FirstMate is a Canadian dog food brand founded in 1989. They are a family owned company committed to producing high-quality products based in pet nutrition science. They operate their own dry production facility and cannery to ensure complete production control and safety in the manufacturing process. Their founder, Michael Florian, is a former commercial fisherman who left the field to invest in sustainable aquaculture and salmon farming. He observed how much the dogs on his fish farm loved eating their fish, which inspired the creation of his pet food line, FirstMate. Today, the brand is based in British Columbia, Canada, and sells their dog food worldwide.
Types of FirstMate Dog Food
FirstMate offers a medium-sized line of dog food products. This includes their Classic Line, Grain-Free line and Grain-Friendly line, which are composed of a variety of meats, carbohydrates and vegetables. They also produce canned foods, which are made with limited ingredients centered around one or two animal proteins. Check out our other recommendations for to-rated wet dog food and dry dog food.
Following is a complete list of FirstMate’s dog food products:
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Original Formula
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Endurance Puppy Formula
- Grain-Free Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control/Senior Formula
- Grain-Free Australian Lamb Meal Formula
- Grain-Free Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula
- Grain-Friendly SKOKI Food Formula
- Grain-Friendly Classic Formula – High Performance
- Limited Ingredient Free Run Chicken Formula
- Limited Ingredient Wild Tuna Formula
- Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula
- Limited Ingredient Free Run Turkey Formula
- 50/50 Free Run Turkey and Wild Tuna
- 50/50 Free Run Chicken & Wild Tuna
- 50/50 Wild Salmon & Wild Tuna
FirstMate’s brand philosophy is that “the best nutrition is simple”. They are committed to including only quality ingredients that are carefully sourced from around the world. They also employ and consult with veterinarians and dog nutritionists to ensure that all of their products are nutritionally balanced and live up to their promise of improving dog health and wellbeing.
All of their products are gluten-free, with a short and simple ingredient list centered around a single meat protein. This makes the brand a great choice for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. They do not use any corn, wheat or soy ingredients in their products. If you are looking for food for dogs with specialized dietary needs, check out our recommendations for dog food for sensitive stomachs, grain-free dog food and low protein dog food.
All of FirstMate’s recipes are nutritionally balanced with some variety between different formulas. On average, 43 percent of their calories in their dry mixes are derived from carbohydrates, 29 percent from fat and 28 percent from protein. Fiber content is around 8 percent, which is higher than average for dog foods.
The main ingredient in their recipes are meats such as chicken, lamb, herring and anchovies. Carbohydrates are derived from brown rice, barley and oats among other ingredients. Fruits such as blueberries, cranberries and raspberries are also added, which provide a valuable source of antioxidants.
Tomato pomace is the only “controversial” ingredient found in their products. While there is no evidence to suggest that it is a harmful ingredient, it is a biproduct of processing tomatoes into human products and is considered by some to be a cheap filler ingredient. However, it does contribute some fiber and nutrition to dog food recipes.
Selium yeast and chelated minerals are high-quality supplements that can be found lower down on their ingredient list. Selium yeast is high in nutrients and is thought to have anti-cancer properties and heal skin problems. Chelated minerals, which are typically found in top-shelf dog food brands, are also found in FirstMate’s formulas. Chelation is the process of chemically attaching minerals to a protein molecule, making them more bioavailable and easier to absorb.
Comparison to Other Leading Brands
FirstMate is a relatively pricey brand, but keep in mind that your dollar is going towards top-of-the-line ingredients that are inherently more expensive. On the most expensive end, a 28.6-pound bag of their limited ingredient grain-free dry mix is priced at $73.50. Their High Performance dry dog food is more affordable at $46 for a 33-pound bag. Their wet food is sold in cases of 12 12.5-ounce cans, which are priced at $39, or about 3.25 per can.
Brands like Taste of the Wild and Blue Buffalo are similar in formula but cheaper and easier to find in stores than FirstMate. Natural Balance and Diamond are also great options for dog owners on a budget but still looking for more natural dog food options.
FirstMate has not had any recent recalls, which is reflective of their high standards for quality in safety in all their products.
Coupons and Discounts
FirstMate is a Canadian brand, so it is difficult to find them in local pet stores in the United States. However, they can be ordered off the FirstMate website as well as other online pet food retailers. Chewy and Amazon generally have the best selection of their products and most commonly offer discounted rates and free shipping. You can also sign up for FirstMates newsletter through their website, which often includes limited time offers and deals on their dog food. Local pet stores carrying the brand may also offer sales on the brand from time to time.
FirstMate is a great dog food choice made from high-quality ingredients that your dog is sure to enjoy and benefit from. We give the brand a rating of “great”. The brand certainly lives up to their promise of producing high-quality and nutritionally dense pet food products.Chewy
If you are still not convinced, check out our other favorite dog food brands that really stood out across all categories.