Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Formula product line includes two dry recipes.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Formula Chicken Meal and Brown Rice
- Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Formula Lamb Meal and Brown Rice (3.5 stars)
Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Formula Chicken Meal and Brown Rice was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Breeder's Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Chicken and Brown Rice Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Brown rice, chicken meal, chicken cartilage (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and ascorbic acid), flax seed (source of omega 3 fatty acids), dried egg product, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, monosodium phosphate, choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), copper sulfate, amino acid chelates of zinc, iron, manganese, copper and cobalt, niacin, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, d-biotin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists 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 second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes chicken cartilage, a source of both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate — natural substances believed to support joint health.
The fourth ingredient is 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 fifth 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth 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.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Breeder’s Choice Active Care
Healthy Joint Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Formula looks like an above-average dry 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 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint Formula dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
02/16/2010 Original review
09/22/2010 Review updated
01/19/2012 Review updated
07/22/2013 Review updated
07/22/2013 Last Update