PetGuard Dog Food (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

PetGuard Canned Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The PetGuard product line includes 14 canned dog foods.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, 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 Turkey and Barley
  • PetGuard Lamb and Brown Rice
  • PetGuard Chicken Stew in Gravy
  • PetGuard Gumbo in Savory Gravy
  • PetGuard Vegetarian Feast (2 stars)
  • PetGuard Venison and Rice (3 stars)
  • PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potatoes
  • PetGuard Chicken, Liver and Vegetables
  • PetGuard Puppy Chicken and Vegetables
  • PetGuard Chicken and Herbed Brown Rice
  • PetGuard Organic Chicken and Vegetables
  • PetGuard Beef, Vegetables and Wheat Germ
  • PetGuard Liver, Vegetables and Wheat Germ
  • PetGuard Organic Vegetarian Entree (2 stars)

PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

PetGuard Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 33%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%23%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%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. This is a quality ingredient.

The second ingredient lists turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding 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.

After the cranberries and carrots, we find 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 seventh ingredient includes 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.

The eighth ingredient lists 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 we note the inclusion of 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.

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.

PatGuard Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, PetGuard Canned Dog Food looks like an above-average product.

However, ingredient quality alone cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the meat content of the product before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 23% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.

Because of their apparently lower meat content (zero in the vegan products), the venison and vegetarian recipes have been downgraded to a lesser category (as noted above).

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this is the profile of a wet food 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 two stars.

Bottom line?

PetGuard canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of meat from assorted species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand four stars.

Highly recommended (except for the vegetarian recipes).

Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of PetGuard Dry Dog Food.

Special Alert

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Notes and Updates

06/22/2010 Original review
01/22/2011 Review updated
10/25/2012 Last Update

  1. 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