Holistic Blend Grain Free dry dog food earns the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
Holistic Blend claims its Grain Free product meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Holistic Blend Grain Free
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned turkey meat, turkey meal, potato, sunflower oil, pea, salmon meal, flax meal, alfalfa, yeast culture, salmon oil, sweet potato, dried kelp, chicory root extract, lecithin, taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, pumpkin, cranberries, spinach, broccoli, green apple, blueberries, pears, bananas, rosemary extract, cinnamon, turmeric, capsicum, chamomile, dandelion, paprika, 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, 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 when present 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 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 second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third item 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 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 fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient lists salmon meal. Like chicken meal, salmon meal is considered another high-protein meat concentrate.
The seventh ingredient includes flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
The eighth ingredient lists alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is more commonly associated with cattle feeds, it can still provide healthy nutrients to any dog food.
The ninth ingredient lists 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 tenth ingredient is salmon oil. 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.
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, chicory 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 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 Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Holistic Blend Grain Free 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
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 and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a generous amount of meat.
Holistic Blend Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a generous amount of turkey meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Those looking for a grain-based kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Holistic Blend dry 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
11/06/2010 Original review
08/07/2012 Last Update
- Holistic Blend product brochure, 11/6/2010 ↩