Flint River Ranch (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product Has Been Discontinued
Confirmed by the Company1

Flint River Ranch Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Flint River Ranch product line includes six dry dog foods.

Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Flint River Ranch Lamb Meal and Millet Adult
  • Flint River Ranch Original Puppy & Adult Kibble
  • Flint River Ranch Senior PLUS Formula (2 stars)
  • Flint River Ranch Trout and Potato Adult (3 stars)
  • Flint River Ranch Chicken Meal and Rice Small Bites (3 stars)
  • Flint River Ranch Grain Free Salmon and Potato Adult (4.5 stars)

Flint River Ranch Original Puppy & Adult Kibble was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Flint River Ranch Original Puppy & Adult Kibble

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground whole brown rice, wheat flour, ground whole rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oat flour, tomato pomace, white fish meal, natural flavor, potassium chloride, salt, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), kelp meal, lecithin, rosemary extract, sage extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis23%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%13%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%29%48%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 48%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second and fourth ingredients include ground 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 third 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient is oat flour. Since oat flour is nothing more than finely ground oats, it provides about the same gluten-free nutritional content as raw oats.

The seventh ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

The eighth ingredient is whitefish 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.2

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 two notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal 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.

Flint River Ranch Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Flint River Ranch 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 26%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 55% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Flint River Ranch is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats 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.

Flint River Ranch 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

09/19/2016 Last Update

  1. Confirmed via email received from the company dated 11/21/2016
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Ann McCullough

    So very saddened for the changes in FRR. I have two Cockapoos who are ten years old and nine years old. I have had them on FRR their whole lives. I signed up on this website desperately looking for a viable alternative food. Sadly, I live in Florida and FRR is not shipping here yet, so far as I know. I’m to the point where I’m almost out of food and need to start mixing in something new to not upset their systems. I also further worry that even if FRR does decide to ship everywhere again, maybe they won’t keep the original formulas we know and love and my pups are used to.
    Suggestions for similar products from other past FRR customers greatly appreciated! =)

  • Cannoli

    if you brush your dog’s teeth on a daily basis it will eliminate all bad breath odors. this is coming from someone who loves to feed his pup stinky green raw tripe along with cooked smelly sardines

  • LL

    They just added more states.

  • sandy

    FRR has reopened. Available in a limited number of states.

  • Kim Smith

    My dog pushed the flint river away and would only eat the Tender and True antibiotic-free dog food. He loves it! And his coat is so shiny! My vet says to stay with his new food. This one: https://www.flintriver.com/productinfo.asp?pi=tender-true-dog-abf-chicken-kibble.htm

  • Jill Gallo

    If you look at the frrco website it says that someone is interested in buying the company and it may be back up with the same formulas by the end of March.

  • Jill Gallo

    According to the frrco website they might be back in business by the end of March.

  • Are you looking to stay on a baked kibble?. Lotus, Wellness TruFood and Carna4 are also baked.

  • ohksure

    My dog was doing well on the FRR salmon and potato recipe and now we’re scrambling to find an alternative. We’re just about to give Horizon Legacy fish a try.

  • Christina Farnsworth

    Now that they’ve closed, what will you choose? Was a huge fan of Trout and potato formula with similar results.

  • SUnsan

    3years later and still never recalled. Nor has Purina bought them out!

  • Karen

    I feed the trout formula and my dogs have very pleasant breath.

  • Karen

    I have been feeding my dogs FRR for years. I have had healthy mastiffs that don’t have gas, which is saying alot..that have lived long until they died of old age. I have also raised pugs that never had to go to the vet after I put them on this. that is also a statement to be proud of. I feed the Trout and Potato formula. I have fostered bulldogs that were so sick and full of yeast problems, that mostly cleared up by just changing their diet to FRR. I have a rescue American Bulldog/Boxer mix that gets ear infections whenever she eats anything but this dogfood. I also now have an AmStaff that is great as long as he only eats this dogfood..otherwise he stinks up the room so bad, we have to put him out for a bit and he gets diarrhea. I do also have a ShihTzu that is about a year old and very healthy eating the same thing. I do not have anything bad to say about this company or any of the products, or service I have had over the 20 years or so that I have used it. All of my dogs are in great condition and we only see Vets for Spay/Neuters and rabies shots or injuries. I say, the proof is in the pudding.

  • Jennifer Lynn Sirgey

    Hi, Sharon. I was curious if you find that your dogs have fishy breath with the main ingredient being salmon. I’ve been thinking about going to this formula but fishy breath wouldn’t be pleasant.

  • Shawna

    I know BC already addressed this but I think you might find this interesting.

    “Optimal feeding of large breed puppies

    Jennifer Larsen DVM, MS
    Resident, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
    Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
    School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis

    The same group went on to investigate the individual dietary components and demonstrated that dietary protein level had no effect on the development of osteochondrosis (Nap, et. al, 1991). For some reason, dietary protein level continues to be incriminated by some owners, breeders, and veterinarians, despite the lack of supportive evidence.

    In contrast to protein, excessive calories and inappropriate amounts of calcium have both been shown to negatively influence optimal skeletal development in puppies.” http://www.lgd.org/library/Optimal%20feeding%20of%20large%20breed%20puppies.pdf

    That’s just one of many articles discussing the myth of protein causing issues in large breed puppies.

  • theBCnut

    No, I’m not a breeder. For many years, I trained working dogs of many different breeds and I have raised in excess of 40 large breed dogs. I also worked in the veterinary field for 14 years. I read a lot of research and try to keep up to date. While I will agree that high protein usually goes hand in hand with high calcium, I would not agree that protein is the problem. Calcium is the issue, just look at the current research. When the calcium level is controlled, giant breeds do just fine on high protein diets. I also have horses, and know that the problems associated with growth are from over feeding and too much calcium, not protein. That’s why they suggest limiting the amount of alfalfa hay given to foals. Alfalfa has 5 times the amount of calcium as phosphorus. Fast growing breeds of dogs and pretty much all horses need to be kept lean while they are growing and have the proper amount of calcium in their diet. Bones need calcium to grow and bones fed too much calcium grow too fast.

  • Pitlove

    Actual research and emperical evidence does not support this at all.



    The reason why your dogs do well on low to normal protein is because protein has zero to do with growth in LBP’s. They can be fed low, normal or high amounts of protein and it does not have any effect on them.

  • SUnsan

    Provide your sources.

  • SUnsan

    I’m glad I didnt know about this site when I started buying FRR. Since I switched from Merrick to FRR my dog no longer gets ear infections and her bloodwork is now normal.

  • el doctor

    I’m a rescuer not a breeder, but I hope you will listen to me anyway.

    Your information has been presented here many times. It has also been challenged by studies and peer reviewed papers that contradict it.

    We love to learn new things here on DFA, it’s a passion for many of us, so could you please link to some studies and/or papers that support what you’re saying.

    No offense, but otherwise it’s just unsupported opinion and heresay.

  • Jill Cummings Breedin

    Are you a breeder? How many years experience do you have? High protein levels and high fat levels do increase growth rates and often lead to PANO and joint issues. We don’t encourage chubby puppies, they should be fit, not fat. Any vet will tell an owner of their puppy who has PANO to decrease the protein content in their diet. I don’t know of any breeder in my breed who is reputable who feeds a protein level over 26 percent because we have seen the results of what a high protein diet can do to a large breed dog. Same is true for Foals, you cannot feed them a high protein grain unless you want their bones to outgrow their tendons, then they cannot walk and have to have their tendon between their knee and pasturn cut so the bottom of their hoof will touch the ground and they can walk again. Those who feed for fast growth the high protein and high fat kibbles are just asking for trouble.

  • Sharon

    I don’t know how many of you know it but they came out with a Grain Free food. Salmon and Potato. So far all the dogs I have had to try it loves it.
    It can be shipped anywhere in the USA at no extra cost right to your front door.

  • Sharon

    I had a friend that had a shepherd that had a terrible skin condition and had also lost all of its hair except a little around his head. After a lot of meds and special diet and also being asked 3 times if she was ready to let him go. She decided to give the FRR I sell a try.
    The dog got his hair back and was going with them when they went riding horses and also 4 wheelin.

  • Sharon

    I am a Dist for FRR and it is a great food. I have heard of breeders doing this but it has nothing to do with the company. Sounds like they are trying to sell the food whether there buyers wants it or not.
    I have been a Dist for 12 years and what I make is what I work for. I wish I made more but I believe totally in the food or I wouldn’t be selling it.
    I have signed a few people up to be a Dist but I think it was because they might have thought they would get it cheaper. But I sell it to them for the same price. All you had to do is get someone to try it and it sells itself.
    Any questions feel free to contact me.
    304 613 9088

  • Dog_Obsessed

    It sounds like puppy mill fraud, though I have no idea exactly how a certain food would help a breeder to get around their “Health Guarantee.” It’s weird that it often happens with the same food, and that would make me wonder about the company.

  • NJ Patient

    From what I’ve seen and heard there are commercial breeders (registered with the Dept of Agriculture in their states due to the amount of puppies produced yearly) demanding this food be used through their website link to hold up their usually not honored lifetime guarantee on the dogs and puppies they sell. (Not honored means they try to get out of it and demand the dog be put to sleep to honor their health guarantee). Along with Flint River Ranch, many also sell “Nuvet Supplement” which is a pyramid operation where the person gives their number or a link with it for the purchase so they make up to 100% of the dollar value sold every time it’s purchased. After seeing this repeatedly across the United States, I would never recommend either to anyone looking for a high quality food for their pets or for a “supplement” to the food. Just my opinion.

