Farmina Dog Food
Farmina is an Italian dog food that is available in the U.S. from online pet food retailers and from some pet food stores. According to Farmina, the company began in 1965 as Russo Feed but it was not until 1999 that the company moved into pet foods. They began selling food in the U.S. in 2013. Their foods are considered to be premium or super premium. They are AAFCO-approved. In fact, they meet the standards required by the European Union for pet food labeling and ingredients which are sometimes stricter than those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This has made the food popular with some dog lovers. Farmina has foods that are grain free and low grain, as well as a wide variety of other foods, many similar to foods made by other premium dog food companies in the U.S. Farmina’s food are free of growth hormones and steroids and they are GMO-free. Many of their foods are high protein and low carb, and are low glycemic foods.
Who Manufactures Farmina dog food?
Farmina makes their own food. From what we have found online, the company has three factories located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Indija, Serbia, and Naples, Italy. We can’t say which factory produces the food for the U.S. market, though the factory in Serbia seems to make most of the food for the European market.
Farmina Recalls 2017
There have been no recalls for Farmina since they started selling their foods in the U.S. in 2013. We have read statements that Farmina has not had a recall in over 60 years in Europe but we cannot document this on the EU pet food sites, and the years don’t quite add up to the story given by Farmina on their web site. However, Farmina is not responsible for over-enthusiastic statements made by people who feed their foods.
Farmina Pet Food Coupons 2017
We don’t see Farmina coupons on their web site. SportDogFood.com seems to have coupons or sales on the food more often than anyone else at this time, but you can get free shipping from many of the online sites that sell it.
Farmina is an Italian dog food and though they provide their site in multiple languages, a visit to the site can be a little frustrating if you are reading in English. The site is very good but if you are looking for precise nutritional information, be prepared to read slowly and carefully so you get the full meaning for a reader in English.
I should note that when I first visited the site it gave me the British-English version and there were dozens of Farmina products from nine product lines. When I went back to the site a second time and clicked on American English, only two product lines appeared. These two product lines – N&D Grain Free Canine and High Protein, 20% Ancestral Grain – seem to be the only ones available in the U.S. at this time. (The company also makes cat food and these same product lines are available for cats in the U.S.)
Please note that since this food is made in Europe, we do not have the means to investigate it or follow up on company claims as thoroughly as we do with North American foods. We can only report what the company states and what has been said by people who have been feeding the food, along with our assessment of the labeling information.
Farmina states that they source ingredients from suppliers of human foods for their chicken and they use cooperatives and other growers for their other ingredients in Italy. They obtain some ingredients, such as herring and whole dehydrated eggs, from other European Union countries such as Denmark and France. Farmina says that they insist the original sources of these foods are passed fit for human consumption.
Farmina also points out that the fresh and dehydrated chicken in their N&D foods comes exclusively from Italian chickens that are slaughtered just a few hours from their plants – presumably their factory in Naples. They say that the boar used in their food is harvested in Tuscany and Umbria; and the fish used in their foods is taken from Scandinavia. They do not use ethoxyquin to preserve their fish. They use Naturox instead. Naturox is a company brand name for antioxidants using mixed tocopherols as a preservative. It is said to be safer than ethoxyquin.
You can read more about Farmina’s ingredients here.
How would you rate Farmina:
According to Farmina, their N&D Grain Free Canine dog foods are made with the idea that dogs are carnivores. They have high levels of protein, limited carbs, low fiber, no peas, lentils or pea protein, and no added plant oils of any kind. Farmina says that their diets were safety-tested for two years in conjunction with a well-known veterinary hospital and the results were published and peer-reviewed.
The N&D Grain Free formula for dogs (and cats) features 70 percent animal ingredients (before cooking) and 30 percent vegetables, fruits, vitamins and minerals. This is a grain free, gluten-free food. The protein percentage ranges fro 37 percent to 42 percent for dogs. They state that the protein in their grain free food is made up of 95-97 percent animal protein, which is indeed much higher than most dog foods. They rightly point out that most dog food companies use legumes to increase their protein percentage. They also say that nearly all of the fats in their grain free formulas are animal fats. They do not add plant oils of any kind. According to Farmina, all of the foods in this product line are AAFCO-approved for all life stages.
Farmina also says that their foods are better than their competitors’ foods because they use better quality protein without bone. They say that they control the calcium and phosphorus levels in their food and that their ash content is as low as 7.80 percent. (Ash refers to the mineral contents of the food when it is burned. The less bone, the lower the ash content. All dog food will have a minimum of about 2 percent ash which accounts for the calcium and phosphorus and trace minerals in the food but many dog foods will have much higher ash percentages which indicates fillers.)
N&D Grain Free Canine comes in the following formulations:
• Grain Free Chicken Recipe 37/18, 95% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 480 kcal/cup
• Grain Free Chicken Recipe, Large Breed Puppies 42/18, 96% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 405 kcal/cup
• Grain Free Chicken Recipe, Small-Medium Breed Puppies 42/22, 96% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 427 kcal/cup
• Grain Free Grass-Fed Lamb Recipe 37/18, 95% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 406 kcal/cup
• Grain free Wild Boar Recipe 37/18, 95% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 407 kcal/cup
• Grain Free Wild Herring Recipe 37/18, 95% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 408 kcal/cup
The fiber content for most of Farmina’s foods is 2.6 percent and the moisture content is 10 percent.
The other Farmina line of products currently for sale in the U.S. is the High Protein, 20% Ancestral Grain diet. Again, Farmina points out that this food is formulated with the dog as a carnivore in mind. It has a high level of fresh protein, limited carbs, and low fiber. It has no peas, lentils, or pea protein. And it has no added plant oils of any kind.
Compared to their N&D Grain Free Canine diet, their High Protein, 20% Ancestral Grain diet has slightly fewer animal ingredients (60 percent precooking weight), and it has some grains that are not present in the grain free diet – 20 percent organic spelt (a very old species of wheat) and organic oats – both certified organic; and 20 percent vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals. This diet ranges in protein for dogs from 30 to 35 percent, so it is lower in protein than the N&D Grain Free Canine diet, but still very good. The animal protein in the foods range from 92-93 percent which is a very high percentage for any dog food. As already mentioned, most dog foods supplement their protein percentages with legumes of some kind. It is rare to find a dog food that uses this much animal protein. Once again, nearly all of the fats in this product line are animal-based and there are no added plant oils of any kind. All of the formulations are AAFCO-approved for all life stages.
Again, Farmina says that they use better quality protein for this product line and they don’t use bone, so the ash content is as low as 6.80 percent – even lower than in the N&D Grain Free Canine line.
This line also has a single animal protein cod formula for dogs that is high in fish protein. It does not have chicken, egg, chicken fat, or any vegetable oils. Farmina suggests that it would be a good food for a dog with a food sensitivity. This kind of food might be a good choice for a multi-pet home since dogs who don’t have a food sensitivity could also eat the food without any problems – and it’s often difficult to find a food that all of the dogs in a home can eat.
Foods sold in the U.S. for High Protein, 20% Ancestral Grain diets include:
• Chicken & Ancestral Grain Recipe, Adult 30/18, 92% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 380 kcal/cup
• Chicken & Ancestral Grain Recipe, Puppy 35/20, 93% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 412 kcal/cup
• Grass-Fed Lamb & Ancestral Grain Recipe 28/18, 90% Animal-Sourced Protein, 375 kcal/cup
• Single Animal Protein Wild Cod & Ancestral Grain Recipe 30/18, 92% ANIMAL-SOURCED PROTEIN, 379.5 kcal/cup
Again, the fiber content for this line of food is 2.6 percent and the moisture content is 10 percent.
Farmina does point out that with both of these product lines they usually pair fresh and dehydrated meat proteins. They will use fresh, boneless chicken with dehydrated chicken (we would probably call this chicken meal). This increases the protein percentage for that particular meat protein. They say that they follow this practice for chicken, herring, and codfish. They acknowledge that even for them there are limits to using fresh protein, but they use superior sources for their dehydrated meat.
If you happen to be in another country where Farmina is sold, some of their other product lines are: Cibau, Team Breeder, Ecopet, Fun Dog, Vet Life Formula, Cimiao, Matisse e Fun, and Charli. The product lines are offered in different formulas depending on the age, size, breed, and lifestyle of the animal.
Both of the product lines available in the U.S. – N&D Grain Free Canine and High Protein, 20% Ancestral Grain – look very good.
Farmina N&D Canine Grain Free Wild Boar Recipe Review
We’ve chosen the N&D Canine Grain Free Wild Boar Recipe for this review. It seems representative of Farmina’s N&D grain free dog foods.
The first five ingredients in this food are boar meat, dehydrated boar meat (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), potato, deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate). Looking at the first five ingredients, it’s easy to believe that this food is 95 percent animal protein.
Farmina states that their boar meat comes from the Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria. Boars, even wild boars, are typically raised in captivity and harvested, so you should not imagine that hunters are roaming the woods hunting wild boar. But wild boar is still a different meat from commercially-raised pigs. Wild boar has a stronger taste than ordinary pork. It is leaner than normal pork and it has a sweeter, nuttier, more intense flavor. It has been described as tasting like a cross between beef and pork. Wild boar meat is 75 percent protein and 25 percent fat. It’s a good source of Thiamin, Niacin, vitamin B6, Zinc, and Selenium.
Boar meat, of course, will contain a lot of moisture but Farmina also uses dehydrated boar meat which has had the moisture removed. It’s a concentrated source of protein. They explain that this lets them optimize the amino acid profile while increasing the protein. We don’t have a problem with using this kind of concentrated protein source. The company notes that the dehydrated boar meat is a glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. It’s also very high in omega-6 fatty acid.
