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ZEAL GENTLY AIR-DRIED DOG FOOD Review

Average Score

7.9
4 color scale

Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our  evaluation criteria.

Zeal Turkey Recipe Gently Air-Dried Dog Food

With a score of 7.9/10, Zeal Gently Air-Dried dog foods are considered a low risk food. There are 5 recipes that average 38% protein and 13% carbohydrate as calculated. This is an air-dried food so one ingredient safety point is lost for moderate processing that involves a low level of heat, which preserves more of the natural nutrients than more processed foods. 

The Salmon and Turkey recipes are a bit higher in carbohydrate but the source isn’t starch or grains so points are deducted. It’s worth noting that the protein ranges from 34% to 45% in these recipes, which is quite favorable. 

These recipes lose further ingredient quality points for added vitamins and minerals. When vitamins come from whole food sources, they include the full spectrum of cofactors, which makes them safe and bioavailable. While a couple of added vitamins are acceptable, five or more implies the food is of poor nutritional value. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes added to balance the food. It’s good to see that there are no added amino acids so those are provided by the ingredients.

Points are also lost because of concerns involving processing, high herbicide/pesticide use and GMOs. Sunflower lecithin is used in several recipes. It’s highly processed like a seed oil, which can be inflammatory. On the ingredient safety side, lecithin is used in another recipe. It’s usually obtained from soy, a known GMO, and is also highly processed. Both types of lecithin are likely spray-dried with glyphosate, an herbicide that poses a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils. Three recipes also include peas, another crop known for high pesticide/herbicide residues.

Two recipes include coconut oil, which is rich in saturated fats and lauric acid. Some studies show it can increase gut inflammation and permeability. It doesn’t cost points but it’s something to be aware of.

It’s not mentioned whether the salmon is wild caught or farmed. Wild caught fish is preferred as it’s more nutritious and has a better fatty acid balance. 

Lastly, the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids isn’t disclosed. This is a concern because AAFCO allows a very inflammatory level of 30:1.

Zeal Gently Air-Dried Dog Food Benefits

Zeal Gently Air-Dried Dog Food Concerns

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