Laughing Dog (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

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Laughing Dog Dry Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Laughing Dog product line includes three dry dog foods.

Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we found no AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product website. So, it’s impossible for us to report life stage targets for these recipes.

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

  • Laughing Dog Brave Dog Adult Formula
  • Laughing Dog Wise Dog Adult Formula (3 stars)
  • Laughing Dog Young Dog Puppy Formula (5 stars)

Laughing Dog Brave Dog Adult Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Laughing Dog Brave Dog Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, whole oats, whole barley, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fish meal (with wild herring), potato, potassium chloride, kelp, calcium propionate, carrots, spinach, apples, tomatoes, pea flour, garlic, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, chicory root, dried yeast, virgin coconut oil, glucosamine, chelated minerals: zinc, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, cobalt, selenium, vitamins: vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, d-pantothenic acid, thiamine, vitamin A, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%18%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%37%39%

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 oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The third ingredient is 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient lists 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 fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

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.

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 six notable exceptions

First, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3

However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).

Next, 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.

In addition, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in 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.

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.

Next, this recipe also contains 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.4

In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help 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.

Laughing Dog Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Laughing Dog 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

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 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-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.

Bottom line?

Laughing Dog dry dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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, 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

07/18/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Laughing Dog Customer Service Comment on DFA Blog, 6/1/11
  3. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  4. Dr. Bruce Fife, Healthy Ways Newsletter, Vol 4:3
  • Finnessence

    Looks like a great dog food, made in Canada, trying it out on my Ziggy boy.

  • Finnessence

    Hey Woof Woof! The store around the corner started carrying Laughing Dog, so I did my comparisons and research, and decided to try my underweight Standard Poodle on it. He managed to get his Championship here in Canada in puppy trim, but now that he’s almost a year old and is now in continental trim his thinness shows. Hoping he will gain weight with his new food.

  • Tamara

    Hi From LD, you should be able to get it on Amazon or our website! or call 805-644-4033.

  • Pingback: Best Dry Dog Foods « winnipegfashion

  • Miki

    I have had my two pups on the Laughing Dog Young Dog food for the past few months and I am absolutely in love with it. They’re healthier, more energetic, and doing great. Even my basset, who is notorious for inhaling her food and then throwing up all day, has been eating slower and having almost no intestinal upsets. Sadly, I’m going to have to switch them to a different food that I’m able to get locally. I was on the auto-shipment from Amazon for this stuff, but the largest bag is 24 pounds and my dogs go through a pound a day between the two of them. So I had to keep mixing in other food to stretch it out until the next shipment came (usually about six days), but I was okay with that because I was so happy with the product. Sadly Amazon stopped offering automated delivery, and I cannot find a store within 50 miles of me that carries any of the Laughing Dog products. I’m sad to make the switch. This food really is wonderful. If Laughing Dog becomes available in any Reno pet food stores (preferably in a 30 pound bag because it makes life so much easier) I will happily switch the pups right back. I highly recommend it and I hope I can find something comparable locally.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Woof Woof (Laughing Dog)… Unfortunately, your label (posted on your website) does not show the minerals in your recipe to be chelated or that the fish is ethoxyquin free. I will update my review to reflect this information provided in your comment here. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us.

  • http://www.laughingdoginc.com Woof Woof

    Laughing Dog is AAFCO approved

    The chicken meal is made from free run chicken free from any antibiotics, growth hormones.

    Herring, Sardines and Anchovies used are wild-caught, sustainable fishes that are absolutely ethoxyquin free

    The minerals ARE chelated

    Ingredient quality matters to us at Laughing Dog! With the growing concerns about ingredient quality in recent years we want to reassure our customers that we source from the finest North American farms, fields and oceans.