Small Batch Lightly Cooked Dog Food Review

Smallbatch dog food partners with local farmers and ranchers within the USA to bring quality ingredients, with USDA certified meats and organic produce whenever possible. Though the company was founded in 2005, their lightly cooked line was only recently added in 2020, previously they only sold raw food with a focus on the use of whole foods rather than synthetic supplements within their recipes.

Smallbatch lightly cooked dog food offers three different single-protein recipes (chicken, turkey, beef), that are balanced for both puppies and adult dogs. All recipes are high and protein, high in fat, and low carbohydrates (greater than 34% protein, greater than 37% fat, and less than 16% carbohydrates).

The composition (high fat, high protein) of the smallbatch recipes may make them an excellent choice for a highly active dog – or a dog that gets more than an hour of activity per day. And the limited ingredients of the smallbatch recipes may make them a great choice for dogs with food allergies or intolerances.

OVERVIEW:

Company Responded to Questions Asked via Email: No. The information gathered below was from their website December 2021.

Who formulated smallbatch Lightly Cooked Dog Food? No mention was given on their website as to who formulated their recipes.

Where does smallbatch source their Ingredients from? All ingredients are sourced within the human food chain with a majority of the foods sourced directly in the USA. Small batch focuses on sourcing meat from humane farmers (GAP 3) and uses pasture-raised lamb and beef, and free-range poultry in their recipes. Smallbatch also only uses certified organic produce. The only food sourced outside the USA is their kelp – which is from iceland.

Where are smallbatch’s Human Grade Dog Food Recipes Manufactured? No information was given on their website as to where their recipes are manufactured and if they use a copacking facility.

What Quality Control Procedures does smallbatch Lightly Cooked Dog Food perform on their foods? No mention was given on their website of quality control procedures including mycotoxin testing, or pathogen testing.

Has Small Batch Invested in Digestibility or AAFCO Feeding Trials? No AAFCO Feeding Trials or Digestibility trials were mentioned on their website.

Are Full Nutritional Profiles Found Online for the smallbatch Recipes? Only guaranteed analysis is available for these products, it is unknown if full nutritional profiles were tested.

Has smallbatch Dog Food ever been Recalled? No.

RECIPES:

Smallbatch Lightly Cooked Turkey Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: turkey necks, turkey, turkey gizzards, turkey hearts, turkey livers, organic celery, organic butternut squash, organic bok choy, organic cauliflower, organic green beans, salmon oil, organic apple cider vinegar, organic kelp*, organic dandelion greens, organic cilantro, organic bee pollen, organic garlic, organic bilberry, organic wheat grass, organic oregano, organic thyme, natural vitamin e, zinc glycinate, copper glycinate, maganese glycinate.

AAFCO Statement: Smallbatch lightly cooked Turkeybatch dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional level established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 16.6%
  • Fat: 7.0%
  • Fiber: 0.3%
  • Moisture: 72.3%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 60%
  • Fat: 25%
  • Carbs: 14%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 46%
  • Fat: 47%
  • Carbs: 8%

Smallbatch Lightly Cooked Beef Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: beef hearts, beef kidneys, beef livers, beef bone, organic carrots, organic yams, organic broccoli, organic zucchini, salmon oil, organic apple cider vinegar, organic kelp*, organic kale, organic collards, organic parsley, organic bee pollen, organic garlic, organic bilberry, organic wheat grass, organic basil, organic rosemary, natural vitamin e, zinc glycinate, copper glycinate, manganese glycinate

AAFCO Statement: Smallbatch lightly cooked Beefbatch dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional level established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 12.4%
  • Fat: 8.8%
  • Fiber: 0.7%
  • Moisture: 73.8%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 47%
  • Fat: 34%
  • Carbs: 16%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 58%
  • Carbs: 9%

Smallbatch Lightly Cooked Chicken Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: chicken, chicken necks, chicken backs, chicken gizzards, chicken hearts, chicken livers, organic carrots, organic yams, organic broccoli, organic zucchini, salmon oil, organic apple cider vinegar, organic kelp, organic kale, organic collards, organic parsley, organic bee pollen, organic garlic, organic bilberry, organic wheat grass, organic basil, organic rosemary, vitamin e, zinc glycinate, copper glycinate, manganese glycinate.

AAFCO Statement: Smallbatch lightly cooked Chickenbatch dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional level established by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Balanced for both adults and puppies.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 14.6%
  • Fat: 4.7%
  • Fiber: 0.5%
  • Moisture: 74%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 56%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Carbs: 24%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 47%
  • Fat: 37%
  • Carbs: 16%

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ( FAQ )

Where to buy smallbatch freshly cooked Dog Food?

You can find smallbatch at local quality dog food stores in the USA – as smallbatch has a range of products it might be a good idea to call the store ahead to make sure they have the product you are looking for in stock. Once at your local shop they can speak to your about options and set your pup up with their new healthy meal plan.

How do you store and feed smallbatch lightly cooked?

The lightly cooked smallbatch dog food recipes can be found in the freezer section of your local pet food store. Once brought home a majority of the food will be kept in your freezer, and a small portion (about 2-3 days worth of food) can be kept in your fridge. A good rule of thumb is to always pull a meal’s worth of food into your fridge after you feed a meal, always feeding the food that has been in the fridge the longest – this will allow for proper rotation and make sure you always have food thawed to feed!

