Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Best Breed Grain Free product line lists 3 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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Best Breed Grain Free Salmon (4.5 stars) [A]
- Best Breed Grain Free Chicken [A]
- Best Breed Grain Free Red Meat [A]
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free Salmon recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Best Breed Grain Free Salmon
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon meal, red lentils, chickpeas, green peas, white fish meal, canola oil, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, natural flavor, ground flax seed, menhaden fish oil, lecithin, calcium carbonate, kelp meal, New Zealand green mussel, cranberries, blueberries, salt, D/L methionine, choline chloride, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product dehydrated, l-lysine, l-carnitine, vitamin E supplement, glucosamine, ascorbic acid, biotin, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, potassium chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||18%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||37%||35%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
It’s important to note that the next three ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:
- Red lentils
- Green peas
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is whitefish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
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 that 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 includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
The ninth ingredient lists beets, the root portion of a sugar beet plant. As the name implies, beets contain a high concentration of sucrose (sugar).
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 four notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is 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.
Next, this recipe contains 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.
In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
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.
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free
Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free Dog Food 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, chickpeas, peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble still containing a notable amount of meat.
Dr. Gary’s Best Breed Grain Free is a dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Best Breed Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Best Breed. 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
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Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
05/31/2019 Last Update