Pronature Original Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Pronature Original Dog Food product line lists ten dry recipes.
Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Pronature Original Senior All Breeds Deluxe Chicken
- Pronature Original Adult Large Breed Classic Chicken
- Pronature Original Puppy Large Breed Classic Chicken
- Pronature Original Puppy All Breeds Classic Lamb & Rice
- Pronature Original Adult All Breeds Deluxe Chicken (4 stars)
- Pronature Original Puppy All Breeds Deluxe Chicken (4 stars)
- Pronature Original Senior All Breeds Deluxe Chicken (2 stars)
- Pronature Original Adult Small & Medium Breed Classic Chicken
- Pronature Original Puppy Small & Medium Breed Classic Chicken
- Pronature Original Adult All Breeds Classic Lamb and Rice (2.5 stars)
- Pronature Original Adult All Breeds Bigger Bites Classic Lamb and Rice (2.5 stars)
Pronature Original Adult Small & Medium Breeds Classic Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Pronature Original Adult Small and Medium Breeds Classic Chicken Recipe
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 ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is 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 is 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 some 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 a 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.
The seventh ingredient is 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 five notable exceptions…
First, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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 food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Pronature Original Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pronature Original Dog Food looks like a below average dry 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.
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 56%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And Near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the corn gluten and alfalfa meals, and the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Pronature Original Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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
11/01/2011 Original review
03/04/2012 Review updated
09/08/2013 Review updated
09/08/2013 Last Update