Eukanuba canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Eukanuba product line includes ten canned dog foods, eight claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two recipes for growth (puppies).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Eukanuba Adult Entree with Beef and Rice
- Eukanuba Adult Entree with Lamb and Rice
- Eukanuba Adult Entree with Turkey and Rice
- Eukanuba Adult Dinner with Chicken in Gravy
- Eukanuba Adult Mixed Grill with Chicken and Beef
- Eukanuba Adult Entree with Fresh Chicken and Rice
- Eukanuba Puppy Entree with Fresh Chicken and Rice
- Eukanuba Adult Mixed Grill w/ Chicken & Beef in Gravy
- Eukanuba Puppy Mixed Grill w/ Chicken & Beef in Gravy
- Eukanuba Adult Hearty Stew w/ Beef & Vegetables in Gravy
Eukanuba Adult Dinner with Chicken in Gravy was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Eukanuba Adult Dinner with Chicken in Gravy
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, chicken by-products, wheat gluten, meat by-products, dried beet pulp, salt, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, sodium tripolyphosphate, flax meal, guar gum, natural flavor, fructooligosaccharides, titanium dioxide, vitamins (ascorbic acid, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), carrageenan, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), caramel, vitamin E supplement, beta-carotene
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.7%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||47%||31%||14%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||55%||11%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The second ingredient is 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 third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is chicken by-products, or slaughterhouse waste. This is 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 (real meat).
Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is meat by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime cuts have been removed.
With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this stuff can include heads, ovaries or developing fetuses.1
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal. So, this meat can come from almost any slaughtered mammal.
Although meat by-products can be high in protein, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.
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.
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, 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, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener3 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
In addition, titanium dioxide is a white coloring agent. Although most claim the pigment to be a safe food additive, one international agency4 has classified titanium dioxide as a “Group 2B carcinogen” possibly linked to cancer in humans.
Next, caramel is a coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.
Even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.
That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
This food also contains carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
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 Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba canned dog food looks like a below-average wet 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 45% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 16% 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 wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Eukanuba canned is a meat-based wet dog food using a moderate amount of named and unspecified meat by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of Eukanuba Dry Dog Food.
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
11/15/2009 Original review
06/07/2010 Review updated
04/26/2012 Review updated
11/15/2013 Review updated
11/15/2013 Last Update