Pea starch, Beet pulp

Pea starch, beet pulp. Are these two ingredients bad? Im looking for a good quality but cheaper dry food to mix in with my dogs wet to gain him a little weight. I’ve found a grain free one… but it includes these two ingredients.

Can anybody give me some information?


They certainly come under the controversial category

But are they bad?

Pea starch is just that, starch, not much other nutrition left, since dogs have limited ability to digest starch it should be OK in smaller amounts, such as would be needed to help a biscuit bin together, but in higher percentage is being used as a filler that will need the pancreas to work extra hard to try and digest it. This in turn can lead to increased risk of pancreatitis or diabetes.

Beet pulp is essentially fibre, and again some dietary fibre is necessary, however that fibre often comes from other ingredients, like sweet potato, butternut squash that also contain other nutrients. The more concern is this quote from this site “the sugar is almost completely removed”, suggesting that some remains and this will also increase the digestive burden on the pancreas.

So though they may not be “bad” in small amounts in larger amounts they can be and there are certainly better ingredients available.

Both of these ingredients are reviewed on this website - go to the Dog Food Directory here or alternatively select the food you are interested in and you will find that under the ingredients list there are items in green- they are hyperlinks so click on them and it will take you to a description of it.

Additionally, if you want to search for foods that don’t contain beet, again go to the Dog Food Directory and look at the filters on the left hand side. Under Avoid Ingredients you can place a tick in sugar beet. There is no box for pea at the moment.

Some dogs may be intolerant of one or both of these. I would not refute what David has said about them but as they are used widely in dog food, there must be dogs who are living quite happy, healthy lives whilst being fed them. I personally know of a canine health professional who has fed her dogs for some years on a fish based product containing both of these ingredients except that the pea is flour rather than starch (don’t know if there is a difference). The dogs are all very healthy and compete at a high level in sports such as agility and obedience.

As for your dilemma, you first need to look for a food with the named meat source at the head of the list, and in a decent amount percentage wise. After that you have to decide what sort of filler/carb source you prefer, the two groups being grains (rice, oats, maize etc) or, if you want grain free it will be potato or sweet potato. Trust your instinct and go by the condition of your dog - if he has a nice coat, is not overweight, is active, bright eyed, has nicely formed poo then the indications are that the food you have chosen is suitable for him.

Pea flour would, i imagine, be dried ground peas and so would contain protein, and all the other nutrients.

Unfortunately it’s not always easy to see what effects a food may be having, some of these affects are internal and so, though external indications are important, they may not always tell the whole story,

That can be said of food that we eat too. Neither of these ingredients are flagged up as red on this website. The OP has said that he or she is looking at cheaper dog food. My view is that in selecting something suitable, there are more important things to consider such as meat and animal derivatives. Nobody has made the perfect food for all dogs - even five star rated ones are sometimes unsuitable. The OP needs to weigh up the pros and cons and decide what is best for them.

I personally avoid peas and other legumes as they feature red on my Irritable Bowel/Gastro reflux diet, which is working. Sugar beet is a very useful horse feed for putting weight on skinny ones and as such not recommended for instance by the Donkey Sanctuary vets. These are just observations and not necessarily relevant to dogs, or are they? Wherever you stand on the carnivore/omnivore debate we would agree that dogs are less omnivore than us and certainly do not need the carbs that horses do. I like to change the carb source for my dogs rather than feed the same one for a lifetime. My own problems probably come, like type two diabetes, from decades of eating wheat and added sugar (taken out of the sugar beet) hence my philosophy. A healthy dog can probably cope but I vary the diet of mine.

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A carnivore is an animal whose diet is primarily meat, so that doesn’t rule out other things in the diet. (An obligate carnivore, like a cat, MUST eat sufficient meat to live)

Omnivores tend to eat more fruit and veg with limited amounts of meat.

Herbivores generally eat plants and grains

This is the food I am talking about, I would never usually feed a cheap ‘store’ mad food like this, but Its just something added, my dog would be getting around 50g of this a day… fed along side forthglade lifestage grain free wet food.

Is this an ok choice?

I would much prefer to buy eden to add in, the amount I want to feed would last 40days being £12+ for a 2kg bag, but this wilkos brand being £6 for 2kg bag lasting the same amount of days.

Now you can see all of the ingredients, is there anything that comes up as a no no for you?

Or should I go ahead and make the purchase?


Currently fed:

The dry would be added, at 50g a day.

I don’t know whether I am looking in the wrong place but I followed your link but could not find the analysis. If you have the list of ingredients and analysis, please could you post them on here? I would be interested to see them.

Forthglade is a good product - if it is just the weight gain, would it not help just to give a little more? However, I do realise that this could be a bit expensive so can see your point in adding something to bolster it without adding too much cost to the food budget. Hopefully there will be some comments when we have the ingredients/analysis.

The ingredients are listed on the second picture!

Thank you. Unfortunately I cannot copy and paste it in here because it is jpg. For confirmation you can put the ingredients through the Instant Review Generator on this website and I would recommend that you do that. I’ve just had a cursory glance and to me it looks acceptable considering the price. For people who are on a tight budget perhaps it is a better prospect than some of the products that are around within the price range. Positives include:
Meat first in the list of ingredients.
Sweet potato - reviews well on here.

On the negative side the analysis is only 24% protein and 9.5% fat. As a supplementary food this shouldn’t matter too much, especially as Forthglade has these in higher quantities. It’s just my opinion but for that price it may be worth trying and evaluating it after a few weeks. If you do decide to do that, please would you report back with your findings?

I would imagine that, due to the high 49% carb content, you will be feeding significantly more, almost double, compared to feeding Eden.

They have simply replaced the carbs from grains with other starchy carbs.

It also doesn’t have a joint support pack or pro-biotic etc.

Fed in small amounts (40% or less) along side a raw/meat only diet it may be OK,

Tbh, I might just buy Eden, as I too have just realised how high the carb content is!

Do you know anywhere in Birmingham that stocks Eden?

Also how many carbs in eden, about 21%?

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Yes, carbs are about 20-25% in Eden.

Best thing is to check the store locator on the website, find the nearest outlet to your postcode, if not the next day delivery on orders placed by Noon on a weekday is very reliable