Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: November 9, 2023

AvoDerm Grain-Free Pouches Review

Updated: November 9, 2023

Our Verdict

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Recommended

Avoderm Grain Free wet cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 4 stars.

The food includes  premium protein sources as the first, second, or third ingredient. The recipes provide balanced nutrition, are grain-free, and have no corn, wheat, or soy, making them ideal for cats with food intolerances.

Pros
  • High in protein
  • High in moisture content
  • No corn, wheat, or soy
  • Omega-rich
Cons
  • Some recipes contain plant-based protein

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

The AvoDerm grain free product line includes four wet cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grain-Free Chicken & Duck Recipe in Gravy 4 A
Grain-Free Tuna Recipe in Gravy 4 M
Grain-Free Salmon Recipe in Gravy 4 M
Grain-Free Ocean Fish Recipe in Gravy 4 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

AvoDerm Grain Free Tuna Recipe in Gravy was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

AvoDerm Grain Free Tuna Recipe in Gravy

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

66.7%

Protein

11.1%

Fat

14.2%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Tuna, fish broth, mackerel, tapioca starch, sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, avocado oil, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, taurine, minerals (zinc oxide, reduced iron, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), magnesium oxide


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is tuna.  Tuna is an oily marine fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.  

This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1

The second ingredient is mackerel.  Mackerel is an oily salt-water fish naturally high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat needed by every dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The fourth ingredient is sunflower oil.  Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.  

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.  There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorus. In addition, this additive is used in wet foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.

The sixth ingredient is avocado oil.  Avocado products can be somewhat controversial. Supporters claim the ingredient to be nutrient rich and beneficial to a cat’s skin and coat — while others worry over what are mostly unsubstantiated concerns over potential poisoning. 

These fears appear to originate from a 1984 study in which goats consumed the leaves (not the fruit) of the Guatemalan (not the Mexican) avocado and became ill.2 

Toxicity is based upon the presence of persin in avocado. Cats are rarely affected by persin [Pet Poison Helpline], and therefore consuming products of the avocado flesh are generally safe. 

Based upon our own review of the literature, it is our opinion that the anxiety over avocado ingredients in cat food appears to be unjustified.

The seventh ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

The eighth ingredient is potassium chloride, a nutritional supplement sometimes used as a replacement for the sodium found in table salt.

From here the list goes on to include a number of other items. But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of the product.

However, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Recipe star rating: 4

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, AvoDerm Grain Free Tuna Recipe in Gravy looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 66.7%, a fat level of 11.1% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 14.2%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 54.5% and a near-average fat level of 14.2%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23.3% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 28%.

This means the AvoDerm grain free wet food pouches contain higher than average protein, lower than average carbohydrate and near average fat, when compared to typical wet cat food.

Final Word

AvoDerm wet food in pouches is grain free and omega-rich, due to the inclusion of fish.  The foods offer a good source of protein and have high moisture content.

They are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO cat food nutrient profiles mainly for maintenance, although there is a recipe within the range for all life stages.

Has AvoDerm cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes, AvoDerm has issued recalls in the past. 

For full details, visit the Dog Food Advisor, but in summary:

In September 2012 – there was reported potential salmonella contamination which affected AvoDerm’s Natural Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Adult Dog Food Recipe.

You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.

To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.

About

AvoDerm was founded in 1982 and is well known for the inclusion of avocado in its ingredient list, due to the founders wanting to offer recipes that targeted better skin and coat quality in pets.

AvoDerm has significantly expanded its offerings to include cat food and a wide range of dog food.

AvoDerm is owned and operated by Breeders Choice, which is based in Irwindale, California.

Sources

1: Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials

2: Craigmill AL, et al. Toxicity of avocado (Persea americana, Guatamalan variety) leaves: review and preliminary report, Vet Hum Toxicol 1984;26:381

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