PC Nutrition First Dog Food Review (Canned)

Rating:

PC Nutrition First canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The PC Nutrition First product line includes 8 canned 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.

  • PC Nutrition First Puppy (3 stars) [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Skin and Coat Grain Free (5 stars) [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Weight Control Grain Free (5 stars) [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Hips and Joints Grain Free (5 stars) [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Immune Support Grain Free (5 stars) [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Salmon, Whitefish and Sweet Potatoes [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Lamb, Rice, Barley and Peas (2.5 stars) [U]
  • PC Nutrition First Chicken, Rice, Red Peppers and Bananas [U]

PC Nutrition First Skin and Coat Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

PC Nutrition First Skin and Coat Grain Free

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 20%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken, dried egg-white, dehydrated sweet potato, dried cranberries (cranberries, sugar, canola and/or sunflower oil), potato starch, natural flavour, guar gum, salt, ground flaxseed, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, minerals and vitamins, flaxseed oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), inulin, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%28%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%51%15%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 15%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is turkey broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The fourth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fifth ingredient lists dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The sixth ingredient is dehydrated sweet potato, a dried 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 seventh ingredient includes cranberries, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The eighth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

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, 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.

Next, this food contains flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

In addition, we note the inclusion of 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.

And lastly, the vitamins and minerals added to this product are not detailed sufficiently here to permit us to judge their quality.

PC Nutrition First
Canned Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, PC Nutrition First canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 44%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and dried sweet potato, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a notable amount of meat.

However, with 51% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 34% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

PC Nutrition First contains both grain and grain-free canned dog foods using a notable amount of named meats as its main source 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.

PC Nutrition First 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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Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

03/04/2019 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials