The Ancestry product line includes seven 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.
- Ancestry Duck and Potato All Life Stages [A]
- Ancestry Lamb and Rice All Life Stages (3 stars) [A]
- Ancestry Venison and Pea All Life Stages (5 stars) [A]
- Ancestry Chicken and Rice All Life Stages (4 stars) [A]
- Ancestry Lamb and Sweet Potato All Life Stages (5 stars) [A]
- Ancestry Salmon and Sweet Potato All Life Stages (5 stars) [A]
- Ancestry Chicken and Sweet Potato All Life Stages (5 stars) [A]
Ancestry Duck and Potato recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck meal, potato, sweet potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, dried egg product, whole ground flaxseed, beet pulp, natural flavor, monocalcium-dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, sun-cured kelp meal, lecithin, fish oil, dried carrots, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, chamomile, dandelion, peppermint, dried tomato, rosemary, turmeric, salt, Yucca schidigera extract, calcium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, dl-methionine, niacin, calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, folic acid, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||18%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||37%||38%|
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 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 third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The fourth 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
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, fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Ancestry Dog Food The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Ancestry 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 30%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Ancestry is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats 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.