Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 6/10
    6/10
  • Ingredients - 9/10
    9/10

Review Summary

Taste of the Wild’s Sierra Mountain is a high-quality dry dog food. It has an above average proportion of protein and fat and an average proportion of carbohydrate proportion. While being slightly above average, this is below what we would consider ideal nutrition and in particular, this formula could contain additional animal protein.

The formula makes use of a wide selection of high quality and nutritious ingredients including Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, and Peas. The Peas and Sweet Potatoes are high-quality sources of carbohydrates and fiber. While they might be high-quality they appear to be present in quantities that are too large.

The large range of ingredients in this formula may make it unsuitable for dogs with allergies and sensitivities. For those without issues, this formula is reasonable but there are more preferred recipes from Taste of the Wild which we consider superior.

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Pros

High-Quality Meat Ingredients

No Grains or By-products

Cons

Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion

Full review of Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food By Taste of the Wild

Sierra Mountain Canine Formula Packaging

Nutritional Analysis

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.

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Calorie Breakdown Chart

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 42% of Taste of the Wild’s Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food 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 average for a Dry Dog Food.

While the level of carbohydrates is average among dry dog foods, it is far too high. Dogs would not consume this level of carbohydrates in their natural diet. This carbohydrate content appears to be sourced from a mix of Sweet Potatoes and Peas. Sweet Potatoes, in particular, are very dense in carbohydrates. Despite this they are both considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates and far superior to alternatives such as grains.

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 25% of Taste of the Wild’s Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food 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 proportion of protein in this dog food slightly above average. This may not be an adequate level of protein for dogs who are more active. In addition, this poorly mimics a dog’s natural diet which would consist of a far higher level of protein.

The protein that is present is sourced from a range of lamb ingredients. Lamb is a high-quality source of protein and contains the 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 Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food 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.

This level of fat is satisfactory and should suffice for the majority of dogs. However, it could be higher and this would aid dogs who are overly active. The source of this fat is the lamb ingredients. Animal fats such as lamb fat are considered high-quality sources and are a natural part of a dogs diet.

Calorie Density

Calorie Density is essential to understand as it determines the portion size of food your dog will require per day or meal. Calorie Density is commonly measured in calories per kg or per cup.
Dog food formulas with high-calorie densities can be more cost efficient to purchase while recipes with lower calorie density can be advantageous to dogs attempting weight loss or who are relatively inactive.

Overall Taste of the Wild’s Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food contains an average of 3,611 kcal/kg or 338 kcal/cup.

Disclaimer

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 – Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food

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) – 25.00%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 15.00%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
  • 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) – 2.4%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.3%

Ingredient Analysis

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.

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Lamb
  • Lamb Meal
  • Roasted Lamb
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas

Low-Quality Ingredients

  • N/A

Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients

  • N/A

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 Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food contains three sources of meat or fish.

The primary meat source present is Lamb. Lamb is considered a high-quality source of protein. 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, 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 third 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.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Sweet Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates.  Sweet Potatoes are considered superior to traditional Potatoes as they contain more fiber and a more extensive range of vitamins and minerals. Some examples of vitamins and minerals that are abundant in Sweet Potatoes are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. The higher amount of fiber and the range of micronutrients in Sweet Potatoes mean that they are considered a high-quality ingredient despite containing mostly carbohydrates.

Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a dense source of complex carbohydrates. Also, Potatoes can provide fiber and a surprising number of minerals and vitamins such as Potassium, Copper and the Vitamin B6. Sadly, Potatoes are considered an average-quality ingredient as they provide minimal nutritional value beyond their carbohydrate content.

Peas are a member 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.

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 – Sierra Mountain Dry Dog Food

Lamb, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peas, egg product, canola oil, roasted lamb, tomato pomace, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), dried chicory root, taurine, 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.

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