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Ingredients Dictionary

Helpful resource of ingredients often found in premium pet food

Each ingredient in our recipes is thoughtfully chosen for its nutritional benefits, providing just what pets need for happier, healthier, longer life
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Apples

Apples are an excellent source of pectin.

Ascorbic Acid

Form of Vitamin C.

Ascorbyl Palmitate

Ascorbyl palmitate is sometimes used in pet foods as part of a natural preservative system, because by itself it is a weak preservative. Dogs and cats can synthesize their own Vitamin C from glucose. Therefore, it is not needed as a dietary supplement. It has been speculated that some animals whose ability to synthesize Vitamin C is compromised may benefit from supplementation, but proof is lacking.

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Bananas

Bananas are a source of fiber and potassium.

Barley, Cracked

Cracked barley is the entire barley kernel chopped or ground. An excellent choice for diabetic pet diets due to its unique nutritional make-up, modest amounts of slowly-digested starch and the soluble fiber ß-glucan.

Barley, Pearled

Pearled barley is produced from whole seeds that have been scoured to remove the seed hull and bran. An excellent choice for specialized obesity and diabetic pet diets due to its unique nutritional make-up, modest amounts of slowly digested starch and the soluble fiber ß-glucan.

Beef

The clean flesh derived from cattle and is limited to that part of the striated muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue or heart, with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. An excellent source of high quality protein.

Beta Carotene

Beta-Carotene is an antioxidant. Research has shown that cell death occurs due to the process of oxidation, which is caused by what are called "free radicals". Antioxidants such as beta-carotene may also protect against certain cancers, cataracts and heart disease.

Biotin

This B-vitamin is included in most diets for pets. It is found in the intestinal tract and helps prevent dermatitis. It is essential for normal metabolism of fat and protein.

Blueberries

Blueberries are rich in Vitamin A & C, Potassium, Fiber and various carotenoids which are valuable anti-oxidants. Blueberries provide flavor, taste and color of fresh fruits.

Brown Rice/Ground Brown Rice

Ground Brown Rice is the entire product obtained in grinding the rice kernels after the hulls have been removed.   An excellent source of complex carbohydrates, provides quick energy and is loaded with B vitamins and minerals.

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Calcium Carbonate

Calcium carbonate is a mineral used to provide calcium. It must contain a minimum of 38% calcium.

Calcium Iodate

Calcium Iodate is a nutritional source of Iodine. Iodine helps the thyroid function properly and perform a multiple of body functions including metabolism, nerve and muscle function, the growth of skin and hair.

Calcium Pantothenate/Pantothenic Acid /d-Calcium Pantothenate

This water-soluble vitamin required to sustain life is also known as Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid. Pantothenic acid is needed to form coenzyme-A (CoA), and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This vitamin is necessary for the conversion of fat and sugar into energy and promotes wound healing and antibody formation. Wellness includes this important vitamin in all of our natural dog and cat foods.

Canola Oil

Canola oil is obtained by extracting the oil from rapeseeds. It cannot contain more than 3% impurities. The oil provides the animal with calories needed for energy and the essential fatty acids alpha-linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid necessary for a healthy coat.

Carrageenan Gum

Carrageenan gum is the extract from the red seaweed found in the North Atlantic coastal regions. It is usually used in canned pet foods to bind water to improve the appearance of the product.

Carrots

Carrots are an excellent source of fiber and minerals. Also a good natural source of beta carotene, an antioxidant essential for neutralizing free radicals.

Cassia Gum

Is the purified flour from the endosperm of the seeds of Cassia tora or Cassia obtusofolia. Is the product obtained by mechanical separation of the endosperm from the germ and husk in a heated process, which subsequent purification by sieving, pulverization, extraction, and drying. Cassia gum is suitable for use as a stabilizer (thickening and gelling agent) in canned dog and cat food and shall be permitted in concentration up to 4000 ppm.

Chicken

Chicken is the clean combination of skin and flesh derived from whole chickens. It is an excellent source of high quality protein and fatty acids and is the first ingredient in any of our chicken based diets for cats and dogs.

