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Bravo Dog Food Review

Dog Food Reviews July 2, 2020

Bravo Dog Food Review

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Based in Connecticut, Bravo Pet Foods has been making species appropriate, meat-based diets and treats for companion animals for over 20 years. The company is well-known for making frozen raw diets and freeze-dried raw diets for dogs (and cats).

They also make treats, chews, and supplements. If you feed your dog a raw diet or you’re considering it, Bravo dog food might be a food for you to consider. Find out with our unbiased review.

Bravo Dog Food – Top 5 Recipes Reviewed

Brand Score

Our reviews are based on extensive research and years of professional knowledge of dog food brands. In order to remain objective, we do not accept gifts of free products or write sponsored posts on this site.

We’ve examined Bravo dog food closely and graded the brand according to the PupJunkies.com standard. Our criteria include ingredients, quality, customer experience, recall history, working with veterinary nutritionists to formulate the food, nutritional standards, research, and price.

Bravo Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Bravo dog food uses meats that have been humanely-raised
  • Their meats are never raised with antibiotics
  • The first ingredient in their foods is always meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Bravo dog food does not contain grains, fillers, meals, additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors
Cons
  • Many of Bravo’s foods are made for intermittent or supplemental feeding so you have to add supplements to them if you feed them as your dog’s regular diet; it can be difficult to balance diets without help
  • Some raw food may contain bacteria that could cause illness to you or your pet if mishandled. Safe handling instructions must be followed and working surfaces, utensils, feed bowls, and other things used for preparation need to be washed with hot, soapy water
Pros
  • Bravo dog food uses meats that have been humanely-raised
  • Their meats are never raised with antibiotics
  • The first ingredient in their foods is always meat, poultry, or seafood
  • Bravo dog food does not contain grains, fillers, meals, additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors
Cons
  • Many of Bravo’s foods are made for intermittent or supplemental feeding so you have to add supplements to them if you feed them as your dog’s regular diet; it can be difficult to balance diets without help
  • Some raw food may contain bacteria that could cause illness to you or your pet if mishandled. Safe handling instructions must be followed and working surfaces, utensils, feed bowls, and other things used for preparation need to be washed with hot, soapy water
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

About Bravo Dog Food

According to the company, Bravo began processing human grade quality meats in 1942. Some 20 years ago, Bravo switched over to making these meats for companion animals.

Based on information we found online, Bravo began when owner Bette Schubert lost one of her dogs who ate kibble with aflatoxin mold in 1995. After feeding her other dog a raw diet for several years, in 2002 Schubert approached David Bogner at his family meat business – Manchester Packing/Bogner’s – and asked if he would grind some meat for her dog. The rest is history. Bravo was born soon afterwards.

Today the company has manufacturing facilities in Manchester, Connecticut.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Bravo states that all of their products are based on simple, limited ingredient formulas to stay close to nature. They use humanely-raised, no-antibiotics-ever poultry, and grass-fed lamb and venison from New Zealand.

All other ingredients are sourced from the United States. The first ingredient in their foods is always meat, poultry or seafood. Bravo foods do not contain grains, fillers, meals, additives, preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors.

Bravo operates its own manufacturing plant and controls every aspect of the manufacturing process. You can read about their 10-step food safety process here. The company provides Quality Assurance information on their web site.

Every raw diet product is tested for the presence of pathogens (salmonella, e-coli 0157:H7 and listeria monocytogenes) during and after processing. You can also contact Bravo and ask for the test results for the product you purchased.

Recall History

Bravo has had a number of recalls over the years, though none recently.

Here’s a look at the recalls we found for dog products.

  • Bravo Dog Food Recall December 2015 (12/10/2015)
  • Bravo Dog Food Recall July 2015 (7/23/2015)
  • Bravo Dog and Cat Food Recall (9/26/2014)
  • Bravo! Dog and Cat Food Recall (5/14/2014)
  • Bravo! Raw Frozen Dog Food Recall (4/3/2013)
  • Bravo Recalls Pig Ears Dog Chews for Salmonella (6/1/2011)
  • Bravo! Issues Nationwide Recall of Select Poultry Products for Dogs and Cats (9/18/2007)

This site goes into more detail about these recalls. Nearly all of the recalls were related to the potential for Salmonella. Again, we point out that Bravo’s last recall was almost five years ago.

What kinds of dog food does Bravo offer?

Bravo dog food currently offers two different approaches to feeding dogs a raw diet: frozen raw diets and freeze-dried raw diets. They also produce treats, chews, and supplements based on raw food diets.

