Blackwood dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Blackwood product line includes four canned 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.
- Blackwood Lamb and Vegetable
- Blackwood Chicken and Vegetable
- Blackwood Turkey, Tripe and Vegetable
- Blackwood Chicken, Salmon and Pumpkin
Blackwood Chicken, Salmon and Pumpkin was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blackwood Chicken, Salmon and Pumpkin
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, chicken hearts, salmon, peas, pumpkin puree, green lipped mussel, carrots, carrageenan, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, guar gum, vitamins & organic minerals (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, calcium d-pantothenate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, choline chloride, biotin, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, iodine, selenium yeast), potassium chloride, taurine
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||18%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||38%||28%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is chicken heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The fourth ingredient lists salmon. Salmon is a fatty marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The fifth item is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient lists green-lipped mussel. Mussels are clam-like animals notably rich in glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients proven to support long-term joint health.
The eighth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
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, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
Next, we find guar gum, another thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
Then, this recipe also contains 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.
Blackwood Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Blackwood looks like an above-average canned 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Blackwood canned dog food is a grain-free wet product using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or turkey as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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
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Notes and Updates
05/06/2010 Original review
12/06/2010 Review updated
09/01/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