Hi-Tek Naturals (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Hi-Tek Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Hi-Tek Naturals product line includes five dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Hi-Tek Naturals Rice and Chicken Meal Large Breed
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Lamb Meal, Barley and Rice (3 stars)
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Chicken Meal and Rice Fitness (4 stars)
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Chicken Meal and Barley Fitness (4 stars)
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Lamb Meal and Barley with Oatmeal (3 stars)

Hi-Tek Naturals Rice and Chicken Meal Large Breed formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hi-Tek Naturals Rice and Chicken Meal Large Breed

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Brown rice, chicken meal, pearled barley, white rice, whole milo, pork meat meal, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), flaxseed, salt, potassium chloride, natural flavors, vitamin E supplement, biotin, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin (source of vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese oxide, selenium yeast, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%13%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%29%48%

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

The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The fourth ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.

The fifth ingredient is milo. Milo is another name for sorghum, a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, milo can be considered a quality non-meat ingredient.

The sixth ingredient includes pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient is 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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is 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.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual 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 three notable exceptions

First, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

And lastly, this food includes 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.

Hi-Tek Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hi-Tek Naturals 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 26%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hi-Tek Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or lamb meals 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.

Special Alert

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, 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.

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

04/19/2011 Original review
12/18/2012 Review updated
07/11/2014 Last Update

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  • LT

    I am just sick, plain sick – how this company can take THE BEST product on the market (Lamb and Sweet Potato recipe), economical to boot, and change the formula (with new packaging) to CANOLA OIL in it. UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Please go back to original recipe so that I can buy this again!!!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Looks like Horizon has a new line of foods out. It’s called Leonard Powell Signature Series and features a line of “classics,” a line of baked non-extruded foods and a line of “exotics.” I wonder if they’ll be reasonably priced like their other foods.

    http://www.leonardpowell.com/

  • LoggingGirl

    I have been buying Hi Tek for a few years. I switched from Blue Buffalo when BB had a recall and never went back. Stools are firm, coats are shiny, dogs are a little overweight, but energetic and healthy otherwise. I buy the chicken meal and rice formula for less active and large dogs. Many thanks to Dog Food Advisor for his reviews.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Looked at the H I tek website last night. Looks like they have changed formulas and have others. If I am looking correctly they no longer make their two active dog formulas-chick/rice and lamb/rice. New formulas are ADULT MAINTANENCE ONLY and less than 380 cals per cup. The chicken is now labeled fitness

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Penny55 –

    Hi-Tek Naturals has three formulas – Chicken Meal & Rice, Rice & Chicken Meal and Lamb Meal & Rice. The ingredients listed in the review above are for the Rice & Chicken Meal formula (the Chicken Meal & Rice formula does have chicken meal as the first ingredient, the Rice & Chicken Meal has rice as the first ingredient). It appears Dr. Mike must have mislabeled the product he reviewed as the Chicken Meal & Rice Formula.

  • Penney55

    Sorry forgot to say what bag. I have the Hi-Tek Chicken Meal and Rice Formula.

  • Penney55

    I am looking at the bag as I type, and my bag has Chicken Meal as first ingredient ? ? Did they change the recipe since you did your report? 

  • Melissaandcrew

     Not sure about Outfishn’s dog, but I recently decided to try the Grain free version again. Three bags into the lamb grain free, and I can say we have had no problems with it. Dogs love it, seem to do very well on it(but it is mixed with the Acana)

  • Jbhodges3

    how is your dog doing now? i have a young black lab. looking for a good dog food

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I emailed them a month or so back asking for calcium percentages, they never responded to my emails either.

  • Melissaandcrew

     Brag641-

    Call them.

  • Brag641

    the company never responded. I sent them 3 emails.  Not very good customer service. 

  • Charmingeorgiapeach42

    I worked in the Lab for Hi-Tek Rations.  I can assure you the raw ingredients are indeed from the USA.  Actually we tested most of the raw ingredients from local companies in and out of GA.

  • melissa

     Brag-

    Unfortunately, I can see their point. If the distributor will not credit them for it, they would eat it. The problem I think is that you had the food for at least 2 weeks, and when you opened it, it was not moldy. It was 4 days after opening it, that it turned moldy. To play Devil’s advocate, the moisture issue or mold could have been introduced in your custody.Not saying it was, but I could see them perhaps thinking this.

