Performatrin Ultra dry dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Performatrin Ultra product line includes three dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Performatrin Ultra Salmon and Olive Oil
- Performatrin Ultra Lamb and Brown Rice
- Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice
Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice dry dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Performatrin Ultra Chicken and Brown Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, oatmeal, whole rice, pearled barley, dried egg product, salmon meal, chicken fat stabilized with mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin e), tomato pomace, sunflower oil stabilized with mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin e), whole millet, whole rye, natural chicken flavor, alfalfa meal, fresh whole sweet potatoes, fresh whole carrots, peas, potassium chloride, lecithin, sea salt, calcium carbonate, flaxseed, chicory root extract, dicalcium phosphate, dl-methionine, pumpkin, whole cranberries, fresh whole apples, whole blueberries, dried kelp, choline chloride, whole blackberries, spinach, taurine, dried yeast, Yucca schidigera extract, fresh garlic, ascorbyl polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus caesi, Bifidobacterium bifidium, streptococcus faecium, zinc proteinate (source of chelated zinc), zinc oxide, iron proteinate (source of chelated iron), ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ground ginger, manganese proteinate (source of chelated manganese), manganous oxide, dried camomile, ground fennel seed, dandelion, rosemary, basil, sage, copper proteinate (source of chelated copper), 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, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), cobalt proteinate (source of chelated cobalt), calcium iodide, selenium yeast (source of organic selenium),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.
Which brings us to chicken meal, the second and (more likely) the dominant meat ingredient in this dog food.
Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third item 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 is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.
The fifth item is whole rice. Whole rice is a quality ingredient, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) is fairly easy to digest.
The sixth ingredient lists 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 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 includes salmon meal, another high-protein meat concentrate.
Salmon meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The ninth 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.
Dried yeast can be a controversial ingredient. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein… and is rich in 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.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, garlic can also be a controversial item. Although the majority of experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3
Most of the literature we surveyed offered no conclusive evidence against the use of garlic… especially in small amounts (as it is here).
Next, the manufacturer appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.
Thirdly, 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.
And lastly, the Performatrin Ultra line also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Performatrin Ultra Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Performatrin Ultra 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 27% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipes. Without this controversial supplement and a bit more meat, we may have been compelled to award this brand a higher rating.
Performatrin Ultra is a grain-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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
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Notes and Updates
10/29/2010 Original review
03/22/2012 Review updated
03/22/2012 Last Update
- Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of fish as published by the 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) ↩