Tender and True canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Tender and True product line includes the 6 canned 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 below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Tender and True Organic Turkey and Liver Grain Free [A]
- Tender and True Organic Chicken and Liver Grain Free [A]
- Tender and True Turkey and Brown Rice (4 stars) [A]
- Tender and True Chicken and Brown Rice (4 stars) [A]
- Tender and True Whitefish and Potato Grain Free (4 stars) [A]
- Tender and True Salmon and Sweet Potato Grain Free (4 stars) [A]
Tender and True Organic Turkey and Liver was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Tender and True Organic Turkey and Liver Recipe
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic turkey, water sufficient for processing, organic pea flour, organic chicken liver, organic chicken heart, salt, organic dried peas, agar-agar, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic chicken broth, organic sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, zinc proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, manganese proteinate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 10.2%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||39%||23%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||44%||25%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The third ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth item includes chicken heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The sixth ingredient is salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.
However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.
The seventh 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.
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 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
Next, we note the use of 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, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable 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.
Tender and True
Canned Dog Food Review
Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
So based on its ingredients alone, Tender and True canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Which means this product line contains…
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea flour and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Tender and True contains both grain-free and with-grain canned dog foods that use a moderate amount of named meats as their main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Tender and True Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Tender and True. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
11/03/2019 Last Update