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 below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Naked Essentials with Salmon and Trout [A]
- Naked Essentials with Chicken and Duck [A]
- Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison [A]
I and Love and You Naked Essentials with Lamb and Bison was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
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, chickpeas, ground peas, pea starch, lentils, flaxseeds, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), brewers dried yeast, sweet potatoes, dried beet pulp, bison, pea protein, natural chicken flavor, menhaden fish meal, salt, potassium chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, thiamin mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, calcium carbonate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, choline chloride, dried chicory root, fish oil, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, 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 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.
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 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 next 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 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.
Next, this recipe includes beet pulp, 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.
In addition, pea protein is found in this food. Pea protein is 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.
Next, 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 looks like an above-average kibble.
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%.
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 chickpeas, pea products, lentils, and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
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.
I and Love and You Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this I and Love and You 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)
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.
Notes and Updates
09/30/2019 Last Update