Eukanuba Breed Specific Formulas (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Eukanuba Breed Specific Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Eukanuba Breed Specific product line includes seven dry dog foods, all claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Eukanuba Boxer Adult Formula
  • Eukanuba Rottweiler Adult Formula
  • Eukanuba Chihuahua Adult Formula
  • Eukanuba Dachshund Adult Formula
  • Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrier Adult Formula
  • Eukanuba German Shepherd Adult Formula (3 stars)
  • Eukanuba Labrador Retriever Adult Formula (3 stars)

Eukanuba Dachshund Adult Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Eukanuba Dachshund Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal (natural source of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, ground whole grain barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried beet pulp, chicken flavor, brewers rice, fish meal, dried egg product, potassium chloride, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), salt, flax meal, sodium hexametaphosphate, fructooligosaccharides, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), choline chloride, calcium carbonate, dried chicken cartilage (natural source of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), dl-methionine, vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), brewers dried yeast, vitamin E supplement, l-carnitine, beta-carotene, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%18%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%37%40%

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 ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In a nutshell, chicken by-products are those unsavory leftovers usually considered “unfit for human consumption”.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The third ingredient is cornmeal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The fourth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is 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.

After the chicken flavor, we find 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 next ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich 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

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 five notable exceptions

First, fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

In addition, brewers dried yeast 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of sodium hexametaphosphate, a man-made industrial polymer with no known nutritive value.

HMP is used in making soap, detergents, water treatment, metal finishing and most likely here to decrease tartar build-up on the teeth.

Although some might disagree, we’re of the opinion that food is not the place for tartar control chemicals or any other non-nutritive substances.

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.

Eukanuba Breed Specific Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba Breed Specific looks like an average dry 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 28%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Eukanuba Breed Specific is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Other spellings: Eukenuba, Eucanuba

Notes and Updates

05/12/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Wikipedia definition
  • bea kindal

    Isn’t this the same list of ingredients that you use for every dry dog food that you review (with the appropriate name changes)?

  • AngryPatriot5

    Wow, I would never say this is a 3 star food.  It has almost no decent protein source (real, fresh meat); it’s loaded with by-products and things dogs don’t digest.  It’s a very poor selection – just a bit better than Purina, Pedigree, Alpo and those “euthanized pet” type products.  This brand includes dead chickens instead of dead shelter pets…that’s truly what is meant by by-products.  I’d never feed any kibble to my dogs and cats but this is one that is bad, bad, bad, IMO.

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  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Daisy May… From what I can tell, this recall did not appear to include the Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrier Specific Breed product. The recall action was voluntary and appears to be related to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria. For complete details, be sure to read my report about the Eukanuba dog food recall which occurred on or about July 30, 2010. If you’d like to confirm this information, try contacting Eukanuba Customer Service at 877-340-8823. Hope this helps.

  • Jonathan

    It should be back in stores now… it’s back in my store, anyways. Iams/Eukanuba had some sort of salmonella contamination at a plant and had to shut it down to clean it, thus halting production on several of their lines for the last month or so.

  • DaisyMay

    I have been using Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrior Breed Specific Dry Dog Food for my dog for a few years, but haven’t been able to find it for a while, and have been advised it has been recalled. Need some information, as to why it was recalled?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Frankie… That is a good question. However, although these ingredients are common allergens to some, most dogs are fine with corn, wheat or soy (even pork products). In the case of grains, I’ve always been more critical of the “grade” of grains used by pet food manufacturers to make dog food than the specific grains themselves.

    For a different “angle” on this issue, you may want to check out my article, “Dangerous Canine Diseases Linked to Grains in Dog Food“. Hope this helps.

  • Frankie Firme

    Hello, Mike.

    What I have learned from having 2 adult male boxers is that corn, soy, or wheat based dog food, or ANY form of pork(bacon, sausage, or chops/bones) gives my dogs terrible gas, watery stools, and occassional vomiting and sluggishness.

    I have learned that dogs have food allergies, and this is one reason for the above mentioned.

    Why would dog food manufactures put this in dog food when this is NO secret?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Cheryl… Unfortunately, none of the Eukanuba Breed Specific formulas appears to contain chelated minerals. :(

  • Cheryl

    Hi Mike!
    Great website!

    Are the Eukanuba breed specific formulas ( I have the Dachshund formula) chelated ?