Elevate Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Elevate 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.
- Elevate Acadia Recipe [A]
- Elevate Yosemite Recipe [A]
- Elevate Grand Teton Recipe [A]
- Elevate Smoky Mountain Recipe [A]
Elevate Smoky Mountain Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Elevate Smoky Mountain Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Pork, lamb meal, lentils, faba beans, peas, brewers dried yeast, pea protein, tomato pomace, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, chickpeas, natural flavor, wild boar, dicalcium phosphate, salt, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried seaweed meal (Ascophyllum nodosum), choline chloride, calcium carbonate, betaine, carrots, blueberries, cranberries, spinach, parsley, pomegranates, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, manganous oxide, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, copper proteinate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite, vitamin B12 supplement, cobalt carbonate, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||18%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||37%||37%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is pork. Although it’s a quality item, raw pork 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.
The third ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
The fourth ingredient lists beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.
The fifth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils, beans and peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legumes:
- Faba beans
- Pea protein
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 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.
The seventh 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 eighth 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.
The ninth 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.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, we find chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, we note the use of flaxseed, 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, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Elevate Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Elevate 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 31% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, beans, peas, pea protein, brewers yeast, flaxseed and chickpeas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.
Elevate 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.
Elevate 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
03/16/2018 Last Update