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When selecting the best dry food for your dog, why is it better to go with the chicken meal than the pure chicken? Chicken meal is simply chicken that has been baked to remove bacteria and other toxins. Chicken is simply pure chicken.
What people don't know about chicken, is that it is made mostly of water. If a label on a bag of dog food says %60 whole chicken, that is quite misleading as that does not take into account how much of that %60 of chicken is left after baking it to remove unwanted substances!
When the label on the bag says %60 of chicken meal, your getting more of the chicken because the product has already been baked to remove unwanted affects such as bacteria.
Converting dry matter basis
This can be the hard part. All pet foods have different levels of moisture. Canned foods can have up to 80% moisture whereas, some dry foods can have as little as 6%. This is important for 2 reasons. The first is that the food is priced by the pound, and when you buy dog food that is 80% water you get 20% food and the rest is water. So the amount of food your pet consumes is small and expensive. The other reason for understanding percent moisture is to help you compare crude protein and fat between brands and between canned and dry. The listings on the label are for the food as it is, not as it would be on a dry matter basis. So without converting both brands of food to a dry matter basis you will not be able to compare them accurately. Fortunately, the conversion is not that complicated.
If a dry dog food has 10% moisture we know that it has 90% dry matter. So we look at the label and check the protein level that reads 20%. Next, we divide the 20 percent protein by the 90% dry matter and we get 22%, which is the amount of protein on a dry matter basis. Does this make sense so far? Good. Now let us compare this to canned food that has 80% moisture. We know that with 80% moisture we have 20% dry matter. The label shows 5% protein. So we take the 5% and divide it by 20% and we get 25% protein on a dry matter basis. So the canned food has more protein per pound on a dry matter basis after all the water is taken out. We can do the same for fat, fiber, etc.
Good luck calculating!
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