FirstMate Limited Ingredient (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

FirstMate Limited Ingredient canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The FirstMate Limited Ingredient product line includes 4 canned 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.

  • FirstMate Wild Tuna Formula [A]
  • FirstMate Wild Salmon Formula [A]
  • FirstMate Free Run Turkey Formula [A]
  • FirstMate Free Run Chicken Formula [A]

FirstMate Free Run Turkey Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

FirstMate Free Run Turkey Formula

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 50% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 24%

Ingredients: Boneless turkey, water sufficient for processing, potato, chicken liver, calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, iodine), vitamins (niacin, vitamin e supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-pantothenic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin a supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin b12, supplement, vitamin d3 supplement), potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, kale

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis11%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis50%18%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis42%38%20%
Protein = 42% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 20%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

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 liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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 one notable exception

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.

FirstMate Limited Ingredient
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, FirstMate Limited Ingredient looks like an above-average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 51% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 21% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

FirstMate Limited Ingredient is a meat-based canned 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.

FirstMate 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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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

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

09/01/2017 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition