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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition

chicken soup dog food review

Unless you live under a rock, you are probably familiar with the Chicken Soup for the Soul line of books. Each book follows a particular theme and is filled with heart-warming stories submitted by readers.

Because the Chicken Soup brand makes it their goal to touch the hearts of people, it should come as no surprise that they are also making an effort to appeal to pet owners as well.

The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand was founded in 1993 by Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield and it eventually expanded into the pet industry with a line of foods for dogs and cats.

Chicken Soup dog food offers a variety of products including classic and grain-free formulas, both dry foods and wet foods – they also offer a selection of dog treats.

According to the company website, Chicken Soup understands the special bond between pets and their people which is why they make every effort to create quality products.

Chicken Soup also partners with local animal shelters to nourish pets in need and to help them find their new forever homes.

WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST US

Whether you are completely new to dog ownership or you already have many years of experience under your belt, you have come to the right place. Here at DogFood.Guide we are dedicated to providing dog owners like you with the information you need to be the best dog owner you can be.

DogFood.Guide is maintained by Mary Nielsen, an animal lover of both dogs and cats. Mary has been passionate about animals all her life and works hard to provide you with a wealth of information about training and caring for your dog.

Best of all, Mary is always available to answer questions and you will find that the library of articles posted on DogFood.Guide grows continuously in response to your questions and suggestions.

Who Makes Chicken Soup Dog Food?

The Chicken Soup line of dog food is part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand which started as a series of anthologies made up of heart-warming true tales.

The brand eventually grew to include a line of pet food products for both dogs and cats. Chicken Soup pet food products were previously manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the United States. As of the moment, we do not have information who their current manufacturer is.

Chicken Soup Dog Food Reviews

The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand released their first line of wholesome pet foods over a decade ago. The company claims to follow a holistic approach to pet nutrition, using only the finest ingredients such as real meat, fresh fruits, and wholesome vegetables.

IMAGE PRODUCT  
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 1
Chicken Soup for the Soul Chicken, Turkey, & Brown Rice Recipe
  • Adult diet with real chicken and turkey
  • Contains no wheat, corn or soy
  • Builds immune health with antioxidants & superfoods
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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 2
Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain-Free Lamb & Pea Recipe
  • Real lamb is the number one ingredient
  • No artificial colors, preservatives or flavors
  • Appropriate for paw-tners of all breeds and all life stages
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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 3
Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Pate Chicken, Turkey & Duck
  • Real chicken and turkey as the first two ingredients
  • Blended with duck and salmon for a savory taste
  • Formulated without artificial colors, preservatives or flavors
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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 4
Chicken Soup for the Soul Beef & Legumes Recipe Stew
  • Beef is the first ingredient
  • Stew made from quality, simple ingredients
  • Grain-free formula is ideal for dogs with dietary sensitivities
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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 5
Chicken Soup for the Soul Savory Snacks Lamb
  • Easy-to-break biscuits made with real lamb
  • Contain no wheat, corn or soy
  • Heart-shaped treats that contain only 8 calories
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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 6
Chicken Soup for the Soul Crunchy Bites Bacon & Cheese
  • Heart-shaped treats that contain only 6 calories
  • Easy-to-break biscuits made with real bacon and cheese
  • Formulated without artificial colors, preservatives or flavors
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Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 7
Chicken Soup for the Soul Savory Sticks Real Duck
  • Crafted with real duck as the #1 ingredient
  • 100% free from by-product meals
  • Made without corn, wheat or soy
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Chicken Soup states that their pet foods “promote overall health and well-being for dogs and cats” and that they are free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as artificial additives. Chicken Soup offers two lines of dog food products, All Life Stages and Grain-Free, both of which are marketed as wholesome sources of quality nutrition.

  1. Chicken Soup for the Soul Chicken, Turkey, & Brown Rice Recipe
  2. Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain-Free Lamb & Pea Recipe
  3. Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Pate Chicken, Turkey & Duck
  4. Chicken Soup for the Soul Beef & Legumes Recipe Stew
  5. Chicken Soup for the Soul Savory Snacks Lamb
  6. Chicken Soup for the Soul Crunchy Bites Bacon & Cheese
  7. Chicken Soup for the Soul Savory Sticks Real Duck

A quick review of the ingredients lists for several Chicken Soup products reveals a mixed bag of ingredients – mostly high-quality proteins, digestible carbohydrates and healthy fats with a few ingredients thrown in that some might consider questionable.

