Brandon Farms Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED

Brandon Farms Dog Food dry formula earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of three stars.

Currently, the Brandon Farms product line includes four kibbles… one designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and three for adult maintenance.

  • Brandon Farms Adult Formula
  • Brandon Farms Low Calorie Formula
  • Brandon Farms Lamb and Rice Flavor
  • Brandon Farms Pork and Barley Flavor

Brandon Farms Dog Food Pork and Barley Flavor was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Brandon Farms Naturals Pork and Barley Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Pork meal, ground barley, ground rice, rice bran, chicken fat (stabilized with mixed tocopherols), grounds oats, ground beet pulp, natural flavor, ground flaxseed, yeast culture, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, sweet potatoes, dried chicory root, blueberries, dried yeast fermentation solubles, vitamin E supplement, taurine, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin supplement, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite, dl-methionine, rosemary extract, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 44%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.

The second ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index (like rice), barley can help support stable blood sugar levels in dogs.

The third ingredient is rice. Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s difficult to judge the quality of this particular item.

The fourth item is rice bran… a by-product of rice milling. Though not as nutritionally complete as whole grain rice, brans are still unusually rich in fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals.

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat 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. Though it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is a quality ingredient.

The sixth item includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

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.

After the natural flavor, we find ground flaxseed… one of the best vegetable sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And the seeds are naturally rich in soluble and insoluble fiber.

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 have much of an effect on the overall quality of this product.

We note this dog food contains chelated mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Brandon Farms Dog Food… the Bottom Line

Since the other three products in the line all contain corn gluten meal (a low quality, plant-based protein booster), it’s difficult to be impressed with Brandon Farms kibble.

Just the same, we still need to reference our example’s nutrient percentages before we determine a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 50%.

Featuring a brand average of 27%, protein numbers range from a low of 24% for the Adult Formula to a high of 31% for the Puppy.

Fat was an unusually low 12% for the group.

Moderate protein. Low fat. And average carbohydrates (compared to a typical dry dog food).

When you consider the protein-enhancing inclusion of corn gluten meal, this is the profile of a dry kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Brandon Farms Dog Food is primarily a grain-based kibble using a modest amount of chicken or pork meals as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand an acceptable three-star rating.

Recommended.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

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Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

05/02/2010 Original review
12/01/2010 Product discontinued

12/01/2010 Last Update

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