PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED
Natural Balance Eatables dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of three stars.
The Natural Balance Eatables product line includes four canned dog foods… each designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
- Natural Balance Eatables Irish Stew
- Natural Balance Eatables Hobo Chili
- Natural Balance Eatables Chinese Take-Out with Sauce
- Natural Balance Eatables Southern Style Dumplin’s with Gravy
Natural Balance Eatables Irish Stew canned dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Natural Balance Eatables Irish Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Water, beef, potatoes, carrots, tomato paste, potato starch, dicalcium phosphate, salt, dehydrated celery, potassium chloride, minerals (calcium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, zinc oxide, cupric sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), vitamins [choline bitartrate, vitamin E supplement (di-alpha tocopherol acetate), vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pepper, caramel color
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||11%||53%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||25%||49%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water… which (of course) adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a normal 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 includes potatoes. Assuming they’re whole, potatoes are a good source of digestible carbohydrates and other healthy nutrients.
The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth item is tomato paste. Unlike tomato pomace, tomato paste does not include the skin or seeds of the fruit.
The sixth item lists potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used here more for its thickening properties than its nutritional 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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With one notable exception…
This dog food contains chelated minerals… minerals that have been chemically attached to proteins. This process can make them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better quality dog foods.
Natural Balance Eatables Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Natural Balance Eatables is a typical stew-and-gravy type of canned dog food. On the surface, the product looks fairly appetizing. And the major ingredients appear to be of relatively good quality.
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.
All four dog food recipes exhibit the same nutrient percentages as our example product.
Below-average protein. Low fat. And above-average carbs… when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even with no evidence of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing only a modest amount of meat.
However, it’s important to acknowledge the absence here of any critical Red Flag items.
Natural Balance Eatables is a vegetable-based canned dog food using a modest amount of beef or chicken as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand three stars.
Those looking for a higher rated wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Natural Balance Ultra canned dog food.
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
01/12/2010 Original review
08/17/2010 Review updated
05/24/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