Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Performatrin Ultra Grain Free product line includes eight 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 Grain Free
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Small Bite
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Puppy Recipe
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Ocean Recipe
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Prairie Recipe
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Adult Large Breed
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Foothills Small Bite (4.5 stars)
- Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Puppy Large Breed (4.5 stars)
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Prairie Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Prairie Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, duck meal, lentils, green peas, lamb meal, chickpeas, tapioca starch, dried peas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), herring meal, suncured alfalfa meal, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), natural flavor, flaxseed, pea fiber, salt, dried carrots, dried sweet potato, dried apples, chicory root extract, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, lemon balm, ground ginger, dried chamomile, dried peppermint, ground fennel seed, basil, sage, dandelion, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, carotene, inositol, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||17%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||35%||34%|
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 duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.
The third ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, both lentils and peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The sixth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The eighth ingredient includes 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.
The ninth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The tenth ingredient is herring 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
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, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also 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.
In addition, this recipe includes pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
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.
We also note 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.
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.
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 37% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, peas, chickpeas, alfalfa meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats 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.
Performatrin Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
12/30/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