DNA Dog Food (Dried-N-Alive) receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The DNA Dog Food product line includes 4 kibbles, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Dried-N-Alive Venison/Salmon Formula
- Dried-N-Alive Chicken Formula
- Dried-N-Alive Lamb Formula
- Dried-N-Alive Beef Formula
Dried-N-Alive Chicken Formula dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Dried-N-Alive Chicken Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, eggs-dried, apples-dried, peas-dried, natural flavor, salmon oil, cranberries-dried, carrots-dried, spinach-dried, pumpkin, alfalfa-sun cured, blueberries-dried, yeast, calcium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, zinc propionate, lecithin, potassium chloride, mixed tocopherals, sodium chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, calcium carbonate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||39%||26%||27%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||49%||21%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second item is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is dried eggs, 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 fourth ingredient lists dried apple, a dehydrated, nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The fifth ingredient mentions dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
After the natural flavor, we find salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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, yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
And lastly, this food also 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.
DNA Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, DNA Dog Food looks to be an above-average kibble.
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 39% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
DNA Dog Food is a grain-free dry product using a significant amount of specifically named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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
03/10/2012 Original review
03/10/2012 Last Update