The American Natural Premium Grain Free product line lists three dry dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage:
Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- American Natural Premium Grain Free Pork Meal (4 stars) [U]
- American Natural Premium Grain Free Ocean Fish Meal and Potato [U]
- American Natural Premium Grain Free Duck Meal and Pork Meal Recipe [U]
American Natural Premium Grain Free Duck Meal and Pork Meal Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck meal, peas, potatoes, pea flour, pork meat meall, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), safflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, vegetable broth, flaxseed, potassium chloride, carrots, celery, parsley, lettuce, spinach, salt, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, sodium selenite, folic acid, vitamins [vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, choline bitartrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin], minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, copper sulfate, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, sorbic acid (preservative), ferrous proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, magnesium proteinate, cobalt proteinate], dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||19%||42%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||39%||35%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.
The second ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The third ingredient 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 fourth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient includes pork meat meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The sixth ingredient is salmon oil. Salmon 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, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
The seventh ingredient is safflower oil, which is nutritionally similar to sunflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Safflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
The eighth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
The ninth ingredient is vegetable broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
And lastly, 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.
American Natural Premium Grain Free Dog Food The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, American Natural Premium Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea flour and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
American Natural Premium Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.