Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
With an average score of 5.7, Farmina N&D Ocean Dry dog food is considered a moderate risk food. There are 11 recipes that average 31.6% protein. The food averages 30.5% carbohydrate as calculated, which is average for similar kibbles.
These recipes include sweet potatoes, pea starch and oats that contribute to the high carbohydrate content. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates but they are used for energy, texture and taste. Starch is also required for extrusion in dry foods. Excessive carbohydrate is an indicator of food quality as it can be used to reduce manufacturing cost. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates can increase insulin levels, increase the risk of obesity and cause unwanted changes to the gut microbiome.
This line is higher in protein than many premium kibbles. There are added amino acids that suggest lower quality proteins are used.
Apart from the added amino acids, this line loses ingredient quality points because they are supplemented with excessive vitamins and minerals. This can indicate lower quality or incomplete ingredients. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper can also result from added vitamin premixes, so it’s preferable that most or all vitamins and minerals come from real foods. However, it’s good to see that selenium is in the form of selenium yeast, as it’s the preferred source vs sodium selenite, which is potentially toxic.
It’s good to see that Farmina uses non-GMO grains but that doesn’t mean the foods are pesticide-free. Other ingredients appear to be conventionally farmed which affects ingredient safety. Unless organic, crops like peas, apples and spinach can carry a high pesticide/herbicide residue, especially legumes like peas that are often spray-dried with Roundup. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases. So this line loses ingredient safety points for that reason, and for using alfalfa which is a known GMO.
Like all kibbles, this line also loses ingredient safety points because it is ultra-processed. Extruded foods are heated four separate times during production, which will cause major losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Studies show that ultra processed foods are linked to a higher rate of all-cause mortality in humans.
Farmina doesn’t mention whether the fish or fish oil ingredients in these recipes are from farmed or wild-caught fish. Wild caught fish is more nutritious with a better fatty acid profile.
The recipes also use glam ingredients. These are healthy sounding ingredients but because they’re below the salt on the ingredient list, are present in minute amounts that are unlikely to benefit your dog.
It’s also worth noting that Farmina doesn’t state the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most foods, it’s unfortunate since AAFCO allows a very inflammatory limit of 30:1.