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FirstMate Information

FirstMate is a Canadian pet food brand best known for its limited-ingredient recipes and its focus on fish-based recipes.

They were founded in 1989 by Michael Florian, but their products are now available worldwide, including in Europe and Asia.

FirstMate products are manufactured in a company-owned facility in Surrey, British Columbia. This facility produces both their dry food recipes and their wet/canned recipes. You can get a virtual tour of this facility on FirstMate’s website.

It is also worth pointing out that FirstMate employs a veterinarian and a pet nutritionist. With growing concerns that professionals do not formulate pet food recipes, this is a promising trait.

FirstMate products are available for purchase from a large number of retail stores as well as online from large websites such as Chewy and Amazon.

FirstMate Product Range

Dog Food

FirstMate has a moderate product range of dog food products. This range includes a mix of dry dog food and wet/canned dog food.

There are a limited number of age-specific or size-specific recipes within this range, such as those for puppies or large-breed dogs.

However, FirstMate would state that most of their recipes are suitable for all life stages.

Cat Food

FirstMate’s cat food range is of a similar size to their dog food range and contains a mix of dry and wet/canned cat food.

The wet/canned range from FirstMate is notably larger than the dry range.

Once again, this range only contains a limited number of niche recipes, including a recipe for kittens.

FirstMate Nutrition

Dog Food

The nutrition provided by FirstMate dog food recipes varies but is generally average to above average when compared to other dog food brands.

This nutritional profile of FirstMate recipes consists of moderate proportions of protein and fat and a somewhat large proportion of carbohydrates.

Below is an example of the nutrition provided by a FirstMate dry dog food recipe.

FirstMate Example Nutrition

If you’d like to learn more about dog nutrition, we highly recommend you check out our Dog Food Guide.

Cat Food

The nutrition provided by FirstMate cat food is also generally average to above average. However, it is helped that most FirstMate cat food recipes are wet/canned recipes, which have more favorable nutrition.

It is vital that cats minimize their consumption of plant-based ingredients and carbohydrates as they are obligate carnivores.

If you’d like to learn more about what that means and about feline nutrition, go check out our Cat Food Guide.

FirstMate Ingredients

High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Lamb

FirstMate uses a moderate range of high-quality meat and fish ingredients in its pet food recipes. This ingredient range includes several industry favorites, such as Chicken, Turkey, and Salmon.

These ingredients are popular among manufacturers are they are easy to source, affordable, and highly nutritious, providing ample portions of protein and fat.

At this time, FirstMate does not use any of the uncommon or unique meat ingredients sometimes found in dog food. Some of the best-known examples of these include Venison, Rabbit, and Kangaroo.

You can learn more about these ingredients and why they are used in our article Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide.

Other Notable Ingredients

FirstMate’s grain-inclusive recipes make use of several grain ingredients such as Oatmeal and Rice.

Grains such as these are dense sources of carbohydrates and also provide fiber and a limited number of vitamins and minerals.

Grains are a controversial addition to pet food recipes, with many pet owners refusing to feed any grain-inclusive recipes.

However, on the other side of the argument, there are others that are firm believers in their use, especially those that feed brands like Purina Pro Plan, Royal Canin, or Hill’s Science Diet.

Despite their controversy, grains such as Oatmeal are preferred by many pet owners to others like Wheat and Corn, which are considered to be more processed or less beneficial.


Potatoes feature in some FirstMate recipes as a major plant-based ingredient and are another staple of the industry.

Potatoes are similar to grains in that they are incredibly dense sources of carbohydrates, which means that their portion size must be tightly controlled.

However, outside of that carbohydrate content, they aren’t overly impressive and do not provide much additional nutrition outside of some fiber.

A Handful of Potatoes

FirstMate uses all three of the big legume ingredients in their grain-free pet food recipes. These popular legume ingredients are Chickpeas, Lentils, and Peas.

Legumes are extremely popular among pet food manufacturers as they can provide a mix of plant-based protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and select vitamins and minerals.

The plant-based protein is particularly appealing and allows recipes to contain higher overall levels without splashing out on more meat ingredients.

However, in recent years, there has been growing concern between the high use of legumes in dog food recipes and an increased rate of Canine Heart Disease.

While this link is far from conclusive, it has yet to be disproved, and many brands have diverged from exclusively producing grain-free food. You can read some of our discussion of this alarming issue here.

Peas Close Up

Chicken Fat is a common addition to pet food recipes and is used by a wide range of brands.

The purpose of Chicken Fat in pet food recipes is primarily to improve flavor and palatability and boost the overall levels of animal fat.

Chicken Fat is often chosen over alternatives, like Beef Fat, as it is more affordable and easy to source.

It is also interesting that FirstMate calls out another trait of Chicken Fat on their FAQ page, mentioning that Chicken Fat is unlikely to trigger a chicken allergy as it does not contain chicken protein.

You can learn more about Chicken Fat and why it is so popular in our article Chicken Fat In Dog Food.

Many FirstMate recipes make use of Tomato Pomace as a minor ingredient and source of soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber can be an important component of a dog’s diet and can help to ensure they maintain regular digestion and stools.

However, outside of this fiber content, Tomato Pomace provides little nutrition to dogs despite being made from Tomatoes.

You can read more about how Tomato Pomace is made and our thoughts in our article, Tomato Pomace as a Pet Food Ingredient.

FirstMate Animal Testing

Unlike most other brands, FirstMate has provided some information on whether they participate in invasive or laboratory testing of animals.

In the FAQ section of their website, they state, “FirstMate does not conduct laboratory research on animals. We evaluate our diets by working with a network of breeders, animal rescue groups, and our own pets.“.

While only a brief statement, we must commend the brand for being open about its testing approach.

