Diamond Naturals claims to offer premium quality dog food at an affordable price. But with so many options on the market, how can you be sure it provides good nutrition for your pup? This comprehensive review takes an in-depth look at Diamond Naturals dog food to see if it delivers on quality.
An Overview of Diamond Pet Foods
Diamond Pet Foods produces four different lines of dog food:
- Diamond Naturals – Their premium natural line
- Diamond – Their standard line
- Diamond Care – Formulated for senior dogs
- Diamond Naturals Grain-Free – Protein-rich and grain-free recipes
The company sources ingredients from trusted suppliers around the world to formulate what they describe as “super premium” dog food.
Diamond Pet Foods has four manufacturing facilities across the USA where they make their own food. They say this allows for quality control and food safety.
The brand is affordable compared to other premium and grain-free dog foods. But does lower cost mean lower quality? This review will analyze the pros and cons of Diamond Naturals dog food.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Product Line
The Diamond Naturals standard line includes both dry kibble and canned food. There are formulas for puppies, adults, and seniors. The primary ingredients and sources of protein include:
- Chicken: Deboned chicken, chicken meal
- Lamb: Lamb meal, lamb
- Beef: Beef meal, ground beef
- Fish: Salmon meal, whitefish meal
The grain-free line also includes dry and wet food. Instead of grains, they use ingredients like lentils, peas, and tapioca as carb sources.
There are grain-free formulas with unique proteins like bison, wild boar, duck, and venison. Some recipes are also designed for sensitive stomachs.
In addition to traditional recipes, they offer freeze-dried raw food and limited ingredient diets.
Overall, Diamond Naturals provides a diverse product line suitable for most dogs. The inclusion of novel proteins is a nice bonus not always found in cheaper foods.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Ingredient Analysis
Analyzing the ingredient lists reveals more about the quality of these recipes.
- Named meat meals: Chicken meal, lamb meal, salmon meal. Meals contain concentrated protein.
- Whole meats: Fresh chicken, lamb, beef, fish. Provides natural protein.
- Digestible carbs: Brown rice, barley, peas, sweet potatoes. Good sources of carbs.
- DHA for brain development: Important nutrient, especially for puppies.
- Prebiotics and probiotics: Support healthy digestion and immunity.
- Chelated minerals: Zinc, copper and other minerals in a bioavailable form.
- Natural flavorings: Make the food more enticing for picky eaters.
- Antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies: Rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.
- Pea protein: Cheaper plant-based protein boosting protein percentages.
- Mixed tocopherols: A less natural form of vitamin E.
- Salt: Added to enhance flavor but unhealthy in excess.
- Caramel coloring: Artificial coloring agent with controversial health effects.
- Corn: Cheap grain filler linked to allergies and intolerance in some dogs.
- Soybean meal: Cheap protein that can trigger gas and bloating.
- BHA: Preservative with possible links to cancer. Banned in human food in some countries.
The ingredient lists could be improved by removing corn, soy, caramel coloring, BHA, and excess salt.
More emphasis on quality meats vs plant proteins would be better. But overall, the ingredients are average quality for cheaper dog foods.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Nutritional Analysis
Next let’s analyze the guaranteed analysis percentages for basic nutrients:
Diamond Naturals Chicken & Rice Formula for Adult Dogs
- Protein – 21%
- Fat – 12%
- Fiber – 4%
Diamond Naturals Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato Formula for Adult Dogs
- Protein – 25%
- Fat – 15%
- Fiber – 4%
These meet AAFCO standards for complete and balanced nutrition. The grain-free formulas tend to be higher in protein and fat, similar to other premium brands.
However, critics argue the protein percentages can be misleading. This is because they include cheaper plant protein boosters like peas.
Meat should ideally be the #1 ingredient and source of protein. But with Diamond Naturals, plant meals usually top the ingredients before the first meat.
Taste & Texture: Do Dogs Like Diamond Naturals?
Taste is subjective, but most dogs seem to love the flavor of Diamond Naturals. The kibble is crunchy but not too hard. It’s smaller in size which makes it easy to chew.
The formulas with fresh meats like chicken, lamb, or fish are extra enticing. Dogs gobble up the canned food too.
Some finicky pups may turn their nose up at the standard chicken and rice recipes. But the unique proteins and grain-free lines offer more novelty.
Adding warm water, bone broth, or wet food on top can make it even tastier. This helps release aroma and flavor to excite picky eaters.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Safety Issues
Diamond Pet Foods has faced some serious safety issues over the years:
- 2005: Dogs died after eating Diamond food tainted with aflatoxin mold. Plant identified as source.
- 2012: Salmonella outbreak linked to Diamond plant sickened dozens of pets. Plant shut down for cleaning.
- 2018 – 2019: Taurine deficiencies and DCM connected to grain-free dog foods, including some Diamond recipes.
These incidents hurt consumer confidence in Diamond’s quality control. But the brand claims they’ve implemented stricter safety procedures and testing since then.
They source ingredients from trusted suppliers and test final products for safety. All their facilities follow strict processes for food safety.
But it’s understandable if some owners are still wary, given the history. These issues may be behind Diamond Naturals. But quality problems can occur with any brand.
Diamond Naturals Reviews: What Do Customers Say?
Most customer reviews on sites like Chewy and Amazon suggest dogs do very well on Diamond Naturals dog food.
Happy owners say it provides good nutrition at an affordable price. Dogs seem to love the taste and maintain healthy coats on it. Some reviews mention improved digestion, less shedding, and better breath too.
