DNA Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The DNA Dried-N-Alive product line includes four dehydrated dog foods, 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.
- DNA Dried-N-Alive Beef Formula
- DNA Dried-N-Alive Lamb Formula
- DNA Dried-N-Alive Chicken Formula
- DNA Dried-N-Alive Venison/Salmon Formula
DNA Dried-N-Alive Chicken Formula was selected to represent the other products 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, 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 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 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 egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fourth ingredient is dried apple, a dehydrated, nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The fifth ingredient is 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 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, dried alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Yet alfalfa can still provide some healthy nutrients to a dog food.
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 Dried-N-Alive Dog Food looks like a above average dry 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 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 effects of the dried peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a significant amount of meat.
DNA Dog Food is a grain-free meat-based air dried product using a significant amount of various named meats and salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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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.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
03/10/2012 Original review
09/08/2013 Review updated
09/08/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