Oven-Baked Tradition Dog Food gets the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Oven-Baked Tradition product line includes 12 dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Lamb
- Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Lamb
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Whitefish
- Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Whitefish
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Senior (3 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Large Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Senior (3 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Small Breed Chicken (3.5 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Large Breed Chicken (3.5 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
- Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Chicken (3.5 stars)
Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Whitefish was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Oven-Baked Tradition Medium Breed Whitefish
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fresh whitefish ( cod, flounder, haddock), ground whole barley, herring 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 whole 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 whole apples, fresh whole blueberries, fresh whole pears, fresh bananas, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, vitamins and minerals (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, riboflavin supplement, 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 lists whitefish consisting of cod, flounder and haddock.
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 herring meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, herring meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
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 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. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while some 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.3
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 lists pearled barley. The term “pearled” means the grain has been processed to remove its outer hull and bran, unlike whole barley.
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 three 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.
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, 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 flax seed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Oven-Baked Tradition Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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
02/06/2011 Original review
03/05/2012 Review updated (added many new recipes)
09/08/2013 Review updated
09/08/2013 Last Update