Tuscan Natural Carne Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Tuscan Natural Carne Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Tuscan Natural Carne product line includes one grain-free, dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages.

Tuscan Natural Carne

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 39% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 30%

Ingredients: Humanely raised turkey, humanely raised chicken, turkey meal from humanely raised turkeys, chicken meal from humanely raised chickens, sustainably farmed russet burbank potatoes, sustainably farmed peas, whitefish meal from ocean caught whitefish, herring meal from ocean caught herring, essential fatty acids from chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sustainably farmed flax seed, olive oil from old growth trees (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, potassium chloride, sustainably farmed alfalfa meal, sustainably farmed apples, sustainably farmed tomatoes, sustainably farmed carrots, calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, d-biotin, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt protenate, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium, dried Aspergillus niger, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation products

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis35%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis39%23%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis32%44%24%
Protein = 32% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 24%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains about 80% 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, another quality, raw item.

The third ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The fourth ingredient includes chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fifth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The next two ingredients include whitefish meal and herring meal, yet two more additional high protein meat concentrates.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The ninth ingredient is 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 next ingredient includes 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.

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, this recipe contains olive oil. Olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

Next, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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.

Tuscan Natural Carne Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Tuscan Natural Carne Dog Food looks like an above-average dry 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 39%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 30%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

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

Bottom line?

Tuscan Natural Carne is a grain-free, meat-based dry dog food using a generous amount of turkey and chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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.

Tuscan Natural Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

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Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

06/04/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Steve L Wilson

    The Lamb meal recipe does not have menadione

  • Janine

    I just bought a bag of this food today and it still lists Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex as an ingredient. Darn, I thought I found a good/safe dog food.

  • theBCnut

    Yes Bob, I know, but according to the guy I talked to, the FDA gives more weight to the opinion of a medical professional if they believe the illness or death was caused by the food. That counts for something and could, in the long run, save lives of a few more pets. The vet is more likely to be rational and give reason for what they believe and doesn’t have a personal stake in the outcome. I was specifically told if the vet was involved in the case, it is best to have the vet report their findings. If that’s what the FDA says to do, then that is what people should do.

  • Bob K

    You do not need the Vet to fill it out.

  • theBCnut

    My vets time is valuable too, but I am a valuable client and my pets’ lives have value to my vets. The FDA form to report suspected food issues doesn’t take that long to fill out and nobody has to prove anything. And it’s the FDA’s job to collect the reports. You seem to lack a basic understanding of the recall process. IF a food is bad and many dogs get sick or die from it, it will never be recalled if no one complains to the right place.

  • Bob K

    My Vets time is valuable, time spent filing reports is time taken away from the patients. He has bills to pay just like most people do. Yep – The FDA has all sorts of staff just waiting for kibble complaints since they too all work for free.

  • theBCnut

    That’s nice, Bob. But I didn’t say anything about a liability lawsuit. In case you aren’t aware, FDA will investigate dog foods if enough complaints are filed. If no one bothers to file a complaint, then FDA would not need to investigate. But the whole point is moot since Clement bought it over the border. You must have a wonderful relationship with your vet, if you have to pay for that.

  • Bob K

    Without testing of both the kibble and dogs condition, it would be a waste of time to pay your vet to file a report with the FDA. Product liability law suits require proof of product failure and saying the puppy died would not be enough.

  • Clement

    i thought Tuscan natural will be a great dog food, i bought it across the border after i checked the review here, but these happen.

    nah, we didn’t report to the FDA. i don’t think the country i am in right now will care so much about those especially for dogs 🙁

  • theBCnut

    Sorry for your loss. Did you and your vet file a report with the FDA?

  • Clement

    This Tuscan Natural Carne just killed my 3 months old labrador retriever today. 2 days after eating this and she start vomiting and got a stomach failure and died. Vet did tried their best to save her. My 1 year old siberian husky got stomach upset too after 2 days eating this and she recovered back after the 4th day.

  • Linda

    It’s a great, high quality dog food. For those who can’t locate or find this product locally, primepetsupply.com/manufacturer/tuscan-natural carries it. Been ordering more than a year, no problem so far. I don’t think I will ever change this pet food unless there is a recall…

  • TB

    Skip this company and their product. Their product locator is inaccurate, contacting them is useless as they do not respond, thus clearly showing they care nothing about the customer. Save yourself a headache.

