PetGuard Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The PetGuard product line includes a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages.
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.
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, sunﬂower oil, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fish oil, dried whole eggs, dried kelp, dried whey, calcium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), apple fiber, alfalfa meal, sea salt, dl-methionine, lecithin, taurine, potassium chloride, choline chloride, l-lysine, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin A supplement, ergocalciferol (source of vitamin D2), vitamin E supplement, riboﬂavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine (source of vitamin B1), biotin, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, calcium amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||17%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||35%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
The eighth ingredient is dried whole egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The ninth ingredient is dried kelp, a dehydrated form of seaweed also known as alginate. Kelp is most likely used here as a thickening or gelling agent.
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, we 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.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
PetGuard Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, PetGuard 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
PetGuard is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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.
PetGuard Dog Food
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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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
09/25/2018 Last Update