Victor Select Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Victor Select Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Victor Select product line includes six dry dog foods.

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.

  • Victor Select Nutra Pro (5 stars) [A]
  • Victor Select Senior/Healthy Weight [A]
  • Victor Select Ocean Fish with Salmon [A]
  • Victor Select Lamb Meal and Brown Rice [A]
  • Victor Select Chicken Meal and Brown Rice [A]
  • Victor Select Beef Meal and Brown Rice (3.5 stars) [A]

Victor Select Ocean Fish with Salmon was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Victor Select Ocean Fish with Salmon

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Menhaden fish meal (source of DHA-docosahexaenoic acid), whole grain brown rice, grain sorghum, salmon, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehydrated alfalfa meal, flax seed (source of omega 3 fatty acid), feeding oat meal, yeast culture, natural chicken flavor, potassium chloride, dried kelp, salt, montmorillonite, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), dried carrot, choline chloride, dried chicory root, taurine, zinc amino acid complex, hydrolyzed yeast, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, selenium yeast, l-carnitine, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D supplement, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, magnesium amino acid chelate, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, lecithin, fructooligosaccharide, folic acid, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Yucca schidigera extract, citric acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.2%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%13%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%29%46%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 46%

The first ingredient in this dog food is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The second 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 third ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The eighth 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.

The ninth ingredient is feeding oatmeal. Feeding oatmeal is a by-product of rolled oats “and consists of broken oat groats, oat groat chips, and floury portions of the oat groats, with only such quantity of finely ground oat hulls as is unavoidable in the usual process of commercial milling”.2

This inexpensive cereal grain by-product is only rarely used to make pet food and is more typically found in cattle and hog feeds.

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, we find montmorillonite clay, a naturally occurring compound rich in many trace minerals. Montmorillonite has been approved for use in USDA Organic Certified products.

Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Next, we note the use of 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.

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 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.

And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Victor Select Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Victor Select 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, alfalfa meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Victor Select is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.

Victor 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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

12/28/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2012 Official Publication, p. 420
  • Angi

    Thanks April! I went to a store that carries it in my area and was able to get an idea on the size before I bought it. I just opened the bag this past weekend. You are right on the money with the comparisons though! It is on the smaller side, but it works better than I expected in the treat balls we use.

  • april

    Hi Angi, my husband and I just switched our 1 year old cockapoo over to the Nutra Pro, and the kibble is pretty small – I’d say somewhere between the size of a green pea and a chickpea, if that helps. It’s actually a bit larger than his old food, though, so it works for us. We give him about half a serving in a bowl (which he wolfs down pretty quickly) and half in a treat ball.

  • Angi

    I haven’t tried a slow feeder bowl. But, I am likely going to switch to Victor. So if the kibble is too small for the Kongs, I will probably have to get one.

  • Susan LaFountaine

    I have not tried the Nutra Pro, I went back on the Victor website to look at which one you were talking about. The only reason I haven’t tried that one is because the protein content is really high and I don’t want my Rottie pup to grow too fast. That an because whenever I feed a food with really high protein, my Sheltie gets really fat, really fast! Have you tried a slow feeder bowl with your pup? I hear they work pretty good. I haven’t had any problems with my Rottie pup gulping food very often. He did at first, but once I got him on a regular schedule, he is eating normal. Good idea to feed with a Kong ball though if your pup is a food gulper! Ya, I think Chewy.com is fantastic, it costs just a little more than if I go to the feed store, but the convenience of it is great, and it is always a quick delivery and packed very well.

  • Angi

    The one I am looking at is in a red and gray bag. It is not a grain free one. The select Nutra Pro has a 5 star rating up at the top of this page. I am not sure if there is a store around me that carries it. I haven’t looked for it yet, since I am trying to research first. But I like what I see about this brand so I am definitely going to start searching for it. My pup is a mutt. She is about 50 pounds. I use treat balls and Kongs to feed her, so I am afraid of the kibble being too small. I am also now thinking that she might just swallow them whole if they are too small! She gobbles food way too fast if I feed her from a bowl. Thanks for your reply and the info!!

    Love Chewy.com by the way!!

  • Susan LaFountaine

    Hi Angi, no I haven’t used the Select Nutra Pro only because the protein level is just a little too high for my Rottie pup. But yes, I have seen the kibble and it is really tiny. The others in that line are small kibble but not terribly small. I have not had a problem with any of their formulas, I just don’t want my Rottie pup to grow too fast so I keep away from formulas with real high amounts of protein. But I whole heartedly recommend this brand, I have had nothing but good luck with it. They have never had a re-call. From the moment I started using it, my pups have had good solid poops, and are really healthy, and they just eat this stuff up! If you have a local farm/feed store close to where you live, they might carry it, but Chewy.com has the entire line. Good luck with it! I bet your pup will love it!

  • Angi

    Hi Susan. I am looking at purchasing the Select Nutra Pro. I have heard that the kibble is super tiny. Does this happen to be one of the ones you have used? If so, can you tell me how big or small this stuff is?

  • Susan LaFountaine

    I can go on and on about this food!!! This is excellent high quality dog food that is very affordable. My two kids have done so well on it. Super soft and shiny coats, boundless energy, and good solid poops. All of the select line are for “All Life Stages” Which is so nice. My 3 year old Sheltie and my 6 month old Rottie pup can eat the same thing. And they love this food. I have tried all the different flavors on them and there isn’t one that they snub their nose at. It is made in Texas with all of its ingredients sourced within a 150 mile radius of their manufacturing plant. It use to be that you could only by it at select farm/feed stores, but now you can get it at Chewy.com. I whole heartedly recommend this food to anyone looking for great quality at a reasonable price.