Pet-Tao Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Pet-Tao product line includes three canned dog foods, one claimed claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages (Harmony) and two for supplemental feeding only.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Pet-Tao Zing
- Pet-Tao Chill
- Pet-Tao Harmony
Pet-Tao Harmony was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, turkey, chicken gizzards, white potato, beef heart, tofu, beef liver, carrots, celery, beef kidney, broccoli, eggs, green bell pepper, catfish, flax seed, button mushrooms, spinach, salt, sardines, olive oil, white vinegar, dicalcium phosphate, biotin, calcium carbonate, garlic, vitamin E supplement, rosemary, clove, basil, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide (source of iodine), vitamin D supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 25%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||17%||30%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||40%||35%||26%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
The second ingredient is turkey, another quality raw item. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2
Both beef and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is chicken gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The sixth ingredient is tofu, another name for bean curd. Tofu is a low carbohydrate component made from coagulated soy milk.
Although tofu is high in 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 seventh ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The eighth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The ninth ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
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, 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, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3
In addition, garlic is also officially classified as “toxic to dogs” by the Poison Control Center of the ASPCA.4
So, even when used in only small amounts, one must weigh the questionable benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.5
In addition, this recipe includes olive oil. Olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Pet-Tao Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pet-Tao Dog Food looks like an above-average wet 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 50% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 15% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the tofu and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Pet-Tao Dog Food is a meat-based product using a generous amount of beef or turkey 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.
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
10/22/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
- 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) ↩
- Garlic, Poison Control Center, ASPCA ↩
- Sharon Gwaltney-Brant DVM, Veterinary Toxicologist, Vice President and Medical Director, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in an interview with Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz for Pet Life Radio, Pets Have a Real Taste for Danger ↩