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Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)

Merrick Backcountry Real Beef Dinner Wet Dog Food

Rating:

Which Merrick Backcountry Wet Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?

Merrick Backcountry Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Merrick Backcountry Grain Free product line includes the 8 canned dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Merrick Backcountry Hearty Beef Stew 5 A
Merrick Backcountry Hearty Duck + Venison Stew 5 M
Merrick Backcountry Hero’s Banquet Stew 5 M
Merrick Backcountry Chunky Beef Dinner in Gravy 5 M
Merrick Backcountry Chunky Lamb Dinner in Gravy 5 M
Merrick Backcountry Real Beef Dinner 5 M
Merrick Backcountry Chunky Venison + Beef Dinner in Gravy 5 M
Merrick Backcountry Real Chicken Dinner 5 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Merrick Backcountry Real Beef Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Merrick Backcountry Real Beef Dinner

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 46% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 19%

Ingredients: Deboned beef, beef broth, beef liver, dried egg product, natural flavor, salt, locust bean gum, potassium chloride, guar gum, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium carbonate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B-12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, folic acid, vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin), taurine, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%27%19%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%51%15%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 15%

Ingredient Analysis

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 ingredient is beef broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many wet products.

The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fourth 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.

After the natural flavor, we find 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 Merrick product.

With 3 notable exceptions

First, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

And lastly, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Merrick Backcountry Grain Free canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 19%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 49% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 21% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Which means this Merrick product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other canned dog foods.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of Merrick Backcountry Grain Free
Canned Dog Food

Merrick Backcountry is a grain-free wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Merrick Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Merrick through December 2022.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More Merrick Brand Reviews

The following Merrick dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

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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.

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

08/16/2022 Last Update

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