Top Quality Dog Food is a family-owned and operated raw pet food manufacturer and wholesaler in Maryland, focusing on BARF Diets using prime quality meat, healthy animals' organs, fresh vegetables, and fruits without preservatives, grains, and gluten. They avoid any supplementation addition in the form of preservatives, either minerals or vitamins. They keep it natural, which I love!
They offer many animal choices, including poultry, fish, beef, and lamb. I emailed the company to find out what diet their animals consume; their meats are human-grade USDA Prime beef produced from young, well-fed beef cattle fed a conventional diet except for their grass-fed and finished lamb. They do not have any proteins that are pasture raised.
My dog, Yenko, tried different beef varieties, lamb, and rabbit. In this blog post, and as always, we will focus mainly on their beef products.
Nutritional Info: Ground beef with bone, heart, liver, kidney, lung, kale, celery, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, cranberries, and blueberries.
Protein 14.43% Fat 15.4% Fiber 0.75% Moisture 67.54%
Calcium 0.47% Phosphorus 0.36% Potassium 0.220%
Calories 1833 Kcal/Kg
Is it balanced and complete? This meal breaks down to 72.5% muscle meat, 10% bone, 10% organs, and 7.5% fruits and vegetables, making it nutritionally balanced without artificial preservatives.
Weight and packaging of the product: All their meals come in one, two-pound and five-pound chubs; we tried a variety of the 2-pound chubs, and they weigh a little over 32 ounces consistently.
Visuals of the meat: Here is where I ran into problems. I purchased this at a local Pet Shop; in the future, I will reorder directly from Top Quality Dog Food to see if there is a difference. When I opened the chub, the meat's color was off, not red, more like pink, and would turn grey the next day. This was consistent with all varieties we tried. This was a sign of oxidation and could be because of three things:
- The meat has been overworked. During the production, the meats can be ground repeatedly (you can see evidence of this by how fine the grinding is, to the point of dough-ey). It may sit mixing for a while, and the machinery working heats it further, oxidizing.
- Remember, there is no additives.
- Transportation between the wholesaler and the shop I purchased it from.
Taste: As stated above, the color of the raw meat was pink and not the typical red. My dog, Yenko, ate it with no hesitation. The same can be said for the other variations we tried, except for the rabbit, which he would only eat if mixed with the red meats (pink in this case). My dog doesn't really like poultry raw, so we expected this.
We cooked 3 oz of Beef HVM at a low temperature, we liked the taste, and you can smell and taste the organs in it. It was challenging to taste the fruit and vegetable in the product, but we can see them.
The mix tasted great, but the pan and my bowl had oil (you couldn't taste it, but it was there). This product could have less fat. Remember, while their meat is Prime grade, it has plenty of marbling. There is something to share regarding fat; I believe in eating lean cuts of protein with a small percentage of fat (I like my dog to consume under 10% a meal)..majority of that fat should be healthy fats like Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. There is a misconception that just because it is human-grade, the cuts of meat used are decent. Usually, you would have to inquire about the cuts of beef used and if they trim the fats.
Poop: While on this food, my dog, Yenko's poop, was a bit runny. The size was consistent; however, its color was darker, and his poop was not as solid as I'd liked.
Price: A 2-pound pack ranges from $11-20 depending on protein choice. Prices are average.
Delivery: We did not order these items from the manufacturer; they were purchased from a pet shop. However, you may order from their website, which has all information detailing their shipping services.
Other things to note: In August 2021, Top Quality Dog Food recalled Beef HVM one-pound packages due to the potential of Salmonella and Listeria. The FDA observed the contamination after its state surveillance sample revealed the presence of those pathogens.