Diamond Naturals (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Diamond Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Diamond Naturals product line includes 12 dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and nine for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Diamond Naturals Senior
  • Diamond Naturals Sm Breed Adult Lamb
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Chicken and Rice
  • Diamond Naturals Sm Breed Adult Chicken
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Beef Meal and Rice
  • Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete (5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Lg Breed Puppy Lamb (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Lg Breed Adult Chicken (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Lite Lamb Meal and Rice (2.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Lamb Meal and Rice (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Lg Breed Adult Lamb Meal (3.5 stars)

Diamond Naturals Adult Beef Meal and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Diamond Naturals Adult Beef Meal and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Beef meal, peas, cracked pearled barley, ground rice, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fish meal, pea protein, dried beet pulp, egg product, natural flavor, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, Yucca schidigera extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium lactis, Lactobacillus reuteri, vitamin E supplement, beta carotene, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.

The second ingredient is 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 third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

The fifth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient includes fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The eighth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

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 five notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) 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.

Next, 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.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

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.

Next, chia seed is an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.

However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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.

Diamond Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Diamond Naturals looks like an 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein, flax and chia seeds, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Diamond Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

A Final Word

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

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

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.

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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

01/05/2010 Original review
04/10/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • matthew

    I have been feeding my dogs diamond for 5 months. I have a lab, a beagle mutt, a Shepherd great byrenese mix, and a pit bull all have shed the over wieght problem and have gotten much need muscle mass. My dogs look great and have lots of energy. I love the dog food and my dogs do too.

  • DogFoodie

    Amazon would be a great way for you to give Victor a try. Funny thing is, it’s generally more expensive on the websites that sell it than it would be in a brick & mortar. In addition to Amazon, you can find Victor on Sportdogfood.com and Rocketpetz.com.

    The Victor Lamb & Rice might be one to consider for your Schnauzer if you don’t mind grain. It’s not exactly limited ingredient, but not too bad in that regard and has a bit less fat, since Schnauzers are prone to pancreatitis.

    Good luck!

  • Launa Elaine Strickland

    Haha! We live in a small community in the Eastern Sierra, CA, between Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and Bishop. Online shopping is my #1 survival tool and I found Victor Dog food on Amazon!
    Our mini schnauzer suffered terribly from skin rashes and hives until we switched to Blue Buffalo. Expensive food, but it costs lot less than the frequent Vet visits and medications (that had bad side effects). I just don’t have the budget to feed it to both dogs. They have both done well on the Kirkland.
    Diamonds bad rep does concern me greatly, so I really appreciate your suggestions!
    Thanks so much!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Me too! The reviews are actually just based on ingredients and analysis, but the Editor’s Choice section has much more comprehensive and ever-changing reviews.

  • DogFoodie

    Darn, sorry! Yes, do ask at a local feed-type store if they could offer it for you. It’s great quality and very budget friendly. Maybe they’d even consider carrying the line.

    You could also look for Eagle Pack or Dr. Tim’s. Both are budget friendly, quality foods made by reputable manufacturers.

    I have to say, I’m not a fan of Blue Buffalo and the Kirkland product you’re looking at is made by Diamond, who’s infamously known for their recall history.

    You’ve got me wondering where you might live. Do you ever order online or could that be an option for you?

  • Launa Elaine Strickland

    Very true, Dog_Obsessed. That is why I go to websites like this. I depend on folks who have the time and resources to investigate these products.

  • Launa Elaine Strickland

    Hi DogFoodie! Sounds like an excellent product but the closest dealer is 265 miles from us. I’ll see if a local supplier can get this product for a reasonable cost. Thanks!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Just because a product is made in the USA doesn’t mean it doesn’t outsource ingredients. I don’t know what the case is with this food, but it is made by Diamond which has had quality control issues at there South Carolina plant.

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Launa,

    Take a look at Victordogfood.com, and see if you have a local retailer nearby. Victor is a quality, affordable food from a reliable manufacturer.

  • Launa Elaine Strickland

    The packaging says “Proudly made in the USA…”

  • Launa Elaine Strickland

    We only fed our 8 year old 20 lb mini schnauzer Blue Buffalo, but when we adopted our 2 year old 50 lb rescue mixed breed, we could no longer afford to buy expensive dog food. Our mixed breed has Epilepsy, so we have to be extra careful what we feed him. We also hike at high altitude frequently so they need really good nutrition for energy and stamina! After much research, we gradually switched over to Kirkland Signature Lamb and Rice, which is affordable and very good quality. Unfortunately, it is only available at Costco, which is a 2 1/2 hour drive for us, weather permitting in winter. A local pet store owner recommended Diamond Naturals Lamb and Rice. After some research, we have decided to switch over to this product, due to the convenience and affordability. We hope both dogs do as well on this brand.

  • Christine Fannon

    Is this made in China or does it use ingredients from there?

  • theamericandreamdavidporter

    I have been feeding Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete to my Boglen Terrier and have found that his coat is shiny, breath is not offensive, his eyes are colorful, and energy levels are high.

    I do not know what owners are expecting from their respective brand of dog food but I could not ask for more.

  • Bob K

    sandra – Which Diamond product does your dog eat? What did you used to feed your dog.

  • sandra reeves

    I switched my Haze two years ago to diamond food and about four months I noticed a big difference in her eyes,coat,and gums. She eats less food and is buffed out weighing in at a healthy 67 lbs. My kids have dogs and have also switched to diamond. I would like to be able to buy the other brands in a big nuggets. Small ones r swallowed whole

  • stephanie

    I hope it works as well for diesel as it has for my furry, four-legged children! I love the protein/ fat content as well as the affordability. It is also the same manufacturer as taste of the wild.

