Simply Wild Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Simply Wild Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Simply Wild product line includes two dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Simply Wild Adult [A]
  • Simply Wild Puppy [A]

Simply Wild Adult recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Simply Wild Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, oatmeal, pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), natural flavors, flaxseed, dried egg product, brewers yeast, veggie pomace, apples, salt, alfalfa meal, glucosamine hydrochloride, rice hulls, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, herring oil, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin E supplement, carrots, fructo-oligosaccharide, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, Yucca schidigera, grapeseed oil, dried blueberry product, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, ferrous sulfate, mineral oil, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium psoudolongum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, manganese sulfate, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, selenium, cobalt proteinate, thiamine, pyridoxine, folic acid, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, cobalt carbonate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%34%43%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 34% | Carbs = 43%

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 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth 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.

After the natural flavors, 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.

The ninth 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 eight 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, this food includes alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, we find vegetable pomace, the solid by-product of vegetables after pressing for juice or oil. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.

Vegetable pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough vegetable pomace here to make much of a difference.ce

Next, we note the inclusion of rice hulls, an inexpensive by-product of the rice milling process. Rice hulls are used here to add dietary fiber to the recipe, which dilutes the total number of calories per serving.

This principle is known as “lowering caloric density”. Aside from this benefit, rice hulls can be considered a nutritionally empty component.

This recipe also includes fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

Next, although we can’t be certain, mineral oil is apparently used in this recipe as a stool softener.

However, the inclusion of this additive can be controversial. That’s because the European Food Safety Authority has expressed some concern as to the long term health effects of using mineral oil in human food.2

In addition, this food 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.

And lastly, this recipe also includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Simply Wild Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Simply Wild 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, brewers yeast and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Simply Wild is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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.

Simply Wild Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Notes and Updates

06/28/2016 Last Update

  • Sarah

    This company seems to have two different websites. The Simply Wild website has just the adult and puppy kibbles. The parent company’s website, Green Pet Organics, lists 4 kibbles under the Simply Wild brand – Buffalo Meal & Duck Meal, Chicken & Brown Rice, Lean Dog Chicken & Brown Rice, and Salmon & Brown Rice. All adult foods, no puppy food.

  • Very good 🙂