Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul canned dog food gets the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul product line includes three canned dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (Puppy).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lover’s Soul
- Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Adult Formula
- Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Senior Formula
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul Adult Formula was selected to represent the others 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%|
Four of the first five ingredients in this dog food are meat items…
All four components are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient lists chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The sixth item includes chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The seventh item 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 mentions 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 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 three notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening 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.
And lastly, 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.
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul looks to be 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%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs as compared to a typical canned dog food.
With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet food containing an moderate amount of meat.
Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of assorted meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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 Last Update