Bravo! Balance raw frozen dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Bravo! Balance product line includes three frozen raw 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.
- Bravo! Balance Beef Formula (4 stars)
- Bravo! Balance Turkey Formula (3 stars)
- Bravo! Balance Chicken Formula (3 stars)
Bravo! Balance Chicken Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Bravo Balance Chicken Formula
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken bones, chicken liver, chicken gizzards, chicken hearts, green beans, broccoli, acorn squash, salt, potassium chloride, tocopherol vitamin E, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cholecalciferol vitamin D3
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||41%||9%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||67%||6%|
The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is chicken bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
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 is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient is chicken gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.
The sixth ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The seventh ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
The eighth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, 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 one notable exception…
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.
Bravo! Balance Raw Frozen Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Bravo! Balance looks like an above-average raw 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 44%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 2% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 96%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat.
Bravo! Balance is a meat-based raw frozen dog food using a significant amount of poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
However, with 67% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 27% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.
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.
Bravo! Dog Food
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.
- Bravo Dog Food Recall December 2015 (12/10/2015)
- Bravo Dog Food Recall July 2015 (7/23/2015)
- Bravo Dog and Cat Food Recall (9/26/2014)
- Bravo! Dog and Cat Food Recall (5/14/2014)
- Bravo! Raw Frozen Dog Food Recall (4/3/2013)
- Warning Issued for Bravo! and Steve’s Real Raw Pet Foods (3/13/2013)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
11/03/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