Holistic Blend Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Holistic Blend product line includes four dry dog foods.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Holistic Blend Lamb and Rice
- Holistic Blend The Perfect Blend
- Holistic Blend Grain Free Dog Food
- Holistic Blend Chicken, Rice and Vegetable
Holistic Blend Chicken, Rice and Vegetable was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Holistic Blend All Stages Chicken Rice and Vegetable
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, whole brown rice, hulless barley, chicken meat, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), potato, natural chicken ﬂavour, sunﬂower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), wild salmon meal, dried whole eggs, ﬂax meal, yeast culture, dried kelp, tomato, carrots, pumpkin, cranberries, spinach, broccoli, green apple, blueberries, pears, bananas, rosemary extract, cinnamon, turmeric, capsicum, chamomile, dandelion, paprika, vitamins: choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, l-ascorbyl (source of vitamin C), inositol, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboﬂavin, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, minerals: calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, l-lysine
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
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 is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient 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 third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 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 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 potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
After the chicken flavor, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
The next ingredient includes salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
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 flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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.
Next, we note the inclusion of yeast culture. Although yeast culture is high in B-vitamins and protein, it can also be used as a probiotic to aid in digestion.
In addition, this recipe contains whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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.
Holistic Blend Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Holistic Blend looks like an above-average dry dog food.
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.
Excluding the higher-rated grain free product, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Holistic Blend 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 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Those looking for a nice grain-free kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Holistic Blend Grain Free 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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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".
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Notes and Updates
11/05/2010 Original review
03/12/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