How to Calculate Carbohydrates in a Pet Food

Carbohydrates don’t need to be listed on the label of pet foods in Australia, but we can use a simple calculation to offer us a rough idea. It’s not perfect, and I’ll explain why, but the following method is how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food:

100 – Protein % – Fat % – Moisture % – Ash %

Here’s a carbohydrate calculator for dog food and cat food for your convenience. If moisture and ash are not listed on your pet food, you may use average values of 10% moisture and 8% ash:

Carbohydrate Calculator

The above calculator will give you a rough idea, but there's a little more to it than that.

Other factors to consider are undisclosed moisture and ash percentages and variance from min & max percentages.

Moisture & Ash

Moisture and ash are usually listed, but as these percentages aren't required to be listed we can use an average 10% moisture and 8% ash for dry food only. Wet foods contain significantly more moisture.

Min & Max

We often find percentages are listed with a guaranteed minimum or maximum. This makes our simple calculation somewhat vague. If a pet food contains Protein (min) 20% then it's possible the protein, on average, is higher.

How to Calculate Carbohydrates: An example

Let's say a dry dog food contains 20% protein, 10% fat, 10% moisture, and 8% ash:

100 - 20 - 10 - 10 - 8 = 52

This product would contain approximately 52% carbohydrates.

So that's it, that's how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.

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David D'Angelo

David D'Angelo has worked as a scientist since graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 2000. In addition, David holds a CPD accredited Diploma in Pet Nutrition as well as being CPD accredited VSA (Veterinary Support Assistant). However, his experience and involvement in the pet food industry for 15+ years has given true insight into pet food, formulations, science, research, and pet food marketing. Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest

  1. I would like a review of aldi natural elements dog food specifically chicken salmon sweet potato & spinach recommended for all breeds & sizes includes puppies I f ibid it hard to believe one size fits all life stages thank you so much Eric

  2. I’ve used “Petfood Reviews” over a number of years now.
    It’s my doggie bible. If a new food appears that takes my interest and I don’t find it on here – I send them a message and ask for a review. I always get a response.
    I have two dogs with two very different allergy problems, so it’s important for me and my dogs to keep on track with what I am putting into their bodies.
    Thank you Petfood Reviews

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) April 25, 2022 at 8:42 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Libby and I’m glad I’ve always replied – I’m actually terrible at replying to people!!

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