  • Sharon

    I was just reading some of the articles on here about dogs with allergies and ear problems. I found that Vets Best Ear Cleaner and Vets Best Ear Drier works great with dogs with ear problems. I pet sit for a Cocker that had major ear problems and with the medicine from Vet it helped but didn’t clear up. Once I heard of the results of this and asked them to get it so I could use it on their dog while I pet sit for the winter they did. You would have had to seen it to believe the difference.
    Also the food I sell really makes a difference too.
    Dogs with hip problems and not being able to walk. You can do massage and help them. I have done it on dogs that could not even get up and others dragging their selves on the ground and they were up walking. Cannot say this would work with your dog but worth a try.
    A book I recommend is The Nature of Animal of Healing by Martin Goldstein.
    Hope this helps some of you. Feel free to contact me.

  • Sharon

    Hi I haven’t been on here in a good while. Thought I would check in but I always have trouble when I do try. Guess that is because I am not on here often enough.

    I really think this is a great site and you can get a lot of help from it.
    I am still a Dist for the food and continue to see good results out of the food. If any of you have a pet with problems and cannot get them solved give this food a try. You will be amazed at the results!
    Been a Dist for 11 years now and truly believe in the products.
    Have any questions at all feel free to get ahold of me.

  • Pingback: Flint River Ranch Pet Food - YorkieTalk.com Forums - Yorkshire Terrier Community()

  • Sharon


    Wanted to share some more good results I have seen out of the food. But like I tell everyone that I am not telling you it will help your pet but it is worth a try.

    Wanted to tell you about 2 dogs that had high sugar
    levels. The Vets had them on food they sell and the sugar levels was not
    dropping. One dogs level was 600 and it is now down to 185 and holding
    The dog in Elkins I don’t know how high it was but now has
    dropped too.

    Have another dog here local that sugar level was 600 and
    just came over and got food last night. She had hers on the food from the Vet and still was 500 as of Monday 11/4/13. Goes back in 2 weeks for another check up. I cannot wait to hear the results.

    Cat with a brain tumor. Went to Pa and they said
    nothing could be done. 2/3 the size of its brain. Came out Friday night and got food and some of the Life Pak vitamins I sell for people but have used on my dog and cats. As of this time she is eating using litter box and her eyes are adjusting to light. She is walking straight now instead
    of pacing the room. So keep her in your prayers.

    I know it is not cheap but I think it is well worth the results you see once they are on it for a while.Sharon
    Yes I am a Dist but I only want what is best for our 4 legged kids. It is guaranteed for 30 days if for any reason you decide not to use it.

  • kilobrimm

    Buzzzz kill…..

  • Pattyvaughn

    On this website, the star rating has to do with the ingredients and the guaranteed analysis, not how individual dogs do on it. But I’m glad you have found something that works for your dogs. Please consider researching rotational feeding.

  • Wendyj

    I have found FRR food to be wonderful. I started feeding it over 10 years ago to both my dogs and cats.
    Same story you’ve heard too often. I had a GSD that had terrible skin issues and constant ear infections. We tried rx diets, medications, special shampoos. Nothing really helped. Just temporary band aids. I read about FRR, decided to give it a try. My GSD was a different dog in 6 months time. This food literally solved his skin and ear problems. No more medications no more special shampoos.
    My other GSD had no health issues but the food made her coat glossy and just beautiful. When these two dogs passed away ( at ages 16 and 14 ) we downsized to long hair chihuahua I have him on FRR, found he has a sensitivity to poultry so he is on the lamb dry food. He is handsome, healthy and happy.
    I recommend this food often and those who try it love it.
    I’d give it a 10 star rating.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Your dog likely got digestive issues after eating the high protein food because you’ve had her on a low protein food for so long. The population of microflora in the gut changes to accommodate the diet. If you’re feeding one type of food the population isn’t going to be diverse and adapted to dietary changes – case in point, “gastroenteritis” when trying a new food. Flint River Ranch is by no means a horrible food – however any company who is trying to charge nearly $70 – $80 for a 40 lb. bag of food that has only 18% – 23% protein is ripping you off .

  • Bailey’s mom

    Yes I had some one give me a sample of a higher protein designer food and I mixed it for a couple of days and Bailey got horrible gastroenteritis. Will never stray from FRR food again and can’t be much filler because there is little waste products after digestion. They also know their suppliers so no problems with recalls.

  • Bailey’s mom

    I have an 11 year old dog that weighs 90 lb and she eats 3 cups of their regular kibble and 4 of their dog treats. We give nothing else except water. She is doing great and the vet cannot believe how clean her teeth are. We only had them cleaned 1 time and that was at age 10. It is so convenient to have it delivered by auto ship. She is also very regular and very little waste products in our yard for such a large dog.

