PetGuard canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The PetGuard product line includes 13 canned 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.
- PetGuard Gumbo with Gravy
- PetGuard Chicken Stew in Gravy
- PetGuard Turkey and Barley Dinner
- PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew
- PetGuard Chicken and Herbed Brown Rice
- PetGuard Vegetarian Feast Dinner (2 stars)
- PetGuard Organic Vegan Formula (2.5 stars)
- PetGuard Lamb and Brown Rice Dinner (4.5 stars)
- PetGuard Organic Chicken and Vegetables (4.5 stars)
- PetGuard Puppy Chicken and Vegetables Dinner (5 stars)
- PetGuard Chicken, Liver and Vegetables Dinner (3.5 stars)
- PetGuard Beef, Vegetables and Wheat Germ Dinner (5 stars)
- PetGuard Liver, Vegetables and Wheat Germ Dinner (4.5 stars)
PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, guar gum, dried cranberries, ground flaxseed, sunflower oil, choline chloride, salt, potassium chloride, inulin, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), biotin, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), ergocalciferol (source of vitamin D2), vitamin B12 supplement, cobalt amino acid chelate, folic acid, inositol
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||23%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||44%||26%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fourth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
The sixth ingredient is cranberries, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The seventh ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The eighth ingredient includes sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
And lastly, 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.
PetGuard Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, PetGuard canned 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 39% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 72%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed in this recipe, and the peas and wheat germ contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Regarding the vegetarian products…
Please understand we do recognize the need for some dog owners to provide (for whatever reason) a completely meat-free diet.
However, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias. For this reason, the highest rating awarded any vegetarian dog food found on this website can never exceed 2.5 stars.
PetGuard is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, turkey or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Highly recommended (except for the vegetarian recipes).
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.
Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of PetGuard Dry Dog Food.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
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".
Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
07/24/2014 Last Update
- 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 ↩