Chicken Fat

Chicken fat is used to coat our foods after cooking as a highly palatable natural flavor that helps achieve the proper fatty acid profile necessary for healthy skin and coat. It is especially good for cats, because it contains arachidonic acid, a fatty acid they cannot produce on their own.

Chicken Liver

Chicken Liver, as the name implies, is liver specifically from chicken. It is an excellent source of high quality protein and a rich source of Vitamins A, D and virtually all of the B vitamins.

Chicken Meal

As the chicken cooks, all of the fat and water are released, creating a concentrated, highly-digestible protein and fat source. For our cat foods, we source and select special low-ash chicken meal as to control mineral levels that contribute to proper urinary health.

Chicory Root Extract (Inulin)

Chicory is harvested to extract inulin. Inulin is often known as a “Prebiotic” the counterpart to “Probiotics.” Probiotics are good bacteria that stop the growth of the bad bacteria in the digestive tract. The fiber feeds these probiotics so that they can do their jobs.

Choline Chloride

Is a source of the nutrient Choline. Choline is necessary for a number of important functions including energy metabolism and proper nervous tissue function.

Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin Sulfate is part of a large protein molecule which gives cartilage it elasticity. It is believed to be helpful in maintaining cartilage in the animal.

Copper Proteinate/Copper Sulfate

Two compounds which are used as a source of copper. The copper from copper proteinate is highly available while the copper from copper sulfate is less so. A trace mineral found in all body tissues. It works in respiration, synthesis of hemoglobin and production of collagen. It is also an antioxidant and helps prevent oxidation of fatty acids.

Cranberries

We add cranberries to our cat food as an excellent source of Vitamin C and unique natural source of tannins (astringents found in plants) that help prevent harmful bacteria from thriving in the urinary tract.

Cranberry Extract Powder

Cranberry extract powder is the dehydrated form of the cranberry plant and is an excellent source of vitamin C. Dried or dehydrated fruits are nutrient dense and allow us to use more than whole fruits, since they have significantly lower water content than whole/fresh fruits.

Cranberry Fiber

Cranberry fiber is the fibrous pulp that includes the flesh and skin of the cranberry. It is an excellent source of vitamin C and also and excellent stool softener. Cranberries have long been known to aid in urinary tract health and since in a majority of fruits, especially cranberries, the “goodness” is found directly in the skin and pulp.

DHA

Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega-3 fatty acid important for neural development of your mammals. DHA is a major structural component of the brain as well as the most abundant fatty acids in the brain. It plays a vital role in the development of the central nervous system and retinal function.

Dicalcium Phosphate

A mineral supplement which contains 20% calcium and 18% phosphorus. The phosphorus is essentially 100% available.

Dried Brewers Yeast

The dried non-fermentative, non-extracted yeast resulting as a by-product from the brewing of beer and ale.   It must contain not less than 35% crude protein. Brewer's yeast is usually added to foods to enhance palatability.   Many people prefer to use brewer's yeast and garlic dietary supplements as a natural flea repellent. Controlled studies have shown that brewers yeast has no affect on fleas.

Dried Egg Product

Dried, whole, cooked eggs (minus shells) are often added to pet foods to increase the protein biological value.   Raw egg whites contain avidin which binds to biotin (B Vitamin) to make it unavailable to the pet. Therefore, it is not recommended to feed pets raw eggs.

Dried Kelp

Dried Kelp is the dried product from two families of seaweed. It is an excellent natural source of iodine and also provides beneficial fiber.

Duck

Duck is the clean combination of skin and flesh without bone derived from the parts or whole carcasses of ducks. It is an excellent source of high quality protein and fatty acids.

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Enterococcus faecium

See Live Micro-organism

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Ferrous Proteinate

A source of iron. The iron from ferrous proteinate is highly available while the iron from ferrous sulfate is less so. Of note is the fact that iron from iron oxide is not available but is often found in some pet foods as a coloring agent.

Ferrous Sulfate

Ferrous Sulfate a source of iron. It provides oxygen to blood and helps with the digestion of fatty acids.

Flaxseed

Also known as linseeds, flaxseeds are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds are high in fiber that adds bulk to the diet. Omega-3 fats in flaxseed also improve the shine of the pet’s coat. It also aids in the movement of food through the digestive system.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is another B-vitamin that is added to most pet foods. It helps form red blood cells and break down amino acids.

