Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Pinnacle Grain Free canned dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Pinnacle product line includes 5 grain free canned recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Pinnacle Chicken and Vegetable Grain Free
  • Pinnacle Duck and Sweet Potato Grain Free
  • Pinnacle Turkey and Potato Grain Free (3 stars)
  • Pinnacle Salmon and Potato Grain Free (3 stars)
  • Pinnacle Trout and Sweet Potato Grain Free (4 stars)

Pinnacle Duck and Sweet Potato Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pinnacle Duck and Sweet Potato Grain Free

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 32% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Duck, duck broth, sweet potatoes, peas, quinoa seed, flax seed (source of omega 3), guar gum, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potassium chloride, salt, cassia gum, xanthan gum, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, sage, rosemary, papain

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis7%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%27%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%51%25%

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1

Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is duck 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 includes sweet potatoes. 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 includes 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 fifth ingredient is quinoa seed. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

The sixth 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 seventh 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 eighth ingredient is 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 one notable exception

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.

Pinnacle Grain Free Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pinnacle 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 34%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 76%.

Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, quinoa and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pinnacle Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of poultry or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

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.

Pinnacle Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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

07/07/2015 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  • trigirl9

     I just switched to it about a week a go and my dogs LOVE IT. they won’t even wait for me to finish putting it in the bowl before they stick their heads in and start eating.

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  • erin c.

    Has anyone tried the Pinnacle Grain Free Salmon & Potato?
    Our 13 yr old female seems to like the free sample I gave her.