Halo canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Halo Dog Food Spot’s Stew product line includes four canned products, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
- Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Beef Recipe
- Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe
- Halo Spot’s Stew Succulent Salmon Recipe
- Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Recipe
Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Beef Recipe was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Halo Spot's Stew Wholesome Beef Recipe
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef liver, beef broth, carrots, green beans, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, green peas, mustard greens, rolled oats, dicalcium phosphate, calcium citrate, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, guar gum, sodium ascorbate, sea salt, potassium chloride, garlic powder, flaxseed oil, 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||36%||28%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||51%||21%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third item is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The next seven items include a series of nutrient and fiber-rich vegetables…
- Green beans
- Yellow squash
- Green peas
- Mustard Greens
Peas can be a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient includes whole oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
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, garlic 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, we find flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
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.
Halo Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Halo Dog Food looks to be an average canned 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 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 as compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Halo is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and liver as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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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Notes and Updates
02/21/2010 Original review
09/27/2010 Review updated
06/20/2012 Last Update