  • Brag641

    the store said there was nothing they could do.
    Well, they lost a customer.

    I sent an email to the company.  It’s a wait-and-see what they will say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Wait, did they accept your return and give you a fresh bag?  It sounded like you were buying from a business that might not have been a big chain.  Their good will would’ve gone a long way, I’m sure.  I suspect the company will take care of it.  

  • Brag641

    oops, “contact” the company.

  • Brag641

    yes, it seemed fresh.  The retailer said for me to conduct the company.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Yuk!  Did it seem fresh when you opened it?  Did you look for any signs that bag might have been damaged?  I always like to buy bags that don’t seem “fluffy,” you know, the ones that look like the air has been sucked out of them after the kibble was put into them ~ like the way a space bag would look.  You’re right to take it back.  If you prefer to incorporate kibble into your rotation, I’d say give it another chance.  You’ve chosen a good product and hopefully, the mold is just a fluke.  I’d open the next bag at the store before I brought it home ~ that way you can all be sure it’s good.  Good luck!

  • Brag641

    by the way, I bought the grain free

  • Brag641

    expiration date 11-09-13
    Here is a photo (a bit dark, but you can see the mold).
    I opened this bag 4 days ago and going back to the store today.

  • Brag641

    I bought a bag of this dog food two weeks ago at the suggestion of the store owner.  I had problems earlier this summer with finding a dog food and posted on the CN discussion board.
    The Hi-Tek food is now MOLDY!!!! I am taking it back to the store. 
    Ugh, I don’t know what food to try next:(  I might just make my own after so many problems with kibble.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Aminvelez –

    Doesn’t look like Dr. Mike has reviewed this food yet. I just looked up the ingredients though and it doesn’t look pretty:

    Ground Corn, Meat And Bone Meal, Ground Wheat, Wheat Mill Run, Animal
    Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Poultry Flavor,
    Potassium Chloride, Salt, Caramel Color, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A
    Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin
    Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate
    (Source of Vitamin B1), Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine
    Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid,
    Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate,
    Sodium Selenite.

    Only 21% protein.

    I’d say it’s on par with the other one star foods.

    Hi-Tek rations has some other foods that are a lot better quality and reasonably priced: Perfectly Natural Dog, Hi-Tek Naturals look the best and even their Intimidator formula doesn’t look horrible (at least in comparison to Defender). If your store carries these products maybe you should look into them.

  • Aminvelez

    I buy a food that said is from Hi-Tek products, it name is Defender Dog. Could anyone knows if this is good and how many stars it got.

  • Mary

    My 12 year old Cocker Spaniel has been on the lamb meal and sweet potato and chicken meal and rice dry food formula for a couple months. She has seborrhea skin disorder and since she’s been on the Hi-Tek grain free food her skin has improved tremendously. It’s amazing how much improved she is.

  • Rammette

    My pit bull mix has been on hi-tek for a few months. She has had a lot of itching due to allergies. She is eating the lamb and rice and does like it. I also had her on chicken and rice as well. Not sure if I will continue with this food, I had to put her back on prednizone for breakouts again….any suggestions?

  • melissa

    Hi Pinecone-

    I fed this before and emailed the company. My reply stated that all ingredients, except (New Zealand) Lamb was USA sourced. Take it for what you will : )

  • Kaliberknl

     If a company is proud of the country of origin of their ingredients, they will display it on their web page.  If not, you will get the royal run around :-)  They seem to be especially unwilling to discuss vitamin sources…or make excuses.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Pinecone, Check out their page.  :) http://www.hiteknaturals.com/contact_us.php

  • Pinecone

    Wondering if anyone knows if the ingredients are sourced in the US. Made in the USA is what i am looking for, but have just recently been made aware that often ingredients are imported from other countries. Do you, or anyone have information on where they source ingredients from, or where I can look the information up. Thank you

  • Tesstaylor2020

    Great deal.  My 2 dogs eat it up.

  • Sar12349

    I have had my big lab dog along with smaller dogs ( to Yorkie) on the chicken meal and rice.  All love it and are thriving.