  • Sharon

    I have been a Dist of this food since 2003 and have seen great results out of it with pets with all kinds of health problems. Give it a try and see if it makes a difference in your pets life. If you would like a samples to try just email me or call and I would be glad to send you a sample and answer any questions that you might have. Yes I have an income from this but if I didn’t believe in it and hadn’t seen what it does for pets I would not be a Dist. I want only the best for our 4 legged friends. By the way if you happen to have a pet with bad ears give Vets Best ear cleaner and Drier a try. I pet sit for this dog every winter and this was the 1st product that really helped the poor little guy. He had been on meds from the Vet and they helped some but did not take care of it.
    [email protected]
    304 472 6006
    304 613 9088

  • Cindy G.

    My 6 year old lab/poodle mix struggled for her first year and a half with other premium dog foods. I thought I was never going to be able to get her digestive tract straightened out and get her to a healthy weight. Then I discovered FRR Lamb, Millet & Rice. She ADORES this food and has been healthy as a horse ever since. With all the chatter I’m seeing here about “plant based” this and “over priced” that I have to chuckle a little. My dog never refuses to eat this food. It’s always consistently produced. It has never been recalled. Her energy is through the roof. The formula changed slightly, not long ago (and I panicked!!), but not so much as a blip registered on my radar. It’s working for her and that’s all I can ask for.

  • Bubbajoe and Doglover,

    Your use of multiple identities as evidenced by your recent comments posted here from the same computer and IP address is a violation of Our Commenting Policy.

    This rule clearly states:

    “…the use of multiple identities or other deceptive tactics designed to mislead readers are strictly forbidden.”

    Because you have violated this policy, your comments have been removed.

  • Shawna

    When I try to pull up your profile it shows “bubbajoe”. Are you bubbajoe and doglover?

  • Shawna

    Hi doglover,

    This is just one example of many available. Dr. Jean Dodds and Dr. Karen Becker discuss food allergies versus food intolerances.

    “Dr. Dodds explains that IgE (immunoglobulin E) testing looks for food allergies, which is a different situation. True food allergies are rare. Much more prevalent are food sensitivities and intolerances.” http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/07/26/a-great-tool-for-dogs-with-rumbling-tummy-gas-diarrhea-or-vomiting.aspx

    I think some vets either don’t understand the difference or don’t want to explain so call everything an allergy.

    The Great Dane Lady states “As stated research shows food allergies are actually very rare in dogs/cats”. And she recommends Flint River. Guessing she is unaware of lectins too? http://www.greatdanelady.com/lecture/tsld017.htm

    From Allergic Pet dot com

    “There are only a few causes of year-round canine allergies: Food. This is the first thing many people think of as causing canine allergies. But it’s actually one of the least likely. True food allergies are uncommon in dogs, with only about 15% of allergic dogs being allergic to food.

    A dog may be sensitive to a protein source in his food, or to the protein part of grains such as wheat, soy or corn. Wheat gluten is another one which frequently causes some dog itching and scratching problems. If you have an itchy dog, avoid foods with soy.” http://www.allergicpet.com/dog_allergies.html

    Maybe these people/sites are wrong but my post is also backed up by vets and such…

  • Pattyvaughn

    Many, many vets lump allergies and intolerances under the term allergies, so it does appear that allergies are common. But they aren’t the same thing. Think about the stories you’ve heard about people who are allergic to peanut butter. True allergies get worse with continued exposure and result in hives, swelling of the face, tongue, and thoat, anaphylaxis, and death. Intolerances cause itching, seborrhea, ear and eye discharge, IBS, IBD, and other irritating but nonlethal issues.

  • doglover

    Food allergies are very common. They are often to a certain protein molecule – I’ve been told this by many vets and animal nutritionists. Just read what the customers say: http://www.flintriver.com/productinfo.asp?pi=Flint-River-Ranch-Testimonials.htm

  • Shawna

    I just read Krista H’s post. I agree with everything she said about vaccinations.

    I disagree with what she is saying about allergens. Food allergies are really quite rare. Food intolerances are much more common and chicken is a food intolerance because of the lectins in it. So is wheat due to the lectins. Wheat lectins are known to cause IBD, lesions to the pancreas, arthritis etc.

    I also noted that Krista H is complimenting the diet with a wide variety of healthy foods and supplements as well.

  • Shawna

    Assumptions based on solid data.

    “Cooking is not enough to reduce phytic acid—acid soaking before cooking is needed to activate phytase and let it do its work. For example, the elimination of phytic acid in quinoa requires fermenting or germinating plus cooking (see Figure 3). In general, a combination of acidic soaking for considerable time and then cooking will reduce a significant portion of phytate in grains and legumes.” http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/living-with-phytic-acid

    Narrow it down to wheat — the below data is taken from the US Department of Health and Human Services.

