Halo Vigor Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Halo Vigor Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Halo Vigor product line includes two dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Halo Vigor Pork, Venison and Salmon [A]
  • Halo Vigor Turkey, Chicken and Salmon Grain Free [A]

Halo Vigor Pork, Venison and Salmon was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Halo Vigor Pork, Venison and Salmon

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Pork, pearl grain millet, peas, salmon, lentils, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), venison, sweet potato, pea protein, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg, flax seed, vegetable broth, cranberry, blueberry, spinach, salt, vitamins (folic acid, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, choline bitartrate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, cobalt proteinate, manganese proteinate, magnesium proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation extract, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.2%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is pork. Although it’s a quality item, raw pork 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 millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

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 fourth ingredient 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 fifth ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is venison. Raw venison 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 eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The ninth 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, this recipe contains coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.1

Because of its proven safety2 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

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 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.

Halo Vigor Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Halo Vigor 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, lentils, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Halo Vigor is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of pork, turkey or chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

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.

Halo 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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A Final Word

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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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Notes and Updates

09/15/2016 Last Update

  1. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  2. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.
  • Diana

    I would just like to say on behalf of the Halo dry dog food (Vigor brand)…this is the ONLY dry dog food that my Malamut/Husky is able to eat and keep down! He has an incredibly sensitive stomach and I have bought some of the most expensive ‘top of the line’ dog foods out there (with some of the highest protein/meat content available), but the results are always the same…. once he is completely phased over to the new food, he starts to get sick and within a week just stops eating it. It doesn’t even seem to matter if it is a brand specific to dogs with sensitive stomach issues….the results are ALWAYS the same…EXCEPT when it comes to Halo,Vigor brand. Not only does he eat it regularly & keeps it down, but he is no longer laying around,tired and grumpy….but back to his happy,affectionate and active self!!! I think this product is just the right mix and content that works for his sensitive stomach. The greatest lesson I have learned is that no matter the reviews made by experts, or comments by other pet owners….in the end, how your dog reacts to the food is what counts the most. While the above review points out the ‘high’ water content for above mentioned meats (in this particular flavor mix), I have come to realize that having a high protein content isn’t always the most important thing when choosing a food for my guy. Besides…I also supplement his diet with a real meat/raw meat diet as well, so I am confident that my Kita is getting PLENTY of protein in his diet! HOWEVER…ingredients like coconut oil and those ‘good’ bacteria cultures are what help make this brand the PERFECT fit for a dog like mine.