Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Tuscan Natural Simply Pure product line includes three dry 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.
- Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Lamb Meal (3 stars)
- Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Chicken Meal (3 stars)
- Tuscan Natural Grain Free Ocean Extreme (4 stars)
Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Lamb Meal was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Tuscan Natural Simply Pure Lamb Meal
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, rice, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), olive oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, 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
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.2%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||12%||56%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||27%||51%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The second 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The fifth ingredient is olive oil. Olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.
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, 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 Simply Pure Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Tuscan Natural Simply Pure 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.
Tuscan Natural Simply Pure is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of lamb, chicken or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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.
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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However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
11/18/2012 Original review
06/24/2014 Last Update