    “Originally thought to be a rare childhood syndrome, celiac disease is now known to be a common genetic disorder. More than 2 million people in the United States have the disease, or about 1 in 133 people” Imagine the consequences in dogs… http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/celiac/

    Vet Dr. John Symes discusses issues with gluten on his website..

    “Celiac researchers are now telling us that all who consume today’s man-made gluten are likely to become sensitive to it. Yes, it is now clear: Gluten is not “good” for anyone, only better tolerated by some than others.

    Then there’s the lectins in foods like wheat and oats. Lectins are not destroyed by heat or digestion and pass through the gut wall where they can cause allergies, heart disease, kidney disease etc. http://institutefornaturalhealing.com/2009/07/lectins-a-little-known-trouble-maker/

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Most of us could say the same for our feeding methods.

  • bubbajoe

    A lot of assumptions there. The proof is in the pudding, like “Krista H” below and many others.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I don’t see anything about this food that “sets it apart” – looks like a mediocre food with a premium price tag to me.

  • “The fact that this food does NOT contain by-products or synthetic preservatives should be taken into account when rating any food”

    Actually it is. Foods with BHA/BHT/ethoxyquin or by-products (especially generic by-products) would get a lower rating.

    Maybe you missed these two links in the article above:



    Look at Merrick Classic: a grain inclusive food but with more meat and fewer carbs. It deserves it’s higher rating.
    Yet it is up to each pet owner to further research the food they plan to feed. To contact the company with additional questions regarding whatever they want to know about a food or the company, where they are made, where they get their ingredients from, what temperature is the food cooked at, how long, etc. This site rates by ingredients on the government regulated label.

  • Shawna

    There are a lot of foods that don’t have by-products or synthetic preservatives that do have much higher amounts of protein.. I wouldn’t personally feed this food due to the low amount of protein.

    I’m also not at all a fan of improperly prepared grains and this food has higher amounts of three different sources. The antinutrients from the grains bind up with minerals and since the food is baked the protein inhibitors in the grains may cause protein maldigestion. Not good in a food that is already low in protein.

  • bubbajoe

    53% carbs is incorrect. FRR’s site shows the carbs as 42% (which is 46% on a dry matter basis).
    Regarding “by-product” this site says:
    “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 a nutshell, chicken by-products are those unsavory leftovers usually considered “unfit for human consumption”. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/hills-prescription-diet-bd-dry/

    And “animal by-products are what’s left of a slaughtered animal after the *edible* parts have been removed. They include the waste of meat processing not intended for human consumption” … “For example, giblets not refrigerated immediately after slaughter but stored for up to 24 hours in a hot offal trailer cannot be sold for human consumption. Yet they can still be legally used for making pet food.” http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/choosing-dog-food/animal-by-products/
    The fact that this food does NOT contain by-products or synthetic preservatives should be taken into account when rating any food as it is of paramount importance and is a horrible thing to feed your dog.

  • Pattyvaughn

    How can you think this food is anything but plant based? Where do you think the 53% carbs comes from? The protein and fat added together is only 39%, so even if none of the protein is plant based and none of the fat is plant based, it is still well over half plant. That is plant based.

  • This food has 53% carbohydrates. That would be plant-based. I guess it needs that many carbs to be baked! And I do feed my dogs by-products: liver, heart, gizzards, feet, tripe and spleen, etc. I just buy them fresh (or frozen) and I know what they are, unlike an unknown “by-product” that is in pet food. This article doesn’t mention by-products as it is not in this particular food, same with the synthetic preservatives. Go look at Purina Moist and Meaty and those will be mentioned there. This website doesn’t give a rating for being non-GMO, or non-recalled. It just looks at ingredients.

  • bubbajoe

    Summarizing that this a “plant-based” kibble is ludicrous – the first ingredient is high-quality chicken! Meal is chicken that’s ground with the water removed so that it can be mixed with other ingredients. The FRR site says there are NO by-products, which is really important to me! And no synthetic preservatives. I find it astonishing that this article does not mention by-products, which are the main thing to avoid; meat by-products are not fit for human consumption and many dog foods have them! That and synthetic preservatives, which this article also doesn’t mention. There are no synthetic preservatives – it’s fresh! And it’s BAKED, which really sets it apart. They also state that they do not use GMO ingredients: http://www.flintriver.com/productinfo.asp?pi=Flint-River-Ranch-Ingredients.htm

  • doglover

    I feed Flint River Ranch to my pets and they are healthy and have beautiful coats. I have fewer vet bills because they are so healthy. The things people say about it is amazing:
    http://www.flintriver.com/productinfo.asp?pi=Flint-River-Ranch-Testimonials.htm They seem to care a lot about their customers.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Sketchy. The food isn’t great anyways and it’s overpriced.

  • InkedMarie

    Someone on another forum works for a distributor. He shared this with us about FRR:

    “Any specific questions about ingredients, formulas production methods and testing procedures developed by FRR should be put in writing and they will be answered. Any requests to visit the manufacturing facilities will be declined. The sources of supply for FRR food, formula development, production methods, ingredients and other products is proprietary information and is only available to state and federal regulatory agencies, not to any competitors, industry personnel or the public. We cannot depend upon them to keep proprietary information confidential and we have had too many challenges from inconsiderate requests. Our written contracts with the nutritionists, veterinarians, consultants, production and suppliers are specifically designed for non-disclosure by all parties. They will not answer any phone calls or inquires and they want to be protected from consumer inquiries. This is required as many consumers would not and will not respect their time with numerous telephone calls. Any requests to view production must be declined for many reasons.”

    Apparently this is on their website. Why would anyone feed their foods with an attitude like this? No way in heck would I feed this. In this day of frequent food recalls, dog food companies need to be transparent about most anything.

  • Sharon

    I agree with you. I see these kind of results all of the time.

  • Krista H.

    P.S. From what I’ve been told by Flint River Ranch, they have NEVER had a food recall ever.

  • Krista H.

    Regarding Flint River Ranch. I feed my boxer & french bulldog/boston mix the TROUT & POTATO (fish & chips) formula & wish they had reviewed more than the one fomula.

    My boxer has been on it for 4+ years and is doing excellent! His first year was HELL- trying so many different proteins & finding one that he wasn’t sensitive to. He had pudding-like poop, red bumps all over his body- went to dermatologists & spent tons of money,

    I found a few things to be common with many dogs: CHICKEN is a common protein allergy because it is sooo prevalent. The review above was done on their formula that contains chicken.

    (also, on their bag, it actually has info about the AAFCO)..

    CORN is a huge allergen.

    VACCINATIONS can cause a whole host of problems… from allergies of skin, fur falling out, demodex (skin/ fur reaction to skin mites due to lowered immunity), digestive issues, inflammation, on and on and on. GET BLOOD TITERS FIRST to see if you EVEN NEED THE VACCINES! see below

    My boxer had all these issues during his first year to year and half. I have NOT had to vaccinate him since his initial puppy series (with the exception of RABIES, required by law) because once a year I take him for his annual exam and request a TITER BLOOD TEST to see if he actually has enough immunity left from his initial puppy vaccinations.

    My boxer just turned FIVE and to my pleasant surprise, he STILL HAS IMMUNITY left from his puppy vaccinations. WE ARE OVER-VACCINATING OUR DOGS & CATS!! After thinking about this, it ocurred to me… we humans don’t vaccinate ourselves EVERY year for the same vaccinaitions, why would we do that to our pets? MONEY! BIG MONEY! Also, my vet mentioned that they will send out annual reminders because otherwise, few people would bring in their pets on an annual basis & this allows them to do an exam in order to discover/diagnosis other potential problems.

    The TITERS were actually CHEAPER than the vaccinations at my vet! My point is that, I wholeheartedly believe that my boxer’s problem was the vaccinations & not necessarily all food related. He red bumps were due to lowered immunity — his system couldn’t keep up and the bumps were staph bacteria (I’ve heard several people mentioning red, scabby, inflamed bumps)

    It has been four years since his last series & his fur is gorgeous… no bumps, shiny, show-stopping, I must add. (I give him 2 tsp Carlson’s cod liver oil & Barlean’s Flax oil & sometimes olive oil on his food)

    The chin bumps that someone mentioned, I believe is what my vet calls “chin acne”. My other boxer always got it from his folds and slobber. She gave us an “acne scrub” (mild) and thereafter we made sure to wipe up his chin after he ate or drank.

    Sorry if that was too long. I did want to add that one of my late Boston Terriers used to have a rash on his chest and lost most of his fur there. We couldn’t figure out why this was and changed foods, etc. Well, pork & chicken made it worse.

    When we put the boxer on Flint River Ranch Trout & Potato, our boston also went on it. HIS FUR GREW BACK 100% after 7 YEARS of trying everything. He lived to 15 and our vet said on his dying day that his JET BLACK, SHINY coat was nicer than most dogs she sees half his age!

    There, that was my “plug” for FFR!

    NO single dog food can give your dog all he needs. Use it as a baseline food. Personally, my dogs get canned or baked sweet potato or pumpkin, spinach with some olive oil (either microwaved for 1 minute or sauteed in a pan… do a batch for the week), blueberries (frozen tossed in their food), apple slices for snacks (mine is a snob for “honey crisp”) a sprinkle of powder pro and/or pre-biotic and the Carlson’s Cod liver oil & Barlean’s Flax oil mentioned above.

    I’m not a vet, so take or leave my advice as you see fit & please hold me harmless. I’m just a dog lover who wants my dogs to outlive me so I don’t have to suffer the pain of losing them! — or, at least, to live the longest, healthiest life possible- afterall, it’s the promise I made to them since they can’t do it for themselves.


