Young Again Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Young Again product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Young Again Dog Food
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, pork protein concentrate, potato starch, tomato pomace (source of dietary fiber), poultry fat (preserved with rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols and citric acid), herring meal, fish meal, fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, yeast, yeast extract, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, natural chicken flavor, cellulose (source of dietary fiber), fructooligosaccharides, l-tryptophan, salt, fat product (source of DHA omega-3 from algae), dl methionine, l-carnitine, taurine, n, n-dimethylglycine (DMG), HCL, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols, ascorbic acid, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, betaine anhydrous, Yucca schidigera extract, ferrous sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, niacinamide, copper proteinate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese proteinate, calcium propionate, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt sulfate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||18%||30%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||38%||37%||25%|
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 is pork protein concentrate, a boneless and collagen-free meat product derived from the bellies of pigs. This unusually costly ingredient contains notably more protein than most named meat meals — and is exceptionally low in ash.
The third ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
The fifth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The next two ingredients include herring meal and fish meal, both protein-rich meat concentrates.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The eighth ingredient is fish oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
The ninth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
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, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
Next, 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.
In addition, this recipe contains yeast extract, which is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.
A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.
However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.
That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago3, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.
So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.
In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.
And lastly, this food also 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.
Young Again Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Young Again Dog Food looks like an above-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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-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 significant amount of meat.
Young Again Dog Food is a meat-based kibble using a significant amount of chicken meal and pork protein concentrate as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/03/2014 Last Update