Unable to Locate Complete Label
Data on Company Website1
Maintain Chunks Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.
The Maintain Chunks product line includes one dry dog food, claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Maintain Chunks Dog Food
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, wheat mill run, meat and bone meal, cooked wheat, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols – a source of vitamin E), salt, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potassium chloride, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin supplement, biotin, riboflavin supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vegetable oil, lecithin, citric acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||18%||7%||67%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||17%||17%||66%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The second ingredient is wheat mill run, also known as wheat middlings. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat middlings is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.
In reality, wheat mill run is nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically found in the lower quality pet foods.
The third ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.2
Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.
Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.3
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.
Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.
The fourth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.
Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.
Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.
For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.
However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, this food contains vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).
Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.
In addition,we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
And lastly, this food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Maintain Chunks Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Maintain Chunks Dog Food looks like a below-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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 41%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.
Maintain Chunks is a plant-based kibble using a limited amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Maintain Chunks 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.
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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
08/11/2018 Last Update
- “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 4-4-2014 ↩
- Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632 ↩