Farmina N&D Pumpkin Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Farmina ND Pumpkin Dog Food Review

Rating:

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

The Farmina N&D Pumpkin Grain-Free product line includes the 8 dry dog foods listed below.

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

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

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

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Boneless chicken, dehydrated chicken, pea starch, chicken fat, dried pumpkin, dried whole eggs, herring, dehydrated herring, herring oil, pea fiber, dried carrot, suncured alfalfa meal, inulin, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract, dried pomegranate, dried apple, dried spinach, psyllium seed husk, dried sweet orange, dried blueberry, salt, brewers dried yeast, turmeric, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, 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 methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, manganese methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, ferrous glycine, copper methionine hydroxy analogue chelate, selenium yeast, dl-methionine, taurine, l-carnitine, aloe vera gel concentrate, green tea extract, rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols (a preservative)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.2%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%20%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%40%33%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 33%

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. This item 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 next 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 next 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 Farmina product.

With 8 notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, we note the use of alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in 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 food also includes 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 actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, we find 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.

We also note the inclusion of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

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 Review

According to its ingredients alone, Farmina N&D Pumpkin Grain-Free Dog Food appears to be an above-average dry product.

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%.

Which means this Farmina product line contains…

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical kibble.

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

Bottom line?

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

Enthusiastically recommended.

Farmina Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Farmina product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

A Final Word

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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.

Notes and Updates

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

01/18/2020 Last Update