Review of Brothers Complete Dry Dog Food
Brothers Complete Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Brothers Complete product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Brothers Complete Chicken Meal and Egg
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, whole eggs dried, turkey meal, cassava root, peas, pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried chicken liver, pumpkin, ground flaxseed, alfalfa meal, dried carrots, potassium chloride, sea salt, choline chloride, dried whole cell algae (pure source of omega 3 DHA), mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), rosemary extract, green tea extract, encapsulated probiotics [dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product], digestive enzymes [amylase (Aspergillus oryzae), protease (Aspergillus oryzae), cellulase (Trichoderma reesei), lactase (Aspergillus oryzae), hemicellulase (Trichoderma reesei), lipase (Aspergillus oryzae), selective prebiotics [organic, long chain, highly branched inulin], vegetable pomace (carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach), cranberry pomace, lysine HCL, dl-methionine, lecithin, taurine, vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D3 supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, folic acid, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, l-ascorbyl 2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C activity), zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, vitamin B12 supplement, l-carnitine
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||40%||17%||35%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||35%||31%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient is whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The third ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The next ingredient is cassava root, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 eighth ingredient is dried chicken liver, a dehydrated product made from whole chicken livers. Because it contains about 62% protein and 20% fat, this item makes a favorable addition to this dog food.
The ninth ingredient is pumpkin, a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene 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 Brothers Complete product.
With 6 notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is 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.
Next, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
We also note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, we find vegetable pomace, the solid by-product of vegetables after pressing for juice or oil. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.
Vegetable pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough vegetable pomace here to make much of a difference.
And lastly, this food 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Brothers Complete looks like an above-average dry dog food.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Brothers Complete Dog Food
Brothers Complete is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals and egg as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Has Brothers Complete Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Brothers.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
02/20/2021 Last Update