Dog Food Ingredient Glossary

Alfalfa – Alfalfa is also called lucerne and is a plant from the Legume family like peas and beans. It is an excellent source of micronutrients, minerals and vitamins and considered a super food for humans!

Algae – A excellent source of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is an omega-3 fatty acid.  DHA is important for brain and nervous system development and function and proven to directly increase learning ability and cognitive function.

Apples – We all know that fruit is good for us and indeed there is a lot of truth in the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, well they are good for dogs too!  An excellent source of fibre, vitamin C and various other nutrients.

Barley – Easily digested, high in fibre and a source of copper and selenium.

Basil – As well as being rich in various vitamins and minerals Basil contains antioxidants as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.  

Beef – Suited to most dog’s Beef is digestible and palatable. However best avoided if your dog needs a reduced fat diet or has a history of urinary tract problems.

Beet pulp – An excellent source of fibre helping digestive health, this ingredient is the fibrous material left over from sugar beets after the sugar has been removed during sugar production

Blueberry – Blueberries are a super fruit, rich in antioxidants and help to boost the immune system.

Brewer’s Yeast – An excellent source of B vitamins which aid digestion, support the liver and nervous system as well as improve coat and skin condition.

Buckwheat – Regarded as a super food, Buckwheat is grain and gluten free and a rich source of B vitamins and minerals. 

Carrots – As well as being a natural source of fibre and antioxidants,they are an excellent source of vitamin A which amongst other health benefits helps to maintain healthy vision – yes, it is true carrots will help your dog see in the dark!

Chicken – Chicken is an excellent source of protein, is easily digested and is very palatable for dogs although some dogs can be intolerant to chicken in which case an alternative source of meat protein would be more suitable.

Chicken Oil – Chicken oil is added to give extra flavour and as a source of energy, it is also high in linoleic acid and important for healthy skin and coat.

Chondroitin – Chondroitin is derived from cartilage and is added as a supplement to help protect against osteoarthritis and joint damage.

Cranberry – A good source of vitamin C and antioxidants, also helps to prevent Urinary Tract Infections.

Dandelion – Rich in vitamins and minerals, can help maintain good liver function as well as aid with digestion.

Digest – In a process called hydrolysis, protein is broken down into tiny piecesthen dried to form a powder called digest.  It is used as a flavour enhancer but also useful for dogs prone to allergies as the smaller protein molecules are not detected by the immune system.

Duck – A tasty, high quality protein, which is easily digestible.

Fennel – Fennel is good for digestion and reducing gas.

Fenugreek Seeds – Helps balance blood sugar, reduces cholesterol levels and has anti-inflammatory benefits. It is a good source of magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.

Glucosamine – A common supplement taken to help and prevent osteoarthritis.

Green lipped mussel – The omega-3 oils within the green lipped mussel has anti-inflammatory properties and often recommended as an arthritis supplement.

Green Tea – A powerful antioxidant with various health benefits.

Lamb – Lamb is an excellent choice as it is palatable, easily digested and suited to dogs who have a food sensitivity or allergy to other protein sources.  As well as this it is produced in the U.K, typically in the beautiful hills of Wales!  However best avoided if your dog needs a reduced fat diet or has a history of urinary tract problems.

Linseed – Contains high levels of omega3 fatty acids as well as being a good source of fibre, antioxidants, and other micronutrients.

Lucerne – (see Alfalfa)

Maize – A nutritious carbohydrate, although can be difficult to digest which can lead to allergies. Does not usually cause problems if cooked well and should not form the largest part of a dog’s diet.

Marigold – Used as a natural yellow colourant with anti-inflammatory properties.

Marjoram – An aromatic herb which aids digestion.

Meat Meal – Parts of animals not consumed by humans including leftover meat, offal, connective tissue and bone is rendered i.e. ground and cooked at high temperature, the moisture is then removed and the product made into a powder.  This becomes a very concentrated ingredient and makes good use of what would otherwise be a discarded.  The meat meal used in Gwen’s Choice products is specified i.e. chicken meal, duck meal etc some poorer quality dog foods may use a generic meat meal so the content may change or use poorer ingredients. 

Minerals – Minerals are vital for good health and added to make sure your dog receives correct nutrition to keep fit and healthy.

Mint – Withantibacterial and antifungal benefits mint also helps to freshen breath.

Nettle – Nettles are rich in vitamins A, C, D and K as well as iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium.

Oregano – An aromatic herb containing antioxidants.

Parsley – Good for digestion, intestinal gas and fresh breath, parsley helps to keep the whiffs down!

Peas – Added in moderation, peas are a good source of vitamins, fibre, and antioxidants.

Peppermint – Another herb that reduces nasty whiffs, Peppermint aids digestion and reduces intestinal gas!

Potato – Added as a source of carbohydrate potatoes contain fibre, vitamin C, B6 and potassium.

Pre-biotic FOS – Fructo-oligosaccharide is a pre-biotic derived from chicory which promotes good gut-health.

Pre-biotic MOS – Mannan-oligosaccharide is a pre-biotic derived from the cell wall of yeast and helps the growth of gut friendly bacteria.

Pumpkin – High in fibre and good for digestive health, pumpkin is also rich in vitamin A and vitamin C

Rice – Rice is a very easily digested carbohydrate and usually well tolerated even by the most sensitive.

Rosemary – Rosemary is used as a natural preservative and antioxidant.  Although there have been no scientific studies, it is often suggested that it should not be given to epileptic dogs as it can increase seizures, the jury is still out but probably best to avoid in epileptic dogs.

Sage – An aromatic herb good for gastrointestinal health, reduces gas and bloating.

Salmon Oil – Rich in omega-3 and omega-6 with many health benefits including prevention of joint, skin and cardiovascular disease.

Seaweed Meal – A good source of minerals, especially iodine which is important for thyroid function.

Spinach – Rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K as well as Iron and antioxidants.

Sweet Potato – A high quality gluten-free carbohydrate, sweet potato is high in fibre and although sweet to taste helps stabilize blood sugar. Contains high levels of Vitamin A, C, B6 and minerals.

Thyme – As well as having anti-bacterial & anti-fungal properties Thyme is good for digestive health and adds flavour.

Tomatoes – A natural source of vitamin A, C and K as well as minerals and beneficial micro-nutrients.

Yeast Extracts – Rich in B vitamins and folic acid with many health benefits.

Yucca Extract – This extract from the yucca plant is good for digestion.  Yucca extract may also reduce the unpleasant smell of urine and faeces.