Simply Nourish Essentials Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Simply Nourish Essentials product line includes seven canned recipes.
Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Simply Nourish Essentials Lamb and Carrot Adult
- Simply Nourish Essentials Beef and Vegetable Adult
- Simply Nourish Essentials Duck and Wild Rice Adult
- Simply Nourish Essentials Chicken, Vegetables and Quinoa Adult
- Simply Nourish Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice and Vegetable Adult
- Simply Nourish Essentials Turkey, Sweet Potato and Cranberry Adult
- Simply Nourish Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice and Vegetable Puppy
Simply Nourish Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice and Vegetable Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Simply Nourish Essentials Chicken, Brown Rice and Vegetable Adult
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, dried egg product, brown rice, potato starch, carrots, guar gum, spinach, flaxseed meal, blueberries, salt, sodium phosphate, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, inulin, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide), choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The eighth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The ninth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed meal is one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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, we find 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.
In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
And lastly, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Simply Nourish Essentials Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Simply Nourish Essentials dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 46% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 29% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed meal, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.
Simply Nourish Essentials is a meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of poultry, beef or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.
Simply Nourish 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.
- Simply Nourish Dog Food Recall (8/15/2021)
- PetSmart Announces Recall of Certain Lots of Simply Nourish Dog Treats (10/8/2014)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