Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul product line includes three canned recipes. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Adult
- Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover’s Soul (4.5 stars)
- Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Senior (3.5 stars)
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul Adult Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken broth, duck, salmon, chicken liver, whole grain brown rice, white rice, oatmeal, carrots, peas, potatoes, barley, egg product, guar gum, flaxseed meal, kelp, apples, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, carrageenan gum, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate and sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||18%||37%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||38%||32%|
The first three out of four ingredients in this dog food are chicken, turkey, and duck. Poultry is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses”.1
Poultry is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is chicken 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 fifth ingredient is salmon, another quality raw item. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The sixth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The seventh ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The ninth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Chicken Soup for the
Dog Lover’s Soul Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul looks like an above-average canned dog food.
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 37% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 34% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Those looking for a nice kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul 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
03/06/2010 Original review
10/06/2010 Review updated
07/01/2012 Review updated
02/06/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