Diamond Naturals (Dry)


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 Dog
  • Diamond Naturals Lite Adult Dog (2 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Chicken and Rice
  • Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete (4.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Small Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Large Breed Puppy (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Beef Meal and Rice (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Adult Lamb Meal and Rice (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Chicken and Rice (4.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice (3.5 stars)
  • Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Lamb Meal and Rice (3.5 stars)

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Lamb and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, ground white rice, cracked pearled barley, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, egg product, fish meal, natural flavor, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, l-carnitine, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, 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) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The third ingredient is ground white 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 fourth 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 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 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 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.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

The ninth ingredient is 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.

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 six 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, 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.

In addition, we find chia seed, 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.

Next, this recipe contains some quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

We also note the inclusion of coconut. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut is rich in medium chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2

Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

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.

Diamond Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Diamond Naturals 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 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, flaxseed, chia seed and quinoa in this recipe, and the garbanzo beans, pea or potato proteins in other recipes, 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 chicken, beef or lamb 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Diamond 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.

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Dog Food Coupons
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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.

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 Chewy.com 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

10/08/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  3. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.
  • BoxerBliss

    I use Pure Balance canned stews frequently. My dogs always have done very well with it.

  • LabsRawesome

    Absolutely nothing. I use their canned and dry foods.

  • DogFoodie

    I’ve used Pure Balance canned and dry foods and would recommend them to others in certain circumstances. I think PB is a good, budget friendly, choice.

  • JV777

    Whats wrong with Pure Balance?

  • Aaron Schmitz

    99% of the time when your dog has a UTI infection, it’s the water your giving them.

  • Aaron Schmitz

    No problems here. If your dog has a UTI infection, it’s not cause of the food, and of course a Vet is going to tell you it is, so you’ll buy the food THEY sell and make a huge profit on. Gullible people fall for this every minute of the day.

  • Aaron Schmitz

    Are you for real? Pure Balance?? LOOOL, do NOT, I repeat do NOT feed your dog Pure Balance, complete garbage.

  • Jan Short

    Lots of issues reported lately with Diamond. I’ve been feeding for years. Going to switch now. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/diamond_dog_food.html

  • sorackley

    Thanks for the suggestions!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Check out Nutrisource. They have a Small Breed Puppy formula that’s very similar to Diamond’s. However, you may want to look into something with a different protein source (such as lamb (Nutrisource’s Grain Free Lamb formula, for example) or fish), as there may be an intolerance/allergy involved. You don’t need to feed a puppy formula specifically, though..look for something that says it’s for “All Life Stages”. Pure Balance, which you can buy at Walmart is another one I’d suggest. Fromm would be another one to look into. Hope this helps!

    edit: if you have a Tractor Supply store nearby, take a look at their 4health dog food…it’s another budget friendly, good quality food.

  • Sarah Rackley

    Please help!! Are there any equally high quality foods in the same or lower price range as Diamond? My Boston Terrier puppy has had almost constant soft poops, sometimes with blobs of mucus or full blown diarrhea, on Diamond Naturals small breed puppy. He’s been checked by the vet and is clear of parasites. I’m thinking it is too rich for him, but I don’t want to compromise quality and my husband won’t let me spend any more on food. I also have a 2 year old collie that I switched to the large breed chicken and rice formula, but he seems to be doing fine on it. Thank you!!

  • InkedMarie

    I’m pretty sure I’m allowed to comment on anything that is posted here as long as I am courteous. Thats great your puppies parents/grandparents have no HD but its the testing that is important.

    Treating others as equals? I’m honestly not sure what you mean. I’m not a breeder but I DO know what makes a good breeder. Anyone who breeds a dog just because the dog is smart isn’t,

  • Matt d

    Hi @ inked marie, thanks for your concern. i just asked about food, not your take on breeding.. to answer your questions thou, and elaborate–that i already stated in my original question…. he is by far the smartest dog i’ve ever owned [he’s a boxer], i’ve raised boxers, dasc, and aust. shepherds before that were amazing [aust. shepard’s that is], he puts them to shame… hes 11-12 weeks and his vocabulary and recall and problem solving is the best i’ve seen, he’s akc , parent and gparents no cancer/hip/etc. i’ve
    had dogs for 30 yrs.. next a rich man,, rich is a objective word.. what’s rich?? can i afford to throw away money… no. Can i afford the 550 $ vet bill for animal hospital on the weekend for a uti on the weekend pup just had ..yes.[ by the way a k9-jethro was there that night, he got shot 3 times , sadly he didn’t make it. rip jethro….] just saying maybe you should treat people on here as your equals. im sry, if i seemed harsh.. i realize there are a lot of dogs out there. most in my area are pit mixes and i cant afford insurance on them, already tried… have a great female boxer in ohio, lets talk ??

  • LabsRawesome

    Take a look at Victor dog food. Use their store locator to find a store in your area. If you can get it locally, its a great food at a good price. http://www.victordogfood.com

  • InkedMarie

    I won’t address the food but I will the breeding. Why do you want to use him to father a litter? You say you aren’t a rich man but it’s not cheap to have all the necessary health testing done to see if your dog is medically sound to breed. If you choose a female, it’s necessary that she have the testing done. Ideally, you will see the results for the grandparents as well.

    Just some things to think about. There are far too many dogs needing homes; breeding should be done for certain reasons and using the best specimens.

  • aimee

    Hi Matt d,

    Congratulations on your new pup!

    When it comes to choosing a food I approach the task from a different perspective than most. The star ratings here are based on an ingredient list. I don’t look to the ingredient list I look to the company.

    This is a well written piece on how to select a food.


    The puppy food I choose doesn’t have a lot of stars, only 2 1/2 but the company employs veterinary nutritionists who formulated the diet, the food was fed to the breed I own and those dogs were monitored for a 1 year for growth and orthopedic development. Over 1200 test parameters were taken during that period. The company described for me the extensive quality control procedures they take. The company invests in nutritional research and publishes in peer reviewed publications.

    In other words it met all the criteria set out by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.

    Interview the company, once you find a company you like than you can choose among the products they make.

  • Matt d

    i am in the process of switching my 10 wk old boxer from purina puppy complete to diamond large breed puppy. is this a good idea? this food had better than average reviews, but reliability may be an issue.. im not a rich man, but i figure i can afford better than box store food.. i know this food is a lot better nutritionally, but does the companies rep. negate the positive ingredients? i would rather have a less healthy dog than one with salmonella. any thoughts greatly appreciated!! ive had boxers before.. been a few years. But this new guy is really smart, best lil one i’ve ever had!!! i just want to do the best for him i can afford, as i look to what he will become, might even possible breed him… any thoughts appreciated… thanks in advance!!!

  • tonia

    The information on this site is extremely helpful and I refer to it often but it’s my understanding that the star rating is heavily based on protein levels and my dogs have varying protein sensitivity

  • tonia

    I haven’t noticed my packaging changing but I have noticed changes in how my dogs and cats are tolerating diamond natural all of a sudden.. Seems to me they must have changed something.. I’m researching to make a change..

  • theBCnut

    This is Dog Food Advisor, not Diamond. This does sound like an allergy, and they probably did change the formula. That’s what bag changes usually signify.

  • Adam -Baldr Vordermark -Odinso

    My dog has been on diamond, adult breed. for 5 years. Their packaging just changed, and all of a sudden he is breaking out in a rash on his underside, and getting feverish. i took him off of it and he is getting better. Did you guys change your formula? did he just develop an allergy to it?

  • Bobby dog

    Hi bmetz:
    We’re doing well, thank you!

    At least the tears you shed are for a good reason! 😉

    Very good customer service with Chewy. I find their prices are usually in the range, sometimes cheaper during sales, of my local shops. They also offer free shipping on orders over $49 if that is something your budget can handle. Autoship might be something to look into as well. They are very accommodating with this service and you receive a discount while using this option.

    I used to order from Dr. Foster & Smith years ago for my JRT and always received good customer service from them; never ordered food from them either.

  • Crazy4cats

    You’re welcome! I’ve read many praises on this site about Chewy. It saves on gas and I don’t believe they charge sales tax either. But you need to feel comfortable with it.

  • bmetz

    Hey Bobby dog!!! :) How are you?
    Yes, they finally are. I could have cried tears of joy when all the dogs had solid bowel movements and stayed that way! LOL How sad is that?! Haha.

    Good deal on Chewy! I am glad you both mentioned it because I was just looking at the food on there before I posted here. Glad to hear that, never know with some online places.. they make things difficult sometimes! Sounds like good customer service.

    I like Drsfosterandsmith.com for a lot of things. I haven’t ordered food from them before though because I always found it cheaper locally(but that is the case most times with online shopping for heavier items).
    Thanks for the input! I appreciate it! Hope you all have been well!

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