4Health canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The 4Health product line includes eight canned recipes.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- 4Health Lamb and Rice
- 4Health Chicken and Rice
- 4Health Salmon and Potato (4 stars)
- 4Health Chicken and Rice Puppy (5 stars)
- 4Health Chicken and Rice Senior (3 stars)
- 4Health Beef and Vegetable Stew (5 stars)*
- 4Health Chicken and Vegetable Stew (5 stars)*
- 4Health Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew (5 stars)*
4Health Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
4Health Chicken and Rice
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, brown rice, barley, egg product, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, guar gum, carrageenan, cassia gum, salt, kelp, rosemary extract, cranberry powder, lecithin, Yucca schidigera extract, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin supplement, folic acid supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||27%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||51%||18%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With two notable exceptions…
First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
4Health Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, 4Health canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
4Health Dog Food is a meat-based canned product using a notable amount of chicken, turkey or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
A Final Word
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.
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Notes and Updates
09/26/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