Disclosure: When you buy through links on this site, we may earn a commission.
Disclosure: Watchdog Labs is free to use. When you buy through links on this site, we may earn a commission.
Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy with Real Lamb is a low-priced dog food that is overall a lower quality. This product has 11 controversial ingredients, which includes artificial colors and flavors. The food has a high amount of carbs, compared to its protein and fat content with relatively low meat and fat quality. Nestlé Purina, which owns the Dog Chow brand, has more than the average number of recalls. But on a good note, they were overall pretty transparent when answering our questions.Read the Full Review Below
This food is high in carbs, which is lowering the protein and fat content, making it less nutritionally balanced compared to other dog foods we evaluated. Carbohydrates are cheap so they keep the food’s cost low. They are nutritionally useful to dogs in the right amounts, however, very high amounts of carbs can reduce the much-needed meat-based protein and fat content.
To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more
Min. Protein 24.42%
Min. Fat 11.63%
Min. Carbs 55.81%
Max. Fiber 4.65%
Max. Ash 8.14%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 21.0%
Min Fat: 10.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 4.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 14%
368 Calories per Cup
This product has an average amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Average calorie foods like this are typically best for fairly active dogs who need a moderate amount of daily calories. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.
Grain-Free Dog Foods
This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.Learn More
Whole Grain Corn, Whole Grain Wheat, Meat And Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Fat Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Lamb, Egg And Chicken Flavor, Glycerin, Ground Rice, Sugar, Poultry And Pork Digest, Salt, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Choline Chloride, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Biotin (Vitamin B-7)], Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2, Garlic Oil.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 11 total controversial ingredients and a surprising 5 of them are found in the first five ingredients. This is a concern because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the food.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy is made in the USA.
Meat & Fat Quality
The meat quality of this product is questionable. It includes Meat And Bone Meal, plus Poultry And Pork Digest. Both of these include unnamed meat sources that make it tough to understand the quality of the ingredients. The included fat Beef Fat is different, because it clearly names the animal it comes from.
This product contains no controversial preservatives, that’s fantastic.
While it scores high on preservatives, Dog Chow Tender & Crunchy scores low for artificial colors. The food includes three of them, called Blue 2, Red 40 and Yellow 5.
Another ingredient of concern is “Egg And Chicken Flavor,” which is an artificial flavor that’s both unnecessary to add and potentially unhealthy.
Purina has an above average number of recalls. Let’s take a look at it’s recent recall history:
We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.
How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?
Dog Chow is owned by the multinational company Nestlé Purina. It required two emails over 2 weeks to get the answers below. Like most large companies, many of the customer service answers will read like well crafted marketing messages.
Does Dog Chow (Nestlé Purina) have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
At Nestlé Purina, we have over 500 nutritionists, veterinarians and scientists who work daily to formulate and make quality changes to our products. We also staff quality control specialists at all of our manufacturing plants that run over 100 quality and safety checks during the manufacturing of our formulas.
This lengthy answer did not answer the specific question that was asked. In addition, the names of the professionals could not be provided.
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
(see the previous answers)
Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
All of our products are manufactured following stringent guidelines approved by the USDA and AAFCO, and our Purina® Pro Plan® brand Pet Food products have undergone the AAFCO feeding studies for quality, safety, digestibility and palatability.
Since this representative is responding on behalf of a family of brands, they have referenced a few of the other brands that do the feeding trials. The AAFCO Statement found on the packaging says it was formulated to meet the nutritional profile, which means it has not undergone the AAFCO feeding trials.
What country are your products manufactured?
The vast majority of our products are manufactured in the US, at Nestlé Purina owned facilities, with ingredients sourced from the US as well.
Vast majority does not mean “all” which is less clear than it could have been.
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
Unfortunately, we do not offer public access to our manufacturing plants at this time, and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
We also staff quality control specialists at all of our manufacturing plants that run over 100 quality and safety checks during the manufacturing of our formulas.
This is good, but not as not as clear as it could be.
Does Dog Chow (Nestlé Purina) own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
Do any parts of your product come from China?
A very small number of ingredients are sourced from China, however, these are mainly vitamins and minerals, such as taurine and Vitamin B12, that are not readily available in the US in the quantities we need.
Sourcing quality ingredients at scale is a significant challenge that many large companies will cite. This means that companies like Nestlé who are supplying massive distribution channels will often use a variety of sourcing options, including China.
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.