This Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food is specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of large-breed adult dogs. This formula contains several sources of dietary fiber to promote both nutrient absorption and digestive health – it also contains a blend of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and coat. Another interesting benefit for this formula is its dental benefits – it is shown to help reduce tartar build-up in your dog’s mouth within 28 days. If you are looking for a commercial food that is specially formulated for large-breed dogs, this Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food may be a good option to consider. Before you purchase this brand of dog food, however, you would be wise to consider the ingredients used to make this dog food and how they impact the total nutritional value of the product.
Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Ground Whole Grain Barley, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Flax Meal, Fructooligosaccharides, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), DL-Methionine, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Vitamin E Supplement, Brewers Dried Yeast, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract
Explanation of Top 5 Ingredients
The top 5 ingredients included in Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food are: chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by-product meal, and ground whole grain barley. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:
Chicken – If you are new to reading the ingredients lists on dog food labels, you would probably be inclined to think that listing chicken as the first ingredient makes a dog food formula a quality source of protein. While fresh chicken is in fact a high-quality source of protein, it contains up to 80% water. Because ingredients lists are populated by volume, the actual protein contribution that fresh chicken makes to the product may be much lower than you think. Once the chicken is cooked, it will be reduced to a mere fraction of its weight.
Corn Meal – The fact that corn meal is listed as the second ingredient in this Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food formula is very troubling. Not only is corn one of the top food allergens known to affect dogs, but it is not a very valuable source of nutrition. Corn meal is simply a coarse flour made by grinding dried corn kernels and its nutrient profile is greatly lacking.
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum – Similar to corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum provides relatively little nutritional value for dogs. Sorghum is a starchy cereal grain that, other than providing your dog with energy in the form of calories, doesn’t provide much other value. The one thing that this ingredient has going for it is the fact that it is gluten-free – this means that it has a lower impact on your dog’s blood sugar than gluten-containing grains like wheat and barley.
Chicken By-Product Meal – Chicken by-product meal is a type of meat concentrate – it consists of the leftover parts of the chicken carcass after the edible parts have been removed. This product may contain things like organ meats, beaks, and feet – anything other than feathers. While it may not sound particularly appetizing, meat meals and meat by-product meals are actually a more concentrated source of protein than fresh meats. When the by-product meal comes from a named source (like chicken by-product meal rather than simply meat by-product meal) it is likely to be of moderate nutritional value.
Ground Whole Grain Barley – Another starchy carbohydrate, ground whole grain barley provides your dog with dietary fiber as well as some other nutrients. For the most part, however, this ingredient can be considered an inexpensive filler that provides only moderate nutritional value. The fact that this is the third moderate-quality carbohydrate ingredient out of the top five ingredients on the list is fairly troubling.
Other Notable Ingredients
Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food including dried beet pulp, chicken fat, dried egg product, fish oil, flax meal, and brewer’s dried yeast. Dried beet pulp is the by-product that results from the processing of sugar beets and it is a source of dietary fiber. While this ingredient is somewhat controversial, it does provide some nutritional value in moderate amounts.
Chicken fat, the eighth ingredient on the list, is a valuable source of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid. Though this ingredient may not sound appetizing, it is very nutritious for dogs and can be considered a valuable ingredient. Dried egg product, on the other hand, may not be. While the name of this ingredient may lead you to believe that it simply consists of dried eggs, the addition of the word “product” means that may include low-quality eggs like the unhatched eggs from chicken hatcheries. It is difficult to evaluate the quality of this ingredient, though eggs in general are of high biological value for dogs.
Fish oil is another excellent source of healthy fats, primarily omega-3 fatty acids, which have a high bioavailability for dogs. Flax meal is another rich source of omega-3s as well as soluble fiber. Brewer’s dried yeast, however, is a controversial ingredient – it is a by-product of the beer making process and it may contain valuable minerals. Some believe that it may be linked to allergies in dogs, however, and it may contribute to a condition known as bloat. It is also important to note that brewer’s yeast contains about 48% protein – this means that it can be used to increase the protein content of a dog food product without actually adding more meat.
Another ingredient included in Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food that you may be right to question is sodium hexametaphosphate. This ingredient provides no nutritional value – it is a man-made polymer that is often used in soap-making, water-treatment, and metal finishing. This ingredient is probably included to decrease tartar build-up but many believe that dog food is not the place for man-made chemicals.
Though this dog food formula is advertised as being specially formulated for large-breed dogs, the ingredients list prompts one to wonder how true this claim really is. With only two sources of protein included in a fairly extensive list of ingredients (among several low-quality carbohydrates), this product can be considered of average nutritional value, at best. There are a few beneficial supplemental ingredients included in this formula (like chicken fat and vitamin E), but they are so far down on the ingredient list that they are unlikely to make much of a difference.
This Eukanuba Large Breed Adult Maintenance Premium Dog Food formula receives a paw rating of 2.5 out of 5. Though the first ingredient on the list is chicken, three of the other top five ingredients are little more than filler ingredients that have relatively low nutritional value. This product would benefit from at least one more quality source of protein and the omission of nutrient-poor carbohydrates like corn meal and barley.