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Chicken Soup for The Soul Dry Dog Food

Chicken Soup for The Soul’s dry dog food recipes are divided into two categories: Classic and Grain-Free. The Classic category features healthy grains alongside premium meat ingredients, while the Grain-Free sub-range instead uses healthy alternatives to grains to give canines a complete and balanced meal.

Classic

Chicken Soup for The Soul’s Classic line has specific recipes catering to various kinds of canines, from puppies to seniors and from small breeds to large ones. Classic also has a weight control formulation (Weight Care) designed to help dogs maintain a lean and healthy body.

For this section, let’s just review the Adult formula that’s crafted to suit all breeds.

1. Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Chicken, Turkey, & Brown Rice Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 8
Contains real chicken and turkey as the first two ingredients to maintain lean muscles. It helps build immune health with antioxidants and superfoods like apples, blueberries and spinach.

This adult diet combines premium protein with powerful antioxidants and superfoods to promote lifelong health by making the muscles leaner and the immune system stronger. A dose of high-quality fiber aids in the promotion of a healthy digestive system.

But let’s break things down a bit to better examine this formulation.

Most good dog food recipes start with one or two quality meat ingredients, but in this one, there are FOUR consecutive meat products. There’s chicken followed by turkey, chicken meal, and turkey meal.

If you’re not familiar with the term meal, well, it's just meat that has had most of its water removed. Meals are great for adding protein to a food because they are denser in nutrients than fresh meat.

(Pro tip: Not all meals are created equal. When looking for quality dog food, check if the specific animal is named when you see the term ‘meal.’ For example, it should read chicken meal or turkey meal. If the label only reads ‘meat meal,’ then you’d be getting a subpar product.)

And if the four ingredients mentioned above are not enough, further down the list are more kinds of meat such as salmon and duck. Voracious meat-loving canines will surely get their fix from a bowl of this.

A well-balanced diet for pups means the inclusion of carbohydrates. In here, we’ve got a few in the form of beans and grains, such as barley, peas, brown rice, oatmeal, white rice, and faba beans.

Carbohydrates are essential to dogs’ bodies because these maintain and refill their glycogen stores. Glycogen supplies fuel to cells and can provide energy to the heart.

Of the grains and beans mentioned above, most are complex carbohydrates with the exclusion of white rice. See, there are two kinds of carbs. Simple and complex. The complex ones are packed with more nutrients and fiber. They also aid in managing blood sugar spikes (after meals) in diabetic dogs and they digest slower, which makes them ideal for weight control.

Aside from meat, carbs, and fiber, dogs also need plenty of antioxidants. This is where the superfoods come in. You can find apples, tomatoes, spinach, blueberries, carrots, and cranberries in the list.

Since dogs are omnivores, they’re perfectly suited to eating fruits and veggies. These foods contain the necessary nutrients that can help them fight off disease and maintain good health.The middle to the bottom of the ingredients list is mostly vitamin and mineral content plus prebiotics for a healthy digestion.

Why are prebiotics important? They’re quite essential to any diet because they help break down food faster and the more food that is broken down before it is eliminated as waste, the more nutrients your canine’s body can absorb.

Let’s check the guaranteed analysis for this recipe:

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  • Crude Protein (Min) – 25.0%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 13.0%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10.0%
  • Zinc (Min) – 100 mg/kg
  • Selenium (Min) – 0.35 mg/kg
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 125 IU/kg
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.0%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.3%
  • Calorie Content – 3,605 kcal/kg, 355 kcal/cup

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dry Food Rating: 5/5 stars

As you can see from the analysis breakdown above, the protein content is at a nice level. The fiber, fat, and moisture are also at ideal levels. We’re also quite happy with the omega 3 and 6 fatty acid content because these two are critical in maintaining healthy skin and fur in our pups.

Even without looking at the nutrient analysis, it can be gleaned that this is a good choice for adult dogs with its array of choice ingredients. The holistic blend of meat, fruits and veggies, and grains make for a complete and balanced nourishment for dogs.

Grain-Free

The Grain-Free range of dry dog food recipes by Chicken Soup for The Soul is available in several different flavors for dogs of all life stages and breeds. For this review, let’s look at one of them.

2. Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain-Free Lamb & Pea Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 9
Features real lamb as the first ingredient to maintain lean muscles, while superfoods like blueberries support her immune health. Appropriate for paw-tners of all breeds and all life stages.

Some dogs, especially those that are sensitive to grain products, thrive on grain-free diets and for those that do, Chicken Soup for the Soul created a dry dog food line especially for them.

This particular formulation is designed to meet all the nutritional needs of dogs from puppy to senior and from small breeds to large. It’s kind of a one-size-fits-all, but the quality of the ingredients and the nutrition content is top-notch.

Crafted to support the development of lean muscles, the recipe boasts of premium protein ingredients that make up the bulk of the meal. It starts off with two lamb ingredients: fresh lamb and lamb meal.

The lamb meal supports the fresh lamb in terms of protein content. (Meals will always have more protein when you compare them to fresh meat by weight because fresh meat normally contains around 75% water while meals have had most of their moisture removed.)

Lamb used to be considered a novel protein, but since it’s a common ingredient in dog food nowadays, it has lost that status. However, it’s still an excellent choice for a meat ingredient because of its impressive nutritional content. It has much more iron than fish or chicken, and it’s full of Omega-3 (more than any other meat), 6, and amino acids.

Grain-free doesn’t equal to carbohydrate-free. Dogs need a fair amount of carbohydrates to fuel their energy needs so alternatives to grains are included instead. These come in the form of lentils, faba beans, peas, flaxseed, pea flour, and tapioca starch. Of these, faba beans are a bit controversial and misunderstood.

According to some dog sites, faba beans can’t be fed to dogs because they contain a compound (phytohemagglutinin) that can make dogs ill.

However, in one study (published by the Oxford University Press in April of 2020) dogs fed anywhere from 10 to 30% of faba beans “remained healthy, maintained body weight…” and experienced “no adverse health events…” Although it was advised that canines only receive up to 20% concentration in their food to avoid palatability and stool quality from declining.

Aside from meat and carb products, this recipe also contains fruits to make it more wholesome and balanced. Tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries — all of which are high in antioxidants — make the list. The two berries, in fact, contain the most antioxidants (next to pomegranate) when compared with other commonly consumed fruits.

Lastly, Chicken Soup for the Soul Grain-Free Lamb & Pea recipe contains plenty of prebiotics for aiding a healthy digestion.

Below is the guaranteed analysis of Lamb & Pea:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 27%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 14%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 6%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) (Min) – 0.025%
  • Docosapentaenoic Acid (DHA) (Min) – 0.025%
  • Zinc – 150 mg/kg
  • Selenium – 0.35 mg/kg
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.5%
  • Vitamin E – 125 IU/kg
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0. 5%
  • Calorie Content – 3,519 kcal/kg 360 kcal/cup

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

When we look at the analysis above, it can be seen that the protein content is at a high level, making it just right for active puppies who do nothing but play all day.

The fiber content is a little higher than average at 6% (ideally, dogs should get 2-4% fiber from their meals), but it is still well within the prescribed maximum of 10% in dog foods. (Dogs with constipation and digestive issues can consume up to 10%.)

The recipe starts off strong by starting with lamb and lamb meal as the main ingredients followed by highly digestible carbohydrates. It contains a lot of minerals and vitamins and uses completely natural ingredients as preservatives, i.e. mixed tocopherols and citric acid.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Wet Dog Food

Just like with Chicken Soup for the Soul’s dry dog food range, their wet food line is also divided into two kinds. One with grains (Classic) and one without (Grain-Free).

Classic

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic formulations are crafted for all breed sizes. There are recipes made for all life stages as well as specific ones that cater only to puppies, adults, or seniors. All of the Classics are in pate form.

For this section, let’s review the brand’s most popular Classic formulation — Chicken, Turkey & Duck for Adults.

3. Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Pate Chicken, Turkey & Duck

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 10
Blended with duck and salmon making for a taste your furry friend will love. With no by-product meals, wheat, corn or soy, this recipe is a complete and balanced option for your paw-tner.

