Solid Gold Barking at the Moon dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
According to the company, Solid Gold Barking at the Moon has been designed for performance dogs and meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
Solid Gold Barking at the Moon
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Ocean fish meal, beef, potatoes, pea protein, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried eggs, peas, tomato pomace, natural flavor, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salmon oil (source of DHA), dried chicory root, taurine, parsley flakes, pumpkin meal, almond oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sesame oil (preserved by mixed tocopherols), Yucca schidigera extract, thyme, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, broccoli, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate, manganese sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||22%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||44%||20%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is ocean fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
This particular item is anonymous. The term “ocean fish” does little to adequately describe this ingredient. We would prefer to have known the actual species.
The second ingredient includes 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.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The third item is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient mentions canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.
Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.2
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product left over after the processing of tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
After the natural flavoring, we find 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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, this dog 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.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
And lastly, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Solid Gold Barking at the Moon
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Solid Gold Barking at the Moon appears to be an above-average dry 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even allowing for the protein-boosting effect of the potato protein, this is the profile of a dry kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Solid Gold Barking at the Moon is a meat-based dry kibble using a significant amount of ethoxyquin-free fish meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand five stars.
Those looking for a quality wet food made by the same company may wish to check out our review of Solid Gold Canned Dog Food.
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
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Notes and Updates
02/07/2010 Original review
09/13/2010 Review updated
08/23/2011 Review updated (minor recipe change)
02/23/2013 Review updated
02/23/2013 Last Update