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Bench and Field Holistic Natural Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Bench and Field product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages.
Bench and Field Holistic Natural Canine Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, ground white rice, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pork meal, dried beet pulp, anchovy and sardine meal, flaxseed, dried egg product, menhaden fish oil, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cranberries, tomato pomace, dehydrated alfalfa meal, potassium chloride, apples, peas, organic quinoa, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, beta-carotine, niacin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin d3 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement biotin, folic acid], minerals [zinc polysaccharide complex, iron polysaccharide complex, copper polysaccharide complex, manganese polysaccharide complex, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, potassium iodide], papaya, dried kelp, blueberries, pomegranate, chicken cartilage, inulin, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Yucca schidigera extract, dl-methionine, ground cinnamon, ground fennel, ground peppermint, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, and choline chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||17%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||35%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The next two ingredients are ground brown rice and , both names for rice flour. Ground rice is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The fourth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The next 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 sixth ingredient includes pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The seventh ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The next ingredient is anchovy and sardine meal, yet another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2
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.
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 Bench and Field product.
With 6 notable exceptions…
First, we find menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.
What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not as likely to be exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deep water species.
Next, 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, we note the inclusion of 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.
Next, this recipe contains 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.
In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
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.
Bench and Field Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Bench and Field Holistic Natural Canine Formula Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
Above-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 flaxseed, peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Bench and Field is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Bench and Field Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Bench and Field. 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
06/02/2020 Last Update