Tuscan Natural Carne Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Tuscan Natural Carne product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Tuscan Natural Carne
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
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 denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||39%||23%||30%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||44%||24%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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, 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 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.
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 Review
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.
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.
Tuscan Natural Carne is a grain-free dry dog food using a generous amount of named meat meals as its main source 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.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Tuscan Natural 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.
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Notes and Updates
05/19/2019 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