The AvoDerm Natural product line includes seven 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 Original Formula [A]
- AvoDerm Chicken and Rice [A]
- AvoDerm Lamb and Rice (3 stars [A])
- AvoDerm Natural Vegetarian Formula Adult (2 Stars) [M]
- AvoDerm Salmon and Wild Rice Stew (4.5 stars) [M]
- AvoDerm Weight Control Chicken and Rice (2 stars) [M]
- AvoDerm Puppy Chicken and Rice Formula (4.5 stars) [A]
AvoDerm Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, ocean fish, rice, peas, carrots, potatoes, flax seed, guar gum, blueberries, cranberries, dried kelp, lecithin, avocado meal, avocado oil, potassium chloride, salt, carrageenan, 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, A, B12, D3 supplements, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement), choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||32%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||56%||17%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is ocean fish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.2
Unfortunately, the phrase “ocean fish” is vague and does little to adequately describe this ingredient. Since some fish are higher in omega-3 fats than others, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this item.
In any case, fish meat is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fifth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth 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.
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, 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, we note the inclusion of avocado meal and avocado oil, both of which 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.3
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.
In addition, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, this food also 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 Natural Canned Dog Food The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Natural looks like an above-average canned dog food.
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 36%, a fat level of 32% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.
As a group, excluding the Vegetarian Formula, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 29% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 76%.
Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned 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 moderate amount of meat.
However, with 56% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 27% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
AvoDerm Natural is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of various named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.