If you’ve made your way here, you’re no doubt wondering whether or not Barking Heads Dog Food is a good choice for your four-legged friend. With so many brands and types of dog food available on the market – coupled with so much (often conflicting) information on what you should feed your dog – it’s not exactly an easy task deciphering which brand and type of dog food are best for your dog.
As a dog owner myself, I know it isn’t easy trying to make sense of the wealth of information out there, which is why I’ve written this article – to give you a 100% honest, unbiased review of Barking Head Dog Food range, which will hopefully give you an idea of whether or not it’s the right choice for your beloved canine buddy.
Barking Heads offer a wide range of dog food products – wet and dry food; foods for puppies, adult dogs and seniors, as well as dog treats and dental sticks. In fact, they even offer a ‘slimming’ dog food to help pooches shed unwanted pounds. All in all, it’s a relatively expansive range of dog food, but the question is:
Is Barking Heads Dog Food high-quality, and should you be feeding your dog with it?
Well, let’s find out.
We’ll begin by looking at Barking Heads dry dog food, eventually moving on to their wet food offerings, and end by taking a quick glimpse at their treats and dental sticks.
Barking Heads Dry Food Review
As mentioned above, Barking Heads offers dry food for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs, so let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
Barking Heads Dry Puppy Food
Available in: 1kg, 2kg, 4kg, 6kg and 18kg packs.
Flavour: Chicken & salmon.
If you look at the marketing blurb for Barking Heads ‘Puppy Days’ puppy food, it’s not to be impressed – ingredients that include 100% natural chicken and salmon; a formula that’s free from artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives; designed to promote healthy digestion, brain development, and strong teeth and bones, and, perhaps most impressive of all – approved by vets.
Quite the list, right? But is it as good as it appears to be?
The primary protein sources of this complete puppy food are salmon, chicken, and egg – all of which are high-quality sources of protein for canines, so it certainly gets a big green tick for this.
In addition to these protein sources, the other main components of this puppy food are sweet potato, potato, and peas. While some may argue that there is no need for carbohydrates in a dog’s diet because they can’t quite happily live off protein and fat alone (as well as a range of essential micronutrients, of course), sweet potato, potato, and peas certainly won’t do any harm to your puppy and should be tolerated well. Often, cheap carbohydrates are used to bulk out foods and make them cheaper to manufacture, but unless the product is primarily made from carbohydrates, there’s nothing to worry about.
Finally, the range of vitamins and minerals included in Barking Heads puppy food appears to provide everything a growing puppy requires, so it’s safe to say that it is a ‘complete’ food that can sustain your puppy entirely by itself. Furthermore, it’s high in protein, which is how puppy food should be formulated.
Barking Heads Dry Adult Food
Barking Heads adult dog food range is the most expansive of their ranges and includes regular dry food, ‘light’ dry foods, and dry foods for both smaller and larger breeds.
Barking Heads Adult Dry Dog Food (Regular)
Available in: 2kg, 6kg, 12kg, and 18kg packs.
Flavours: Chicken, Duck, Fish, Lamb, Salmon, Turkey, and Beef.
Once again, the list of features is rather impressive – but does the ingredient list match up to the glowing marketing spiel?
The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the ingredient list is that the level of protein sources is lower than their dry puppy food (62% vs 44% – 57%); however, this isn’t anything to be concerned about as puppies require high levels of protein – plus, an ingredient profile that contains between 44% and 57% from protein sources (it varies from flavour to favour) can be considered as a more than healthy amount (and more than many other brands out there).
As you would expect from a complete dog food, it’s brimming with essential vitamins, minerals, and other goodies included to boost your dog’s health, so there are no complaints on that front.
The only small gripe that some dog owners may have is that it contains almost 20% of brown rice, oats, and white rice. Dogs can quite happily live without consuming carbohydrates, so the inclusion of cheap carbohydrate sources is often done to make the food less expensive to produce; however, there’s certainly nothing wrong with a small amount of carbohydrates as dogs’ digestives systems are more than capable of digesting them without any issues. Ultimately, the high-protein and nutrient-packed content of Barking Heads Adult Dog Food makes it a healthy choice for adult dogs.
Barking Heads Adult Dry Dog Food (Light/Slimming)
Available in: 1kg, 2kg, and 4kg packs.
Flavours: Chicken & trout.
A slimming dog food should typically contain less fat and calories and more fibre – three boxes which Barking Heads ‘Fat Dog Slim’ ticks comprehensively. The ingredient list shows a reasonable amount of protein sources (30% from chicken and trout) and 20% of high-fibre carbohydrate sources, namely potato, oats, and barley. While higher amounts of carbohydrates in dog food is often questioned, slimming dog foods need higher levels of fibre, which typically come from carbohydrate sources, so there can be no complaints here! All in all, the combination of a balanced nutritional profile, lower calories, and higher fibre make this a first-class choice of dry slimming food.
Barking Heads Adult Dry Dog Food (Small Breeds)
Available in: 1.5kg and 4kg packs.
Flavours: Chicken, Duck, and Lamb.
One question many dog owners ask is, ‘Does my small dog require a specialised small dog breed food?’ – the answer to which can be yes or no. Small dog breeds will typically get on fine with regular dog food; however, some may require a little more protein and fewer carbohydrates and other typical dog food fillers. Barking Heads Adult Dog Food for small breeds contains between 49% and 54% from protein sources – which is not too dissimilar from the regular adult dry dog food – but contains a little less in terms of carbohydrates, which may suit a smaller dog’s digestive system better than a food more carbohydrate-heavy.
