Gayoso Farms Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product May Have Been Discontinued
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On the Company’s Website

Gayoso Farms Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The Gayoso Farms Dog Food product line includes one dry recipe, claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Gayoso Farms Valu-Pak

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 21% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 62%

Ingredients: Cereal food fines, soybean meal, meat and bone meal, animal fat, beet pulp, bentonite, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, ethylenediamine, dihydroiodide, calcium carbonate and ethoxyquin (a preservative)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis19%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis21%9%62%
Calorie Weighted Basis20%21%59%
Protein = 20% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 59%

The first ingredient in this dog food is cereal food fines. Cereal food fines are an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

This waste ingredient can possibly contain a measurable amount of sugar left over from the manufacture of breakfast cereals. Food fines are typically associated with lower quality dog foods.

The second ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The fourth item is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The sixth ingredient is bentonite, a naturally occurring clay-like compound rich in many trace minerals. Reported benefits include the binding of certain mold-based toxins and even controlling diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food contains ethoxyquin, a controversial preservative linked to birth defects, stillborn puppies, liver failure, infertility and cancer.

Gayoso Farms Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Gayoso Farms Dog Food looks like a below average dry 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 21%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 62%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Gayoso Farms Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a limited amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

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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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

02/03/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
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