Pedigree is a well-known pet food brand that remains popular due to its incredibly budget-friendly pricing.
But, Pedigree has experienced a decline in recent years due to pet parents placing more priority on the quality of ingredients in their dog’s food. These formulas offer well-balanced nutrition but often include controversial ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy.
Today, the company focuses on providing balanced nutrition to shelter dogs with their Pedigree Foundation.
I’m a vet tech who researched Pedigree dog food to determine if this pet food brand is a good option for pet owners looking for bargains.
Keep reading this Pedigree dog food review to learn more about the company, its products, and its history.
Pedigree Petfoods has a mission of making well-balanced nutrition accessible to dogs everywhere. The most significant selling point of its products is the incredibly low price of all of their dry dog foods and wet foods.
The company boasts a long history as one of the first commercially available dog food products. Today, the brand can be found in pet stores everywhere.
Although the quality of ingredients used in Pedigree dog food is significantly less than other premium brands, all formulas adhere to strict AAFCO requirements. Supplemental minerals and vitamins ensure that your pet receives the micronutrients that he needs every day.
Pedigree Petfoods runs the Pedigree Foundation. This non-profit charity organization is dedicated to helping adopt out all rescue dogs into loving homes.
This brand also offers an impressive selection of different product lines designed to suit every dog’s unique nutritional needs.
Pedigree Dog Food History
The Pedigree pet food brand has been around for over fifty years. But the original company began nearly 100 years ago.
Pedigree’s history began with Chappie, a company that introduced one of the first commercial dog foods by canning lower quality meat for pet food purposes.
This company eventually evolved into Pedigree in 1985. It is managed by Kal Kan, which is part of Mars Incorporated.
This corporation manages several brands of budget pet food. And the large distribution capabilities of Mars have taken the brand throughout the world.
Where is Pedigree Dog Food Made?
Pedigree Petfoods is part of the American Mars Corporation. This company has offices in McLean, Virginia, and factories in England, the United States, and Asia.
Pedigree products are produced throughout the world with manufacturing plants located in the United States and abroad.
Unfortunately, the company is not transparent about the sourcing of its ingredients. Lower cost ingredients often come from foreign countries.
Legal Issues and Controversies
Regrettably, Pedigree dog food does have some history of recalls and legal issues. Some of the most severe controversies involve foreign objects, metal fragments, and insects embedded in bags of kibble. Some of these foreign objects could be dangerous if consumed by pets.
In 2015, some dog owners became alarmed when they found wires in their dog’s food. Pedigree claimed that the wires were pig hair. Although the company claims that the natural fibers are a normal occurrence, many pet parents left the brand after the incident. 
The worst controversy associated with Pedigree dog food involved the death of hundreds of dogs and puppies in Asia in 2004. Investigators discovered mold on the ingredients used in a Taiwan plant that distributed Pedigree dog food in the area. 
Pedigree later confirmed a connection between the mold and kidney failure in the affected dogs. And the Asian distributor of the brand threatened to sue an animal rights group following the event.
The animal organization claimed that the company intentionally poisoned dogs to promote the sale of a new kidney care product. These claims were completely baseless. Pedigree eventually regained consumer trust and resumed operations at the plant with new safety measures.
The quality of ingredients used in Pedigree dog food recipes falls short of most pet owner’s expectations. The average crude protein content for most Pedigree formulas is below average at around 21%.
This protein content meets AAFCO requirements, but many Pedigree dog food reviews express disappointment in the quality of this company’s protein sources. Most Pedigree products do not use animal proteins as the first ingredient.
Instead, Pedigree depends on corn as the primary ingredient in its formulas. While corn is an inexpensive way to boost calories, plant products have a lower bioavailability for dogs.
Dogs are omnivores who thrive on a high protein diet. But their bodies cannot digest plant protein efficiently. Your pup depends on high-quality sources of animal meat to provide the nutrients and amino acids he needs.
Pedigree recipes also include high volumes of wheat and soy. Modern dog food companies often try to avoid these ingredients. They can cause allergic reactions in some dogs.
Plus, very few products feature enough omega-3 fatty acids to support a healthy inflammatory response. Pedigree recipes are much higher in omega-6 fats.
Because of the lower ingredient quality, Pedigree has to fortify their dog foods with added vitamins and minerals to meet the daily requirements of most dogs. But, this ensures that their formulas are well balanced and safer options than home recipes.
Pedigree Brand Lines
Pedigree Petfoods offers one of the widest selections of different dog food lines available. Always consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.
Pedigree Complete Nutrition product line features some of the company’s most popular formulas. This collection includes recipes suitable for a wide range of adult dogs.
