Adirondack Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Adirondack Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Adirondack product line includes four dry dog foods.

Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Adirondack Large Breed Adult
  • Adirondack 26% Protein Active Recipe Adult (4.5 stars)
  • Adirondack 21% Protein Everyday Recipe Adult (3 stars)
  • Adirondack 30% Protein for Puppy/Performance Dogs (5 stars)

Adirondack Large Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Adirondack Large Breed Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, oat groats, ground grain sorghum, pearled barley, pork meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, brewers dried yeast, whole ground flaxseed, natural flavor, potassium chloride, menhaden fish oil, dl-methionine, l-lysine, salt, choline chloride, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, organic dried kelp, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, iron sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%13%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%29%48%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.

The fourth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient includes pearled barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog. The term “pearled” means the grain has been processed to remove its outer hull and bran, unlike whole barley.

The sixth ingredient includes pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

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 this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, we note the inclusion of menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.

What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not as likely to be exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deep water species.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Adirondack Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Adirondack Dog Food looks like an above average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Adirondack Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or pork meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/07/2010 Original review
11/02/2010 Review updated
12/26/2010 Review corrected (see comment from Wes)
10/07/2012 Unable to locate current product data
12/21/2013 Review updated
12/21/2013 Last Update

  • Gregg Bernhardt

    Adirondack is and has always been a Blackwood brand. Sort of like Whole Earth Farms is made by Merrick.

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  • Ryan

    Is Adirondack Dog Food now Blackwood? Or has it always been? They seem to support Blackwood on their FB page.

    Just curious.

  • Audie Dewey

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  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    As it says in bold red letters at the top of this review:

    UNABLE TO LOCATE CURRENT PRODUCT DATA

    If you can find a website that contains the information I need, I’d be more than happy to update it. Just send me the link to Adirondack using the Contact Us link form in the footer of any page.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dr Mike has hundreds of reviews to keep track of, so he updates each one every 18 months. This one is due in April. You can compare the ingredients yourself and see if it looks like they have changed. Also look at the guaranteed analysis and compare it to the numbers that Dr Mike has listed in the box.

  • H

    Hey can someone update this info? I would just like to know if you’ve gotten any new info since last year. Thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/d.doyle62 Deirdre Doyle

    I honestly don’t get how you can “recommend” a food that is plant or grain based and contains any fractions or questionable items in the first several ingredients, nor do I understand why you bother to question an ingredient like garlic when it’s low enough on the list to be a non-starter in anemia in dogs, ever. Also, none of this considers the quality of the ingredients in the first place – meat 4D or human grade, for example – or the likelihood of pre-added chemicals that do not have to be named on the bag. Let’s face it, NO commercial kibble is a great food for dogs – even if all its ingredients are pure as the driven snow and have no unnamed additives – because it’s too highly processed to be nutritious. Processed food is no better for dogs than it is for humans.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Wes… Oops, you’re right. I’ve now fixed the error. Thanks for calling it to my attention. :)

  • wes

    I thought I’d just point out that the review says the second ingredient is corn meal when the ingredients lists clearly says chicken meal.
    -wes