Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Eagle Pack product line includes nine dry dog foods, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two recipes for growth (Puppy recipes).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Eagle Pack Senior
- Eagle Pack Puppy
- Eagle Pack Power Adult
- Eagle Pack Original Adult Small Bites
- Eagle Pack Reduced Fat Adult (3 stars)
- Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Adult
- Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Puppy
- Eagle Pack Original Adult Lamb Meal and Rice
- Eagle Pack Original Adult Pork Meal and Chicken Meal
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Eagle Pack Large and Giant Breed Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, ground yellow corn, chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, pork meal, brewers dried yeast, anchovy & sardine meal, flaxseed, dried egg product, wheat germ meal, potassium chloride, dl-methionine, vitamins [vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), biotin], minerals [polysaccharide complexes of zinc, iron, manganese and copper, cobalt carbonate, potassium iodate, sodium selenite], choline chloride, dried kelp, lecithin, rosemary extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus subtilus, Bacillus licheniformis, Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger fermentation products, mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||14%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||31%||45%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient 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 third ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The fourth item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient lists beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The seventh ingredient includes pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.
However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.
The eighth ingredient includes brewers yeast which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and 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.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The ninth ingredient is anchovy and sardine meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.
But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.
We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.
Without knowing more, we would expect to find at least a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.
The tenth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eleventh 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 next ingredient is wheat germ meal. Wheat germ is a nutritious by-product of the wheat milling process and also rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and minerals.
However, since it contains at least 25% plant-based protein and depending upon the amount, this ingredient can boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Eagle Pack Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Eagle Pack dry dog food looks like an 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 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the dried brewers yeast, flaxseed and wheat germ meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Eagle Pack dry dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or pork meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings 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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.
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Notes and Updates
02/25/2010 Original review
09/04/2011 Updated (name changes, added Senior)
03/10/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