Kirkland Cuts in Gravy (Canned)

Rating:

Product May Have Been Discontinued
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On the Company’s Website

Kirkland Cuts in Gravy Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Kirkland Cuts in Gravy product line includes two canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Kirkland Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Vegetables
  • Kirkland Cuts in Gravy with Chicken and Vegetables

Kirkland Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Vegetables was selected to represent both in the line for this review.

Kirkland Cuts in Gravy with Beef and Vegetables

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 20%

Ingredients: Chicken, beef broth, chicken broth, chicken liver, beef, dried egg whites, dried egg product, potatoes, potato starch, carrots, peas, natural flavor, dried beet pulp, flaxseed meal, salt, guar gum, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, sodium carbonate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide), choline chloride

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%28%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%51%15%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 15%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

The next two ingredients include beef broth and chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The fourth item is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient lists 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 sixth ingredient is dried egg whites. Eggs whites are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The eighth item is potato. Assuming they’re cooked, potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

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 three notable exceptions

First, 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, 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.

And lastly, this food also contains one chelated mineral, a mineral that has been chemically attached to protein. This makes it easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Kirkland Cuts in Gravy Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Kirkland Cuts in Gravy Dog Food looks to be an above-average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Kirkland Cuts in Gravy is a grain-free meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

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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In any case, it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.

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Notes and Updates

02/12/2012 Original review
08/22/2013 Review updated

02/25/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials