Which Redbarn Grain Free Dry Recipes
Get Our Best Ratings?
Redbarn Grain Free Dog Food earns The Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Redbarn Grain Free product line includes the 3 grain free dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Redbarn Grain-Free Sky Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Redbarn Grain-Free Sky Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Protein = 31% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 44%
Ingredients: Turkey, chicken, chicken meal, duck meal, turkey meal, sweet potato, lentils, garbanzo beans, potato, peas, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid), flaxseed, dried pumpkin, ground miscanthus grass, sunflower meal, natural flavor, menhaden fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, dl-methionine, choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate), vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), dried chicory root, taurine, lactic acid, turmeric, l-carnitine, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||17%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||35%||38%|
Protein = 27% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 38%
The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey and chicken. Although they are quality items, raw poultry 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, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The next three ingredients are chicken meal, duck meal and turkey meal . Poultry meals are considered meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The It’s important to note that the next 3 out of 4 ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:
- Garbanzo beans
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The ninth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The eleventh ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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.
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 6 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, we find sunflower meal, a by-product of the oil extraction process – and an item more typically found in feed for livestock.
Although sunflower meal contains about 34% protein, it 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 actual meat content of this dog food.
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.
Next, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
This recipe also contains chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
And lastly, this food includes sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
Based on its ingredients alone, Redbarn Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the various legumes, flaxseed and sunflower meal, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Redbarn Grain Free Dog Food
Redbarn Grain Free is a dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.
Redbarn Grain Free Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Redbarn through March 2023.
- Redbarn Expands Recall to Include Multiple Brands of Dog Chews (3/8/2018)
- Redbarn Bully Stick Dog Chews Recall (2/10/2018)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Redbarn Brand Reviews
The following Redbarn dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
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02/19/2023 Last Update