Black Gold Explorer Original Performance 26/18 Dry Dog Food, 15-lb bag

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Help your active dog perform their best with Black Gold Explorer Original Performance 26/18 Dry Dog Food. This high-protein food provides the meat-based protein that’s essential for all breeds and ages of dogs with moderate to high activity levels. This food is especially helpful for dogs going through field trial conditions, long hours of accelerated activity or stressful conditions--but it can also be used as a daily ration regardless of activity level when fed as directed. With over 100 years of canine experience and a partnership with professional nutritionists, Black Gold Dog Food has an edge on pet nutrition.

Key Benefits
  • Recommended for all breeds and ages of dogs working in field trial conditions, long hours of accelerated activity or stressful conditions.
  • Can be used as a daily ration regardless of activity, but quantities should be graduated downward for low activity dogs.
  • Features omega 6 & 3 fatty acids to maintain a healthy skin & coat.
  • Provides the premium nutrition with High Carbs for quick energy.
  • Contains natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine.

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  • Item Number
  • Weight
    15.0 pounds
  • Lifestage
  • Breed Size
    Small Breeds, Medium Breeds, Large Breeds, All Breeds
  • Food Form
    Dry Food
  • Special Diet
    High-Protein, Pea-Free
Nutritional Info

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.

Caloric Content

3769 kcal/kg, 384 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein26.0% min
Crude Fat18.0% min
Crude Fiber3.0% max
Moisture10.0% max
Zinc150 mg/kg min
Vitamin E50 mg/kg min
Omega-63.0% min
Omega-30.3% min
Glucosamine300 mg/kg min
Chondriotin Sulfate 150 mg/kg min
Feeding Instructions
Breed SizeWeightDaily Feeding (cup)
Toy3 - 12 lbs3/4 - 1
Small13 - 25 lbs1 3/4 - 2 1/4
Medium26 - 50 lbs2 1/4 - 3 3/4
Large51 - 100 lbs3 3/4 - 5 1/4
Extra Large100+ lbs5 1/4 plus 1/2 for each 10 lbs of body weight over 100 lbs

Adult Dogs: Food requirements will vary depending on breed, environment, temperament and stress factors. Show dogs and working dogs will require additional amounts of food depending on their degree of activity or stress. Food intake should be adjusted to maintain optimum body weight. Follow the recommended feeding guide below or use the self - feeding method. Feeding instructions for an average dog with normal activity.

Feeding puppies: If fed dry, Black Gold Premium Dog Food Performance Blend may be kept before the puppies at all times. The amount fed should be sufficient to maintain steady optimal growth and weight, but not, so much as to stimulate excessive growth and/or weight gain at an early age. Puppies may begin eating Black Gold Premium Dog Food Performance Blend at about 4 weeks of age. Feed puppies all the moistened (with warm water, not hot) food they will consume 3 times a day until 6 months old, then twice a day until 9 months old. If fed moistened, do not serve more than puppies will consume in a thirty - minute period to ensure product freshness. If fed dry, food may be kept before the puppies at all times. After 1 year of age, follow Adult feeding instructions.

Pregnancy and nursing: Black Gold Premium Dog Food Performance Blend provides the extra nutrition needed by reproducing females in stages of gestation and lactation. Food consumption may vary during gestation, so feed the amount needed to maintain the pregnant female's good body condition. Food intake may double or even quadruple during lactation.

Transition Instructions

Changes in your pet's feeding habits should be made gradually. When changing over to Black Gold Premium Dog Food Performance Blend, first substitute small amounts of Black Gold in place of your pet's current food. Then over the next week to 10 days, increase the amounts of Black Gold, while decreasing amount of his other food, until your pet has 100% Black Gold Premium Dog Food Performance Blend.


How does premium grade dog food differ from economy feed?What makes a premium feed premium?

Typically, premium grade dog foods use higher - grade ingredients. Higher - grade ingredients mean higher ratings in protein, fat & other nutrients plus a lower ash (ash is inert or unnecessary ingredients). Ingredients in premium food cost more but dogs get more nutrition from them. Therefore, a dog will perform better, look better, and maintain his condition easier on less food.

How does the higher cost per lb of premium food turn into money saved in the long run...?

Cheaper cost per lb foods usually mean more food is required to achieve the same results. When food is not digested, it ends up on the ground.

Does feeding a premium food increase endurance, speed recovery, aid in healing from injuries, etc...?

He will typically maintain his weight and muscle better. Just like a human, if the dog receives a good balanced diet, he will have better endurance, leaner muscle mass and perform better. Like an athlete. Most high quality foods utilize chelated minerals. These do a better job of building blood, which equates to faster recovery from fatigue and quicker healing of any field injuries.

How does the digestibility of dog food help keep working dogs healthy...?

They get more nutrient from what they consume. A lb of sawdust is not as nutritional as a lb of steak. If a food is 70% digestible, 30% of what he eats goes out as waste. A 90% digestible diet can either achieve the same results on less food or generate less waste. Example: An

**18 bag of dog food may generate half as much nutrient as found in a **

30 bag of dog food. You will spend

**36 (2 x **

18) to get the same result with the lower quality lower priced product

Dog foods often show the protein to fat ratio, what does that mean and how is that important...?

