Redbarn Dog Food Review

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Redbarn dog food review
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Redbarn have been a family-owned pet food business for around 25 years, best known for their range of bully sticks.

This review is for the dog food range, but it has to be said there are many benefits to feeding your dog bully sticks if you can overcome knowing what they are, and the Rebarn bully sticks are from free-range and grass-fed cattle from South America.

Redbarn have a range of dog foods, both grain or grain-free, and also an air-dried range which are the best of the bunch. They have treats for cats (made mostly of milk protein), but no cat food range.

For this review we’ll focus on the Redbarn Wholegrain Sky recipe (kibble), but I’ll mention the grain-free and air-dried foods after that.

Let’s dig in.

Review of Redbarn Grain-Based Dog Foods

What the marketing says

On the bag your eyes are drawn to the words “FIRST FIVE INGREDIENTS”, which are followed by five meat ingredients – turkey, chicken, duck meal, turkey meal, and chicken meal.

That all sounds great. Our dogs love meat, right? It’s where the nutrition is.

I’ve seen this marketing technique used very often with pet foods, and it’s a great way of throwing you off the scent.

You see, the five ingredients listed after those are not meat, they’re grains. In short, that can make the main ingredients only 50% meat, and 50% grains. Not as impressive as you first thought?

On the Redbarn website we find the statement “First 5 Ingredients are Animal Proteins”, which you could reword to “Out of the Top 10 Ingredients, Only 5 are Animal Proteins”.

It seems the ingredients are globally sourced, yet made in the USA. It would be nice to know where those ingredients are sourced, and can expect they’re sourced overseas because it’s cheaper.

Nevertheless, there are good things to say about Redbarn dog food now we know the truth behind the marketing.

What the ingredients really say

The guaranteed analysis shows a slightly higher than average protein percentage of 26%, and a nothing-to-rave-about 15% fat. These are the two most important factors of a dog food, as protein and fat are what your dog needs most.

I estimate, based on the guaranteed analysis, around 42% carbohydrates. This further proves the amount of grain in the top 10 ingredients we discussed above.

Redbarn Dog Food ReviewRedbarn Dog Food Review

I consider a good dog food to have over 30% protein, and over 18% fat is nice. The less carbs for our dogs the better.

With that said, Redbarn dog food (the grain-based recipe) looks above average, but not up there with the best. In comparison, Redbarn air-dried is much better, and should be a great option for your dog – skip to the section on Redbarn air-dried below if you’re giving up on the kibble.

If price is a factor, which it is for most of us, Redbarn dog food may still be a good choice. I would consider it a decent enough “base diet”, which you can supplement with other better types of dog food – BARF, fresh/raw, or air-dried like their other range.

None of the ingredients in Rebarn grain-based kibble are that bad, and once we overlook the meat to grain ratio it’s nice to have a variety of ingredients rather than just meat + rice or meat + wheat.

I’d just like to see more meat, more meat protein, and a little more animal fat.

We find some small inclusions for digestive health, such as miscanthus grass, and pre and probiotics. These are nice additions, and will help your dog better digest their food.

Flaxseed has been added for heart health, skin, and coat, as a good source of omega fatty acids.

Other than that, there’s not much else to say. Redbarn really comes across as an ok, but not wonderful dog food.

What about Redbarn Grain-Free Dog Food?

Compared to the Redbarn grain-based formula reviewed above, the Grain-Free are marginally better.

With the two “Sky Recipe” options, which are poultry based, the grain-free formula has marginally more protein (28% compared to 26%), but the same 15% fat.

Instead of the 5 grains, we have 5 grain-free alternatives – sweet potato, lentils, garbanzo beans, potato, and peas.

As a pet nutritionist I see these 5 ingredients as being more beneficial, and more digestible for your dog. It’s also nice to have a variety of ingredients, each with their own nutritional merit.

If I were you, and if you’ve decided to feed your dog a Redbarn dog food, then the Grain-Free recipes would be my preference over the standard grain-based recipes.

Or, if you can afford it, Redbarn air-dried is leaps and bounds better than the dry foods.

What about Redbarn Air-Dried Dog Food?

The air-dried range is by far the best.

Not just because air-drying is a much better way of keeping the important nutrition locked-in, but also because the Redbarn air-dried formulas contain much more animal ingredients, and none of the starchy carbohydrates you find in the dry food formulas.

The 45% protein and 23% fat, from meat and fish ingredients, is much better for your dog.

Carbohydrates in the air-dried formulas are next to nil, which is great, because your dog doesn’t need them anyway.

However, as an air-dried dog food we need to compare to market leaders like ZIWI Peak from New Zealand. Those guys have a long-standing reputation of excellent quality, worldwide, with formulas which comes across far better.

Still, price may be a factor, so if ZIWI Peak is too expensive, Redbarn air-dried is still a good option, and much better than any kibble.

Where to buy?

The best place to buy Redbarn dog food looks to be Amazon, although you may find it at your local pet store.

Ingredients

Ingredients of Redbarn dog food (Wholegrain Sky Recipe, Dry Food):

Turkey, Chicken, Duck Meal, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Brown Rice, Barley, Milo, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Flaxseed, Ground Miscanthus Grass, Natural Flavor, Sunflower Meal, 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, Dried Pumpkin, 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.

Guaranteed Analysis

The guaranteed analysis of Redbarn dog food (Wholegrain Sky Recipe, Dry Food):

Protein(min) 26%
Fat(min) 15%
Crude Fibre(max) 7%
Carbohydrates *Estimated 41%

* May be estimated. Read how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.

8 Total Score
Redbarn Dog Food Review

Go for the air-dried dog food if you can afford it! Despite the marketing stating the first 5 ingredients are animal ingredients, it may still mean 5 of the top 10. The protein and fat percentages suggest just over 40% carbohydrates from grains, which offers you a different impression of this dog food. I would consider the grain-based Redbarn dog foods slightly above average, and the grain-free a little better. They could be a good base diet for your dog if the price suits your budget, leaving you to add some different foods or Redbarn air-dried to boost the nutrition.

User Rating: 4 (2 votes)
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