First Mate Dog Food

May 16, 2010  
Filed under Dog Food Reviews

First Mate Dog Food Review

First Mate produces dog food in their own manufacturing facility located in British Columbia, Canada.  They have manufactured a number of grain free as well as “classic” formulas, since 1995-all of which contain no by-products, corn or wheat.  First Mate uses quality ingredients in their dog food formulas, and has a reliable track record for producing safe, high quality food.  For these reasons, we recommend their products.

Three FirstMate grain-free formulas meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles required for all life stages, while one is designed for puppies, one for senior dogs, and one for large dog breeds. On the other hand, the FirstMate classic series has 3 formulas designed for adult maintenance and one for puppies.

Whether grain-free formulas or classic formulas, FirstMate’s dog food products are enriched with viable sources of protein which are derived mainly from either of the following protein-rich ingredients including chicken meal, herring meal, pacific ocean fish, chicken, Australian lamb and lamb meal.

Except for chicken and lamb, FirstMate’s protein sources are mainly specific meat meals. This is in recognition of the fact that fresh or raw chicken, pacific ocean fish and lamb still contains about 80% moisture which is lost during processing and leaving only a small fraction of the original ingredient. On the other hand, meat meals such as chicken meal, herring meal, and lamb meal are called meat concentrates because they contain 300% times more protein than raw protein sources.

Aside from being a good source of meat protein, herring meal is a rich source of omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and also calcium.

For FirstMate’s dog food classic formulas usually contain one or two of the following sources of complex carbohydrates—pearled barley, oatmeal, brown rice. These whole grains provide the carbohydrate component of the dog ration. Being complex carbohydrates, they have lower hyperglycemic index which is excellent in keeping the blood sugar levels of dogs stable.

For FirstMate’s grain-free dog food formulas, potato and/or potato flour provides the carbohydrate component of the diet.

Chicken fat is rich in linoleic acid and omega-6 fatty acids.

The Chicken with Blueberries Formula designed for all life stages contains valuable dietary fiber and vitamin C from fresh blueberries which has been added to the ration.

Fish oil provides unsaturated fatty acids and healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are essential nutrients in many important physiological processes of the body.

Certain controversial issues concerning the presence or absence of particular ingredients include the use of tomato pomace, the absence of probiotics, and the addition of minerals which are not chelated.

Tomato pomace has a high fiber and nutrient content but some look at it as a cheap filler ingredient which can contain pesticide residues found on the tomato skin before processing.

The addition of probiotics introduces beneficial microorganisms to enhance the digestive process and boost the functions of the immune system.

Customer Reviews

There have been no reports on hypersensitivity reactions in dogs. In fact, many dog owners love that the ingredients are specified and are of high quality with viable animal-based protein sources. A few negative reviews arise from digestive upsets that may occur when making the switch from one dog food brand to FirstMate dog food. Overall, we believe this is a good quality dog food brand and would recommend it.

Please visit the links listed below for First Mate dog food reviews by formula.

Have a comment or question about our First Mate dog food review? Want to share your experiences with others? We welcome your comments!

First Mate Dog Food Reviews

First Mate Dog Food Formulas:

Grain Free Formula:

  1. First Mate Chicken With Blueberries
  2. First Mate Australian Lamb
  3. Pacific Ocean Fish
  4. First Mate Pacific Ocean Fish Large Breed
  5. Pacific Ocean Fish Puppy
  6. Pacific Ocean Fish Senior

Classic Formula:

  1. First Mate High Performance
  2. Maintenance
  3. First Mate Trim And Light Dog Food
  4. Lamb Meal And Rice

First Mate Dog Food Consumer Ratings

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5 Responses to “First Mate Dog Food”
  1. Jess says:

    These ratings really show you how little people know about dog food. The grain free food “is” going into my rotation some time in the future. It is a very clean dog food with absolutely no ingredients that are not needed in dog food. The meat percent is much higher than you think, because 50 percent of the ingredients are meat or fat.

  2. Liz says:

    But I noticed the first ingredient in the Chicken with Blueberries is potato, not a named meat source. Shouldn’t the first ingredient be a meat? I’d be interested in this food since it’s made in Canada and I live there!

  3. Jess says:

    Yes, that would put the meat percent higher, but with only 3 ingredients and a fat, I have to believe the meat is at about 35%, which would put it pretty high compared to other dog foods. I really like it because it is so clean. You might argue about tomato pomice, but with Herring you most likely need something to keep the stools firm and this does the job.

  4. Brandy says:

    If you take a look at their website.. they address the “potato vs. meat” question:

    Why Potato as the First Ingredient?
    All FirstMate Grain Free diets provide over 70% of the protein from herring, lamb or chicken. Potato is the only source of carbohydrates in these formulas. The carbohydrate source is grouped into one ingredient category rather than broken up into smaller groupings. Smaller groupings allow carbohydrates to be listed and yet not appear as the first ingredient.

  5. Ben says:

    I have a pitbull/rhodesian ridgeback/?? mutt and after feeding him the Acana puppy dry food for the first couple of months I was concerned at how runny his stool was (firm in the morning, softer as the day went on). At the suggestion of my obedience instructor I switched to First Mate Pacific Ocean Fish All Ages (mixing it 50/50 until the Ancana was done) because it is dramatically lower in fat and protein content. Lester’s stool is now consistently normal and in the sun his coat has such a strong glare from being shiny it hurts the eyes. He’s getting over 50 lbs now (~6mo) and according to the First Mate feed guide I’ll get away with smaller portion sizes than most other dog foods, which is good because this food ain’t cheap!
    Based on this experience and the fact that Lester is a healthy, happy, and shiny dog I would endorse the First Mate Pacific Ocean Fish dry dog food.

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Should you have a concern regarding the diet of your dog, you should contact your veterinarian. All information on this site is the opinion of the author, and is presented solely for informational purposes and should not, at any time, be considered a substitute for seeking or receiving professional veterinary care for your dog(s).
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