In 2020 there was an exciting launch in the performance dog food market. Victor, a respected Mid-American Pet Food Brand had partnered with Realtree, an outdoor lifestyle product brand, to produce a premium range of dog food aimed at active hunting dogs.
If your ideal weekend is spent trekking or hiking in the open country with your four-legged friend bounding along by your side, the Victor Realtree range is designed just for you and your dog. Sporting dogs, hunting dogs, and working dogs would most benefit from its superior nutritional profile. There are just two foods in this brand — Realtree MAX-5 PRO and Realtree EDGE ENERGY. They both contain glucosamine and chondroitin to support hard-working joints and they are both packed with stamina-supporting nutrients. There are also omega-6 fatty acids to support immune system health. Overall, they would suit the larger breeds such as the Labrador and German Shepherd.
We’ve taken a closer look at the formulations within this brand to help you assess if these are right for your athletic dog. We’ve looked at the energy content, nutritional balance, and suitability for dogs with differing needs.
Why the Victor Pet Foods – Realtree partnership matters
Victor Pet Foods has a proud history of producing premium dog foods stretching back many decades. As their CEO said at the launch of their collaboration with Realtree “VICTOR has a deep history of feeding hunting and working dogs across the country”.
Active dogs are the athletes of the canine world and just like human athletes, they require a very special type of nutrition. They cannot be expected to perform their jobs properly if they are not receiving the correct nutrients in the correct quantities. By partnering with Victor, Realtree found the expertise in canine nutrition that they were looking for and a company that had experience in providing food for working dogs.
The Realtree range of dry dog foods is produced at Victor’s purpose-built pet-food production facility in East Texas and both contain Victor’s proprietary blend of selenium yeast, mineral complexes, prebiotics, and probiotics.
A-Z-Animals Top Picks for Victor Realtree Dog Food
Overall Best Victor Realtree Dog Food: Max 5 Pro
If we had to pick one of the Victor Realtree range for our active dog it would be the Maz 5 Pro with premium nutrition for conditioning and performance.
The recipe is based on Victor’s Hi Pro Plus formula which is one of its top-selling products. The 30% to 20% protein ratio is perfect for athletic dogs. The protein is from multiple high-quality sources (beef, fish, and duck meals) which gives a fantastic meaty taste that dogs love and provides easily accessible amino acids for building strong muscle. Beef meal is the first ingredient which is a highly concentrated source of protein and packed with energy.
The focus on meat meals as the energy source sets this dog food apart from many others that you could choose. This together with the added glucosamine and chondroitin make it particularly appropriate for dogs that use up a lot of energy every day.
Best Food for Energy: Edge Energy
As the name suggests, Victor Realtree Edge Energy is all about fueling your dog’s active lifestyle. This dog food is primarily aimed at working dogs who spend hours in the field or who need explosive bursts of energy to get the job done. If your pooch is a couch potato, this is not the food for them!
A higher proportion of the total protein is provided by vegetables and grains to give the extra energy. It also has an overall higher protein content but lower fat to suit the elite athletes of the canine world.
The very high number of calories per serving (415 kcal/cup) is what sets this dog food apart from most of its competitors. This concentration of calories is only needed by dogs with particular lifestyles such as upland hunting dogs and active dogs that live in colder climates and work outside. These guys have huge energy demands and Victor Edge Energy is one of the few foods on the market that can meet those demands.
Another stand-out feature is the added salmon oil which provides omega fatty acids to help with cognitive function. A dog who has to live on its wits and make independent choices needs this supplementation.
Choosing the Best Victor Realtree Dog Food: What to Look For
At first glance, it may seem difficult to distinguish between the Victor Realtree dog foods from other regular dog foods. However, if you look closer, you will see that you are getting a very different product from that supplied by most brands. Here are the main things to notice about what Victor Realtree offers:
High protein content
The range has a protein content of between 28% and 30% which is high compared to many other dog foods. It is much higher than the 18% required by AAFCO for adult maintenance. Dogs get a lot of their energy from protein so this is what makes this range so suitable for high energy dogs
Multiple and high-quality protein sources
Some dog owners shy away from meat and fish meals as a source of protein in dog food. They prefer real chicken or fish. However, people who own a very active dog need a very concentrated source of protein. That is what meat meals provide. They deliver plenty of amino acids and by using more than one animal source of protein, your dog gets the complete range of amino acids that they need.
Protein from meat and fish sources
Unlike cats, dogs can break down carbohydrates to release energy. However, it is easier for their bodies to get energy from protein. As an owner of an active dog, you need food where most of the protein content is provided by meat. This is what you get with the Victor Realtree range.
Glucosamine and chondroitin
You may have read about these micronutrients and how important they are for maintaining a dog’s healthy joints. Active dogs put a lot of strain on their limb joints and, over time, this leads to wear and tear. Active dogs can develop arthritis as they get older and this drastically affects their quality of life. By giving them a food that uses meat meal as the source of protein and that has additional supplementation of these micro-nutrients you are offering your dog’s joints the best possible protection.
The fat content of this range is high – much higher than that found in many other regular dog foods. For most dogs, a fat proportion of 22% would be much too high and they would put on weight. However, this amount of fat is needed by hunting dogs, especially those working in a cold environment who need a layer of subcutaneous fat to keep warm. Additionally, fats yield 2.5 times as much energy as protein which is so important for active dogs.
The Different Types of Victor Realtree Dog Foods Compared
If you are still not sure which of the Victor Realtree range would suit your dog, check out this handy comparison table:
|Features||Max 5 Pro||Edge Energy|
|Minimum protein content||30%||28%|
|Minimum fat content||20%||22%|
|Protein from animal sources||88%||85%|
|Energy concentration||403 kcal/cup||415 kcal/cup|
|Glucosamine||800 mg/kg||800 mg/kg|
|Chondroitin||300 mg/kg||300 mg/kg|
|First three ingredients||Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat||Beef meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat|
|Most suitable for:||Active dogs that need to maintain their condition||Outdoor working dogs especially those in colder climates|
|Not suitable for:||Dogs with weight issues, who are inactive, or who need a low-protein food||Dogs with weight issues, who are inactive, or who need a low-protein food|
Verified Review: User Experience
As a fairly new product that is aimed at a particular sector of the market, there are not that many reviews of the range to consider. However, there are certainly some very satisfied customers out there. They leave comments like “So far, this food has not disappointed us and we will buy some more.”
The reviewers all have active dogs who lead a busy lifestyles. The most common complaint is that their dog did not like the taste. The humans had done their research and selected this as the best food for their dogs only to find “my dogs HATE the flavor.” Of course, all dogs are different. Food that one dog loves, another may hate. Having said that, most customers said that their dogs loved it.
Victor Realtree Dog Food: Reviewed FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Has Victor dog food ever had a recall?
No, there are no recorded recalls for either of these products. The Victor pet food production factory has a dedicated food safety team. There is a stringent regime of testing raw ingredients and the finished product to keep your dog safe.
Is Victor Realtree good for dogs with allergies?
Dogs with diagnosed allergies need special food that is prescribed by a vet. The Realtree range uses proteins from a number of different sources. As it is usually proteins that trigger allergies, it would not be suitable for dogs that need to be on a limited ingredient diet.
However, there are no grains that contain gluten used in the preparation of either products.
Is Victor Realtree suitable for pups?
No, this range is aimed at adult dogs. If you are not sure when your breed of dog is considered an adult, seek guidance from your vet.