Pinnacle Peak Protein Formula (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Pinnacle Peak Protein Formula dog food earns the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

Pinnacle Peak Protein Grain Free Formula is a “high-protein, high energy” dry dog food claimed to meet meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Pinnacle Peak Protein Grain-Free Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 21%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), tomato pomace, salmon oil, dried egg product, organic quinoa seed meal, potassium chloride, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, manganous sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.2%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis42%22%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%24%21%
Calorie Weighted Basis37%47%17%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient lists tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

The sixth ingredient is salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

The seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The eighth ingredient lists quinoa seed meal. 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.

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, the manufacturer appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

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 Peak Protein Formula Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Based upon its ingredient quality, Pinnacle Peak Protein looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 47%, a fat level of 24% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 21%.

High protein. Above-average fat. And very low carbs as compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this is the profile of a kibble containing a generous amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pinnacle Peak Protein Grain Free Formula is a meat-based dry dog food using chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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

02/14/2010 Original review
07/06/2010 Review updated (new recipe)
09/21/2010 Review updated
12/31/2010 Upgraded to 5 stars (eliminated menadione and potato protein)
02/13/2011 Review updated (quinoa added to recipe)
11/11/2012 Last Update

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  • chiapink

    Hi All, I called the Breeders Choice line and a tech actually called me back the next day with this info……… the ash content is 7% and the carb level is 27%

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Most companies don’t list the ash content of dog food. You would have to contact the company directly to get this information.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/DGCWEVQLF4HCWAB3WYL3D5WJPE Bryan

    Does anyone know the ash content of this kibble? Their website lists for the cat formula but not for the dogs.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    You can also try a small reduction in feeding portions and adjust according to weight gain or loss as overfeeding can produce some softer than desired stools and also a pinch or more of ground psyllium husk (you can buy this in bulk and organic) or use metamucil (sugar free, color free).

  • Pattyvaughn

    If indeed it is fiber that they need, then a spoonful of canned pure pumpkin is better for them that rice.

  • Kenneth

    Hey so I am very interested in this product, however I feel as if my puppies need to produce harder stools as now they are near impossible to successfully pick up. Would adding a top layer of cooked brown rice help give them the little extra fiber they need to achieve this?

  • Marsha

    I use Quinoa seeds in my dog food. I cook them up and add them to the rest of the ingredients.

  • C&D

    My corgi’s stools are twice the weight if she eats California Natural Lamb Meal and Rice vs. any raw formula. I’m going to experiment with the grain free version of the same product to see if that makes a difference.

  • Richard J Breard

    Thanks Mike… That solidifies my feelings about potatoes.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Richard J Beard… Unfortunately, I have never found any peer reviewed scientific studies proving potatoes are any healthier for dogs than grains (or vice versa). Most grain free foods on this website don’t get their higher ratings because they’re grain free but rather they’re typically higher in meat-based protein.

  • Richard J Breard

    Mike… I have been doing some research on white potatoes and with all the skin and allergy problems they can cause, I am suprised that they are not a red item. My dog’s scratching and biting has almost stopped since getting her off white potato. I would buy a dog food with garlic before potato.

  • lulu

    I just bought this Pinnacle’s formula as this seems to be the one resembled most to their home-cooked diet. I’m trying to mixed dry & home-cooked and if my beloved stay in good health and happy, at least this gives me some kind of relief when I have little time to prepare fresh food for them. Also, I’m trying various brands to see which one could produce as small & solid stools as they normally have with their home-cooked diet. Some brands cause humongous-sized stools that I wonder what exactly in the dry kibble that cause it…..

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Richard… Though some might disagree, most folks feed kibble without adding water. However, there are some (especially the dehydrated type) that specifically demand reconstitution of the food with water prior to serving. Of course, it goes without saying, fresh water must always be offered 24 hours a day. Please check back for comments from some of our regular feeding experts. Hope this helps.

  • Richard J breard

    Hi mike… I Just read an article that said you should never feed a kibble dry without adding water because the kibble has basically no water in it and the liver needs water to process the protein. True or false.

  • Richard J breard

    Mike:
    Read the whole article,” Dog Food Carbohydrates, A Suprising Secret Revealed.” The Orijen White Paper. WOW. If anyone thought they knew everything about feeding thier dogs, they had better read this because they really don’t know too much.
    Thanks Mike

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Richard… Since each dog has its own unique energy requirements (just like people), you never know the exact serving size that’s right for your pet. So, I’d suggest starting with the package’s feeding instructions. Weigh your dog every few weeks. Then, adjust (titrate) that serving size up or down to establish and maintain your pet’s ideal weight.

    Always measure the food with a real measuring cup. Not a scoop. Never guess. Keep a record of how much you’re feeding. And be sure to weigh your dog periodically (every few weeks or so). Then, adjust the serving size as needed to stay on track.

    Sure, it’s a little work. But in the end, it’s the only real life method you can scientifically rely on.

  • Richard J breard

    I feed my 13lb Shih Tzu the Pinnacle Peak Protien. Is this too much for a Little dog? I only give her about a 1/3 of a cup because of the high calorie count.
    Thank you
    Richard

    PS.She does belch a lot after eating.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jackie… To learn more about protein, please visit our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Dog Food Protein”. Be sure to follow the links you’ll find there, too.

    Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, I cannot provide customized product recommendations for each reader. You may wish to also visit that same FAQ page and look for “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Jackie

    I have 3 yorkies, they go 3 times a day. I am concerned about high protein levels. I have tried, lots of foods, they never seem to like them . Is there a food that you recommend that I try for my small dogs. I also give them tripe, and green beans. Are these ok to give them. Please help not sure what I should try.

  • Susan Henry

    My Irish Setter was having stomach problems for nearly a full year and our vet switched us from Nutro to Wellness with no luck. She just couldn’t seem to keep anything down and was losing weight. Finally, we found Pinnacle, the Chicken and Oats formula, and seeing the Irish Setters on the bag we took a gamble out of desperation. She’s now been on this food for nearly 2 1/2 years and has a great coat, her weight is normal, and she doesn’t get tummy aches nearly as often.

    Our new Vet mentioned it’s formula was lower in carbs and had a simple protein and simple carbs which were better options for her digestive system. I cannot rave about this food enough, but it’s really nice to have your site’s in depth review to back our decision up. Thanks!

  • Melissa

    Annette-

    I would try feeding your Antolian at least 3 small meals a day and see if that helps. Also, you can try a bit of canned as that starts to digest quicker than the dry and that may help the gas

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Annette… The answer to your question can be found in my article, “Dog Food Carbohydrates… a Surprising Secret Revealed“. Hope this helps.

  • Jonathan

    Oh, and the belching could be due to the rapid fermentation of sugary carbs mixed with proteins. They require two different stomach pH’s. Or it could be swallowed air. IDK.

  • Jonathan

    Annette, even 22% carbs is an unnaturally high amount of carbs for a dog’s diet. A dog gets all they need from meat protein and animal fat. The further from any carbs you can get, the better.

  • annette

    I have a couple of questions. The Pinnacle Peak Protein is very low carbs. Doesn’t the dogs need the carbs for energy? If so, what is the minimum carb requirements of typical dogs and active/working dogs?
    My Anatolian usually belches after eating. It may be right away or a little later. I started feeding her in a smaller bowl with high sides that forces her to slow down although I don’t particularly think she inhales her food. Is there certain ingredients in dogfood that can cause or increase this belching? I don’t know if belching is a sign she could bloat but I know bloat is more common in large breeds and kills so I am concerned about this.
    I love your site. I finally found a place in our small town that sells the better rated dog foods. I am going to recommend they sign up on your site so others in our town can find them.

  • Roger Prows

    You may want to contact the company as I think the carb level in this has dropped recently.

  • Jim

    Thanks, Pat. I added in Halo “Spot’s Stew” with 7.2% fiber. That gives me an average fiber content of 4.6% and it’s tightened things up a little bit. I’m still going to have to stop the Pinnacle I’m afraid. Something just doesn’t agree. Fortunately, there are plenty of good kibbles on the market.

  • Pat Moore

    Regarding fiber content, I just want to chime in and say since I moved my 8 y.o. dogo to Wellness CORE (4% fiber) from Wellness Super5 (3% fiber), her stools have firmed up beautifully. In the past many years, I’ve always found 4 – 5% fiber to be the magic bullet.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jasmine… Potato protein is a special ingredient made from the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato. It is my understanding the company has removed this ingredient from the product. The potato item you still see on the label is not potato protein. It’s just plain potato.

  • Jasmine

    Is potato protein the same as potato? I still see potato ingredient in there unless you’re saying potato protein is something else altogether.

  • Jim

    Thanks, Jonathan. I was wondering if it might be a fiber issue. I’ll give it a try and see if that “binds him up” a bit. I think I’ll also look for a kibble with more fiber in it to add in with the other two.

  • Jonathan

    Jim, your pup may need more fiber than this food is providing… have you tried adding fiber with a bit of canned pumpkin meat? It works very well as a binder, and apparently, dogs like the taste of it… a tablespoon full or so mixed with the kibble should do it.

  • Jim Daugherty

    Thank you for the reply. Health is fine, we were just at the vet a week ago. It’s not uncontrolled, frequency is the same. It’s a “consistency” issue…

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jim… I’m sorry to hear about your dog’s diarrhea. And of course, uncontrolled diarrhea can be a sign of more serious illness than just food problems. Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian, I cannot provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Jim Daugherty

    I just switched Royal Canin out of our puppies kibble mix and added Peak Protein in. The other kibble in the mix is Nature’s Variety. We took about two weeks to make the transition and now that the Royal Canin is completely gone, the dog has bad diarrhea. Suggestions?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Henna… Looks like you’re right. The Pinnacle Peak Protein Grain Free recipe has been significantly improved. The menadione and potato protein have both been removed along with a few other more minor changes. For this reason, we’ve upgraded this dog food to a well-deserved 5 stars. Thanks for the tip.

  • Henna

    Looks like they’ve gotten rid of the menadione and potato protein… At least that’s what the ingredients list on their site shows.