Dave’s Delicate Dinner (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Dave’s Delicate Dinner canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Dave’s Delicate Dinner product line includes one canned dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Dave's Delicate Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 24%

Ingredients: Chicken, water sufficient for processing, rice, guar gum, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamin mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, vitamin D2 supplement minerals (zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, copper sulfate,manganese sulfate), selenium yeast, potassium iodide

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%27%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%51%18%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes 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 is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fourth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

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 recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

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.

Dave’s Delicate Dinner Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Dave’s Delicate Dinner 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Near-average protein. Above-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 wet product containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Dave’s Delicate Dinner is a meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Those looking for a another wet product with more protein may wish to visit our review of Dave’s 95% Premium Dog Food.

A Final Word

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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.

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Notes and Updates

05/21/2010 Original review
04/17/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials