Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Air Dried (Dehydrated)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Only Natural Pet MaxMeat product line lists three air-dried 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.

  • Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Beef with Pumpkin and Parsley [U]
  • Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Chicken with Pumpkin and Parsley [U]
  • Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Lamb and Cod with Pumpkin and Parsley [U]

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Chicken with Pumpkin and Parsley was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Air Dried Chicken with Pumpkin and Parsley

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, chicken heart, chicken gizzard, chicken necks, parsley, pumpkin, rosemary, inulin (from chicory root), vegetable glycerin, choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E supplement), zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, vitamin E, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, copper sulfate, nicotinic acid, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, vitamin D3 supplement, ethylenediamine dihydriodide (source of iodine), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis36%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%21%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%42%23%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 42% | Carbs = 23%

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 next two items include chicken liver and chicken heart. These are organ meats sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. These items are also inclusive of water.

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

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

The fifth ingredient is inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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.

The sixth ingredient is vegetable glycerine. Glycerine is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.

The seventh ingredient is ground chicken bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

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 four notable exceptions

First, betaine is a supplement known for its ability to protect cells, proteins, and enzymes from environmental damage. A growing body of evidence seems to suggest betaine may be important for the prevention of chronic disease.

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

In addition, yeast extract 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 ago1, 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 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.

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Dog Food 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 24% and estimated carbohydrates of about 26%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Only Natural Pet MaxMeat is a meat-based air-dried dog food using a significant amount of chicken, beef, or lamb and cod 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.

Only Natural Pet 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

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

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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.

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Notes and Updates

07/24/2017 Last Update

  1. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances
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