NRG Maxim (Dehydrated)

Share

Rating: ★★★★☆

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

The NRG Maxim product line includes 4 dehydrated raw 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.

  • NRG Maxim Canadian Free Range Beef [A]
  • NRG Maxim Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon [A]
  • NRG Maxim Free Range Canadian Chicken [A]

NRG Maxim Free Range Canadian Chicken formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

NRG Maxim Free Range Canadian Chicken

Dehydrated Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Free range chicken muscle meat, squash, carrots, pumpkin, eggs, chicken liver, grapefruit, wheat germ, broccoli, cranberries, papaya, garlic, goat milk yogurt, flax seed, salmon fillet, apples, cider vinegar, limes, kelp, blueberries, eggshell, coconut oil

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%19%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%39%38%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After dehydrating, 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 includes squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The third ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fourth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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

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 five notable exceptions

First, wheat germ is a nutritious by-product of the wheat milling process and also rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and minerals.

However, since it contains at least 25% plant-based protein and depending upon the amount, this ingredient can boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

In addition, flaxseed is 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.

Next, coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2

Because of its proven safety3 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.

And lastly, although we find no mention of added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list, we’re reassured to find a detailed list of naturally present nutrients on the company‚Äôs website.

NRG Maxim Dehydrated Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, NRG Maxim looks like an above-average dry product.

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 28%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

Near-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 wheat germ and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

NRG Maxim is a plant-based dehydrated dog food using a moderate amount of raw named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.

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.

NRG 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

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

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company on its product label or its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews.

However, we do receive an affiliate fee from certain online retailers, including some that offer their own private label brands.

This policy helps support the operation of our website and keeps access to all our content completely free to the public.

In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/01/2017 Last Update

  1. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  2. 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
  3. 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.