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Rayne Nutrition Dog Food Review

Rayne Nutrition dog food review
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Rayne Nutrition Inc was founded in 2009 by Dan Pitts and John Phelps, who is also CEO. The company is based in Kansas City, MO.

Rayne offers 3 lines of dog food. They are made by CJ Foods, a private label pet food manufacturer in Nebraska. These dog foods are sold online in the US with a requirement for veterinary confirmation, while in Canada they are only available as a prescription diet. 

For our Rayne Nutrition 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.

Rayne Nutrition Dry  Diet Review

Score: 2.8/10

Package Ingredients For Rayne Rabbit-Maint With Chickpea Formula Dry Recipe: Rabbit, dried chickpeas, dried potatoes, potato protein, potato flour, natural flavor, coconut oil, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, marine microalgae, salt, fructooligosaccharides, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, biotin, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, ethylenediamine dihydriodine), taurine, mixed tocopherols, Rosemary extract.

Using our evaluation criteria, Rayne Nutrition Dry Diet is considered a high risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 52% as calculated, which is excessive, even for a dry dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrate but starch is required for extrusion in dry foods like these. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. High carbohydrate diets also lead to a lower protein diet which holds true here with 26% protein, which is half the level of carbohydrates. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Added Amino Acids: Protein from animals is more complete in amino acids than protein from plants, and it’s more expensive. Foods with lower amounts of animal protein often need to add amino acids to compensate, so 2 or more added amino acids can be a marker of cheap, lower quality ingredients.

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.

Plant Protein: Plant proteins are also used as a less expensive substitute for quality animal protein. You want to see animal sources because they’re more digestible and contain a wider array of amino acids than plant based protein sources.

Unnamed Animal Protein: Unnamed animal ingredients (such as fish meal) 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 some of the issues with Rayne Nutrition Dry food line:

Ultra-Processed: On the ingredient safety side, this line loses significant points for being an ultra-processed dog food. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

GMO Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: Recipes in this line contain known GMO crops in the top 5 ingredients, including potatoes. 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. 

Rice: The use of rice in several recipes costs food safety points because of potential arsenic contamination. Arsenic contamination is a significant concern with rice since it naturally absorbs arsenic that can contaminate the water it’s grown in. Arsenic is linked to chronic health issues.  

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Rayne Nutrition Wet Diet Review

Score: 5.8/10

Package Ingredients For Rayne Adult Health-RSSTM Canned Recipe: Pork, water, potato starch, pork liver, sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, guar gum, marine microalgae, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), fructooligosaccharides, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganese sulfate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, potassium iodide, copper proteinate, cobalt proteinate, sodium selenite), potassium chloride, tricalcium phosphate, taurine.

Using our evaluation criteria, Rayne Nutrition Canned food is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 21% on a dry matter basis, which is high for a canned dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrate but starch is required for extrusion in dry foods like these. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Added Amino Acids: Protein from animals is more complete in amino acids than protein from plants – plus it’s more expensive. Foods with lower amounts of animal protein often need to add amino acids to compensate, so 2 or more added amino acids can be a marker of cheap, lower quality ingredients.

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.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Rayne Nutrition Wet Diet line:

Highly Processed: Canned foods are heated before and during canning, which will cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods: These recipes contain 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 potatoes. 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. 

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Rayne Nutrition Chunky Stew Food Review

Score: 6.9/10

Package Ingredients For Rayne Low Fat Kangaroo-Maint Chunky Stew Recipe: Kangaroo, water, sweet potatoes, red peppers, tapioca starch, pumpkin, sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, folic acid, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), marine microalgae, fructooligosaccharides, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, potassium iodide), choline chloride, taurine

Using our evaluation criteria, Rayne Nutrition Chunky Stew is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

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.

Plant Protein: Plant proteins are also used as a less expensive substitute for quality animal protein. You want to see animal sources because they’re more digestible and contain a wider array of amino acids than plant based protein sources.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Rayne Nutrition Chunky Stew:

Moderately Processed: This line loses an ingredient safety point for moderate processing. Rayne Nutrition Chunky Stew is processed with some heat. Heating foods will cause losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Minimal or no processing is preferred.

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods: These recipes contain 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: Recipes in this line contain known GMO crops, including potatoes. 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 

There’s one noteworthy benefit of this line:

Low Carbohydrates: It’s good to see low carbohydrates in dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. When there is excessive carbohydrate beyond 15%, it’s an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Is Rayne Nutrition A Good Dog Food? 

Rayne Nutrition offers 3 lines of dog food with 12 Dry Diet recipes, 3 Wet Diet recipes and 4 Chunky Stew recipes. Our review covers these 3 categories but in fact, all the recipes are formulated with specific dietary needs in mind. They offer health-specific diets in a dry formula, with additional options available in canned and stews. 

Rayne Nutrition states it has diets designed to address over 30 medical conditions that range from allergies to renal disease, skin and urinary issues, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal support, and weight and joint support. Its recipes are formulated by a panel of veterinary and nutritional experts who use single proteins such as kangaroo, alligator and rabbit, plant-based and dried black soldier fly larvae. 

This review evaluates the ingredient quality and safety of these 18 recipes. We’re not assessing the efficacy of these recipes in managing the various medical conditions they’re intended for. 

The quality and safety of the ingredients is in question due to a number of concerns. 

The first 5 to 6 ingredients of each recipe in all lines are followed by ingredients like inflammatory seed oils and as many as 25 or more synthetic vitamins, minerals and amino acids. While a couple of added vitamins are acceptable, five or more implies the food is of poor nutritional value.

Most of these foods contain high pesticide and GMO ingredients which can pose health risks. 

However, it’s commendable that Rayne Nutrition does extensive testing for mycotoxins and vitamin D levels, among other things. The company’s quality control team reviews all testing results as a final check. They also conduct third party ELISA testing for its dermatology products to protect sensitive patients from trace-level contaminants of beef, pork, chicken, fish, milk and soy.

There are additional concerns with the food and marketing. These don’t affect Rayne dog food reviews score, but they’re worth mentioning:

Ingredient Splitting: This is a technique of splitting ingredients into sub-categories to move certain ingredients higher or lower on the ingredient list. This is often used to disguise the amount of lower quality ingredients in the food, such as corn, potatoes or peas, and moves desirable ingredients, like proteins, higher.

Coconut Oil: The use of coconut oil doesn’t cost points but it should be noted that it may be harmful to gut health as it’s been shown to cause undesirable changes in the gut lining. 

Does Not Provide Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio: It’s also worth noting that Rayne Nutrition does not state the omega6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most foods, AAFCO allows a very inflammatory limit of 30:1. Diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease.

Does Not State Farmed Vs Wild Caught Fish: These recipes don’t specify whether the fish is farmed or wild caught. Farmed fish is less nutritious than wild caught fish and does not contain the same healthy fatty acid balance. 

RAYNE NUTRITION DOG FOOD RECALLS

Rayne Nutrition has had no dog food 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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