Diamond Pet Foods is one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the United States, producing dog and cat foods under several different brand names including Diamond, Taste of the Wild, Kirkland, 4Health, and more. With a wide selection of dry foods, canned foods, and treats, Diamond offers extensive product lines catered to puppies, adults, seniors, active breeds, or dogs with certain health conditions.
But how does Diamond stack up against the competition when it comes to quality, safety, and nutrition? This comprehensive Diamond dog food review provides a close look at the pros and cons of Diamond dog food, including:
Outline of Diamond Dog Food Review:
Diamond Dog Food Reviews
- Overview of Diamond Pet Foods
- Diamond Recall History
- Reviews of Top Diamond Dog Foods
- Diamond Naturals
- Diamond Puppy Formula
- Diamond Extreme Athlete
- Diamond Performance
- Taste of the Wild
- Ingredients Analysis
- Primary Ingredients
- Controversial Ingredients
- Nutritional Analysis
- Protein Content
- Fat Content
- Fiber Content
- Carbohydrate Content
- Customer Ratings Analysis
- Expert Reviews Analysis
- Pros and Cons of Diamond Dog Food
- Is Diamond a good dog food brand?
- Is Diamond high quality?
- Is Diamond grain free?
- Is Diamond cheaper than other brands?
- What is the best Diamond dog food?
Overview of Diamond Pet Foods
Diamond Pet Foods is produced by Schell & Kampeter, Inc., a family-owned company founded in 1970 in Meta, Missouri. They operate five manufacturing facilities across the U.S. – in California, South Carolina, Arkansas, and two in Missouri. Diamond offers three main product lines:
- Diamond – Their standard line of kibble and canned foods.
- Taste of the Wild – Grain-free recipes inspired by ancestral diets.
- 4Health – Affordable foods exclusive to Tractor Supply stores.
Diamond also produces dog and cat food for major retailers under private label brands like Costco’s Kirkland, Tractor Supply’s 4Health, and PetSmart’s Exclusive.
Diamond uses a variety of meat meals as well as whole grains like barley, brown rice, oatmeal and millet in their recipes. They also incorporate fruit and vegetable supplements like blueberries, carrots, and sweet potatoes.
Diamond Recall History
Diamond has been affected by several recalls over the years:
- 2012 – Salmonella contamination led to a major recall affecting Diamond’s production plants nationwide. Over 40 Diamond products were recalled, including puppy and adult dog formulas under the Diamond, Taste of the Wild, Kirkland, Solid Gold, Canidae, Premium Edge and Wellness brands. At least 14 dogs were sickened.
- 2005 – Excess levels of aflatoxin caused a limited recall of Diamond’s Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light formula dry food.
- 1998 – Another aflatoxin contamination resulted in a recall of 19 Diamond dry dog food SKUs. The FDA received over 100 reports of dogs exhibiting symptoms of liver damage. At least 28 dogs died.
While isolated recalls don’t necessarily indicate ongoing quality control problems, the pattern of aflatoxin and salmonella recalls for Diamond is concerning. These incidents point to potential issues at Diamond’s manufacturing facilities.
Reviews of Top Diamond Dog Foods
Diamond offers an extensive product line with many recipes and formulas to choose from. Here’s a closer look at some of Diamond’s most popular dog foods.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Reviews
Overview: Diamond Naturals encompasses Diamond’s standard lineup of natural recipes featuring protein-rich meat as the first ingredient. Formulas cater to puppies, adults, seniors, large breeds, and more.
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grains, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, fatty acids. No corn, wheat or filler.
Nutrition: 30% protein, 18% fat, 4% fiber; 370-415 kcal/cup
Pros: Meat-based; premium ingredients; no corn, wheat or soy; decent protein content.
Cons: History of recalls; some dogs don’t do well on chicken-based recipes.
Best For: Average dogs without significant health conditions.
Recalls: Yes – involved in 2012 salmonella recall.
Conclusion: Average quality food with decent ingredients at a moderate price point. Fine for everyday maintenance of healthy dogs, but not the highest quality.
Diamond Puppy Formula Dog Food Reviews
Overview: Life stage puppy food with lamb, rice, and veggies.
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat, beet pulp, flaxseed.
Nutrition: 27% protein, 16% fat, 3.5% fiber; 367 kcal/cup.
Pros: Real lamb is first ingredient; lamb is gentle on sensitive puppy stomachs. Rice and barley provide carbs for energy. Beet pulp aids digestion. Omega fatty acids for skin/coat.
Cons: Lower protein content than ideal for puppies; contains chicken fat.
Best For: Budget-friendly choice for less active puppies or those with sensitive stomachs.
Recalls: Yes – involved in 2012 recall.
Conclusion: Decent but not outstanding puppy formula given lower protein. Could work well for less active puppies.
Diamond Extreme Athlete Dog Food Reviews
Overview: High protein, grain-free formula for active/working dogs.
Ingredients: Chicken meal, lentils, chicken fat, dried tomato pomace, natural chicken flavor.
Nutrition: 32% protein, 25% fat, 4% fiber; 445 kcal/cup.
