Victor Select Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Victor Select product line includes 7 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.
Use the links below to check prices and read reviews from actual buyers at an online retailer.
- Victor Select Ocean Fish Formula (4 stars) [A]
- Victor Select Lamb Meal and Brown Rice (4 stars) [A]
- Victor Select Chicken Meal and Brown Rice (4 stars) [A]
- Victor Select Beef Meal and Brown Rice (4 stars) [A]
- Victor Select Grain Free Yukon River [A]
- Victor Select Grain Free Lamb Meal and Sweet Potato [A]
- Victor Select Grain Free Chicken Meal and Sweet Potato [A]
Victor Select Ocean Fish Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Victor Select Ocean Fish Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Menhaden fish meal (source of DHA-docosahexaenoic acid), grain sorghum, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whole grain millet, dehydrated salmon, whole grain brown rice, yeast culture, dehydrated alfalfa meal, natural flavor, potassium chloride, carrot powder, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), taurine, salt, choline chloride, dried seaweed meal, zinc methionine complex, vitamin E supplement, hydrolyzed yeast, iron amino acid complex, calcium carbonate, manganese amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, l-carnitine, selenium yeast, copper sulfate, niacin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, powdered cellulose, brewers dried yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, silicon dioxide, tetra sodium pyrophosphate, vegetable oil, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract, lecithin, fructooligosaccharide, folic acid, Yucca schidigera extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.2%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||13%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||29%||47%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The second ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.
Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.
The third ingredient includes 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The sixth ingredient is dehydrated salmon. Dehydrated salmon is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh salmon.
Plus (unlike salmon meal) dehydrated salmon is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural nutrients.
The seventh ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is yeast culture. Although yeast culture is high in B-vitamins and protein, it can also be used as a probiotic to aid in digestion.
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 eight notable exceptions…
First, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, we note the use of tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
In addition, dried seaweed meal is a product made from a family of brown algae known as Fucaceae (Rockweed). Although it does contain a number of healthy nutrients, seaweed meal is primarily used as a source of inexpensive carbohydrates (about 60% dry matter).
This item is only rarely used to make pet food and is more typically found in feeds for cattle, horses, hogs, hens and sheep.
Next, this food contains powdered cellulose, a non-digestible plant fiber usually made from the by-products of vegetable processing. Except for the usual benefits of fiber, powdered cellulose provides no nutritional value to a dog.
We also find brewers yeast in this recipe, which 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, vegetable oil is a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).
Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.
In addition, 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 recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Victor Select Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Victor Select 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, alfalfa meal and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Victor Select includes both grain and grain-free dry dog foods using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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.
Victor Dog Food
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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
03/24/2019 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