  • Chaser Chan

    I just bought it then i read all of the comments.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I prefer foods without it, but feeding an occassional bag with it shouldn’t do any damage, just switch again after this bag. This is exactly why diet rotation is such a good idea.

  • Chris

    I just bought a bag of the Simple Chicken and that ingredient is listed on the label…now I’m worried.

  • Terra Colson Nicholson

    Alpha K9 is a proud feeder of this food! Our PTSD Service Dogs enjoy this and the Lamb Formula. If you have any questions about our experience please contact us [email protected]

  • Terra Colson Nicholson

    They wanted to be sure they had sufficient Vitamin K when starting this
    formula. The only vitamin K supplement
    that AAFCO approves is the synthetic (menadione sodium bisulfite). After 6
    mos they had a reasonable number of tests which showed they had sufficient
    vitamin k from the other ingredients – so they took the menadione sodium
    bisulfite out. Unfortunately they had tens of thousands of bags already
    printed. They are getting ready to reprint bags and this supplement will not appear on the bags any longer.

  • Alpha K9

    They wanted to be sure they had sufficient Vitamin K when starting this formula. The only vitamin K supplement that AAFCO approves is the synthetic (menadione sodium bisulfite). After 6 mos they had a reasonable number of tests which showed they had sufficient vitamin k from the other ingredients – so they took the menadione sodium bisulfite out. Unfortunately they had tens of thousands of bags already
    printed. They are getting ready to reprint bags and this supplement will not appear on the bags any longer.

    We feed this food to out PTSD Service Dogs and did our research directly with the company.

  • Bonnie Barron

    Totally agree! This food is manufactured for Pyramid Pet Products in Las Vegas, Nevada. I have not found any pet store carrying this food in Southern California & now I know why.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I know in some cases where the state regs are stricter they supercede the federal regs, but in others, they don’t. I believe it has to do with whether they are manufactured in the state with the tighter regs, which is why companies flock to certain states for manufacturing, easier regs. I totally agree that the company should assume a loss on old or incorrect labels. You really don’t know what is in the food with our labeling laws, unless you know you can trust the company.

  • Bonnie Barron

    So would the FDA supercede the state pet food regulations where the food is sold? in this case California? To me the company should assume a business loss for the old labels. It is clearly false advertising because that ingredient is not listed on their website but when ordered it is on the label.. And how do I know they are not just using up the old recipe & it really is in the food? I don’t trust them & would never buy their product.

  • Pattyvaughn

    According to FDA, a company has up to 6 months to use up old labels before the new label must be on the packaging. I don’t think that should be allowed because people with allergies or with pets that have allergies need to know for sure wht is in there, but FDA allows it.

  • Bonnie Barron

    I called Steve @ Pyramid Pet Products & he tried to say it was OK to use old labels on the bags even though they have taken out that ingredient. That is absolutely untrue! I called the State of California & pet food labels have to be accurate & reflect exactly what’s in the recipe. I have attached the photo of the label on the 30 lb bag of Tuscan Natural Carne Grain Free Dry Dog food.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Have you called the company to discuss this issue with them? Menadione is not listed as an ingredient on their website and Dr. Mike obtains his information on the product from the company’s website. Could you post a picture of the label on the bag?

  • Drury Lane Labradors

    Dog Food Advisor does cover this ingredient :

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/menadione-in-dog-food/

    “Due to the contentious nature of menadione and because there are
    currently no AAFCO requirements to include the supplement in any dog
    food, we’d suggest shoppers avoid dog food products that contain this controversial ingredient.”.

    This should have been noted in the special alert section, and not received a 5 star rating.

    I received a sample bag and am now reconsidering feeding this food.

  • bluizebon

    I bought a 30 lb bag from dog.com & my dogs have been eating it for about 1 month. I was shocked to just read the bag ingredients & it listed Menadione Sodium Bisulfite (synthetic Vit K) which was NOT listed on either dog.com or tuscannatural.com in the ingredients. I hope everyone knows the bad health effects from that ingredient, not controversial anymore, & almost every company removed it
    years ago! It is associated with immune disorders & both my previous dogs had 2 different types of immune disorders (had been eating a dog food that had it in it) which eventually killed them. I’m horrified to discover the false advertising & labeling & I will be calling both companies tomorrow AM. I hope dogfoodadvisor.com looks into this & removes the 5 star recommendation. Buyers beware!