Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Precise Holistic Grain Free product line includes two dry 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.

  • Precise Holistic Grain Free Pork Meal
  • Precise Holistic Grain Free Lamb Meal and Turkey Meal

Precise Holistic Grain Free Pork Meal formula was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Precise Holistic Grain Free Pork Meal Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Pork meal, garbanzo beans, spring yellow pea flour, spring yellow pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate), dried egg product, citrus fiber, pea protein, natural flavor, flaxseed, lecithin, menhaden fish oil, fat product (natural source of omega-3 DHA from algae), chicken cartilage (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), dried kelp, dried apples, dried carrots, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, chamomile, dandelion, peppermint, rosemary, turmeric, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, chicory root (a source of inulin), potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, calcium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, biotin, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), thiamine mononitrate (B1), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, dl-methionine, copper amino acid chelate, folic acid, selenium yeast, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%18%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%37%39%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.

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

Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.

The third ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like carbohydrate extract probably used here as a gel-like binder for making kibble.

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

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 citrus fiber. Citrus fiber is a by-product obtained from the waste of citrus juicing operations. This item is most likely included here for the usual benefits of dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

After the natural flavor, we find 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.

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, we find menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.

What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deeper water species.

Next, chicory root 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.

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

Next, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

The recipe also contains an item identified as fat product, a natural food supplement made from algae and rich in the healthy DHA-type of omega-3 fatty acids.

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.

Precise Holistic Grain Free Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Precise Holistic Grain Free 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

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

However, when you consider the protein-boosting effects of the garbanzo beans, pea flour and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Precise Holistic Grain Free dry dog food is a legume-based kibble using a below-average amount of lamb or pork meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

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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

02/08/2013 Original review
02/08/2013 Last Update