Diamond Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Diamond Dog Food product line includes six dry recipes, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and three for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Diamond Maintenance
- Diamond Original (2.5 stars)
- Diamond Hi-Energy (2.5 stars)
- Diamond Performance (4 stars)
- Diamond Premium Adult (4 stars)
- Diamond Puppy Formula (4 stars)
Diamond Maintenance was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, wheat flour, whole grain ground corn, rice bran, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), millet, ground white rice, fish meal, egg product, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||13%||54%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||22%||29%||49%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The second ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient is corn. Corn is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as wheat (previously discussed).
The fourth 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.
The fifth 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 sixth 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. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is ground white rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The ninth ingredient is fish meal, 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.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
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 three 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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help 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.
Diamond Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Diamond Dog Food looks like an 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 29% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.
Near-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 flaxseed in this recipe and the corn gluten meal contained in some other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Diamond is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken by-product meal or meat meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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.
Diamond Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Diamond Issues Yet Another Dog Food Recall (5/18/2012)
- Diamond Dog Food Recall Widens (4/30/2012)
- Diamond Dog Food Recall (4/6/2012)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
01/09/2017 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