While puppies need a lot of care for their growing bodies, adult dogs need a lot of attention too. Older canines require proper nutrition for maintaining and repairing their tissues and supporting their energy needs. This Classic Pate we’re reviewing is crafted to meet those needs and get your adult pup in tip-top shape for many years.

This Chicken, Turkey & Duck Pate delivers the goodness of several poultry meats and a fish ingredient in as close to their natural state as can be. It starts really strong with chicken and turkey leading the pack of ingredients with chicken broth and turkey broth following suit.

The broth is essential in canned foods as this delivers another form of moisture, which is essential in dogs. It also adds enhanced palatability to the food.

After the broths are two more types of meat — salmon and chicken liver. Salmon, like all fatty fish, is not only tasty but full of healthy fats that contain omega acids. Don’t be too concerned about the term “fatty fish” because the fattest fish contain a fat content that’s similar to lean meats. And these are all good fats, unlike the saturated ones you can find in some meats.

Chicken liver, meanwhile, is chock full of vitamins. Organs are the richest parts of animal meat, and livers are one of the prime ones. It is full of A and B vitamins, zinc, iron, fatty acids, and copper.

To complement the proteins and balance it out, carbohydrate sources such as brown rice, oatmeal, potatoes, barley, and peas were included. These are all complex carbohydrates which are all excellent sources of minerals, vitamins, and phytochemicals (antioxidants).

Pro tip: Complex carbohydrates are carbs that come from grains, legumes, and veggies. Simple carbs come from dairy and fruits. Of the two, complex carbs are more filling and take longer to digest, which can have a reduced impact on blood sugar.

Apples, cranberries, and dried kelp make the food even more wholesome and nutrition-packed. Apples and cranberries both contain plenty of vitamin C and dietary fiber. And dried kelp is like a multivitamin infusion with its 60 vitamins and minerals and 21 amino acid content.

Lastly, you will find yucca schidigera. Many dog foods nowadays contain this ingredient because of its usefulness. It doesn’t really add any nutrient benefits to the food. Its work is in reducing the availability of hydrogen sulfide in your dog’s large intestine, resulting in less smelly waste.

Since this is canned food, the list of ingredients is much shorter when compared to the dry dog foods. There is no need for preservatives since the canning process ensures that the food remains spoilage-free until opened or before expiration date.

Below is the guaranteed analysis of this recipe:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 8.0%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 7.0%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 1.0%
  • Moisture (Max) – 78.0%
  • Calorie Content – 1,249 kcal/kg, 461 kcal/13-oz can

Chicken Soup for the Soul Canned Food Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Just like in the previous products reviewed above, this recipe is a good source of quality nutrition for dogs. It has multiple animal meats that are the primary source of protein, although some plant-based proteins also figure in the list. The nutrient content may look low compared to the contents of dry dog foods, but this is the same across all types of wet foods.

The caloric content is a bit high (courtesy of the grains), so if your dog is on the plump side, it may help to pay a little bit more attention to his food intake. Overall, we can’t find anything we do not like in this food and it seems to be a great choice for adult pups.

Grain-Free

The Grain-Free wet food line by Chicken Soup for the Soul comes in stew form. They’re only for adults but all dog breeds can enjoy them.

Let’s take a look at one of the Grain-Free options and see why it’s one of the most popular offerings of the brand.

4. Chicken Soup for the Soul Beef & Legumes Recipe Stew

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 11
Real beef is the first ingredient for paw-some flavor without any artificial flavors or preservatives. This food is also free of by-product meals, wheat, corn and soy.

Ideal for canines with dietary restrictions or sensitivities, Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Grain-Free recipe in Beef & Legumes supplies dogs with all the nutrition they need without the grains. It comes in stew form which adds a little more moisture than its pate counterpart.

This beef recipe makes use of the different parts of the animal such as the muscle meat and the organs. The formulation includes beef meat (the first ingredient) and beef liver, a rich organ that’s full of vitamins (A and B) and minerals such as iron and copper. There is also beef broth to add moisture and palatability. A broth made of oceanfish adds a surprising and tasty twist.

To supplement the lack of grains, the inclusion of sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and lentils provide the much-needed carbohydrate content of the food. These complex carbs keep your dogs feeling fuller longer so they won’t follow you around begging for more. They also give canines boundless energy for endless plays and adventures.

