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The First Mate brand website states that “the best nutrition is simple” which provides a quick snapshot of the brand’s philosophy. This brand claims to use only the highest quality ingredients in their pet foods and they hold themselves (and their manufacturing processes) to the strictest standards for quality and safety. They are a family-owned pet food company that takes their task of creating wholesome, nutritious pet foods seriously – they understand the importance of quality nutrition for the health and wellbeing of pets and they strive to achieve greatness in this area. Furthermore, they make an effort to make products that they can be proud of. Founder Mike Florian has been quoted saying of the brand, “we feel that to truly produce a superior product you must have control over the quality of your ingredients and manufacturing”.
If you peruse their website, you will find that the company offers its customers four promises:
- Family-owned and operated
- Complete production control
- Veterinarian & pet nutritionist in employ
- Quality ingredient commitment
These four promises all work together to paint a picture of ths company as a quality pet food brand. Not only are they family-owned and -operated, but all of their products are manufactured in company-owned facilities located in Surrey, British Columbia. The fact that they own their own manufacturing facilities ties into the second promise of complete production control. In fact, their website offers a virtual plant tour on their website so you can see where and how your dog’s food is being produced. They have both a dry production facility and a cannery which enables them to achieve complete control over the production process to ensure top quality in everything they do.
The third promise they make to their customers is that they have a veterinarian and pet nutritionist in employ. This is extremely important for a high-quality pet food brand because dog nutrition is very complex. Having input from experienced pet nutrition professionals is the key to creating high-quality, nutritious, and balanced products. Finally, they are committed to using only the highest quality ingredients in their recipes. Their recipes are all gluten-free and grain-free, made with a single source of high-quality meat protein. Many of their products are also designed with a limited number of ingredients which makes them a great choice for dogs with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.
FirstMate Recalls 2023:
Their website is rife with information about the quality of the brand’s products and the safety of its manufacturing processes. The company is based in Vancouver, British Columbia and all of their products are manufactured locally in a company-owned facility in Surrey, British Columbia. For as much emphasis on the quality of their ingredients and their manufacturing processes, their product can be expected to offer excellent quality for pets. It should also come as no surprise to you, then, that the brand has never been recalled.
FirstMate Dog Food Coupons 2023
Because they are a Canadian brand, you may not be able to find it in your local pet store but it is available online. Their foods are a little on the pricey side due to the quality of their ingredients. A 28-pound bag of Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Diet dry food costs about $90 while a 33-pound bag of Classic dry food costs about $65 on average. Their canned foods come in 12.5-ounce cans which range in price from about $3.50 to just over $4.00. Though this brand of food can be pricey, you can save money with printable coupons you find online.
First Mate Dog Food Reviews
When it comes to quality food products, they offer a great selection. There are four classic formulas, ten grain-free limited ingredient diets, and seven limited ingredient canned food products. The Classic line of dry foods are completely free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients and they consist of at least 57% high-quality protein from fresh meats like chicken, herring, anchovies, and Australian lamb. Each Classic recipe is made with high-quality carbohydrates like brown rice, barley, and oatmeal plus a blend of blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries to provide antioxidant support for a healthy immune system. These recipes are also supplemented with fish oil for immune health and for healthy skin and coat.
Is FirstMate a Good Food to Feed my Dog?
When you review their website, you will notice that the brand makes a lot of promises about the quality of their ingredients and their manufacturing processes. Both of these things are incredibly important when it comes to determining the quality of the brand. The fact that they are so transparent about its manufacturing processes is a good thing – it shows that they have nothing to hide. While the website does not provide much detailed information about where their ingredients are sourced, the brand does offer a commitment to quality here as well – the brand also states that their recipes are gluten-free and made with a single source of meat protein. A brief review of several of their food products reveals the use of quality ingredients like quality animal proteins, gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates, healthy fats, and beneficial supplements. Overall, they appear to be a brand that will be good for your dog.
