The Dave’s Delectable Dinners 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.
- Dave’s Delectable Dinners Stewie Stew [A]
- Dave’s Delectable Dinners Lamb and Wild Rice Stew [A]
- Dave’s Delectable Dinners Chicken and Wild Rice Stew [A]
- Dave’s Delectable Dinners Lamb and Veggie (4.5 stars) [A]
Dave’s Delectable Dinners Lamb and Wild Rice Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb broth, lamb, lamb liver, potatoes, wild rice, egg product, carrots, peas, green beans, natural flavor, red peppers, guar gum, sunflower oil, oat fiber, pea fiber, brewers dried yeast, sodium phosphate, tricalcium phosphate, garlic, flaxseed oil, calcium carbonate, parsley, salt, inulin, dried kelp, menhaden fish oil, sodium carbonate, potassium chloride, oregano, rosemary, dried cranberries, dried apples, dried blueberries, Yucca schidigera extract, iron proteinate (a source of chelated iron), zinc proteinate (a source of chelated cobalt), copper proteinate (a source of chelated copper), manganese proteinate (a source of chelated manganese), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||28%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||51%||15%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb 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 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 third ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes wild rice. Wild rice is 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 sixth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) 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 includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient lists green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
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 six notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
Next, pea fiber is a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
In addition, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
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, 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.
Dave’s Delectable Dinners Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dave’s Delectable Dinners 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 44%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Dave’s Delectable Dinners is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of lamb, beef or chicken 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.
Those looking for a quality kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Dave’s dry dog food.