Hi-Standard Pure Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Hi-Standard Pure Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Hi-Standard Pure Grain Free product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Hi-Standard Pure Grain Free

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, dried peas, dried potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried sweet potatoes, alfalfa meal, brewers dried yeast, natural flavor, dried egg product, potassium chloride, salt, inulin, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), choline chloride, minerals (calcium carbonate, zinc oxide, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate), dicalcium phosphate, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, Saccharomyces cerevisea yeast culture, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract, vegetable oil, lecithin, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%16%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%33%41%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient includes dried potatoes, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

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 is dried sweet potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried sweet potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The sixth ingredient is alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The seventh ingredient is brewers yeast which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

After the natural flavor, we find dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, vegetable oil is a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).

Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

In addition, 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.

And lastly, this item 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.

Hi-Standard Pure
Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hi-Standard Pure Grain Free 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 30%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried potatoes, alfalfa meal and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hi-Standard Pure Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the recipe 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, menadione phobics may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for another product.

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.

Hi-Standard 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.

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Notes and Updates

05/14/2017 Last Update