Lotus Grain Free Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Lotus Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Lotus Grain Free product line includes six dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Lotus Grain Free Fish Recipe [A]
  • Lotus Grain Free Turkey Recipe [A]
  • Lotus Grain Free Fish Recipe Small Bites [A]
  • Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe (4.5 stars) [A]
  • Lotus Grain Free Turkey Recipe Small Bites [A]
  • Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe Small Bites (4.5 stars) [A]

Lotus Grain Free Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Lotus Grain Free Turkey Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey liver, dried peas, chickpeas, tapioca, dried egg product, pea fiber, dried sweet potatoes, brewers dried yeast, herring, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, whole ground flaxseed meal, calcium propionate, salt, potassium chloride, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, garlic, choline chloride, olive oil, salmon oil, blueberries, pumpkin, spinach, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, dried kelp, inulin, copper proteinate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation solubles, dried Lactobacillus lactis fermentation solubles, and dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation solubles, manganese proteinate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%14%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%31%45%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 45%

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

The third ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth 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 seventh 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 other nutritional value to a dog.

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.

The ninth ingredient is brewers yeast, which 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.

The next ingredient is herring. Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

Although it is a quality item, raw fish 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.

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, flaxseed meal is one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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.

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

In addition, olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

Next, we note the inclusion of 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 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 Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Lotus Grain Free 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, chickpeas, brewers yeast and flaxseed meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Lotus Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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.

Lotus Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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

12/28/2015 Last Update

  1. 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)
  • Ruben

    I started using this on my American Bulldog puppy …and she seems to love it. I use to feed her Authority puppy blend her stoles where mush.

  • Muldypup

    Just a personal observation here, Lotus is the brainchild of Centinela Feed… who is currently recalling their Duck Jerky products due to antibiotics present that aren’t approved for use in US poultry. No clue if Centinela still owns this product, or if they are using the same quality for their treats as their feed, but its something to consider. The kibble is manufacture in Canada, so one would hope not, who really knows. I would be cautious.

  • GSDgang

    Just a personal observation here, Lotus is the brainchild of Centinela Feed… who is currently recalling their Duck Jerky products due to antibiotics present that aren’t approved for use in US poultry. No clue if Centinela still owns this product, or if they are using the same quality for their treats as their feed, but its something to consider. The kibble is manufacture in Canada, so one would hope not, who really knows.