Friday, 3 August 2012

Innova Dog Food

Innova Dog Food Biography
The Innova product line includes 11 dry dog foods, five claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance, two for puppies and four for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
Innova Puppy
Innova Senior Plus
Innova Senior (3 stars)
Innova Adult Small Bites
Innova Adult Large Bites
Innova Adult Large Breed
Innova Puppy Large Breed
Innova Senior Large Breed
Innova Red Meat Small Bites
Innova Red Meat Large Bites
Innova Adult Low Fat (3 stars)
Innova Adult Large Bites Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Ingredients: Turkey, chicken, chicken meal, barley, brown rice, potato, rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), flaxseed, natural flavors, herring, apple, carrot, pumpkin egg, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), sea salt, potassium chloride, herring oil, cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts, vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin E supplement, betaine, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, beta carotene, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc proteinate, calcium carbonate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate), direct fed microbials (dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product), lecithin, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 24% 14% NA
Dry Matter Basis 27% 16% 50%
Calorie Weighted Basis 23% 33% 44%

The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey and chicken. Although it’s a quality item, raw poultry 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 third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The fifth item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth item 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 seventh ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The eight 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 ninth 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.
The tenth ingredient includes herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
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 3 notable exceptions…
First, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.
Next, herring 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, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.
And lastly, this food also 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.
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