Review of Dr. Pol Dog Food
Dr. Pol Dog Food earns The Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Dr. Pol product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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Dr. Pol Recipe and Label Analysis
Dr. Pol Healthy Balance Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Dr. Pol Healthy Balance Chicken Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Protein = 28% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 51%
Ingredients: Chicken, peas, brown rice, pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pumpkin, carrots, spinach, whole flaxseed, salt, potassium chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, chicory, glucosamine hydrochloride, taurine, chondroitin sulfate, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, ferrous sulfate, zinc methionine complex, zinc sulfate, manganese methionine complex, manganese sulfate, copper lysine complex, copper sulfate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, cobalt glucoheptonate, cobalt carbonate, mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
Protein = 25% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 46%
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient lists carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score of 91.
The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
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 Dr. Pol product.
With 3 notable exceptions…
First, we find taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.
And lastly, 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Dr. Pol Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this still looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Dr. Pol Dog Food
Dr. Pol is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars. The Salmon and High Energy formulas get 4 stars.
Has Dr. Pol Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Dr. Pol.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
05/13/2021 Last Update