Picking up this dog food may be convenient if you frequent Trader Joe’s, but what’s inside the bag leaves a lot to be desired. We suggest you find a different dog food for your pooch.
Last Updated: February 28, 2024 by Lisa Melillo
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About Trader Joe’s Dog Food
Trader Joe’s is the beloved “discount” grocery store where most everything they carry is their own private label products. Known for being a great value and a great variety of healthy and organic options, Trader Joe’s has a great following.
What you may have noticed is that Trader Joe’s also has their own dog food for sale in store. Specifically, the dry dog food they offer today is a Chicken Meal and Rice formula that we’ll be reviewing today.
Trader Joe’s Dog Food Reviews
Quality of Ingredients
There isn’t much we can say about the quality of ingredients Trader Joe’s uses because they aren’t known as a dog food company and don’t promote their dog food anywhere online. If you try searching for dog food on Trader Joe’s website, you won’t find anything!
There’s also something telling on the label of the dog food –
The phrase “Distributed and sold exclusively by Trader Joe’s” means that Trader Joe’s doesn’t actually make the dog food themselves. A third party company manufacturers the dog food and Trader Joe’s simply sells it.
While this isn’t inherently bad, it does mean that Trader Joe’s isn’t as involved as other dog food companies are that actually make the food themselves and run their own factories.
Full Ingredients and Analysis
Analyzing the first 10 ingredients in a dog food is a great way to understand the overall nutrient content of the dog food because AAFCO requires all dog food ingredients to be listed in order of predominance by their weight. Here’s a closer look at what’s inside Trader Joe’s Chicken Meal and Rice dog food.
Chicken meal, ground brown rice, brewers rice, ground wheat, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, dried tomato pomace, natural flavor, herring meal, salt, potassium chloride, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of Vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B12 supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), Minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), kelp meal, rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem, papain, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried aspergillus oryzae fermentation product.
Overall these ingredients and nutrition leave a lot to be desired. This dog food has less protein, less fat, and more carbs than the average dog food (see our analysis article). Most of the protein comes from chicken meal, and while chicken is a very common source of protein for many dog food producers it has to be real meat based.
Related article: can dogs eat fried chicken?
Looking through the ingredient list most quality dog foods don’t have rice as 2 of the first 3 ingredients, nor do they have wheat in the top 5! Natural flavor (which is another way of saying “just about anything”) and salt also make an appearance high in the list which isn’t good.
There’s also no substantial amount of fruits or vegetables used in the dog food formula. “Tomato pomace” is present in the top 10, but that turns out to be leftovers from other tomato based products like ketchup.
Trader Joe’s Dog Food Pros:
Trader Joe’s is a very convenient dog food to feed your furry friend. They have stores dotted around the country, so if you are in need of dog food ASAP, you can head over to your local store ad stock up.
- Easy to store
Trader Joe’s Dog Food Cons:
Trader Joe’s has a bad reputation for being low in nutritional value. Many dogs have been reported to suffer from malnutrition after being fed the food for a period of time.
- Low-quality food
- Issues with malnourished dogs
Trader Joe’s Chicken Dog Food Alternatives
If you feel like Trader Joe’s dog food isn’t appropriate for your special furry friend, have a look at our top alternative dog foods listed below.
Crave dog food is a brilliant alternative to Trader Joe’s. They make similar flavored food to Trader Joes, just with grain-free options.
Vets all over the country have something to say about Wag dog food. Here is a great review for you to read to learn more about Wag dog food.
This is a new line of dog food and one that you might not have heard of until today. Check out this review to find out more.
Joy Dog Food
Joy Dog Food offers premium ingredients, tailored nutrition for active dogs, and formulas designed for all life stages,
Trader Joe’s History
Trader Joe’s is a United States grocery store that started in 1967 in California. It’s now a subsidiary of the Aldi brand of grocery stores, though it’s operated separately and doesn’t share the same product lines.
Trader Joe’s operates in 43 states and carries much less merchandise than a regular grocery store. Around 80% of the products they sell are under their own label. This typically allows them to offer better prices for high-quality foods.
As we’ve seen from their dog food, however, the level of care just isn’t there to justify the cheap price.
Where to Buy
You can find this dog food exclusively at Trader Joe’s stores, though I’d recommend you skip it and take a look at some of our top ranked dog food brands instead.