AvoDerm Natural Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

AvoDerm Natural Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The AvoDerm Natural product line includes 9 dry 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.

Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Adult Chicken Meal and Brown Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

AvoDerm Natural Large Breed Adult Chicken Meal and Brown Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, salmon meal (source of omega 3), rice bran, avocado, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried tomato pomace, flax seed, natural flavor, alfalfa meal, chicken cartilage (natural source of chondroitin sulfate & glucosamine), dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, kelp meal, dried plain beet pulp, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, copper amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, calcium iodate), avocado oil, rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, dehydrated Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dehydrated Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dehydrated Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dehydrated Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%11%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%25%48%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 48%

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 next two ingredients list ground brown rice and ground white rice, both names for rice flour. Rice flour is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The sixth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.

The seventh ingredient is avocado. Avocado can be a controversial item.

Supporters claim the ingredient to be nutrient rich and beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat — while others worry over what are mostly unsubstantiated concerns over potential toxicity.

These fears appear to originate from a 1984 study in which goats (not dogs) consumed the leaves (not the fruit) of the Guatemalan (not the Mexican) avocado and became ill.2

Based upon our own review of the literature, it is our opinion that the anxiety over avocado ingredients in dog food appears to be unjustified.

The eighth 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 ninth 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.

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 six 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, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, we note this product contains avocado oil, a controversial item similar to the other avocado ingredient previously discussed.

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.

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.

And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

AvoDerm Natural Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Natural looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 29%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

AvoDerm Natural 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.

Highly 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.

Those looking for a nice wet product from the same company may wish to visit our review of AvoDerm Natural canned dog food.

AvoDerm Natural 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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Dog Food Coupons
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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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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".

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Notes and Updates

04/15/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Craigmill AL, et al. Toxicity of avocado (Persea americana, Guatamalan variety) leaves: review and preliminary report, Vet Hum Toxicol 1984;26:381