Pronature Holistic Grain Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★½

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Pronature Holistic Grain Free product line includes three dry dog food, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Pronature Holistic Grain Free Asiato
  • Pronature Holistic Grain Free Nordiko
  • Pronature Holistic Grain Free Mediterranea

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Asiato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Asiato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 37%

Ingredients: Menhaden fish meal, whitefish, lentils, sweet potatoes, vegetable oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), tapioca, salmon meal, natural flavor, flaxseed, pea fiber, carrots, coconut, dried kelp, minerals [calcium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganous oxide, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate], vitamins [alpha-tocopherol acetate (a source of vitamin E), nicotinic acid, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, cholecalciferol (a source of vitamin D3), thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid], monosodium phosphate, choline chloride, spearmint, ginger, shiitake mushroom, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), Yucca schidigera extract, dried papaya, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis30%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%22%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%44%30%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 30%

The first ingredient in this dog food is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The second ingredient is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast. 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.

The third ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).

Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

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

The seventh ingredient is salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of 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.

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.

Pronature Holistic Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pronature Holistic 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 33%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 36%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pronature Holistic Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of fish or poultry meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.

Pronature 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.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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Notes and Updates

09/24/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  • Storm’s Mom

    Interesting concept. Ironically, my dog’s a Nordic breed, but he’s allergic to poultry so he can’t have the Nordic one (I wouldn’t feed it anyway because it uses “poultry meal” instead of, say, “chicken meal”). On their website, the Asiato and Mediterranea have the same ingredients listed..hmmm… (I am thinking about trying one of them, but this ..error?.. makes me a bit reluctant to do so, I have to admit)

  • sandy

    This article has been updated with Pronature’s newest grain free recipes from around the world, Asiato, Mediterranean and Nordiko.

  • brenseas

    I feed my three dogs this food and they love it! Their coats have a great shine and no digestive issues to speak of. I also switched my cats to the pro nature for cats and they too have benefited from the excellent quality!

  • Danyellee

    I have contacted the company to ask if they use ethoxyquin in their food. Here is the response: ”
    Pronature and Pronature Holistic uses a blend of mixed tocopherols (natural antioxidants that are part of the vitamin E family) to ensure that our premium pet food products remain fresh as in their initial state.

    Ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT are not added in our foods.”

  • tj

    I switched from Wellness to Pronature Holistic. Although wellness has a higher rating, my poodle seems to eat more of the pronature product!

  • Bobbi

    We sell this at our store and the dogs love the flavor. I feel it is a very good dog food.