Go! Fit and Free Dog Food gets the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Go! Fit and Free product line includes three dry dog foods. Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Go! Fit and Free Adult Recipe
- Go! Fit and Free Puppy Recipe
- Go! Fit and Free Senior Recipe
Go! Fit and Free Adult Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Go! Fit and Free Grain Free Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, turkey meal, salmon meal, de-boned chicken, de-boned turkey, de-boned trout, potatoes, peas, tapioca, lentil beans, chickpeas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural chicken flavour, whole dried egg, apples, duck meal, herring meal, salmon oil, alfalfa, de-boned duck, de-boned salmon, sweet potatoes, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, potassium chloride, pumpkin, carrots, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, broccoli, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, blackberries, squash, papayas, pomegranate, dried chicory root, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inositol, niacin, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc proteinate , iron proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, manganous oxide, selenium yeast), sodium chloride, taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, dried rosemary, green tea extract, peppermint, parsley, rosehips, zedoary, dandelion, chamomile, ginger, fennel, tumeric, juniper berries, licorice, marigold extract, cardamom, cloves
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||18%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||37%||31%|
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 turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The third ingredient is salmon meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
The next three ingredients include chicken, turkey and trout. Although they’re all considered quality additions, raw meat 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 seventh 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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The tenth ingredient is lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 find canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.
Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.2
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
Next, we note the inclusion of coconut oil. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Coconut oil has been reported to have a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.3
In addition, this recipe 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, we note the inclusion 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.
Go! Fit and Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Go! Fit and Free 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
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 effects of the peas, lentils and chickpeas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Go! Fit and Free is a grain-free kibble using a significant amount of various named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
05/28/2010 Original review
12/27/2010 Review updated
11/22/2011 Review updated
05/21/2013 Review updated
05/21/2013 Last Update