 
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Garlic

Garlic is the whole clove of the garlic plant. Garlic is valued for its anti-oxidant properties, as well as its enjoyable flavor.

Green Lipped Mussel

Green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) is a New Zealand shellfish. The extract from green lipped mussel is reported to be useful in the treatment of hip and joint problems in dogs.

Glucosamine Hydrochloride

Glucosamine is an amino sugar that plays a role in cartilage formation and repair. It is extracted from shellfish (shrimp and crabs) and is believed to be useful in helping maintain healthy joints.

Barley, Ground/Pearled

Ground/Pearled Barley is produced from whole barley seeds that have been scoured to remove the seed hull and bran. An excellent choice for specialized obesity and diabetic pet diets due to its unique nutritional make-up, modest amounts of slowly digested starch and the soluble fiber B-glucan. It is more digestible than whole or cracked barley.

Ground Rice

See Rice.

Guar Gum

Guar gum is the extract of Cyamopsis tetragonolobus , a legume grown primarily in India and Texas. It is usually used in canned pet foods to bind water to improve the appearance of the product. It can be used in foods for diabetic pets since it also slows the absorption of glucose.

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Herring

Herring is the clean tissue of undercomposed whole herring or herring parts. It is a source of protein and long chain Omega 3 fatty acids which are critical for healthy skin and coat, proper body function and enhanced learning of young puppies.

Herring Oil

Herring oil is the oil extracted from whole or parts of herring. It is one of the best sources of long chain Omega 3 fatty acids which are critical for healthy skin and coat, proper body function and enhanced learning of young puppies.

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Iron Proteinate

Chelated source of iron. The iron from iron proteinate is highly available and it provides oxygen to the blood and helps digestion of fatty acids.

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Lactobacillus acidophilus

See Live Micro-organism.

Lactobacillus casei

See Live Micro-organism.

Lactobacillus plantarum

See Live Micro-organism.

Lamb

The clean flesh derived from lambs and is limited to that part of the striated muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue, or heart, with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. An excellent source of protein.

Lamb Meal

Lamb Meal offers a novel single source animal protein alternative with the water removed, has a lower incidence of allergic response.

L-Carnitine

Carnitine or L-Carnitine is a vitamin like compound made in the body from the amino acids lysine and methionine. It is found in animal-based, not plant based, sources of protein. L-carnitine has been used to help with fat metabolism and recent scientific studies suggest that it helps reduce weight in overweight dogs and cats.

Live Micro-organisms

Natural micro-flora (friendly bacteria) that may help the digestion process, thus providing more efficient utilization of food and produce bacteriocins which act as natural antibiotics.

L-Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid for cats. It is also important for kittens that have a propensity to suffer from upper respiratory health issues.

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Manganese Proteinate/ Manganese Sulfate

Two compounds which are used as a source of manganese. The manganese from manganese proteinate is a chelated source of manganese and is an antioxidant. It activates many enzymes and helps utilize fatty acids. The manganese from manganese sulfate is less available.

Menhaden Fish Meal

Menhaden fish meal is the clean, dried and ground tissue of undercomposed whole menhaden with or without the extraction of part of the oil. It must not contain more than 10% moisture. It is an excellent source of high quality protein, calcium, phosphorus and long chain Omega 3 fatty acids which are critical for healthy skin and coat, proper body function and promote brain development in young puppies.

Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid for both dogs and cats. Some protein sources (most notably soybean meal, meat & bone meal and poultry meal) do not provide enough methionine. Therefore, it is often added to pet foods to ensure the animal receives enough.

Millet/Ground Millet

Ground millet is the entire product obtained in grinding millet. It is a nutritious grain that is high in fiber and B-complex: niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and methionine.

Mixed Tocopherols

This a mixture of differing forms of Vitamin E most often used as a preservative or antioxidant to stabilize fats to prevent them from becoming rancid. Their stabilizing effect depends on the type of fat used.

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Natural Chicken Flavor

Natural Chicken Flavor is a powder or liquid made by taking clean animal tissue (usually liver) and breaking it down using enzymes. Natural flavor is used for its ability to improve the taste of dry foods. It is sprayed on the exterior of dry food.

