FirstMate is a Canadian pet food company focusing on crafting high-quality food for dogs and cats. They produce grain-friendly and grain-free diets and offer a variety of limited ingredient diets to meet the needs of dogs with food sensitivities. They also offer different food lines to meet different needs, like foods that are free of peas, potatoes, corn, wheat, soy, and poultry.
FirstMate believes in the importance of handling their production and manufacturing processes on their own so they can ensure the highest quality food possible. They ensure that every bite of food contains healthy fats and oils, and their foods all provide a low glycemic load, which means their carbohydrate load is properly balanced with proteins. For more information about FirstMate and their foods, keep reading.
Click to skip ahead:
- FirstMate Dog Food Reviewed
- At a Glance: The Best FirstMate Dog Food Recipes
- Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
- A Quick Look at FirstMate Dog Food
- Recall History
- Reviews of the 3 Best FirstMate Dog Food Recipes
- What Other Users Are Saying
At a Glance: The Best FirstMate Dog Food Recipes
|Our Favorite||FirstMate Wild Pacific Caught Fish Meal & Oats Formula||
|FirstMate Australian Lamb Meal Formula||
|FirstMate Cage Free Chicken Meal & Oats Formula||
|FirstMate Cage Free Turkey & Rice Formula||
|FirstMate Skoki Dog Food||
FirstMate Dog Food Reviewed
Who makes FirstMate and where is it produced?
FirstMate is a family-owned and operated company based in British Columbia, Canada. They’ve been in business for over 30 years, and their foods are veterinarian formulated to ensure high nutrient density. They manufacture their foods at their own manufacturing plant. There is a virtual tour of their facility on the FirstMate website if you’re interested in seeing their process and facility.
Which type of dog is FirstMate best suited for?
FirstMate offers dog foods for dogs with lots of needs, as well as puppy and senior dog foods. Since they offer grain-friendly and grain-free diets, there are options for a variety of preferences as well. They offer kibble and canned food options.
Which type of dog might do better with a different brand?
The senior and puppy foods are available in more limited options than the adult dog foods. This means that puppies or seniors with specific dietary needs or food sensitivities may need food from different brands.
Our favorite senior dog food is the Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Skin & Stomach 7+ Salmon & Rice Formula, and our favorite puppy food is the Purina Pro Plan Puppy Lamb & Rice Formula.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
Ocean Fish Meal
Ocean fish meal consists of the meat from fish, as well as bones and offal. This is often more nutrient dense than fish meat alone. Ocean fish meal is a great source of lean protein, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which has shown some potential for decreasing inflammation.
Potatoes are an excellent source of healthy fiber and antioxidants, which can support immune system function. However, potatoes have shown a potential link to heart disease in dogs, so this ingredient is often recommended to be avoided as a top ingredient in dog food. It is not present in all of the FirstMate recipes.
Lamb meal consists of lamb muscle meat, as well as organ meats and cleaned flesh. This is a good source of lean protein, and lamb is a great source of B vitamins, zinc, and iron. Lamb meal can aid in muscle building and repair after activity and injury.
Like lamb meal, chicken meal consists of chicken muscle meat, organ meat, and cleaned flesh. Chicken is a lean protein source that can help support a healthy body weight. Chicken is a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that has been linked to helping increase serotonin levels in the brain, which may increase mood and happiness.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of nutritious fiber for digestive health. It’s easy to digest and is not commonly associated with stomach upset or allergies. It can support healthy cholesterol levels and encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria within the digestive system.
Grain Friendly Diets
Over the past few years, grain free diets have shown a link to heart disease in dogs, which is often attributed to the presence of legumes and potatoes. FirstMate produces a large number of grain friendly formulas that may lack grains that many people consider “low quality,” like corn. These formulas instead contain oatmeal and other nutritious grains that some people may feel more comfortable with their pets eating.
