Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food Review (Dry)

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food Review

Rating:

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul product line includes the 7 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 compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, cracked pearled barley, whole grain brown rice, peas, oatmeal, white rice, faba beans, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lentils, natural flavor, ground flaxseed, salmon, duck, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, mixed tocopherols (preservative), citric acid (preservative), dried chicory root, dried kelp, carrots, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flakes, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, Yucca schidigera extract, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%14%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%31%44%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 44%

The first two ingredients in this dog food are chicken and turkey. Although they are quality items, raw poultry 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, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

Chicken and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

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

The fourth item is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The next ingredient is 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 seventh 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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.

The next ingredient lists faba beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

However, beans contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we find 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.

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 4 notable exceptions

First, we note the use of lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, 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.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, 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.

Chicken Soup for the Soul
Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Chicken Soup for the Soul looks like an above-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

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 51% 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 peas, beans, lentils and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a grain-inclusive dry dog food that incorporates a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.



Chicken Soup for the Soul
Dog Food Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Chicken Soup product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

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

11/19/2019 Last Update