Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Earthborn Holistic product line lists 6 dry dog foods. But because of its unique higher quality formula, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is reviewed here in its own special report.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is formulated to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages, including growth of large size dogs.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, dried egg, pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whitefish meal, flaxseed, natural flavors, pea fiber, blueberries, cranberries, apples, carrots, spinach, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, taurine, l-carnitine, beta-carotene, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, folic acid, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, vitamin B12 supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||22%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||44%||22%|
The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey meal and chicken meal. Both are considered meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
Pea starch is the fifth ingredient. It is a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
Next, we find chicken fat. This item is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is whitefish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The eighth item is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
After the natural flavors, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other ingredients.
But realistically, items located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With 3 notable exceptions…
First, we find taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural looks like an above-average dry kibble.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Which means this food contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
For those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural at least begins to approach this noble goal.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning this recipe 5 stars.
Earthborn Holistic Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Earthborn Holistic product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
09/24/2019 Last Update