Optimum Dog Food Review
It may surprise you that Optimum is just another Mars brand. In fact it’s the cheaper alternative to Advance, the brand that harmed so many dogs with the debilitating condition megaesophagus, later linked to crop disease in corn. For our Optimum dog food review we’ll take a look at the Adult Chicken dry food variety, but the other grain formulas are just as unhealthy. They have a slightly better grain free offering, but it’s little to rave about.
What the marketing says
On the Optimum website for Adult All Breed there’s some spiel about being formulated with wholegrains and beet pulp as a natural source of fibre, controlling intestinal transit and maximising nutrient absorption, all leading to smaller, firmer stools. Given many dog owners gauge the health of their dog on firmness of stools this makes sense for the manufacturer, but it’s not a true metric of your dog’s health.
On the bag there’s a list of “benefits”, such as “bioavailability”, “strengthens immune system”, “healthy skin & coat”, “healthy digestion”, and “OPTIMUM Dental Defense” as a trademarked term.
With so many health benefits you can imagine why celeb vet Dr. Chris Brown endorses this Mars dog food, but when you realise it’s mostly a medley of grains and meat by-products it makes you wonder if he’s just cashing in? Would your vet recommend a diet of wheat and corn to a carnivorous animal?
What the labelling really says
Firstly, when the packaging says with chicken, vegetables, and rice, it doesn’t mean these ingredients are in a significant portion. It simply means these ingredients need to be included in some small amount. Such is the definition of “with” in the Aussie pet food labelling regulations.
The first ingredient is poultry and poultry by-products, but the next two combined will likely outweigh the meat 2:1. This is backed up by the estimated 47% carbs compared to 26% protein. The next two ingredients happen to be a rather ambiguous list of grains which likely favour the cheapest inclusion in both cases which are the last ones listed – wheat and corn. We’re starting to see a stark contrast to the marketing spiel.
The vegetables listed on the front of the bag are right down the ingredients list next to salt, which will be around 1% of the food. Does 1% vegetables sound good to you?
Beet pulp is included in many dog foods to harden stools, to trick you into believing your dog is healthy.
Vegetable oil is one of the cheapest oil inclusions for a “healthy skin & coat”, with more premium dry dog foods including better alternatives like coconut oil, salmon oil, or flaxseed. Ironically preservative sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) is included which is recognised as a possible neuro toxin and mild skin irritant by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and we also note the antioxidants included aren’t listed as natural either.
So why does Dr. Chris Brown endorse this food? 💰
If your dog is itchy and scratchy on this food, then it’s probably worth switching to something better. It’s probably worth switching anyway as there are far better dry dog foods available, even from Mars.
Other Optimum dry dog food formulas are pretty much the same, such as Adult Beef which is almost identical.
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Optimum dog food review summary
If you’re still reading, and still thinking of feeding Optimum dog food to your beloved furry friend, then keep in mind it’s just another Mars brand favouring budget over premium ingredients, and it probably shouldn’t be endorsed by a celebrity vet.
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The ingredients of Optimum dry dog food Adult Chicken (as of January 2021) is as follows:
Poultry and poultry by-products; sorghum and/or rice and/or wheat; barley and/or corn; chicken digest; cereal protein; beet pulp; vegetables; salt; vegetable oil; minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, copper sulphate, potassium iodide and selenium); sodium tripolyphosphate; vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, D, E and choline) and antioxidants.
Optimum Guaranteed Analysis
The guaranteed analysis of Optimum dry dog food Adult Chicken (as of February 2021) is as follows:
|Carbohydrates *||Estimated 47%|
- Lots of grains
- Ambiguous ingredients