By Nature Organics canned dog food gets the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.
The By Nature organic product line lists four canned dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance and two for supplemental feeding only.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- By Nature 100% Organic Chicken (supplement only)*
- By Nature 100% Organic Turkey (supplement only)*
- By Nature Organic Turkey, Sweet Potato and Peas
- By Nature Organic Chicken, Carrots and Peas
By Nature Organic Dog Food Chicken, Carrots and Peas formula was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
By Nature Organic Chicken, Carrots and Peas
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, well water, organic carrots, organic peas, guar gum, locust bean gum, carrageenan gum, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, taurine, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate (chelated source of zinc), copper proteinate (chelated source of copper), niacin supplement, manganese proteinate (chelated source of manganese), sodium selenite, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin supplement, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||23%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||44%||26%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is organic 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 water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The third ingredient lists organic carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fourth item lists organic peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next three items are all plant-based thickening agents…
- Guar gum
- Locust bean gum
- Carrageenan gum
Guar gum is found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
Carrageenan is a gelling agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
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 one notable exception…
this food also 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.
By Nature Organics Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
Just the same, we still need to evaluate the product’s protein, fat and carbohydrate content.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-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 food containing only a moderate amount of meat.
By Nature Organics is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or turkey as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
However, the two 100% chicken and turkey products (marked with an asterisk) appear to us to be for supplemental use only and may not be appropriate for long term daily feeding.
Those looking for an organic kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of By Nature Organics dry dog food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
04/27/2010 Original review
11/27/2010 Review updated
08/26/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials definition ↩