Why is there ash in my dog food

What is Ash in Pet Food?

Barbara Hanly

From eye-catching packaging to incredible ingredients, many things stand out in our decisions about what food to purchase for our pets. With more and more businesses opting for more natural and eco-friendly ways to manufacture the food for our furry friends, the decision on what food to buy has now become a tricky task.

One of the questions we get asked more than ever here at Soopa is: how much ash content do our treats contain and why is it important in the food for our four-legged friends? Well, we are here to tell you exactly what “ash” is and why it is so vital in the creation of your pets’ delicious dinners.

What is Ash?

We all know that when something is burned, the residual effects tend to be a chalky like powder that we know as ash. Imagine emptying the contents of an entire back of pet food and burning it – the majority of ingredients will burn and disappear without leaving anything behind. What you will be left with are remnants of the vital vitamins and minerals within the food known as crude ash.

Often labelled as inorganic matter on our pets’ food and treats, this ingredient is not some form of inedible and dangerous preservative companies decide to add but the scientific term for the essential minerals that have been added to your pet’s food to keep their bodies in tip top shape.

Important Ingredients

Like us, our pets gain the nutrients their bodies need to function properly from their food. Working to support bones, muscles, digestion and cardiovascular activity, minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium all work in synchronicity to keep your pets health in tip top shape.

When exploring the labels of your doggy’s dinner, you may see an ingredient listed as ash. This is not ash that is added as a nasty agent to your pets’ food or even ash from a fire as we know it; it is simply the name used for the mixture of minerals that is present in your pets’ food. So if you see ash in your list of ingredients, you know a little extra TLC has been added to keep your pet as healthy as ever.

Quality of Food

When considering what food to feed your dog or cat, often looking at the ash quantity on the label can be an indication of the quality of food you are purchasing.

The minerals that form the ash content of pet food are mainly derived from the meat and bone content in the food. Due to their lower protein contents, white meat such as fish and chicken tend to have lower ash content than red meats such as beef, lamb and game. In addition, finer quality foods will contain lower ash levels because a higher level of meat content has been added to your pets’ food than poorer qualities that often use bone to bulk out meals.


Ultimately, seeing ash on your pets’ food label is not a cause for concern. It is just a small indication that the food contains minerals to support your pets’ health and wellbeing and keep their tails wagging all day long.

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