Natural Fish Flavor

See natural chicken flavor.

Niacin

While the B vitamin Niacin is present at high levels in most grains, unless properly treated, most of the niacin in these ingredients is in a bound form and hence unavailable to the pet. For this reason most manufacturers supplement their diets with niacin. It helps process protein, carbohydrates and fat as well as promotes healthy nervous and brain function.

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Oatmeal

Oatmeal is obtained in the manufacture of rolled oat groats or rolled oats and consists of broken oat groats, oat groat chips and floury portions of the oat groats with only such quantity of finely ground oat hulls as is unavoidable in the usual process of commercial milling. It must not contain more than 4% crude fiber. Oatmeal is an excellent source of highly digestible carbohydrates, protein and nutritional fiber.

Oat Fiber

Oat fiber is a purified form of fiber extracted from oat hulls. It is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the olive. Olive oil is regarded as a healthful dietary oil because of its high content of monounsaturated fat (mainly oleic fatty acid) and polyphenols. It is a blend of virgin oil and refined virgin oil. It commonly lacks a strong flavor.

Omega Fatty Acids

Defined as polyunsaturated fatty acids which have a double carbon bond in the third (O-3's) or sixth (O-6's) from last terminating carbon in the fatty acid. Common Omega fatty acids include Linoleic, alpha Linoleic, EPA and DHA.

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Pears

Pears are an excellent source of pectin.

Peas

Peas are an excellent source of protein and fiber. They are a great representative of the "Green" vegetable group.

Potassium Chloride

A potassium supplement typically found in pet food. It contains 40% potassium and 60% chloride. It is important in helping the pet maintain proper acid-base balance.

Potatoes

Potatoes are whole, freshly cooked potatoes that include the skins. Potatoes provide B vitamins, carbohydrates, zinc, vitamin C, copper, iron, magnesium, niacin and potassium.

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are usually composed of chicory root extract, of which the primary compound is inulin. Inulin serves as a food source for the probiotics (see below).

Probiotics

See Live Micro-organisms

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride

Pyridoxine hydrochloride is the most common form used when supplementing pet foods with the B-vitamin pyridoxine. Pyridoxine is very important in helping the pet metabolize protein.

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Riboflavin

Riboflavin is used to supply the diet with a B-complex vitamin. It helps promote growth and helps assimilation of carbohydrates and amino acids.

Rice Bran

Rice bran is the bran layer and germ of whole brown rice with only such quantity of hull fragments chipped or broken rice as is unavoidable in the regular milling of edible rice. It must not contain more than 13% crude fiber.   An excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Rice/Ground Rice

Unless listed as brown rice, rice is the de-hulled rice kernel, without the bran. Rice is the preferred grain for feline diets as it is low in minerals, specifically magnesium. Controlling the mineral content of a diet is especially important for cats prone to urinary tract disease. Wellness uses some whole rice and some ground rice in the dietary solutions recipes.

Rice Protein

Rice protein is the dried material from rice after the removal of the starch and separation of the bran by milling. It typically contains a minimum of 60% protein.

Rosemary Extract

Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officinalis) is a highly effective natural preservative high in antioxidants.

Rye Flour

Rye flour consists of flour together with fine particles of rye bran.

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Salmon

Salmon is the clean tissue of un-decomposed whole salmon or salmon cuttings. It is an excellent source of high quality protein, calcium, phosphorous and long chain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are critical for healthy skin, coat and proper body function.

Salmon Meal

Salmon is cooked down, creating a concentrated, highly digestible protein and fat source known as salmon meal. For our cat foods we source and select special low ash salmon meal as to control mineral levels that contribute to proper urinary health. It is an excellent source of high quality protein, calcium, phosphorous and long chain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are critical for healthy skin, coat and proper body function as well as promotes brain development of kittens, puppies and babies.

Salt/Sodium Chloride

A sodium and chloride supplement typically found in pet food. It contains 39% sodium and 61% chloride. It is important in helping the pet maintain proper fluid balance.

Salmon Oil

Salmon oil is high in Omega 3 fatty acid, specifically EPA and DHA.

