SmallBatch Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The SmallBatch product line includes six raw dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, 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 Rabbit
- SmallBatch Turkey
- SmallBatch Chicken
- SmallBatch Duck (2 stars)
- SmallBatch Lamb (2 stars)
SmallBatch Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Free range chicken (including muscle meat and bones), yams, broccoli, squash, carrots, free range chicken hearts & liver, kale, salmon oil, kelp, parsley, basil, rosemary, garlic, apple cider vinegar, bee pollen, grapefruit seed extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||51%||36%||5%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||61%||3%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life and ground chicken bone is an excellent source of natural calcium.
The second ingredient is yams. In much of North America, the word yam can be used interchangeably with the term sweet potatoes.
So, assuming this item is indeed sweet potatoes, it can be considered a good source of complex carbohydrates. In addition, yams are naturally rich in fiber, beta carotene and other healthy nutrients.
The third ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
The fourth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient is chicken 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 seventh ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The eighth ingredient is kale. Kale is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. This dark green vegetable is especially rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C, vitamin K and calcium.
And like broccoli, kale contains sulforaphane, a natural chemical believed to possess potent anti-cancer properties.
The ninth ingredient is salmon oil. 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.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, 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.2
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).
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 quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to accord this line somewhat favored 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.
Just the same, we still need to evaluate the product’s protein, fat and carbohydrate content.
Judging by its ingredients alone, SmallBatch Dog Food looks like an above average raw 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 48% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Above-average protein. Below-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 abundant amount of meat.
SmallBatch Dog Food is a meat-based raw product using an abundant amount of various named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
However, with a fat to protein ratio exceeding well over 100%, both the Duck and Lamb recipes may not be appropriate for every dog — and have thus been awarded lower star ratings.
What’s more, it’s important to note that many raw dog food products make no attempt to meet AAFCO nutrient profile guidelines to be complete and balanced for daily use.
For this reason, we recommend consumers become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of raw feeding before committing to long term use.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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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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.
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Notes and Updates
11/26/2012 Original review
11/26/2012 Last Update