Which Tender and True Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?
Tender and True Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Tender and True product line includes the 7 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Tender and True Organic Chicken and Liver Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Tender & True Organic Chicken and Liver Grain Free
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic dried peas, organic chickpeas, organic flaxseed meal, organic tapioca starch, organic chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic potato flour, organic pea protein, organic chicken liver, natural flavor, menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), choline chloride, salt, mixed tocopherols, vitamins (l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, citric acid (preservative), vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), potassium chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese proteinate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.2%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
The first ingredient in this dog food is organic 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 organic chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient lists organic 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 fourth ingredient includes organic chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, beans and lentils, chickpeas are a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is organic flaxseed meal, 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.
The sixth ingredient is organic tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The seventh item is organic chicken fat. Chicken fat 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 eighth ingredient is organic potato flour. Unlike potato starch, potato flour is made from the whole potato (even the skins). This item is considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates with only modest nutritional value.
The ninth ingredient is organic 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.
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 menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.
What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not as likely to be exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deep water species.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
In addition, 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.
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.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Tender and True Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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%.
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 pea products, chickpeas and flaxseed meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Tender and True Dog Food
Tender and True includes both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods that use a significant amount of named meat meal as their dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
More Top Picks
Tender and True Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Tender and True through March 2024.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
Get Free Recall Alerts
Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.
More Tender and True Reviews
The following Tender and True dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
A Final Word
The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.
However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.
For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.