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, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- Holistic Blend All Stages Lamb and Rice
- Holistic Blend All Stages Chicken, Rice and Vegetable
- Holistic Blend All Stages Healthy Dog Chicken and White Fish
- Holistic Blend Grain Free Dog Food
Holistic Blend All Stages Chicken, Rice and Vegetable dry dog food was selected to represent the others 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 ground brown rice, hulless barley, chicken meat, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), potato, natural chicken flavor, 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, calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, choline chloride, l-lysine, 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
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 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 third ingredient lists 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 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 lists 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 tenth ingredient includes salmon meal, another high protein meat concentrate.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, we find no mention of probiotics… friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
And lastly, this food does contain 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 Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Holistic Blend Dog Food appears 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.
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 above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Holistic Blend 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.
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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Notes and Updates
11/05/2010 Original review
08/06/2012 Last Update
- Holistic Blend product brochure ↩