Pea and Potato Free Formulas
Since legumes and potatoes have shown a link to heart disease in dogs, most vets recommend avoiding these ingredients, especially if they are high in the ingredient list. Most of the formulas that FirstMate offers are free of these ingredients, instead using safer nutrient dense ingredients in their place. It’s important to read the ingredient lists, though, as some of the formulas do contain potatoes.
All Life Stages
FirstMate offers a wide range of dog foods for dogs of all ages. For a privately owned company, their selection is impeccable, and they offer foods to meet the needs of dogs of all life stages, which can be difficult to find with smaller companies. They also offer formulas to meet the specific nutritional needs of dogs with different activity levels, including those with high energy needs.
A Quick Look at FirstMate Dog Food
At the time of this writing, FirstMate dog foods have had no recalls.
Reviews of the 3 Best FirstMate Dog Food Recipes
1. FirstMate Wild Pacific Caught Fish Meal & Oats Formula
This FirstMate Wild Pacific Caught Fish Meal & Oats Formula is a great source of lean protein, coming in at 28% protein content. It contains 494 calories per cup, making this a very calorie dense food option. It’s free of chicken and beef proteins, making it suitable for dogs with food sensitivities and requiring a limited ingredient diet.
This food contains multiple types of fish, including herring, anchovies, and sardines. It’s a great source of omega fatty acids to support skin and coat health. This diet is free of peas and potatoes, and it contains oatmeal, which is a good source of fiber.
Some people report this food not being suitable for their picky eaters.
2. FirstMate Australian Lamb Meal Formula
This FirstMate Australian Lamb Meal Formula is a good source of lean protein, coming in at 24% protein content from lamb meal. It’s a limited ingredient diet and is free of chicken and beef proteins, making this food suitable for dogs with food sensitivities. It contains 505 calories per cup of food, making this suitable for dogs with high activity levels.
This food is a good source of antioxidants, so it will help support your dog’s immune system. It also helps support the urinary system and your dog’s memory. It contains fruit, like raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries for a grain free source of fiber for digestive health.
This food contains potatoes, so it may not be ideal for most dogs.
3. FirstMate Cage Free Chicken Meal & Oats Formula
This FirstMate Cage Free Chicken Meal & Oats Formula contains chicken as its protein source, which is a great source of lean protein to support your dog’s muscles. It’s a great source of fiber, thanks to healthy grains and fruits, like oatmeal, brown rice, blueberries, and raspberries. It contains 28% protein and offers 494 calories per cup of food.
This is a limited ingredient diet that offers a single protein source, although chicken is a common allergen for many dogs. It’s easy to digest and is suitable for dogs with sensitive tummies. This food is free of peas and potatoes.
Some people have reported their smaller dogs struggling with the size of the kibbles in this food. They may also be difficult for dogs with chewing difficulties to chew.
What Other Users Are Saying
To help you get a better feel for what other people think of dog foods from FirstMate, we’ve checked out other reviews to help you out.
- Chewy: “My border collie mix is extremely picky when it comes to food. She absolutely loves FirstMate. I trust the ingredients and the quality of food that this company puts out. I highly recommend this brand to anyone looking for a great dry dog food.”
- Dog Food Adviser: “Enthusiastically recommended.”
- Amazon: “Well, my dog loves it. I used this product previously when I had a dog with allergies. I ordered it this time because the dog I have now had been sick and had to have antibiotics so I wanted to make sure she had the best and even though I always buy premium grain-free dog food, she now won’t even eat the other ones, but as soon as I put this one down…I come home from work and the bowl is empty. I will buy it again.” See more Amazon reviews here.
Dog food from FirstMate is not only nutritionally sound but also veterinarian-formulated to ensure maximum nutrient density for your dog’s health. They offer a variety of formulas, including grain-friendly, grain-free, and limited ingredient diets. They also offer foods for all life stages, ensuring your puppies and seniors can also have high-quality food. This brand is family owned and operates its own manufacturing facility, allowing them to maintain high food quality and have greater oversight over food production than most brands.