If you knew how many dogs had food allergies you’d probably be surprised. Science Plan NO GRAIN is one of the
costly options for saving your dog from allergies.
Let’s take a look and figure out (1) if it’s any good, and (2) the real reason it’s good for allergies.
The first ingredient is Chicken (23%) and Turkey Meal. When it comes to a healthy dog diet it’s meat protein which is king, so seeing meat as the main ingredient is what we want to see. But (and there’s a but) chicken is listed first because it’s weighed prior to cooking into a moisture-less kibble. Chicken is 70 to 80% water which makes it less significant once cooked, often making the 2nd and 3rd ingredients more significant. So despite saying 23% chicken (which isn’t really that much), once cooked it’s much less than 23%.
It’s interesting to see they’ve combined turkey meal into the main ingredient, which means there doesn’t need to be much of it in the food. Meat in a “meal” form is a powder with moisture already removed.
The second ingredient is dried peas. Note that this ingredient is weighed already dried, unlike the chicken. This is clever (read: cunning). Once cooked it’s very likely peas amount to the majority of the food and will form a large proportion of the 24.1% protein. Peas, despite being a reasonable ingredient, shouldn’t be fed in excess over an extended period (good article here).
The 3rd and 4th ingredients are actually the same – potato starch and potato. This is also clever (read: cunning), a labelling trick known as “splitting”. Once cooked, a more accurate portrayal of the ingredients could be potato, peas, chicken. Potatoes are carbohydrates, and the food is approx. 48% carbohydrates after all.
Animal fat is ambiguous, as is digest (a product from meat rendering). It would be nice to know what animals, or why they don’t disclose the source.
Overall it’s not a bad food, but what appears to be a meat-based food is more likely potato and peas.
So why is it good for allergies? The reason is simple – no allergenic grains. Most dogs suffer food allergies eating foods containing grains, particularly wheat, and especially if they’ve been eating the same food for a long period of time. If your dog has symptoms such as itchy skin, switching to any decent quality grain free food would likely help, even if they don’t have the Hill’s Premium Price Tag.
Chicken (23%) and turkey meal, dried peas, potato starch, dried potato, animal fat, digest, soybean oil, dried beet pulp, flaxseed, minerals, vitamins, trace elements, taurine and beta-carotene. With a natural antioxidant (mixed tocopherols).