The AvoDerm Grain Free product line includes four canned 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.
- AvoDerm Grain Free Beef and Potato Stew# [A]
- AvoDerm Grain Free Turkey and Vegetable Stew [A]
- AvoDerm Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable Stew [A]
- AvoDerm Grain Free Salmon and Potato Stew (4.5 stars) [A]
AvoDerm Grain Free Beef and Potato Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef broth, beef, beef liver, peas, potatoes, carrots, dried egg whites, potato starch, natural flavor, guar gum, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, flaxseed, salt, sodium phosphate, avocado oil, cranberries, blueberries, avocado meal, potassium chloride, minerals (iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement), choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||25%||23%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||48%||18%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The second ingredient is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient lists dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
The eighth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower 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.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
Next, 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.
In addition, we note that this product contains avocado oil and avocado meal. Avocado products can be somewhat controversial.
Supporters claim the ingredient to be nutrient rich and beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat — while others worry over what are mostly unsubstantiated concerns over potential toxicity.
These fears appear to originate from a 1984 study in which goats (not dogs) consumed the leaves (not the fruit) of the Guatemalan (not the Mexican) avocado and became ill.2
Based upon our own review of the literature, it is our opinion that the anxiety over avocado ingredients in dog food appears to be unjustified.
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.
AvoDerm Grain Free Canned Dog Food The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Grain Free looks like an above-average wet 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 44%, a fat level of 25% and estimated carbohydrates of about 23%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
AvoDerm Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.