We’re used to dog food providing complete nutrition — and, above all, enough protein.
But what about when a whole range of dog food does that — AND fights skin problems?
The Avoderm dog food range has been around for decades, and many vets recommend this dog food for skin allergies.
I’ve been curious about it for a long time, so I decided to do the work and write an Avoderm dog food review.
Want to find out what I learned? Let’s go!
About Avoderm Brand
Avoderm is owned by Breeder’s Choice Inc. Breeder’s Choice is a well-known and respected pet food manufacturer.
The company was established in 1947 by Harold Taylor. It is headquartered in Irwindale, California.
Back in 1947, Breeder’s Choice made its break by introducing the first frozen pet meals. In 1960, the company also started producing oven-baked dog biscuits and kibbles.
Avoderm dog food was introduced in 1982 and has since been one of the most successful lines of Breeder’s Choice.
The brand name, Avoderm, comes from the ingredient in their pet food and the purpose. Namely, Avoderm uses avocado extensively and specializes in pet skin problems.
Avoderm is considered a premium pet food brand.
Is Avoderm Dog Food Made in the USA?
Yes, Avoderm dog food is made in the USA. All the main ingredients are coming from North America. The exceptions are: duck (France), tapioca powder (Thailand), lamb (New Zealand), and quinoa (Peru).
The brand owner, Breeder’s Choice, is headquartered in Irwindale, California. This is also the place where their manufacturing facility is located.
Is Avocado Safe for Dogs?
The sheer mention of avocado in dog food might cause suspicions regarding Avoderm. Can dogs even eat avocado?
American Kennel Club (AKC) lists avocado as one of the toxic dog foods. Avocado contains persin, a fungicidal toxin. Though dogs are more resistant to persin, they should still not eat too much of the actual fruit.
Still, some dog food manufacturers use avocado in their recipes. Controlled amounts can actually be beneficial and safe to dogs.
Avocado contains a complete amino acid profile. Avocado oil is also high in healthy fats — which promote healthy skin and fur.
Avoderm recognized this as a potential solution to skin allergies in pets and has been gladly using avocado ever since.
Still, that doesn’t mean they just put the fruit haphazardly into the Avoderm dog food. In fact, they source high-quality avocados from California.
Furthermore, their dog food is cooked at lower temperatures than usual, so most nutrients remain intact. This way, your dog can reap all the health benefits.
Avoderm Dog Food Review
Avoderm dog food is divided into several brand lines. The lines cater to different dietary needs of various life stages, breed sizes, and health conditions.
The Avoderm range includes grain-inclusive, grain-free, and limited ingredient options.
All the formulas have some form of avocado — avocado oil or avocado meal, sometimes both. This way, regardless of other dietary needs, your furry friend gets the best… well, fur.
The range includes dry dog foods, wet foods, and dog treats.
Let’s look at the specific brand lines and what they’re about.
Avoderm Original is a dog food formulated for all life stages.
The brand line includes two dry dog food formulas and one canned food:
- Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food
- Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food
- Lamb Chicken & Herring Meals Canned Dog Food
The guaranteed analyses for dry food are as follows:
- Crude protein: 21–23%
- Crude fat: 11–13%
- Crude fiber: 4–5%
Avoderm dog food in this brand line meets the AAFCO nutritional guidelines for all life stages.
The first ingredient and the primary protein source in dry food are meat meals. We like that animal protein is dominant — and a meat meal provides minerals in addition to proteins.
The formulas in this brand line don’t use corn, wheat, or soy. Instead, the prevalent grain is brown rice. Brown rice is one of the healthiest grain you can feed your dog. It is naturally rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and an overall good energy source.
Avocados round up these formulas and provide healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. For dogs, this means shinier fur, healthier skin, and stronger heart.
Avoderm grain-free formulas are meant for all life stages.
The brand line contains 3 dry dog foods and 4 wet food formulas:
- Avoderm Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetables Dry Dog Food
- Avoderm Grain-Free Beef & Vegetables Dry Dog Food
- Avoderm Grain-Free Salmon & Vegetables Dry Dog Food
- Avoderm Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetable Stew Canned Dog Food
- Avoderm Grain-Free Turkey & Vegetable Stew Wet Dog Food
- Avoderm Grain-Free Beef & Potato Stew Wet Dog Food
- Avoderm Grain-Free Salmon & Potato Stew Wet Dog Food
The formulas are great for dogs with wheat and gluten allergies since they are wheat–, corn– and gluten-free.
