Mighty Dog dog food earns the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Mighty Dog product line includes 17 recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth (puppies) and adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Lamb and Rice Finely Ground
- Tenderloin Tips Flavor in Gravy
- Hearty Beef Dinner Finely Ground
- Thick-Sliced Beef Dinner in Gravy
- Porterhouse Steak Flavor in Gravy
- Thick-Sliced Turkey Dinner in Gravy
- Thick-Sliced Chicken Dinner in Gravy
- Savory Steak Flavor Hearty Chopped
- Hearty Pulled-Style Pork Dinner in Gravy
- Hearty Pulled-Style Beef Dinner in Gravy
- Seared Beef Dinner with Cheese in Gravy
- Rotisserie Chicken Flavor Hearty Chopped
- Hearty Pulled-Style Chicken Dinner in Gravy
- Seared Chicken Dinner with Cheese in Gravy
- Chicken and Smoked Bacon Combo Finely Ground
- Chicken, Egg & Bacon Country Platter Finely Ground
- Butcher Block Beef Tenderloin Flavor Hearty Chopped
Mighty Dog Thick-Sliced Beef Dinner in Gravy canned dog food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Mighty Dog Thick-Sliced Beef Dinner in Gravy
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, beef, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, chicken, soy flour, corn starch-modified, potassium chloride, added color, calcium phosphate, salt, choline chloride, natural and artificial flavors, calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||14%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||41%||30%||30%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second ingredient is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fourth item lists wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low 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 fifth ingredient is meat by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In a nutshell, meat by-products are the unsavory leftovers of processing considered by many “unfit for human consumption”.
With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this stuff can include heads, ovaries or developing fetuses.1
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal. So, this meat can come from almost anywhere, even diseased or dying livestock.
Although meat by-products can be high in protein, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.
The sixth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The seventh ingredient is soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.
Soy flour would be expected to have a notably 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 eighth ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.
Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
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.
Mighty Dog Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Mighty Dog appears to be a below average canned 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 44% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the wheat gluten and soy flour, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Mighty Dog is a meat-based canned product using a moderate amount of named meats and meat by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.
In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.
To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.
Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.
Notes and Updates
04/11/2010 Original review
11/11/2010 Review updated
08/19/2012 Last Update