Performatrin Ultra Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Performatrin Ultra product line includes five dry dog foods. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice Adult
- Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice Puppy
- Performatrin Ultra Lamb and Brown Rice Adult (3 stars)
- Performatrin Ultra Healthy Weight with Salmon (4 stars)
- Performatrin Ultra Lamb and Brown Rice Puppy (4.5 stars)
Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, rice, pearled barley, dried egg product, dried tomato pomace, millet, rye, chicken fat (stabilized with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), natural chicken flavor, salmon meal, sunflower oil (stabilized with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), suncured alfalfa meal, whole sweet potatoes, whole carrots, peas, lecithin, potassium chloride, salt, dried kelp, flaxseed, calcium carbonate, chicory root extract, dicalcium phosphate, dl-methionine, pumpkin, whole cranberries, whole apples, whole blueberries, choline chloride, whole blackberries, spinach, taurine, dried yeast, Yucca schidigera extract, garlic, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidium fermentation product, dried Streptococcus faecium fermentation product, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ground ginger, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, dried chamomile, ground fennel seed, dandelion extract, rosemary, basil, sage, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, dried lemon balm, vitamin A supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, peppermint, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, inositol, beta-carotene, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, cobalt proteinate, calcium iodide, selenium yeast, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||13%||54%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||29%||49%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third 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 fourth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The fifth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. The term “pearled” means the grain has been processed to remove its outer hull and bran, unlike whole barley. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh 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.
The eighth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
The ninth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
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, 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.
Next, we note the inclusion of salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
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.
Also, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
And lastly, this food inlcudes 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.
Performatrin Ultra Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Performatrin Ultra 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 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal, peas and flaxseed contained in this recipe, and the corn gluten meal and potato protein contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Performatrin Ultra is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
A Final Word
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For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
10/29/2010 Original review
03/22/2012 Review updated
12/27/2013 Review updated
12/27/2013 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Performatrin Customer Service via email, 3/22/2012 ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