Farmina N&D Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Farmina N&D Grain Free product line lists six 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.
- Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Recipe
- Farmina N&D Grain Free Grass Fed Lamb
- Farmina N&D Grain Free Wild Boar Recipe
- Farmina N&D Grain Free Wild Herring Recipe
- Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Large Breed Puppy
- Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Sm/Med Breed Puppy
Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehydrated egg product, herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), dehydrated herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), herring & salmon oil blend (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried carrots, sun-cured alfalfa meal, chicory root extract, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), dehydrated pomegranate, dehydrated apple, dehydrated spinach, psyllium seed husk, dehydrated blackcurrant berry, dehydrated sweet orange, dehydrated blueberry, salt, brewers dried yeast, turmeric, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, choline chloride, beta-carotene, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, dl-methionine, taurine, l-carnitine, aloe vera gel concentrate, green tea extract, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||20%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||40%||26%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 dehydrated chicken. Dehydrated chicken is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.
Plus (unlike chicken meal) dehydrated chicken is never exposed to high temperatures during processing… so it preserves more of the meat’s natural goodness.
The third ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated 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 sixth ingredient is herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The seventh ingredient is dehydrated herring, another protein-rich ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is herring and salmon oil blend. Herring and salmon oils are naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, the herring and salmon oil blend should be considered a commendable addition.
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, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide and a source of mannanoligosaccharide (also known as MOS), nutritional supplements likely included here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the pet’s intestinal tract.
In addition, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Next, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual 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.
Farmina N&D Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Farmina N&D Grain Free looks like an above-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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a significant amount of meat.
Farmina N&D Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats and fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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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Notes and Updates
10/17/2013 Original review
03/25/2014 Last Update