Eukanuba Custom Care (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★★½☆☆

Eukanuba Custom Care Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Eukanuba Custom Care product line includes three 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 Custom Care Healthy Joints
  • Eukanuba Custom Care Sensitive Digestion
  • Eukanuba Custom Care Sensitive Skin and Coat (2 stars)

Eukanuba Custom Care Sensitive Digestion was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Eukanuba Sensitive Digestion

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Brewers rice, corn grits, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), chicken, fish meal, dried beet pulp, chicken flavor, dried egg product, Fructooligosaccharides, potassium chloride, flax meal, sodium hexametaphosphate, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, 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), calcium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), dl-methionine, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%14%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%31%46%

The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 second ingredient is corn grits. Grits are made from ground corn, 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 third 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 addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (conventional 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 fourth ingredient is corn meal, 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 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 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 seventh 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

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.

The eighth 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.

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 six notable exceptions

First, dried egg product is 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.

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, flaxseed meal is one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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.

Next, 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.

We also note the inclusion of 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.

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 Custom Care Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba Custom Care Dog Food looks like a below-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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed meal and brewers dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Eukanuba Custom Care is a plant-based kibble using a below-average amount of named meats and by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

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

Those looking for a higher protein kibble from the same company may want to read our review of Eukanuba Premium Performance Dry Dog Food.

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

11/15/2009 Original review
06/10/2010 Review updated
04/27/2012 Review updated
11/15/2013 Review updated
11/15/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Wikipedia definition
  • USA Dog Treats

    The one you buy has much better ingredients!

  • sue66

    I live in Australia, Eukanuba must be different here,Thank-God, Crude Fiber is only 1.60% where the USA one is 5% Crude Fiber, In Australia ours is made in Netherlands, I think the USA one is made South America..I wonder why they would put such bad ingredients in a sensitive digestion kibble, & why they dont have the same as we have in Australia, I heard Australia has very stricked import laws, Maybe thats why we dont get alot of the American kibbles only some, We dont get California Natural no more after there was a recall, No wonder No one really likes Eukanuba in America, I never read or hear good things, But in Australia this has helped alot of dogs where owners dont want to go to vets & get the Vet Prescription Eukanuba Intestinal Diet..what my boy is on, Eukanuba seems to be the only thing that he can digest & has been a God send for us….

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi sue

    This review is for the Eukanuba Custom Care SENSITIVE DIGESTION

    The link is for the food being reviewed. The ingredients are correct.

    http://www.eukanuba.com/dog-food/custom-care/sensitive-digestion?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search_Brand+Awareness_Exact&utm_term=eukanuba20sensitive20digestion&utm_content=sY5xHCuCM|dc_eukanuba20sensitive20digestion_e_35642235963

  • sue66

    This kibble needs up dating, these ingredients are wrong, if u go to the Eukanuba site the first ingredient is Dried Chicken & turkey 22%, rice 21%, maize, sorghum, animal fat ,dried beet pulp, fish meal, whole egg, hydrolized animal fats, FOS & more

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dr Mike put it in red to denote that there is a controversy about that ingredient. Some are bad, some may be bad, some may not be bad, but all have a controversy about them. It’s an educational tool, you see red and you read about why it is in red. Boom! You’re educated, then you get to make your own decision about whether or not it is something you want to avoid, or limit.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Items marked in a red font aren’t necessarily bad. They’re only marked that way to show they can be controversial. So, in my descriptions for every one of the 800+ reviews on this website, ALL recipes that contain these same ingredients are always marked in this manner.

  • Maria

    I’m not standing up for it*

  • Maria

    If brewers rice has and beet pulp have benefits then why mark them as red items? Not all dogs are allergic to brewers yeast, you could just say “Exept it is common that dogs have allergies to this product”. And dried/reg beet pulp.. Only some people label it as “Inexpensive pet food filler”. I’m only standing up for eukaniba, I wouldn’t feel it to a rat, but still other dog food brands with these ingredients I support!

  • melissa

    Guelkerl-

    All my dogs seem to be able to eat Acana-both grainfree and grain inclusive. I would suggest however, that a dog withe a really delicate stomach be switched extremely slowly to any new food

  • BryanV21

    Acana recently introduced a line of foods that are limited ingredient. They do have oats in it, which means it’s not technically “grain-free”, however oats are not bad like some grains.

    The reason I brought this up is that it’s a great food, but doesn’t have as much protein as it’s sister-brand Orijen (both foods are made by Champion). Therefore it may be a high-quality food that would be a bit easier on your dogs stomach.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Guelkerl,

    You may want to try a limited ingredient food designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs such as The Honest Kitchen Thrive, Wellness Simple, Blue Buffalo Basics, Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diet, or Nutro Natural Choice Sensitive Stomach.

  • Guelkerl

    I use the Sensitive Digestive & it is the only product I have found that my 13 year old Keeshond can eat without getting sick.   I tried things like Innova, Pinnacle and a variety of better brands, but this is the one that he will actually eat & that does upset his stomach.   Maybe the higher protein foods are a problem for him.    If anyone has any suggestions of a higher quality food that is also easy on a dog’s stomach, I would be very interested.  
    Thanks, Linda

  • hundemat ingredienser

    I enjoy, result in I discovered just what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye