Sojos is a family-owned pet food company that has been in business since 1985. They are part of the WellPet family of brands, which also includes Wellness and Old Mother Hubbard. Sojos offers a range of freeze-dried raw diets, toppers, and treats, but how does their Adult Beef diet measure up nutritionally?
Sojos’ ingredients claim to be “natural” and “farm-fresh,” but they do not provide any further details about where the ingredients are sourced.
All their foods are manufactured in their own plant in Minnesota, giving them closer control over the quality of the food.
The main protein source in this diet, as you would expect, is beef. Both whole meat and liver are included in this recipe. Both are good sources of high-quality protein, and beef liver is rich in other nutrients such as iron and B-vitamins.
There is also some whole egg included, which contains a high-quality blend of amino acids.
There are no pure oils added to this recipe, but ﬂax seeds, beef liver, and egg yolk all contain high levels of essential fatty acids and fat-soluble vitamins. No fish oil sources are included, however, which may reduce the range of fatty acids available to your pet.
This recipe is grain-free and does not contain any starchy ingredients such as rice or potatoes either. There are some carbohydrates in sweet potatoes, as well as a little in the other fruits and vegetables, but less than in other sources. Carbohydrates are a useful source of energy for dogs when given in moderation, but are not strictly an essential ingredient.
Fruits and Vegetables
There are several different fruits and vegetables in this recipe, including sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, cranberries, celery, papaya, and pumpkin. Many of these are good sources of fiber, which is important for dogs’ gut health, and will also contain certain vitamins and minerals.
There have been some concerns with diets containing a high proportion of sweet potatoes, discussed later.
Sojos Beef contains a blend of vitamins and minerals. These are not specified in the ingredients but are likely necessary to balance the diet. There are also a few other ingredients that you might not recognize:
- Tricalcium phosphate is both an anti-caking agent (used to improve texture) and a source of calcium and phosphorus.
- Rosemary, parsley, and ginger root can all act as natural food preservatives. They may also improve the taste or appearance of the food.
- Dried kelp contains various vitamins and minerals and can sometimes also act as a natural preservative.
Health Benefits of Sojos Complete Beef
Let’s start with the first and most important thing: is it going to meet your dog’s nutritional needs? Well, Sojos Complete has been formulated according to AAFCO nutritional guidelines to meet the requirements for “Adult Maintenance.” This means that, for fully-grown dogs (who are not pregnant or nursing), it should provide all the macro- and micronutrients that they need.
However, Sojos Beef Adult Food will not be a complete and balanced diet for puppies or pregnant or lactating dogs, so it should not be fed to them. Senior dogs may also benefit from a tailored diet, as they benefit from age-specific nutritional support. Sojos does have other varieties of food that are designed for puppies and seniors.
The practical side of formulating a diet is complex and takes a certain amount of expertise and experience. This is why the World Small Animal Veterinary Association recommends that the process should involve either a vet who is board-certified in nutrition or a scientist with a Ph.D. in the subject. Sojos does not provide information about who is responsible for formulating their diets, so we do not know if they employ or consult with anyone with the recommended level of expertise.
Sojos’ ingredients are raw, but the meats have undergone a freeze-drying process, and the vegetables have been air-dried and dehydrated, too. This will help to reduce the bacteria present in the food, though it is still not as effective as cooking. This means that it may be safer than other forms of raw food, but is still not as safe as cooked dog food, and you should still take all the safety precautions that are recommended for raw food.
Sojos Beef is grain & gluten-free, which may be helpful for dogs with certain food allergies. However, it is less common for dogs to be allergic to plant proteins than animal proteins, so it is unlikely to be helpful for most dogs.
Sojos Beef does contain a high proportion of sweet potatoes. There have been some recent concerns about grain-free diets with high proportions of potatoes (including sweet potatoes) or legumes being linked to a type of heart disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. Sojos is not one of the brands that has been reported to cause this disease, but if you own a breed that is at higher risk of these conditions, you can take this into consideration.
Pros and Cons of Sojos Complete Beef
- Follows AAFCO nutritional guidelines to provide a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs
- Manufactured in the company’s own facilities, giving them close control over the quality
- The freeze-drying process will reduce the risks of feeding raw food when compared to some other diets
- Unclear if the company employs or consults any experts in nutrition
- A high proportion of sweet potatoes in the diet, which may be linked with heart disease
- Senior dogs, puppies, and pregnant/nursing dogs may benefit from a different diet that is tailored to their needs
- The increased risk of infection from raw food (for both dogs and humans) remains
Information as of 3/31/22