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By Nature Organics Dog Food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
The By Nature product line includes one organic dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
By Nature Organics Chicken Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, organic brown rice, organic whole oats, organic whole barley, organic peas, turkey meal, organic chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried egg product, tomato pomace, natural chicken liver flavor, organic flaxseed, salt, calcium carbonate, monocalcium phosphate, choline chloride, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, organic cranberries, organic carrots, organic spinach, organic tomatoes, hydrolyzed yeast, organic kelp, ferrous sulfate, fructooligosaccharide, turmeric, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||16%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||33%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is organic chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% 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 item is organic brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient includes organic whole oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is organic whole barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The sixth ingredient is organic 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 includes turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The eighth ingredient includes organic 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 dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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, 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.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
In addition, 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.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
By Nature Organics Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
Just the same, we still need to evaluate the product’s protein, fat and carbohydrate content.
Judging by its ingredients alone, By Nature Organics dry 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
What’s more, it’s difficult to ignore the noteworthy quality of this recipe’s organic components.
By Nature Organics dry dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Those looking for a wet product from the same company may wish to visit our review of By Nature Organics canned dog food.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/08/2014 Last Update