Husse Opus Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Husse Opus Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Husse Opus product line includes one grain free dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for adult maintenance.

Husse Grain Free Opus Ocean

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 40% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 34%

Ingredients: Salmon meal, potato, peas, potato protein, pork fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, cellulose, vitamins [vitamin A supplement, vitamin D supplement, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, pantothenic acid, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, folic acid, beta-carotene, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement], minerals [ferrous sulphate, zinc sulphate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], yeast extract, hydrolyzed animal protein, salmon oil, salt, lecithin, Tagetes, dried seaweed meal, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis35%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%18%34%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%38%29%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 29%

The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The second ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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 fifth ingredient is pork fat, a product from rendering pig meat.

Commonly known as lard, pork fat can add significant flavor to any dog food. And it can be high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, pork fat (in moderate amounts) is actually an acceptable pet food ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also 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.

The seventh ingredient is cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.

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, this recipe contains yeast extract. Yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago2, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, we find hydrolyzed animal protein, also known as animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

In addition, 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.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Husse Opus Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Husse Opus 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 40%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 34%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, potato protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Husse Opus is a grain free meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of salmon meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, menadione phobics may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for another product.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Husse Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

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Notes and Updates

08/22/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances