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Dog Food Insiders Rating
3 1/2 PAWS
Diamond Naturals dog food is made byDiamond Pet Foods, Inc., owned by Schell and Kampeter, Inc. They are a U.S.-based pet food manufacturer with plants located in Meta, Missouri, Lathrop, California and Gaston, South Carolina. The company is a family-owned, privately-held enterprise, still managed by the Schell and Kampeter family.
The headquarters for Diamond are in Meta, Missouri and the company was founded in 1970. At that time brothers-in-law Gary Schell and Richard Kampeter bought Milling Meta Co., a producer of livestock feed and dog food. Early distribution was limited to within 100 miles of Meta, Missouri and only about 5 percent of the company’s production was dog food. Diamond expanded its manufacturing to include plants in San Joaquin County California in 1999 and Gaston, South Carolina in 2002.
Recalls And Quality Control Issues
Diamond has had a history of recalls due to aflatoxins, concerns about Salmonella, and production issues at least since around 1999-2000, including a large recall in 2005, and many consumers have lost confidence in the company and the products they produce. Nevertheless, Diamond manufactures or co-packs food for many other brands including Canidae, Solid Gold,Costco’s Kirkland, Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance, Tractor Supply’s 4Health, and NutraGold.
Since their earlier recalls, Diamond says today they use 151 quality checks to ensure the quality of their products. However, the company issued recalls involving Diamond Naturals in April and May 2012 after a Salmonella outbreak linked to their South Carolina plant. The recall grew to include many of the foods Diamond makes for other companies.
Diamond Naturals is marketed and sold separately from Diamond’s other products. It is promoted as a natural diet with holistic, all-natural ingredients. Diamond Naturals’ formulas do not use corn, soy, or wheat. The company says they use purified water in the steam that is used to make the food. The foods also use antioxidants, animal sources of protein, a blend of omega fatty acids, and natural fiber ingredients, per their web site. Diamond Naturals also makes a cat food. This product line only comes in dry kibble at this time.
- Chicken & Rice Adult Dog Formula
- Beef Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula
- Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula
- Extreme Athlete
- Small Breed Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula
- Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula
- Large Breed 60+ Adult Dog Formula
- Large Breed Lamb & Rice Formula
- Lamb & Rice Lite Dog
- Senior 8+ Dog Formula
- Small Breed Puppy Formula
- Large Breed Puppy Lamb & Rice Formula
Review of Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula
Ingredients in Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula
Lamb meal, ground rice, cracked pearled barley, millet,chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, rice bran, dried plain beet pulp, flaxseed, natural flavor, fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
Diamond states that they don’t use wheat, corn, or soy in their foods, and you won’t find those ingredients in this lamb meal and rice dog food. In addition, their meats are hormone and antibiotic-free and they use natural preservatives. Fish meal is found in this food but Diamond says they don’t use any fish meal preserved with ethoxyquin. That gives you an idea of the kind of ingredients you will find in Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
Ground rice is the second ingredient and it provides carbs that are digested more slowly. Most dogs tolerate rice well and it gives dogs a feeling of fullness after eating. Provided the rice is cooked and prepared well, your dog should be able to digest it.
Cracked pearled barley and millet are also slow-digesting sources of carbs. They provide energy for your dog but it will be long-term energy rather than quick-release energy.
Chicken fat preserved with a form of vitamin E is the fifth ingredient. This is a good named source of animal fat.
So, the first five ingredients include one good meat protein source, three slow-release carbs, and a good named animal fat. Not bad, though not as much meat protein as you might like to see considering that the early ingredients usually make up the bulk of what’s in the food.
A quick sidenote – The first five ingredients is a largely arbitrary number to look at. You could look at the first four ingredients or the first seven ingredients. But when you look at the ingredients beyond the first several things in the food you should realize that, by weight, they don’t make up much of the food. This isn’t an issue when it comes to vitamins and minerals because it doesn’t require a lot of them to do their job in the food, as long as they are present in the correct amounts. But when you are looking at protein, fat, and carbs, weights and amounts do matter. If the manufacturer adds salmon to the food and it is the next to last ingredient, there won’t be much of it in the food, for example.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
There are relatively few other ingredients in the food, beyond vitamins andchelated minerals. Chelated minerals (“proteinated”) mean that the minerals have been bound to amino acids so that they are easier for your dog to absorb and use them. You often see this in better dog foods.
The food also contains egg products. Eggs are high in protein and easy for dogs to digest. They are a good source of nutrients. The food also has rice bran. In conjunction with the ground rice earlier in the food, this is borderline troubling as it suggests the practice of “splitting” – having more than one source of the same ingredient, in this case rice. Rice bran is high in fiber and it contains lots of manganese, magnesium and other vitamins like thiamin, niacin, and vitamin B6, and but it adds to the rice content of the food. Of course, the food is “lamb meal & rice,” so people should probably expect that.
You also find dried plain beet pulp in the food. Some people have a problem with this ingredient but it’s probably because they misunderstand it. Beet pulp is a by-product of sugar beet processing but it’s a good by-product. It is not a sweet ingredient. All of the sugar from the beets have already been removed. The beet pulp is a great dietary fiber that is good for the colon. It’s an insoluble fiber that adds moisture and bulk to the G.I. tract and keeps things moving along. It’s been added to horse feed and other animal feed for some time with good success, especially for older animals. I don’t like every odd thing that dog food companies add to their foods but this is one thing that I do like.
Finally, the food has flaxseed and fish meal. Both of these ingredients are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, though fish meal is considered the better source. Flaxseed is also an excellent source of fiber and it contains many important minerals. But if you’re a dog breeder you should be careful. Flaxseed also has phytoestrogens which can cause it to interfere with conception and make for problems with breeding. Fish meal is a good source of protein as well, though this far down the ingredient list it probably doesn’t add too much protein to the food.
Quality Of Ingredients
The overall quality of the ingredients looks very good. The lamb meal is a good source of protein. In addition to the rice, there are a lot of other carbs in this food, but they come from some of the less common grains so if your dog has problems with grains, he might be able to eat this food. It has a good named source of animal fat (chicken preserved with vitamin E) and good sources of fiber. And the food uses chelated minerals which is nice to see.
The only potential problem I see is the flaxseed if you are a dog breeder. There is a lot of rice in the food (ground rice, rice bran), as well as a lot of other carbs but the food is labeled “lamb meal & rice” so I think this is to be expected.
- Crude Protein ….. 23.0% Minimum
- Crude Fat ….. 14.0% Minimum
- Crude Fiber ….. 4.0% Maximum
- Moisture ….. 10.0% Maximum
- Zinc ….. 150 mg/kg Minimum
- Selenium ….. 0.4 mg/kg Minimum
- Vitamin E ….. 150 IU/kg Minimum
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids* ….. 2.2% Minimum
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids* ….. 0.4% Minimum
* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile.
Calorie Content Metabolizable Energy (ME) Calorie Content: 3,599 kcal/kg (337 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy.
Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula provides 23 percent crude protein (Minimum), which is well above the government’s recommendations (18 percent for adult dogs). This is on the low side for a premium dog food today. The 14 percent fat in Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula is within the government’s recommendations (9 to 15 percent for an adult dog), and good quality fat is good for your dog. The fat in this food comes from a named animal source – chicken preserved with mixed tocopherols – vitamin E.
Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Formula for Adult Dogs is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
You should notice that the food’s AAFCO statement is based on a nutrient profile for the food and not on feeding trials. Both nutrient profiles and feeding trials are acceptable to AAFCO, though feeding trials (which cost a lot more to carry out) are generally considered better from a consumer’s standpoint.
Company Reputation And Quality Control Issues
Diamond has a very mixed reputation. On one hand they make some good foods and they manufacture some excellent pet foods for other well-known companies. However, they have had frequent recalls because of aflatoxins, Salmonella scares, and other manufacturing problems for years. Even their Diamond Naturals line of foods was involved in the April/May 2012 recalls due to Salmonella concerns. The company says they have an extensive checklist in place now at their facilities but anyone who buys their foods must be aware of these past recalls and be alert for any problems in the future.
Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula looks like a good food, although the protein content is low for a premium dog food today. However, the ingredients look good and I think most dogs will do well on this food, especially if you are trying to avoid corn, wheat, and soy.
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