Lotus Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Lotus product line includes six dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, 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.
- Lotus Grain Free Fish Recipe
- Lotus Wholesome Lamb Recipe
- Lotus Wholesome Chicken Recipe
- Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe (4.5 stars)
- Lotus Wholesome Puppy Recipe (4.5 stars)
- Lotus Wholesome Senior Recipe (2.5 stars)
Lotus Wholesome Lamb Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Lotus Wholesome Lamb Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, whole ground rye, pollock, whole ground brown rice, ground barley, oatmeal, dried egg product, soybean oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, and citric acid), pea fiber, brewers dried yeast, pumpkin, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, blueberries, potassium chloride, choline chloride, flaxseed, garlic, salt, olive oil, salmon oil, zinc proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (a source of vitamin C), glucosamine hydrochloride, iron proteinate, chondroitin sulfate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation soluble, dried Lactobacillus lactis fermentation soluble, and Lactobacillus casei fermentation soluble, dried kelp, inulin, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin, sodium selenite, calcium pantothenate, folic acid, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||13%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||29%||47%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The third ingredient is rye, a cereal grain nutritionally similar to barley.
The fourth ingredient is pollock, a protein-rich whitefish native to the central and northeast coasts of the United States.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is 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 seventh 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 eighth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The ninth ingredient is soybean oil which is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.
The next ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, flaxseed is 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.
In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, this recipe includes inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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 also 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.
Lotus Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Lotus Dog food looks like an above-average dry product.
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 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Lotus Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry, lamb or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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 wet product from the same company may wish to visit our review of Lotus canned dog food.
A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
06/24/2014 Last Update
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