Review of Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Dog Food
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet product line includes the 7 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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Recipe and Label Analysis
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Real Duck Recipe Grain Free 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 Limited Ingredient Diet Real Duck Recipe Grain Free
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned duck, duck liver, water sufficient for processing, tricalcium phosphate, natural flavor, salt, locust bean gum, guar gum, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, taurine, 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), 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|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||14%||42%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||30%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1
Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is duck liver, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient lists tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorus. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.
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 2 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.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet looks like an above-average wet dog food.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Which means this Merrick product line contains…
Near-average protein. Above-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 moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Dog Food
Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet includes both grain-free and grain-inclusive canned dog foods using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Has Merrick Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Merrick.
- Merrick Recalls Multiple Dog Treats (5/23/2018)
- Merrick Recalls Dog Treats (8/9/2011)
- Merrick Pet Treats Recall 2011 (1/30/2011)
- Merrick Expands Dog Treats Recall (8/16/2010)
- Merrick Expands Recall of Dog Treats (8/4/2010)
- Merrick Dog Treats Recall (7/6/2010)
- Merrick Dog Treats Recall 2010 (1/15/2010)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Merrick Dog Food Reviews
The following Merrick dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Merrick Backcountry Raw Infused Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Merrick Classic Chunky Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Merrick Classic Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Merrick Dog Food Review
- Merrick Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Merrick Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Merrick Lil’ Plates Grain Free Dog Food Review (Cups)
- Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet Dog food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
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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.
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
02/03/2021 Last Update