K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1.5 stars.
The K9 Natural product line includes four raw freeze dried formulas.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Beef Feast
- K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Lamb Feast
- K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Venison Feast
- K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Feast
K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Venison Feast was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Venison Feast
Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Venison, venison blood, venison tripe, eggs, venison liver, venison heart, venison bone, sunflower oil, brown kelp, flaxseed flakes, venison kidney, cabbage, broccoli, swiss chard, carrot, cauliflower, dried kelp, calcium carbonate, apple, pear, new zealand green mussel, beta-carotene, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, selenium yeast
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||36%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||61%||17%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is venison. Venison is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” venison and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Venison is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is blood, which consists mostly of water. And although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to humans, blood is naturally rich in protein (albumin), vitamins and minerals.
The third ingredient is venison tripe. Tripe usually consists of the first three chambers of a cud-chewing animal’s stomach. As unappetizing as it may seem to us humans, tripe is favored by dogs and sometimes even includes the stomach’s contents, too.
The fourth ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth ingredient is venison liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The sixth ingredient is venison heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The seventh ingredient is venison bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The eighth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
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, flaxseed flakes, 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, we find green-lipped mussel. Mussels are clam-like animals notably rich in glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients proven to support long-term joint health.
In addition, this food includes 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.
And lastly, 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.
K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, K9 Natural Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food looks like an above-average raw 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 35% and a mean fat level of 41%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 16% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 118%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 61% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 22% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.
K9 Natural is a meat-based raw freeze dried dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1.5 stars.
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.
K9 Natural Dog Food
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A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
08/19/2016 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