Pinnacle Dog Food (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

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

The Pinnacle product line includes three canned dog foods, 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 Duck and Potato Recipe
  • Pinnacle Chicken and Vegetable Recipe
  • Pinnacle Trout and Sweet Potato Recipe

Pinnacle Trout and Sweet Potato Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pinnacle Holistic Trout and Sweet Potato Formula

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Trout, fish broth, herring, oatmeal, oat bran, sweet potato, canola oil, quinoa seed, carrageenan, guar gum, flaxseed, minerals (iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E, A, B12, D3 supplements, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement), choline chloride, calcium carbonate, sage, rosemary, papain

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.5%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%29%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%53%23%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes trout, a marine and freshwater fish naturally high in protein.

The second ingredient is fish broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition compnent in many canned products.

The third ingredient includes herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

The fourth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The fifth ingredient is oat bran, a nutritious by-product obtained from milling whole grain oats. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, vitamins and minerals.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.

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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

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, 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.

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.

Pinnacle Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pinnacle 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 29% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 84%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and the potato protein contained in the Duck recipe, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a below average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pinnacle canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a below-average amount of trout, chicken or duck as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

However, the higher fat content associated with this product may not be appropriate for every animal.

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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

02/17/2010 Original review
06/15/2012 Review updated
01/06/2014 Review updated
09/20/2010 Review updated
01/06/2014 Last Update

  • 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.