Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 8/10
Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon is a high-quality dry dog food formula. It has an above average proportion of protein and fat and a below average carbohydrate proportion. Despite this, its nutrient profile is still below what we consider ideal for a dogs diet and should contain a smaller carbohydrate proportion.
The formula contains a range of high quality and nutritious ingredients including red meat ingredients such as Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Venison. It also contains Peas and Sweet Potatoes. These are high-quality sources of carbohydrates and provide much-needed fiber.
Southwest Canyon Canine Formula contains a range of meat and vegetable ingredients. For this reason, it may be unsuitable for dogs that suffer from severe dietary allergies and sensitivities.
High-Quality Meat and Vegetable Ingredients
Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
Low Level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Contains Pea Flour
A Full review of Southwest Canyon Canine Formula 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 39% of Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon 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 below average for a Dry Dog Food.
While the carbohydrate proportion of this formula may be below average, it is still above what we would consider ideal. A lower proportion of carbohydrates would more accurately mimic a dog’s natural diet. The source of this carbohydrate content is a mix of Peas and Chickpeas. These are both considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates and will be discussed later. Sadly, some of the carbohydrate content of this formula is from by-products like Pea Flour.
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 28% of Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon 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.
This is a satisfactory proportion of protein and should be sufficient for the majority of dogs. However, this proportion may not be sufficient for dogs who are more active. This protein is sourced from a range of red meat ingredients such as Beef, Lamb, and Wild Boar. Red meat such as this is considered a high-quality source of protein and contains all the needed amino acids. A minority of this protein proportion is from the vegetable ingredients of this formula such as Peas. Plant-based protein is considered inferior to 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 33% of Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon 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 above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This is a satisfactory proportion of fat and should be sufficient to for fill the energy needs of most dogs. However, dogs who are very active may need additional fat in their diet to fuel their activity. This fat is sourced from the same red meat ingredients as the protein content. Red meat such as Beef is a dog’s natural source of fat. The level of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in this formula is disappointing.
Overall Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon Dry Dog Food contains an average of 3,600 kcal/kg or 360 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 – Southwest Canyon Canine Formula
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) – 29.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 15.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Zinc (Min) – 150 mg/kg
- Selenium (Min) – 0.35 mg/kg
- Vitamin E (Min) – 175 IU/kg
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.4%
- 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
- Wild Boar
- Garbanzo Beans
- 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 Southwest Canyon Canine Formula contains three sources of meat or fish.
The Primary meat source present is Beef. Beef is a considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition, Beef contains vitamins such as Iron and Zinc. Unfortunately Beef does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Beef. However given that Beef is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
The secondary meat source 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.
Wild Boar is considered a high-quality source of meat. Unfortunately, Boar contains a large amount of water. This moisture will be evaporated during the cooking process leaving a smaller amount of Boar.
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. 6.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Peas and Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) 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.
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.
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.
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 – Southwest Canyon Canine Formula
Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil, egg product, wild boar, ocean fish meal, pea flour, brewers yeast, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavor, 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.