There are two fat sources in this recipe. One is plant-based (sunflower oil) and the other is animal-based (menhaden fish oil). These two oils have essential fats that contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are particularly beneficial for reducing inflammation, promoting lustrous fur, and lessening shedding.

Because a dog food is not complete without fruits or vegetables to round it off, the inclusion of raspberries, blueberries, and tomato pomace are very much welcome.

The tomato pomace is what’s left of a tomato (made up of skins, pulp, and seeds) after it has been processed for juice, sauce, or ketchup). That may not sound much, but it’s actually an ideal source for fiber and amino acids. The two berries (blueberries and raspberries), meanwhile, supply plenty of antioxidants to the meal.

Lastly, pets can get the full nutrition they need from the supplemental vitamins and minerals that have been added aside from the naturally-occurring ones.

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See this recipe’s guaranteed analysis below:

Crude Protein (Min) – 8.0%
Crude Fat (Min) – 2.5%
Crude Fiber (Max) – 1.0%
Moisture (Max) – 82.0%
DHA (Min) – 0.03%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.40%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.10%
Calorie Content – 959 Kcal/KG, 354 Kcal/Can

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

This is an excellent recipe for adult dogs, with or without sensitivities. It has everything that’s needed for proper maintenance and repair of their bodies but keeps it simple by including only what’s necessary. There are no fillers here because every ingredient contributes to the holistic nutrition of the food.

The levels of protein, fat, and fiber are about average for canned food, while the moisture levels are high. Basing on the caloric content of this grain-free formulation, it’s much leaner than its Classic canned food counterpart. It shouldn’t be a problem for dogs, who are on the chubby side, to eat it regularly.

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Treats

A dog’s meal wouldn’t be complete without snacks to round off a meal or the day. Fortunately for us, Chicken Soup for the Soul offers a wide range of treats to reward our furry friend. The brand has three lines of treats to satisfy any dog that’s hankering for a bit of munchie.

These aren’t ordinary treats. These are all naturally-flavored and colored and do not contain by-products or meals. And if your dog is the sensitive kind, you’re in luck because the food does not have any wheat, soy or corn, either.

The treats are divided into three sub-ranges. These are Crunchy Bits, Savory Snacks, and Savory Sticks.

Let’s review one from each.

Savory Snacks

1. Chicken Soup for the Soul Savory Snacks Lamb

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 12
These treats are easy-to-break and come in a heart shape to show your love for your pup. With only eight calories, they feature real lamb as the first ingredient and contain no by-product meals.

Savory Snacks are yummy treats that come in heart shapes and in three of our canines’ most-liked flavors — chicken, lamb, and beef. The adult snacks are easy enough to break apart for small pooches to enjoy.

For this review, let’s check out the savory lamb recipe.

Most of Chicken Soup for the Soul’s products begin with real meat as the first ingredient, and these treats are no different. The primary ingredient is lamb and the protein content is further supported by the inclusion of chicken meal further down the list.

Brown rice, oat groats, and potato starch give the snacks their carbohydrate content. You’re probably already familiar with brown rice, but what are oat groats and potato starch? Oat groats are simply oats with the outer hull removed. These are minimally processed and have a low glycemic index.

Potato starch, on the other hand, does not contain nutrients but it does improve the digestibility of a food’s nutrients and reduces the food’s density.

Another ingredient that may catch your notice is the cane molasses. These are the byproducts from the extraction of sugar from sugar canes and sugar beets. It has sugar, which may be problematic for dogs in large amounts, but in treats (which are given sparingly) these should not cause any problem.

Why are they in your dog treats? They have a range of uses in dog food, such as acting as sweeteners, binders, or humectants. They also contain a pretty good amount of nutrients, like calcium, iron, and vitamin B6.

The rest of the treat’s ingredients are made up of mostly natural flavors and natural preservatives.

The guaranteed analysis for this treat can be seen below:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 12.0%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 7.0%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.0%
  • Moisture (Max) – 28.0%
  • Calorie Content – 2,960 kcal/kg, 8 kcal/treat

Chicken Soup for the Soul Treat Rating: 4/5 stars

Based on the figures above, these snacks provide ample protein. Fiber, fat, and moisture are all at ideal levels too. It’s also a great thing to see that each bit only offers 8 kcal, so those looking for tasty low-calorie snacks for their pets will be much satisfied with these.

