Redpaw PowerEdge Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Redpaw PowerEdge product line lists three dry dog foods, 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.
- Redpaw PowerEdge 32K
- Redpaw PowerEdge 38K
- Redpaw PowerEdge 26K (4 stars)
Redpaw PowerEdge 32K was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Redpaw PowerEdge 32K
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Menhaden fish meal, ground corn, poultry fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract), chicken meal, pork meat and bone meal, pearled barley, pork blood meal, dried beet pulp, chicken liver, brewers rice, fish oil, brewers dried yeast, flaxseed, salt, potassium chloride, Lactobacillus acidophillis, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus salivarius, Enterococcus faecium, vitamin A, D3, E, B12 supplements, niacin, pantothenic acid, ascorbic acid, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, zinc oxide, iron carbonate, manganous oxide, copper oxide, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, sorbic acid, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||22%||34%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||44%||28%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The second ingredient includes 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 poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The fourth ingredient lists chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fifth ingredient is pork meat and bone meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Pork meat and bone meal is a dry “rendered product from (pork) tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.2
Pork and bone meal may have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.
Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.3
On the brighter side, pork and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.
The sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The seventh ingredient is pork blood meal. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to humans, blood is naturally rich in protein (albumin), vitamins and minerals.
The eighth 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.
The ninth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The tenth 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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, 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, 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.
Redpaw PowerEdge Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Redpaw PowerEdge Dog Food looks like an 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 36% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.
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 flaxseed and brewers yeast in this recipe and the corn gluten meal in the PowerEdge 38K recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Redpaw PowerEdge is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of fish or chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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
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Notes and Updates
10/09/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for meat and bone meal as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2012 Edition ↩
- Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632 ↩