Zoe Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Zoe Dog Food product line includes six dry recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Zoe Small Breed Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean
- Zoe Medium Breed Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean
- Zoe Small Breed Turkey, Chickpea and Sweet Potato
- Zoe Medium Breed Turkey, Chickpea and Sweet Potato
- Zoe Large Breed Chicken, Quinoa and Black Bean (3.5 stars)
- Zoe Large Breed Turkey, Chickpea and Sweet Potato (3.5 stars)
Zoe Medium Breed Turkey, Chickpea and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Zoe Medium Breed Turkey, Chickpea and Sweet Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey meal, deboned turkey, green peas, brown rice, pearled barley, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural chicken flavour, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, buckwheat, flaxseeds, chia seeds, eggs, calcium carbonate, salmon oil (source of DHA), carrots, blueberries, cranberries, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin A supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, inositol, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid], minerals [zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, dl-methionine, lecithin, chicory root extract, yeast extract, choline chloride, l-lysine, rosemary extract, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus helveticus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||16%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||33%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The second ingredient is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is 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 seventh 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.
After the natural chicken flavor, we find chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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, we note the inclusion of chia seeds, edible seeds nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.
However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
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.
Zoe Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Zoe Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
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 peas, chickpeas, flax and chia seeds, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Zoe is a plant-based, dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources 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.
Zoe Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
01/03/2017 Last Update