This Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula is marketed as a grain-free product made with farm-raised chicken, moist turkey, whole garden peas and seasonal pumpkin. In addition to being gluten-free and grain-free, this formula is also free from white potatoes. Many grain-free formulas use white potatoes as an alternative starch – potatoes contain some dietary fiber but they are generally only of limited nutritional value for dogs. Rather than using starchy carbohydrates, this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula contains peas, pumpkin, apples, and carrots. If your dog suffers from grain allergies or if you are looking for a commercial dog food formula that contains highly digestible and animal-based proteins, this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula may be a good option for you 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, chicken meal, peas, turkey, pea fiber, flaxseed, menhaden oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), natural flavors, salt, apples, dried chicory root extract, ascorbic acid, pumpkin, carrots, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, cottage cheese, potassium chloride, betaine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, beta carotene, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, alfalfa sprouts, vitamin E supplement, direct fed microbials (dried enterococcus faecium, dried lactobacillus acidophilus, dried lactobacillus casei, rosemary extract.
Explanation of Top 5 Ingredients
The top 5 ingredients included in Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food are: chicken, chicken meal, peas, turkey, and pea fiber. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:
Chicken – Fresh chicken is a high-quality source of animal protein that is highly digestible for your dog. The fact that a source of whole protein is listed first on the ingredients list for this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food is a good thing. There is one thing to consider with this ingredient, however, and that is the fact that it contains about 80% water. Fresh meats, once they are rendered (or cooked), typically contain a much smaller amount of protein by volume than the original.
Chicken Meal – Do not let the addition of the word “meal” to this ingredient throw you off – it is still a high-quality source of protein for your dog. Meat meals are simply the flesh or meat of animals (in this case, chicken) which has been cooked down to a moisture level of about 10%. As a result, chicken meal contains up to 300% more protein than fresh chicken which makes it a very valuable addition to this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula. The fact that it is listed second on the ingredients list by volume, having already been cooked, speaks to the high protein content of this dog food formula.
Peas – The value of this ingredient is debatable because the ingredients list does not specify which type of pea this is. Most peas that are used on pet food formulas are dried peas rather than fresh green peas. Dried peas are the same type used for pea fiber and pea protein and they contain up to 25% protein as well as some essential amino acids like lysine. Due to their protein content, peas can sometimes be used by commercial pet food manufacturers to boost the protein content of their pet foods without actually adding more meat. In this case, the primary benefit of peas as an ingredient is for their insoluble fiber.
Turkey – Similar to fresh chicken, fresh turkey may contain up to 80% water. As such, its protein content is much lower than the original weight after it has been cooked. It is still a good thing, however, to see a secondary source of whole protein listed within the first five ingredients for this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula.
Pea Fiber – This ingredient is derived from the hulls of peas and it is considered to be an agricultural byproduct. While this ingredient contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, it is generally of little nutritional value to your dog. This ingredient would be better replaced by a high-quality source of digestible fiber and other nutrients like flaxseed (this ingredient is found further down the list of ingredients for this dog food formula).
Other Notable Ingredients
Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include: flaxseed, menhaden oil, dried chicory root extract, cottage cheese, chelated minerals, alfalfa sprouts, and rosemary extract. Flaxseed is a highly beneficial addition to this dog food formula because it contains healthy fats and dietary fiber. Flaxseed is typically ground into meal which makes it a valuable source of dietary fiber. Add this to the fact that flaxseed is one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids and you will see its value as an addition to this dog food formula.
Another beneficial ingredient used in this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula is menhaden oil. Menhaden is a type of small ocean fish and menhaden oil is rich in both EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids. Because menhaden oil is derived from an animal source it has a high rate of bio-availability for dogs. Dried chicory root is a starch-like compound (but it doesn’t contain any starch) and it is rich in inulin. Inulin is a good source of soluble dietary fiber and it acts as a prebiotic to support the growth of healthy bacteria in your dog’s digestive system. Another highly beneficial ingredient in this formula is the chelated minerals. Chelated minerals have been chemically bonded to protein molecules which makes them easy for your dog to absorb.
Though there are many valuable ingredients in this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food there are a few that might be a little questionable. For example, alfalfa sprouts are up for debate regarding their value in dog food. Alfalfa is starch-free and high in protein, but because it comes from a plant and not an animal it is less biologically valuable for your dog. Ingredients like this are sometimes used by pet food manufacturers to increase the protein content of their products without adding extra meat. Cottage cheese is also rich in protein and it contains about 70% lactose than whole milk which makes it better for your dog.
Rosemary extract is used in dog food as a preservative and it is sometimes linked to increased seizure activity. There are no scientific studies linking this ingredient to seizures in dogs, however, and because it is listed last on the ingredients list it is unlikely to be present in a significant amount in this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula.
For the most part, this Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula can be considered an above-average source of nutrition for your dog. The fact that this formula contains three high-quality sources of protein within the top 5 ingredients earns it a lot of points. There are, however, a few ingredients lower down on the list which some might consider controversial. The addition of menhaden oil and flaxseed provide valuable fats for your dog and the addition of chelated minerals is of excellent value. For the most part this formula provides excellent nutrition with a high bio-availability for your dog to enjoy.
This Innova Nature’s Table Grain-Free Turkey & Chicken Dog Food formula receives a paw rating of 4.5 out of 5. Not only is this formula rich in protein and healthy fats, but it is relatively low in carbohydrates when compared to the average commercial dog food. This formula earns bonus points for being gluten- and grain-free, though there are a few ingredients which could be improved.