What is ash and why is it in pet food?

If the word “ash” sparked mental images of ashes leftover from fires, don’t worry—in pet foods, that’s not what it means at all!

Burnt materials are NOT added to pet foods and ash itself is NOT a filler.

Ash, sometimes noted on pet food labels as “crude ash,” is a term used to describe the mineral content (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, etc.) of a given recipe.

These minerals are crucial to your pet’s health, contributing to bones, teeth, fluid balance, immune system function, blood clotting, muscle and nerve function, and more throughout a dog or cat’s body.

Ash may seem like a funny way to describe those ingredients, but the term comes from the fact that if you were to burn pet food, the organic nutrients (like proteins, fats, etc.) would burn up entirely without leaving any trace. The only thing left behind would be inorganic minerals. That’s one way to measure ash content.

Ash content does give some idea of the quality of a pet food, but so long as it’s not too high you need not worry about the specific ash number.

For each Fromm recipe, in addition to reporting ash content, we also ensure that each of those individual minerals is present in the right proportion—something that’s important for all pets, but especially important for large breed dogs and growing puppies or kittens.