Halo canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Halo product line includes five canned dog foods, four claimed claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one recipe (Vegan) for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Halo Vegan Garden Medley (2 stars)
- Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Beef Recipe (4 stars)
- Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe (3.5 stars)
- Halo Spot’s Stew Succulent Salmon Recipe (4.5 stars)
- Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Recipe (3.5 stars)
Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Halo Spot's Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, chicken broth, beef liver, carrots, zucchini, celery, yellow squash, green peas, green beans, barley, mustard greens, rolled oats, tricalcium phosphate, flaxseed oil, calcium citrate, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, guar gum, sea salt, sodium ascorbate, potassium chloride, garlic powder, minerals (iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E, A, B12, D3 supplements, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement), choline chloride, dried kelp
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||28%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||51%||24%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Lamb is naturally rich in all 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 beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next six items include a series of nutrient-rich vegetables…
- Yellow squash
- Green peas
- Green beans
Besides being a good source of carbohydrate, peas like all legumes, are 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 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.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, this recipe includes garlic powder, which can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
And lastly, this food also 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.
Halo Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Halo 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.
Not including the Vegan recipe, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.
Below-average protein. Above-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even discounting the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this still looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Halo canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Those looking for a quality kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Halo dry dog food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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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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Notes and Updates
02/21/2010 Original review
09/27/2010 Review updated
06/20/2012 Review updated
01/16/2014 Review updated
01/16/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