Oven-Baked Tradition (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

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

Protein = 26% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 51%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%16%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Recommended.

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

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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

03/12/2015 Last Update

  1. Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Ellie –

    If fiber is what seems to be helping her stools you can add fiber to the food. Psyllium supplements (like metamucil) are a popular choice. You could also try acacia fiber, Fruitables makes canned pumpkin-based fiber supplements (not sure if they’re available in Australia) and there are many multi-source fiber supplements on the market which usually contain a combination of different types of bran and psyllium.

  • Ellie

    my 10 month pup has been on the large breed lamb or fish since she was 2 months. the vet has mentioned that she most likely has a protein allergy – chicken or beef. Fish/lamb seem to relieve her allergic symptoms (conjunctivitis), but she has consistently had very soft stool on this diet. I received a few samples of purina pro-plan salmon last week, and while i’m not a fan of the ingredients and have read your review, her stool has improved immensely – normal dog poop! never thought i’d be so happy. Could you make a recommendation for a similar food to OBT with more fibre? better yet, one I could get in australia when we move there in a couple months?

  • Renovateur

    I switched to Oven Baked last month, I have never seen my bernese so looking forward to meal time, no only he does not eat as much(because of the nutrient content, but eats until the potion is gone. He simply loves it, maybe it’s because he sees his pisture on the bag? He went from 8 cups (store brand) to 5 cups of Oven Baked. Great saving

  • Guillaume Vachon

    I personally had very bad experiences with Oven baked products. I fed my 1 year old french spaniel with Oven baked medium breed chicken but he got really sick and had blood in his poop. I resolved to feed him with his usual pro plan. He didn’t ate anything else that week since it was winter and we only got out for his needs. Friends also fed their cats with the Oven baked cat food and their cats also got really sick and there was blood in their vomit.

    I heard of no one else who had problems with that food apart from us…. it was in 2010. It was a quite frightening experience though! I am very careful with what I feed my dogs now and with their ‘candies’ and bones.

  • Andrew

    What is store where you are buying your food? 13.6KG bag is a bit over $60 here in Quebec. Thanks

  • Apple398

    I love how there a bottom line in your analysis. Many dog food reviewers don’t tend to put a bottom line instead putting hard scientific words. Thank you so much!

  • Pingback: All Different Dog Food Brands & Types | My Blog()

  • S & T

    I just wanted to say thank you. I’m sure there are incredible amount of people out there who uses your website but didnt have the chance to stop and thank you and I want you to know that i truly appreciate what you have done. Many of us out there dont even know our own nutrition, let alone a dog’s. everything is confusing and vets are not gods (contrary to popular belief) LOL but your website made me realise what was good enough. I dont even know many of the brands but i click on it just to read and over time I see a pattern forming and am more able to make a better informed judgement.
    Thank you so very much. I/ We are truly grateful

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Stacey… OBN Parallel Grain is already on my To Do list. However, due to our current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before I get to it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Stacey

    What do you think of Oven Baked Traditions “PARALLEL” Grain Free.??? I went in a pet store and she gave me 2 free sample bags. My dog ate it right away then was looking for more.
    What is your opinion on this brand please…

  • jackie

    I’m thinking of switching my German Shepherd to this dog food. She loves the treats made by the same company. I also would like to support the local economy.

  • Jez

    We recently switched our cocker to Oven Baked Chicken. He loves it and since switching we have seen an ear problem clear up and firmer stools.

    Apart from the ingredients, Oven Baked is very competitively priced at our local pet store ($30CAD 30 lb / 13.6 kg bag) compared to the big guns (Blue Buffalo / Canidae / Go Natural / etc) which are more like $45+. Obviously they are a higher quality food, though we feel confident we’re not sacrificing our dog’s health for the sake of saving a few bucks every month!

    Another reason for switching was Oven Baked is made in Quebec, Canada and sourced from all N. American ingredients (apart from their lamb variety as the lamb comes from New Zealand). We live in Ottawa and prefer to support local industry whenever possible.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Henna… Oven-Baked Tradition Parallel Grain is already on my To Do list. However, due to our current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before we get to it. Thanks for the tip.

  • Henna

    I don’t know if you already know, but, they have a Grain-Free formula as well http://www.ovenbakedtradition.com/en/best-natural-dog-food/grain-free-dog-food.html