Pet Botanics rolled dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Pet Botanics product line includes four rolled 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.
- Pet Botanics Grain Free Lamb Recipe
- Pet Botanics Grain Free Chicken Recipe
- Pet Botanics Grain Free Turkey with Duck Recipe
- Pet Botanics Whole Grain Beef with Bacon (1.5 stars)
Pet Botanics Grain Free Lamb Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Pet Botanics Grain Free Lamb Recipe
Rolled Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, pea flour, lamb liver, pea protein, sweet potato, pea fiber, molasses, glycerin, sugar, flaxseed oil, calcium sulfate, peas, carrots, natural hickory smoke flavor, lactic acid (as a preservative), salmon oil, sea salt, sodium lactate, potassium chloride, calcium proprionate, zinc proprionate, celery powder, choline chloride, carrageenan, natural mixed tocopherols, ascorbic acid, zinc proteinate, botanifits botanical blend (cranberries, peppermint, chamomile, rosemary extract, dandelion extract, blueberries, Yucca schidigera, green tea), vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, taurine, glucosamine HCL, l-carnitine, dextrose, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.6%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||17%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||36%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The third ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The sixth ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh ingredient is molasses. 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 includes glycerin. Glycerin is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.
The ninth ingredient includes 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 any animal soon after it is eaten.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
Next, peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
In addition, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
Next, dextrose is a crystallized form of glucose — with a flavor significantly sweeter than common table sugar. It is typically used in pet food as a sweetener and as an agent to help develop browning.
Without knowing a healthy reason for its inclusion here, dextrose (like most sugars) can be considered a nutritionally unnecessary addition to this recipe.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Pet Botanics Rolled Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Pet Botanics rolled dog food looks like a below-average 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 23% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical rolled dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea flour, pea protein and peas, this looks like the profile of a rolled product containing only a limited amount of meat.
Pet Botanics is a plant-based rolled dog food using a limited amount of lamb, poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 stars.
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.
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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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.
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Notes and Updates
06/23/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