These aren’t truly soft like some ‘soft’ treats are. They’re a little bit firmer, but not hard. They’re easy to break off into smaller pieces in case you’ve got a smaller dog to feed.

Crunchy Bits

2. Chicken Soup for the Soul Crunchy Bites Bacon & Cheese

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 13
With only six calories, they feature real bacon and cheese and contain no by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.

Like the Savory Snacks, these Chicken Soup for the Soul treats are also heart-shaped, except that these are yummy snacks in a crunchy, lip-smacking form. They’re available in three wag-inducing flavors — Peanut Butter, Chicken, and Bacon & Cheese.

Let’s review the Bacon & Cheese flavor.

Due to its drier and more crispy form, Crunchy Bites needs less preservatives than the soft Savory Snacks. The result is that the ingredients list is far shorter. In fact, there are only 8 on the list.

The snacks feature four types of starches — oatmeal, barley, potatoes, and pea starch. Oatmeal and barley are abundant in fiber, which can be very helpful for dogs with bowel irregularities.

Potatoes are noted for their high potassium levels, which is excellent in maintaining a healthy blood pressure in canines. Pea starch provides much the same nutrition as potatoes.

All four of the above contain carbohydrates that provide energy for boundless plays or to give working or sporting dogs enough fuel for their work/performance.

The flavors for this treat occupy the fifth (bacon) and seventh (cheese) spots. Unlike in some snacks where the bacon taste is courtesy of a bacon flavoring only, in this recipe it’s an actual meat ingredient.

Now bacon is usually high in fat and salt, but since the bacon here doesn’t take up too much volume in the treat, your pup can safely enjoy munching on a bit of the kibble every now and then.

It’s the same with cheese. While regular cheese is high in fat, in this recipe cheese inclusion is meant purely for flavor, although your pup can get some calcium nutrients from it too. Cheese is in the seventh spot, which means that there’s not enough of it to make your dog gain weight.

In-between the bacon and the cheese is situated chicken fat. All dog foods contain at least one form of fat because it is vital for a lot of canine bodily functions. Plus, it’s a concentrated form of energy that also has the bonus of enhancing a food’s palatability.

The last ingredient is mixed tocopherols. This is a natural preservative that’s also a form of vitamin E. As antioxidants, the mixed tocopherols inhibit oxidation, which turns the fat in food rancid.

The guaranteed analysis for these crispy treats are found below:

Crude Protein (Min) – 6.0%
Crude Fat (Min) – 7.0%
Crude Fiber (Max) – 7.0%
Moisture (Max) – 10.0%
Calorie Content – 3,115 kcal, 6 kcal/treat

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

While we often look for meat to start off a food, we’re perfectly content with the grains and other starches that head off this list. Since these are treats that are meant to be given only occasionally, having these much carbs is fine. It also helps that despite the number of carb ingredients, this remains a low calorie snack.

They’re crafted small, but you can break them into even smaller pieces easily to give as training treats. Since the treats are low in calories, a few pieces for rewarding great behavior would not be amiss.

Savory Sticks

3. Chicken Soup for the Soul Savory Sticks Real Duck

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 14
These wag-worthy, all-natural rewards are crafted in the USA with real duck first for the meaty goodness dogs love. Made without corn, wheat or soy, so sensitive sidekicks can enjoy them too.

Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Savory Sticks are narrow rolled tubes that come in four different meaty flavors. These are Duck, Beef, Bacon & Cheese, and Chicken. All of the recipes start with a real meat ingredient, and none of the formulations contain any hint of grains.

For this review, let’s stick with Duck.

Grain-Free Duck is crafted with real duck as the first ingredient. Surprisingly, there’s another animal meat here after duck, and it’s turkey.

Further down the list, there’s pork broth to add not only moisture but another surprising but welcome twist to the flavor. It’s also good to note that with the combination of these three ingredients, the protein level of this snack has been raised (see guaranteed analysis below).

Right on the heels of the meats come chickpeas. These are healthy and commonly used ingredients by dog food manufacturers when they want to add carbohydrates but don’t want to utilize grains. The chickpeas are also a dense source of protein and fiber and some fat.

