Particularly low grade, highly contentious or excessively vague ingredient we usually recommend avoiding
Cereals in dog food
The general terms 'cereals' and 'grains' can refer to any product of any cereal including wheat, rice, oats, barley, maize etc.
Although the term 'cereals' attracts a lot of criticism, it must be noted that it does not necessarily indicate the presence of low grade ingredients as it encompasses all grains, from the best to the very worst. For example, some producers of good foods use broad terms like this in order to not give away their 'secret formula' and some imported foods list very high quality grains as 'cereals' simply because the laws or customs in their home country are different. At the opposite end of the scale, the term can be used for very low-grade grain products including some that are nutritionally very poor and others that have been linked to dietary intolerance. Also, because the type of cereal isn't specified, manufacturers are able to change their grain source between batches depending on what is available at the time.
Because it is impossible to know what 'cereals' refers to, we would suggest assuming the worst and avoiding foods with this ingredient. This is particularly important if your dog is prone to dietary intolerance as identifying and eliminating problem ingredients is impossible unless you know exactly what you are feeding.