Like all the other formulas, they too contain avocado and healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. These are crucial for the cardiovascular system and heart health.
The guaranteed analyses for grain-free dry dog foods are as follows:
- Crude protein: 25-28%
- Crude fat: 12% or 24%
- Crude fiber: 8%
Not all the formulas fulfill the AAFCO nutritional guidelines. This is mainly due to the fat content in the two formulas.
Namely, the two formulas with 24% crude fat (Chicken & Vegetables, Beef & Vegetables) exceed the guidelines for fat (<20%). They might be suitable for dogs who need to gain weight, but you should avoid them with overweight dogs.
These two formulas might cause weight gain over time, even with regular-sized dogs.
The first ingredients are usually whole meats and meat meals. This is a great combo and a wonderful, well-rounded animal protein source.
The formulas also contain live probiotics, which will help with digestion and assimilation of nutrients
The Avoderm Advanced brand line is the biggest and the most versatile within the range.
The line features 10 formulas for different life stages, sizes, and health conditions.
The greatest importance is given to dogs with sensitive stomachs since 7 formulas in the line are a part of the Limited Ingredient Diet.
These formulas are labeled Advanced Sensitive Support — and they also feature 3 recipes for small breeds.
All the recipes for sensitive support are formulated for maintenance in accordance with the AAFCO guidelines.
They all have one whole meat as the single protein source and the appropriate meat meal to complement it. This way, the allergies and digestive problems are brought to a minimum, and your dog still gets a complete and balanced diet.
In addition to Sensitive Support, the line features three other formulas.
Avoderm Advanced Senior Health is meant for mature dogs. It contains an assortment of lamb meal, chicken meal, and salmon meal as the main protein sources.
In this case, meat meals might be an excellent idea. They are usually given to dogs with kidney problems. In senior dogs, the protein from meat meals will probably be easier to digest, along with added minerals.
Avoderm Advanced Joint Health supports the healthy joints, muscles, and cartilage in dogs. It does so primarily through natural chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate, the building blocks of cartilage.
With crude protein at 30% in this formula, your dog’s muscles will also get plenty of amino acids and high-quality protein.
Avoderm Advanced Healthy Weight is the last formula in this brand line. Healthy Weight is supported with L-carnitine, which helps burn fat. It also contains chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate for healthy joints.
Turkey meal is the primary protein source in this recipe. Like the Advanced Senior recipe, the meat meals will not put too much pressure on the kidneys — which is beneficial for dogs as they lose weight.
Overall, Avoderm Advanced Support recipes seem like a good, well-crafted choice for different health issues.
Avoderm Breed Size-Specific Formulas
The Avoderm line for different sizes caters to two different sizes: large breed and small breed. Both are dry dog foods.
AvoDerm Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Large Breed recipe is formulated to support larger dogs’ joints, bones, and muscles of larger dogs. Chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate support the cartilage that envelops the joints and prevent its loss.
With 26% of crude protein, this formula meets the AAFCO guidelines (>18%). The protein comes mainly from the chicken meal. The chicken meal is not a wrong choice, as it provides minerals, too. However, a whole meat protein source might be better for large dogs.
AvoDerm Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Recipe Small Breed formula has bite-sized kibble, and it provides complete nutrition for smaller dogs. The amount of crude protein is the same as the large breed recipe (26%), so your bundle of fur will get enough amino acids to jump around and enjoy their daily activities.
Both formulas contain avocado and chicken fat. Surprisingly, crude fat is not that high — 10%. This is the optimal amount of fat, though not enough for more active dogs.
Luckily, the fat in these formulas also provides Omega-3s to support heart health and nourish the coat. Any diet aimed at skin health will have good sources of Omega-3s.
Avoderm Life Stage-Specific Formulas
Avoderm brand line for different life stages features three sub-lines: Puppy, Adult, and Senior.
The Puppy sub-category includes 1 dry food and 1 wet dog food formula:
Both recipes are formulated to meet the AAFCO guidelines and support puppies’ growth. Healthy Omega-3s and DHAs contribute to brain development and support energy for everyday activities.
Interestingly, the dry food contains chicken meal as the first ingredient — while the wet food has real chicken and chicken broth as the first and second ingredient.
