Horizon Amicus Dog Food Review (Dry)

Horizon Amicus Dog Food

Rating:

Horizon Amicus Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Horizon Amicus product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.

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

Use the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Horizon Amicus Adult formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Horizon Amicus Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Turkey, chicken meal, red lentils, peas, pea starch, salmon, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, form of vitamin E), turkey meal, flax, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, form of vitamin E), alfalfa meal, egg product, pea fibre, carrots, apples, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, blueberries, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation extract, fructooligosaccharides, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, pineapple, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese, proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, selenium yeast, magnesium oxide

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%18%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%37%35%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% 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 next two ingredients are lentils and peas. Both lentils and peas are quality sources of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The next ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth 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.

However, raw salmon contains up to 73% 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 seventh ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 next ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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.

The tenth ingredient is 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 affect the overall rating of this Horizon product.

With 5 notable exceptions

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

Next, pea fiber is a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

Next, we note the use of selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

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.

Horizon Amicus Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Horizon Amicus Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Which means this Horizon product line contains…

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 lentils, peas, flax and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Horizon Amicus is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Horizon Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Horizon brand. 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.

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

05/16/2020 Last Update