Review of Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dry Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
|Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Open Prairie Recipe||4||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Open Prairie Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, whole dried potato, natural pork flavor, tapioca, dried peas, pea starch, sunflower meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), beef and bone meal, whole flaxseed, pea protein, venison, lamb, menhaden fish meal, natural flavor, salt, taurine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), niacin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate), zinc sulfate, lactic acid, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||17%||42%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||35%||36%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried 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.
After the natural pork flavor, we find tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The sixth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient is sunflower meal, a by-product of the oil extraction process – and an item more typically found in feed for livestock.
Although sunflower meal contains about 34% protein, it 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.
The ninth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 next ingredient is beef and bone meal, a dry rendered product from (beef) tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1
Beef and bone meal may have a lower biological value than most other meat meals.
Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2
On the brighter side, beef and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh meat.
In any case, beef and bone meal is not considered a better quality dog food ingredient.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other ingredients.
But realistically, items located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Rachael Ray product.
With 6 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 pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
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 meat content of this dog food.
In addition, we 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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Additionally, 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 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Which means this Rachael Ray product contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried potatoes, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble still containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak is a grain-free dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus garnering 4 stars.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Rachael Ray through June 2023.
No recalls noted
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Rachael Ray Brand Reviews
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- Rachael Ray Dog Food Review
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Review (Trays)
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Limited Ingredient Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Zero Grain Dog Food Review (Dry)
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- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632 ↩
04/25/2023 Last Update