  • Pattyvaughn

    You’re the one that applied the broad general statement that large/giant breeds don’t do well on high protein. I might conceed that there was a particular breed that didn’t do well on high protein if you were to name a breed and it was one that I’m not familiar with, but you haven’t. Every breed that I am familiar with, and that is a very large number, does well on high protein. But they do not do well being overfed, with too high calcium, or over exercised. And they especially don’t do well with bad genetics. I’ve seen many breeds or individuals that don’t do well on grain inclusive foods. In all my years as a Vet Tech and a breeder, or as an exhibitor, I’ve heard all the excuses people use for feeding a cheaper food, but it’s never been because a breed actually didn’t do well on better food.
    So what breed do you breed?

  • “Optimal feeding of large breed puppies

    Jennifer Larsen DVM, MS
    Resident, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
    Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
    School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis

    The same group went on to investigate the individual dietary components and demonstrated that dietary protein level had no effect on the development of osteochondrosis (Nap, et. al, 1991). For some reason, dietary protein level continues to be incriminated by some owners, breeders, and veterinarians, despite the lack of supportive evidence.

    In contrast to protein, excessive calories and inappropriate amounts of calcium have both been shown to negatively influence optimal skeletal development in puppies.” http://www.lgd.org/library/Optimal%20feeding%20of%20large%20breed%20puppies.pdf
    It’s not protein but rather excess amounts of calories from any source. Protein and carbs have the same exact amount of calories per gram. However protein is used by the body to make enzymes, hair/coat/skin, muscles, organs/glands etc.

  • JellyCat

    Actually, it is a myth that high protein causes growth abnormalities. However, overfeeding and inappropriate calcium:phosphorus can.
    Water absorption in the gut is really weird idea. Kibble composition does affect water absorption of course. In general, kibble is not an ideal dog food for this same reason.

  • Jill

    Have done my homework, via 25 plus years of experience raising a large/giant breed of dog. I have seen the results of a high protein diet time and again with my breed. Hot spots can be a big problem with high protein levels as well as growth issues. Some dog breeds do fine on high protein, others don’t. Just like some people (all of the human species) do well in a high carb diet, others do not. Some cannot tolerate lactose, some gluten…. You can apply a broad general statement saying all large breed/giant breed dogs do well on high protein diets. It’s not so.

  • Jill

    Not so, I have been a breeder of a large/giant breed of dog for 25 plus years. High protein levels can contribute to a puppy developing Pano, cause rapid growth (as well as high fat content) and can contribute to other growth issues in large and giant breeds.
    Baked dog food is not cooked at the extreme temps that extruded food is cooked at. Air content can matter if you prefer to feed a more dense kibble. A denser kibble aborbs less water in the gut. We have fed our dogs Artemis, Evolve, and many others and they do far better on Flint River than any kibble we have ever fed.

  • JellyCat

    Well, at what temperatures do you think they bake the food? What is the rationale for feeding baked vs “extruded”? Some manufacturers state that their kibble is steam cooked for instance, does that make it better or worse? By the way, how is baking reduces the air content of kibble????? It is important to note that air content does not matter as it is always analyzed by weight.
    Also, large and giant breeds do extremely well on high protein diet, just like my friends grate dean 🙂 It’s a false statement that large breeds do not do well on high protein – you should try it.

  • sisu

    The odor may be caused by GERD (acid reflux). The sphincter muscle that is between the stomach and esophagus may be weakened. This allows the stomach contents to come into the back of the throat causing a painful burning sensation Although there is surgery to correct the weakened muscle many vets have never treated the condition. It can be treated with over the counter antacids but it is a fine line between reducing the acid and allowing enough acid for digestion. Reducing the pressure on the sphincter muscle by feeding smaller amounts 3 or more times per day works well. Keeping the head higher than the stomach while the dog is resting can be helpful. Chicken based foods generally cause somewhat less odor than those with fish, lamb or beef.

    To test for GERD feed nothing but boiled rice for 1 day. If the odor is reduced on that day, yet returns when returned to kibble it is likely acid reflux. I suggest a veterinary Gastroenterologist for treatment options.

    Oral growths and infections will also cause odor. It is unlikely that a vet can find a growth, such as a malignant melanoma, that is under a tooth unless the dog is under general anesthesia.

    Edit: Oops, I did not notice this was an older post. Maybe the information will be useful to someone else.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You didn’t do your homework. It is completely false that large breeds don’t do well on high protein. I suppose you think wolves are vegetarians, well they aren’t. They are a large breed though and they eat a very high protein diet. Dog breeds that are fed like wolves do very well, especially the large ones. The myth that large breeds need lower protein was based on a faulty study and has been disproven for years, like 10 years.