Pros: Very high protein and calorie amounts for hard-working dogs; lentils provide protein and fiber. Tomato pomace adds lycopene. Gluten, corn and wheat free.
Cons: Chicken-based, which doesn’t work for some dogs. Higher fat level isn’t best for sedentary dogs.
Best For: Highly active working dogs like hunting dogs or sled dogs.
Conclusion: Good quality food for active dogs who need more protein. Not ideal for average pets.
Diamond Performance Dog Food Reviews
Overview: All life stages performance formula with probiotics.
Ingredients: Beef, lamb meal, cracked pearled barley, millet, rice bran, chicken fat, dried yeast.
Nutrition: 30% protein, 20% fat, 4% fiber; 415 kcal/cup.
Pros: Contains probiotic cultures. Beef and lamb provide quality proteins. Complex carbs from grains. Gluten-free.
Cons: Carb-heavy; millet is less digestible for some dogs. Average protein level.
Best For: Lower energy adult dogs. Aids digestion.
Recalls: Yes – involved in 2012 recall.
Conclusion: Decent but unremarkable formula. The probiotics help support digestion and immunity.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food Reviews
Overview: Grain-free recipes inspired by ancestral diets. Multiple formulas with novel proteins.
Ingredients: Varies – duck, lamb, bison, trout, boar, chicken, venison, salmon, etc. Fruits, veggies, legumes. No grains, corn, wheat or fillers.
Nutrition: 25-32% protein, 15-18% fat, 3-4% fiber; 330-370 kcal/cup.
Pros: Quality lean proteins; grain-free; nutritious fruits and veggies. More natural. Some formulas high in protein.
Cons: History of recalls. Pricey for Diamond brand. Some formulas are lower in protein.
Best For: Pet owners looking for grain-free, limited ingredient formulas without chicken. Dogs with sensitivities.
Recalls: Yes – multiple Taste of the Wild formulas recalled in 2012.
Conclusion: Very palatable recipes with novel proteins, but high price-point given brand’s recall history.
4Health Dog Food Reviews
Overview: Affordable dog food exclusive to Tractor Supply stores. Multiple formulas.
Ingredients: Varies by recipe, but meat or poultry meal is first. Whole grains like rice, barley, oats. Veggies and fruit supplements.
Nutrition: 22-29% protein, 12-17% fat, 3-4% fiber; 320-415 kcal/cup.
Pros: Very affordable; decent ingredients for the low price; easy to find at Tractor Supply. Some grain-free options.
Cons: History of recalls; production outsourced; some formulas have lower protein levels.
Best For: Pet owners on tight budgets who have access to Tractor Supply stores.
Recalls: Yes – multiple 4Health formulas recalled in 2012.
Conclusion: Very affordable dog food with decent nutritional profiles for budget buyers. But recall history is a concern.
Kirkland Dog Food Reviews
Overview: Diamond’s dog food made for Costco under the Kirkland brand. Multiple formulas.
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grains, veggies, fruit. Turkey or lamb formulas swaps chicken.
Nutrition: Ranges from 18-26% protein, 10-16% fat, 2.5-5% fiber; 280-415 kcal/cup.
Pros: Very affordable given sold at Costco. Good ingredients for the price. Some formulas have decent protein levels.
Cons: Numerous recalls over the years. Some recipes are grain-heavy with subpar protein.
Best For: Cost-conscious shoppers who have access to Costco stores. Best suited for less active dogs.
Recalls: Yes – multiple Kirkland formulas recalled in 2007, 2012 and more.
Conclusion: Hit-and-miss dog food. Some recipes have questionable quality given lower protein, but others offer good value if found at discounted Costco pricing. But frequent recalls are concerning.
Diamond Dog Food Ingredient Analysis
Digging deeper into the ingredients Diamond uses can provide greater insight into the overall quality of this dog food brand.
Primary Protein Sources in Diamond Dog Food
- Chicken: Whole chicken and chicken meals are very common. An affordable protein source but can cause allergies in some dogs.
- Lamb: Lamb and lamb meal are other key proteins. More digestible and less likely to trigger food sensitivities.
- Beef: Some formulas feature beef or beef meal. A nutritious red meat protein source.
- Fish: Diamond uses salmon, ocean fish meal and trout in select recipes, usually the Taste of the Wild line. An outstanding source of omega-3s.
- Novel proteins: Some formulas feature venison, bison, duck or boar for dogs with sensitivities. Excellent for rotation diets.
Controversial Ingredients in Diamond Dog Food
- Corn: Many Diamond recipes contain corn. Controversial as it can be difficult to digest and is commonly linked to allergies.
- Soybean meal: Cheap protein filler that can cause gas. Diamond does exclude soybean meal from some of its better formulas.
- Tomato pomace: Dried tomato skins, seeds and pulp. Moderate fiber but can cause gas.
- Brewers rice: Lower quality refined grain that lacks nutrients compared to whole grains. Cheap filler.
- Beet pulp: Fiber source that can cause loose stool or allergies in some dogs. Also used as a binder.
- Pea protein: Cheap plant-based protein boosting filler that is linked to heart disease and DCM in dogs.
