Friday, June 3, 2016

Food Friday: Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Beef and Sweet Potato Formula for Dogs

I stopped to visit an old favorite pet supply store recently, and picked up this bag of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Beef and Sweet Potato Formula dog food for Sisci and Ru. Brisbane is allergic to sweet potatoes, so he won't be part of my product testing committee for this food. Diamond Pet Foods is a notable co packer that produces many different brands of dog foods in their facility. iamond Naturals is their house brand.

dog food and dinosaurs
The Company

Diamond Pet Food is the co packer that actually produces, bags, and ships 4Health, Canidae, Chicken Soup, Costco Kirkland, Natural Balance, Nature's Domain, Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, and a bunch of other dry dog foods. They've had some major high-profile recalls related to sanitary conditions at the plant. According to an FDA inspection report in 2012, bits of their equipment were scratched or marred to the point of being uncleanable, and various bits of machinery were shored up with cardboard and duct tape. The result was a massive product recall due to salmonella contamination that made both pets and people sick.

Diamond appears to have cleaned up their act since 2012. They seem like a fairly down-to-earth company, emphasizing the probiotics in their foods and selling both grain-free and grain-inclusive foods without demonizing one or the other.

dog food and dinosaurs
The Food

The first ingredient in Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Beef and Sweet Potato Formula kibble is beef. The second ingredient is lamb meal, so this is actually a lamb-based dog food. I found this slightly odd because most manufacturers like to tout their more unusual and expensive ingredients while actually making their food out of mostly something cheaper. I have always thought of lamb as more expensive than beef, so it's surprising to see a food advertised as being made out of beef while actually being made out of lamb. Diamond Naturals uses "K9 Strain" probiotics specifically developed from dog digestive flora. Their food contains live, active cultures of these probiotics. 

While the ingredients all look very good, the Dog Food Advisor website only rates this food at 3 out of 5 stars. This is because, despite having meat and meat meal as the first two ingredients, a significant chunk of the protein in this food comes from plant sources. Ingredient splitting is definitely a tactic here, as both peas and pea flour appear on the ingredients list. If those were combined, we might discover that this is actually a pea-based dog food.

The Verdict

Sisci and Ru have both thoroughly enjoyed this kibble, which is nice since they can both be slightly picky. Given the company's recall history and the relatively low quality of their foods, I don't think this is something I will purchase again.

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