Dave’s Naturally Healthy Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Dave’s Naturally Healthy product line includes four canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Dave’s Naturally Healthy Beef and Rice
- Dave’s Naturally Healthy Chicken and Rice
- Dave’s Naturally Healthy Healthy Joint (3 stars)
- Dave’s Naturally Healthy Liver and Beef (4.5 stars)
Dave’s Naturally Healthy Beef and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dave's Naturally Healthy Beef and Rice
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, sufficient water for processing, beef liver, chicken, brewers rice, dried egg product, guar gum, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, carrageenan, vitamins (vitamin E, A, B12, D3 supplements, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, manganous sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||27%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||51%||18%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all 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 beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is chicken, another quality raw item.
The fifth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh 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, 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, with the exception of copper, 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 Naturally Healthy Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dave’s Naturally Healthy Dog Food looks like an average canned 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 77%.
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 canned product containing a notable amount of meat.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include brewers rice in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient, we may have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.
Dave’s Naturally Healthy is a meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of beef or chicken as its main sources 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Those looking for a nice kibble from this same company may wish to visit our review of Dave’s Dry Dog Food.
Dave’s Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Dave’s Dog Food Recall of December 2015 (12/3/2015)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
03/13/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