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: Pork meal, potato starch, chicken meal, chicken fat, tomato pomace (source of fiber), herring meal, fish meal, fish oil, dicalcium phosphate, brewers yeast, potassium citrate, potassium chloride, chicken liver flavor, powdered cellulose (source of fiber), choline chloride, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), salt, dl methionine, taurine, potassium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), betaine anhydrous, salt, l-carnitine, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, rosemary extract, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin B12 supplement, niacinamide (vitamin B3), biotin (vitamin B7), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin A acetate, riboflavin (vitamin B2), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), selenium yeast, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dehydrated Pediococcus acidilactici fermentation product, beta carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt sulfate, mixed tocopherols and citric acid (preservatives)
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 pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.
However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.
The second ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth ingredient 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.
The fifth 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 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 five notable exceptions…
First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, powdered cellulose is a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.
In addition, 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, 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.
And lastly, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
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.
Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Young Again is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of pork and chicken meals 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.
Young Again Dog Food
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A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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Notes and Updates
06/03/2016 Last Update