Brothers Complete Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Brothers Complete Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Brothers Complete product line includes four dry 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.

  • Brothers Complete Lamb Meal and Egg Formula
  • Brothers Complete Turkey Meal and Egg Formula
  • Brothers Complete Chicken Meal and Egg Formula
  • Brothers Complete Venison Meal and Egg Formula

Brothers Complete Chicken Meal and Egg Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Brothers Complete Chicken Meal and Egg

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 40% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, whole eggs dried, turkey meal, cassava/tapioca, 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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis36%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%17%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%35%31%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 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 fourth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy 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 seventh 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 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. Pumpkin is 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 product.

With four 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.

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.

Brothers Complete Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Brothers Complete Dog Food looks like an above-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 40%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.

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

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.

Bottom line?

Brothers Complete is a grain-free, plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats and egg as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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.

Brothers Complete Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

09/24/2016 Last Update

  • Genesis Rules

    I bought a bag of the fish formula and it was almost expired. It smelled like rotting fish. I threw it out

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  • Bobsburgers,

    I read Mr Darlington’s post and he never said “he was able to check the IP address of someone who posted on DFA” as you claim.

    Your comment is a distortion of the truth and intentionally designed to be provocative and incendiary. You are no longer welcome in this community and your misleading comment has been removed.

  • Bobsburgers,

    I read Mr Darlington’s post and he never said “he was able to check the IP address of someone who posted on DFA”. Your comment is a distortion of the truth and intentionally designed to be provocative and incendiary. You are no longer welcome in this community.

  • Like all Disqus blogs, no one has access to the IP addresses of its participants except the moderator.

    Because it has once again become a hangout for troublemakers and trolls, this thread is once again closed.

  • dixie’smo

    I agree Mellissa,

    Dr Mike is a stand up guy. To say the least.

  • Melissaandcrew

    HI dixie’s mom-

    That may or may not be true-However, I did go and read the comment Bob is referring to, and it in fact was made. I think he has a legit question of Dr Mike-the implication imo, seems to be that Dr Mike or one of his moderators disclosed IP addresses to an outside source, other than that of a DFA staff member. Some how, I just have a gut feeling that Dr Mike would not have done this.

  • dixie’smom

    Hi Melissa,

    I don’t post often. I mostly just lurk.I read all the posts that Bobsburgers is talking about. My view on this, Bob is a troll and has been trying ever so hard to find a dig at Richard.This is one of the reasons this thread closed, Dr Mike’s site got hi-jacked by trolls determined to make a small, new company look bad. Even though so many people became big fans and would defend it. Now they are following Richard to his own site.Unless they are ignored the same old nonsense will start again. I for one see Bobsburger for what he is a lying rat.

  • Melissaandcrew


    I can’t answer for Mike, but I can not imagine that any one other than Mike and possibly his moderators would have access to that information

  • bobsburgers

    Dr Mike, I am very disturbed by a remark that Richard Darlington made on his website about the ip adresses of people on DFA.

    “Richard Darlington moderator 10 hours ago @bobsburgers

    Yes I do remember the trolls that came on DFA talking about that. It didn’t matter what we said or how often we said it – they kept repeating their lies. Finally I sent Dr Sagman a report from the company to verify what we were saying and to show the trolls were lying.

    We checked into them and found they were associated with a competitor and were using multiple IP address because we have a devoted customer who was able to get through their attempted veil of secrecy.”

    Richard Darlington claims he was able to check the ip address of someone who posted on DFA. How is this possible?

    The link to his remark

  • Melissaandcrew

    Thanks monkey-

    I was unaware that foods/brands have left the former Pied Piper other than the NV. I will have to look into it and see where they are made and who they are. I try to keep(for my ease) a list of foods and who is producing them!

  • monkey

    I’m 90% sure NV pulled out before Great Life bought the plant. I think that’s actually how GL was able to afford buying the plant because a couple manufacturers left.

  • aimee

    Hi Mellissa,

    I just recently talked to a Natures Variety rep. She said the food is now made by C.J’s She said N.V. pulled out of Pied Piper after the odor problem with the beef /barley which she said was due to the natural antioxidant not being effective.

