Bench and Field Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

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

The Bench and Field product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Bench and Field Holistic Natural Canine Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols), pork meal, dried beet pulp, fish meal, flaxseed, dried egg product, tomato pomace, menhaden fish oil, carrots, peas, sun-cured alfalfa, salt, potassium chloride, quinoa (organic), blueberries, apples, inulin beta-carotene, cranberries, dehydrated kelp, glucosamine hydrochloride, Yucca schidigera extract, dl-methionine, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-pantothenic acid, niacin supplement, choline chloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, ascorbic acid, biotin, lecithin, rosemary extract, inositol, polysaccharide complexes of zinc, iron, manganese, copper, and cobalt, potassium iodate, sodium selenite, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus coagulans, Aspergillus oryzae, and Aspergillus niger

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%17%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%35%42%

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 is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.

The fourth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

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

The seventh 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.

The eighth ingredient includes fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.

The tenth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The next ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

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, we find menhaden fish 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 exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deeper water species.

Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

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.

Bench and Field Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Bench and Field Holistic Natural 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 27%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

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 peas found further down in the ingredient list, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Bench and Field Holistic Natural dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

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

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

06/13/2011 Original review
12/29/2012 Review updated
12/29/2012 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Bench and Field Customer Service via email, 5/4/2011
  • Joe Jennings

    My two guys love Bench & Field. This review really put my worries at ease. Thank you!

  • reeses mom

    I am trying this for the first . I am glad to hear it great for the coat. I had my Min Pin on Blue Buffalow grain free. That was first time her coat was glossy and shiny no flakes or dandruff. I came across this at Jewe Food . Stores. Its not in the dog food isle but they keep it in the holistic isle. I cannot afford the Blue Buffalo at this time. I liked the good reviews.
    Thank you
    Illinois

  • Amanda

    I’ve had my dog on this food for almost 5 years! Previous dog foods we tried, including other holistic blends, made him itchy and with some, an upset tummy. With this brand my little guy has a great coat and no food-related allergies as far as I can tell! I also really like the price when compared to other dog natural or holistic dog foods :)

  • losul

    ” I am so glad to have found a brand that agrees with her.”

    Thumbs up Theo. Now if brand was plural, even better..

  • Theo

    Hello, I’ve been feeding my dog Kirkland Premium dog food for quite some time. Recently, my dog would get stomach upset ffrom it so out of desperations, I tried Bench and Field that I found at Trader Joes. After 1 feeding, her problems were gone and she is now thriving on it. I am so glad to have found a brand that agrees with her.

  • Laura

    I bought this food in the hopes it will help my dogs shedding. She has a great deal of dandruff from when I started her on Rachel Ray food. She is already chowing down!

  • Becky

    AFTER MY DOG AQUIRED MANGE AS A PUPPY AND 400.00 DOLLARS LATER I HEARD ABOUT BENCH AND FIELD DRY PRODUCT. HIS COAT GREW BACK WITH SUCH SHINE AND HE LOOKS HEALTHY HE IS VERY ENERGETIC HAS GREAT MUSCLE TONE. SPARKY WILL BE 10 YEARS OLD THIS MONTH AND STILL ENJOYS THIS DRY PRODUCT. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS PRODUCT.

  • Pattyvaughn

    What happened to Trader Joe’s or are you actually feeding both?

  • Red

    I am pretty sure that the Bench & Field being sold now is made and owned by WellPet, Wellness/Eagle/Holistic Select.

    It is an old brand name, though.

  • Jq

    I used to get my dog blue buffalo dry food. He would always hesitate to eat and pretty much starve himself, even when I mixed wet food in with it. He would pick out the wet food and spit out the dry food. I bought Bench and Field Holistic Dog Food last week and he eats like he has ever eaten before. My dog is naturally underweight so I am glad I finally found a food that he enjoys eating and eats all of when I serve him.

  • Mommyof2grls2003

    I enjoy Bench and Field dry dog food. One of our dogs had a skin condition (skin was red and warm to touch). We tried everything (food and shampoo) for about a year…nothing worked. Once we had our animals on this food, the condition cleared up. Their coats are gorgeous.  Also, I love it since I have celiac and it’s gluten free. 

  • felicia

    We have a 4 month old puppy who just loves Bench and Field dry dog food. She eats 3 times a day. Everyone has commented on how shiny her coat is. She never has loose stools or have to go out to poop anything near as often as dogs we’ve had in the past before we started to really pay attention to ingredients.
    We do not want our pup eating Corn, wheat flour or chicken beaks and feet …Bench and Field is Great.
    Thank you.

  • Kristine Henson

    I have raised 2 dogs on Bench and Field. My first American Staffordshire lived to be 15, and was healthy and strong.
    The second dog didn’t have Bench and Field for a while, I couldn’t get it. Now that he’s been on Bench and Field Natural Holistic, he has superior coat, skin and energy. He is 14, going on 15, and has NEVER BEEN TO THE VET FOR ILLNESS.
    I feed “at will” and always have a bowl of food and fresh water out for my dog. He eats when hungry- sometimes a day or 2 may pass in between his meals. He’s never been fat, and never too thin. I leave it up to him to regulate his intake. This dog food is THE BEST!!!!! No more loose stools, no gas, and lots less shedding of hair. In fact, someone wants to use my 14 year old dog for breeding! We’ll see, with such good nutrition, who knows!

  • Sylvie Post

    Dear Mike Sagman,
    This is a note to thank you most sincerely for reviewing Bench & Field kibble dog food. It’s available at Trader Joe’s where a lot of retired people on limited income shop. I’m so glad this good got four stars!

    Thanks again for your excellent work!

    Sylvie Post