Ash in Dog Foods - an explanation

Ash in foods.
What is it?
Why is it important?

The measurement of total mineral content of a dog food is known as the ash content, and this is usually described as a percentage.

The level of ash is determined by burning the food at 600 degrees for two hours – the remaining non-combustible residue is known as ash.


Ash contains calcium, phosphorus, sodium chloride, potassium, and other minerals, all of which are essential nutrients.

It is important to ensure the food has the correct mineral level, for a diet low in ash may not supply all the minerals a dog needs, and this may cause a mineral deficiency with the resultant health problems.

The level of ash is therefore a very important indicator.

Pets need the contents of ash (or the minerals it contains) for proper bone and tissue development and for their bodies to function properly.

The content of ash in pet foods usually ranges between 5 and 10 percent, but can go as high as 14 percent in dry foods. Canned foods generally have about half that amount.