  • victoria

    is there a review on hi tek grain free?

  • melissa

    Chuck-

    Ask your petstore for one of the envelopes. You clip the UPC and staple to the receipt, when you get 10, the store gives you the free bag.

    I tried both the regular and the GF for almost 6 weeks. Two weeks ago, I noticed an increase in scratching and ear infections(we never have ear issues) so I stopped feeding these foods and the ears are just about back to normal.  When I was at the petstore getting Blue to add into my rotation/mix in place of this food, one of the gals mentioned that her dog was on the GF and got itchy as well.

    One thing I will say, this food put weight on a dog that was a finicky eater and “hard keeper”. I think if it works for “your” dog, then its a great product at a reasonable price point.

  • Chuck

    I love the review  on this food. I have added the Chicken Naturals for active dogs to my rotation. My dogs love this food! Their stool is firm as well . And this food has a great price and is just as great as the other brands. And I look for dog foods that are made fully here in the U.S.A. You should give it a try! I wish I could find out about the frequent shopper program.

  • Shannon

    Yes thank you for replying. Just thought it was odd to add salt.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Shannon,

    Salt (sodium chloride) is an ingredient in the majority of dog foods. That’s because salt is necessary for life by most animals (including humans).

    It’s not salt itself that can be unhealthy but rather excess salt.

    Since most manufacturers don’t disclose the exact amount, it’s impossible to judge this ingredient reliably.

    Hope this helps.

  • Shannon

    I am curious as to why no mention in the review about salt being added as a ingredient. I have read that dogs do not need added salt, we as humans don’t so why add salt?

  • melissa

    Actually, he offered DFA samples if they were needed to rate the food(They are not from what Mike has indicated)

    Most pet stores will take back a product that your dog will not eat-simply ask them before purchase. Even my most finicky eater will eat both the active  chicken/rice and the grain free without problem.

  • Teresa Lueckert

    Hi Ron,
    I was reading the reviews because i’m researching dog foods that are grain-free for my dog as she has issues with licking & chewing her paws. I read that you would send a free sample as I dont want to buy several dog foods without knowing if she would eat the food. If you could get back to me I would greatly appreciate it.

                                             Thank You,
                                                            Teresa Lueckert

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  • Outfishn

    Our Black Lab has just recently developed allergies.  It was recommended that we try Hi-Tek foods.  I purchased our first bag and praying that this helps our dog and relieves her itching.  She has eaten her first serving of Hi-Tek and LOVES LOVES LOVES it.  I know it is too early to tell if it will help her, but, HONESTLY… I have not seen her scratch.  (Usually it is immediate or shortly after she eats the other dog food that was rated a 3 star) HOPEFULLY this will continue and she will be stress free!!!

  • melissa

    Brad-

    Thanks for the comment! Its always nice to see comments about newer foods from folks who use it. We have been feeding it as part of the rotation for just about a month and I can not say anything negative about it. Easy transition as well. We did get a bit of loose stool when we added in the grainfree version, but nothing major.

  • Brad

    I have been feeding my dogs, Vader (English Bulldog) and Lucy (Basset Hound) Hi-Tek Naturals Active Chicken formula for 8 months. We love this product! It is good for them and they eat it so well!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Kerry… Hi-Tek Grain Free is already on my To Do list. However, it could be a while longer before I get to it. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Kerry

    The above review is for the Hi-Tek Naturals Dry foods.  Will you post a review for the Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free dry foods?

  • melissa

    For any one wondering, both the Hi Tek Chicken/Rice for active dogs and the Grain free chicken/sweet potato state all life stages on the bags : ) I added both into my rotation and so far so good, but it has only been 2 weeks.

    Hi tek offers a frequent buyer program as well-Buy 10, get one free, which makes this very reasonably priced food even better for those seeking a low cost option.

  • Victoria

    It looks like their grain free formula is comparable to TOTW and a bit cheaper.

  • melissa

    HIMike-

    I just ducked over re read the review of the Naturals. I see that you mentioned due to lower protein, you down graded the lamb/rice to 3.5 stars, but at the top of the page, the chicken/rice for less active and large breeds is rated a 3.5 star(not the lamb) are both 3.5 stars, with the chicken/rice for active dogs being the only 4 star, or just a typo? thanks!

  • melissa

    FYI-

    This food just became available in our area and I contacted the company to find cals/cup and to ask if any of the ingredients are sourced from China.

    According to Carron at Hi Tek, none of the ingredients are sourced from China. With the exception of the Lamb( from New Zealand)all other ingredients are from the “good ole US of A”. I was very pleased to hear this and will be trying this as part of the rotation. Can not wait to read how the grain free “pans out!”

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Ajaycee… The Hi-Tek Grain Free line is already on my To Do list. However, due to my current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before I get to it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • ajaycee

    Hello, great review. This food has the appearance of a decent kibble, I think I may want to try it. Do you think you could put one of these up for their new Grain Free formulas? Thanks!

  • Jan A

    I have used Hi-Tek Perfectly Natural Dog for maybe 5 or 6 months now for 14 dogs. I tried the Natural Chicken Meal and Rice,liked it but chose the Holistic Perfectly Natural Dog as the ingredient list looked to me to be better. I have been very pleased, all the dogs love it, all their conditions are excellent and all energy levels excellent. The price is also very good as compared to other foods and I am far more comfortable with a dog food company that manufactures it’s own food as opposed to outsourcing it’s manufacturing. I do add chop meat and chicken to maybe half of my dogs but I’ve always done that. Most of my dogs are dobermans who are worked (biked, etc) to have extremely fit and a muscled condition for showing and I have been very pleased with this foods ability to allow the dog to blossom.

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    Pet Botanics, by the way, boasts the pet food industry-first completely solar-powered facility.

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ninja Dog Food Ninja

    I fed this to Sadie dog for a while with her mix. She liked it, but she started to get itchy. I have gone totally grain-free now, and in fact, she’s eating Brother’s Complete Red Meat right now mixed with Pet Botanics grain-free lamb and peas formula, so she is off of white potato, as well. And I must admit, she liked the Pet Botanics, but when I introduced the Brother’s, she lost her mind eating the bowl of food. She even licked the bowl clean, which she only usually does when she gets canned food.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Ron… Thanks for your offer. Unfortunately, website policy doesn’t permit me to accept free samples from any manufacturer.

    In any case, I rely on the same publicly accessible information provided by your company to all readers. This review was written on April 17, 2011 and is based upon the information posted on your website as of that date.

    What’s more, after re-checking your website today, I find the ingredient lists and nutritional information to be identical to the ones detailed here in my review.

    Is the information Life4K9 is posting on the Internet up to date? Please provide an accurate link to your product’s information or I won’t be able to update my review. Thanks.

  • http://www.LIFE4K9.com Ron Jackson

    Hi-Tek Rations, the makers of Hi-Tek Naturals and Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free are clients of our advertising agency. The company purchased LIFE4K9 more than a year ago and has reformulated and repackaged the products. We believe that a new review will find this product considerably higher on your rating scale than before. If you need samples for review, please contact me and I will have them shipped.

  • Laurie M.

    I just saw this food today at Pet Supplies Plus here in Connecticut. For a 4 star rated food, this food is priced reasonably. Less expensive than other 4 star foods I have seen. It’s about a dollar, maybe a bit less, per pound. Not bad!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Cheryl… Hi-Tek Natural Grain Free is already on my To Do list. However, due to our current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before I get to it. Thanks for the suggestion.

  • cheryl

    Hi Tek has come out with a 100% grain free dry kibble,called Hi-tek Naturals Grain Free. I am curious about it as I can get obtain this food within 15mi.. Can you please review this one? thanks

  • Grace

    Our shelter used to rely on donated food. The preexisting conditions were aggravated. We recently were given a grant for food. There are 100 + dogs. They love Hi-Tech. What a difference! Their stomachs settled down. The employees have less cleanup. The dogs require 120 large bags per month. I have been advised the cost per bag is going up. What could we purchase in place of Hi-Tech?

  • Bo

    I agree with your assessment of the food based on the ingredient list. The packaging, however, is very easily torn all the way through to the food, and this gives me pause also: http://www.reliableplant.com/Read/13276/georgia-pet-food-plant-cited-for-26-safety-violations