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Black Gold Explorer Original Performance Formula Dry Dog Food Review

Black Gold Explorer Original Performance Formula Dry Dog Food Review

Our Recommendation

Black Gold Performance dog food is not a ScoutKnows recommended brand. It contains too much corn, wheat, and corn gluten. While they are commended for having a meat product as the first ingredient, the amount of fillers is concerning, especially for the price.

  • Contains corn and wheat.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.
  • Probiotics help with digestion and enhance your dog’s immunity.
  • Glucosamine and chondroitin help dogs maintain healthy joints and hips.
  • Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids for great skin and coat.
  • High protein and fat content give active dogs the building blocks for lean muscles and sustained energy levels.
  • Not appropriate for dogs that are not very active.
  • Contains chicken by-products, a red flag ingredient that means your dog is being fed whatever is left over from butchering a chicken. This could be beaks, feathers, internal organs, or even chicks that are not desired.

This dog food does come in a 50 lb bag so that is very convenient for those with large dogs or multiple active dogs. This food is close in price to the highly recommended Diamond Naturals brands that do not contain corn, wheat, or soy so there is no reason to choose Black Gold Explorer over them.


Beef Meal, Corn Meal, Ground Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid), Brown Rice, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken By-Product Meal (Source Of Glucosamine And Chondroitin Sulfate), Natural Flavors, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Malted Barley, Dried Chicory Root, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source Of Vitamin K Activity), Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B-12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Calcium Propionate (Preservative), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Yeast Culture, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract.

Black Gold Explorer Original Performance Formula 26/18 Dry Dog Food

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Nutritional Analysis

Pet food ingredients, nutritional values, and the way they are labeled for consumers are monitored by several organizations in the United States including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the NGO, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Each year the AAFCO publishes two sets of nutritional minimum standards for dog food intended to help specify if a food is suitable for:

1. Dogs in the growth & reproduction phases of life
2. Adult dogs maintaining a healthy weight and activity level

Caloric Content

Metabolizable Energy (Me) = 3769 Kcal/Kg Or 384 Kcal/Cup (Calculated)

Guaranteed Analysis

Nutritional Component Value Meets AAFCO Growth & Reproduction Standards Meets AAFCO Adult Maintenance Standards
CRUDE FAT 18.0% min
CRUDE FIBER 3.0% max
MOISTURE 10.0% max
ZINC 150 mg/kg min    
VITAMIN E 50 IU/kg min    
OMEGA-6 3.0% min    
OMEGA-3 0.3.0% min    
GLUCOSAMINE 300 mg/kg min    
CHONDROITIN SULFATE 150 mg/kg min    

* – indicates not yet analyzed

Transition Instructions

Over a six day time period, replace your current dog food with Black Gold until that is all your dog is eating. Sensitive dogs may require a longer time period of up to 10 days to make a smooth transition.

Feeding Amounts

Weight Daily Feeding (cup)  
5-10 LBS 3/4 – 1 cup  
10-15 LBS 1 – 1 2/3 cups  
15-25 LBS 1 2/3 – 2 ½ cups  
25-40 LBS 2 ½ – 3 ½ cups  
40-60 LBS 3 ½ – 4 ½ cups  
60-80* LBS 4 ½ – 5 ¾ cups  

*For larger dogs, feed an additional ½ cup per day for each 10 lbs. of additional body weight over 80 lbs.

Feeding Instructions

The amount of dog food required to maintain a healthy body weight and condition varies based on the breed of your dog, activity level, stress factors such as living outside, and more. The feeding amounts listed should be adjusted to meet your dog’s needs. Some dogs will require more or less. Pregnant and nursing dogs may need up to three times as much.

The Bottom Line

For a conventional-style dog food this is not the worst out there, but in terms of value you can do a lot better. It’s great that they include probiotics and brewers yeast to help with coat and skin. The fillers and by-products that are a large part of the caloric value of this food make it a food that should make pet owners hesitate.

Do you want to learn more? Check out our review and buyer’s guide for Black Gold dog food.

Black Gold Explorer Original Performance Formula 26/18 Dry Dog Food

Buy on Chewy

Buy on Amazon

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Black Gold Dog Food Review (Buyer’s Guide 2021)

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