Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Performatrin Ultra Grain Free product line includes three dry dog foods.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Small Bites
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Puppy Recipe
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, peas, salmon meal, duck meal, potato, dried egg product, chicken fat stabilized with mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin E), potato protein, vegetable pomace (tomato, carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach), natural flavor, cultured yeast, whole fresh sweet potato, pumpkin, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, sea salt, chicory root extract, lecithin, dried kelp, choline chloride, alfalfa juice concentrate, fresh spinach, fresh whole blackberries, dried yeast, taurine, rosemary extract, marigold extract, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, spirulina, green tea extract, ascorbyl polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidium, Streptococcus faecium, zinc proteinate (source of chelated zinc), iron proteinate (source of chelated iron), vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate (source of chelated manganese), copper proteinate (source of chelated copper), vitamin A supplement, niacin, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, inositol, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, calcium iodide, selenium yeast (source of organic selenium)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||18%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||37%||28%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient is 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 fourth ingredient is 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
The fifth ingredient is duck meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
The sixth 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 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 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 ninth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The tenth ingredient is vegetable pomace, the solid by-product of vegetables after pressing for juice or oil. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.
Vegetable pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough vegetable pomace here to make much of a difference.
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, 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.
Next, dried yeast can be a controversial item. 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.
In addition, 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.
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.
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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 41% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, potato protein and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of turkey and turkey meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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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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".
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Notes and Updates
06/10/2012 Original review
12/28/2013 Review updated
12/28/2013 Last Update