Solid Gold Grain Free (Dry)
Solid Gold Sun Dancer Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Solid Gold Sun Dancer product line includes one dry dog food.
However, since we’re unable to locate an AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement for this recipe on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report a specific life stage recommendation.
Solid Gold Sun Dancer
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, tapioca, peas, whitefish meal, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, quinoa, dried eggs, potatoes, sweet potato, chia seed, natural flavors, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, 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 denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||16%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||33%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fourth ingredient includes 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 fifth ingredient includes whitefish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Whitefish, is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The sixth ingredient is 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.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.
Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.
The ninth ingredient is dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed and chia seed, are some of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax and chia seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein and chia seed contains about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, 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.
In addition, 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.
Next, this recipe also includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
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 Sun Dancer Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Solid Gold Sun Dancer 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, quinoa, lentils, flax and chia seeds, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Solid Gold Sun Dancer is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the recipe 5 stars.
Those looking for more kibbles from the same company may wish to visit our review of Solid Gold dry dog food.
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.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
09/10/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