Flint River Ranch Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Flint River Ranch product line includes 7 dry dog foods.
Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we found no AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the Flint River Ranch website.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Flint River Ranch Senior Plus Adult
- Flint River Ranch Trout and Potato Adult
- Flint River Ranch Lamb Meal, Millet & Rice Adult
- Flint River Ranch Dry Water Ultra Fresh Innovations
- Flint River Ranch Duck Meal and Oatmeal Adult Dog Food
- Flint River Ranch Original Oven-Baked Kibble Puppy & Adult
- Flint River Ranch Original Oven-Baked Nuggets Puppy & Adult
Flint River Ranch Original Oven-Baked Nuggets was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Flint River Ranch Original Oven-Baked Nuggets
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground whole brown rice, wheat flour, ground whole rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oat flour, tomato pomace, white fish meal, alfalfa meal, natural flavor, potassium chloride, salt, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), pridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), kelp meal, lecithin, rosemary extract, sage extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||13%||53%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||29%||48%|
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 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 third ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.
The fourth ingredient is whole rice. Once cooked, whole rice is a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates and dietary fiber.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is oat flour. Since oat flour is nothing more than finely ground oats, it provides about the same gluten-free nutritional content as raw oats.
The seventh ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
The eighth item is white fish meal, another meat concentrate. Whitefish is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The ninth ingredient is 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.
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 note the use of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
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.
Flint River Ranch Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Flint River Ranch looks to be 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 24% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Flint River Ranch is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry, lamb, or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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
04/19/2010 Original review
07/15/2010 Review updated
09/12/2010 Review updated (flaxseed meal)
10/28/2010 Added Duck and Oatmeal/removed Senior Lite)
04/12/2012 Last Update