How much sugar is really in your pets dog food? and how to calculate it for yourself [ME]

Knowing how much sugar is in your pets food is so important because more and more research is showing that dogs are much more carnivorous than we previously thought. We’re finding out that dogs are just not well equipped to break down carbs or sugars, and It’s the carbs in these foods that get broken down into simple sugars, that are going to be feeding cancer cells and cancer cell growth. Cancer has grown exponentially in popularity since the start of commercial kibble diets, to the point where it is now the number one killer in our pets today. This is why we urge you to start paying attention to this percentage because it could change your dogs life. 

Lets get into how we calculate it. To calculate the percentage of carbohydrates in a commercial diet, subtract the percentages of protein, fat, moisture, crude fiber (an indigestible part of carbohydrates), and ash from 100. This percentage may be shown as “nitgrogen-free extract (NFE)” on a nutritional analysis.


“As Fed” versus “Dry Matter”

   The percentages of protein, fat, etc., shown on a pet food label are expressed “as fed” – meaning, as the food is delivered in its package. Some percentage of the food is comprised of moisture (water), which of course contains no protein, fat, fiber, or other nutrients. Kibble generally contains about 10 percent moisture; wet foods (canned, frozen, or fresh)  contain as much as 80 percent or more moisture.

So, think about it: When a label says that a food contains (for example) 4 percent fat, in order to really understand how much fat you are about to feed your dog, you also have to know how much moisture is in the food. What you really want to know is how much fat (in this example) is in the food part of the food  – the “dry matter.” Don’t worry; it sounds technical, but it’s easy to do.

  • To calculate dry matter (DM) percentages, first determine the amount of dry matter by subtracting the percentage of moisture from 100. Then divide the “as fed” percentage by the amount of dry matter to get the dry matter percentage. For example, if a canned food has 75 percent moisture and 4 percent fat:

100 - 75 = 25 percent dry matter

4 ÷ 25 = 16 percent fat on a dry matter basis


Try this out at home, I’m sure you’ll be just as surprised as we were. This is a big reason why we recommend raw or homemade diets above all others. It’s a much less processed and more pure source of nutrition, and we believe in holding the same standards to their foods as we do with ours. "