Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free product line lists three 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 Complete Grain Free Pork Meal Formula (3.5 stars)
  • Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Lamb Meal and Turkey Meal Formula
  • Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Salmon Meal and Garbanzo Bean Formula

Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Lamb Meal and Turkey Meal Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Lamb Meal and Turkey Meal

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, garbanzo beans, spring yellow pea flour, spring yellow pea starch, turkey meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and ascorbyl palmitate), citrus fiber, dried egg product, 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 Analysis27%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%19%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%39%36%

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

The second ingredient is 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 meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The sixth 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 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 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.

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 four 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 as likely to be exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deep 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, 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.

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

Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free looks like an above-average dry 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

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 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the garbanzo beans, pea flour and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Precise Holistic Complete Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of lamb, pork or salmon meals 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.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

02/08/2013 Original review
08/21/2014 Last Update