I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The I and Love and You Naked Essentials product line includes 3 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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Naked Essentials with Salmon and Trout [U]
- Naked Essentials with Chicken and Duck [U]
- Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison (5 stars) [U]
I and Love and You Naked Essentials with Chicken and Duck was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
I and Love and You Naked Essentials with Chicken and Duck
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, lentils, chickpeas, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, dried sweet potato, duck, pea starch, whole ground flaxseed, natural flavors, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, dried chicory root, fish oil, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, dried carrots, dried celery, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried beets, dried parsley, zinc sulfate, dried lettuce, dried watercress, iron amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, dried spinach, niacin supplement, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, copper amino acid chelate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid
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 chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth ingredient includes 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.
The fifth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean 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.
The sixth 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 seventh 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.
The eighth ingredient is 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.
The ninth ingredient is dried sweet potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried sweet potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, we find fish oil. 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.
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.
I and Love and You Naked Essentials Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, I and Love and You Naked Essentials 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 34% 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 50%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, chickpeas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
I and Love and You Naked Essentials is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.
I and Love and You 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.
- I and Love and You Dog Treats Recall of 2015 (7/13/2015)
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
04/01/2018 Last Update