Holistic Blend Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Holistic Blend Grain Free product line includes two 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 Grain Free
- Holistic Blend Grain Free Marine 5 (4.5 stars)
Holistic Blend Grain Free was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Holistic Blend Grain Free
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey meal, turkey meat, potato, pea, salmon meal, sunﬂower oil, yeast culture, sweet potato, salmon oil, dried kelp, chicory root extract (FOS), lecithin, Yucca schidigera extract, 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, niacin, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.2%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||20%||30%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||40%||25%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The second ingredient is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 third 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.
The fourth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is 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
The sixth ingredient is 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 seventh ingredient is yeast culture. Although yeast culture is high in B-vitamins and protein, it can also be used as a probiotic to aid in digestion.
The eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
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, salmon 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, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
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.
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 Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Holistic Blend Grain Free 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 35% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Holistic Blend Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of turkey or herring meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Those looking for a grain-based kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Holistic Blend dry dog food.
Holistic Blend Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
09/10/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