FirstMate and Kasiks quality Dog Food is available in Grain Friendly, Grain Free and Canned formulas.
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Rating: FirstMate Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars. Buying Tip Get 20% Off + Free Shippingon FirstMate Dog FoodClick for Details The FirstMate product line includes four 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.
FirstMate High Performance (5 stars) [U] FirstMate Maintenance All Life Stages [U] FirstMate Trim and Light Formula (2 stars) [U] FirstMate Lamb Meal and Rice Formula (3 stars) [U] FirstMate Maintenance All Life Stages Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review. FirstMate Maintenance All Life Stages Dry Dog Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content Protein = 29% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 46% Ingredients: Chicken meal, pearled barley, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), wild herring meal and/or wild sardine meal and/or wild anchovy meal, fish oil, potato flour, tomato pomace, dicalcium phosphate, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, calcium propionate, calcium propionate, sage extract, rosemary extract, garlic oil, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, iodine, cobalt, selenium), vitamins (vitamin E, vitamin C, riboflavin, niacin, d-pantothenic acid, thiamine, vitamin A, pyridoxine, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, vitamin D3), glucosamine Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.
4% Red items indicate controversial ingredients Estimated Nutrient Content Method Protein Fat Carbs Guaranteed Analysis 26% 15% NA Dry Matter Basis 29% 17% 46% Calorie Weighted Basis 25% 35% 40% Protein = 25% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 40% The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken. The second ingredient is barley.
Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog. The third ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free. The fourth 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes wild herring meal and/or wild sardine meal and/or wild anchovy meal, all additional protein-rich meat concentrates. Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1 The seventh ingredient is fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition. The eighth ingredient is potato flour. Unlike potato starch, potato flour is made from the whole potato (even the skins). This item is considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates with only modest nutritional value.
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 four notable exceptions… First, 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. Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2 So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
In addition, 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 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. FirstMate Dog FoodThe Bottom Line Judging by its ingredients alone, FirstMate 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 29%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%. 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%. Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food. Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat. Bottom line? FirstMate is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Highly recommended. 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. We review the company’s FirstMate Grain-Free Dog Food line in a separate report. FirstMate Dog FoodRecall 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. To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page. Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.
Dog Food Couponsand Discounts Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum. Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store. Buying Tip Get 20% Off + Free Shippingon FirstMate Dog FoodClick for Details A Final Word The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products. We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share. Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form. Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food. However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews". Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help. In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.
However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase. Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments. Notes and Updates 03/13/2017 Last Update