The most common complaints involve quality concerns:
- Kibble color or texture frequently changes
- Picky dogs may reject certain formulas or batches
- Some dogs develop gas, loose stools or itchiness. Indicates intolerance.
- Rare cases of illness after eating Diamond Naturals
These issues can indicate inconsistencies between batches. But they underscore the importance of transitioning foods slowly and watching for any reactions.
Negative reviews are a small minority overall. Most pet parents say their dogs thrive on Diamond Naturals.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Prices
One of the biggest selling points of Diamond Naturals is affordable pricing:
Diamond Naturals Dry Dog Food
- Standard line: $1.15 to $1.90 per lb
- Grain-free line: $1.60 to $2.10 per lb
Diamond Naturals Canned Dog Food
- Standard line: $1.60 to $2.60 per 13 oz can
- Grain-free line: $2.20 to $3.00 per 13 oz can
Diamond Naturals Treats
- $2.50 to $10 per 5-20 oz bag
On Chewy, a 40 lb bag starts under $50. Compare that to $70+ for most premium brands.
But budget brands are cheaper at $20 – $30 per large bag. Diamond Naturals hits the middle ground.
Is Diamond Naturals Worth the Price?
Diamond Naturals costs slightly less than big name premium foods like Blue Buffalo but a bit more than budget brands like Purina Dog Chow.
Saving money is nice. But is it worth compromising on quality?
- Made in their own US facilities for safety. But history of recalls.
- Quality ingredients but not as natural as many premium foods.
- Meat meals over whole meats. Includes some fillers.
- Most dogs do well but inconsistencies between batches.
- Cheaper than most premium foods but costs more than basic grocery brands.
The price reflects an in-between level of quality. There are pros and cons to this brand.
Diamond Naturals can work well for healthy dogs without specialized needs. But it may not be the best choice for dogs with sensitivities requiring very high quality.
Those seeking premium nutrition may want to spend more on brands using fresher, more natural ingredients.
Diamond Naturals vs. Other Recommended Brands
How does Diamond Naturals compare to other quality brands? Here’s a quick overview:
Diamond Naturals vs. Taste of the Wild
- Both made by Diamond Pet Foods
- TOTW grain-free only, higher protein/fat
- TOTW has more unique proteins, less controversial ingredients
- TOTW costs ~25% more
Diamond Naturals vs. Blue Buffalo
- Both have chicken meal as first ingredient
- Blue uses only whole grains, no corn, soy, wheat
- Blue has more antioxidant-rich LifeSource Bits
- Blue costs ~15% more
Diamond Naturals vs. Purina ONE SmartBlend
- Both tout real meat as #1 ingredient
- Purina ONE has added glucosamine/chondroitin for joints
- Diamond has more grain-free choices
- Diamond costs ~15% less
Diamond Naturals vs. Rachel Ray Nutrish
- Both average quality at budget price
- Rachel Ray has more whole grains vs meal fillers
- Diamond has wider protein selection
- Diamond costs ~15% less
Diamond Naturals holds it own against brands costing slightly more. It offers decent quality for the price.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food: Summary
Diamond Naturals aims to provide premium quality at an affordable price point. Key highlights:
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- Made in their own US facilities
- Higher protein/fat formulas
- Meat meals and fresh meats
- Wide selection of formulas and proteins
- Most dogs enjoy the taste
- More affordable than premium brands
- History of safety issues
- Heavy use of plant protein boosters
- Some artificial additives
- Inconsistencies in quality noted
While not the most premium food, Diamond Naturals provides complete balanced nutrition for most healthy dogs.
It could be a good option for pet parents on a tight budget. But those wanting the very highest quality may want to spend a bit more.
Talk to your vet for personalized feeding recommendations. Monitor your dog closely when transitioning to any new food.
Diamond Naturals can be a cost-effective way to feed your dog quality nutrition. Just be aware of its limitations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Diamond Naturals a good dog food brand?
Diamond Naturals is considered a good quality brand for the price. It contains meat meals, fresh meats, digestible carbs, fruits, veggies, and essential fatty acids. However, the use of plant protein boosters and some artificial additives prevent it from being a truly premium brand. But most dogs do well on Diamond Naturals.
Is Diamond Naturals grain-free?
Diamond Naturals offers both classic recipes with grains like rice, barley and oats as well as 100% grain-free recipes. The grain-free line uses lentils, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peas and tapioca instead.
Is Diamond Naturals involved in the DCM issue?
Yes, there have been some reported cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) potentially linked to eating certain Diamond Naturals grain-free diets. However, only a small percentage of dogs eating these diets developed DCM. There is still ongoing research into what ingredients may contribute to DCM risk.
Where is Diamond Naturals dog food made?
Diamond Pet Foods has manufacturing facilities in California, South Carolina, Arkansas and Missouri where they produce their own dog and cat foods. By making their own formulas in the US, they can better control sourcing and quality.
Does Diamond Naturals contain corn?
Some Diamond Naturals recipes do contain corn as an affordable grain source. However their grain-free recipes use digestible carbs like sweet potatoes, chickpeas, lentils and tapioca instead. Dogs with grain sensitivities may do better on one of their grain-free formulas.
Is Diamond Naturals owned by Schell & Kampeter?
No, Diamond Pet Foods is an independent, privately-owned American company established in 1970. They are not owned by Schell & Kampeter, although that company does supply some ingredients used in Diamond Naturals recipes.
Diamond Naturals offers a balance of quality and affordability. While not in the ultra premium category, it provides complete nutrition for most healthy dogs. Choosing the optimal formula for your dog and monitoring their condition on it is advised. Consider discussing Diamond Naturals with your veterinarian to see if it’s a good fit.