Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint (Dry)

(4 / 5)
Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint (Dry)
Breeder’s Choice Active Care Healthy Joint (Dry)

The Breeder’s Choice Active Care product line includes two dry recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage:

Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Breeder’s Choice Active Care Chicken Meal Formula [U]
  • Breeder’s Choice Active Care Lamb Meal Formula (3.5 stars) [U]

Breeder’s Choice Active Care Chicken Meal Formula was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein 28

Fat 17

Carbs 48

Ingredients: Brown rice, chicken meal, brewers rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), chicken cartilage (source of chondroitin sulfate & glucosamine), natural flavor, flax seed (source of omega 3), alfalfa mealdried tomato pomace, dried egg product, salt, potassium chloride, kelp meal, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, green tea extract, dried Bacillus subtillis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs

Guaranteed Analysis

25% 15% NA

Dry Matter Basis

28% 17% 48%

Calorie Weighted Basis

24% 35% 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat 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.

The fifth ingredient is chicken cartilage, a source of both glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate — natural substances believed to support joint health.

After the natural flavor, we find flaxseed, 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.

The eighth ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family ite

m is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The ninth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

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 two notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, 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.

Breeder’s Choice Active Care Dog Food The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Breeder’s Choice Active Care Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Breeder’s Choice Active Care is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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.