Pet Botanics Dog Food rolls receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Pet Botanics product line includes three rolled dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
- Pet Botanics Beef and Brown Rice
- Pet Botanics Lamb and Brown Rice
- Pet Botanics Chicken and Brown Rice
Pet Botanics Beef and Brown Rice rolled dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Pet Botanics Beef and Brown Rice Dinner
Rolled Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef lung, whole wheat flour, beef kidney, wheat bran, beef meat, molasses, sucrose, molasses, beef spleen, beef fat, egg, flaxseed, salt, brown rice flour, calcium carbonate, glycerin, lecithin, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, natural smoke flavor, ascorbic acid, natural flavor, powdered garlic, vitamin E supplement, kelp meal, brewers yeast, calcium disodium, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate, rosemary extract, sodium erythorbate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium nitrite, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, natural mixed tocopherols
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||23%||10%||59%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||23%||55%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef lung. Beef lung is a protein-rich organ meat that’s also low in fat.
The second ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient lists beef kidneys. Like beef lungs, this organ meat is also high in protein and low in fat.
The fourth ingredient is wheat bran. Wheat bran is made from the tough outer layer of a wheat kernel. Brans are especially rich in dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.
The fifth ingredient is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
Yet again, like the kidney and lung ingredients previously listed, this meat (too) is subject to the same weight-reducing process of cooking.
The sixth item is sucrose, a common sweetener better known as table sugar. Sugar is always an unwelcome addition to any dog food. Because of its high glycemic index, it can unfavorably impact the blood glucose level of most animals soon after it’s eaten.
The seventh ingredient is although molasses can be rich in minerals, it’s also a less refined form of sugar with a glycemic index in humans similar to maple syrup.
Like table sugar (and in excessive amounts), molasses has the potential to raise a dog’s blood sugar.
The eighth ingredient is beef spleen, another high protein organ meat.
The ninth ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The tenth 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and 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.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, 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.1
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).
In addition, we also note the use of sodium nitrite, a controversial color preservative. Sodium nitrite has been linked to the production of cancer-causing substances (known as nitrosamines) when meats are exposed to high cooking temperatures.
And finally, 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.
Pet Botanics Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pet Botanics looks to be only an average 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 20% and a mean fat level of 9%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 63% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical rolled dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a wet food containing a limited amount of meat.
What’s more, we find it difficult to ignore the inclusion of sodium nitrite and the sugar-based sweeteners in these Pet Botanics products.
Pet Botanics Dog Food is a wheat-based rolled product using only a limited amount of beef, lamb or chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.
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.
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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
02/10/2011 Original review
02/12/2011 Review updated
11/11/2012 Review updated
11/11/2012 Last Update
- 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) ↩