Review of Native Performance Dry Dog Food
Native Performance Dog Food receives the Advisor’s best rating of 5 stars.
The Native Performance product line includes the 5 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.Use the following links to check online prices. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may earn a referral fee. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.
|Native Performance Energy Level 1||4.5||A|
|Native Performance Energy Level 2||5||A|
|Native Performance Energy Level 3||5||A|
|Native Performance Energy Level 4||5||A|
|Native Performance Energy Puppy||5||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Native Performance Energy Level 3 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.
Native Performance Energy Level 3
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, brewers rice, ground barley, chicken fat (mixed tocopherols preservative), ground flaxseed, rice bran (stabilized), plain dried beet pulp, fish meal, dried egg, natural flavor, brewer’s liquid yeast, yeast culture, potassium chloride, salt, monocalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, yeast extract, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, dl-methionine, biotin, l-lysine, reed-sedge peat, zinc sulfate, taurine, selenium yeast, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc proteinate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, niacin supplement, calcium d-pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, rosemary extract, calcium iodate, folic acid, mixed tocopherols & citric acid (preservatives)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||22%||37%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||44%||30%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is barley, a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is chicken fat. This item is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The sixth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The next ingredient is beet pulp. 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.
The eighth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
The ninth ingredient is dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But realistically, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Native Performance product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we note the use of an ingredient called reed-sedge peat. Peat is a product of partially decayed vegetation.
Although we can’t be certain as to why this ingredient has been included here, some reports suggest peat can aid in digestion, growth and immune function of certain animals.2
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
In addition, 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.
Next, we find 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, which is also included in this recipe. Why use both forms?
We also note the use of yeast extract. This is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.
A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.
However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.
That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago3, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.
So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.
In any case, since the label reveals little about the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Based on its ingredients alone, Native Performance Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Native Performance Dog Food
Native Performance is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Has Native Performance Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Native Performance.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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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.
07/23/2021 Last Update