Boots and Barkley (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED
See the Following Related Review

Earth’s Pride Pet (Dry)

Boots and Barkley Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The Boots and Barkley Dog Food product line includes two dry recipes. Although each formulation 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.

  • Boots and Barkley Complete and Balanced Dog Food
  • Boots and Barkley Complete and Balanced Puppy Food

Boots and Barkley Complete and Balanced Dog Food was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Boots and Barkley Complete and Balanced Dog Food

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 57%

Ingredients: Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), rice, corn gluten meal, poultry by-product meal, animal digest, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, added color (red 40, yellow 5, blue 2, yellow 6), vitamin A supplement, dicalcium phosphate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement (source of antioxidant), ferrous sulfate, niacin, zinc sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%11%57%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%26%52%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient 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. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

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

The third 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 fourth 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.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly 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 seventh ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

The eighth ingredient is animal digest. 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.

The ninth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

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

And lastly, 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.

Boots and Barkley Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Boots and Barkley 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 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Boots and Barkley Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of meat and bone meal or chicken by-product meal as its main sources 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.

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

11/12/2011 Original Review
04/08/2014 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
  • Jennifer Wilson

    My husband bought a 12 pack of B & B wet dog food (on clearance at Target) yesterday and my dog wouldn’t eat it. My dog has been known to eat poop, grass, and bugs and still won’t eat this dog food. Husband is returning dog food today.

  • Mike Osborne

    I bought some of this Boots and Barkely dog food at Target and my dog died yesterday. She had diarrhea for a couple of days.

  • MyMuttChihuahua

    Can this be the reason to my puppie’s death today? She was fine when I started feeding her Purina puppy chow, but I thought trying something a little more affordable would be ok. I got her Boots and Barkley puppy food and she was eating it so I thought it was fine. Then started seeing a little red in her droppings but never really thought much of it. She then recently refused to eat that food after 3-4 weeks so I started feeding her Purina Puppy Chow again and she ate normally again. Just last weekend I ran out of Purina so I fed her B&B, tried feeding her that till it was finished cause she ate it fine again but three days after eating it she started gagging randomly. And today i just came home a little while ago to find her stiff and unconscious on my bedroom floor. :(

  • Black Dog

    Nevermind, back at Tar jay today and this junk back on shelves. Oh, so much for my wish that they had finally removed this horrible product…..

  • Pattyvaughn

    Milk Bone brand can have bugs too. If you want to feed biscuits, put them in an airtight container and freeze them. This will kill the eggs. Just make sure they come all the way up to room temp before opening the bag when you remove them from the freezer.

  • Wolfpup

    I just threw out a box of small milk bones of this brand that were full of bugs…not when I bought them, but sometime since then. Must have been in the box at purchase, though, because I transfer about 1/3 of the box to an air-tight container that I keep in my kitchen, and that is where I found the massive bug infestation. Not as many in the carton in the closet, but they were definitely in both places. That’s what I get for not buying milk bones brand. And to think my dog has been eating them for several weeks.

  • Black Dog

    Is this junk still for sale? Out of curiosity last time I was at Target I did not see it on their shelves thank goodness. Just the normal “good” foods like Purina, Pedigree and Iams, lol.

  • SandyandMila

    That boy was hungry! :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    They say pigs are the smartest domestic animal, maybe he was channeling his inner pig.

  • InkedMarie

    thats awesome!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Yea, one of my pugs grumbles like a pig all the time. I caught one of my boys opening their kibble container! He unsnapped the lid!

  • SandyandMila

    sorry it was I who posted the pic, I was trying to delete the copies but it just deleted my username. hope you like it.

  • Guest

    I saw this pic on facebook and thought of you. :)

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Have you seen KIbble Select Complete? It’s even worse.

  • mikefly562

    Target should be ashamed for carrying this garbage product. The people behind this pos dig food should be sitting in a prison cell for animal cruelty.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Eight of the first ten ingredients are garbage and it has four different food colors after that. I can’t imagine who would feed that to their dog.

  • AnitaLee

    I have a dog staying with me in my boarding kennel that is eating this food. She is pooping red. I kid you not. Who would pour their dog a bowl of red kibble? Another dog food that stinks like chemicals similar to Beneful. .

