I was looking for a good chicken recipe the other day at a Pet Supplies Plus retail store. Pepper loves dry dog food with chicken, and I’ve wanted to transition her to more high-quality stuff now that she is an older dog.
Imagine my surprise when I learned that the guys over at Pet Supplies had their dog food brand — Redford Naturals.
After I read the ingredients list, I decided to talk to my vet friends and see what they thought. It turns out they had some nice things to say about Redford Naturals, and a couple of things to pay attention to.
Read on and find out what I’ve learned about Redford Naturals dog food.
About Redford Naturals Brand
Pet Supplies Plus owns the Redford Naturals brand. Pet Supplies Plus is a well-known chain of pet stores.
Harry Shallop and Jack Berry opened their first store in 1980. Nowadays, Pet Supplies Plus runs 450 stores across the USA. The company sold pet food for decades. At some point, they decided to make their brand of dog food.
Redford Naturals brand was founded in 2016. It’s a young brand backed by the extensive expertise of its founders. The brand includes both dog and cat foods, and pet products.
In 2017, a new brand line was added to the Redford Naturals dog food brand. The company introduced the Limited Ingredient Diet to the existing food range.
In 2018, Pet Supplies Plus was acquired by Sentinel Capital Partners. In January 2021, Sentinel Capital Partners sold it to Franchise Group.
Is Redford Naturals Made in the USA?
Yes, Redford Naturals dog food is made in the USA. CJ Foods produces it on behalf of Pet Supplies Plus.
CJ Foods is located in Kansas. The company allegedly produces dry kibble for 35 of the USA super-premium and ultra-premium pet food brands. It is one of the most trusted contractors for dog food production outsourcing. CJ Foods also produces Nature’s Variety Instinct and Blue Buffalo.
Pet Supplies Plus is incredibly transparent about the dog food ingredients. In a 2019 discussion on a pet food blog, a user shared their email correspondence with Pet Supplies Plus customer service.
The user asked about the origin of the ingredients. The customer service sent their popular Redford Naturals chicken recipe. They listed all the countries where the ingredients come from:
We only wish that other pet brands would follow Redford Naturals’ example and be open and transparent about their ingredients.
Redford Naturals Dog Food Review
Redford dog food is divided into three main brand lines, Original, Grain-Free, and Limited Ingredient Diet.
The main idea behind the brand is to use as many natural ingredients as possible. The range does not include breed-specific recipes, but they offer grain-free formulas and recipes for different life stages and sizes.
Let’s look at Redford Naturals products and see what they include.
Redford Naturals Dog Food
Redford Naturals Standard brand line is meant to provide complete and balanced nutrition to your dog. This line features dry food and wet food formulas.
The offer is pretty versatile. It offers specific formulas for different life stages: Adult, Puppy, and Senior. These recipes are further divided into formulas for large breeds or small breeds. Nutritional profiles of recipes vary depending on dogs’ needs.
Puppy food, for example, will have the highest crude protein content, 28%. Senior dogs will get around 26% of crude protein. Adult dogs’ recipes vary, with the lowest crude protein percentage at 22.5%. All of these, however, meet the AAFCO guidelines for dogs’ nutrition.
The first ingredient in dry food is always whole meat. Choose from chicken, beef, salmon, lamb, or duck. Whole meats are the best source of animal protein. They are much preferred over meat by-products and bone meals. Our favorite is salmon because, besides protein, it is also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
Other notable protein sources are chicken meal and turkey meal, which are often the second ingredients. Besides protein, meat meals also provide a modest amount of vitamins and minerals.
All the recipes are grain-inclusive. They all use brown rice as the main grain. This is excellent because brown rice is a high-quality grain. It is a stable energy source and a good choice for a base ingredient. Moreover, it is a whole grain that delivers lots of nutrients and fibers, essential for digestive health.
As far as grains go, the only recipe without brown rice is the wet puppy food with quinoa. Quinoa is an acient grain and a good choice because of its high nutritional value.
Besides brown rice, recipes also feature oatmeal, rice bran, and brewers rice. Oatmeal is the best among these — it provides valuable fiber and other nutrients. However, rice bran and brewers rice are considered low-quality grains. They are often used as fillers and don’t offer exceptional benefits.
The formulas also provide animal fat. Mostly they use chicken fat or pork fat. Fat is essential for dogs as it gives them energy. It’s also crucial for brain development. We like that the source of fat is specified.
There are no artificial colors or artificial flavors in the recipes. The main preservative is mixed tocopherols, a common dog food ingredient.
Redford Naturals Grain-Free Dog Food
Dogs are omnivores, but they do not need many carbs. In fact, too many carbohydrates contribute to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, and pancreatitis. That is why some dog owners choose to exclude grains from dog’s diet.
If your dog is on a grain-free diet, Redford Naturals also offers grain-free recipes. This brand line is formulated for all life stages and features separate Adult and Puppy formulas. The adult formulas also have a particular recipe for small breeds.
Grain-free recipes do not use rice, wheat, or other grains. Instead, they substitute them with potatoes, lentils, and legumes.
In the case of Redford Naturals, most formulas use potato as the base. It’s used in all but two formulas. One dry dog food in this brand line lists lentils, and one canned food has vegetables instead.
These are all great choices. Potatoes and lentils provide fiber and support digestion. They are also good sources of energy, vitamins, and minerals.
We like that Redford Naturals didn’t choose pea flour and pea starch as the base. Typically, these ingredients just inflate overall protein. They could also mask the precise amount of peas since pea is usually split into several components.
As for protein, the crude protein in all dry dog food is at an impressive 30%. Such percentage far exceeds the AAFCO guidelines for the minimal 18% crude protein. In other words, you can rest assured knowing that your furry friend will get all the protein they need.
The protein comes mainly from whole meats, which are the first ingredients. Whole meats are usually complemented with turkey meal and chicken meal as the second and third ingredients. This is a good formula, as there are multiple animal protein sources.
Redford Naturals grain-free brand line offers many whole meat options and flavors: salmon, duck, venison, chicken, lamb, and red meat.
You’ll have no problem choosing the one your dog likes best. Some formulas, like Red Meat and Lentil recipe, feature more novel meat, like boar. These are further down the ingredients list, though.
We should mention that these recipes use tapioca starch and tomato pomace. Tomato pomace isn’t a bad ingredient — in fact, some people believe it’s a good source of fiber. However, it is also considered a cheap filler and not particularly nutritious.
Still, the bigger issue with grain-free recipes lies in what’s been excluded. Interestingly, none of these formulas contain taurine. Most grain-free dog food nowadays has taurine to prevent dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs (FDA). DCM is caused when lentils and legumes take away from the body’s reserves of taurine.
The use of menhaden fish meal somewhat remedies this. This fish is an excellent source of Omega-3s, which are important for heart health. Menhaden fish is also less exposed to mercury contamination. Still, it is no substitute for taurine, and we would like to see it added in the future.
Limited ingredient dog foods usually have one or two sources of protein and one carbohydrate source. These foods are especially good for dogs with food sensitivities, allergies, and skin problems.
Redford Naturals Limited Ingredient Diet line has only dry dog food formulas, divided into Adult and Puppy recipes. There are also additional options for small breeds and large breeds.
Furthermore, besides the standard line, there is also a specific formula for weight management.
The brand line contains both grain-free options and whole-grain formulas. Grain-free options use potato as the base, while whole-grain alternatives focus on oatmeal. Both of these are considered good sources of dietary fiber.
For most Redford Naturals products in this line, crude protein is between 25% and 30%. The most common one is 27%. These are great percentages.
The exceptions are two puppy formulas with an astounding 34% of crude protein.
All of these percentages exceed the AAFCO guidelines for dogs’ protein needs (18% crude protein). We are delighted to see a high protein percentage in puppy recipes since they need loads of it for growth and development.
Such high protein mainly comes from whole meats, which are the first ingredient. These meats are salmon, chicken, duck, lamb, and beef.
The second ingredient is usually chicken, turkey, or beef meal. A meat meal is a good complement to whole meats. It adds to the animal protein and enriches formulas with vitamins and minerals.
There are exceptions, though. For example, the Healthy Weight Salmon and Sweet Potato recipe has dried lentils, dried chickpeas, and dried peas as the second, third, and fourth ingredients.
All these have loads of fiber, which is important for weight loss. But so is protein, so it would be good to see an animal protein source as the second ingredient.
This dog food brand line features Yucca Schidigera Extract. Behind a somewhat unusual name is a dried plant extract. The plant’s leaves are poisonous to dogs, but the root is not. If you’re wondering what it’s doing in dog food — Yucca Schidigera is known to reduce the odor of pet feces.
Considering loads of fiber in the Limited Ingredient Diet, we would say that Yucca is a positive addition to the recipes.
This product line doesn’t have artificial colors or flavors.
Redford Naturals Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food
Freeze-dried dog food is comparable to raw food diet (BARF), except for the freezing process. Freezing raw food takes away the moisture and decreases the likelihood of pathogens’ development (AVMA). Freeze-dried raw food is preserved and can last much longer.
Redford Naturals Freeze-Dried Raw dog food line consists of five grain-free recipes: salmon, beef, pork, duck, and chicken. Each product has whole meat as the first ingredient. So, for example, freeze-dried Redford Naturals lamb will have — you guessed it — lamb as the first ingredient.
Redford Naturals states that the animals were raised without antibiotics or hormones. This is great because the dogs get excellent animal protein and loads of it without harmful substances.
