Pelican Bay Dog Food (Dry)

Rating:

PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED

Pelican Bay Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of four stars.

The Pelican Bay Trading Company product line includes just one kibble… a recipe designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Pelican Bay Salmon Meal with Garden Vegetables

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Salmon meal (preserved with mixed tocopherols), peas, potato, salmon, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), flaxseed, natural flavor, sweet potato, dicalcium phosphate, canola oil, potassium chloride, salt, tomato pomace, cranberries, blueberries, choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Aspergillus niger, Bacillus subtillis), taurine, chicory extract, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), Yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%17%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%35%42%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 42%

The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon meal. Salmon meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh salmon.

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears1 to be ethoxyquin-free.

The second ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

What’s more, peas contain about 25% protein which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.

The third ingredient is potato. Assuming they’re whole, potatoes are a good source of digestible carbohydrates and other healthy nutrients.

The fourth ingredient is salmon. Although it’s 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 occupy a lower position on the list.

The fifth 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.

The sixth ingredient is 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.

After the natural flavor, we find sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in fiber, beta carotene and other healthy nutrients.

The ninth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate… likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

The tenth ingredient is canola oil. Most applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content… while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Current thinking (ours included) finds the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.2

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.

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 three notable exceptions

First, the manufacturer appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Pelican Bay Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pelican Bay Dog Food appears to be an above-average kibble.

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 27%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

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

Giving at least some consideration to the protein-rich peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pelican Bay Dog Food is a grain-free dry kibble using a moderate amount of salmon meal as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand four stars.

Highly recommended.

For other grain-free products, be sure to check out the Advisor’s special report, “Best Grain Free Dog Foods“.

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

12/10/2010 Original review

09/06/2012 Last Update

  1. Tuffy’s Customer Service via email, 12/9/2010
  2. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)