Eukanuba Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Eukanuba product line includes 13 dry dog foods, ten claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance, two recipes for growth (puppy), and one for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Eukanuba Puppy Growth
- Eukanuba Adult Small Breed
- Eukanuba Adult Large Breed
- Eukanuba Adult Maintenance
- Eukanuba Puppy Small Breed
- Eukanuba Senior Small Breed
- Eukanuba Senior Large Breed
- Eukanuba Senior Maintenance
- Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Small Bite
- Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed (3.5 stars)
- Eukanuba Adult Weight Control (2 stars)
- Eukanuba Adult Weight Control Small Breed
- Eukanuba Adult Weight Control Large Breed
Eukanuba Adult Maintenance was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, brewers rice, ground whole grain barley, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), chicken flavor, dried egg product, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), potassium chloride, salt, flax meal, sodium hexametaphosphate, fructooligosaccharides, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), 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), calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, brewers dried yeast, beta-carotene, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
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 includes 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 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 sixth ingredient lists barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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.
The eighth 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.
After chicken flavor, we find 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.
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 sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
We also 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba 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 28% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
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 flax meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Eukanuba dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken and chicken by-product meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating 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
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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.
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Other spellings: Eukenuba, Eucanuba
Notes and Updates
11/16/2009 Original review
11/04/2011 New recipes, upgraded to 3 stars
05/11/2013 Review updated
05/11/2013 Last Update