Pronature Holistic Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Pronature Holistic Grain Free product line includes one dry dog food.

Although it appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find an AAFCO nutritional profile recommendation for this dog food on the product’s web page.

Pronature Duck a l'Orange Grain Free Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 37%

Ingredients: Duck, chicken meal, dried potato products, chicken fat naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, dried orange pulp, herring meal, peas, dried egg product, natural chicken flavor, lecithin, dried apple pomace, dried tomato pomace, whole flaxseed, choline chloride, potassium chloride, salt, yeast extract, ferrous sulfate, taurine, dried chicory root (a source of inulin), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), crab and shrimp meal, zinc oxide, alpha tocopherol acetate (a source of vitamin E), Yucca schidigera extract, organic dried blueberries, organic dried pineapple, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, new zealand green mussels, sea cucumber, organic quinoa, organic chamomile, organic anise seed, organic dried seaweed meal, organic dehydrated alfalfa meal, organic green tea extract, organic dried rosemary, organic dried parsley, organic dried spearmint, organic turmeric, alœ vera gel concentrate, organic dried spinach, organic dried broccoli, organic dried cauliflower, copper proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, nicotinic acid, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, cholecalciferol (a source of vitamin D3), folic acid, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, cobalt carbonate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%22%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%44%30%

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is dried potato product, a dried residue of the potato processing industry primarily consisting of potato pieces, peelings and culls.

With the exception of perhaps its caloric content and a small amount of protein, potato product is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.1ct

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 dried orange pulp, a fiber-rich by-product of the juicing industry. Although orange pulp can be a source of dietary calcium, it’s far more commonly used to make cattle feed.

The sixth ingredient is herring 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.2

The seventh ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The eighth 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.

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 six notable exceptions

First, chicory root is naturally rich in a substance called inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, 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.

In addition, 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.

We also note this recipe contains quinoa. 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.

In addition, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

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.

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pronature Holistic Grain Free Duck a l’Orange looks like an above-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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 36%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, flaxseed, quinoa and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Duck a l’Orange is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning this recipe 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

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Notes and Updates

03/05/2015 Last Update

  1. Dried Potato Product
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • brenseas

    I feed my three dogs this food and they love it! Their coats have a great shine and no digestive issues to speak of. I also switched my cats to the pro nature for cats and they too have benefited from the excellent quality!

  • Danyellee

    I have contacted the company to ask if they use ethoxyquin in their food. Here is the response: ”
    Pronature and Pronature Holistic uses a blend of mixed tocopherols (natural antioxidants that are part of the vitamin E family) to ensure that our premium pet food products remain fresh as in their initial state.

    Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT are not added in our foods.”
    Danyelle

  • tj

    I switched from Wellness to Pronature Holistic. Although wellness has a higher rating, my poodle seems to eat more of the pronature product!

  • Bobbi

    We sell this at our store and the dogs love the flavor. I feel it is a very good dog food.