H-E-B Heritage Ranch Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The H-E-B Heritage Ranch product line includes six dry dog foods.
Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Healthy Weight (3 stars)
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Lamb and Brown Rice (3 stars)
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Salmon and Chickpea Grain Free
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice (4 stars)
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Chicken and Chickpea Grain Free (4 stars)
H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Salmon and Chickpea Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Salmon and Chickpea Grain Free
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon, potato, menhaden fish meal, chickpeas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), peas, turkey meal, pea protein, natural flavor, spray dried egg product, carrots, sweet potatoes, tomato pomace, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper amino acid complex, copper sulfate, manganese amino acid complex, sodium selenite, manganous oxide, calcium iodate), blueberries, cranberries, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid), l‑carnitine, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||17%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||35%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The fourth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat 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 sixth ingredient lists 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 seventh ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The eighth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, we find tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.
Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.
H-E-B Heritage Ranch Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, H-E-B Heritage Ranch Dog Food looks like an above-average dry 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 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, peas and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
H-E-B Heritage Ranch is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient and minus the pea protein, we may have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.
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.
H-E-B Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
03/11/2017 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