Review of I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dry Dog Food
I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.
The I and Love and You Naked Essentials product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Naked Essentials with Chicken and Duck||4||A|
|Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison||4||A|
|Naked Essentials for Puppies||4||G|
Recipe and Label Analysis
I and Love and You Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison 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.
I and Love and You Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, chicken meal, turkey meal, garbanzo beans, ground peas, pea starch, lentils, brewers dried yeast, flaxseeds, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), bison, dried sweet potatoes, dried plain beet pulp, natural chicken flavor, pea protein, salt, potassium chloride, dl-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, fish oil, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate, folic acid), minerals (copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), mixed tocopherols (a preservative), rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||34%||17%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||36%||35%|
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 next 2 ingredients include chicken meal and turkey meal. Both are considered meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The fourth ingredient lists garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.
Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.
The fifth ingredient includes ground peas. Ground peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, ground peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The next item is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient lists lentils, another quality source of carbohydrates which contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is 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.
The tenth ingredient is 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 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
Next, this recipe includes 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.
In addition, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, I and Love and You Naked Essentials looks like an above-average dry dog food.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.
Which means this product line contains…
Above-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 garbanzo beans, pea products, lentils, and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dog Food
I and Love and You Naked Essentials is a grain-free dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Has I and Love and You Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to I and Love and You.
- I and Love and You Dog Treats Recall of 2015 (7/13/2015)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More I and Love and You Brand Reviews
The following I and Love and You dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- I and Love and You Dog Food Review (Canned)
- I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Dog Food Review (Dry)
- I and Love and You Nude Dog Food Review (Dry)
- I and Love and You Stir and Boom Dog Food Review (Dehydrated)
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.
05/10/2021 Last Update