Beaverdam Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Beaverdam Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second highest-tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Beaverdam product line includes four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Beaverdam Hi-Protein
  • Beaverdam Eli’s Select Grain Free (5 stars)
  • Beaverdam Puppy/Adult Hi-Energy (4 stars)
  • Beaverdam 21/12 Skipper’s Choice (3 stars)

Beaverdam Hi-Protein was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Beaverdam Hi-Protein

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Pork meal, millet pearl grain, sorghum, chicken meal, brown rice, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), alfalfa, montmorillonite clay, flax, salt, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), biotin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), folic acid, minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, folic acid, cobalt carbonate), dried chicory root, selenium yeast, lecithin, hydrolyzed yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast culture, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtillis fermentation extract, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin, mixed tocopherols and citric acid (preservatives), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%13%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%29%44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The second ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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 alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The ninth ingredient is montmorillonite clay, a naturally occurring compound rich in many trace minerals. Montmorillonite has been approved for use in USDA Organic Certified products.

Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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 four notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

In addition, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

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.

Beaverdam Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Beaverdam looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 30%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Beaverdam Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of pork or chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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

01/28/2015 Last Update

  • dani

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  • tiff

    Meal has more protein than the meat. Its just the cooking process of the meat really.

  • Dkobus

    I found this food by chance while buying rabbit food. When I decided to try it I went with the Eli’s select with the higher protein to see how my dogs would like it. At first one of my dogs didn’t want to try it, i kept full a bowl out in case he would switch (was feeding them Blue at first) after 2 days the Eli’s was gone and the Blue was full. I have tried to feed them other foods to mix it up, after the first bowl they go back to the Eli’s.

    I have 2 – ESS and a GS they love this food!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Feed both. No food is perfect and it’s ok to offer a variety in the diet. For my crew, I feed kibble, canned, dehydrated, and raw, freeze dried, different brands, different flavors. They love every meal.

  • http://www.pibblesnme.com/ Bren Lee

    Thanks Sandy. I’m trying to weigh out the pros and cons of Beaverdam and Source foods as that’s what I’m currently feeding my boy.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    According to their website, beef meal is the first ingredient in the grain free. Beef is a good ingredient but it is 80% water so when it’s cooked, it ends up being alot less. So I would also look for a meat meal in addition to just meat.

  • http://www.pibblesnme.com/ Bren Lee

    We’ve recently tried this food but it bothers me that the first ingredient in the grain-free is not Beef or Chicken but is Beef Meal and Chicken Meal. Which is better? The real meat or a meal?

  • 379bella

    This food is high quality! I live in Delaware and the family that owns this brand lives in Delaware too and they are out meeting and showing their faces to the public all of the time. They are proud of their “NO meat or bone meal”, “NO artificial coloring, flavoring or preservatives”, “NO corn, wheat, soy or gluten” dog foods!
    I only feed my dogs Beaverdam “Hi-Protein” pet food. They really like it and they are all very healhty, (3 of my own and several fosters).
    This food can be found at Ace Hardware all throughout Delaware and Maryland. (Not sure about other states) It can also be purchased from their website as another commenter stated. I recomend this dog food to everyone! (And I love my dogs like children!)

  • Melanie

    Note: The above post was in regards to Beaverdam Eli’s Select Grain Free 33/16! I hope this helped a few of you make a decision :)

  • Melanie

    This food is only $57.95 for 40#! It’s difficult finding grain-free foods available in 30#, much less 40! That alone is amazing. The min. protein listed is 33%.

    The first 11 ingredients are: Beef Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chicken Fat, Pork Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Egg Product, Flax Seed, Potassium Chloride, Dried Kelp…

    You can buy directly from their website at: http://www.beaverdampetfood.com
    Just go to the “Purchase On-Line” tab.

    Note – I’m sorry that I cannot provide a personal review. My dog tends to have very loose stool when the max. protein exceeds 30%, so I will not put my dog on this. I think this food would be a great option for most dogs though! It’s sad that it’s an overlooked option!

    My cousin buys this food from an Amish market in Maryland and her dog seems to do very well on the grain-free line. The food has *not* made her dog sick in any way, which is always great. He’s slimming down and is no longer showing any symptoms of allergies (he used to eat a basic Purina or Pedigree formula and was a very itchy dog.) I think he would recommend this food! ;)