Now Fresh Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Now Fresh Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Now Fresh product line includes 13 grain-free, dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Now Fresh Grain Free Small Breed Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: De-boned turkey, whole dried egg, peas, pea flour, potatoes, potato flour, natural flavour, flaxseed, apples, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), de-boned salmon, de-boned duck, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, tomato, alfalfa, carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, pomegranate, papayas, lentils, broccoli, dried chicory root, sodium tripolyphosphate, sodium chloride, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc methionine complex, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, manganous oxide, selenium yeast), taurine, dl-methionine, l-lysine, algae extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, parsley, peppermint, green tea extract, dried rosemary

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%19%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%39%36%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 36%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is potato flour. Unlike potato starch, potato flour is made from the whole potato (even the skins). This item is considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates with only modest nutritional value.

After the natural flavor, we find 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 ninth ingredient includes apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

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 seven notable exceptions

First, we find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

Next, this recipe also includes coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.1

Because of its proven safety2 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

In addition, we note the use of alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, we find lentils in this recipe. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

We also note the inclusion of chicory root, which is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, this recipe 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.

And lastly, this food also includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Now Fresh Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Now Fresh looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed, alfalfa and lentils, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Now Fresh is a grain free, plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Now Fresh Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

03/01/2018 Last Update

  1. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  2. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.