Loyall Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Loyall product line includes eight dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and six for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Loyall Puppy Formula 31/20
- Loyall Senior Formula 25/10
- Loyall Lite Formula 16/7 (1 star)
- Loyall Professional Formula 31/20
- Loyall Active Adult Formula 26/19
- Loyall High Performance Formula 24/20
- Loyall Adult Maintenance Formula 21/14
- Loyall Lamb Meal and Rice Formula 23/14
Loyall High Performance Formula 24/20 was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Loyall High Performance
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Poultry by-product meal, ground whole corn, brewers rice, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground whole wheat, dried plain beet pulp, natural chicken flavor, whole flaxseed, dried egg product, extracted hydrolyzed citric acid fermentation presscake dehydrated, bentonite, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, menhaden fish meal, salt, sodium hexametaphosphate, propionic acid (for freshness), vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid complex, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, sodium selenite), brewers dried yeast, Yucca schidigera extract, mixed tocopherols, citric acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||22%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||43%||35%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry 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).
We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The fifth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The sixth 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.
After the natural chicken flavor, 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.
The ninth ingredient is 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 seven notable exceptions…
First, we find bentonite, a naturally occurring clay-like compound rich in many trace minerals. Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Next, this recipe contains menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.
But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.
We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.
Without knowing more, and based upon this fish meal’s location on the list of ingredients, we would expect to find at least a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.
In addition, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in 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.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
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.
In addition, we 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.
Also, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Loyall Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Loyall Dog Food looks like a below 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 27% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal contained in several of the formulas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Loyall Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry by-product meal or lamb meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings 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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Notes and Updates
04/20/2010 Original review
11/20/2010 Review updated
04/10/2011 Upgraded to 2.5 stars (due to half star capability)
12/14/2012 Review updated
12/14/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