But if by chance you end up in a situation where you forget to thaw food for your pup – don’t worry – there are ways to rapidly thaw food. The first way is to take the food and place it in a microwave-safe container and use the defrost setting to thaw the food – this typically takes about 5-10 minutes. The second is the place the food in a sealed bag and submerge in cool water for about 15 minutes.

It is important to note that you should never thaw food on the counter, or heat up foods in order to defrost them. Thawing food on the counter is not considered food-safe and may make your pup ill. Heating up foods can cause degradation of heat-sensitive vitamins which can cause un-intended deficiencies over time with chronic feeding.

Is smallbatch cooked Food Balanced for Puppies?

Yes, smallbatch lightly cooked recipes are balanced for all life stages, which means they are balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Small Batch vs. Kibble – how does it compare?

The main difference between kibbled and a lightly cooked food like smallbatch comes down to processing method and preservation. Though smallbatch does use high-quality ingredients and minimal supplementation – there are kibbled products that also follow these same guidelines.

Most kibbled foods are cooked at either high temperatures for short periods of time or cooked at low temperatures for long periods of time. The cooking time and temperature of kibbled products is more intensive just because foods not only have to be cooked but dehydrated in order to keep them shelf-stable. In contrast with a lightly cooked product – which is only cooked enough to remove pathogens but not enough to dehydrate.

Preservation is another key area of difference between kibbled and fresh food products like smallbatch. Kibbled diets use natural or synthetic preservatives to keep foods shelf-stable and fresh – either something like mixed tocopherols (vitamin E), rosemary extract or BHA/BHT – fresh food products like smallbatch instead use the freezer as their preservation method, and use no preservatives.

When we consider the research that has come out thus far comparing kibbled and fresh food products we see that fresh whole food dog foods seem to be more digestible, and offer some benefits to our dog’s microbiome (which houses 80% of our dog’s immune system). We also have many anedotal benefits cited by owners of improved skin/coat, increased energy, and overall health.

Is smallbatch a Raw Dog Food?

Small batch makes both raw and lightly cooked dog foods. The main difference between a raw and a lightly cooked product has to do with potential pathogen contamination. We know that most grocery store meats are contaminated with pathogens such as Salmonella, Listeria, E.Coli, and Camploybacter – which is why the USDA recommends cooking all meats to a food-safe temperature in order to remove these pathogens prior to eating. Currently, we have no research to suggest that cooked or raw foods offer any potential benefits in comparison to each other. 

Can Small Batch be Used as a Topper?

Using smallbatch as a topper at 25% of your pup’s meals may be a great option for dogs who need to gain weight, or that are picky in order to stimulate them to eat more consistently. Using smallbatch as a meal topper may also be a great option for those looking to gain some benefits of a fresh food diet while keeping the overall cost of dog food within their budget. If you would like set up your pup n a topper plan and supplement their current food with smallbatch diets head over to your local boutique pet store and then should be able to help you calculate how much you will need to purchase to do so.

How much does smallbatch Cost?

The price of feeding smallbatch lightly cooked recipes will be highly dependant on your dog’s age, activity level, and their own individual metabolism. Smallbatch lightly cooked recipes come in a 2 lb and a 5 lb bag as sliders (which are 1 ounce each). Each slider is around 43-48 calories depending on the recipe.

As smallbatch is sold in individual pet stores there is some variation as to the price of the recipes. Online I saw prices range from $50 per 5 lb dog to $35 per 5 lb bag. If we assume a 50 lb dog eats around 10000 calories per day (which is about average for a moderately active dog), we purchased food at the lower-end of the online price range – it would cost about $349 per month or about $11.63 per day to feed smallbatch lightly cooked recipes. This may be more or less expensive than what you are currently feeding but to receive a quote of how much it would cost to feed your pup smallbatch, contact your local pet store that sells these products as pricing my vary.

Are smallbatch lightly cooked Recipes Good for Dogs with Allergies?

Both food allergies and environmental allergies do have similar clinical signs of bacteria infections, yeast infections, ear infections, itchiness, and paw licking – but nutritional management for these conditions is a bit different.

Typically for food allergies we simply avoid the allergen  – which though it seems simple, can be difficult unless you know what your dog is allergic to. To do this you need to do something called a food elimination trial with your veterinarian. In contrast to environmental allergies, we simply look to supply the body with foods that help with inflammation and help repair the skin barrier. These are usually proteins, fats, and antioxidants.

The smallbatch lightly cooked recipes may be a good option for dogs with food allergies or those with environmental allergies as they are all single protein recipes that are high protein and higher in fat, with added salmon oil as a source of omega 3 fatty acids. 

However, it should be noted that dogs for dogs with food allergies – can be allergic to any protein – meaning that if a dog is allergic to beef, salmon, and/or poultry, these recipes may not be a good choice.

Are small batch lightly cooked Meals Good for Dogs with Loose Stools or Diarrhea?

Typically when we look for diets for dogs with sensitive stomachs we look for diets that are low in fat, and that are highly digestible. As all of the smallbatch recipes are high fat (over 37% on a caloric basis), none of them would fit into this category, thus making them possibly not the best choic for dogs with loose stools that require a low-fat diet.

However, it should be noted that there are many different causes of loose stools in dogs – some dogs with chronic loose stools actually have food allergies or intolerances (like in the case of IBD), and may do well on one of the smallbatch limited ingredient recipes. Other dogs need a high fiber diet in order to help with their gastrointestinal issues. If you are unsure if your dog would do well on the smallbatch recipes – it is always a good idea to contact your veterinarian prior to feeding.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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