Skippy Dog Food (Canned)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Skippy Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest tier rating of 1 star.

The Skippy product line includes eight canned 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.

  • Skippy Premium Strips in Gravy with Beef
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef
  • Skippy Premium Strips in Gravy with Chicken
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy Chunky Stew
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Beef & Chicken
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Burgers & Cheese Bits
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy with Smoky Turkey & Bacon
  • Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 with Chicken, Beef & Liver

Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 with Chicken, Beef and Liver was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Skippy Premium Chunks in Gravy 3 in 1 with Chicken, Beef and Liver

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 37%

Ingredients: Water sufficient for processing, soybean meal, chicken, wheat flour, modified corn starch, animal fat (preserved with BHA), beef, liver, meat by-products, salt, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, caramel color, iron oxide (color), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), onion extract, garlic extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%11%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis41%25%34%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fourth ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The fifth ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.

Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.

The sixth item is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized livestock.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The seventh ingredient is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

The eighth ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The ninth ingredient is meat by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this stuff can include heads, ovaries or developing fetuses.1

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal. So, this meat can come from almost anywhere, even diseased or dying livestock.

Although meat by-products can be high in protein, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

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’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

Next, we note the inclusion of onion and garlic extracts both controversial items. In rare cases, onion and garlic have been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs4.

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of onion or garlic — especially used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

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.

Skippy Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Skippy canned dog food looks like a below average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 36%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 27%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the soybean meal as well as the peas and vegetable protein found in some recipes, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing only a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Skippy canned dog food is a plant-based wet product using only a moderate amount of chicken or chicken or meat by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain products are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

03/24/2013 Original review
03/24/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  4. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • tje

    My Rocky lived 16 years. Best dog I have ever known. He loved skippy.wow who knew!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Ugh yeah, this is what my parents bought for our dogs too. Dad’s and Skippy.

  • LabsRawesome

    This is what my parents bought for my childhood dog. She was a collie, and my best friend. One of the best dogs that ever lived. She deserved 5 star food. But who knew? She lived to be 11. Rest easy little girl.