What is Dry Matter?
Comparing different types of dog food can become confusing if you don’t know what to look for. If you are comparing kibble to canned food or to a Tom&Sawyer meal you cannot simply compare the protein levels to one another and pick the higher one.
The dog food industry will show the percentage of protein, fiber, moisture and fat that is in each feeding and call it “as fed” on the nutrition label. However, this is a misleading analysis of how much protein, fiber and fat are actually in the food because the amount of moisture plays a large factor when comparing nutrients.
The real testament to the nutrients that are in your dog's food are shown through dry matter. In order to accurately compare the two types of dog food we have to first remove 100% of the moisture so we can even the playing field and focus on the nutrient content only. This process is called Dry Matter Basis.
Calculating dry matter: (Let's use a Tom&Sawyer Goji Berry Beef meal)
The “as fed” label says 9% protein, which doesn’t sound like much but if you then look at the moisture percentage you will notice it says 73% (high moisture content is also important in our pet's food because this assists in keeping them well hydrated and their urinary track functioning properly). So if 73% of the meal is moisture then this means that 27% of the meal is dry matter. To determine the amount of protein on a dry matter basis you simply divide the amount of protein by the total amount of dry matter, then multiply by 100.
(9/27) x 100 =33.3%
Now you can see that instead of the 9% protein content this meal actually has 33.3% protein. Much higher! Now you can compare this percentage to kibble's "as fed" to see how much protein is in each feeding.
Use dry matter basis when comparing different dog foods so you can make an educated choice on what is best for your pup!