Oven-Baked Tradition Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Oven-Baked Tradition product line includes 12 dry dog foods.
Although each 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.
- Oven-Baked Tradition Adult Fish
- Oven-Baked Tradition Adult Lamb
- Oven-Baked Tradition Puppy Chicken
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Adult Fish
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Adult Lamb
- Oven-Baked Tradition Puppy Chicken (4 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Adult Chicken
- Oven-Baked Tradition Large Breed Adult Chicken
- Oven-Baked Tradition Senior/Weight Management (3 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Large Breed Puppy Chicken (4 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Puppy Chicken (4 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Senior/Weight Management (3 stars)
Oven-Baked Tradition Adult Fish recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Oven-Baked Tradition Adult Fish
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fresh fish, ground whole barley, fish meal, ground brown rice, oatmeal, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), ground pearled barley, ground whole flaxseed, monosodium phosphate, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, fresh sweet potato, sea salt, choline chloride, inulin (prebiotic), Yucca schidigera extract, taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin E supplement, beta-carotene, fresh spinach, dried kelp, fresh broccoli, fresh apples, fresh blueberries, fresh bananas, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, vitamins and minerals (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin B12, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, niacin, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, sodium selenite), natural flavor, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||16%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||33%||45%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is fish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1
Although it is a quality item, raw fish 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 barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
The fourth ingredient is ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The sixth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
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.
The seventh ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% 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 two notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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 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.
Oven-Baked Tradition Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Oven-Baked Tradition 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 26% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Near-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 flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Oven-Baked Tradition is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
03/12/2015 Last Update