Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links to compare price and package size information at an online retailer.
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Wetlands Recipe [A]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Open Range Recipe [A]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Northern Woodlands Recipe [A]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Western Grasslands Recipe [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Open Range with Raw Bites (5 stars) [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Wetlands with Raw Bites [M]
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Open Range Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Open Range Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, dried peas, whole dried potatoes, pea starch, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural pork flavor, lamb meal, whole flaxseed, venison, lamb, menhaden fish meal, dried plain beet pulp, salt, sweet potatoes, cranberries, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, biotin, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
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 includes dried peas, which are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that can’t be ignored when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fourth 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.
The fifth item 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.
Next, we find 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 will be considered when obtaining the rating of this dog food.
It’s also important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of pea product:
- Dried peas
- Pea starch
- Pea protein
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making peas (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.
The seventh 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.
After the natural pork flavor, we find lamb meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
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 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
Next, this food contains menhaden fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Next, flaxseed is 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.
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.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak
Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.
Which means this Rachael Ray product line 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 containing a notable amount of meat.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak is a grain-free dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus garnering 4.5 stars.
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Rachael Ray Dog Food
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Important FDA Alert
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Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
03/25/2020 Last Update