How much protein are we talking about? Nutrient analysis shows that these formulas contain 40–45% crude protein. This amount is 2.5 times more than what AAFCO recommends as the minimum protein amount for dogs.
Besides the meat, formulas also have specified fish oil. Herring oil is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which protect your dog’s heart health. They also nourish coat and skin.
Some recipes feature meat by-products, like liver, spleen, and riblets. These are allowed in dog food. They can also provide additional vitamins and minerals. In fact, dogs’ ancestors — wolves — get loads of nutrients from eating these organs.
The formulas also have other added vitamins and minerals, like vitamin E dietary supplement, iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. The minerals are chelated, which makes them easily absorbed. There are no artificial preservatives or flavors.
Freeze-dried dog food might be a great alternative to raw food diet. Still, before you opt for this dog food, make sure to talk to the veterinarian and discuss the benefits and disadvantages.
Redford Naturals Ingredients Quality
For the most part, Redford Naturals dog food has high-quality ingredients. Let’s look at the most important sources of protein, carbs, and fat.
Though the brand lines have different purposes, what ties them together is a high-quality whole meat as the first ingredient. Chicken, lamb, beef, salmon, duck — these are all excellent animal protein sources.
You have a huge variety of meat at your disposal, should your dog have any specific meat allergies.
The whole meats are often complemented by specified meat meals — usually chicken or turkey meals. These further increase the animal protein percentage and add vitamins and minerals.
It should be noted that several formulas feature novel protein — like boar or venison. Though these are further down the ingredient list, you might want to check with your vet for potential food allergies.
From this point, the products diverge depending on whether they are grain-inclusive, grain-free, or raw.
Grain-inclusive recipes sport high-quality grains like brown rice, oats, and quinoa. These whole grains and ancient grains are nutritionally superior to refined grains. They are a good choice, as they bring in more fiber, high-quality carbs, and other nutrients.
You might be wondering about additional grains listed — like pearled barley or oat bran. True, they do not offer the same nutritional value as the grains above.
But they can be used to round the nutritional value and add extra nutrients. It’s good that they are further down the ingredients list and not primary grains.
Combined, these grains make for a steady source of energy, good digestion, and higher nutritional value.
Grain-free formulas do not contain grains — instead, they use grain substitutes like potatoes, lentils, and peas.
We like that peas are not prevalent in these formulas. There has been quite a lot of debate on the connection of peas in grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. Until that matter is settled, it might be good to steer away from products that are heavy on peas.
Instead, Redford Naturals focuses on chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and dried potatoes. Potatoes are excellent source of vitamins and fiber. They will provide energy and support digestion, without triggering grain allergies.
Most of the formulas have several sources of healthy fats — notably, chicken fat, pork fat, and fish.
Chicken and pork fat are high-quality sources of animal fat, necessary for energy, growth, and brain health.
Formulas also feature menhaden fish oil, herring, and salmon meals. These are all wonderful sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats support shiny coat, healthy skin, and heart health.
In other words, the formulas have well-rounded sources of fats, necessary for your dog to thrive.
All the formulas (even the raw ones) have added vitamins and minerals, as prescribed by AAFCO guidelines.
The Redford Naturals dog food does not contain artificial flavors or colors. This is super important, and in line with the philosophy of Redford Naturals about the all-natural ingredients.
However, Redford Naturals also does not have taurine added to their formulas.
AAFCO does not consider taurine an essential nutrient in dog food, because dogs can synthesize this amino acid from other amino acids. Namely, cysteine and methionine.
Taking into account that all the formulas have good sources of animal protein as their first ingredient, the lack of taurine will probably not be a problem.
But, in light of the FDA warning about the DCM in dogs, we have seen more companies add taurine to their formulas. So, it might be good to talk to the vet first, especially if your dog needs grain-free diet.
Overall, we think that the ingredients in Redford Naturals are high-quality and definitely worth the price.
Redford Naturals Dog Food Recalls
At the moment, there are no registered recalls of Redford Naturals products.
This is understandable since the Redford Naturals brand is young. However, you should always be careful and check for potential recalls.
If you’d like to check other dog food recalls or be kept in a loop, visit the FDA webpage for dog food recalls.
Redford dog food is a great value for money. Both dry dog food and wet food are good source of animal protein, fats, carbs, and soluble fiber.
The formulas are made with high-quality natural ingredients. Still, bear in mind that nutrient profiles vary depending on the formula. A chicken and brown rice recipe might contain significantly less protein than, say, salmon and potato recipe.
We don’t like the exclusion of taurine in Redford Natural grain-free options. Taurine is present in most dog foods nowadays, and it’s important for dogs’ heart health.
Also, we are not exactly fans of cheaper grains like brewers rice in some formulas. Additionally, tomato pomace is a somewhat debated ingredient.
Still, Redford Naturals has a lot of good stuff in their dog food. You should definitely give it a chance.
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