What is Ash in Pet Food?
When perusing our superb selection of pet foods, treats and chews at Natural Cornish Pet you may have come across the term “crude ash” or “ash” in the analytical constituents or ingredients lists. If you're like me, when you first saw this it may have conjured up images of your favourite pet food producers shovelling piles of the dusty grey powder found in the bottom of a fire grate, into their mixing bowls. However we mustn't worry as ash is not a filler as you might have heard but essentially a simple nutritional measurement and one that is actually essential to your dog's diet. At Natural Cornish Pet we are committed to providing our customers with the very best all natural and nutritionally complete recipes that we can find. We also want our lovely customers to be completely informed when it comes to buying these perfect products from our shelves and that's why today we've decided to take this time to fully explain the ash constituents that you may have seen on the packaging of your dog’s food, chews and treats.
What is Ash in Pet Food?
Ash seems like a strange thing to find in any food but essentially it's just a technical measurement for the mineral content found in your dog's dinners. To find this measurement a sample of the pet product is incinerated and as all the organic matter, such as carbohydrates, proteins and fat, burns away, what is left behind is the ash or mineral component. The leftover minerals or ash is then weighed and that is the value you will see on your favourite furry friends pet food packaging. These measurements are a legal requirement in pet food regulations in the UK and that is why you will regularly see ash on the packaging of your dog’s food, treats or chews. Dogs require a whole range of minerals to stay healthy including phosphorus, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, sulphur, copper, zinc, iodine, chromium, manganese, selenium and finally fluorine. With all these minerals being essential to your dog’s health and wellbeing it really starts to become clear why ash is so important to your best friend's diet and not something to worry about at all.
How Much Ash is Too Much
In short the ash content of our pets products is all dependent on the range and volume of minerals inside a particular food, treat or chew. The ash content of most complete dog foods tends to be within the 5-10% range, higher meat or fish content foods, such as our Natural Cornish Pet Mighty Fish Chew, usually having a higher ash content and vegetarian chews or treats, such as our Natural Cornish Pet Vegetable and Peanut Butter Bones, tend to contain less than 5% ash. It's also worth remembering that bone in any food or treats increases the ash content too, as it has a very high calcium content, this makes some raw foods and goodies made with fish have a higher than normal ash content and is still nothing to worry about. As you may have found yourself it's not easy to work out which foods have certain ash contents but the reality of the situation is that it doesn't really matter as this ash content of your pets food is a nearly always a very good thing.
Ash Used as a Dirty Word
You may have heard some people and some low quality dog food producers use ash as a dirty word. It's been said that low ash content is a good thing and that having a high ash content means some sort of filler is being used, however the reverse of this is true in general. Low ash content in dog food tends to indicate a low meat or fish content and ironically that more fillers such as rice or potatoes are being used. This is not however a rule and if you're interested in the ash content of a specific product you should always contact the manufacturer for more information.