Pet Botanics Dog Food (Rolled)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

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

Protein = 23% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 59%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis14%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis23%10%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 23%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Not recommended.

Special Alert

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.

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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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

02/10/2011 Original review
02/12/2011 Review updated
11/11/2012 Review updated
11/11/2012 Last Update

  1. 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)
  • Kat

    This product is sourced from the us. Only ingredients that aren’t are the lamb, it comes from New Zealand. And some vitamins and minerals that are not available in the us. Now I did see the healthy omega treats are made in China, but everythingbelse is not.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Still looks horrible. Maybe it’d get bumped up to 3 stars for replacing the wheat with peas but even that would be a stretch. I wouldn’t even consider using this stuff for a treat let alone feeding it as actual food.

  • Kat

    The formula on these foods changed awhile ago, I would love to see an updated review

  • Fred

    I have been buying Botonics for my dog for several years and my dog just loved it.The company changed their product and my dog got sick from it. I thought maybe it was a bad roll,stupid me brought another and again she got sick again.

  • CIM

    You misunderstood my message, which said “some or possibly all of their products are made in China”. I know for a fact some of their treats are made in China. I don’t know about any of their dog foods and do not need to because I would never feed my dogs anything from a company that manufactures anything in China. Do a Google search on “are any of Pet Botanics dog food or treats manufactured in China” A lot came up, but didn’t have time to read it all.

  • Sammy

    Hi Cim – It states that this product is made in the U.S. Where did you get it was made in China? Thanks

  • JoAnn

    Thank you so much.

  • CIM

    Hi JoAnn. This company should NOT BE TRUSTED!!! Bottom line, either find another manufacturer whose products (all of them) are made and sourced in the USA or be extremely cautious because I know for sure that some, and possibly all, of their products are MADE IN CHINA, which is TERRIBLE! I don’t give my dogs ANYTHING Made In China. this includes toys, bowls, leashes or anything. PETCO had a recall a while back for stainless steel bowls Made In Chins because the bowls contained excessive amounts of radiation! They do things that can make our pets sick and even die. Nature’s Recipe,makes a rolled food, but again be very careful because they were recently sold, so who knows what the new company is doing. These days we have to be SO CAREFUL and take extra care to protect our pets. Good luck JoAnn!

  • JoAnn

    where can I buy pet botonics in fresno ca

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Catahoula and Ridgeback – that’s got to be a gorgeous dog. I think Ridgebacks are just stunning and I love the coloring of Catahoulas.

  • Fortlady

    My catahoola cur with ridgeback has had really bad allergies. He is allergic to grass, cedar and mesquite. Food allergies is soy, flaxseed, barley, peanut butter and a few other. I have even had stem cell on him and it has helped him. He is a picky eater and the rolled chicken and beef with rice is about the only thing he eats unless we cook it for him. He was licking his paws until he was tenderfooted and had bald spots on his rear but chewing. He is so much better now.

  • sheal34

    Would like a review for the Pet Botanics Omega Gourmet dry food please! Thinking about this food for my dog. She’s on Wellness Simple and still licks her feet alot and once in awhile has stomach sensitvities.

  • Cherylafischer

     Hi Bill my yorkies are fussy and I bought a bag of dry Pet Botanics and they love it. I give them the treats Salmon/sweet potato/chicken there skin and coats are so shinny..Hope you had a chance to try it. would not change..

  • Facebook User

    i have a hananese … talk about a pain to feed and fussy!  she actually broke into the petsmart bag, stole this food and ATE it on her own!  

    i’ve been letting her have natural balance rolled food and she gained 6 lbs (she was underweight from refusing to eat) .. 
    may not be the ‘best of the best’ but she loves it! and eating beats not eating for days at a time…

    it’s the first time she’s on food with grains since she was a puppy and had ear infection problems and so far so good!

    this will be a buy again.. she NEVER stole food before not even from an open bad of chips on the couch when left home all day (and she loves lays!)

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

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HDEBUM7H6YFWRTDTEBAKZOMOZU Kathy

    I am trying to get information on Pet Botanics dry dog food that they sell in Petsmart. Do you have any info?

  • Guest

    Anxiously awaiting the review for Pet Botanics Healthy Omega Gourmet Dog Food (dry)… Any luck with this yet?

  • Dog Food Ninja

    MsPhyl, are you talking about the new Pet Botanics dry kibble called healthy omega? If so, that is not the food that was reveiwed above. This is a review of their rolled food. Now, if you are talking about the above food, you mentioned that you need a grainfree food. The second ingredient in this food is wheat. So, not so much grain free as it is grain heavy. lol

  • MsPhyl

    I agree Jill. I have a Lhasa, that is the pickiest thing ever. I was familiar with Pet Botanics but chose it since I need a grain free food and the ingredients looked okay. Like your dog, mine gobbled up the food. I was just please to have her eat and enjoy it. I’ll use this food again.