There are some other ingredients in this dog treat that might puzzle. Cane molasses, glycerin, potato flour, dextrose, and apple cider might sound a little strange and maybe a little worrying. We’ll explain each briefly.

Glycerin, like the one found in soap, is safe to eat. And in dog foods, it acts as a humectant. It allows food to keep moist (remember that there’s pork broth in the treat) without speeding up the food’s decomposition.

Cane molasses are byproducts of the sugar industry, so yes, they do have sugar. In big amounts, this might cause worry, but there’s only a little bit here. They do have benefits to dogs because they’re such great sources of iron, calcium, and chromium.

Potato starch acts as a binding agent, and it’s good for increasing the digestibility of a food’s nutrients. Dextrose is mainly used as a sweetener and to add palatability to dog food. It’s a sugar ingredient that we’re not too crazy about this. It offers no benefit to dogs other than making them crave the food more because of its sweet taste.

And lastly, the apple cider vinegar. A lot of good has been attributed to apple cider vinegar including being a natural preservative, preventing harmful bacteria from growing, regulating blood sugar levels, and possibly helping with cases of UTI. It’s a good addition to this dog treat and certainly does no harm.

The rest of the ingredients are either natural flavors (rosemary and smoke flavor) or natural preservatives.

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Here is the guaranteed analysis for the recipe:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 21%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 15%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3%
  • Moisture (Max) – 24%
  • Calorie Content – 3115 kcals/kg. 25 calories per treat

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Okay, the calories above seem a little too high, but you have to consider that the sticks are big. If your pup is too small or is leaning towards the heavy side, it would probably be best to break off a stick into lots of smaller pieces and give him only a few bits.

Because the brand used two types of meat in this formulation, the protein content is at a high level too. The moisture level at 24% indicates that the snacks are somewhat soft (not officially a soft treat, but not dry and crunchy either). It has a firm texture that would not be too hard for small dogs to enjoy.

While we like most of the ingredients, we feel that there is no place for a filler ingredient like dextrose. It’s simply another word for sugar, and dogs don’t need those. Unlike cane molasses, dextrose offers no other benefit to canines.

Chicken Soup for the soul Dog Food

Is Chicken Soup Dog Food Made in the United States?

The Chicken Soup for the Soul line of pet foods was first launched over a decade ago and, like the brand’s line of short story anthologies, it has expanded rather quickly. Though Chicken Soup pet foods are part of the larger Chicken Soup for the Soul brand, their products are made by a separate company – Diamond Pet Foods.

Still, the Chicken Soup brand states that all of their products are manufactured in the United States. The company website does not, however provide any specific information about exactly where or how their products are made. Chicken Soup for the Soul is headquartered in Cos Cob, Connecticut but it is unlikely that their products are made in the same location.

Where Does Chicken Soup Get Their Ingredients?

The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand states that their products are “specially formulated to provide the nutrition [pets] need at every stage of life. They use a special blend of real meats, fresh fruits and veggies, and wholesome grains to nourish the bodies of dogs and cats from the inside out.

Chicken Soup for the Soul states that all of their products are made in the United States, but they do not provide specific information about where their ingredients come from. They do say that their recipes are made with “real meat as first ingredients, fruits, vegetables, and herbs” and that their formulas are free from added corn, wheat, soy, and artificial additives.

Chicken Soup Dog Food Recall History

The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand claims that they started making their own pet food because they “understand the unique relationship between people and pets”. In the same way that their stories warm the hearts of people around the globe, their pet foods are designed to nourish the health of dogs and cats.

While Chicken Soup products are all made in the United States, the company used to outsource their production to Diamond Pet Foods.

Not only is Diamond Pet Foods one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the country, but it is also known for frequent recalls. The Chicken Soup brand in particular has been affected by two recalls in brand history.

Here are the details of those recalls:

  • In April 2007, the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand of dog food was involved in the major Menu Foods recall which was issued due to melamine contamination.
  • In May 2012, the FDA issued a recall for all types of Chicken Soup for the Soul pet foods in a certain production run due to potential salmonella contamination.

Chicken Soup Dog Food

How expensive is Chicken Soup Dog Food?

The Chicken Soup for the Soul brand of dog food is a little more expensive than the average kibble but still affordable. Prices vary from one recipe to another, but the cost for a 25- of 30-pound bag of Chicken Soup dry dog food is about $38 to $65.

