HealthWise Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The HealthWise Dog Food product line includes five dry kibbles, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance (Weight Control).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- HealthWise Lamb Meal and Oatmeal Adult
- HealthWise Chicken Meal and Oatmeal Adult
- HealthWise Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Puppy
- HealthWise Chicken Meal and Oatmeal Active Adult
- HealthWise Chicken Meal and Oatmeal Weight Control (3 stars)
HealthWise Chicken Meal and Oatmeal Adult Dog Food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
HealthWise Chicken Meal and Oatmeal Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), pea fiber, flaxseed, natural flavors, salt, herring oil, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, betaine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, beta carotene, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid), minerals (calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate), lecithin, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.2%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient lists oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The third item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient lists pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth item includes flaxseed, 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.
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, we find herring oil. Herring oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, 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 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.
HealthWise Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, HealthWise Dog Food looks to be an above-average kibble.
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 29% 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 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Unfortunately, due to its apparently lower meat content, we have awarded the Weight Control product a lower rating.
HealthWise Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.
In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.
To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.
Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.
Notes and Updates
04/03/2010 Original review
11/03/2010 Review updated
08/04/2012 Last Update