Rating: | Price: $$$ | Website
Review:Merrick is known for putting together a pretty good product in quite a few interesting varieties. Check out their selection next time you’re at the store and you’ll probably see what I mean by that. Here, we see the “Cowboy Cookout” selection, and let’s see how it stacks up.
They start with beef, which is fine, but what they really should do is swap the more protein-packed “beef meal★★★★★ Dehydrated whole muscle meat, packs more protein pound for pound.” that’s in 4th and put it first so that it is a more true representation of how much of the food is really comprised of that beef. Just saying “beef” means it is weighed before dehydration, which skews how much is really in the food.
Oatmeal, barley★★★ Excellent source of nutrients, great grain for pets, but not “whole ground.” Can be of any quality. and rice are all good grains to include in a dog food. They don’t cause many allergies and are higher quality than corn, wheat or soy. However, the concern here is that the amount of meat may be a little low as compared to other foods. It’s only 22% protein, and I’d like to see more than that.
That isn’t to say the ingredients aren’t solid, though. They definitely are. There are quite a few fruits and veggies (apples, sweet potatoes, carrots★★★★★ Natural source of beta carotene (precursor to Vitamin A needed for immune function), excellent fiber., and peas★★★★★ Excellent source of protein/carbohydrates/fiber.), and they do use flaxseed★★★★★ Whole seeds provide best omega-3 fatty acids and nutritive fiber. for the Omega fatty acids.
It’s a good product, but I’d use it mainly for animals who aren’t too active, because the meat portion is a little lower than most quality foods.
What’s good about this food….
Beef is first, with beef meal★★★★★ Dehydrated whole muscle meat, packs more protein pound for pound. 3rd, grains are quality, high in fruits and vegetables, flaxseed★★★★★ Whole seeds provide best omega-3 fatty acids and nutritive fiber..
….and what’s not so good.
Meat content may be suspect.
Beef, Oatmeal, Barley★★★ Excellent source of nutrients, great grain for pets, but not “whole ground.” Can be of any quality., Beef Meal★★★★★ Dehydrated whole muscle meat, packs more protein pound for pound., Whole Brown Rice★★ Brown rice is cheap filler, does not have to be whole ground when used in dry foods! Usually found whole in cans.
★★ Brown rice flour★★ Brown rice is cheap filler, does not have to be whole ground when used in dry foods! Usually found whole in cans.
★★ Brown rice flour is cheap filler.
★★★★★ Whole grain in pure form is nutritive. is cheap filler.
★★★★★ Whole grain in pure form is nutritive., Canola Oil★★★★★ Excellent source of fat for energy and healthy coat contains 10% omega 3 fatty acids and half the saturated fat found in other vegetable oils commonly used in pet food. (preserved with mixed tocopherols★★★★ Natural Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. preservative. – a source of Natural Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. and Ascorbic Acid★★ Vitamin C — this form can be harsher on stomach, anti-oxidant/immune stimulant, food preservative., a source of Vitamin C), Flaxseed★★★★★ Whole seeds provide best omega-3 fatty acids and nutritive fiber., Freeze Dried Sweet Potatoes, Freeze Dried Carrots★★★★★ Natural source of beta carotene (precursor to Vitamin A needed for immune function), excellent fiber., Freeze Dried Peas★★★★★ Excellent source of protein/carbohydrates/fiber., Dried Chicken Liver, Freeze Dried Apples, Dicalcium Phosphate★ Can become toxic to body — texturizer in can food., Calcium Carbonate★★★ Standard source of calcium, promotes strong bones, teeth, cardiovascular health and skeletal strength, used as a buffer to acidic foods., Lysine, Guar Gum★★ Cheap, non-nutritive filler in can foods., Sea Salt★ Used to cover up rancid meat and fat, can cause kidney and heart disease, hypertension — used to encourage cats to drink, source of sodium chloride., Choline Chloride★★★ Standard source of choline, emulsifies fats., Zinc Amino Acid Complex★★★ Good source of zinc, protects against free radicals, essential to insulin formation and immune function., Whole Blueberries★★★ Gimmicky, not enough used for benefit to eyes., Yucca Schidigera Extract, Whole Garlic★★★★ Good antioxidant, antibiotic. IS SAFE TO USE!, Chondroitin Sulfate★★★ Mostly used as gimmick, too expensive to use enough in food for therapeutic response., Glucosamine★★★ Gimmicky, not enough can be available to be effective, often listed low on the label as token ingredient. Cooking may effect it’s potency. Hydrochloride★★★ Gimmicky, not enough can be available to be effective, often listed low on the label as token ingredient. Cooking may effect it’s potency., Dried Beef Broth★★★★★ Used instead of plain water in can foods or as flavoring in dry foods., Chicory Root, Marigold Extract, Lactobacillus Plantarum, Enterococcus Faecium★★★ Gimmicky probiotic to aid digestion, not enough to help and can not stand up to heat processing., Lactobacillus Casei, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Natural Celery Flavor, Iron Amino Acid★★★ Good source of iron needed for red blood cell production. Complex, Vitamin E★★★ Antioxidant used as food preservative. Supplement, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Natural Caramel★ Sugar-based adds to hyperactivity, or can be prepared by ammonia process associated with blood toxicity in lab rats. Color, Vitamin A Supplement★★★ Standard source of A, vital to immune function, develops strong eyes and bones, lowers risk to cancer., Vitamin B12 Supplement★★★ Standard source, involved in immune response., Copper Amino Acid Complex★★★★ Better source of copper, improves use, needed for iron absorption, bone formation, protein metabolism, blood clotting., d-Calcium Pantothenate★★★ Standard source of a B-complex vitamin B5, supports adrenal activity., Vitamin D3★★★ Standard source, aids calcium and phosphorous in building bones and teeth., Niacin★★★ Standard source, promotes proper digestion, healthy skin and nerves., Lecithin★★★★★ A natural antioxidant, very beneficial., Riboflavin★★★ Standard source of Vitamin B2, necessary to energy production, fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Supplement, Biotin★★★ Standard source to promote healthy skin and coat., Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride★★★ Standard source, immune stimulant, major factor in protein metabolism and red blood cell production., Cobalt Amino Acid Complex, Folic Acid★★★ Standard source, needed for blood building and DNA synthesis., Thiamine Mononitrate★★★ Standard source of B-1, effects nervous system and mental attitude., Sodium Selenite★★★ Standard source of selenium, powerful anti-oxidant protects the body from free radicals and heavy metals, supports immune response..