Atta Boy! Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1.5 stars.
The Atta Boy! product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for adult maintenance.
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, ground wheat, wheat mill run, corn gluten meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor (source of grilled chicken flavor), poultry by-product meal, brewers rice, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex [source of vitamin K activity], folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate), rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||23%||11%||58%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||25%||53%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The second ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1
Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.
Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.
Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.
The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The next ingredient is wheat mill run, also known as wheat middlings. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat middlings is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.
In reality, wheat mill run is nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically found in the lower quality pet foods.
The fifth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.
Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.
For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.
After the natural flavor, we find poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.
We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).
The ninth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, this food contains 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Next, this food includes 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 food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Atta Boy! Dog Food Review
Looking at its ingredients alone, Atta Boy! Dog Food appears to be a below-average dry product.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.
Atta Boy! is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a limited amount of unnamed meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1.5 stars.
Atta Boy! Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Atta Boy! If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
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
01/22/2020 Last Update