  • Jill

    One thing you do not mention, while critisizing the meat content or protein level. Large and Giant breeds do not do well on high protein diets. This is important to note. You also do not mention that Flint River is baked! So important! This means it is denser, has less air in it than an extruded food which most kibbles are, and also loses fewer nutrients because it is baked (baking is done at much lower temps than extrusion). BIg pluses for this brand. Someone did not do their homework. The grade should be much higher than the one you give.

  • ChopChopsMom

    I’ve been feeding FRR for 7 yrs. My dogs love it and have great skin & fur and no allergies, for Shar-Pei that’s important. But the quality control has gotten worse the last year.. the kibble arrives in the form of sand like gravel consistency and for nearly $40 a bag, that’s unacceptable. I’m tired of opening up heavy bags and having to worry about wasting more food.. They said they’re working on a new nugget formula for Lamb & Rice Millet and want to include us in on testing.. hoping this turns out or I have to find a reliable replacement. Any ideas to a cood comp to the quality FRR?

  • Sharon Ours

    Which one of the foods are you using?  I have had good luck with tummy problems with the Trout & Potato.  You might want to try a sample of it.  I had a friend that her dog had problems with bad breath and the Vet was missing a bad tooth.  I have been selling Flint River Ranch since 2003 and haven’t had this probem.
    304 472 6006
    304 613 9088

  • 9 years on one food is too long.  Start rotating in some other foods or mixing a different food in with his old food to incorporate some different ingredients.  You can also rotate in some other FRR flavors if you like.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s from his gut microflora.  Feeding a dog the same food for 9 years severely limits the variety of intestinal microbes.  You should rotate foods for him at least every few months.  And consider adding pre/probiotics to his food.  Since he’s been on one food for sssoooo long, it will probably be difficult for him to transition, so take it really slow, like over a month slowly give more of the new food and less of the old.  After he has switched a few times it becomes easier as their gut gets healthier.

  • Sspeters

    I have been feeding my dog FRR for the past 9 years and I have had no issues. My only possible issue is my dog ( a cockapoo) has bad breath. I brush his teeth quite often and the vet says his breath is not from his teeth. I also just started giving him a probiotic. I am wondering if the bad breath is from his food. Any suggestions???? 

  • Sharon Ours
  • [email protected] com

    When did FFR change their formula? We have been feeding our Lab pup this for awhile now, and he seems to do well. We use the Salmon or Lamb and have had no problems. Any suggestions?

  • Sharon Ours

    I have a cat that had a bladder stone removed and they suggested the prescription food.  I said no thanks that I would stay with FRR.  Took her to another Vet for a 2nd opinion she wanted to keep a check on her since she was staying on FRR.  She is doing good.

  • Sharon Ours
  • melissa

    Hi mandy-

    I think its great that the food is working for you and your crew-I just don’t know though, that the same food every day for 7 yrs is the healthiest option. Since there is no perfect kibble out there(imo anyway) I tend to think that we serve our canine friends best by rotating brands every so often-just in case one food has overages or shortages, it would help minimize the affects.

  • I have fed this food for well over 7 years and have found no problems with it at all.  It is oven baked and has no preservatives in it.  My dogs absorb more of the food and use it in their bodies so there is less stools to pick up.  They love the food.  They get no supplement, vitamin or anything else and it is also the only food that they will eat consistantly and not turn their noses up and refuse to eat it.  I think this is a very good dog food and have recommended it with no complaints from the folks (or from their dogs).  I also feed their cat food to my cat.  She loves it.

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  • Tammylhuffman3

    Sabbyblue – thanks for sending the newsletter, it is much appreciated! Maxx is just fine, the vet said the bumps were nothing to worry about right now and they are actually gone. He is just fine and bouncing around in true Lab puppy style!
    LabsRawesome – lol, the food police! I know I can feed whatever I want, I am doing my best to follow my breeder’s contract. If Maxx experiences any further problems it will definitely be something I consider. I am just thanking my lucky stars I no longer feed Professional products and haven’t for over a year considering the latest pet food recalls!
    Thanks to all for the help and advice, it is very much appreciated. I honestly have been thrilled with FRR, my dogs have done so well on it. I was taken a back to find out the formula had been changed so drastically. We will see what happens and carry on from there.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    SUnsan, the ratings on this website are only based on the listed ingredients and estimated meat content. That is the only fair and objective way to review dog food. This food loses half a star because wheat is a commonly problematic ingredient. This isn’t an outstanding food.

  • SUnsan

    I find it interesting that 2 of the 3 dry dog foods that were recently recalled earned higher ratings on this site than FRR food.

    Perhaps the rating formula needs to be adjusted.

  • LabsRawesome

     Hi Tammylhuffman3, If your dog is having issues with the food, switch her to something else. Regardless of what your  breeder says, you can feed your dog whatever you want. Seriously, what is she gonna do call the dog food police? This food is overpriced for the  lack of quality that you are getting.