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Intimidator Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Intimidator product line includes four dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth (Junior).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Intimidator Dog Food Junior
- Intimidator Dog Food 25-14
- Intimidator Dog Food 28-18
- Intimidator Dog Food 31-21
Intimidator Dog Food 28-18 was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Hi-Tek Rations Intimidator 28-18
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, brown rice, white rice, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground wheat, plain dried beet pulp, soy hulls (source of fiber), brewer's dried yeast, fish meal, flaxseed, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc methionine complex, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, vitamin B12, chondroitin sulfate, niacin supplement, manganese methionine complex, manganese oxide, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, vitamin D, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, thiamin mononitrate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, sodium selenite, folic acid, and natural flavors
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||20%||41%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||40%||34%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The fourth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The fifth ingredient is wheat. 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 sixth ingredient lists 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 seventh ingredient is soybean hulls. The hulls are the skins of soybeans and a waste product remaining after processing soybeans into oil and meal.
Soybean hulls are often used as inexpensive fillers to dilute the energy content of various animal feeds.
We consider soybean hulls a lower quality pet food ingredient and of little nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient is brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The ninth item is fish 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.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
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 flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, this food also 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.
Intimidator Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Intimidator 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effects of the brewers dried yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing an above average amount of meat.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in two of these recipes. Without this controversial supplement and the use of a chicken by-product meal, we would have been compelled to award this brand a higher rating.
Intimidator Dog Food is a rice-based kibble using an above average amount of chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/15/2014 Last Update