Their frozen raw diets include the following product lines:

Bravo Balance – available in beef, chicken, and turkey. These products are offered in chubs and in patty/burger varieties. Bravo Balance raw diet meets the AAFCO standard for complete and balanced nutrition for all life states. These foods are made with meat, bones, organs, and garden vegetables, along with essential vitamins and minerals.

Bravo Blends – available in beef, chicken, duck, lamb, pork, and turkey. These products are offered in chubs and in patty/burger varieties. These formulas provide a carefully selected blend of premium grade raw poultry, meat, organs, ground bones, and vegetable. These limited ingredient formulas are designed for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. You have to add your choice of supplements to make a complete and balanced diet for your dog.

Bravo Basics – available in chicken, duck, rabbit, and turkey. These products are made for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. Bravo Basics provides a single protein, limited ingredient diet. These formulas consist of a premium meat or poultry, along with organs and ground bones. Suitable for those who want to create their own custom diet. Supplements will be required. Consultation with your veterinarian or an animal nutritionist is recommended to formulate your dog’s diet.

Bravo Boneless – available in salmon and venison. These products are currently only offered in chubs. Bravo Boneless formulas are only intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding. They contain premium red meat or fish for people who want to customize their dog’s diet. You will need to add supplements.

Bravo’s freeze-dried raw diets are centered on the Homestyle Complete product line. Since the food is freeze-dried it doesn’t need to be kept frozen or refrigerated.

This makes the freeze-dried food easy to use and store. Bravo Homestyle Complete recipes are single protein formulas with raw meat or poultry that has been freeze-dried.

It includes organs, vegetables, and cranberries (all freeze-dried). Available in beef, pork, and turkey formulas. You do need to add warm water to the freeze-dried food before serving.

Bravo Dog Food: Top Five Recipes Reviewed

Even though Bravo dog food has been known for making frozen raw diets for years, we only found their freeze-dried dog food on the Chewy.com site at this time. This could be because it’s just easier to store and ship the freeze-dried formulas.

If you’re interested in the frozen raw foods, you will need to look a little farther. We have included some of Bravo’s treats and supplements in our reviews.

Bravo provides detailed nutrient profiles for their foods on their web site.

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Beef Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 38% Min
  • Fat – 13% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture – 20% Max
  • Caloric Content: 4,030 kcal/kg, 114 kcal/oz

Ingredients:

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Beef Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a 6-lb bag of food that makes up to 30 pounds of dog food when warm water is added to rehydrate it for your dog’s meals.

Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this food:

Beef, Beef Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, Beef Hearts, Green Beans, Cranberries, Dried Eggs, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Dried Kelp, Turmeric, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, (Proteinated Minerals and Vitamins), Rosemary Extract.

Bravo Homestyle Complete dinners are intended to be fed as complete meals. No supplements are necessary. This food meets nutritional levels established by AAFCO based on nutrient profiles for all life stages.

We do note the presence of chickpeas in the food as the fourth ingredient, if you are concerned about the current investigation into nutritional dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), this might give you pause.

According to the dry matter basis (DMB), this food has 47.5 percent protein, 16.25 percent fat, and 6.25 percent fiber. This formula has an estimated 35.31 percent carbohydrates. It has 209 kcal/cup.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Turkey Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 38% Min
  • Fat – 9% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture – 20% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,730 kcal/kg, 106 kcal/oz, 187 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Turkey Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food is a 6-lb bag of freeze-dried food that makes 30 pounds of food when rehydrated with warm water to feed your dog.

Here are the ingredients:

Turkey, Turkey Liver, Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, Turkey Hearts, Green Beans, Turkey Gizzards, Cranberries, Dried Eggs, Tricalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dried Kelp, Turmeric, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, (Proteinated Minerals and Vitamins), Rosemary Extract.

This turkey formula has less fat and fewer calories than the Bravo Homestyle Complete Beef Dinner formula, if this is important for your dog. It does have chickpeas as the fourth ingredient.

This Bravo Homestyle Turkey formula meets nutritional levels established by AAFCO based on nutrient profiles for all life stages. No supplements are required.

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Turkey Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food has 47.5 percent protein and 11.25 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 6.5 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 29.3 percent, DMB. It contains 187 kcal/cup.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Bravo! Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Dog & Cat Supplement

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Fat – 99.5% Min
  • Caloric Content: 228 kcal/oz, 38 kcal/teaspoon

Ingredients:

Bravo! Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Dog & Cat Supplement is available in a 16.5 ounce bottle and in a one-gallon jug.

