Nutrience Grain Free Subzero (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Nutrience Grain Free Subzero Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Nutrience Grain Free Subzero product line includes 3 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.

  • Nutrience Subzero Prairie Red [A]
  • Nutrience Subzero Fraser Valley [A]
  • Nutrience Subzero Canadian Pacific [A]

Nutrience Subzero Fraser Valley was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nutrience Subzero Fraser Valley

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 30%

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon, chicken liver, chicken heart, turkey liver, turkey heart, herring, cod, cod liver, peas, red lentils, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sweet potatoes, chickpeas, whole eggs, natural chicken flavor, sun-cured alfalfa meal, freeze-dried chicken, freeze-dried pumpkin, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried green mussels, freeze-dried cod liver, freeze-dried kelp, salmon oil, herring oil, coconut oil, pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, spinach, broccoli, apples, blueberries, cranberries, pomegranate, juniper berry extract, ginger, fennel, chamomile, peppermint leaf, licorice root, turmeric, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin A supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, inositol, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, l-lysine, dl-methionine, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, yeast extract, thyme extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, rosemary extract, taurine, chondroitin sulfate, l-carnitine, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus helveticus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis38%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%20%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%40%25%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 25%

The first two ingredients in this dog food include chicken and turkey. Although they are quality items, raw poultry contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

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

The next two ingredients include chicken meal and turkey meal. Poultry meals are considered meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

The fifth ingredient is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon contains about 80% 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 next four items listed are nutrient rich organ meats.

  • Chicken liver
  • Chicken heart
  • Turkey liver
  • Turkey heart

Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The next two items include herring and cod. Fish is naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

Although they are quality items, raw fish contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

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

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 six notable exceptions

First, we find peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

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

In addition, we note the inclusion of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, we also find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

We also note this food contains chicory root. Chicory 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.

And lastly, this food includes 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.

Nutrience Grain Free Subzero Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutrience Subzero 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 42%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 30%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

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 peas, lentils, chickpeas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing an abundance of meat.

Bottom line?

Nutrience Grain Free Subzero is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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.

Nutrience 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.

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Notes and Updates

05/17/2017 Last Update