Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 7/10
Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest is a high-quality dry dog food. It has significantly above average protein and fat proportion and a significantly below average carbohydrate proportion. While above average, ideally, this formula could contain more protein and fewer carbohydrates.
It contains a small range high-quality meat ingredients including Buffalo, Lamb Meal, and Venison. In addition, it contains Peas and Sweet Potatoes which are both high-quality sources of carbohydrates and fiber.
The large range of meat and vegetable ingredients may make this formula unsuitable for dogs who suffer from serious dietary sensitivities or allergies.
High-Quality Meat Ingredients
Contains Vegetable By-products
Full review of Pine Forest By Taste of the Wild
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 40% of Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest 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 proportion of carbohydrates in Pine Forest Formula is above what we would consider ideal. It should be considerably lower to better reflect a dog’s natural diet. However, this carbohydrate content is from a range of legumes which are considered high-quality sources.
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 27% of Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest 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.
The protein proportion in Pine Forest Formula is satisfactory for the average dog. However, dogs who live very active lifestyles might benefit from a higher protein level than this. The source of this protein is a mix of Venison and Lamb ingredients. These are both considered high-quality sources and can provide a dog with a full range of amino acids.
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 33% of Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest 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 above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This fat level is satisfactory and should be sufficient for the majority of dogs. However, it could certainly be higher which would better reflect a dog’s natural diet and reduce the overall proportion of carbohydrates. This fat is sourced from the Venison and Lamb ingredients present which are both great sources of animal fat.
Overall Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest contains an average of 3,600 kcal/kg or 337 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 – Taste of the Wild – Pine Forest
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) – 28.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.50%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Zinc (Min) – 150 mg/kg
- Selenium (Min) – 0.35 mg/kg
- Vitamin E (Min) – 150 IU/kg
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.8%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.3%
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
- Garbanzo Beans
- Pea Protein
- Pea Flour
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. Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest contains three sources of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Venison. Venison is considered a high-quality source of protein. Venison has lower levels of saturated fat than other red meats. It also contains a similar range of vitamins and minerals such as Iron and Vitamin B6. Unfortunately, Venison does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Venison. However given that Venison 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.
Ocean Fish Meal is considered an average quality source of fish. It is a concentrated form of fish that has already had most of its moisture removed. Ocean Fish Meal is likely to have a relatively high protein content which is ideal for a dog’s diet. Unfortunately Ocean Fish is a vague description. For this reason, it’s difficult to gauge exactly what fish the meal is made of. In addition, this makes it difficult to gauge the quantities of fish oils such as Omega 3 and Omega 6.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Taste of the Wild’s Pine Forest contains Peas, Lentils and Garbanzo Beans (also known as chickpeas). These are all 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.
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.
Pea Flour is a by-product of Peas. Pea Flour is considered a low-quality ingredient. Pea Flour is similar to Pea Protein but also contains a considerable proportion of carbohydrates. Pea Flour is often used as a cheap filler and the carbohydrates and plant-based protein it provides are inferior to the nutrition other whole ingredients can provide. Pea Flour is an ingredient commonly used in a technique called Ingredient Splitting.
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.
Canola Oil is derived from a modified version of Rapeseed. Canola Oil is most commonly added to dog food to supplement the levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids. These Fatty Acids are crucial for a dogs skin, coat and brain development. While Canola Oil is not the ideal source of the Omega Fatty Acids, it does have a high ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Sources with high ratios, such as Canola Oil, are considered superior. However, Canola Oil can be a controversial ingredient due to the fact it is genetically modified.
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.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Taste of the Wild – Pine Forest
Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils, pea protein, pea flour, egg product, canola oil, fava beans, tomato pomace, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.