Holistic Select Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Holistic Select Grain Free product line includes six canned 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 Select Grain Free Beef Pate
- Holistic Select Grain Free Duck Pate
- Holistic Select Grain Free Lamb Pate
- Holistic Select Grain Free Chicken Pate
- Holistic Select Grain Free Turkey and Duck Pate
- Holistic Select Grain Free Whitefish, Salmon and Herring Pate
Holistic Select Grain Free Beef Pate was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Holistic Select Grain Free Beef Pate
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, pork liver, whitefish, chicken meal, ground flaxseed, dicalcium phosphate, cassia gum, xanthan gum, potassium chloride, apple powder, cranberry powder, pumpkin powder, canola oil, chicory root extract, salt, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, blueberry powder, papaya powder, pomegranate powder, thiamine mononitrate, magnesium stearate, vitamin E supplement, peppermint leaf powder, cinnamon, fennel powder, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt proteinate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||55%||27%||10%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||42%||51%||8%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
The fifth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.
The eighth ingredient is cassia gum. Cassia gum is a plant extract likely used here as a gelling agent and providing no nutritional value to this food.
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, we find 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 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.
Next, chicory root extract 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.
Grain Free Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Holistic Select Grain Free looks like an above-average canned 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 54% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 9% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
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 flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Holistic Select Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of poultry, beef, fish or lamb 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.
Holistic Select Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
02/07/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