Simply Nourish Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Simply Nourish product line includes 15 dry dog foods. 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.
- Simply Nourish Adult Lamb and Pea
- Simply Nourish Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
- Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Adult (3.5 stars)
- Simply Nourish Senior Sweet Potato and Salmon
- Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Large Breed Adult
- Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Small Breed Adult
- Simply Nourish Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice (5 stars)
- Simply Nourish Puppy Sweet Potato and Salmon (5 stars)
- Simply Nourish Senior Chicken and Brown Rice (2.5 stars)
- Simply Nourish Large Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
- Simply Nourish Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice
- Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient Sweet Potato and Salmon
- Simply Nourish Small Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice (5 stars)
- Simply Nourish Small Breed Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice (5 stars)
- Simply Nourish Small Breed Senior Chicken and Brown Rice (3.5 stars)
Simply Nourish Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed Adult Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Simply Nourish Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin), oatmeal, brown rice, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil (source of DHA), dried chicory root, dried carrots, dried spinach, dried sweet potato, dried pumpkin, dried blueberries, salt, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium selenite, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-polyphosphate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D supplement, vitamin B12 supplement and choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||19%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||39%||33%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The fourth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The sixth ingredient is tomato pomace. 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.
After the natural flavor, we find 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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, chicory root is rich in 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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Simply Nourish Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Simply Nourish Dog Food 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Simply Nourish Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry, fish or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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
07/18/2014 Last Update