By Nature Active Defense 95% canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The By Nature Active Defense 95% product line includes four canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- By Nature 95% Chicken and Lamb
- By Nature 95% Chicken and Chicken Liver
- By Nature 95% Salmon and Turkey (4 stars)
- By Nature 95% Tuna, Chicken and Chicken Liver (5 stars)
By Nature 95% Chicken and Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
By Nature 95% Chicken and Lamb
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, lamb, lamb liver, chicken broth, lamb broth, sweet potato, xanthan gum, agar-agar, potassium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, cassia gum, salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, carrots, apples, cranberries, broccoli, spinach, turmeric, fennel, blueberries, pomegranate, taurine, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, selenium yeast, folic acid, calcium iodate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.3%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||23%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||44%||23%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next two items include chicken and lamb broths. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The seventh ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The eighth ingredient is xanthan gum. This is a food additive used here as a thickener to create gravy-like consistency.
The ninth ingredient is agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With two notable exceptions…
First, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
And lastly, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
By Nature Active Defense 95% Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, By Nature Active Defense 95% looks like an above-average canned product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
By Nature Active Defense 95% is a meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of chicken, salmon or tuna as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
By Nature Dog Food
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A Final Word
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
08/29/2015 Last Update