The Chicken Soup for the Soul product line includes three canned recipes.
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.
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult [U]
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Puppy (4.5 stars) [U]
- Chicken Soup for the Soul Mature (3.5 stars) [U]
Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, turkey, chicken broth, turkey broth, duck, salmon, chicken liver, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, carrots, flaxseed, peas, potatoes, ground barley, dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, cassia gum, xanthan gum, apples, cranberries, dried kelp, inulin, vitamins (thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide), Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, parsley
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||25%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||48%||24%|
The first two ingredients in this dog food are chicken and turkey. Poultry is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses”.1
Poultry is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next two ingredients are chicken broth and turkey broth. 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 fifth ingredient is duck, another quality raw item.
The sixth ingredient is salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The seventh ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The eighth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The ninth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
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 find 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.
In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Chicken Soup for the Soul 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 25% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of chicken as its main source 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.