SmallBatch Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The SmallBatch product line includes six raw frozen 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.
- SmallBatch Beef
- SmallBatch Lamb
- SmallBatch Rabbit
- SmallBatch Turkey
- SmallBatch Duck (4.5 stars)
- SmallBatch Chicken (4.5 stars)
SmallBatch Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb breast including bone, lamb hearts, lamb livers, lamb kidneys, lamb spleen, organic squash, organic celery, organic bok choy, organic cauliflower, organic green beans, salmon oil, organic dandelion greens, organic apple cider vinegar, organic kelp, organic bee pollen, organic cilantro, organic wheat grass, organic bilberry, organic garlic, organic oregano, organic thyme
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.8%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||49%||37%||6%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||62%||4%|
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. And this item is inclusive of bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The second ingredient is lamb heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The next three items are lamb liver, kidney and spleen. These are organ meats sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The sixth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
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, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
In addition, wheat grass is prized for its vitamin and mineral content. Yet unlike wheat, wheat grass is gluten-free. So, please ignore our software’s unfavorable treatment of this nutritious ingredient.
And lastly, we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list. We would assume these essential nutrients are provided by the food ingredients in the recipe.
SmallBatch Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
With that in mind…
Judging by its ingredients alone, SmallBatch Dog Food looks like an above-average raw 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 52% and a mean fat level of 35%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 5% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance of meat.
However, with 62% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 34% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
SmallBatch is a meat-based raw dog food using a generous amount of various named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 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.
SmallBatch 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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
10/13/2015 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 ↩
- 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) ↩