Burns Dog Food receives the Advisor’s below-average tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Burns Dog Food product line includes three dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Burns Mini Bites (3 stars)
- Burns Holistic Brown Rice and Chicken
- Burns Holistic Brown Rice and Ocean Fish
Burns Holistic Brown Rice and Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Burns Holistic Brown Rice and Chicken
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Whole grain brown rice, chicken meal, peas, oats, chicken fat, sunflower oil, seaweed, calcium carbonate, niacin supplement, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E supplement), d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, cobalt proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, sodium selenite, potassium chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||20%||8%||64%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||20%||19%||61%|
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 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 fourth ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient lists 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 sixth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is seaweed. Seaweed is rich in vitamins and minerals.
The eighth 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 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 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.
Burns Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Burns 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 22% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 61% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.
Burns Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a limited amount of chicken or ocean fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 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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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".
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Notes and Updates
04/29/2010 Original review
03/08/2014 Last Update