Ben’s Best Dog Food (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Ben’s Best Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Ben’s Best Dog Food product line includes one dry recipe, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages.

Ben's Best Dog Food

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 59%

Ingredients: Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, wheat middlings, corn gluten feed, hominy feed, corn distillers dried grains with solubles, soybean meal, wheat flour, animal fat (preserved with BHA, BHT, and ethoxyquin), calcium carbonate, animal digest, salt, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, silicon dioxide, sodium selenite, copper sulfate, niacin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione dimethylpyrimidinol bisulfite, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, and folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%9%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%21%56%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 56%

The first ingredient in this dog food is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient includes wheat middlings, commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

Unfortunately, the variations in nutrient content found in wheat middlings can be a critical issue in determining their suitability for use in any dog food — or even livestock feeds.3

In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically associated with lower quality pet foods.

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten feed, a by-product from the manufacture of cornstarch and corn syrup. However, corn gluten feed should not be confused with corn gluten meal.

That’s because corn gluten feed contains about 30% protein, about half that of corn gluten meal. And when compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins lower in many of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

In addition, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

It’s unusual to find this feed item in a commercial dog food. As its name suggests, corn gluten feed is primarily used as an ingredient in cattle feeds.

The fifth ingredient is hominy feed. Hominy feed is a cereal grain by-product consisting of corn bran, corn germ and unextracted starchy portions left over after milling corn.

Aside from its energy content, this item is more typically found in cattle feed and is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient lists corn distillers grains with solubles, a by-product of the ethanol (bio-fuel) industry. This low quality ingredient is frequently found in cattle feed and only rarely used to make pet food.

The seventh ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The ninth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA and BHT and ethoxyquin. All of these chemical additives are suspected cancer-causing agents (carcinogens).

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, animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

In addition, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this recipe contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Ben’s Best Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Ben’s Best Dog Food looks like a below-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 24%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten feed and soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Ben’s Best is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not 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.

Ben’s Best Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

08/03/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Wheat Middlings as defined in an article by Wikipedia
  • mahoraner niall

    lol ikr

  • Pitlove

    i know this is from 2 months ago but i just laughed so hard at this

  • Dori

    Funny!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Lol yeah.

  • Kim Millard

    Would hate to see what Ben’s Worst Dog Food is like if this is their best.

  • Dori

    This food is put out by Shawnee Feed (not food) that puts out a number of feeds for a variety of animals which is a subsidiary of Shawnee Mills.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Ugh. Yeah. It’s so scary what they actually have the nerve to put in dog food. Follow the money, I guess.

  • Dori

    It really shouldn’t be legal to make or sell this food. Seems like they deliberately found every questionable and toxic ingredient they could find and put it all in one bag. This is like googling what ingredients not to feed your animal. How is this allowed?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Or artificial coloring, for that matter. Weird, because artificial colors and PG are both to change the appearance of the food for the humans to like it better.

  • Dori

    Surprised it even gets one star. Seriously this food has a lot of horrible ingredients in it. Can’t recall seeing this much red one right after the horrible. I hope no ones actually feeding this to their dogs. Yikes! But like you said D.O. No PG.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    This must be a great food, because it doesn’t contain Propylene Glycol! It has every other bad ingredient, preservative, and filler known to man, but no PG!

    Seriously though, how many artificial preservatives for a single ingredient do you need?!