Pronature Dog Food gets the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Pronature Dog Food product line includes ten dry kibbles.
Although we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the Pronature website and based upon the product titles, each product appears to be designed for a specific life stage.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Pronature Adult All Breed Classic
- Pronature Adult All Breed Deluxe
- Pronature Adult Large Breed Classic
- Pronature Puppy Growth All Breed Classic
- Pronature Puppy Growth All Breed Deluxe
- Pronature Puppy Growth Large Breed Classic
- Pronature Adult All Breed Bigger Bites Classic
- Pronature Adult Small and Medium Breed Classic
- Pronature Senior Mature or Less Active All Breed Deluxe
- Pronature Puppy Growth Small and Medium Breed Classic
Pronature Adult Small and Medium Breed Classic Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Pronature Adult Small and Medium Breeds Classic
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground corn, wheat shorts, corn gluten meal, chicken fat naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, brewers rice, dried beet pulp, calcium carbonate, natural flavor, monocalcium phosphate, dehydrated alfalfa meal, whole flaxseed, yeast culture, lecithin, calcium propionate (as a preservative), monosodium phosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salt, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, Yucca schidigera extract, alpha-tocopherol acetate (a source of vitamin E), sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, dried spinach, dried rosemary, dried thyme, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, nicotinic acid, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, cholecalciferol (a source of vitamin D3), folic acid, riboflavin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (a source of vitamin K3 activity), biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, cobalt carbonate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||18%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||38%||38%|
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 item is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient lists wheat shorts, the fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat flour and other processing waste from what’s known as the “tail of the mill”.
Similar to wheat middlings, wheat shorts are nothing more than an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.
In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically found in the lower quality pet foods.
The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in many of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is yet another cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, brewers rice has nothing to do with the process of brewing beer.
The seventh item is dried 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.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly microorganisms applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
And lastly, this Pronature product also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Pronature Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pronature Dog Food looks to be only an average kibble.
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 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
In addition, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.
Pronature Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
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
11/01/2011 Original review
03/04/2012 Review updated (2 new products, new recipe)
03/04/2012 Last Update