Red Barn Naturals Dog Food Rolls receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.
The Red Barn Naturals product line includes three rolled recipes each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Red Barn Naturals Beef Roll
- Red Barn Naturals Lamb and Rice Roll
- Red Barn Naturals Chicken and Liver Roll
Red Barn Naturals Beef Roll was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Red Barn Naturals Beef
Rolled Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef lung, beef liver, wheat flour, egg product, sucrose, flaxseed, sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, natural smoke flavor, calcium chloride, sunflower oil, dextrose, potassium chloride, choline chloride, rosemary extract, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate, iron sulfate, sodium selenite, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganous oxide, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, d-activated animal sterol (source of vitamin D3), ethylenediamine dihydriodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.6%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||25%||9%||59%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||20%||56%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef lung. Beef lung is a protein-rich organ meat that’s also low in fat.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth ingredient 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 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, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
Next, this food includes dextrose, 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, 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.
Red Barn Naturals Dog Food Rolls
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Red Barn Naturals Dog Food Rolls looks like an average rolled 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 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 59% 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.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a rolled product containing a modest amount of meat.
Red Barn Naturals is a plant-based rolled dog food using a modest amount of beef, chicken or lamb 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.
Red Barn Naturals Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
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A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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
03/27/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