The By Nature Active Defense 95% 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.
- By Nature 95% Chicken and Lamb [A]
- By Nature 95% Chicken and Chicken Liver [A]
- By Nature 95% Salmon and Turkey (3.5 stars) [A]
- By Nature 95% Tuna, Chicken and Chicken Liver (5 stars) [A]
By Nature 95% Chicken and Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, lamb, lamb liver, chicken broth, lamb broth, sweet potato, xanthan gum, agar-agar, potassium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, cassia gum, salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, carrots, apples, cranberries, broccoli, spinach, turmeric, fennel, blueberries, pomegranate, taurine, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, selenium yeast, folic acid, calcium iodate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.3%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
Dry Matter Basis
Calorie Weighted Basis
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 liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next two items include chicken and lamb broths. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is xanthan gum. This is a food additive used here as a thickener to create gravy-like consistency.
The ninth ingredient is agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, 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.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
By Nature Active Defense 95% Canned Dog Food The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, By Nature Active Defense 95% looks like an above-average canned 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 41%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% 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 55%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
By Nature Active Defense 95% is a meat-based canned 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.