Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Pinnacle Grain Free product line includes 5 dry dogs 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.
- Pinnacle Grain Free Turkey and Pumpkin [A]
- Pinnacle Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable [A]
- Pinnacle Grain Free Trout and Sweet Potato [A]
- Pinnacle Grain Free Duck and Sweet Potato [A]
- Pinnacle Grain Free Salmon and Pumpkin (4.5 stars) [A]
Pinnacle Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Pinnacle Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, garbanzo beans, peas, pea flour, dried tomato pomace, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sweet potato, flaxseed (source of omega 3), natural flavor, salmon oil, carrots, bell pepper, celery, potassium chloride, quinoa seed, dried egg product, salt, kelp meal, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, copper amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, calcium iodate), garlic, parsley, spinach, rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, dehydrated Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dehydrated Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dehydrated Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dehydrated Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||17%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||35%||40%|
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 includes garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.
Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.
The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
The fifth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas.
However, both peas and pea flour contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The ninth 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, this recipe includes quinoa seed. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.
Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
Next, 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.
And lastly, 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.
Pinnacle Grain Free Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pinnacle Grain Free 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the garbanzo beans, pea products, flaxseed and quinoa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Pinnacle Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.
Pinnacle 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
04/22/2018 Last Update
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