Innova Flex Dog Food (Canned)



Innova Flex Canned Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest rating of four stars.

Currently, the Innova Flex product line includes seven canned dog foods, six designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (puppy formula).

These products are made for what Innova calls flexible feeding… using the food as a standalone meal, a wet topping for dry kibble or a supplement to homemade feeding.

  • Innova Flex Adult Beef and Barley
  • Innova Flex Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Innova Flex Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Innova Flex Senior Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Innova Flex Large Breed Adult Beef and Barley
  • Innova Flex Large Breed Senior Beef and Barley
  • Innova Flex Large Breed Chicken and Brown Rice

Innova Flex Adult Beef and Barley Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Innova Adult Flex Beef and Barley Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 26%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, lamb broth, dried egg whites, potato starch, peas, cranberries, oat fiber, natural flavors, guar gum, calcium carbonate, sunflower oil, sodium phosphate, herring oil, potassium chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, salt, choline chloride, butter, magnesium citrate, tricalcium phosphate, dl methionine, l-cysteine, ascorbic acid, beta carotene, biotin, calcium carbonate, calcium iodate, choline chloride, cobalt carbonate, cobalt proteinate, copper proteinate, d-calcium pantothenate, dicalcium pantothenate, dl-methionine, folic acid, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, niacin, potassium chloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin C supplement (sodium ascorbate), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement (alpha tocopherol), zinc proteinate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.9%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%24%26%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%46%20%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 46% | Carbs = 20%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second and third ingredients are beef and lamb broths… which add nothing but moisture to this food. Nutritionally, broths are mostly worthless.

The fourth item is dried egg whites. Egg whites are an excellent source of usable protein and are considered a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The sixth item lists peas. Peas are considered a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re loaded with natural fiber.

What’s more, peas contain about 25% protein… protein that must be counted as a contributor to the total protein in this food.

After cranberries, we find oat fiber… the richest source of soluble fiber of any known cereal grain. Soluble fiber is known for its ability to lower cholesterol in humans… which is probably not as important for dogs.

Guar gum is a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

We also note this food contains chelated mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Innova Flex Canned Dog Food… the Bottom Line

Judging from its ingredients alone, Innova Flex looks like a winning canned dog food.

Yet ingredient quality alone does not necessarily make for a good dog food. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 42%, a fat level of 24% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 26%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and an average fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest an overall carbohydrate content of 22% for the full product line.

Above-average protein. Average fat. And below-average carbs… as compared to a typical canned dog food.

With no sign of any plant-based protein concentrates, this is the profile of a wet food containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Innova Flex Canned Dog Food is a meat-based wet product using a generous amount of chicken or beef as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand four stars.

Highly recommended.

Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of Innova Dry Dog Food.

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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Other spellings: Inova

Notes and Updates

05/01/2012 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials