Nutrition - 6/10
Ingredients - 4/10
Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe is an average quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average quantities of protein. Despite being above average, we consider the carbohydrate proportion of this dog food to be far above ideal and it should be lower to better reflect a dog’s natural diet. It contains a small number of high-quality ingredients including Chicken and Chicken Meal. The formula contains a number of low-quality grain ingredients including Brewers Rice and Soybean Meal. These ingredients provide poor nutrition including a large portion of plant-based protein. Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe contains a range of vegetables, grains but a single source of meat. This means it may not be suitable for dogs that suffer from severe allergies or sensitivities.
Chicken Is First Listed Ingredient
Contains Low-Quality Fillers Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion Low Level Of Omega Fatty Acids
A Full review of Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe by Vibrant Life
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 38% of Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe 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 this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and grain ingredients of this dog food. Ingredients such as Brewers Rice and Soybean Meal are considered low-quality sources of carbohydrates alongside other minor ingredients such as Wheat Mill Run. These will be discussed in more detail later on. This is considerably above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates and it should be lower to better reflect a dog’s 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 26% of Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe 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 level of protein for the average dog but will not be adequate for those who are more active. It appears to be sourced from the poultry ingredients present. Poultry such as Chicken are considered high-quality sources of protein and provide the full range of needed amino acids. Unfortunately, a large portion of this protein level is from the plant-based ingredients present such as Soybean Meal. 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 36% of Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe 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 poultry ingredients which are a high-quality source. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of the majority of dogs but perhaps not those who are extremely active. Sadly, this formula is very low in the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are known to provide a range of health benefits.
Overall Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe contains an average of 3,628 kcal/kg or 400 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 – Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe
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) – 26.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 16.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 12.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.3%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.2%
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.
- Chicken Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
- Brewers Rice
- Soybean Meal
- Wheat Mill Run
- Ground Wheat
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. Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe contains two sources of poultry.
The primary meat source present in this formula is Chicken. Chicken is the most common meat ingredient used in dog food and is considered a high-quality addition. Chicken can provide a plentiful supply of protein and fat. In addition to being an excellent protein source, Chicken has high levels of some vitamins such as Niacin and Vitamin B6. Whole Chicken contains a high concentration of water. This water will be evaporated during the cooking process leaving behind a lesser portion of Chicken. Given that Chicken is the first listed ingredient of this formula, there should be a significant portion remaining once its water content has been evaporated.
Another meat source present is Chicken Meal. Chicken 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. Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Brewers Rice consists of smaller fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from larger kernels during the milling process. Brewers Rice was originally used to brew alcohol. The ingredient is less aesthetically pleasing which is why it is used for alternative means instead of being used for human consumption. Brewer’s Rice provides a mix of carbohydrates and fiber. Whole Brown Rice is considered a superior ingredient to Brewers Rice.
Soybean Meal is a By-product of Soy and is high in plant-based protein. Soy, especially Soybean Meal is considered a low-quality addition to any dog food and is often included as it is very low-cost. Soy is high in Phytoestrogens and has been linked to bloat and high blood pressure. Also, Soy tends to contain higher levels of pesticides than other vegetables or grains used in dog food.
Despite being a grain, Brown Rice can provide some nutrition. Therefore it is considered one of the better grains. To add to this Brown Rice is far superior to White Rice which is heavily processed. Brown Rice can provide dietary fiber for healthy digestion and high levels of Magnese.
Wheat Mill Run, which can be best described as floor sweepings, is a low-quality ingredient and a negative addition to any dog food recipe. Wheat Mill Run consists of the hulls and other by-products expelled by the milling process which are then collected and sold as an ingredient to cheap low-quality dog food manufacturers rather than being thrown away. Wheat Mill Run has little nutritional value beyond some carbohydrate and fiber.
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.
Dried Beet Pulp is a by-product of sugar beet processing. It is added to pet food as a source of soluble fiber. This fiber helps absorb excess water in your pets digestive system, as well as promote healthy bowel movement and stool. Dried Beet Pulp does not contain any significant nutritional value.
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.
Ground Wheat, also known as flour, is a low-quality and inexpensive addition to dog food. It is a very dense source of carbohydrates and provides minimal nutrition beyond this. Wheat is a very common allergy to hypoallergenic dogs and can cause skin rashes and digestive problems.
Full Ingredient List – Vibrant Life Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe
Chicken, Brewers Rice, Soybean Meal, Chicken Meal (Source of Glucosamine), Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Wheat Mill Run, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp, Flaxseeds, Ground Wheat, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, (Folic Acid)), Citrix Acid (Preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), L Carnitine, Rosemary Extract.