Dry Matter Analysis…What is it and Why Does it Matter?

Since leaving Mud Bay, I’ve noticed that very few of my coworkers know what Dry Matter Analysis is or how to calculate it. Basically, dry matter analysis is how we accurately calculate how much of any ingredient is in canned/pouched/frozen raw food.

Say your vet tells you to go find food for your pet with less than 20% fat, due to a liver issue…well, in dry food, that’s super simple but if you are feeding wet food, it can be a lot more complicated. See, when they do the guaranteed analysis on dry food, there’s only ever 10% or less moisture in the recipe…however, when they do the G.A. in wet food, there is 75 to 85% moisture in the formula, so we need to subtract that moisture, in order to figure out how much fat is actually in the formula. The G.A. may read 4% fat, which seems low, but if there is 85% moisture, there is actually 26.7% fat.

What a minute! How could I possibly know that??? Here’s the formula:


Confused? Okay, let’s break it down. So, you have a canned food that is 85% moisture, that means that 15% of that formula is NOT moisture. So, 100% of the formula – the moisture is 15%. Now, the G.A. lists the fat as 4%…so, the 4% divided by 15% is .26666 times that by 100, which basically sets the decimal point back by 2, and you have 26.666%.

Still confused? Don’t sweat it, it took me FOREVER to figure this out. There is a link at the beginning of this post, for a calculate you can input the values into to figure out the actual percentages. Even though I know the formula NOW, I still use the calculator all the time…because MATH.

One thing to remember is that ALL canned, pouched and raw food is going to be higher in protein and fat than any dry food, because there is more meat in almost all of it, but it is much more digestible that kibble will EVER be. So, when you are looking for food with certain levels of protein, fat or fiber, which is usually listed in the G.A., do the math…however, remember that wet food and raw food is much easier for the body to digest and get the proper nutrients from than any kibble, so if one of the vital organs is struggling to perform, the more moisture the better. Cats and dogs are carnivores and meant to eat real meat, not biscuits as a main diet. I will always encourage any wet food over any dry food…but you know that by now.

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