Many pet food brands avoid disclosing information related to animal testing as they fear consumer backlash or are unaware of customer concerns.

We strongly believe that laboratory or invasive testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice. We hope that in the future, it will be eliminated.

FirstMate Recalls

Based on our research (FDA, AVMA, DogFoodAdvisor), we can find no evidence that FirstMate has issued any recalls for its products, which makes FirstMate a recall-free pet food brand.

Given that Firstmate has been in operation for over thirty years, this is an impressive feat and shows that they take quality control and safety seriously as their production facility.

We hope that they can continue this impressive recall-free record in the coming years and allow themselves to stand out against other brands who weren’t so careful.

Despite this recall-free record, we always ask that pet owners are vigilant of any future recalls of FirstMate or any other pet food brand to ensure that their pets remain healthy and safe.

Best of FirstMate

Wild Pacific Caught Fish & Oats Formula Review

FirstMate Wild Pacific Caught Fish & Oats Formula

The above Fish & Oats recipe from FirstMate is one of their best grain-inclusive offerings.

A huge portion of Ocean Fish Meal is the recipe’s primary ingredient and provides the bulk of the protein and fat.

Ocean Fish Meal can be a vague ingredient, but FirstMate provides much more clarity on its makeup than most brands.

The recipe then uses a portion of Oatmeal and Brown Rice as its primary grain ingredients. These provide a mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber.

Lastly, there are tiny portions of ingredients like Tomato Pomace and Brewers Yeast. These ingredients are included to boost the levels of beneficial micronutrients and fiber.

Kasiks Cage-Free Chicken Formula Review

Firstmate Kasiks Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Canned

The Kasiks range from FirstMate often includes more premium recipes than their traditional range. We chose to highlight the above wet-dog food recipe from Kasiks because of its simplicity.

The only major ingredient found in the recipe is Chicken. This Chicken will provide a plentiful supply of animal-based protein and fat to feed a dog’s growth and activity.

The only minor ingredient present here is a small portion of Pea Starch.

While Pea Starch isn’t looked at too favorably in dry dog food, it is being used here as a binding agent to hold the food together in a consistent texture and appearance.

For this reason, it doesn’t provide an excessive proportion of carbohydrates.

Chicken Meal With Blueberries Formula Review

Firstmate Chicken Meal With Blueberries Cats

Just because FirstMate’s range of dry cat food recipes is fairly limited doesn’t mean you should be put off.

The above Chicken Meal with Blueberries recipe is one of their best and well worth considering.

As you might guess, Chicken Meal is the recipe’s primary ingredient, and the portion size is significant.

Chicken Meal has already had its moisture removed prior to manufacturing, which means that it is an extremely dense source of nutrition.

Outside of this Chicken Meal, the recipe includes a small portion of Potatoes and Blueberries. These plant-based ingredients will provide a modest proportion of carbohydrates and fiber.

Kasiks Wild Coho Salmon Formula Review

Firstmate Kasiks Wild Coho Salmon Cat Food

Most cats will do anything for wet/canned food, and the above recipe from FirstMate Kasiks is likely to have the same enticing effect.

Similar to the wet dog food recipe we discussed, this recipe only has one primary ingredient which is Salmon.
Salmon is an excellent addition to a cat’s diet and can provide high-quality protein and fat.

In particular, Salmon is an excellent source of the Omega 3 Fatty acids, which many believe can provide cats with several health benefits.

Lastly, there is a minor portion of Pea Starch present, which once again acts as a binding agent to hold the food together and not to provide nutrition.

FirstMate Featured Articles

Best Dog Food In Canada – These days, it seems that every review of dog food online is focused on the United States.

Well, luckily for our Canadian readers, we’ve made a Canada-specific post to discuss some of our favorite Canadian brands and recipes, including one from FirstMate.

FirstMate Full Product Range

Dog Food

Dry Dog Food

Classic High Performance


Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Large Breed Formula

Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Weight Control Formula

Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Endurance Puppy Formula

Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Original Formula

Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Original Formula Small Bites

Chicken Meal With Blueberries Formula Small Bites

Chicken Meal With Blueberries Formula

Australian Lamb Meal Formula Small Bites

Kasiks Free Run Chicken Meal Formula

Kasiks Free Range Lamb Meal Formula

Kasiks Wild Pacific Ocean Fish Meal Formula

Cage Free Duck Meal & Pumpkin Formula

High Performance For Active Dogs And Puppies

Cage Free Chicken Meal & Oats Formula

Wild Pacific Caught Fish & Oats Formula

Free Range Lamb & Oats Formula

Wet Dog Food

Wild Pacific Salmon & Rice Formula

Limited Ingredient Cage Free Chicken Formula

Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula

Limited Ingredient Cage Free Turkey Formula

Cage Free Chicken & Rice Formula

Cage Free Turkey & Rice Formula

Kasiks Cage Free Chicken Formula

Kasiks Cage Free Turkey Formula

Kasiks Wild Caught Coho Salmon Formula

Kasiks Grub Formula

Cat Food

Dry Cat Food

Pacific Ocean Fish Meal With Blueberries Formula

Chicken Meal With Blueberries Formula

Indoor Cat Formula

Cat & Kitten Formula

Wet Cat Food

Wild Pacific Salmon & Rice Formula

Cage-free Chicken & Rice Formula

Cage-free Turkey & Rice Formula

Limited Ingredient Cage Free Turkey Formula

Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula

Limited Ingredient Free Run Chicken Formula

Limited Ingredient Wild Tuna Formula

Cage Free Chicken & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula

Cage Free Turkey & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula

Wild Salmon & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula

Kasiks Cage Free Turkey Formula

Kasiks Cage Free Chicken Formula

Kasiks Wild Coho Salmon Formula

Kasiks Grub Formula