Precise Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Precise Naturals product line includes seven dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance, two for growth and three for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Precise Naturals Senior
- Precise Naturals Endurance (5 stars)
- Precise Naturals Weight Management (3.5 stars)
- Precise Naturals Chicken Meal and Rice Foundation
- Precise Naturals Large and Giant Breed Puppy (3.5 stars)
- Precise Naturals Small and Medium Breed Puppy (5 stars)
- Precise Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice Sensicare (3.5 stars)
Precise Naturals Chicken Meal and Rice Foundation Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Precise Naturals Chicken Meal and Rice Foundation Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate), oatmeal, beet pulp, flaxseed, fish meal, chicken cartilage (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), natural chicken flavor, sunflower oil, menhaden fish oil, potassium chloride, salt, dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, calcium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, Yucca schidigera extract, biotin, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), thiamine mononitrate (B1), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, dl-methionine, copper amino acid chelate, folic acid, selenium yeast, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||16%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||33%||44%|
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 ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The third ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
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 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 sixth ingredient lists beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
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 fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.
But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.
We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.
Without knowing more, we would expect to find at least a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, this recipe includes menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.
What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not as likely to be exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deep water species.
In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
Next, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
And lastly, this food includes 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.
Precise Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Precise Naturals looks like an above-average dry dog food.
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 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Precise Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
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Notes and Updates
03/03/2010 Original review
10/06/2010 Review updated
07/01/2012 Review updated
02/06/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