  • Gasner Duke-Diesel

    I just switch my dog to Extreme athlete. Like you said its a very good food and affordable when u compare it to other top food. Theres also alot of stuff in that food. You dont even need to supplement… and love the high protein and fat..

  • Gasner Duke-Diesel

    Thanks Bob but I dont have to with Diesel because his Stomach is use to switching. He never get the runs…

  • Bob K

    Remember to transition slowly to a new food.

  • Gasner Duke-Diesel

    Trying extreme athlete today. I was on Taste of the wild but only 30#bag. Extreme look just as good or better and its 5 star 40# bag and less money. And ofcoure I like the 32-25

  • gayle

    I have thought about moving them to adult food, but puppy food is usually easier on tummies and has higher calories, which my 7yo Akita really needs. I may try the extreme advantage, but I don’t want her puking up every meal, bleah! She even barfs up treat biscuits. ::sigh::

  • Bob K

    Diamond Natural had a large breed adult Lamb and Rice food that might be more appropriate for your loved ones who are 2 years old also a lamb and rice for adult dogs. Ingredients are similar and the kibbles are larger too. We buy ours at Menards.

  • Eva Hickman

    I feed my dogs Diamond Naturals Small breed and they love it and do well on it.

  • gayle

    I have been feeding Diamond Large Breed Puppy Lamb/Rice to our Akita and young Basset for about 2 years. I love this food BC it is one of *very few* that our Akita can eat and not puke up, and our Basset is very healthy with no skin or joint issues. We tried *many* foods for our Akita and she looks good and is doing great on this. I am sticking with the puppy food for the foreseeable future as both dogs like it and look good, and I am glad that there is NO wheat, corn or soy in this quality product.

  • Richard Chambers

    I am in Canada close to the US border. Please make your allergy dog food available near the Canadian border and my two friends and I will be buying lots of it asap.

    Would you mind letting me know how you can be sure that Steph is not the troll? Were you supplied with personal information about Steph? That doesn’t seem right that someone from Dog Food Advisor gave you personal information about a guest poster.

  • stephanie

    I have fed Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete for about 3 or 4 years now. Never had a problem, my dogs look great and love it. Originally I bought it because when my Ridgeback was young he was super lean and athletic, and I discovered that he could not have corn. I tried many other grain free foods and although he liked them, he would not gain weight or even maintain well on any. He looked as if I were starving him. I found Extreme Athlete to be the only thing I could find at the time with the combination of grain free/ high protein/ high fat that I was looking for. Also had to search for non fish based, as he doesn’t like the taste of fish based foods. And it was super reasonably priced! I noticed a difference within about a week. He has always done great on it. I also have a Great Pyrenees and a Whippet who eat this formula as well. All look great and love the food. Everyone is in show weight and all coats look shiny and beautiful. I did try Naturals Adult Lamb & Rice. The Great Pyrenees and Ridgeback did fine but the Whippet lost weight so I switched back to Extreme Athlete. May be a fine formula for me to try again down the road, as my Whippet just turned 15.

  • aimee

    Hi Aquariangt,

    Large giant breed growth is an area of interest of mine and I have read a lot of the original research in this area. In regards to protein what do you consider high protein ( energy basis)?

    As I haven’t found a particular protein content recommended for large/giant breed growth I’m eager to see the research that supports a particular level.

    I disagree with your comment that more carbs mean weight gain or that carbs are directly tied to weight gain.

    In a study on growth and body composition (Romsos 1976) pups eating the highest carbohydrate content diet, 62% had less weight gain as they had the leanest body composition compared to the other diets fed.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Actually, turns out there wouldn’t have to be any smuggling involved, as long as we’re talking 20kg or less (approx 44lbs), as per:

    http://inspection.gc.ca/animals/terrestrial-animals/imports/policies/pet-food/eng/1321129023397/1321129556426

    Sounds like a road/ferry/road trip might be in order for Storm and I!! (as per Rule #3, he must come along ..thankfully, he’d be thrilled!! ..he loves car and ferry rides!) I’m not sure yet of your laws on how it would work if you brought some over here on your travels…but you’re welcome to give it a go! ;-)

  • http://BrothersComplete.com/ Richard Darlington

    Storm’s Mom, It’s definitely not Steph, but your instincts were right that the troll (now as heres2u) would show up. Good news is that we know who they are and the Florida State Attorneys Office has confirmed they have broken the law and told us how to supply them with the necessary information so they can subpoena the necessary records to prosecute them. Apparently there is no such thing as total anonymity on the internet, even when using proxy servers to hide your identity. The proxy servers must legally keep the actual identities of their customers and the State and Federal agencies have the right to access this information.

  • http://BrothersComplete.com/ Richard Darlington

    Hi Steph, Sorry about WAG not being able to manage it but hopefully we’ll eventually find a way into Canada so don’t give up hope. Looks like we’ll need to get a distributer there to get the shipping charges reduced to a manageable level.

  • http://BrothersComplete.com/ Richard Darlington

    Sorry to hear that. I noticed that WAG was posting that they were now going to start shipping certain products “Globally” and wondered if they were making the shipping reasonable. Guess not. I’d like to move to the Seattle area in the not-too-distant future and if that happens I’ll consider smuggling some of our dog food to you in the trunk of our car by taking a ferry to your island. Better yet how about a sailboat that I can use to visit your island as explore all the other beautiful islands up there.

  • http://BrothersComplete.com/ Richard Darlington

    Hi Labs – Haven’t been back since my post so just saw your greeting. Hope all is well with your family.

  • heres2u

    richards wife marisa

  • heres2u

    hola