Fish oil, especially cold water fish such as salmon, is well-known as an excellent source of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Animal sources of omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, are easiest for your dog’s body to use. You can give this supplement to your dog by adding a small amount (based on your dog’s weight) to his daily meals. Most dogs love the taste of salmon oil.

Here’s the ingredient:

Pure Alaskan Salmon Oil.

According to Bravo, this is 100 percent all-natural oil made from sustainably-fished, freshly-caught wild Alaskan salmon. After being caught in Alaska, it is processed in Iceland and then bottled in the United States.

Bravo! Wild Alaskan Salmon Oil Dog & Cat Supplement is a supplement and not intended to be fed as a complete meal. It has 228 kcal/oz or 38 kcal/teaspoon. It has 99.5 percent minimum crude fat.

Our rating for this food is 5 out of 5 stars.

Bravo! Bonus Bites Duck Feet Dry-Roasted Dog Treats

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 35% Min
  • Fat – 30% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Max
  • Moisture – 8% Max
  • Caloric Content: 4,600 kcal/kg, 130 kcal/treat

Ingredients:

Bravo! Bonus Bites Duck Feet Dry-Roasted Dog Treats is a 5-ounce bag of dry-roasted duck feet. There are no bones. The duck feet are very high in cartilage which becomes chewy when roasted. There are usually at least 5-6 feet per bag (the bags are filled based on weight). Most dogs love them.

Here’s the ingredient:

Duck Feet.

Made entirely from farm-raised duck, these treats are naturally high in protein.

Bravo! Bonus Bites Duck Feet Dry-Roasted Dog Treats is a treat and not intended to be fed as a complete meal.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 38 percent protein, 32.6 percent fat, 1.1 percent fiber, and 4.5 percent carbohydrates. It has 130 kcal/treat.

Our rating for this food is 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Pork Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 38% Min
  • Fat – 8% Min
  • Fiber – 5% Max
  • Moisture – 20% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,620 kcal/kg, 103 kcal/oz, 225 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

Bravo! Homestyle Complete Pork Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food comes in a 2-lb bag of freeze-dried food that makes 10 pounds of dog food for your dog when you add warm water to rehydrate. It’s also available in a 3-ounce package that should make 15 ounces of dog food when it’s rehydrated.

Here are the ingredients:

Pork, Sweet Potatoes, Pork Liver, Chickpeas, Pork Hearts, Green Beans, Dried Eggs, Cranberries, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Dried Kelp, Turmeric, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols, (Proteinated Minerals and Vitamins), Rosemary Extract.

This pork formula meets nutritional levels established by AAFCO based on nutrient profiles for all life stages.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 47.5 percent protein, 10 percent fat, 6.25 percent fiber, 31.6 percent carbohydrates, and 225 kcal/cup.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

How much does Bravo Dog Food cost?

Bravo dog food, treats, and supplements are comparable in price to other premium dog foods. The raw food and freeze-dried food can seem very expensive but you need to take into consideration how the food is fed such as portion size and rehydration.

When Bravo’s recommendations are followed, the food should not cost more than other premium dog foods.

What do customers think of Bravo Dog Food?

Most people give favorable reviews to Bravo’s Homestyle Complete freeze-dried dog foods but there were a few people who reported that their dogs didn’t like them or couldn’t eat them. One complaint that appeared several times reported that the food didn’t rehydrate easily.

This made it unappealing or hard for some dogs to eat. One customer recommended adding water to the food 24 hours ahead of the time planned for feeding so the food could completely rehydrate.

There were many positive reviews for Bravo’s freeze-dried treats and chews.

Overall, is Bravo Dog Food a good choice?

Based on the ingredients, food sourcing, and recent manufacturing record, we think that Bravo dog food is a good choice, especially if you are interested in a raw or freeze-dried raw dog food. As with all raw pet foods, it’s important to use care with raw foods and follow safe food handling recommendations.

Where is Bravo Dog Food sold?

You can find Bravo! Homestyle Complete freeze-dried dog foods, along with Bravo’s treats and chews, on Chewy.com, as well as other online sites. They are also available in many pet food specialty stores.

It’s a little harder to find some of Bravo’s frozen raw diets but they are also available online from some sellers and in some pet food stores. If you have trouble finding the Bravo dog food you’re looking for, we suggest that you contact Bravo and let them know.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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