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 denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
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.

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.

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.

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Important 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

09/19/2016 Last Update

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