Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free product line includes 4 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.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Beef and Legumes [A]
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Lamb, Pea and Green Lentil [A]
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Salmon, Sweet Potato and Pea [A]
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Chicken, Turkey, Pea and Sweet Potato [A]
Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Lamb, Pea and Green Lentil was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free Lamb, Pea and Green Lentil
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, peas, chickpeas, lentils, pea flour, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea protein, pea fiber, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, choline chloride, dried chicory root, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, niacin supplement, calcium iodate, riboflavin supplement, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, cobalt carbonate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||16%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||33%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
It’s important to note that a number of the following ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legumes:
- Pea flour
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth item 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 seventh ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The eighth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The ninth ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
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, 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
Grain Free Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Chicken Soup for the Soul 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 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, chickpeas, lentils, pea flour and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources 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.
Chicken Soup 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.
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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
12/05/2017 Last Update