Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Oracle product line includes six freeze-dried raw 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.
- Oracle Grain Free Fish Formula
- Oracle Whole Grain Fish Formula
- Oracle Whole Grain Beef Formula
- Oracle Grain Free Chicken Formula
- Oracle Grain Free Beef Formula (4 stars)
- Oracle Whole Grain Chicken Formula (4 stars)
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Grain Free Beef Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dr. Harvey's Oracle Grain Free Beef Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, flax seed, whole egg, pumpkin, broccoli, tricalcium phosphate, green beans, spinach, beets, cabbage, celery, kelp, coconut, apples, cranberries, parsley, dried yeast, lecithin, alfalfa, fenugreek, fennel, ginger, peppermint, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate, vitamin A acetate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.6%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||13%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||29%||44%|
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 includes sweet potatoes. 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 third ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fourth ingredient 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 fifth item 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 sixth ingredient is whole egg. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh ingredient includes pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
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 coconut. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2
Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
Next, this recipe includes alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
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.
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dr. Harvey’s Oracle 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 31% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Above-average protein. Near-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 and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle is a plant-based freeze-dried dog food using a notable amount of beef, chicken or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.
Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food
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.
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Notes and Updates
06/07/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