By Nature Organics (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

By Nature Organics canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The By Nature Organics product line includes six canned dog foods, five claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for supplemental feeding only (Organic Chicken).

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • By Nature Organics Chicken Stew
  • By Nature Organic Chicken (4.5 stars)
  • By Nature Organics Chicken and Lamb Stew
  • By Nature Organics Chicken and Turkey Stew
  • By Nature Organics Chicken and Salmon Stew
  • By Nature Organic Chicken, Carrots and Peas (4.5 stars)

By Nature Organics Chicken and Turkey Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

By Nature Organics Chicken and Turkey Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 23%

Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken broth, turkey broth, turkey, turkey liver, dried egg whites, peas, potato starch, calcium carbonate, potatoes, carrots, dicalcium phosphate, organic guar gum, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, potassium chloride, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%25%23%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%48%18%

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 next two ingredients are organic chicken broth and turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The fourth ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fifth ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The sixth ingredient includes dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The seventh ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient includes potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

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 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 organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable 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.

With this in mind…

Judging by its ingredients alone, By Nature Organics canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 25% and estimated carbohydrates of about 23%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

By Nature Organics is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of organic chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Those looking for an organic kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of By Nature Organics dry dog food.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

04/27/2010 Original review
03/07/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
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  • Luthien

    Hi! I just got my first case of By Nature Organic Turkey, Sweet Potato and Peas and it does not have carrageenan gum. Maybe they’ve changed the recipe since the last update or only the Chicken flavor has it?

  • Xavi

    by Nature Organic Turkey w/ Sweet Potato & Peas…problem I’m finding is that I’m on my second case of cans where there are JUST 2 or 3 peas PER CAN!  I called the company and their response is “it’s a production issue where we cannot determine the quantity of peas that will be in the product you receive”.  I’ve been thru many cans where peas are plentiful, however when I started buying by the case it seems certain ‘batches or production codes’ are missing a VERY KEY ingredient. It says “PEAS” in right there on the front of the can….this is my dog we are talking about….a company has to have control over their production to ensure they are providing a complete and balanced nutritional diet for an important living being! 
    This is inexcusable in my book……anyone have a suggestion for a high quality, organic substitute for a dod with a sensitive digestive system?!  I’m done with by Nature!!!!

  • Nettotoo

    I don’t understand how all the different formulas (with different protein sources) can have the same calorie count. I’ve noticed this in some other brands too. Makes me very suspicious. Any ideas about this?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Annie… All other things considered, I always rate organic ingredients higher. However, being mostly organic doesn’t automatically neutralize other serious flaws. Organic ingredients don’t excuse low meat content. Unfortunately, there are very few organic products that aren’t predominantly plant based.

  • annie

    I’m surprised that organic products are not rated higher. I would rather have a few percentages lower in protein vs. a high protein diet that is full of antibiotics. I am searching for high quality food that is organic and I don’t see many in the 5-star quality range. Why is that?

  • Andy

    I sent an email to By Nature regarding the high carb content. They replied that their 100% meats have 4.5% dry matter carbs. I suspect your reasoning is correct on why that is.

  • Andy Cook

    Thank you very much for such a thorough answer! I really appreciate it. Also, I’m a 3rd year dental student. Nice to see someone in the profession as obsessed with my dog’s nutrition as me. :)

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Andy… An excellent question. We’ve noticed this same phenomenon with many “all meat” canned foods. And at first, we were perplexed, too. However, after careful study, we believe this condition can be explained by two logical factors:

    1. Manufacturers aren’t required to “guarantee” carbs. Yet they are obliged to assure buyers a product contains a specific minimum amount of protein and fat. Since they’re held (by regulatory law) to those self-proclaimed minimums, they tend to make their guarantees on the conservative side. So, when estimating the carb content, simple math causes carbs to increase as protein and fat decrease. After all, when you add protein, fat, carbs and ash together, that total must equal 100%.

    2. Almost all canned foods contain thickeners (like guar gum, carrageenan, potato starch, etc.) within the liquid part of the product. And the amount of those carb-based gelling agents can be significant.As a matter of fact, that’s where a good part of the product’s fiber comes from

    For example, in both By Nature 100% meat products, the actual products contain 59% combined dry matter protein and fat as well as about 8% ash (minerals). Subtracting this total (67%) from 100% yields an estimated carb content of about 33%. No question, this seems to be in error. And most of it probably is. Just a slight change in the manufacturer’s (as fed, with water) protein and fat guaranteed minimums can make a sizable difference in our math-based carb estimate.

    What’s more, both of these recipes contain “guar gum, locust bean gum and carrageenan”… all carbohydrate-rich ingredients.

    Our take… there’s probably a lot more protein and/or fat in these foods than the manufacturer is willing to guarantee.

    Hope this helps answer your thoughtful question.

  • Andy

    Hi,

    Love your website and thanks for what you do. So, the 100% organic meat cans have 33% carbs? How is that?