taste similar to that of a pumpkin. It has tan-yellow skin and orange fleshy pulp with a compartment of seeds in the blossom end. Rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.


A disaccharide, a molecule composed of two monosaccharides: glucose and fructose. Sucrose is produced naturally in plants, from which table sugar is refined.

Sunflower Seed

The hard-shelled edible seed of a plant of the daisy family.


The meat of the fish Salmon which is an oily fish containing a natural source of Omega 3.


The meat of a young pilchard or other young or small herring-like fish.

Sardine Oil

The oil extracted from a sardine fish. Contains omega-3 fatty acids and Coenzyme Q10.


A small free-swimming crustacean with an elongated body.

Sesame Oil

Oil extracted from the sesame seed. Contains fatty acids that are typically in pet foods already from meats.

Sodium Selenate

An inorganic compound, NOT to be confused with sodium selenite. Chosen for its selenium content and high solubility, sodium selenate is a common ingredient in over-the-counter vitamin supplements. Selenium is a trace essential element.

Soy Flour

Whole bean flour milled from raw soy beans.

Soy Lecithin

Generally used as an emulsifier, or lubricant, when added to pet food, but also has uses as an antioxidant and flavor protector.

Soy Protein Isolate

Made much the same way as soy protein concentrate, except all non-protein components, including carbohydrates and fiber, are removed from the defatted soy beans.

Soybean Oil

Oil extracted from the soybean. Typically used in pet food as a low-grade oil option.


Spirulina is a biomass of cyanobacteria that can be consumed by humans and pets. Spirulina is grown in ponds and other warm bodies of water where it’s collected, dried and made into powders and tablets. It has detoxifying characteristics for humans and pets.


Known for its characteristic aroma, bright red color, juicy texture, and sweetness.

Sunflower Oil

The non-volatile oil pressed from the seeds of sunflower.

Sweet Potato

A large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots that is a root vegetable.



Extracted from the storage roots of the cassava plant. Provides only carbohydrate food value, and is low in protein, vitamins and minerals. It is generally regarded as a low grade filler for dogs or used as a thickening agent. It also has a high glycemic level. It converts very quickly to sugar.


An organic compound that is synthetically made to be added into pet foods as an amino acid supplement. This does not apply to the taurine naturally occurring in meat and dairy.

Tomato Pomace

An inexpensive by-product of tomato manufacturing. It is a fiber ingredient utilized in dog and cat foods. It is made up of the skins and seeds that are left when food plants produce ketchup, canned tomato juice, salsa, and tomato soups. The tomatoes are washed and cleaned at the plant and then a steam treatment separates the skins.

Trout (Sea)

Common name and applies to sea-run (anadromous) brown trout.


A saltwater fish that belongs to the tribe Thunnini.

Turkey Broth

Broth made from turkey bones.

Turkey Gizzard

An organ found in the digestive tract of a turkey.

Turkey Meal

All turkey remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.

Tapioca Starch

The starch extracted from tapioca. Added to pet foods as a thickening agent and filler.


An aromatic perennial evergreen herb whose small leaves grow on clusters of thin stems. Thyme is used in pet food to add flavor, improve digestion, and because it acts as an anti-bacterial agent.


A mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers, and lakes, and less commonly found living in brackish water.


A large mainly domesticated game bird.

Turkey Heart

The heart of a turkey.

Turkey Liver

The liver of a turkey.


A bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family. Its purpose is to enhance the color and/or flavor of pet food


Vegetable Oil

The product of vegetable origin obtained by extracting the oil from seeds or fruits which are processed for edible purposes. Although it is used to add fat and flavor to pet food as well as to keep the coat shiny, it is one of the lowest grade oils to be used in pet food.


Meat from a deer.

Venison Meal

All deer remnants that are not edible for humans. It is made by cooking them, processing them under high heat, and dehydrating them into a dry powdery substance that goes into kibble.



Watermelon grows from a vine-like flowering plant. The sweet, juicy flesh is usually deep red to pink, with many black seeds, although seedless varieties exist. The seeds and rinds should not be consumed by pets or humans.

Wheat Middlings

Also known as “wheat middlings,” these bran particles come from wheat shorts, wheat germ, and wheat flour as by-products of human food processing.

White Rice

Milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed.

Whole Grain Sorghum

A gluten free grain with a hearty texture and mild, nutty flavor.

Wheat Flour

A powder made from the grinding of wheat; Wheat varieties are called “soft” or “weak” if gluten content is low, and are called “hard” or “strong” if they have high gluten content.

Wheat Gluten

A food made from gluten, the main protein of wheat. It is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed, leaving the sticky insoluble gluten as an elastic mass, which is then cooked before being eaten. Typically added into pet food to help it maintain its shape.

Whitefish Meal

Made from the meat, bones, and offal left over from processing fish used for human consumption.



Yams are native to Asia and Africa, they are related to lilies and grow as roots of a flowering plant. Yams grow from a regular potato size to gigantic proportions of nearly 5 feet long. The skin of a true yam is tougher and bark like and the flesh is white, red or purplish in color. Typically not seen in the US as fresh form, sold mainly as a canned product.

Yeast Culture

The dried product composed of yeast and the media on which it is grown, dried in such a manner as to preserve the fermenting activity of the yeast. An unnecessary, feed-grade ingredient in pet foods, added mainly as a flavoring to make inexpensive food more attractive. Lacks the nutritional value of higher quality yeast supplements.

Yellow #6 Dye

Also called Sunset Yellow FCF or E110. It is a petroleum-derived orange azo dye. Excessive consumption in pet food can lead to health conditions.


The dried eukaryotic single-celled microorganism classified as a member of the fungus kingdom. Added to pet foods as a very inexpensive source of protein.

Yellow #5 Dye

Also named Tartrazine or E102. It is a synthetic lemon yellow azo dye. Excessive consumption in pet food can lead to health conditions.

Yucca Schidigera Extract

The extract of a flowering plant of the lily family. Used as an ammonia binder. Some pet food companies add this to pet food to help reduce waste-odor.


Zinc Sulfate

An inorganic compound and dietary supplement. As a supplement it is used to treat zinc deficiency and to prevent the condition in those at high risk. It is produced by treating virtually any zinc-containing material (metal, minerals, oxides) with sulfuric acid.


A type of green squash that is treated as a vegetable. Can be fed to pets in moderation.