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Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe is a high-priced dog food with good quality. This product has no controversial ingredients - including zero artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. While it does have relatively high carbs, making it less nutritionally balanced, the protein and fat are mostly from high-quality sources. Also on a positive note, Tender & True has a below-average number of recalls and was overall quite transparent when answering our questions.Read the Full Review Below
This food has a fair amount of protein fat but is somewhat high in carbs, which is lowering the fat content slightly and 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, 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 28.89%
Min. Fat 17.78%%
Min. Carbs 45.56%
Max. Fiber 7.78%
Max. Ash 7.78%
Max. Moisture 0%
Min. Protein: 26.0%
Min Fat: 16.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 7.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 10.0%
350 Calories per Cup
This product has a somewhat low amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Lower calorie foods like this can be for weight loss or less active dogs who require fewer 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
Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Tapioca Starch, Organic Dried Pea, Organic Chickpea, Organic Flaxseed Meal, Organic Potato Flour, Organic Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Organic Pea Flour, Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Liver Digest Meal, Menhaden Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Choline Chloride, Salt, Natural Mixed Tocopherols, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Manganese Proteinate, Inositol, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Zinc Oxide, Iron Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Copper sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Citric Acid (Preservative), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 1 controversial ingredient, see more below.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at a dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
This food is made in the USA. That’s great because high quality and food safety standards need to be followed.
Meat & Fat Quality
This food includes these meats and added fats: Organic Chicken, Organic Chicken Meal, Organic Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Organic Chicken Liver, Organic Liver Digest Meal, and Menhaden Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols). Almost all of these very transparently show the animals they are made of, that’s great. However, Organic Liver Digest Meal misses the mark and doesn’t label where it comes from.
Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe contains 0 controversial artificial preservatives. It’s important to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.
No artificial colors, either. Absolutely excellent!
Last but not least, this product manages to shine by also not using any artificial flavors. No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors is exactly what you want to look for in dog food. Well done!
Tender & True has a below-average number of dog food recalls.
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?
Tender and True initially provided a quick but incomplete response. With a follow-up email, they were able to provide some very good information but did leave a few questions unanswered.
Does Tender & True have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
Tom R. Willard, PhD
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
Tom R. Willard, Phd: Received a BS in Animal Science (AS) in 1967 and my MS in AS and Statistics in 1972. I finished my PhD in 1974 with a major in Biochemistry with emphasis in protein and mineral metabolism from North Carolina State University. My first employment was with Campbell Soup Co. where I formulated their first dry dog food. I also developed many prototype canned dog foods. Campbell Soup never had cat foods. I was VP of Technical Services for the Iams Company for a number of years in Dayton OH in the mid ‘80’s.
I have been in the pet food industry for 45 years, and am one of the 3-person panel who reviews all of the Pet Food Forum’s research papers for the 4 Forums around the world. I have spoken at the US Forum a number of times on nutrition, ingredients, formulations, animal care, and quality assurance protocol. I have consulted for manufacturers in the US, CA, the UK, Germany, the Chez Republic, Japan, China, Brazil, and Chile.
Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
We do analytical analysis on all of our foods at the plant and again check samples at several independent laboratories. We conduct our animal studies at an independent animal facility for palatability, stool quality and digestibility. We also do urine pH on our cat foods. We also do some in-home testing but not of a statistical basis. As well, we do comparative studies against some of the market leaders. All of our diets meet the 2018 AAFCO Nutritional Guidelines for both lines of dog and cat foods.
What country are your products manufactured?
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
This question was unanswered.
What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
All of our ingredient purchases is controlled 100% by our company, which has been in the meat industry for over 30 years. We buy only antibiotic free (ABF) or organic (O) meats from the human food supply chain as well as Marine Sustainable (MSC) sources for all of our fish-based products.
Does Tender & True own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
No. CJ Foods.
Do any parts of your product come from China?
This question was unanswered.
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.