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Tucker’s Dog Food Review

tucker's dog food review
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Tucker’s was founded by Jeff Kalish as a family owned business. It began operation in 2009 in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. 

Tucker’s products are manufactured in their own facility in southeastern Wisconsin. This is a USDA certified facility that follows the same safety and quality standards as the human food industry. The company also makes foods for schools, retail stores, and restaurants.

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

Tucker’s Raw Frozen Diet Dog Food Review

Score: 8.9/10

Package Ingredients for Tucker’s Turf & Surf Formula Raw Frozen Dog Food Recipe: Beef, salmon, beef organ, pumpkin, salmon bone and marrow, beef bone and marrow, taurine, zinc amino acid complex, vitamin E supplement, calcium carbonate, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, riboflavin supplement

Using our evaluation criteria, Tucker’s Raw Frozen food is considered a low-risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are a couple of concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 11% as calculated on a dry matter basis, but 2 recipes are higher than we’d like in a raw dog food. However, the carbohydrates are from pumpkin rather than grain or starch. 

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.

Benefits 

There’s one noteworthy benefit of these foods:

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. 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.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Tucker’s Freeze-Dried Diet Dog Food Review

Score: 8.8/10

Package Ingredients for Tucker’s Pork-Bison-Pumpkin Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Recipe: Pork, bison heart, pumpkin, pork marrow and bone, mixed tocopherols (preservative), rosemary extract, taurine, zinc amino acid complex, vitamin E supplement, calcium carbonate, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, riboflavin supplement, lactobacillus acidophilus, lactobacillus casei, bifidobacterium animalis and lactobacillus reuteri

Using our evaluation criteria, Tucker’s Freeze-Dried food is considered a low-risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are a couple of concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Fat: There is higher fat than protein in 3 recipes. Sometimes some animal proteins are naturally fatty, or raw foods might use fattier meats to keep costs down. A high fat diet can cause unwanted shifts in gut bacteria populations and can add unwanted toxins since toxins are stored in fat. Most fats, especially pork and poultry fats, are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause systemic, low-grade inflammation.

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.

Benefits 

There are a couple of noteworthy benefits of these foods:

Probiotics: It’s good to see these foods contain probiotics, however the colony forming units (CFUs) are not guaranteed. This measure determines the number of bacterial cells in a probiotic.

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. 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.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Is Tucker’s A Good Dog Food? 

Overall, Tucker’s is an acceptable, safe option for raw and freeze dried dog foods. Both lines have a similar score and are considered low risk according to our criteria. 

On the safety side, all of these recipes score 10/10 for ingredient safety which is certainly noteworthy. They are minimally processed foods so they haven’t been heated, which means nutrients aren’t lost through processing. These foods are formulated with very limited produce, which means there aren’t any high pesticide/herbicide or GMO ingredients. 

The Tucker’s website states it used science to determine that dogs do not need fruit or vegetable carbohydrates in their diets so their recipes have been formulated accordingly. However, without produce, synthetic vitamins and minerals are added to balance the foods to AAFCO standards. 

Tucker’s animal proteins are sourced in the US with many of their ingredients from Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Their salmon is wild caught in the Pacific northwest. Wild caught fish is more nutritious and has a better fatty acid profile than farmed fish.

Tucker’s uses high pressure pasteurization (HPP) to control pathogens in most of its raw frozen recipes. For other recipes they follow a Test & Hold Protocol before being released. They note that they deep freeze pork and salmon at -30 degrees F for 3-7 days to manage any potential parasites. 

TUCKER’S DOG FOOD RECALLS

Tucker’s has had one recall.

03/2018: Recall of 1 product for potential salmonella contamination.

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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