  • Jonathan

    Oh no hurry here, Mike! I know you’re busy. :-) I was just trying to help Bill out with his question.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    HI Jonathan… Hope to get to Pet Botanics kibble soon. Still busy with so many projects. The directory. New dashboard features (under development). And a forum. Not to mention at least 100 more foods to review. So, it could be a while longer. Thanks for the tip.

  • Jonathan

    I think their new dry food looks like a solid 4-star product. It’s a little pea-heavy, but it has a decent amount of protein and it’s grain and potato free.

  • Bill

    Has anyone tried Pet Botanics Healthy Omega Gourmet Dog Food (dry) ? I am trying it for my dog now based on what I read on the package, but would love to know more about it ie is is 3 star, 4 star 5 star ? Thanks!

  • David

    Here is the official website of the company that manufactures Pet Botanics products, including their new line of grain-free kibble:

    http://cardinalpet.com/pet_botanics.html

    This food looks reasonably good, excepting the final few ingredients, which are ‘product.’ It’s not a secret that the majority of foods sold by PetSmart are lower grade. This one, however, may be an exception.

  • Kay

    I have purchase the Pet Botanics rolls as a treat for training. I would never feed it as anything other than a training treat. I dice it up. My favorite meat roll is Happy Howies. However, it is not as readily available at Pet Botanics or Natural Balance. I have a dog with some food allergies. I try to avoid both poultry and fish oil. I do not think the rolls has either of these two ingredients.

  • Christine
  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Dawn… I’ve been unable to locate a Pet Botanics company website that provides complete information on this product line. If you find one, please post a link to it and I’ll be sure to add the line to my To Do list for future review. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Dawn

    Hi Mike!

    I’m always on the look-out for new grain-free dry dog foods to add into the rotation I feed my pugs. I noticed that Petsmart just started carrying the Pet Botanics grain-free dog food in 3 varieties of Lamb, Chicken, and Salmon and I had never heard of PB before. I was not impressed in reading the review above with their ingredients in the dog food rolls. Since I never buy anything until I know where it stands in your ratings, can you add this to your list to review? I’m curious if this might be at least a 3 or 4 rating.

    BTW – I refer to your site all the time. I’ve only been a pet owner for 3 years but have learned so much about nutrition from the ratings and comments posted here. Keep up the good work!

  • Jonathan

    YES. even worse for dogs, foods with a high glycemic index can lead to diabetes much quicker than in humans.

  • erin c.

    Well, at least this dog food pretty much tells what’s in it. Ya gotta give ‘em that. (Except some people may not know what sucrose is.)

    WOW! Molasses and sugar are pretty high on the list.

    Do dogs get hooked on sugared foods just like humans?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jonathan and Meagan… I’m as perplexed by these comments as you guys. Unfortunately, this looks like spam so I’ve removed all 3 notes from this post.

  • Meagan

    I agree jonathan

  • Jonathan

    What is going on here?

  • Jill

    I have a German Shepherd that is the pickiest dog I have ever seen. I have tried every dog food out except the groecery brand dog foods and he would not eat them. He lost sooo much wieght but the vet said there was nothing wrong with him. So I seen that the pet botanics had come out with a dry so I tried the dry and rolled and he just went CRAZY for it which he has never done over any dog food before! So I do recommend it for very picky dogs… it may not be the best but he loves it and I know its better than most.

  • Kathleen

    Pet botanics just came out with a dry dog food…doesn’t look to bad, but I haven’t looked too closely yet…just spotted it on the shelf at my Petsmart

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jonathan… I’ve been looking for a good reason to re-consider my original rating of this product. Your point is well-argued regarding the below-average nature of this food. It’s more a 2 plus than a 3 minus. So, Pet Botanics will now be downgraded to a rating more reflective of its actual content.

  • Jonathan

    Yeah… It’s not that much better than NB rolls, but I get your point. Still, I’d call NB rolls 2 stars, and PB rolls 2 1/2 stars… they both have below average protein and large amounts of sugar and wheat.

  • Nathan

    This has been informative. Thank you for the follow up Mike.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jonathan… I struggled with this review. Pet Botanics is really a very low three star product. To see a similar (yet still worse) rolled dog food to compare PB with, look no further than Natural Balance Dog Food Rolls. Here’s another good argument for that half star system you suggested.

  • Jonathan

    Oh GROSS! this food has a TON of sugar in it! Not to mention all that wheat and sodium nitrite and below average protein… Are you sure about the third star? :P