Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Firstmate Dog Food Review 2023: Pros, Cons, Recalls & FAQs

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give FirstMate dog food 4.5 out of 5 stars

If you’re looking for high-quality dog food, you may have come across Firstmate Dog Food. This brand is made in British Columbia and is known for its fresh ingredients. But is it the right choice for your pup? In this post, we will take a look at the pros and cons of Firstmate Dog Food, as well as any recalls that have been issued. We’ll also answer some common questions about this brand.

divider-dog

At a Glance: The Best FirstMate Dog Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
FirstMate Lamb Meal Formula FirstMate Lamb Meal Formula
  • Great hypoallergenic option
  • Grain-free and gluten-free recipe
  • Supports immune system
  • Second place
    FirstMate Fish Meal and Oats Formula FirstMate Fish Meal and Oats Formula
  • Limited ingredient recipe
  • Made with a single meat protein
  • Gluten-free and low glycemic
  • Third place
    FirstMate Chicken Meal With Blueberries FirstMate Chicken Meal With Blueberries
  • Perfect for small breeds
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Supports better eyesight and memory
  • FirstMate Weight Control Limited Ingredient FirstMate Weight Control Limited Ingredient
  • Supports joint health
  • Easily digestible meal
  • Ideal for seniors, overweight or less active dogs
  • FirstMate Wild Pacific Salmon and Rice Formula FirstMate Wild Pacific Salmon and Rice Formula
  • Serve on its own or mixed in with dry food
  • Low glycemic
  • Wild-caught salmon
  • divider-dog paw

    FirstMate Dog Food Reviewed

    FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Australian Lamb Meal Formula

    Who Makes FirstMate and Where Is It Produced?

    FirstMate Dog Food is made by a company called FirstMate Pet Foods. The company is based in British Columbia, Canada and was founded in 1986. FirstMate sources its ingredients from local farmers and ranchers, as well as from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. FirstMate also has a manufacturing facility in the United States. All the ingredients are fresh and never frozen. The food is cooked in small batches to ensure quality control.

    Which Type of Dog Is FirstMate Best Suited For?

    FirstMate offers a variety of dry food formulas for dogs, as well as canned food, treats, and supplements. The brand’s dry food formulas include grain-free options and recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors. There are also formulas specifically for small breeds and large breeds.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    FirstMate has dog food recipes for dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes. They even sell many limited ingredient formulas if your dog has any allergies or sensitivities to certain foods. The only type of dog that might do better with a different brand is if your dog needs a prescription food recommended by a vet. FirstMate doesn’t sell any prescription dog foods.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    The main protein ingredients in most FirstMate dog food are chicken, chicken meal, Pacific Ocean fish, Australian lamb and lamb meal, salmon, and turkey. The proteins that each recipe contains vary depending on the formula. None of these ingredients are harmful to dogs, but some dogs may be allergic to a particular ingredient, so you may wish to choose a food that is suitable for your dog.

    FirstMate recipes also contain brown rice, oats, oatmeal, potatoes, canola oil, and flaxseed. Fruit ingredients such as blueberries, cranberries, and raspberries can also be found in their recipes and provide antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals for your dog.

    Many of their recipes are also full of wheat, corn, soy, and peas. They also have both grain-free and grain-friendly recipes. It’s important to note that grain-free diets have a potential link to increases in dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs, but this is still being investigated. It’s best to talk to your vet about whether a grain-free diet is necessary for your dog, as grains in dog food can help support heart health.

    Brown bulldog eating from a bowl
    Image Credit: Rawpixel

    Slight Limitations on Wet Food

    While FirstMate produces several dry food options, they are limited on the wet food recipe choices. However, the wet food choices are all high-quality and use limited ingredients. Some are even suitable to give to cats!

    Is FirstMate Dog Food Nutritionally Balanced?

    Yes, FirstMate dog food is nutritionally balanced. All the formulas meet or exceed the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). FirstMate dog food is high in protein, and the fiber content of FirstMate dog food varies depending on the formula.

    dogs eating
    Image Credit: Phuttharak, Shutterstock

    Does FirstMate Cause Obesity?

