Review of Vital Essentials Raw Frozen Dog Food
Vital Essentials frozen raw dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Vital Essentials product line includes the 5 raw frozen dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Vital Essentials Beef Entree||5||A|
|Vital Essentials Duck Entree||4.5||A|
|Vital Essentials Rabbit Entree||5||A|
|Vital Essentials Chicken Entree||5||A|
|Vital Essentials Turkey Entree||5||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Vital Essentials Beef Entree 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.
Vital Essentials Beef Entree
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef lung, beef kidney, beef stomach, herring oil, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||54%||31%||7%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||40%||55%||5%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is beef lung, a protein-rich organ meat that’s also low in fat.
The next ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.
The fifth ingredient is beef stomach, also known as tripe. Tripe usually consists of the first three chambers of a cud-chewing animal’s stomach. As unappetizing as it may seem to us humans, tripe is favored by dogs. The meat itself can sometimes include the stomach’s contents, too.
The sixth ingredient is herring oil, which 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, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.
From here, the list goes on to include a few 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 Vital Essentials product.
With one notable exception…
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Vital Essentials raw frozen dog food looks like an above-average raw product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 55% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 10% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Which means this Vital Essentials product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat.
Our Rating of Vital Essentials Dog Food
Vital Essentials is a grain-free raw dog food using a generous amount of named meats and organs as its source of animal protein, thus receiving 5 stars.
Vital Essentials Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Vital Essentials.
- Vital Essentials Dog Food Recall | April 2018 (4/16/2018)
- Vital Essentials Dog Food Recall | February 2018 (2/24/2018)
- Vital Essentials Dog Food Recall | January 2016 (1/15/2016)
- Vital Essentials Dog Food Recall of 2015 (7/7/2015)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Vital Essentials Brand Reviews
The following Vital Essentials dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
12/28/2021 Last Update