Different formulas are designed for different reasons. For example, higher protein is necessary for dogs in a cold environment whereas lower protein is better for the hot months. In addition, smaller breeds need higher protein than larger breeds because they have a higher metabolism. Contrary to common belief, fat, not protein is converted into energy. Protein is essential for growth, reproduction, and maintenance. As in humans, the higher the intake of fat, the more exercise is needed to burn it off. Therefore, a couch potato pet needs lower fat than a hunting dog.

How should a dog owner determine the best ratio feed or best feed to use...?

Experience. If your dog typically loses weight during an active season, he needs either a higher quality food or a higher fat food. If the temperature is below freezing, he may also need a higher protein ration. As well as conditioning, this also applies to performance. A high quality food generally improves speed, stamina, appearance, and longevity. If your dog experiences any of these performance problems, it is possible the he has a health problem (worms for example), you are using a lower quality product, or you are using the wrong protein/fat ratio for the performance desired. In addition, if you are seeing excessive stools in the kennel, it is possible you are using a lower quality food or you are overfeeding.

So why does Black Gold Still use meal...isn't that bad?

Fresh meat listed as the first ingredient is a pretty good sales pitch. However, consider this, fresh meat (chicken, lamb, or beef) contains up to 70% water, and meal (chicken, lamb, or beef) is simply fresh meat with the moisture already removed. The equivalent weight of “meal” is always more nutrient dense than “fresh.” For example, if a 1 - ton batch of a chicken first product has 600 lbs of fresh chicken, this drops to approx. 180 lbs or 9% after cooking. In reality, this will make the first ingredient fall down the list behind the second, third and possibly the fourth ingredient. This is also the reason these secondary protein sources are necessary so that the minimum protein guarantee will be met. If the same formula consisted of the same amount of meal, it would still contain 600 lbs of meat protein or 30% of the total product after processing, thereby maintaining its number 1 position, and eliminating the need for additional protein sources. By FDA and AAFCO guidelines, ingredients are required to be listed on a pet food label in order of pre - cooked weight. Almost always, when a fresh meat is listed first, it will be followed by additional protein sources to make up the difference when moisture and weight is lost during the cooking process. Don’t be misled by fresh meat at the top of the ingredient deck. Look a little further down the list to see what’s really in there.

Why is this bag a lighter kibble color than the 1 I bought before...?

Black Gold doesn’t use any artificial coloring in their dog food, so the color varies at times due to the

Rating: 4.1 of 5 stars 30 Reviews 30 Reviews 4.2 out of 5 Stars

90% Recommend

90% of reviewersrecommend this product

Rating: 4.1 of 5 stars 4.2 / 5

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30 Reviews

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  • 1 out of 5 stars


    By KATE on Dec 8, 2020

    Black gold 26/18 preformance 15 lb bags have a chemical smell to the dog food- I DONT RECOMMEND THIS FOOD

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  • 5 out of 5 stars

    Sasha likes!

    By Jackie on Mar 31, 2020

    My dog is not a fussy eater but she seems to enjoy, what I buy I don't stick with one brand but look for food that's aren't chicken normally but look for the best bang for the buck, but I tried this because of price and she eats all that's in her bowl, she is a pitt,roti,lab, mix!

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  • 1 out of 5 stars

    Sadly, Pups Wouldn't Eat

    By Beatleicious on Jun 2, 2019

    My Lab and Chihuahua were kind of angry at this particular brand of kibble, which made it go, untouched, all day long. They're very good eaters, so they told me, loud and clear, " Mom, are you kidding?". Customer Service was so incredible and refunded the purchase price......So, I bought another item from Chewy that I know they'll enjoy! I adore Chewy! Thanks for making the transaction hassle-free.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars

    Dogs loved it

    By Susan on Jul 2, 2019

    I have 6 dogs and feeding them good quality food on a budget can be tricky. I feel like with this food I can do that.

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  • 2 out of 5 stars

    Picky dogs did not like it!

    By leakitty on Feb 11, 2019

    I have to put a flavor booster on all their dog food; as I have not found one they like!

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  • 1 out of 5 stars

    Stale dog food.

    By Shelby on Nov 20, 2018

    My dogs have been eating black gold for years.when we moved I could no longer find it in stores so I ordered from here. It shipped fast which I loved but the 2 bags I bought smelt stale and my dogs won’t ever eat it.

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  • 3 out of 5 stars

    It's dog food...

    By OldWomanInTheWoods on Aug 29, 2018

    We have three dogs. None of them like this food. This is my first time trying it, and I won't be reordering. They've grudgingly eaten a bit over half of one bag. I'm not even going to open the other one. The bag I opened has a rather rank "rancid oil" smell about it. I see lots of positive reviews, so maybe I got a bum bag. I'll be looking for something else...

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  • 5 out of 5 stars

    Great food

    By Maxxie on Oct 5, 2018

    We love this dog food. Our Labrador is 2 1/2 years old and has never ate any other kind. He is slim and trim and very healthy.

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  • 5 out of 5 stars

    dogs love it!

    By ivymc on Apr 19, 2018

    I was surprised that my dogs actually love this dog food. Usually they only like diamond brand, but they gobbled this up!

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  • 5 out of 5 stars

    Demanding and Still No Tips

    By HeadWaitperson on Dec 25, 2017

    I haven't tried it yet myself, but my 3-month old is absolutely demanding it 2-3 times a day! I even tried to trick him with a substitution but he just turned up his beagle hound snout (at least until I turned my back). Lesson learned: stick to the real stuff....

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