Summit Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Summit Dog Food Originals product line lists three kibbles.
Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product website. So, it’s impossible for us to report life stage targets for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Summit Originals Puppy
- Summit Originals Adult
- Summit Originals Reduced Calorie
Summit Originals Adult was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Summit Originals Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, oat flour, corn, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols (vitamin E)), salmon meal, lamb meal, flax, natural flavor, kelp meal, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, lysine, dried whole egg, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin A acetate, cholecalciferol (vitamin D), dl alpha-tocopherol acetate (vitamin E), ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, riboflavin, calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, vitamin B12
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||10%||58%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||23%||54%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient lists 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 third ingredient is oat flour. Since oat flour is nothing more than finely ground oats, it provides about the same gluten-free nutritional content as raw oats.
The fourth item is 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 fifth ingredient includes rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The sixth ingredient lists 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.
The next two ingredients are lamb and chicken meals, both high protein meat concentrates.
The ninth ingredient simply lists simply “flax“. Is this raw flax? Flax seeds? Or flax meal? Due to this vague description, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Summit Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Summit Dog Food looks to be an average kibble.
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 26% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Considering the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal found in the puppy recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.
Summit Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Those looking for a better kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Summit Holistic Dog Food.
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
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Notes and Updates
05/30/2010 Original review
12/30/2010 Review updated
10/12/2012 Last Update