Doc’s Choice Dog Food (Dry)

(4 / 5)
Doc’s Choice Dog Food (Dry)

The Doc’s Choice product line includes 6 dry dog foods.

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.

  1. Doc’s Choice Puppy Formula [U]
  2. Doc’s Choice Adult Formula (3.5 stars) [U]
  3. Doc’s Choice Adult Lamb and Brown Rice [A]
  4. Doc’s Choice Adult Chicken and Brown Rice [A]
  5. Doc’s Choice Grain Free Adult Chicken and Potato [A]
  6. Doc’s Choice Grain Free Adult Lamb and Sweet Potato [A]

Doc’s Choice Adult Lamb and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein 26

Fat 15

Carbs 52

Ingredients: Lamb meal, oat meal, brown rice, barley, dried potatoes, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), alfalfa meal, flaxseed, natural flavor, cranberries, blueberries, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin D supplement, thiamine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, ascorbic acid, choline chloride), minerals (cobalt carbonate, zinc oxide, ferrous carbonate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, selenium yeast), probiotic (dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product), prebiotic (inulin – dried chicory root), taurine, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 23% 13% NA
Dry Matter Basis 26% 15% 52%
Calorie Weighted Basis 23% 31% 46%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The second ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The third ingredient 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 fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

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 three notable exceptions

First, chicory root 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.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Doc’s Choice Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Doc’s Choice Dog Food looks like an 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 26%, a fat level of 15% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Doc’s Choice is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat and by-product 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.