    No, FirstMate Dog Food does not cause obesity. In fact, all the formulas are designed to meet your dog’s specific nutritional needs. However, if your dog is eating more calories than they are burning, weight gain can occur. It’s important to feed your dog the proper amount of food based on the feeding guidelines for their weight and make sure that they are getting plenty of exercise.

    For more information on managing your dog’s weight, please consult your veterinarian.

    divider-paw

    A Quick Look at FirstMate Dog Food

    Pros
    • Made with high-quality ingredients
    • Cooked in small batches
    • Ingredients are locally sourced
    • Offers a variety of recipes and formulas
    • Offers wet and dry food, as well as treats and supplements
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • May be hard to find in stores

    divider-dog

    Recalls

    Firstmate Dog Food has not been recalled since the company was founded in 1986. However, it is always important to stay up to date on recalls by checking the FDA’s website or signing up for recall alerts from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

    french bulldog eating food from bowl
    Image Credit: Tienuskin, Shutterstock

    divider-dog

    Reviews of the 3 Best FirstMate Dog Food Recipes

    1. FirstMate Australian Lamb Meal Formula

    FirstMate Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Australian Lamb Meal Formula

    The limited-ingredient diet grain-free Australian Lamb Meal formula is FirstMate’s most popular and highly rated recipe. It contains a moderate amount of protein and fat, so it should be good for helping your dog maintain a healthy weight as long as they are fed the proper amount. Because it is a limited-ingredient diet, it’s free of grains, soy, corn, and other ingredients that may cause sensitivities in dogs.

    However, we don’t like that it contains potatoes as the first ingredient rather than a protein source. But lamb meal is a high-quality meat protein that most dogs will enjoy and that won’t cause allergies. This is also one of the most expensive formulas.

    Pros
    • Limited ingredients
    • Highly rated among pet owners
    • Contains lamb instead of common allergens like chicken and turkey
    Cons
    • Pricey
    • Meat isn’t the first ingredient

    2. FirstMate Wild Pacific Caught Fish Meal and Oats Formula

    FirstMate Grain-Friendly Wild Pacific Formula

    The Wild Pacific Caught Fish Meal and Oats Formula is one of the most highly rated grain-inclusive formulas. Grains are actually beneficial for dogs, and this food contains oatmeal and brown rice. It also contains ocean fish meal, a meat-based protein source, as the first ingredient.

    We also like that this food is high in protein and low in fat and calories. It’s also more affordable than the limited-ingredient recipe. However, some users say that their dog didn’t like this food and even that they couldn’t stomach it. So, if your dog doesn’t like fish, this food may not be the best choice.

    Pros
    • Grain-inclusive
    • High in protein, low in fat and calories
    • Contains a meat protein as the first ingredient
    Cons
    • Some dogs may not like the taste

    3. FirstMate Chicken Meal With Blueberries Formula

    FirstMate Small Bites Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula

    The Small Bites Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula is a great choice if you have a small breed dog or puppy or even a large breed that just needs smaller kibble. It’s more affordable than the other limited-ingredient formulas, but we still don’t like that it contains potatoes as the first ingredient instead of meat.

    However, it has a good amount of protein for small dogs while still being lower in fat. It does have a lot of calories, but smaller dogs tend to have higher metabolisms, so they need more calories in their food. This food also contains blueberries as one of the first four ingredients, which provides antioxidants to help keep your dog healthy.

    Pros
    • Great for small dogs
    • More affordable than other recipes
    • Contains blueberries as one of the main ingredients
    Cons
    • Potatoes are the first ingredient, not meat

    divider-dog paw

    What Other Users Are Saying

    • Chewy – “Was difficult to find quality food for my dog but I am glad I found this. My German Shepard likes it, and we don’t have any digestive problems when he eats this food. I am also trying to find something else to alternate but so far couldn’t get anything better or equal with this.”
    • Dog Food Advisor – FirstMate Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

    divider-paw

    Conclusion

    Overall, FirstMate dog food is a good choice for most dogs. The food is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients and offers a variety of formulas to meet your dog’s needs. However, it is more expensive than some other brands on the market. But if you are willing to spend a little extra on your pup’s food, FirstMate is definitely worth considering.

    Our vets

    Want to talk to a vet online?

    Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

    Our vets