Both dry food and wet food for puppies contain enough protein (26% and 9%, respectively). However, we are leaning slightly towards the wet option because of the fresh chicken.
The brand line also includes 1 wet dog food for adult dogs and 1 dry dog food for senior dogs.
AvoDerm Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Recipe is especially good for dogs with protein sensitivities. It doesn’t include chicken or beef, the most common allergens. Instead, the formula has lamb meal, whole lamb, and lamb broth as the first three ingredients.
This provides a complete and high-quality protein to adult dogs.
AvoDerm Senior Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food is a little different as it’s meant to provide digestible protein but also supports joints in older dogs.
To that end, the first ingredient is chicken meal, which is easy on the kidneys.
The recipe also includes chicken cartilage — a source of chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate. These are the building blocks of cartilage. While they can’t renew lost cartilage, they will preserve the existing one and support joint health.
Avoderm Triple Protein
AvoDerm Natural Triple Protein Meal Formula is a unique formula within the range. It consists of one dry food.
The recipe is an assortment of three different meat meals: chicken, lamb, and turkey.
It’s an exciting approach since all three are meat meals. This means that, besides the protein, the recipe is naturally rich in additional minerals coming from the meals.
This protein should be highly digestible and provide your dog with loads of high-quality animal protein.
Crude protein percentage is 26% which meets the AAFCO nutritional guidelines for all life stages.
Adding to the high-quality protein combo, the recipe contains brown rice as the main carb. Brown rice is a healthy whole grain with loads of fiber and nutrients.
Finally, the formula also contains avocado, flaxseed, and herring meal as the source of Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s a powerful and healthy combo of plant and animal sources.
Overall, the Triple Protein formula seems promising for dogs of all life stages. The only thing (potentially) missing is a source of chondroitin and glucosamine sulfate to take care of the joints as well.
Avoderm Weight Support
The Weight Support brand line is intended for dogs on weight management diets.
The line features 1 dry dog food and 1 canned dog food:
- AvoDerm Weight Support Chicken Meal & Brown Rice
- AvoDerm Chicken & Rice Recipe Weight Support Canned Food
The great thing about the dry formula is that it contains 25% less fat than the Original formulas. Crude fat percentage is 8% in dry dog food, similar to specific health diets for weight loss.
Furthermore, there is also enough fiber (5%) to support weight loss and make your furry friend feel full, quicker.
Crude protein is 20% in dry food. This protein meets the AAFCO guidelines, but we would like to see a little higher percentage. Protein is vital for weight loss efforts, and the higher amount might speed up the process.
Avoderm dog food also has a bit of a novel recipe in their range. Namely, one canned dog food formula is meant as a vegetarian option.
Avoderm Vegetarian Recipe does not contain animal protein sources. As such, it is especially suitable for dogs with animal protein allergies. For example, poultry and beef.
The formula has typical veggie goodies: soybean meal, potatoes, peas, carrots, blueberries, and cranberries. These are within the first ten ingredients.
Crude protein in this canned dog food is 7.5% which is good for wet food. Meaning your dog will get enough protein and amino acids.
It might come in handy as an option when you want to diversify your dog’s food a little bit and ease up on digestion.
Many ingredients in the Avoderm dog food range have been thoughtfully selected. The main ingredients — protein and carb sources — have been chosen to match specific dietary needs.
However, we are a bit skeptical about a few ingredients as well.
Let’s look at the most prominent ones and discuss the pros and cons.
For the most part, protein in Avoderm dog food comes from named meat meals.
In some cases, this is justified and provides additional health benefits. Meat meals are easier on the kidneys than whole meats. They are especially good for mature dogs or dogs with weight problems.
But, in most of the other formulas, we would like to see more whole meats. Whole meats are the source of animal protein. Interestingly, whole meats were mainly used in Avoderm wet food varieties.
Finally, the vegetarian option uses soybean meal as the primary protein source. Soy may prevent animal protein allergies, but it comes with its challenges.
For starters, the soy itself can be an allergen. So the vegetarian formula is definitely not suitable for all dogs.
Then, it’s an incomplete plant protein. Plant protein shows lower digestibility than animal one right off the bat. It might have been a good idea to supplement soy protein with another plant protein powerhouses, e.g. quinoa.
The avocado is in the brand’s name, so this fruit dominates the Avoderm dog food (yes, avocado is a fruit).
