AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The AvoDerm Natural Grain Free product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- AvoDerm Grain Free Salmon Meal and Vegetables (4 stars) [A]
- AvoDerm Grain Free Chicken Meal and Vegetables [A]
- AvoDerm Grain Free Beef and Vegetables (4 stars) [A]
AvoDerm Grain Free Chicken Meal and Vegetables was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
AvoDerm Grain Free Chicken Meal and Vegetables
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, pea flour, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried tomato pomace, avocado, flax seed (source of omega 3), natural flavor, alfalfa meal, herring meal, potassium chloride, 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, papaya extract, 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) = 8.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||16%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||33%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
The next ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. However, both peas and pea flour contain as much as 25% protein, a factor that can’t be ignored when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 seventh ingredient is tomato pomace, which 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 next ingredient is avocado. Avocado can also 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 ninth 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.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other ingredients.
But realistically, items located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this AvoDerm product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, we note the inclusion of herring 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.2
In addition, we find dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
Next, 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.
AvoDerm Natural Grain Free
Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Natural Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Which means this AvoDerm product line contains…
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
AvoDerm Natural Grain Free is a dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 4.5 stars.
AvoDerm Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to AvoDerm Natural. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- AvoDerm Dog Food Recall (9/11/2012)
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.
Notes and Updates
04/16/2020 Last Update