Solid Gold Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Solid Gold Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Solid Gold Grain Free product line includes 15 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.

Solid Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpeas and Pumpkin was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Sold Gold Mighty Mini Chicken, Chickpeas and Pumpkin

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 37%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, peas, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ocean fish meal, sweet potato, pumpkin, flaxseed, natural flavors, dried eggs, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), carrots, parsley, apples, cranberries, blueberries, lettuce, celery, beets, watercress, spinach, broccoli, spearmint, almond oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sesame oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Yucca schidigera extract, dried kelp, thyme, lentils, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese sulfate, zinc proteinate, folic acid, calcium iodate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%22%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%44%30%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 30%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is ocean 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.

The eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The ninth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

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 five notable exceptions

First, we find salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, we note the use of lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, 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.

Solid Gold Grain Free Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Solid Gold Grain Free dog food looks like an above-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 33%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, peas, pea products, flaxseed and lentils, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Solid Gold Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

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.

Solid Gold 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.

Related Topics

Readers interested in Solid Gold Grain Free dry dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

02/08/2019 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials