Pulsar Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Horizon Pulsar Dog Food product line includes 2 kibbles, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Pulsar Fish Formula
- Pulsar Chicken Formula
Pulsar Fish Formula was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Pulsar Fish Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon meal, red lentils, peas, pea starch, salmon, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, liquid egg product, carrots, apples, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, blueberries, fructooligosaccharides, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, pineapple, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Rhizopus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus, platarum fermentation product, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), ferrous sulphate, iron proteinate, zincsulphate, zinc proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, copper proteinate, caciumiodate, sodium selenite, magnesium oxide
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||17%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||35%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
The second item lists red lentils. Lentils are a nutritious member of the legume family. They are rich in protein and dietary fiber.
The third ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas and lentils, also known as pulses, contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.
The fourth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like carbohydrate extract probably used here as a gel-like binder for making kibble.
The fifth ingredient is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 sixth ingredient is salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
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.
The eighth ingredient is liquid egg product, an aqueous 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 three notable exceptions…
First, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
Next, the company 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.
Pulsar Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pulsar Dog Food looks to be an above-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 31% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.
Above-average protein. Average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils and peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Pulsar Dog Food is a legume-based dry kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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
12/15/2011 Original review
12/15/2011 Last Update