  • Bearronbee

    Absolutely Crazy4Dogs!!!! I AGREE!!!;)

  • Bearronbee

    No it’s not too harsh!!! I just watched a show called Rig Hunters and they delivered rotting duck and duck necks to a dog food facility which they accepted! The driver was vomiting when he opened the boxes it smelled so bad!! He also said that he has smelled dead bodies that have smelled better than that duck !! So it’s not too harsh! I only wish I knew what dog food brand those rotting ducks were going into!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    The only thing not in RED on this food is the vitamins. What really ticks me off is that the package shows a happy little puppy and they insist it’s complete and balanced. So, if I eat just total inedible garbage, but I take a vitamin every day, all is good? I truly hate marketing! I love this site and send everyone I meet that has a dog to this site. Thanks Mike!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    The review doesn’t mention the BHA in the animal fat like it usually does; an oversight I’m sure.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Not that the review can go any lower anyways.. lol

  • http://twitter.com/bszoldak Bruce Zoldak

    fair is fair. If they have cruddy ingredients, they get a cruddy score…. this a GREAT SERVICE you provide to people who love their dogs….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Sirolly/1795325887 Daniel Sirolly

    As far as Boots at, Barkley goes in the category of the snack sticks wrapped with the chicken pieces, They come in as number one in the only category that I find relevant. They are the only item in this class that my dog even eats and beyond that She eats them with an incredible gusto Ma’am , There must be something about them that is good enough to deserve such unsolicited praise. I wish it were otherwise, because I think they are are wap too expensive – over $30 for a pack of 100.

  • Denise0331

    So sorry! I hope you wrote to Target to tell them about your experience!

  • http://twitter.com/CarseyDeb Deb

    Well, I now have full details on the manufacturer who appears to only have 32 employees according to the Denver Chamber of Commerce. This means it’s a pretty small company so I doubt they supply anyone other than Target. I’ll update as I get more information

    Kasel Associated Industries 
    Raymond Kasel Owner(Kasel Industries Inc)

    3315 Walnut St

    Denver, CO 80205 (map)

    Phone: (303) 296-4417

  • http://twitter.com/CarseyDeb Deb

    We purchased 6 cans of their dog food (Target’s home brand) this week, and I was very pleased with the ingredient list. I did not have time to look at their kibble though. I’ll pay more attention on my next trip, after some serious googling I’ve determined that only a couple of Target stores carry the canned food in the SF Bay Area it appears. While the chicken and rice version carried Poultry By-product meal as a second ingredient I don’t feel that is a bad thing since I’m a believer that dogs need more than just the parts of the animal that we would eat. (no meat by-products whatsoever though!). I’ll take a look this week and try to get the ingredients posted up for a real evaluation

  • Gutierrezi1415

    i switched my dog’s food to this. within two to three days my dog got sick. he was extremely lethargic, wouldnt eat or drink water, wouldnt bark anymore and wouldnt walk anymore, and lost 10lbs withing a week. he couldnt. took him to the vet and couldnt find anything wrong with him. he said it was probably something he ate. took him home after injections, blood work, and iv’s. he was happy again. the next day, he went back to being horrible and depressed. switched his food to what i had him on before and he ate as soon as i set the bowl down. it was the food all along. to bad for me and my family and my dog…it was too late. he died a couple of days later. DO NOT BUY THIS FOOD!!!

  • Lisamako

    well at least its not on the new recall

  • LabsRawesome

    No wonder, it has like 10 red flag ingredients!

  • Mstefanacci

    Boots and barkley….more like boots and fartly!!!!!!! When my dog eats this wet food, clear the room and crack the windows!!!

  • Leslie

    If you are looking for a reasonably priced good quality dry dog food I recommend Berkeley and Jensen’s Holistic. I have been using it for a couple of months now and my yorkie is doing great on it! A 17 lb bag is $19.99 at BJ’s Warehouse. The ingredients are listed on the bag and Dog Food Advisor gives it 4 stars.

    It helps offset the price of the Stella and Chewy’s that I sprinkle on top. : )

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Test reply

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Jan, I actually got my containers off Amazon. I was looking for something to put the clothes in that my family members wear to work and stores (places with fragrances and other toxins). Since I have no immune system, even trace amounts are life threatening. I get my dog toys there to. ;-)

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    You know, I used to go to Target for some dog/cat supplies, like collars, dog food bins, dog/cat beds, poop bags, toys etc. I never bought any food there but their supplies were pretty good and reasonably priced. Within the last year, though, they’ve been pretty “bedraggled” in their pet dept. Maybe my local Target got a new buyer or something but I’ve been very disappointed. Hardly ever buy any pet things from there now, except for the occasional bag of World’s Best litter.

  • Patrick

    I guess Target wanted to compete against Wal Mart for who could make the worst dog food. Looks like a tie to me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Chris,
    :-), thanks!

  • Chris Valley

    Toxed, that is funny! I like the B&B cat litter too, but this food is garbage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Toxed2loss Toxed2loss

    Well, this dog food looks horrible! I do have to say their dogfood storage containers are terrific! They seal so completely no VOCs get out. I can see why they needed to seal tight with this garbage in their food. Anyway, something good did come out of this bad food. :-)