Ash in dry feed


Ash in dry feed


The “Crude Ash” label can be seen on every dry feed packaging. It is not the ash one can see in a fireplace after the wood burns down. Ash is not a separate ingredient used in feed production either. It is one of the groups of nutrients, such as protein, fat or fibre.


Ash – what is it?


Ash is a group of minerals; it is a technical term indicating the minerals essential for a pet’s health. This group includes such minerals as magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, etc.

Ash is the end product of food combustion. In other words, if a certain amount of feed is completely incinerated, the main nutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) will burn down with only minerals (i.e. ash) remaining. The ash content stated on the feed packaging indicates the total quantity of all minerals in the feed.

Why is ash content important and what should it be?


The normal ash content in feed is 5-8 %. The ash content of feed containing lamb or salmon could be 8-9.5 %. It is because these types of meat contain more minerals than other protein sources of animal origin, such as, for example, poultry. Therefore, the quantity of ash in feed must be evaluated with consideration of the source of protein as well. If the feed ash content is above 10 %, such food can be harder to digest, thus, it is necessary to closely examine its ingredients and consult the manufacturer or a veterinarian.

It is important to remember that the ash content indicates only the total quantity of minerals in the feed. Therefore, if your pet has specific needs, it is recommended to study the analytical constituents and additives indicated on the packaging. You should be able to see the quantities of separate minerals that you might find important. It is particularly relevant for the owners of dogs and cats with urinary tract disorders and gallstones. In the presence of these diseases, maintaining a restricted intake of certain minerals is crucial.

When ingested in the right amounts, the ash present in the feed is safe and beneficial for every pet's health; it is the minerals required for a healthy and long life of a pet. Therefore, always carefully study the content and nutritional values of feed, and whenever necessary, consult the manufacturer or a veterinarian.