The grain-free pet food movement has been going on for well over a decade, and many new pet products entering the market are labeled as grain free. This has given rise to use of alternative ingredients, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, chickpeas and tapioca.
So, how many current dog and cat food recipes are using peas, chickpeas or lentils in grain-free formulations? Using the ingredient search of this web site, we’ve come up with the following numbers.
In dry dog food, chickpeas are included in 11.5 percent of the recipes, lentils at 7.8 percent, lentil beans .5 percent and green lentils at 1.5 percent. From what we found, lentils are in nearly 10 percent of the recipes for dry dog food.
Peas are found in nearly 5 percent and are listed as dried peas on almost all labels, with four recipes referring to dehydrated peas.
In wet dog food, peas are listed in less than 2 percent of the recipes and lentils at 0.5 percent.
Dry cat food follows a similar pattern with chickpeas in nearly 8.4 percent of the recipes in the database.
Lentils are used in 9.1 percent of the dry cat food recipes, with lentils listed in 7 percent of the recipes, lentil beans 0.6 percent and green lentils 1.5 percent for a total of 9 percent.
Dried peas show up in 4.8 percent of wet cat food recipes and 1.1 percent of wet cat food recipes.
Chickpeas, lentils and peas make up a large percentage of the dry recipes they are in, often showing up in the top 3 to 6 spots in the ingredient deck.
For more on legume trends in pet food, read Dr. Greg Aldrich’s latest Ingredient Issues column, Beyond grain free: sowing the seeds of change in dog and cat diets.