Dry: First Mate dry food products can be divided into two categories – grain-free and grain-friendly. All of the grain-free recipes are made with a primary source of meat meal, paired with gluten-free, grain-free carbohydrates like potatoes to provide for your dog’s fiber needs. The grain-friendly line of products features a combination of quality grains as well as a blend of blueberries, raspberries and cranberries for healthy antioxidants – they are also completely free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients. Here is a list of dry food products:
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Original Formula
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Endurance Puppy Formula
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control Formula
- Grain-Free Australian Lamb Meal Formula
- Grain-Free Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula
- Grain-Friendly SKOKI Food Formula
- Grain-Friendly Classic Formula – High Performance
- Grain-Friendly Classic Formula – Lamb Meal & Rice
- Grain-Friendly Classic Formula – Maintenance
- Grain-Friendly Classic Formula – Trim and Light
Canned: In addition to their wide selection of dry foods, they also offer quite a variety of canned foods. All of their canned food recipes are high in meat protein, low in carbs, and completely free from gums and thickeners. Furthermore, their canned food products are all produced in human-grade facilities to ensure quality and safety. There are two types of canned foods that First Mate has to offer – limited ingredient formulas and 50/50 formulas made with two protein sources. Here is a list of canned food products:
- Limited Ingredient Free Run Chicken Formula
- Limited Ingredient Wild Tuna Formula
- Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula
- Limited Ingredient Free Run Turkey Formula
- 50/50 Free Run Turkey and Wild Tuna
- 50/50 Free Run Chicken & Wild Tuna
- 50/50 Wild Salmon & Wild Tuna
Grain-Friendly Classic Formula Lamb Meal and Rice Review:
This First Mate Grain-Friendly Classic Formula Lamb Meal & Rice recipe is marketed as an All Life Stages formula which means that it is properly balanced for adult dogs as well as puppies. Furthermore, this formula is made with a single source of meat protein and it is free from chicken ingredients – both of these factors make it a great choice for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. They promise that this recipe is made with free-range, grass-fed Australian lamb and that it is completely free from corn, wheat, and soy ingredients. It is also produced in a human-grade facility and held to the highest standards for safety and quality. It is also worth noting that this recipe includes chelated minerals – minerals that have been bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb.
The first ingredient in this food formula is lamb meal, as promised. Though the ingredients list doesn’t say so, the information provided on the website makes it clear that this is free-range, grass-fed Australian lamb. Do not let the word “meal” fool you here – when there is only a single source of protein listed for a food product, it is typically better to use a meat meal rather than fresh meat. Fresh meats contain up to 80% moisture by volume which means that when the food product is cooked and processed, most of that moisture is removed and the actual volume of protein provided by that ingredient could be much less. Meat meals, on the other hand, are already cooked to remove moisture which means that the volume of protein is unlikely to change. In fact, meat meals contain up to 300% more protein by volume than fresh meats.
After the lamb meal comes three sources of healthy carbohydrates – brown rice, pearled barley, and oat meal. The first two of these three are grains and the pearled barley does contain gluten, so this recipe might not be a good choice for your dog if he has as gluten allergy. If he doesn’t, however, all three of these carbohydrates are considered highly digestible and they are good sources of dietary fiber which will help to regulate your dog’s digestion. There is also a supplementary source of fiber included later in this list – tomato pomace. This is a somewhat controversial ingredient in the food industry but there is no solid evidence to suggest that it is a harmful ingredient. Other notable ingredients include fresh blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries which are added to provide healthy antioxidants but they also add some dietary fiber as well as other vital nutrients.
Following the protein and carbohydrates come the fats. The main source of fat in this Grain-Friendly Classic Formula Lamb Meal & Rice recipe is chicken fat which may not sound like an appetizing ingredient to you but is actually a valuable addition to this recipe. Animal fats are more biologically valuable for dogs than plant-based fats, especially when they come from named sources (chicken fat versus poultry fat). Healthy fats help to boost your dog’s immunity, support brain function, and improve his skin and coat. Fats are also the most highly concentrated source of energy available to dogs. This recipe includes fish oil as a supplementary source of fat which is a valuable addition because it helps to provide a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Overall, this First Mate Grain-Friendly Classic Formula Lamb Meal & Rice recipe has a guaranteed analysis as follows:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 21%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 10%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Magnesium (Max) – 0.23%
- Calcium (Min) – 2.3%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.3%
- Glucosamine (Min) – 100 mg/kg
- Calcium/Phosphorus Ratio – 1.8:1
- Calorie Content – 490 kcal/cup
Overall, it appears that First Mate lives up to its lofty promises of high-quality pet food products. They may not offer the largest variety, but it is good to see that they offer both grain-free and classic recipes. First Mate does not provide a great deal of information about where they source their ingredients, but they do own and operate their own human-grade production facilities and they do not use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients in their products. A brief review of several dry food products reveals the use of high-quality ingredients like animal proteins, named animal fats, and digestible carbohydrates. One potential downside, however, is the fact that many products have a somewhat low level of crude fat – the minimum requirements for dogs are met, but these values could stand to be a little higher. All in all, however, First Mate products offer good nutritional value and many of their recipes would make a great choice for dogs suffering from food allergies or sensitivities.