Avocado provides numerous health benefits: loads of amino acids, dietary fiber, and amazing fat content. It’s a great source of energy and nutrients.
Avocado also contains Omega-3 fatty acids, vital for heart health, glossy fur, and healthy skin.
However, you should know that plant sources of Omega-3s are incomplete. Fish is the only source of complete Omega-3s. That is why we prefer the recipes with added fish — like salmon or herring meal.
Some Avoderm formulas also include chicken fat, a high-quality animal source of fat.
The sources of fiber and carbs differ across the range and depend on the specific brand line.
For example, most grain-inclusive recipes feature brown rice as the main carb and fiber source. This is an excellent option since brown rice is a whole grain. It’s pretty rich in nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
Brown rice’s nutritional value is often rounded with ground rice, oatmeal, and rice bran. These are fine as long as they’re not the primary carb source. They will add nutrients and help build a more substantial nutritional value.
Grain-free and vegetarian formulas are different, though. Most of them include potatoes and peas.
Potatoes are fantastic for dogs. They are great grain substitutes, with plenty of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Sweet potatoes are preferred over regular ones.
As for peas — some grain-free formulas tend to be quite heavy on them, unfortunately. Several recipes include peas and pea derivatives, like pea flour and pea starch.
This is problematic since peas inflate the overall protein count. Furthermore, pea derivatives often indicate ingredient splitting. This means that the total of peas is probably higher than initially seen on the ingredient list.
Finally, the FDA is still investigating the link between peas and DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs. DCM is a severe heart disease that can result in a pet’s death. Until we have the final answer, it might be best for your furball to lay off too many peas.
We like that Avoderm makes it a point not to use corn or wheat. These are controversial ingredients, and there are many better options.
Preservatives, Colors, and Flavors
Avoderm is adamant about not using artificial colors and artificial flavors in their recipes. This makes a lot of sense when you know that their primary mission is addressing dogs’ allergies.
Artificial colors and flavors sometimes cause skin issues and allergic reactions. Therefore, it is only natural that Avoderm would stay clear of them.
However, they do use some other stuff. For instance, many formulas use tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, cassia gum, and xanthan gum.
These are all thickening agents and not uncommon in food. In fact, they are FDA-approved. However, they are still controversial as they could cause allergies and — ironically — skin and fur problems.
So, if your dog is showing allergy symptoms after eating Avoderm foods, these would be the most likely culprits. In that case, you should consult the vet and discontinue feeding them Avoderm dog food.
Avoderm Dog Food Reviews
Online reviews of Avoderm dog food are overwhelmingly positive.
Many dog owners mention that Avoderm stopped the itching, cured the rashes, and even soothed digestive issues. The dogs’ coats got shinier and were healthy-looking.
Furthermore, pet parents praise the taste of the food and say that their furry friends love it.
“This food is amazing. My pit mix suffers from allergies. So far, it is clearing up her dandruff, and her hives are gone. She is shedding less too. She’s picky and likes variations, so this food is amazing.”You can read more AvoDerm dog food reviews on Chewy.
A minor portion of commenters mentions their dogs developing allergic reactions, digestive issues, and disliking the taste of the food. Admittedly, some dog owners did not know their dogs were allergic to duck in the recipes, for example.
To avoid those scenarios, it’s always a good idea to talk to the vet about potential allergies. They can also administer an allergy test.
Avoderm Dog Food Recalls
So far, Avoderm has had one recall.
In September 2012, Breeder’s Choice voluntarily recalled a single batch of Avoderm dog food products. The food tested positive for salmonella contamination. No sick pets were reported.
It’s very encouraging that Avoderm hasn’t had many recalls in the past. This shows high-quality testing and procedures.
FDA regularly updates ongoing recall alerts on their website.
Avoderm dog food is an exciting, high-quality range.
The brand’s innovations don’t just end with the use of avocado. Look at Triple Protein and vegetarian formulas, or thoughtful use of meat meals. It’s clear they consider many factors when choosing ingredients.
That’s why it’s somewhat surprising that whole meats aren’t used more frequently, especially in dry dog food.
But, more importantly, the usage of preservatives like tricalcium phosphate and guar gum present potential health problems, like allergies.
Overall, Avoderm dog food is a great choice for many dogs — just not for those sensitive to certain preservatives or soy.
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