Oven-Baked Tradition (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

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

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

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

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

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.

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 flax seed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

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.

Highly recommended.

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

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

02/06/2011 Original review
03/05/2012 Review updated (added many new recipes)
09/08/2013 Review updated
09/08/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Oven Baked Tradition Website, 3/5/2012
  3. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  • 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