Nutrition - 9/10
Ingredients - 8/10
Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average quantities of protein and fat. Despite being above average, we consider the carbohydrate proportion of this dog food to be above ideal and it should be lower to better reflect a dog’s natural diet. The formula contains a range of high-quality ingredients including Lamb and Lamb Meal. It contains also contains Peas and Chickpeas which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. In addition to their carbohydrate content, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea contains a range of vegetables and three different sources of meat. Due to this, it may not be suitable for dogs that suffer from severe allergies or sensitivities. But for those without severe allergies, it is a high-quality yet affordable recipe.
Satisfactory Nutrition High-Quality Meat Ingredients No Grains
Contains Pea By-products Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
A Full review of Lamb and Chickpea by Nutrisca
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 32% of Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The majority of the carbohydrate content of this formula appears to be from the vegetable and starch ingredients of this dog food. Vegetables such as Peas and Chickpeas are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. These will be discussed in more detail later on. This proportion is above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates for dogs, and it should be lower to better reflect their natural diet.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 29% of Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This recipe contains a satisfactory proportion of protein for the average dog but will not be adequate for those who are very active. The protein appears to be sourced from the Lamb and fish ingredients present. Lamb and fish are considered high-quality sources of protein and provide the full range of needed amino acids. Unfortunately, a minority of this protein level is from the vegetable content. Plant-based proteins are not as beneficial as animal-based protein.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 39% of Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea calories are derived from fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the fish and lamb ingredients which are high-quality sources. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of almost all dogs including those who are more active. This formula has a satisfactory level of the Omega Fatty Acids which are known to provide a range of health benefits.
Overall Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea contains an average of 3,720 kcal/kg or 395 kcal/cup
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 30.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 18.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 7.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.7%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.8%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Lamb Meal
- Pea Starch
- Pea Protein
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea contains three sources of meat.
The primary meat source present is Lamb. Lamb is considered a high-quality source of protein. Just like Beef, lamb is rich in iron. In addition to this, it has higher levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other red meats and high levels of Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, just like Beef and Pork, Lamb contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Lamb. However given that Lamb is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
The secondary meat source present is Lamb Meal. Lamb Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Lamb Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Lamb but in higher concentrations. This includes Vitamin B12 and high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
Another fish source present is Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden Fish Meal is considered an average-quality source of fish. Menhaden Fish are small oily fish that are not fit for human consumption. The oil is removed from these fish, and the leftover flesh is turned into fish meal. This fish meal is high in protein. Unfortunately, as most of the oil has been removed Menhaden Fish Meal is not high in the beneficial Omega Fatty Acids like other fish.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea contains Peas and Chickpeas. These are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
Flaxseed is a beneficial ingredient that is commonplace in higher quality dog food. Flaxseed contains high levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which provide a range of health benefits such as healthier skin and fur and improved cognitive function. Also, Flaxseed contains high levels of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Finally, Flaxseed provides Lignans which can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.
Pea Protein is a by-product of Peas. Pea Protein is considered a low-quality ingredient. It is often used as a cheap way to increase the overall level of protein in a dog food without including additional meat or fish content. While the protein in Pea Protein is not harmful, plant-based proteins such as this are considered inferior to meat and fish-based proteins as they do not contain the full range of needed amino acids. Pea Protein is one of the most common ingredients used in a technique called Ingredient Splitting.
Salmon Oil is a reliable source of the Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids. In fact, Salmon Oil is particularly high in the Omega 3 Fatty Acid which is considered to be the more beneficial of the two. The Omega Fatty Acids are essential for an extensive range of reasons. They can help maintain a dogs skin and coat, they can reduce inflammation and they can help fight heart disease. The full list of potential benefits of the Omega Fatty Acids is far too numerous to list.
A noteworthy ingredient present in this formula is Tomato Pomace. Tomato Pomace is made up of tomato skin, seeds, and pulp. Its most beneficial feature is that it contains very high levels of soluble fiber which can aid and regulate digestion. Those high levels of fiber are the primary motivation behind this ingredients inclusion in most formulas as Tomato Pomace has little nutritional value.
Alfalfa is a flowering plant that is closely related to Peas and other legumes. Alfalfa has a long history of use in livestock feed and as a supplement for humans. It has a similar proportion of protein to other legumes which means it can contribute to a minor sum if there is a sufficient quantity used. Alfalfa’s greatest strength is the vast range of vitamins and minerals it provides including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Potassium, and Calcium. Find out more about Alfalfa in our article Alfalfa In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea
Lamb, Lamb Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Flaxseeds, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Starch, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Pea Protein, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil (Source Of DHA), Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Carrots, Dried Cranberries, Dried Apricots, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Rosemary Extract. Guaranteed Analysis: Supplement, Folic Acid.