Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood product line includes three dry recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Canine PowerFood Poultry Feast
- Canine PowerFood Red Meat Feast
- Canine PowerFood Just Fish Feast Limited Ingredient Diet
Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood Red Meat Feast was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood Red Meat Feast
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned lamb, lamb meal, pork meal, peas, garbanzo beans, sunflower oil, lentils, herring oil, natural flavor, dehydrated alfalfa leaf, flaxseed meal, chicory root extract, apples, cranberries, carrots, dried kelp, tomatoes, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, dried green lipped mussels, dried sea cucumber, dried pumpkin, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, vitamins - (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), minerals - (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, potassium chloride, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate), sodium selenate, calcium iodate, probiotic & enzyme blend - (yeast extract, brewers dried yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Yucca schidigera plant extract, selenium yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract and dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||39%||20%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||40%||28%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The third ingredient includes pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.
However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.
The fourth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient lists garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.
Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.
The sixth 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.
The seventh ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient is herring oil. Herring 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, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.
After the natural flavor, we find dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
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 six notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed meal is 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, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, this food 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.
Next, 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.
Next, yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.
A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.
However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.
That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago1, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.
So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.
In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood looks like an above-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 39% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, garbanzo beans, lentils, dried alfalfa, flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble still containing a significant amount of meat.
Only Natural Pet Canine PowerFood is a grain-free meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of lamb, pork, chicken or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.
Only Natural Pet Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
09/15/2016 Last Update