Which PawTree Grain Free Dry Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?
PawTree Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The PawTree Grain Free product line includes the 7 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|PawTree Grain Free Real Turkey and Sweet Potato
|PawTree Grain Free Real Turkey and Garbanzo Beans
|PawTree Grain Free Real Lamb, Chickpeas and Lentils
|PawTree Grain Free Real Duck and Chickpeas
|PawTree Grain Free Real Salmon, Peas and Sweet Potato
|PawTree Grain Free Real Chicken and Sweet Potato
|PawTree Grain Free Real Trout, Sweet Peas and Lentils
Recipe and Label Analysis
PawTree Grain Free Real Duck and Chickpeas 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.
PawTree Grain Free Real Duck and Chickpeas
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck, turkey meal, dried chickpeas, dried peas, dried sweet potatoes, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potato protein, dried egg product, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sea salt, fructooligosaccharides, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), taurine, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide), dried apples, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried pumpkin, dried spinach, dried parsley, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast culture, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, mixed tocopherols, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, l-carnitine, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The next two ingredients include dried chickpeas and dried peas. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and peas are good sources of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, both items contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is dried sweet potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried sweet potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The sixth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
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 is chicken fat. Chicken fat 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.
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 Paw Tree product.
With 6 notable exceptions…
First, we find potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably 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, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
In addition, coconut oil is 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.
We also 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.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, this recipe contains 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.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, PawTree Grain Free dog food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
However, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried chickpeas, dried peas, dried potato, flaxseed and potato protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of PawTree Grain Free Dog Food
PawTree Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.
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.
PawTree Grain Free Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to PawTree through February 2024.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More PawTree Brand Reviews
The following PawTree dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
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- 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 ↩
- 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. ↩