Simply Right Exceed Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Simply Right Exceed Grain Free product line includes one dry dog food.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
Simply Right Exceed Salmon and Pea Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, pea protein, tapioca, dried ground peas, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, flaxseed, calcium carbonate, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, niacin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, biotin, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt sulfate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||17%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||36%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The third ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient includes tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fifth ingredient is dried ground peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth 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 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.
The eighth 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The ninth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.
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, 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 also 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.
Simply Right Exceed Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Simply Right Exceed Grain Free looks like an average dry dog food.
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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, dried peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
We like this product. However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipe. For without this controversial ingredient, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.
Simply Right Exceed Grain Free Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of salmon and salmon meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
However, menadione phobics may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for another product.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
02/21/2014 Original review
02/21/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