Gayoso Farms Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product May Have Been Discontinued
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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
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.

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 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

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
  • chiapink


  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Richard, sometimes having a hard life can make a person stronger, everything that happens to us shapes us into the person we become.  Thank God for Patches. Dogs can teach us so many lessons. I am so glad that my son is getting to grow up with such a great dog. It’s going to be really hard on us when it is her time to go! But I know she’ll be in heaven, and we’ll get to hang out for eternity, I can live with that. 🙂                                                  

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Shawna, I know that song makes me cry too! I want to dance with my son at his wedding to My Wish, but for now he is only 6. He came home from Kindergarten and announced that he had a girlfriend, but they were going to wait awhile to get married. lol. I told Richard that he could’ve made the sexiest man alive list.

  • miss awesome

    Loved the song. It even ends with the Serenity prayer.I can’t say I’d change a thing now – my particular journey had it’s ultimate purpose and a very positive outcome which I can’t find fault with in retrospect. It’s not so much where we start from, as it is the perspective we bring to the journey, and how we finish. 

    I have a young son also and I know I cannot protect him from the vicissitudes of life but. like you, I prepare him for his unique journey by showing him as much love as possible. 

    All I had those first 21 years was a little dog named Patches who never willingly left my side – ever. It was before leash laws and he would be waiting on the school steps at recess, lunch break, and when school let out every day – rain or shine. 

    He knew that I needed him far more than he needed me, and he gave me 100% total and unconditional love and helped me feel that there was at least one being on earth who loved me. 

    Patches gave me an example of unconditional love to live up to. After 45 years I still cannot love as purely as that beautiful little dog loved me, but I’m still trying, and I have a lovely wife and three sons to practice on.

    Someday, my dream is to build an amazing rescue that is hundreds of acres and beyond anything ever made to honor that noble little mutt with the great big heart who saved my life with a love that was as close to unconditional as it gets.

  • Shawna

    Labs ~~ I’m a major sapp so it was no surprise that the video/song brought tears to my eyes!!!  That was wonderful..  Thanks for linking to it!!!

    Your son is going to grow up to be a strong and sound man I am sure!!!!!

    Young Richard was quite the looker — va va voom 🙂  Current Richard can certainly hold his own though 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Richard, It’s a shame, that you felt that way. This is a song by Rascal Flatts called My Wish. This is how I feel about my son, and I try to let him know how much I love him every day.

  • Richard Darlington

    Miss Awesome

    Thanks for the compliment. It would have been wasted on that young man though – he thought he was fairly homely. Just shows that it’s far more about what we feel about ourselves on the inside. He was painfully shy and having had a steady diet of criticism most of his young life thought very little of himself. Only had one girlfriend for a short period till he was about 28 yrs. old. He was too shy to ask anyone out.

    Marisa had heard all this and when she ran across this old picture from a box of family photos she thought I was making up stories looking for sympathy.  

    I look at that picture and want to tell that kid that it will all work out in time and to just hold on – it’s real strange to look at yourself from 45 years ago – but shows that it pays to never give up regardless of how things seem.

  • LabsRawesome

    Gayoso Farms??? LOL! The name is hilarious, but the fact that some poor dog might actually eat this industrial waste is very sad. 🙁                                                                   DANG Richard! Back in the day you could have given Brad Pitt & all the other Sexy Men a run for their money!  Seriously.

  • melissa

    I know this sounds petty, but I don’t even like the name of it. Gayoso Valu-Pak. After reading the review in my email this Am, I thought it was some kind of joke that this was an actual dog food.

  • Ninja

    Was just thinking of you after weighing myself this morning.

    This Paleo diet is really a very easy way to drop weight and basically eat as much as you want. Especially if you make salads a part of almost every meal. After eating a salad for 30 minutes your jaw is too tired to keep eating LOL!!

    I’m dropping weight slowly without pain or deprivation. I’m only 10 pounds above what I weighed as a 20 year old fresh out of the US NAVY – see picture below. I’ve got 45 more years wear and tear though. I’ve got a black and white picture of me 45 years apart which I’m going to frame for Marisa. Ten pounds less and she’ll have a hot sailor on her hands.

    Michael Vick has turned over a new leaf and is doing his best to make amends which is more than I can say for this “food”. EGADS!!!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Which is more ethical: feeding this food to your dog, or giving your dog to Michael Vick for the weekend? Discus.