Solid Gold Grain Free (Cups)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Solid Gold Grain Free dog food cups receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Solid Gold Grain Free product line includes three dog food cups.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Solid Gold Grain Free Lil’ Boss [A]
  • Solid Gold Grain Free Mighty Mini [A]
  • Solid Gold Grain Free Leaping Waters [A]

Solid Gold Grain Free Leaping Waters was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Solid Gold Grain Free Leaping Waters

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 34%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, dried egg whites, peas, carrots, potato starch, salmon, guar gum, sodium phosphate, salt, natural flavor, potassium chloride, canola oil, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, xanthan gum, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt proteinate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%3%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%17%34%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%35%29%
Protein = 36% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 29%

The first ingredient in this dog food is 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.

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient includes dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The sixth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The ninth ingredient is salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

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, we find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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.

Next, we note the use of fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

And lastly, this 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.

Solid Gold Grain Free Dog Food Cups
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Solid Gold Grain Free dog food cups look like an above-average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 42%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 34%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 34% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Solid Gold Grain Free is a meat-based cupped dog food using a notable amount of chicken as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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.

Solid Gold Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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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.

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Notes and Updates

10/05/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials