Review of Blackwood All Life Stages Special Diet
Blackwood All Life Stages Special Diet receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Blackwood All Life Stages Special Diet product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Blackwood ALS Special Diet Salmon Meal and Brown Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Blackwood ALS Special Diet Salmon Meal and Brown Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon meal, brown rice, millet, oat groats, ground grain sorghum, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, rice bran, dried tomato pomace, natural flavor, lecithin, monosodium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, dl-methionine, pumpkin meal, dried seaweed meal, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apple pomace, calcium carbonate, l-lysine, choline chloride, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), Yucca schidigera extract, ground rosemary, ground thyme, ground cumin, ground yellow mustard, crushed red chili pepper, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, mixed tocopherols, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||16%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||33%||43%|
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
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 millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The next ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
The fifth item 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.
Next, we find 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 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 eighth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
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 Blackwood product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find tomato and apple pomaces. Pomace is the solid by-product of vegetables and fruits after pressing for juice, oil and other food products such as ketchup. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.
Pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough vegetable pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
In addition, we note the use of dried seaweed meal, a product made from a family of brown algae known as Fucaceae (Rockweed). Although it does contain a number of healthy nutrients, seaweed meal is primarily used as a source of inexpensive carbohydrates (about 60% dry matter).
This item is only rarely used to make pet food and is more typically found in feeds for cattle, horses, hogs, hens and sheep.
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 product contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
Based on its ingredients alone, Blackwood All Life Stages Special Diet looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Which means this Blackwood product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Blackwood All Life Stages Special Diet
Blackwood All Life Stages Special Diet includes both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods using a notable amount of named meat meals as their main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Blackwood Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Blackwood.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Blackwood Brand Reviews
The following Blackwood dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Blackwood Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Blackwood Everyday Recipes Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Blackwood Original Recipe Dog Food Review (Dry)
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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.
01/29/2022 Last Update