Summit Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

Protein = 24% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 58%

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
Guaranteed Analysis22%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%10%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 58%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

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

05/30/2010 Original review
12/30/2010 Review updated
10/12/2012 Last Update

  • OceanSkye

    Unfortunately, they’ve stopped production of the Summit Holistic- a product I LOVED!!! and have used with all my dogs & puppy litters with great success… including a couple of dogs that seem to have issues with ingredients in other foods- VERY SAD to see this discontinued. :(
    So, I am attempting to move to this food since they have revamped the recipe significantly for the better. Still missing LOTS of the ingredients of the holistic however yet similar price to what we were paying for the holistic- for less quality…
    However, with a couple of dogs with sensitive tummies, the closer I can get to the Holistic variety *without breaking the bank* – since the next step up is the ‘GO’ which is almost double what the Holistic cost- the better. I’m hoping that getting from same manufacturer will also help reduce the amount of dietary changes. Will see how it goes…

  • Tenar

    Why does the economical, inferior kibble (Summit original) come in a smaller bag size than it’s more
    luxurious and better counterpart (Summit holistic)?
    Should’t it be the other way around?

    Are the minerals in the new recipe chelated?

    What is the function of the dried rosemary?

  • Tenar

    The recipes have been changed and the bag size reduced. Now there’s rye, barley and whole brown rice instead of corn and selenium yeast instead of sodium selenite.

    It’s good that they got rid of the corn but that’s still a lot of grains in this kibble.

    Are the minerals in the new recipe chelated?

    weird: It says that the Summit product line is “Only available in Canada” but you can find it in some pet stores in Israel.

  • Deb Webb

    I’ve fed my great danes summit 3 Meat Protein nearly all their lives. The modest protein levels have been favored to manage growth.