Zoe’s Premium Dog Food (Cooked Frozen)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Zoe’s Premium Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Zoe’s Premium product line includes three cooked-then-frozen dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Zoe’s Premium Turkey Cassoulet [U]
  • Zoe’s Premium Steak and Lentils [U]
  • Zoe’s Premium Chicken and Sweet Potatoes [U]

Zoe’s Premium Chicken and Sweet Potatoes was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Zoe's Premium Chicken and Sweet Potato

Frozen Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Antibiotic-free, hormone-free white and dark meat chicken, millet, carrots, celery, sweet potato, split peas, chicken broth, green peas, brewer’s yeast, lecithin granules, bone meal powder, olive oil, organic kelp powder, organic raw honey, organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic flaxseed oil, dried marjoram

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%23%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%45%31%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 45% | Carbs = 31%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

The third ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fourth ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.

The fifth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The next two out of three ingredients include 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 ninth ingredient is brewers yeast, which 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.

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 three notable exceptions

First, olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

Next, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

And lastly, we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list. We would assume these essential nutrients are provided by the food ingredients in the recipe.

Zoe’s Premium Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Zoe’s Premium Dog Food looks like an above-average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas in this recipe and the lentils contained in another, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing only a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Zoe’s Premium is a plant-based cooked-then-frozen dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, turkey or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

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’s Premium Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/25/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • ZoesPremium

    Hi, we just recently saw this review and took down our calcium and phosphorus labs until we could look into what happened. Most likely during our transition to a new website design earlier in the year the numbers were transposed incorrectly. The true calcium and phosphorus numbers are now posted to the website at: http://www.zoespremium.com/our-meals/. Thanks to Hound Dog Mom for the heads up.

    We take pride in being a complete and balanced canine meal made with only high quality, real food ingredients.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Check out dogaware.com – they have a great section on home cooked diets. There are a lot of great dog “cookbooks” on Amazon as well – look for cooked books that include AAFCO compliant recipes.

  • boxers1

    Do you have a recipe for a balanced home cooked diet?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    This food is definitely not balanced – the calcium to phosphorus ratios are nearly 1:2. They advertise this on their website as a “complete meal” and “wholesome well balanced meal” – this is horrible, I’m sure there are many people out there that don’t know any different and would feed this thinking they’re doing something good for their dog. Obviously the owners of this company know nothing about creating a balanced food for dogs..