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This Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula is designed to provide your adult dog with balanced nutrition through all life stages. This formula is made with several sources of high-quality protein including fresh chicken, chicken meal, duck meal, and salmon meal. It also contains several complex carbohydrates including brown rice and oats. In addition to being made with these healthy ingredients, the Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula is completely gluten-free. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye – it is a common food allergen that affects many dogs. If you are looking for a gluten-free formula for your dog, Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula may be an 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, Brown Rice, Oats, Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Brewers Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dried Carrots, Duck Meal, Salmon Meal, Pea Fiber, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Flaxseeds, Brewers Dried Yeast, Menhaden Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), L-Tryptophan, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (preservatives), Taurine, Dried Cranberries, Dried Blueberries, Dried Spinach, L-Lysine, Dried Kelp, Dried Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.
Explanation of Top 5 Ingredients
The top 5 ingredients included in Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula are: chicken, brown rice, oats, chicken meal, and potatoes. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:
Chicken – The fact that a high-quality source of animal protein is listed first for this dry food formula is a good thing, but it does come with a caveat. Fresh chicken contains about 80% water so, in its fresh form, its volume is much larger than it is after it has been cooked – after cooking, the actual meat content is a fraction of what its original weight was.
Brown Rice – Brown rice is a complex carbohydrate and a good source of dietary fiber. As long as the rice is cooked, it is fairly easy for your dog to digest. It is important to note, however, that dogs only need a moderate amount of dietary fiber in their diets. For this reason, brown rice should be considered an ingredient of moderate nutritional value. It is also important to note that the ingredients list does not state whether the ingredient is whole grain brown rice or not. Different types of rice are used in commercial dog food and not all of it consists of whole grains.
Oats – Oats are a type of gluten-free carbohydrate, though it is possible for it to be mixed with wheat grains depending on the level of purity. Wheat is a common food allergen found in many low-quality dog food formulas. Oats are a good source of dietary fiber to help support healthy digestion and firm stools and it is also rich in B-vitamins.
Chicken Meal – Though the word “meal” may lead you to believe that this ingredient is not of high-quality, you would be mistaken. Meat meals like chicken meal are actually a much more concentrated source of protein then fresh meats. In fact, chicken meal may contain up to 300% more protein than fresh chicken. Though this ingredient is a valuable addition to this Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula, it would be better if it were at the top of the list. Considering the fact that fresh chicken contains about 80% water, once the food has been cooked it is likely that brown rice is used in a higher volume than the chicken.
Potatoes – Potatoes are another source of digestible carbohydrate. Aside from the fact that they are gluten-free and contain some dietary fiber, this ingredient does not provide a significant amount of nutritional value for your dog. This ingredient would be better replaced by another source of high-quality protein or a more nutritious carbohydrate.
Other Notable Ingredients
Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula. Some of these ingredients include: brewer’s rice, chicken fat, dried carrots, duck meal, salmon meal, pea fiber, oat fiber, tomato pomace, flaxseed, brewer’s dried yeast, and menhaden oil. In addition to brown rice, this formula also contains brewer’s rice. Brewer’s rice consists of the small fragments of rice grains that are left behind when the grains are milled. In short, brewer’s rice is the leftover materials that would otherwise be thrown out. Milled rice grains are only about 50% of their original size once the hulls have been removed and brewer’s rice grains are only about 25% the original size. With these considerations, not only can the quality of brewer’s rice be very low, but so can its nutritional value. In fact, it is the low-quality grains that are typically reserved for use in pet food and dairy feed.
Another important ingredient on the list for Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula is chicken fat. While this ingredient may not sound very appetizing to you, it is a highly beneficial ingredient for your dog. Chicken fat is a valuable source of linoleic acid, a type of omega-6 fatty acid, that is very healthy for your dog. Duck meal and salmon meal are also beneficial because, like chicken meal, they are a highly concentrated source of protein. Because these ingredients are listed ninth and tenth on the list, however, they may not be present in significant quantities. The same can be said for menhaden oil which is even further down the list. This oil is derived from small marine fish and it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids for your dog.
Both pea fiber and oat fiber provide very little nutritional value for your dog aside from some dietary fiber. These ingredients may be used to bulk up the dog food formula without adding any extra meat. Tomato pomace is very similar – it is the result of the processing of tomatoes for juice and ketchup and some believe it to be nothing more than an inexpensive filler ingredient. Flaxseed, on the other hand, is a very beneficial ingredient. Not only is it one of the highest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but it contains soluble fiber and protein. One thing to keep in mind with this ingredient is that it contains about 19% protein which means that it can be used to increase the protein content of this dog food formula without adding more meat.
Brewer’s dried yeast is a controversial ingredient – it is a by-product resulting from beer production and it contains various vitamins and minerals which are beneficial for your dog. The potential problem with this ingredient is that it may be linked to food allergies – if your dog isn’t allergic to yeast, however, it may not be a harmful addition to this Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula. In fact, some believe that brewer’s yeast is an ingredient that helps support the dog’s immune system and that it may help to repel fleas.
Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula is made with several high-quality sources of protein including fresh chicken, chicken meal, duck meal, and salmon meal. The fact that fresh chicken is listed first on the ingredients list can be deceiving because, once it is cooked, its meat content is much lower than the original weight would suggest. It is also worth noting that three carbohydrates are listed within the first five ingredients – though these ingredients are gluten-free, they only provide your dog with moderate nutritional value. It is also somewhat troubling to note that this formula is intended for both puppies and adult dogs. Growing puppies require a diet high in protein to fuel their growth and development – once they reach full size, their protein needs taper off a little bit. For some adult dogs, a diet too high in protein can be problematic. This dog food formula would be rated higher if it were properly formulated for one specific life stage.
This Natural Balance Whole Body Health Dry Dog Formula receives a paw rating of 3 out of 5, making this an average quality dog food. Though it contains several high-quality sources of protein, these ingredients are present in lesser quantities than three carbohydrates which provide only moderate nutritional value. It is also troubling that this formula is supposed to meet the needs of both puppies and adult dogs when dogs in these two life stages have very different nutritional needs.