Hi-Standard Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

Hi-Standard Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Hi-Standard product line includes eight dry dog foods, seven formulas claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth (Hi-Standard 32/18 Puppy).

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Hi-Standard Select Premium 23/16
  • Hi-Standard Performance 30/20 (3.5 stars)
  • Hi-Standard Select Premium 26/18 (3 stars)
  • Hi-Standard 26/18 Soy Free Premium Performance
  • Hi-Standard 21/12 Soy Free Adult Maintenance (1.5 stars)
  • Hi-Standard 32/18 Premium Performance Puppy (3.5 stars)
  • Hi-Standard 23/16 Soy Free Premium Performance (2 stars)
  • Hi-Standard 24/20 Soy Free Premium Performance (1.5 stars)

Hi-Standard 26/18 Soy Free Premium Performance was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hi-Standard 26/18 Soy Free Premium Performance

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), dried beet pulp, chicken by-product meal, natural flavors, canola oil, salt, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, d-activated animal sterol, (source of vitamin D3), vitamin E supplement, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (calcium carbonate, magnesium oxide, ferrous sulfate monohydrate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%20%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%40%36%

The first ingredient in this dog food is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain which — aside from its energy content — is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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 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 seventh ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In a nutshell, chicken by-products are those unsavory leftovers usually considered “unfit for human consumption”.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

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 find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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, brewers dried 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 find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Hi-Standard Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hi-Standard looks like a below-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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hi-Standard Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of meat-and-bone meal and chicken meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Not recommended.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

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.

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

06/24/2012 Original review
01/21/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  • Hound Dog Mom

    No – the thousands feeding Orijen aren’t right, but they’re slightly less wrong than those feeding Proplan and Eukanuba.

  • Guest

    The real reason that the poison foods of the likes of Pedigree (Mars) and Purina (Nestle) etc became available 40 to 50, maybe 60 years ago now, is because of man’s desire to make money. No true other reason at all! In doing so, it is man’s nature (unfortunately) to seek out the cheapest ingredients, hence manufacturing costs, as possible to complete a product they can sell and reap profits out of. It’s as simple as that.

  • Guest

    They were dieing of cancer and other diseases, and having generally shorter life spans. That’s how they were barely surviving before, and not for as long as they could have been.

    And better still, even before poisons like Pedigree, and Purina etc, which was up to, only about 40 to 50 years ago, our dogs were more accustomed to eating almost everything we were, which included raw scraps like wolves in the wild would scavenge, just like my dad’s favourite dog who lived till the age of 26 years. This being thanks to also the addition to human companionship, and maintenance that a wild wolf is not privy to.

  • Shawna

    It wasn’t maybe but 40(ish) years ago that lots of dogs ate table scraps, maybe some kibble, what they hunted etc. Kibble hasn’t been around all that long you know.. My grandparents didn’t feed their dogs kibble at all.

    For years industry did nothing but try to determine how they could make the food even cheaper — poor quality ingredients. But people view their dogs differently now. They now live inside and sleep in our beds or close by. They go on vacation with us. They get dentals and vaccinations and have their own insurance. And yeah, we’ve started looking at the ingredients in their foods and insisting on better quality as well… I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with that…

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m not sure country boys know what antioxidants are good for or get why synthetics are no replacement for the natural vitamins and minerals that God made.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You do know that Pedigree and Purina used to be better foods than they are now, right? They spend all that money on research to find out just how cheaply they can get away with making food and still have the dog survive at least for a while. I want more for my dogs than that.

  • Shawna

    I’m not sure what “dogs really need” has to do with “poorest quality ingredients”.

    None the less, your response shows a lack of knowledge about herbs and nutrition. I’ll give just a few examples — rosemary is a natural preservative (it is considered a “super” antioxidant) as well as being a good source of certain minerals and vitamins. Dandelion is a valued green by many. A bunch of dandelion greens at Whole Foods cost more than the same amount of spinach. Older dandelion is an excellent source of calcium while the younger leaves are an excellent natural source of magnesium. The plant itself supplies iron, and certain vitamins, like K, as well. It’s also considered a blood cleanser and it supports the kidneys. The spices in your kitchen cupboard may be used by you simply as a flavoring ingredient but many actually use them also for their nutritional aspects. A manufacturer might want to include some of these spices and herbs to limit the number of synthetic nutrients required.

  • beaglemom

    Oh … because dogs lived on the garbage years ago, they should continue to do so? Come on Sean.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Before dog food dogs ate real food – meat, organs and bones. Not slaughterhouse waste and mill floor sweepings.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Taylor/100004491600543 Sean Taylor

    Oh I know!! Before holistic dog foods / grain free / blueberry formulas came out I wonder how dogs survived over the years being fed crappy pedigree and puppy chow.

    I have some beachfront property in Arizona I can sell you. 15 acres w/ a 5000sqft home…first $25K takes it!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Taylor/100004491600543 Sean Taylor

    Most hunters dont use a 26/18 formula, theyd use the 30/20 formula below.

    Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal,
    Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Ground Wheat,
    Ground Yellow Corn, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors, Dried Egg Product,
    Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Brewers Yeast, Canola Oil, Fish Meal, Potassium
    Chloride, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Yucca Schidigera, DL Methionine,
    Lysine, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Activated Animal Sterol (Source
    of Vitamin D-3), Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium
    Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate,
    Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement,
    Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Iron
    Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese
    Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Taylor/100004491600543 Sean Taylor

    And Im sure dogs really need:

    marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Taylor/100004491600543 Sean Taylor

    Oh but the thousands feeding Orijen are right? /sarcasm

  • Shawna

    I agree!!

    I also think that most “hunting” dogs are going to live in rural areas. Just a guess… Dogs in rural areas should have considerably less pollutants for their bodies to deal with. Less gasoline fumes, less weed & feed, well water instead of chlorinated and fluoridated water etc. I imagine, from what I’ve read, that many are “outdoor” dogs which even further limits their exposures to harmful chemicals. Some may have the opportunity to hunt for snacks when not working. Dogs in these better living conditions can likely tolerate poorer quality foods than those in less prestine living conditions.

    At times I really miss living in the country..

  • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com/ BryanV21

    Yes, because thousands of people can’t be wrong. /sarcasm

  • Hound Dog Mom

    For a lot of people I think “good results” just means “Hey, my dog isn’t dead!”

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are certainly right about a lot of hunters using cheap food. The guy that lives right down the road from me is one of them. His dogs come to my house all the time and while they are doing well enough to continue hunting, if my dogs had their coat quality, I would have them in to find out what is wrong really quick. I guess their “good results” aren’t good enough for me.

  • beaglemom

    Agree with Shawna… just because the dogs seem to “do great” doesn’t make it good. It’s basically corn, mystery meat (scary) and a few vitamins.

  • Shawna

    Hi Sean,

    The food is not rated low because they don’t use “lamb and blue berries”. The food is rated low because they DO use “Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, corn gluten meal”.

    These are some of the poorest quality ingredients that could be used. You can’t magically make a good food out of bad ingredients.. It doesn’t work that way….

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sean-Taylor/100004491600543 Sean Taylor

    Alot of hunters use this brand for their dogs and they do great on it. Google it and youll see. Just because it doesnt have lamb and blue berries in it doesn’t mean the food is not good.

    Look at proplan and eukanuba. They rate low on this site but there are thousands of people using it with good results.

  • Marble

    I laughed at the name of this line- this junk is anything but ‘Hi Standard”.