|Website:||OEM Pet Care / Connex|
|Country of origin:||Australia|
A La Carte is made by a small Australian company. They’re not overly well known but seem to have a following with breeders on the east coast. The food is very reasonably priced considering the ingredients are pretty good, and they’ve recently released a really decent grain free food as well.
For this review I’ll focus on the Premium Salmon & Potato recipe which is aimed at junior dogs. There’s also a Lamb & Rice recipe aimed at puppies and adults alike, and Chicken & Rice for more senior dogs.
Salmon Meal is the main ingredient which is really great to see and justifies what it says on the bag. Being a meal ensures this is unquestionably the dominant ingredient once cooked, and will constitute the majority of the 23% protein. Our dogs digest meat and fish proteins much easier than grain proteins, so this is really good.
Next we find Pearled Barley as the main grain, which is much more nutritious than the wheat and sorghum we seem to find in most main-brand foods. Ground Rice and Potato come next, which aren’t bad ingredients, but they do start to make this food relatively carb-heavy.
Faba Beans are an interesting ingredient, and rather unusual in a pet food. You may know them better as broad beans, and they’re über healthy being high in protein and dietary fibre. They’re low in fat and low in cholesterol as well, which is great.
Chicken fat is a great source of nutrients for dogs, and also a necessary source of energy. Alfalfa is another good ingredient and thought of as a super-food. Flax seed is also included, another great ingredient to promote heart health and a glossy coat.
One ingredient I’m confused about is Cheese meal which I imagine is included for flavour more than nutrition. It’s not uncommon for dogs to be lactose intolerant, so this kind of ingredient may cause gas or diarrhea. It’s in a small quantity, so probably unlikely.
Lacto Sacc is very unusual to see in a dog food. It’s a probiotic to increase nutrient absorption, but I have little knowledge of how beneficial this is over long term feeding. Naturox is a natural preservative used with fish meals, and a much better preservative than nasties like ethoxyquin (e) that we used to find (there’s an excellent article here).
All in all this seems like a good food. I’ll give it 4 stars, and it’s great value for money too. I look forward to the company brushing up on their marketing to bring this food inline with a professional product.
I’d rate the other recipes (Chicken & Rice and Lamb & Rice) the same. They’re both deserving of a 4 star rating based on the ingredients. Both these recipes use Rice instead of Barley, which is fine, and they both have decent meat content. The Chicken recipe is lower in fat (but will be slightly higher in carbs), and the Lamb recipe is higher in protein given the lamb meal and chicken meal combination, which makes this suitable for puppies.
Well selected ingredients as a whole, and some interesting choice selections.
The company has some way to go to improve their marketing, and a decent website wouldn’t go amiss.
* Carbohydrates aren’t listed on pet food labels. This value is calculated based on levels of protein, fat, moisture, and ash. Estimated values for moisture and ash have been used where these values haven’t been given (moisture of 10%, and ash of 8%).
Salmon Meal, Pearled Barley, Ground Rice, Potato, Faba Beans, Chicken Fat, Sardine Meal, Natural Flavour, Alfalfa, Tomato Promace, Carrott, Oat Bran, Cheese Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Soy Lecithin, Fish Oil, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed, Vitamins and Minerals, Egg Powder, Potassium Chloride, Lacto Sacc, Naturox, Yucca Schidigera, Glucosamine and Chondroitin.