There is no doubt that this is a good choice where small dog breed dry food is concerned, but it will ultimately depend on your dog’s constitution and digestive sensitivity. Luckily it only comes in small packs, so you can pick up a 1.5kg relatively inexpensively and see how your dog responds to it.
Barking Heads Adult Dry Food (for Seniors)
Available in: 1kg, 2kg, 4kg, 12kg, and 18kg packs.
Flavours: Chicken, Duck, and Lamb.
Senior dry dog food aims to provide support in areas where older dogs may be experiencing issues, namely their joints – but does Barking Heads senior dry dog food tick this box?
It sure does. Healthy doses of Glucosamine, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), and Chondroitin Sulphate are the perfect triumvirate for lubricating older joints and may even help to reduce pain associated with this. Add in 40% protein sources (chicken, trout, and salmon), in addition to a myriad of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients, and you have a balanced and healthy complete dry food for dogs in their ‘golden years’.
Barking Heads Wet Food Review
As mentioned above, Barking Heads offers wet food for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs, so let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
Note: Barking Heads’ wet dog foods are grain-free.
Barking Heads Puppy Wet Food
Available in: 10 x 300g, 20 x 300g, 30 x 300g, and 40 x 300g packs.
The first that comes to attention when looking at the packet of Barking Heads wet puppy food is the fact it’s made from 85% chicken, which is a lot of chicken and means it will be high in protein – something that puppies require. However, it’s important to point out that the 85% isn’t solely chicken meat; instead, it’s 60% chicken meat and 25% chicken broth. Still, 60% fresh deboned chicken is still a nice, high, healthy amount of protein, so the 25% broth isn’t anything to be concerned about (it’s primarily used to make the food wet).
In addition to the 85% chicken, there’s a smattering of vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots, peas, and courgettes. Although the quantities of these will probably not provide much in terms of micronutrients, it’s always preferable to have healthy vegetables ‘making up the numbers’ rather than cereals and cheap grains. Add in the vast array of vitamins and minerals included, and it’s safe to say that Barking Heads wet food for puppies is one of the best currently available on the market.
Barking Heads Adult Wet Food
Like Barking Heads adult dry food range, their wet food range also includes regular wet food and ‘light’ wet foods (but no wet foods specifically for smaller and larger breeds), so let’s take a look at each in turn.
Barking Heads Adult Wet Dog Food (Regular)
Available in: 10 x 300g, 20 x 300g, 30 x 300g, and 40 x 300g packs.
Flavours: Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Lamb, Salmon, and Variety.
From the outset, it’s important to point out that wet dog food is less cost-effective than dry food as it is less (macro) nutrient-dense per 100g; therefore, your dog will require more if it (it’s also more expensive to manufacture, which increases the price too).
To illustrate this, we’ll use the dog food calculator on Barking Heads’ website to compare dry food vs wet food for a moderately active 20kg dog.
Dry food: 260 grams per day.
Wet food: 900 grams per day.
As you can see, the difference is rather large! And as wet food is more expensive, opting for a wet food only diet will cost a lot more than dry food only.
But is Barking Heads’ adult wet dog food worth the money?
If you’re looking to feed your dog on wet food only, Barking Heads’ adult wet dog food is one of the best on the market. Period. It contains 60% meat, 25% broth, and the rest is healthy vegetables, vitamins, minerals, and other health goodies.
Barking Heads Adult Wet Dog Food (Light/Slimming)
As we mentioned above, when discussing ‘light’ or ‘slimming’ dog foods, the aim is to provide reduced calories and more fibre. While this is true for Barking Heads’ dry ‘Slim Dog’ food, i.e. there’s an obvious difference between the regular and ‘light’ dry food products, this isn’t the case where their wet food is concerned. In fact, the only different is 0.5% less fat in the ‘light’ version. Therefore, given that there’s no price difference between the two, it doesn’t really matter which you opt for as they’re almost identical in ingredients, calories, and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Barking Heads Adult Wet Dog Food (for Seniors)
If you’re the owner of a dog entering their ‘golden years’ (or soon to be doing so), you’ll no doubt be aware that protecting their joints is one of the most important aspects of keeping them healthy. Barking Heads’ dry food for seniors includes three supplements to aid joint health, but does the wet food version offer the same?
From looking at the ingredient list, it’s apparent that it doesn’t include Glucosamine, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), or Chondroitin Sulphate – three proven supplements that can boost joint health. However, it does contain green-lipped mussel extract, a natural extract that has been purported to help with joint health. Will it perform as well as the three aforementioned supplements? Almost certainly not, but it’s an excellent addition that may provide some benefit.
Ultimately, if you’re goal is to prolong your dog’s joint health, we’d certainly advise opting for the senior dry food over the wet food, given its trio of joint-friendly supplements.
Barking Heads Dog Treats Review
Available in: 1x 100g, 7 x 100g packs, and 14 x 100g packs.
Flavours: Chicken Champs, Apple Snaffles, Fish Fancies, Beefy Bites, Top Banana, and Nitie Nites.
Although the aim of this article is to provide you with detailed reviews of Barking Heads range of dry and wet dog foods, we thought it’d be worth mentioning their range of treats as you may also be interested in these.
Made from 100% natural ingredients and containing no artificial colours, flavours, or preservatives, Barking Heads range of dog treats are a fantastic and healthy way to treat your dog. Whether you opt for a meat- or fruit-based treat, your dog will get their paws on a treat that is made from high-quality ingredients, with a few little extras sprinkled in to make them that extra bit more healthy. A far superior option to treats that contain mainly cereals and grains, that’s for sure!