AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The AvoDerm Natural Grain Free product line includes 3 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.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.
- AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Salmon Meal and Potato (3.5 stars) [A]
- AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Chicken Meal and Potato (4.5 stars) [A]
- AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Red Meat Meal and Potato (3.5 stars) [A]
AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Red Meat Meal and Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Red Meat Meal and Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef meal, peas, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea flour, avocado, flaxseed (source of omega 3), dried tomato pomace, alfalfa meal, natural flavor, salmon oil, potassium chloride, apple pomace, salt, kelp meal, 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) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||14%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||31%||46%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.
The second 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 third ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth 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.1
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 seventh ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
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, we find apple pomace, which includes the pulpy solids that remain after pressing apples to extract the juice. It is most likely used here for its fiber content.
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.
In addition, 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, we note the use of selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Grain Free Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Natural Grain Free 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 28% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea flour, flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
AvoDerm Natural Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source 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.
AvoDerm Dog Food
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.
- AvoDerm Dog Food Recall (9/11/2012)
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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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
10/16/2018 Last Update
- Craigmill AL, et al. Toxicity of avocado (Persea americana, Guatamalan variety) leaves: review and preliminary report, Vet Hum Toxicol 1984;26:381 ↩