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Iron Will Raw Dog Food Review

iron will raw dog food review
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Iron Will Raw is a Canadian dog food company founded by Matt Bonanno in 2013. The company produces raw pet food from St Catharines, Ontario, and features a range of raw meat products such as Rabbit, Chicken, Beef, Kangaroo, Salmon, Pork, Turkey and Duck. They are sold mainly through pet specialty retail stores in central and eastern Canada.

For our Iron Will Raw dog food review, we’ll look at the food ingredient quality and safety of each line of food. Our dog food reviews are based on these criteria

Canine Complete Raw Review

Score: 7.2/10

Package Ingredients For Canine Complete Chicken And Beef Raw Recipe: Chicken (with ground bone), beef heart, beef liver, broccoli, kale, summer squash, winter squash, celery, fish oil, squash seeds, kelp meal, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, sunflower oil, manganese proteinate, vitamin D supplement, thiamine mononitrate.

Using our evaluation criteria, Canine Complete Raw is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

There are 2 concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

Contains Seed Oil: Some of these recipes contain sunflower oil, which is a highly processed and inflammatory oil. It’s an inexpensive alternative to higher quality animal fats and oils.

Unnamed Animal Protein: Unnamed animal ingredients are often less expensive ingredients as any type of fish or animal can be used or they can be made from rendered waste of many proteins. 

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are 2 concerns we have with the Canine Complete Raw line:

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases. 

GMO Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: Recipes in this line contain known GMO crops in the top 5 ingredients that include summer squash. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off. 

Benefits 

Here are two benefits of these recipes:

Low Carbohydrates: It’s good to see low carbohydrates in raw, air-dried, freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food, as dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates. In this case, Complete Raw’s carbohydrates average 3% for its 5 recipes. 

Provides Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio: Iron Will Raw is one of very few companies that provide the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. This is important to know since diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease. In this case, these 5 recipes have a ratio of 6:1 or less, which is good to see, because AAFCO allows for a highly inflammatory ratio of 30:1.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Puppylicious Raw Review

Score: 8.8/10

Package Ingredients For Puppylicious Turkey & Beef Dinner Raw Recipe: Turkey (with ground bone), beef heart, winter squash, beef liver, spinach, green beans, cranberries, fish oil, celery, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), L-carnitine, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, kelp meal, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D supplement.

Using our evaluation criteria, Puppylicious Raw is considered a low risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

There is only one concern when it comes to ingredient quality:

Unnamed Animal Protein: Unnamed animal ingredients are often less expensive ingredients as any type of fish or animal can be used or they can be made from rendered waste of many proteins. 

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here is a concern with the Puppylicious Raw line:

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.

Benefits 

There are two noteworthy benefits of these recipes:

Low Carbohydrates: It’s good to see low carbohydrates in raw, air-dried, freeze-dried or dehydrated dog food, as dogs have no nutritional need for carbohydrates. In this case, Puppylicious Raw’s recipes average 2% carbohydrates. 

Provides Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio: It’s good to see that Iron Will Raw has provided the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. This is important to know since diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease. In this case, these recipes have a ratio of less than 4:1, which is good to see, especially since AAFCO allows for a highly inflammatory ratio of 30:1.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

Is Iron Will Raw A Good Dog Food? 

Iron Will Raw offers 2 lines of balanced raw dog food. Canine Complete Raw and Puppylicious Raw. Since these are raw dog foods, they don’t lose any points for processing. They also have good levels of protein, and very minimal carbohydrates which is what is expected in raw dog foods. 

Iron Will also offers Canine Basic Raw with 7 separate proteins, but it’s not a balanced and complete food so is not reviewed here. It’s offered as part of an elimination diet or for intermittent or supplemental feeding.

Iron Will sources its ingredients from local suppliers, and produces its dog food in the company’s St Catharines plant. The company also holds HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) Certification in food safety, quality, traceability, and accountability. 

That is good to hear, however, that refers to preventing pathogens, not the actual quality and safety of the food ingredients. The company could boost its safety score by choosing organic produce that would eliminate the herbicide/pesticide risk and ensure there were no GMO ingredients in the foods.

There is an additional concern with the food and marketing. This doesn’t affect the Iron Will Raw dog food reviews score, but its worth mentioning:

Does Not State Farmed Vs Wild Caught Fish: The company uses wild-caught salmon but doesn’t specify whether the fish oil used is from farmed or wild caught sources. Farmed fish is less nutritious than wild caught fish and does not contain the same healthy fatty acid balance. 

IRON WILL RAW DOG FOOD RECALLS

Iron Will Raw has had no recalls.

Evaluation Criteria

We evaluate and score dog foods based on two criteria:

Are the Ingredients High Quality?

Here are some common low quality ingredients or markers we look for:

  • Is there excessive carbohydrate content, which can cause gut imbalances?
  • Does the food contain unnamed proteins, which are low quality?
  • Does the food use cellulose (wood pulp) as a source of fiber instead of real food?
  • Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added in place of real food nutrition?
  • Are there excessive added amino acids or plant proteins instead of expensive meat protein?
  • Does the food contain inflammatory processed seed oils?

How Safe Are the Ingredients?

Many ingredients come from unhealthy, inflammatory sources or are full of pesticides so we look for:

  • How processed is the food?
  • Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
  • Does the food contain ingredients known to be high in pesticides?
  • Does the food contain natural flavor, which are often MSG or animal digest?
  • Does the food contain rice, which is high in arsenic?

Each food is objectively evaluated by these criteria and a score is assigned using the average of ingredient quality and safety. This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. Dogs Naturally has partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dog food on the market. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria at DogFoodReviews.com.

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