AvoDerm Natural Lite Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

This Review Has Been Merged with
AvoDerm Natural Dry Dog Food

AvoDerm Natural Lite dry dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest rating of 2 stars.

AvoDerm Natural Lite Dog Food includes one kibble… designed “for overweight, less active dogs” and meeting AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

AvoDerm Natural Lite

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 22% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 61%

Ingredients: Ground whole brown rice, ground whole white rice, chicken meal, rice bran, oatmeal, avocado, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), natural flavor, alfalfa meal, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flax seed (source of omega-3 fatty acid), salt, potassium chloride, kelp meal, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), avocado oil, lecithin, rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis20%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis22%9%61%
Calorie Weighted Basis21%21%58%
Protein = 21% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 58%

The first ingredient in this dog food is brown rice. Brown rice is a quality ingredient… a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) is fairly easy to digest.

The second ingredient is white rice… a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.

The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fourth ingredient is rice bran… a healthy by-product of rice milling. Though not as nutritionally complete as whole grain rice, brans are still unusually rich in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

The fifth ingredient is oatmeal… a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, fiber and is (unlike many other grains) mostly gluten-free.

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 sick.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 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.

After the natural flavor, 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.

The tenth ingredient is pea protein… what’s left after removing the starchy part of peas.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

Even though there’s probably not much pea protein in this recipe, this less costly plant-based item can still moderately boost the total protein content reported in this dog food.

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.

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, plant-based oils (like flax) are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

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 two notable exceptions

First, this food also contains chelated mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

And lastly, the manufacturer appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

AvoDerm Natural Lite Dry Dog Food Review

Now, judging by its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Natural Lite Dog Food looks like an above-average product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. Weight loss kibbles are notorious for not just being “lite” on the calories. They’re also known for being light on animal protein, too.

So, we still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 22%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 61%.

Low protein. Low fat. And high carbohydrates… when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even with no plant-based protein boosters, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

AvoDerm Natural Lite Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using only a modest amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand 2 stars.

Not recommended.

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

Important 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.

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Notes and Updates

02/13/2010 Original review
09/10/2010 Review updated
03/12/2011 Review updated (recipe change)

06/16/2012 Last Update

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