You’ll find Delicate Care recommended and sold by a number of vets. It’s made by Natural Balance in Freo, WA, which makes it Australian 👍
We’ve rated it 8 out of 10, which may surprise many given the first ingredient is “tapioca”, but read on and I’ll explain.
Firstly, Delicate Care is one of the only alternatives to Hills and Royal Canin prescription diets, with offerings for skin/stomach, dental, mobility, and weight management. Quite frankly, this is the better alternative to those corporate brands (made by Colgate-Palmolive and Mars respectively), as well as being a viable alternative to many commercial brands. It’s also Australian.
Let’s focus on the elephant in the room – tapioca. It’s far from ideal seeing this as the most prominent ingredient, but the inclusion of ingredients such as this is a manufacturing necessity. If kibble was comprised entirely of meat it wouldn’t bind into a kibble. It wouldn’t sell for a profit either. All kibbles have some kind of grain or plant carbohydrate as a significant portion of the food, often cunningly disguised using techniques such as “ingredient splitting”. Tapioca has shown to be more digestible than the problematic wheat (common cause of allergies), and doesn’t cause the insulin spike which corn does. It’s gluten free, and as a bonus to manufacturers it’s also cheap and readily available in Australia.
The rest of the product is very good, which is the reason for the 4 stars.
There are no artificial chemicals, preservatives, or antioxidants. Minerals are chelated, which means they are of a better quality and should be more readily absorbed. They claim 70% of protein comes from meat (I’m looking at the Adult formula), which in this case is duck meal (Note, that’s 70% of the protein, not 70% of the product – so 70% of the 24% protein would be approx 17%). The meat selections in all products are chosen as they’re not common causes of intolerances or allergies. If you have an itchy scratchy dog, this will very likely work for you.
As a whole, the carbs sit pretty high (estimated 46%). Protein is moderate, with protein from sorghum and chick peas included in that. Fat sits relatively low. That makes the composition relatively standard compared to many, but with better ingredient inclusions.
I’ll end on a very positive point – It’s made to human-grade food standards, and that’s a big plus when you know how poor other pet food standards are.
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Sorghum, Duck Meal, Chick Peas, Tallow, Sugar Beet Pulp, Natural Flavours, Omega Magic™ Essential Oil Blend, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Blueberries, Turmeric, FOS (Fructo-Oligo-Saccharides), Bacillus subtilis, L-Lysine, MOS (Manno-Oligo-Saccharides), DL-Methionine, Yucca schidigera Extract, Vitamins A D3 E K3 B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B12, Folic Acid, Biotin, Copper (from Sulphate), Copper Chelate, Zinc (from Sulphate), Zinc Chelate, Manganese (from Oxide), Manganese Chelate, Iron (from Sulphate), Iron Chelate, Selenium, and Iodine. Product protected by natural mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract.
- Made to human grade food standards
- No artificial chemicals, preservatives, or antioxidants
- Chelated minerals
- Lots of tapioca