Sea Cucumber

The sea cucumber is an ocean living invertebrate and is used because it serves as a rich source of the polysaccharide chondroiton sulfate, which is believed to be helpful in maintaining and promoting healthy joints in the animal.

Sodium Selenite

A source of the trace mineral selenium. Since animals require only about 0.1 parts per million of selenium, sodium selenite does not contribute any significant amounts of sodium. This helps to regulate the body's water balance.

Sorghum

Sorghum is a grain which primarily is used as a source of carbohydrates. It contains more fiber and less fat that most other grains. It is not as digestible as rice, and as such is sometimes used to help control blood sugar. It is also referred to as milo.

Spinach

Spinach is exceptionally rich in carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lutein, and also contains quercetin, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties. Spinach is also a good source of magnesium and manganese.

Squash

Originally native to North America squash were used as food in Mexico as early as 5,000 BC. The colonists of New England adopted the name squash, a word derived from several Native American words for the vegetable . Squash or zucchini is an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin C and potassium.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is obtained by extracting the oil from sunflower seeds. It cannot contain by definition more than 3% impurities. The oil provides the animal with calories needed for energy and the essential fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (an omega-6 fatty acid) essential for a shiny coat and healthy skin.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes are excellent source of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and Beta Carotene. The starch in sweet potatoes converts to sugar easily and provides quick energy. Sweet potatoes are not part of the "Night Shade" family.

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Taurine

Taurine is a compound similar to amino acids. It is essential for the proper functioning of the eyes and heart.

Thiamin Mononitrate

Form of thiamin or vitamin B1. Thiamin is easily destroyed by high heat, so most dry foods and all canned foods should be supplemented with additional thiamin.

Tomato Pomace

Tomato Pomace is the mixture of tomato skins, pulp and crushed seeds. It is an excellent source of soluble fiber and rich in the antioxidant lycopene.

Tomatoes

Whole tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and especially rich in the carotenoid lycopene which is an important anti-oxidant.

Turkey

Turkey is the clean combination of skin and flesh without the bone derived from whole turkeys. It is an excellent source of high quality protein and essential fatty acids.

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Venison

The clean flesh derived from deer and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. Venison is an excellent source of protein.

Vitamin A (Acetate), Vitamin D-3

These supplements are added to almost all pet foods as a vitamin source. Vitamin A is sometimes labeled as vitamin A-acetate and Vitamin D as cholecalciferol. Both of these fat soluble vitamins are required in the diet, although diets containing liver are often not supplemented with Vitamin A, because liver is an excellent source of vitamin A.

Vitamin B12 Supplement

Although usually referred to on labels as vitamin B12, this B-vitamin is sometimes called by its chemical name cyanocobalamin. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal based ingredients, and most animals obtain enough vitamin B12 from the microbes in their gut. Animals on antibiotics may require supplemental vitamin B12.

Vitamin E Supplement

This supplement is added to almost all pet foods as a vitamin source. It is sometimes labeled as d-alpha-Tocopherol acetate. It is a fat soluble vitamin, which is required in your pet’s diet.

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Wheat

Wheat is a grain which primarily is used as a source of carbohydrates. It is also an inexpensive source of protein and fat. The more processed the wheat, the more digestible, i.e.: ground wheat will be more digestible than whole wheat. It is not as digestible as rice, but does provide more fats and protein than rice.

Wheat Flour

Wheat flour consists of flour together with fine particles of wheat bran and wheat germ. The product must not contain more than 1.5% crude fiber.

Whitefish Meal

Whitefish is a concentrated, highly digestible protein and fat source known as whitefish meal. For our cat foods, we source and select special low ash whitefish meal as to control mineral levels that contribute to proper urinary health. It is an excellent source of high quality protein, and long chain Omega 3 fatty acids, which are critical for healthy skin, coat and body function.

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Yucca Schidigera Extract

Yucca is a desert plant. It is a natural source of digestive aid. It is also known to reduce fecal odor.

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Zinc Proteinate/Zinc Sulfate

These compounds are used as a source of zinc. Zinc proteinate is highly available (chelated) and is important for proper maintenance of hair, skin, bones, muscles and blood. It also helps with digestion and reproduction.