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Farmina Natural & Delicious Lamb & Ancestral Low-Grain Mini Breed Formula

by Farmina
Review Product PhotoReview Product Photo
Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 14, 2019

Farmina Natural & Delicious Mini Breed Formula is a high-priced dry dog food with exceptional quality. This product actually manages to ace all of our review categories, which is very hard to do. Here is what makes this product stand out: It has no controversial ingredients, including zero artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. The food also has very well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs and excellent meat and fat quality. Additionally, Farmina has zero recalls and was also extremely open, helpful and transparent when answering our questions. Watchdog Labs highly recommends this product.

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Dry Dog Food
Small, Toy Breeds
GMO-Free, Low Glycemic
5.5 lbs
Farmina Pet Foods

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This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.

To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 30.77%

Min. Fat 19.78%

Min. Carbs 40.44%

Max. Fiber 3.19%

Max. Ash 9.01%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 28.0%

Min Fat: 18.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 2.9%

Max Ash: 8.20%

Max. Moisture: 9.0%



430 Calories per Cup

This product has a relatively high amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. If your dog has fair to low activity levels, you may want to feed less than the labels recommend amount, since high-calorie foods like this are often feed to more active dogs who require a higher amount of daily calories. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.

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Grain-Free Dog Foods

This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.

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Total Ingredients
Controversial Ingredients

Lamb Meat, Dehydrated Lamb Meat (Source of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate), Whole Spelt, Whole Oats, Dehydrated Egg Product, Herring (Source of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate), Dehydrated Herring (Source of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate), Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Herring & Salmon Oil Blend (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Beet Pulp, Dried Carrots, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Meal, Chicory Root Extract, Fructooligosaccharide, Yeast Extract (Source of Mannan-Oligosaccharides), Dehydrated Blueberry, Dehydrated Apple, Dehydrated Pomegranate, Dehydrated Sweet Orange, Dehydrated Spinach, Psyllium Seed Husk, Dehydrated Blackcurrant Berry, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Turmeric, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Aloe Vera Gel Concentrate, Green Tea Extract, Rosemary Extract.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product does not have any controversial ingredients, which is great to see.

Top 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at a dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.

  • Lamb Meat
    Lamb is generally a healthy dog food ingredient that adds protein, fat and other healthy nutrients to the dog food. Raw meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product weight. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals in the first five ingredients (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein).
  • Dehydrated Lamb Meat (Source of Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate)
    Lamb is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Glucosamine is a combination of glutamine (an amino acid) and glucose (a sugar) that's present in chicken. Chondroitin sulfate is a chemical that's naturally found in the cartilage around the joints of animals. Dehydrated beef have had their moisture removed with hot and dry air to preserve them.
  • Whole Spelt
    Spelt (also known as Dinkel or hulled wheat) is a species of wheat. It's rich in nutrients, including protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and dietary minerals. We generally consider it a healthy dog food ingredient.

  • Whole Oats
    Oats are a cereal grain and a source of carbs, protein, dietary fiber, several B vitamins and dietary minerals like manganese. They are a high-quality dog food ingredient that can potentially help with colon health.

  • Dehydrated Egg Product
    Dehydrated Egg Product are shell-free eggs that have had their moisture removed hot and dry air. While it provides nutrients like protein, it can be made from food-industry waste products such as eggs that failed to hatch. In other words, quality can vary. Because there are better protein sources (like whole eggs or meat) we do not consider this a high-quality dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients
Farmina has not included any controversial ingredients in this food.

Country of Origin
Farmina is manufactured in Italy.

Meat & Fat Quality
Farmina clearly names the meat and protein sources like lamb meat, dehydrated lamb meat, dehydrated egg product, herring, and dehydrated herring. This is great because it shows you the species the ingredient comes from. They are just as clear with the two fat sources chicken fat and herring & salmon oil blend - all of them identify the source they come from.

Artificial Preservatives
This Farmina product does not contain any controversial preservatives. It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.

Artificial Colors
No artificial colors are in this product.

Artificial Flavor
No artificial flavors are in this product.



Brand Recalls

Our research shows no dog food recalls for Farmina in recent years. That’s great to see.




We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.

How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?

Farmina was one of the few companies that responded relatively quick and with complete answers. Our first email was responded to on the fourth day after being sent.

Does Farmina have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

We have 2 nutritionists - Francesco Massimo Castaldto and Luigi Monda. We also strictly cooperate with Animal Nutrition Department of University of Naples and the head of its team - Prof Monica Isabella Cutrignelli.

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

All our products are formulated according to both AAFCO and FEDIAF guidelines including trials.  

Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?

We do not do the feeding trials, but we perform palatability and stool testing.  

This is to be understood as they do formulations, not feeding trials.

What country are your products manufactured?

Production facilities are located in Italy (dry food), Serbia (dry + wet food) and Brazil (dry food).

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

Visiting them is possible only for our distributors.

What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?

Each facility is equipped with a modern laboratory where all produced batches are being checked both from analytical and microbiological point of view. All factories follow HACCAP system and ISO certification.

Does Blue Buffalo own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?

We don't use "outsourcing".

This is to be understood as they do own their facilities.

Do any parts of your product come from China?

No primary sources of protein, fruits, veggies but while we don’t source from China, we can’t guarantee that vitamins and minerals don’t come from there.

Often companies as large as Farmina, depend on suppliers that may source raw materials from China.

Farmina Natural & Delicious Lamb & Ancestral Low-Grain Mini Breed Formula

by Farmina
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