The low protein, fat, and caloric content of these dog foods make them a good option for pups with a more sedentary lifestyle. But they may not be suitable for higher energy dogs.
This product line does not use any artificial flavors or added sugar. But a high volume of grains and a low concentration of animal protein reduces the nutritional quality of this range.
Still, the exceptionally low cost of this product line is appealing to many dog owners seeking an affordable way to provide their dog with balanced nutrition.
Pedigree Puppy Formulas are specifically designed to offer puppies of all breeds the balanced nutrition necessary for healthy growth.
These recipes feature a higher protein content than other Pedigree products to provide adequate amino acids for muscle development.
But, whole grain corn is still the first ingredient. And the primary source of animal protein in this recipe is chicken by-product meals. Meat by-products have gone through additional processing that can lower the nutrient content of the ingredient.
Unlike other Pedigree recipes, this product line uses fish oil as a natural source of DHA. This omega-3 fatty acid plays a vital role in healthy brain development. And a unique crunchy texture helps clean teeth to support oral hygiene.
Chopped Wet Food from Pedigree features a chopped texture that combines with a flavorful aroma to offer an appealing meal for picky dogs. This product line has hearty recipes that are rich in oils and animal proteins.
While most dry dog foods from pedigree use corn as the first ingredient, this wet food is based on real meat.
Additional animal protein sources from organ meat boost the natural vitamin and mineral content of this food. And a higher crude protein amount is more suitable for active dogs.
But, Pedigree Chopped dog foods do not use sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables to balance the nutritional content of the animal products. The only other ingredients in these formulas are rice and flour.
Pedigree does offer a range of High Protein products designed specifically for dogs with more active lifestyles. Yet, the first ingredient in these formulas is still corn. Most high protein recipes feature real meat as the primary ingredient.
This product range is slightly more expensive than other Pedigree dog foods. But these recipes are still exceptionally more affordable than other high protein competitors.
The diets are completely balanced with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chicken by-product meal also acts as a natural source of glucosamine, helping provide extra support for stressed joints.
Although these products contain no added sugar, the corn and soy in the recipes may still upset the gastrointestinal systems of sensitive dogs.
Pedigree Choice Cuts are potentially the best dog food products available from the company. Like all Pedigree formulas, these wet foods are affordable. But they use real meat as the first ingredient instead of corn.
Plus, these wet foods also contain vegetables for balanced nutrition. Dog owners can see the pieces of carrots and green beans mixed with morsels of meat.
Pedigree dog food reviews often share success stories feeding these recipes to exceptionally fussy eaters.
Multiple animal protein sources in each formula ensure that your pup gets a comprehensive amount of amino acids. But, the product line lacks omega-3 rich oils that other wet foods include to support overall health.
Pedigree Dog Dood Recall History
Several production lots of Pedigree dog food have been recalled in the past due to health and safety concerns.
- August 2014 – The company recalled specific bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food due to the presence of metal fragments. This recall impacted bags sold at Sam’s Club and Dollar General in the United States. 
- June 2012 – Small pieces of blue plastic appeared in the bags of several varieties of Pedigree Weight Management formulas, forcing the recall of those production lots. The company did not receive any consumer reports of illness associated with the product. 
- September 2008 – The FDA issued an expansive recall of several Mars products due to potential salmonella contamination. The company experienced similar concerns in August 2008. 
- September 2007 – Pedigree recalled their “Chilled Dog Rolls” in New Zealand after finding metal fragments in some packages. U.S. products were not affected by this recall. 
- March 2004 – The sudden deaths of dogs in Asia due to kidney failure associated with Pedigree products forced the recall of certain products that were manufactured in Taiwan. The company later discovered that mold in the food caused the issues. 
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. 
Despite some pet food recalls in the past, Pedigree has a relatively good record for a company with a long history in the pet industry. No recalls have been issued in recent years and the brand remains dedicated to ensuring the safety of its products.
Pedigree is a budget dog food that uses below average ingredients and limited high-quality animal proteins. However, the company does offer well-balanced formulas at an incredibly affordable price.
This Pedigree dog food review demonstrates that several premium pet food brands create better canine diets than Pedigree. But, few companies can match the competitive pricing of this dog food.
Inexpensive ingredients like corn, wheat, and soy lower both ingredient quality and cost. These ingredients are common allergens that can cause adverse reactions in sensitive dogs. But some dogs can safely consume them. And all Pedigree formulas feature balanced nutrient content.
If your dog does not have any food intolerances or special needs, Pedigree could be an option for him. If you have a tight budget, consider using Pedigree dog food to provide your furry best friend with comprehensive nutrition in a fortified formula.