Perfectly Natural Dog receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Perfectly Natural Dog product line lists three dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (Puppy Formula).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Perfectly Natural Dog Adult Formula
- Perfectly Natural Dog Puppy Formula (4.5 stars)
- Perfectly Natural Dog Senior Formula (3.5 stars)
Perfectly Natural Dog Adult Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Perfectly Natural Dog Adult Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, barley, chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), white fish, potato, yeast culture, oats, fish oil (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), flaxseed meal, egg, sea salt, dried kelp, potassium chloride, dried peas, dried carrots, dried cranberry, dried tomato, natural flavors, chicory root, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, inulin, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, choline chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin E supplement, biotin, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese oxide, selenium yeast, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||18%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||37%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
The seventh ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient is yeast culture. Although yeast culture is high in B-vitamins and protein, it can also be used as a probiotic to aid in digestion.
The ninth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
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, fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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, we note the inclusion of flaxseed meal, 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, this food contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Also present is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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.
Perfectly Natural Dog
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Perfectly Natural Dog appears to be 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 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed meal and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Perfectly Natural Dog is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating 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
11/19/2010 Original review
02/07/2011 Review updated (new recipe)
03/04/2014 Last Update