Eukanuba Breed Specific Formulas receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Eukanuba Breed Specific product line includes eight dry 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.
- Eukanuba Boxer Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Spaniel Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Rottweiler Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Chihuahua Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Dachshund Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Yorkshire Terrier Adult Formula
- Eukanuba German Shepherd Adult Formula
- Eukanuba Labrador Retriever Adult Formula
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
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||18%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||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 item 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
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
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.
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 four 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 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.
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 Foods
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.
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 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include by-product meals as the main protein source in its recipes. For without this lower quality ingredient, we’d have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.
If you’re OK with animal by-product meals, then these recipes could easily be considered 4-star products.
Eukanuba Breed Specific Formulas 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.
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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Other spellings: Eukenuba, Eucanuba
Notes and Updates
11/13/2009 Original review
10/19/2012 Last Update