Farmina N&D Grain Free Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Farmina N&D Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Farmina N&D Grain Free product line includes 14 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.

  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Fish Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Boar Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Boar Adult Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Fish Adult Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Lamb Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Lamb Adult Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Fish Adult Medium [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Boar Adult Medium [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Adult Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Lamb Adult Medium [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Puppy Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Adult Medium [A]
  • Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Puppy Mini/Medium [A]

Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Adult Medium was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Farmina N&D Grain Free Chicken Adult Medium

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehydrated egg product, herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), dehydrated herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), herring & salmon oil blend (preserved with mixed tocopherols), fiber vegetable of peas, dried carrots, sun-cured alfalfa meal, chicory root extract, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), dehydrated pomegranate, dehydrated apple, dehydrated spinach, psyllium seed husk, dehydrated blackcurrant berry, dehydrated sweet orange, dehydrated blueberry, salt, brewers dried yeast, turmeric, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, choline chloride, beta-carotene, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, dl-methionine, taurine, l-carnitine, aloe vera gel concentrate, green tea extract, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis37%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%20%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%40%26%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 26%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is dehydrated chicken. Dehydrated chicken is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh chicken.

Plus (unlike chicken meal) dehydrated chicken is never exposed to high temperatures during processing… so it preserves more of the meat’s natural goodness.

The third ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life. Although it is a quality item, raw fish contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

The seventh ingredient is dehydrated herring, another protein-rich ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is herring and salmon oil blend. Herring and salmon oils are naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, the herring and salmon oil blend should be considered a commendable addition.

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 seven notable exceptions

First, 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, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

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.

Next, we note the inclusion of yeast extract, which is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago1, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

We also find brewers yeast in this recipe. Brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

And lastly, 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.

Farmina N&D Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Farmina N&D Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Farmina N&D Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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.

Farmina Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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Notes and Updates

03/28/2017 Last Update

  1. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances