Farmina N&D Pumpkin Grain-Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

The Farmina N&D Pumpkin Grain-Free product line includes 10 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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Lamb and Blueberry Puppy Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Lamb and Blueberry Puppy Medium and Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Chicken and Pomegranate Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Chicken and Pomegranate Adult Medium and Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Lamb and Blueberry Adult Mini (4.5 stars) [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Lamb and Blueberry Adult Medium and Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Codfish and Orange Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Codfish and Orange Adult Medium and Maxi [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Boar and Apple Adult Mini [A]
  • Farmina N&D Pumpkin Boar and Apple Adult Medium and Maxi [A]

Farmina N&D Pumpkin Chicken and Pomegranate Adult Medium and Maxi was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Farmina N&D Pumpkin Chicken and Pomegranate Adult Medium and Maxi

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Fresh free range boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken meat, pea starch, chicken fat, dehydrated pumpkin, dehydrated whole eggs, fresh herring, dehydrated herring, herring oil, fiber vegetable of peas, dried carrots, dried alfalfa, inulin, fructooligosaccharides, yeast extract, dehydrated pomegranate, dehydrated apple, dehydrated spinach, psyllium, dehydrated sweet orange, dehydrated blueberries, salt, dried brewer’s yeast, turmeric root, glucosamine, chondroitin sulphate, 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, tocopherol rich extracts of natural origin

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.2%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%20%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%40%32%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 32%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 nutrients.

The third ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is 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 pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The seventh 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.

The eighth ingredient is dried herring. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, dried herring contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

The ninth ingredient is herring oil. Herring oil is 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, herring oil 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, we notice 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.

Next, we find dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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.

This recipe also contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as another prebiotic.

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 ago2, 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.

This recipe also includes brewers yeast, which 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.

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 also incorporates 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 Pumpkin Grain-Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Farmina N&D Pumpkin 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 33%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

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 pea fiber, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Farmina N&D Pumpkin Grain-Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of chicken as its main source 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.

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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Special 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.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

08/12/2018 Last Update

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