H-E-B Texas Pets Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

H-E-B Texas Pets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The H-E-B Texas Pets product line includes seven 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 Texas Pets Adult Complete
  • H-E-B Texas Pets Puppy (1.5 stars)
  • H-E-B Texas Pets Senior 7 (1.5 stars)
  • H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Original
  • H-E-B Texas Pets Small Bites (1.5 stars)
  • H-E-B Texas Pets Texas Brisket BBQ Flavor
  • H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Weight Management

H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Original was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Original

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 12% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Ground corn, poultry by‑product meal, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ground wheat, water, high fructose corn syrup, brewers rice, meat and bone meal, natural flavor, glycerin, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseed, propylene glycol, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, calcium propionate (preservative), carrots, peas, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganous oxide, calcium iodate), sorbic acid (preservative), 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), yellow 5, red 40, choline chloride, yellow 6, blue 2, blue 1, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%12%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%26%47%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 26% | Carbs = 47%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

The third ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 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 is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The seventh ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The eighth ingredient is high fructose corn syrup (or HFCS). HFCS is a corn-based sugar mixture commonly used to make soft drinks, cookies and candy. Sugar is an empty nutrient — just as unhealthy for dogs as it is for humans.

The ninth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The next item is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

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 six notable exceptions

First, we find glycerin. Glycerin is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, we find 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.

Next, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

We also note that this product contains the controversial food moisturizer, propylene glycol. Propylene glycol has been banned by the FDA for use in making cat food.

However, it can still be found in some commercial dog foods.

And lastly, this food includes 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 Texas Pets Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, H-E-B Texas Pets looks like a below-average dry dog food.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean and corn gluten meals, flaxseed and peas, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

H-E-B Texas Pets is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named and unnamed meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

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
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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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.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

03/07/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  • InkedMarie

    Hopefully you saw the review…done on 3/11/17

  • Hotdog

    Mike – Looking forward to a review of HEBs “premium” line of foods called Heritage Ranch.