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Simply Nourish Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: June 24, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Simply Nourish Grain Free dry product range is made up of three recipes with ratings varying from 4.5 to 5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 5 stars.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Simply Nourish Grain Free Adult 5 U
Simply Nourish Grain Free Small Breed Adult 5 U
Simply Nourish Grain Free Large Breed Adult 4.5 U

Recipe and Label Analysis

Simply Nourish Grain Free Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Simply Nourish Grain Free Adult

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

30%

Protein

17.8%

Fat

44.2%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, dried peas, dried potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground flaxseed, natural flavor, pea fiber, dicalcium phosphate, dried chicory root, dried carrots, dried kale, dried pumpkin, dried blueberries, calcium carbonate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), dl-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, potassium chloride, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), mixed tocopherols & citric acid (preservatives), rosemary extract


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 27% 16% NA
Dry Matter Basis 30% 18% 44%
Calorie Weighted Basis 26% 37% 38%

Ingredients Analysis

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 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 next 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 affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The fifth item 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 sixth 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.

After the natural flavor, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

The ninth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

The tenth ingredient is chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

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.

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 Simply Nourish product.

With three notable exceptions

First, this recipe includes 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.

Next, we note the use of taurine in this food. Taurine is 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.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Upon reviewing its ingredient panel, Simply Nourish Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Which means this Simply Nourish product line contains…

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried potatoes and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble still containing a significant amount of meat.

Simply Nourish Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Simply Nourish through July 2024.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Simply Nourish Dog Food

Simply Nourish Grain Free is a dry dog food that uses a significant amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

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Highly Recommended

A Final Word

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