Review of Dave’s Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Dave’s Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Dave’s Grain Free product line includes the 9 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Dave’s Grain Free Pork and Sweet Potato Entree was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Dave’s Grain Free Pork and Sweet Potato Entree
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Pork, pork broth, liver, sweet potatoes, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil, potassium chloride, dried brewers yeast, guar gum, agar-agar, salt, cranberries, calcium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, magnesium sulfate, sodium carbonate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||40%||10%||42%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||38%||23%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is pork. Pork can be defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered pork” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Pork is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is pork broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The next ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fifth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorus. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.
The sixth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is brewers yeast, which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 Dave’s product.
With 2 notable exceptions…
First, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Based on its ingredients alone, Dave’s Grain Free canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
Which means this Dave’s product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this still looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Dave’s Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Dave’s Grain Free is a canned dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Dave’s Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Dave’s Pet Food.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Dave’s Brand Reviews
The following Dave’s dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Dave’s 95% Premium Meats Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Dave’s Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Dave’s Naturally Healthy Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Dave’s STEWlicious Dog Food Review (Canned)
A Final Word
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- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of meat by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
11/09/2021 Last Update