Fromm Family Classics dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Fromm Family Classics product line includes just two dry dog foods, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and the other for adult maintenance (Mature Adult).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Fromm Family Classics Mature Adult
- Fromm Family Classics Adult
Fromm Family Classics Adult dog food was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Fromm Family Classics Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fresh chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, pearled barley, oatmeal, white rice, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal, whole egg, beet pulp, fresh Wisconsin cheese, flaxseed, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, salt, calcium sulfate, dl-methionine, tryptophane, taurine, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, sodium selenite, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, choline bitartrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganous sulfate, magnesium sulfate, copper sulfate, cobalt carbonate, calcium iodate, sorbic acid (preservative), ferrous proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, magnesium proteinate, cobalt proteinate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcous faecium fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||17%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||35%||43%|
The first item in this dog food lists 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes 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 fourth ingredient lists barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The fifth item includes oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.
The sixth item is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The seventh 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 eighth item is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
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 whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The tenth ingredient lists 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 four notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of brewers dried yeast. 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.
Next, 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.
Then, 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.
And finally, 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.
Fromm Family Classics Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Fromm Family Classics Dog Food appears to be an above-average kibble.
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 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.
What’s more, to reduce calories, Fromm appears to have cut the meat content of the Mature Adult product. This is evidenced by a notable drop in protein to about 23%.
Fromm Family Classics Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of chicken meal as its main source 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
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Other spellings: Fromms
Notes and Updates
03/01/2010 Original review
10/02/2010 Review updated
06/27/2012 Last Update