Solid Gold Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Solid Gold product line includes nine dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth (puppies), six formulas for adult maintenance, and one formula for all life stages (Just a Wee Bit)..
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Solid Gold Just a Wee Bit
- Solid Gold Sun Dancer (5 stars)
- Holistique Blendz Adult (2.5 stars)
- Solid Gold Wolfcub Large Breed Puppy
- MMillennia Beef & Barley Adult (3.5 stars)
- Solid Gold Hund-n-Flocken Adult (3.5 stars)
- Solid Gold Hundchen Flocken Puppy (4 stars)
- Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Adult (5 stars)
- Solid Gold Wolfking Large Breed Adult (3.5 stars)
Solid Gold Just a Wee Bit was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Solid Gold Wee Bit Bison and Brown Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Bison, ocean fish meal, brown rice, peas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, pea protein, dried eggs, rice bran, pearled barley, salmon meal, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), taurine, dried chicory root, l-carnitine, carrots, pumpkin, apples, cranberries, blueberries, broccoli, parsley, spearmint, almond oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sesame oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Yucca schidigera extract, dried kelp, thyme, lentils, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese sulfate, zinc proteinate, folic acid, calcium iodate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||20%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||40%||34%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes bison. Although it is a quality item, raw bison 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 second ingredient is ocean fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
The third ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The fourth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient lists barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The seventh ingredient is canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while some 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.3
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.
The eighth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing 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.
The ninth 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, 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.
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, this food also 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.
Solid Gold Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Solid Gold Dog Food looks like an above average dry 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 29% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, peas and pea protein (contained in other recipes), this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Solid Gold Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
However, due to it’s apparent lower meat content, we cannot recommend the Holistique Blendz formula.
Those looking for a meatier food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Solid Gold Barking at the Moon Dog Food.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/05/2009 Original review
06/11/2011 Review updated (added Sun Dancer)
03/03/2012 Review updated (example changed to Wolfcub Puppy)
09/04/2013 Review updated
09/04/2013 Last Update