Review of Red Flannel Dry Dog Food
Red Flannel Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Red Flannel product line includes the 7 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Red Flannel Hi-Protein Formula||2.5||A|
|Red Flannel Prime Formula||3.5||A|
|Red Flannel Canine Select Formula||2||M|
|Red Flannel Adult Formula||3.5||M|
|Red Flannel Large Breed Formula||3.5||M|
|Red Flannel Puppy Formula||3.5||G|
|Red Flannel Bites N’ Bones||2.5||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Red Flannel Prime Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Red Flannel Prime Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken-by-product meal (source of glucosamine), ground yellow corn, ground wheat, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a form of vitamin E), corn gluten meal, brewers rice, dried plain beet pulp, dicalcium phosphate, natural flavor, ground flaxseed, fish meal, salt, dried egg product, potassium chloride, salmon oil, brewers dried yeast, yeast extract, minerals (calcium carbonate, zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement [source of vitamin B2], thiamine mononitrate [source of vitamin B1], pyridoxine hydrochloride [source of vitamin B6], vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex [source of vitamin K activity], folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), l-threonine, choline chloride, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||20%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||40%||36%|
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 choice cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.
The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).
The next ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 fifth item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 sixth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
After the natural flavor, 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.
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 Exclusive brand product line.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.
A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.
However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.
That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago1, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.
So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.
In any case, since the label reveals little about the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this product includes menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
Based on its ingredients alone, Red Flannel Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Which means this Exclusive product line contains…
Above-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 corn gluten meal, flaxseed and brewers yeast contained in this recipe, and soybean meals contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Red Flannel Dog Food
Red Flannel is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named and unnamed meat and by-product meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
However, those concerned about the presence of menadione in this recipe may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for a different product. Or consider using diet rotation to reduce the risks associated with feeding the same dog food… continuously, for a lifetime.
Has Red Flannel Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Exclusive Pet Food.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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