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Merrick Classic Chunky Dog Food Review (Canned)

Mike Sagman

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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Updated: March 28, 2024

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Rating:
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Which Merrick Classic Chunky Canned Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?

Merrick Classic Chunky canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Merrick Classic Chunky product line includes the 4 canned dog foods listed below.

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

Recipe and Label Analysis

Merrick Chunky Big Texas Steak Tips 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 Chunky Big Texas Steak Tips Dinner

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

16.7%

Fat

30.9%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Deboned beef, beef broth, vegetable broth, beef liver, dried egg product, potato starch, natural flavor, flaxseed oil, calcium carbonate, sodium phosphate, salt, salmon oil, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), cassia gum, dried celery, fruit juice color, choline chloride, guar gum, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin), xanthan gum, cumin, cinnamon


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 3% NA
Dry Matter Basis 44% 17% 31%
Calorie Weighted Basis 38% 35% 27%

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 next two items are beef broth and vegetable broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

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

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

After the natural flavor, we find flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

The next ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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 find salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, 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.

And lastly, 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Merrick Classic Chunky looks like an above-average canned dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

Which means this Merrick product line contains…

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

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

Our Rating of Merrick Classic Chunky Dog Food

Merrick Classic Chunky is a grain-free canned dog food that utilizes a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Merrick Classic Dog Food Recall History

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

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:

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

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