Tuscan Natural Harvest Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Tuscan Natural Harvest product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Tuscan Natural Harvest
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Humanely raised turkey, humanely raised chicken, chicken meal from humanely raised chickens, sustainably farmed lentils, sustainably farmed yellow peas, whitefish meal from ocean caught whitefish, sustainably farmed brown rice, sustainably farmed rice, olive oil from old growth trees (preserved with mixed tocopherols), essential fatty acids from chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sustainably farmed flaxseed, natural flavor, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, sustainably farmed sweet potatoes, salmon oil from ocean caught salmon (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sustainably farmed dried kelp, sustainably farmed apples, sustainably farmed blueberries, sustainably farmed carrots, sustainably farmed alfalfa leaf, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, d-biotin, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, dried Aspergillus niger, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation products
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||16%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||33%||43%|
The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey and chicken. Although quality items, raw poultry 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, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The fourth ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, both lentils and peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is whitefish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The ninth ingredient is olive oil. Olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.
The next item 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is 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.
Next, alfalfa is a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
And lastly, 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.
Tuscan Natural Harvest Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Tuscan Natural Harvest looks like an above-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 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, peas, flaxseed and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Tuscan Natural Harvest 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.
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.
Tuscan Natural Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
02/02/2017 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