Overall, many Diamond recipes rely heavily on grains and contain cheap protein fillers like corn or soybean meal. But you can find select formulas with better quality ingredients.
Nutritional Analysis of Diamond Dog Food
Diamond dog foods vary in their nutritional makeup since the company offers dozens of recipes. But here’s what you can generally expect:
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- Protein – 18-32%. Puppy and active formulas have higher protein (27-32%). Maintenance formulas run 18-25%. Protein should ideally be at least 22-27% for puppies and 18% for adults.
- Fat – 10-22%. Most formulas are 10-18% fat, with higher amounts in active dog recipes. For puppies, at least 8% minimum fat is recommended by nutritionists. Adult dogs do well with 12-18% fat.
- Fiber – 2-5%. Moderate fiber levels, with some formulas enhanced with beet pulp.
- Carbs – Many recipes feature 40% or more carbs from corn, rice, barley and other grains. Dogs generally only require 5-10% total carbs. Excessive carbs in kibble can lead to obesity.
Some of Diamond’s higher protein, lower carb formulas offer solid nutritional profiles. But other recipes are questionable for their reliance on carbohydrates and plant protein fillers.
Diamond Dog Food Customer Reviews
Diamond pet foods receive mixed customer reviews online. Positive feedback includes:
- Dog loves the taste and eats it eagerly
- Improved skin and coat condition
- Bright eyes, healthy energy levels
- Helps maintain healthy weight
- Affordably priced
- Wide variety of recipes
Negative feedback includes:
- Dog had gastrointestinal upset
- Developed food allergies
- Constant itching and ear infections
- Heavy tear staining
- Recalls are a major concern
- Kibble has chemical smell
- Customer service not helpful with issues
On retailer sites like Chewy, Amazon and Petco, Diamond formulas average between 3.5 and 4 out of 5 stars. But you need to read individual reviews carefully to gauge potential issues with a specific recipe.
Expert Reviews of Diamond Dog Food
Dog food experts and nutritional analysts mainly give middling scores to Diamond products:
- Dog Food Advisor – Rates Diamond formulas 2 to 4 stars out of 5. Calls ingredients “average” to “above average” depending on recipe. Notes some recipes have too many plant proteins.
- Pet Food Sherpa – Gives mixed review. Says some formulas like Taste of the Wild are high quality but others have lower grade ingredients like corn. Has concerns over recalls.
- Top Dog Tips – Awards 3 out of 5 stars. Calls Diamond a “middle of the road” brand with “average products.” Notes recall history raises concerns.
- Labrador Training HQ – Gives 3 out of 5 stars. Says some formulas have merit but ingredient quality varies greatly. Points out high number of recalls.
The consensus view from experts is that Diamond offers an extremely broad range of recipes with fluctuating ingredient quality and nutritional value. Some of the grain-free and high-protein formulas rate well, but many others appear mediocre.
Pros and Cons of Diamond Dog Food
Diamond has some notable strengths as a dog food brand:
- Huge variety of formulas and recipes to choose from
- Grain-free options available
- Choice of unique proteins like bison and venison
- Some recipes free of corn, wheat and soy
- Contains probiotics in select formulas
- Usually affordable and easy to purchase
- Numerous recalls over the years
- Quality varies between recipes
- Some recipes contain cheap fillers like corn
- Too many plant-based protein boosters
- Excessive carbohydrates in grain-heavy recipes
- Manufacturing facilities have contamination risks
Frequently Asked Questions About Diamond Dog Food
Is Diamond a good dog food brand?
Diamond is a mixed bag. They offer dozens of dog food recipes ranging from excellent quality with premium ingredients to mediocre formulas heavy in grains and fillers. Overall an average mid-range brand in terms of ingredient quality and nutrition.
Is Diamond high quality dog food?
Certain Diamond recipes do provide high quality nutrition, like some of their grain-free Taste of the Wild formulas with novel proteins. But many other Diamond products are average in terms of ingredients, protein content, and other key nutritional markers. Quality varies greatly.
Is Diamond grain free?
Diamond offers both grain-inclusive and select grain-free recipes. Their Taste of the Wild line is entirely grain free. But traditional Diamond recipes do contain grains like rice, barley, oats and corn.
Is Diamond cheaper than other brands?
Diamond is very affordable dog food compared to premium brands. For example, a 30-lb bag of standard Diamond Naturals dog food retails for around $40, while a comparable premium brand like Blue Buffalo costs over $60.
What is the best Diamond dog food?
Some of the top-rated Diamond dog food formulas are:
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free
- Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Lamb Meal & Rice
- 4Health Grain-Free Beef & Potato
- Diamond Naturals Senior Chicken Meal & Rice
- Kirkland Signature Chicken & Vegetable Adult Formula
The best Diamond formula depends on your dog’s age, size, activity level and any food sensitivities. Grain-free recipes rate well for quality.
Overall, Diamond dog food includes some quality recipes at budget-friendly price points for pet owners on a tight budget. Their wide product range allows you to find both standard and grain-free formulas tailored to your dog’s needs. However, Diamond’s history of recalls may be a concern. dog owners should discuss Diamond products with their veterinarian to determine if they are appropriate for their pets.