Review of Holistic Select Dry Dog Food
Holistic Select Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Holistic Select product line includes the 5 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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Recipe and Label Analysis
Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy & Sardine and Salmon Meals Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy & Sardine and Salmon Meals Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Anchovy and sardine meal, brown rice, oatmeal, rice, salmon meal, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oats, flaxseed, dried plain beet pulp, pumpkin, salmon oil, cranberries, apples, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, papayas, choline chloride, blueberries, pomegranates, taurine, vitamin E supplement, inulin, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin A supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ground cinnamon, ground fennel, ground peppermint, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus thermophilus fermentation product, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation product, dried Rhizopus oryzae fermentation product dried, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||14%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||31%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is anchovy and sardine meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
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 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 fourth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fifth ingredient is salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The next ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact that canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The seventh ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth 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.
The ninth ingredient includes beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But realistically, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Holistic Select product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find salmon oil, which 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, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
In addition, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Holistic Select Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.
Which means this Holistic Select product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-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 and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Holistic Select Dry Dog Food
Holistic Select is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Those looking for a wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Holistic Select canned dog food.
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Has Holistic Select Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Holistic Select.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Holistic Select Reviews
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
01/10/2021 Last Update