    But there wasn’t a change in the antioxidants being used so N.V. really didn’t understand why they had the problem.
    Now I see the facility changed hands so that may be the real reason N.V. found a new facility.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    October 2012:
    “We have had the great opportunity to buy our own pet food manufacturing facility, now called Pioneer Naturals Pet Foods – consisting of 3 plants and a biscuit production facility in Hamlin, Texas. This allows for greater control on all aspects of our pet food, from ingredient purchase to finished product. This will help us ensure our quality control and maintain our reputation as a company that has never had a pet food recall.”

    I used to feed Great Life to Gus years ago and I always really liked it, I thought it was one of the best kibbles out there. Recently I’ve heard of some quality concerns so I’m hoping now that they own their own facility there won’t be any more issues.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Unless you can show me where Great LIfe states their reason to buy Pied Piper was Brothers, I am going to have to assume it was just coincidence that Brothers was made there, and the purchase was purely a financial one, as well as the desire to own their own company.
    I know Natures Variety was/is made at Pied Piper, but I am not certain-was it made there when the Beef/Barley had to be recalled for that nasty foul odor?

  • HeywardToo
    I see this is your very first post ever on DFA. I’m honored that you felt strongly enough to materialize out of the either to make such an incisive comment – and I see your point.

    It seems unfair that Great Life went to such Great Lengths and bought an entire manufacturing facility, that’s never, ever had a recall just to be more closely associated with Brothers – shameful really!

  • HeywardToo

    This can’t be good. Brother’s is now made by Great Life?

  • James Bailey, USA Jerky Treats


    Brothers pet foods were just reviewed on:

    petsumerreport dot com

    “Brothers Pet Food is manufactured at Pioneer Naturals Pet Food in Hamlin, Texas. Meat meal ingredients include mucle meat, bone, and internal organs. Fish meal is ethoxyquin free. Foods are GMO free.

    Dry Foods

    Allergy Formula Dog Food Dry – 4 paws
    White Meat Formula Dog Food Dry – 4 paws
    Red Meat Formula Dog Food Dry – 4 paws
    Fish Formula Dog Food Dry – 5 paws
    High Protein Fish Formula Dog Food Dry – 5 paws

    Plus (for all foods)

    The Brothers Complete Representative stated meat and vegetable ingredients are USDA inspected and approved (human grade). The mineral listings read to be chelated or proteinated (for better mineral absorption). This food contains friendly bacteria (benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet); included in Guaranteed Analysis (company guarantees viable bacteria). This pet food contains several meat proteins – turkey, egg, liver, fish. Contains flaxseed, alfalfa – health promoting ingredients.

    Minus (for all foods)

    Contains DL-Methionine, a synthetic amino acid. Contains Sodium Selenite – potential risk form of selenium.


    Beef Biscuit Treat – 4 paws
    Chicken Biscuit Treat – 4 paws
    Lamb Biscuit Treat – 4 paws”

    It looks like Great Life bought pied piper:

    doctorsfinest dot com/aboutus.asp

    Exciting News!!!!

    Great Life wants to thank all our loyal customers for all of your support.

    We have been able to buy our own pet food manufacturing facility consisting of 3 plants and a biscuit production facility in Hamlin, Texas.

    This allows for greater control on all aspects of our pet food, from ingredient purchase to finished product. This will help us ensure our quality control and maintain our reputation as a company that has never had a pet food recall…

  • ValerieNoyes

    I see from the Brothers website that they are coming out with a venison formula sometime in the summer. Can’t wait!

  • This thread has now been re-opened. Participants are asked to kindly keep the discussion to the topic of this article. Thanks.

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  • This thread has reached a size that has become significantly disproportionate relative to the rest of The Dog Food Advisor website.

    This condition is due in large part to the posting of irrelevant comments that are completely unrelated to this specific brand itself or the topic of dogs in general.

    In the interest of fairness to other product lines, this thread has been temporarily closed.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  • Sorry, Dr. Mike. I was thinking that we had strayed. While I was chatting, it occurred to me that the off-topic stuff starts out so spontaneously and one tangent runs into another.

    Hope you’re well! Sorry again for the inconvenience! : )

  • Hmmm, if I need a hug before I do it… I might have to pass.

    Anyway, I’ve a 12 year old who’ll need braces before I can afford to remove the toxins from my melon. ; )

  • Hey Guys,

    Please try to keep your comments to the topic of dog food. Or at least, dogs.

    Although this discussion is certainly interesting, it has nothing to do with the theme of this thread.

    Thanks for your understanding.

  • Pattyvaughn

    One tablespoon a day!!

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