Against the Grain Dog Food Review
Against the Grain Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Against the Grain product line includes the 2 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy||5||U|
|Against the Grain Pulled Chicken with Gravy||5||U|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy was selected to represent both products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, sweet potatoes, carrots, apples, peas, tomato paste, potato starch, liver, sea salt, calcium sulfate, olive oil, potassium chloride, taurine, vitamins and minerals (calcium carbonate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacinamide, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese proteinate, folic acid, riboflavin, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||56%||11%||25%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||52%||25%||24%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The next item includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The sixth 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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is tomato paste. Unlike the controversial item, tomato pomace, the tomato paste detailed here does not include the skin or seeds of the fruit.
The next ingredient includes potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The ninth ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
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 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find olive oil. Olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.
Next, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
In addition, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Against the Grain Dog Food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 56% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 20%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Against the Grain Dog Food
Against the Grain is a grain-free canned dog food using a generous amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Against the Grain Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Against the Grain.
- Evanger’s and Against the Grain Dog Food Recall Expands (2/28/2017)
- Against the Grain Dog Food Recall of February 2017 (2/14/2017)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
10/31/2021 Last Update