Inukshuk Professional Series dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Inukshuk Professional Series product line includes three dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance (Inukshuk 30/25).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Inukshuk Pro 26/16
- Inukshuk Pro 30/25
- Inukshuk Pro 32/32
Inukshuk Pro 30/25 Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Inukshuk Pro 30/25
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of vitamin E), fish meal (herring & anchovy), whole grain corn, whole grain wheat, whole brown rice, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), dried brewers yeast, corn gluten meal, fish oil (herring oil preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of vitamin E), kelp meal, malted barley flour, salt, potassium chloride, calcium propionate, flaxseed, taurine, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C activity), zinc methionine, Yucca schidigera extract, l-lysine hydrochloride, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, riboflavin (B2), vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), cobalt sulfate, folic acid, selenium yeast, biotin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin E supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||28%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||51%||24%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second 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 third 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
The fourth item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain which — aside from its energy content — is 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 wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The sixth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice 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 brewers dried yeast. 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.
The ninth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower 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 tenth ingredient is fish oil. 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.
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, we find 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.
Next, this recipe also 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.
Thirdly, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Inukshuk Professional Series Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Inukshuk Professional Series dog food appears to be 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 33% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 83%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the corn gluten meal, brewers dried yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 51% of the total calories in this food coming from fat as compared to just 25% from protein, this product may not be appropriate for every dog.
Inukshuk Professional Series is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken and fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
06/16/2012 Original review
04/08/2013 Review updated
04/08/2013 Last Update