This food contains potatoes as the third ingredient. Since this is a grain free dog food, you have to expect carbohydrates of some kind, even if they are only a small part of the food, to act as a binder. Farmina says that when they use potatoes in their foods it makes up a small percentage of the formula – as little as 16 percent of calories. They say that potatoes are a safe, simple ingredient and we agree with them. Most dogs should be able to eat a dog food that contains potatoes without any problem unless the dog has some pre-existing gastrointestinal issues. The potatoes used in the Farmina foods are grown in Italy by a small group of farmers, according to the company. Potatoes are 92 percent carbs, 7 percent protein, and 1 percent fat. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, Manganese, and Potassium.
The fourth and fifth ingredients in this food are deboned chicken and dehydrated chicken (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate). Chicken is a common ingredient in dog foods, of course. Deboned chicken will contain more moisture so it would fall lower in the ingredient list if the moisture were removed. We have no problem with dehydrated chicken, which we would probably call chicken meal, as a good source of concentrated protein. And, as Farmina notes, this is a source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. Chicken is about 60-80 percent protein, depending on the parts of the chicken used; and 20-40 percent fat. It’s a good source of vitamin B6, Phosphorus, Niacin, and Selenium.
Beyond these first five ingredients the food also contains chicken fat – a good named source of fat that is good for dogs. And there are other good sources of animal protein such as dehydrated egg product, herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), and dehydrated herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate). If you like animal protein for your dog instead of plant protein from peas and lentils, this looks like an exceptionally good food.
The food also contains herring & salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols) which sounds like a good source of omega-3 fatty acid that is good for your dog’s brain, skin, coat, and other systems. Farmina notes that they do not use any added plant oils and we like the fish oils here.
The food also includes a number of fruits and vegetables (many in dehydrated form) low on the list. We are guessing these ingredients are added for fiber since they are included with pre- and probiotics such as chicory root extract and fiber such as psyllium seed husk. The food also contains a number of antioxidants such as blueberries, green tea extract, and rosemary extract. Farmina does not use any artificial preservatives. The food also contains fructooligosaccharide, considered a small dietary fiber. It is a natural sweetener that is low in calories. It also acts to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria.
Some Americans have expressed concern about dehydrated blackcurrant berry in the food but it is not dangerous to dogs. Blackcurrants are largely unknown in the U.S. because growing them on a large scale was banned in the early 1900s. At that time they were considered a threat to the U.S. logging industry because they were believed to harbor a disease that could affect some trees. Most bans on growing blackcurrants have been lifted in the U.S. now and more people are becoming interested in growing them. They are a good dietary fiber and source of nutrients. Blackcurrants are very popular in the UK, Europe, and other parts of the world.
We also note that the food contains chelated minerals which are often added to better quality dog foods to improve their absorption. The food also contains some amino acid compouds such as taurine (for heart health), and L-carnitine (usually added to help the body turn fat into muscle).
We have absolutely no qualms about any ingredients in this dog food. We love the fact that Farmina avoids the use of peas and lentils and chooses to use animal proteins instead of plant proteins in their food. When they say “grain free” they mean it. Many dog foods claim to be grain free but manage to sneak in some cereals or near-grains. This is a real grain free dog food. We can’t go to Italy and inspect everything personally (unfortunately), but this food looks great.
Calorie Content ME (calculated): 3770kcal/kg; 407kcal/Cup; One standard Cup equals = 108gm. This is a moderately rich dog food.
Farmina N&D Grain-Free Wild Boar Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
Crude Protein (min): 37.00%;
Crude Fat (min): 18.00%
Crude Fiber (max): 2.60%
Moisture (max): 10.00%
Ash (max): 7.90%
Calcium (min): 1.30%
Phosphorus (min): 0.95%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids* (min): 3.30%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids* (min): 0.90%
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA*) (min): 0.50%
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA*) (min): 0.30%
Glucosamine* (min): 900mg/kg.
Chondroitin Sulfate* (min): 600mg/kg.
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
Supplemental Information: Percentage of Protein from Animal Sources: 95%; Calories ME from: Protein: 34%; Fats: 41%; All Other Ingredients: 25%.
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: 41.1 percent protein; 20 percent fat; 2.9 percent fiber; and 27.6 percent carbohydrates.
We appreciate the fact that Farmina provides such full and precise figures. Our math verifies the information that Farmina provides. As you can see, this food has a high protein percentage and a moderately high fat percentage. The fiber percentage is on the low side and the food is low in terms of carbohydrates. You can probably find some dog foods that have a higher protein percentage but they are likely to contain some plant sources of protein in order to achieve it.
Where can you buy Farmina dog food?
This is a very expensive dog food and it will be beyond the budget of many dog owners which is too bad. It may be the best dog food we have ever reviewed. The grain free foods are more expensive than the 20 percent grain foods, probably because they have more animal protein. But the Farmina foods really do look like great foods. We are very impressed.