You can purchase 13-ounce cans of Chicken Soup for the Soul wet dog food in cases of 12 for $16 to $30 which gives you an average price of around $2.00 per can.

Get 50% off your 1st box, 25% off your 2nd and 3rd!  

What Kind of Dog Food Does Chicken Soup Offer?

When it comes to their dog food products, Chicken Soup for the Soul offers a variety of dry foods and wet foods. Chicken Soup dog foods can be divided into two product lines – Grain-Free and Life Stages. The Grain-Free formulas are made with quality proteins and digestible carbohydrates like peas, sweet potatoes, and lentils.

The Life Stages product lineup consists of recipes for puppies and adult dogs, including large-breed dogs and senior dogs. There is also a limited selection of dog treats available.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dry Products

chicken soup dog food

Chicken Soup for the Soul dry dog foods fall into two categories. The Life Stages line includes seven recipes for puppies through mature dogs including large- and small-breed formulas and one recipe for weight management.

The Grain-Free product line includes four recipes made with digestible grain-free carbohydrates and high-quality proteins – there is even one limited ingredient recipe.

Here is a list of Chicken Soup for the Soul dry dog food recipes:

Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes:

  • Salmon, Pea & Sweet Potato
  • Chicken, Pea & Sweet Potato
  • Beef & Legumes
  • Lamb & Pea
  • Chicken & Legumes
  • Salmon & Legumes

Classic Dry Dog Food Recipes:

All the Classic dry dog foods are only available in one flavor — chicken, turkey & brown rice. However, the formulations differ from one another in ingredient content, kibble size, and nutrient levels.

  • Adult All Breeds
  • Mature All Breeds
  • Large Bree
  • Large Breed Puppy
  • Puppy
  • Small Bites Adult
  • Weight Care Adult

Chicken Soup for the Soul Wet Products

chicken soup dog food review

In addition to their dry food products, Chicken Soup for the Soul also offers a limited selection of wet foods.

The Life Stages line of wet foods includes three recipes for puppies through mature dogs and the Grain-Free lineup includes four recipes made with premium proteins and digestible carbohydrates. Here is a list of Chicken Soup for the Soul wet dog food recipes:

Grain-Free Wet Dog Food Recipes:

All of the Grain-Free canned recipes are designed only for adult dogs, although they are ideal for all breeds.

  • Beef and Legumes (Adult)
  • Chicken (Adult)
  • Turkey (Adult)
  • Lamb & Pea (Adult)

Classic Wet Dog Food Recipes:

  • Chicken, Turkey & Duck (Adult)
  • Chicken, Turkey & Duck (Mature)
  • Chicken, Turkey & Duck (Puppy)
  • Chicken & Brown Rice (All Life Stages)
  • Turkey & Bacon (Adult)
  • Beef (All Life Stages)
  • Lamb & Brown Rice (All Life Stages)

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Treats

Chicken Soup Dog Food Review 2021: A Holistic Approach to Pet Nutrition 15

The brand offers a wide assortment of dog treats to satisfy any picky canine. Not only does Chicken Soup for the Soul offer dog food products, both dry and wet, but they also offer an assortment of dog treats. Here are the dog treats that this brand has to offer:

Crunchy Bites:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Chicken
  • Bacon & Cheese

Savory Snacks:

  • Lamb
  • Chicken
  • Beef

Savory Sticks:

  • Duck
  • Beef
  • Bacon & Cheese
  • Chicken

chicken soup for the soul dog food

Is Chicken Soup for the Soul dog food good for dogs?

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a recommended dog food with a good estimated nutrient content; protein and carbs are average and fats are slightly below average. They also sell a grain-free formula.

Who owns Chicken Soup for the Soul dog food?

Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food, which is manufactured at the Diamond Pet Food Facility, has experienced two recalls since it was first launched.

Is it OK to feed dogs chicken broth?

Yes. Bone-based broths contain collagen, which is good for joint health, and glycine, an amino acid that helps detox your dog's kidneys and liver. You can make your own chicken broth, but leave out the onions and garlic.

Is Chicken Soup dog food grain free?

Chicken Soup offers two lines of dog food products, Classic All Life Stages and Grain-Free, both of which are marketed as wholesome sources of quality nutrition.

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