Whole Earth Farms canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Whole Earth Farms product line lists ten grain-free canned 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.
- Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe
- Whole Earth Farms Red Meat Recipe
- Whole Earth Farms Hearty Chicken Stew
- Whole Earth Farms Puppy Recipe (4.5 stars)
- Whole Earth Farms Chicken and Turkey Recipe
- Whole Earth Farms Hearty Beef Stew (4.5 stars)
- Whole Earth Farms Hearty Duck Stew (4.5 stars)
- Whole Earth Farms Hearty Lamb Stew (4.5 stars)
- Whole Earth Farms Hearty Turkey Stew (4.5 stars)
- Whole Earth Farms Hearty Salmon Stew (4.5 stars)
Whole Earth Farms Chicken and Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Whole Earth Farms Chicken and Turkey Recipe
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, turkey, chicken liver, peas, carrots, sweet potatoes, dried egg product, natural flavor, yeast culture, organic alfalfa, blueberries, calcium carbonate, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, thiamine mononitrate), minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt glucoheptonate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, olive oil, flaxseed oil, cinnamon, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary, sage, thyme
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||43%||27%||22%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||51%||16%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is turkey, another quality, raw item.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh 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 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.
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, olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.
Next, this recipe contains 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.
In addition, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
And lastly, this food includes 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.
Whole Earth Farms Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Whole Earth Farms looks like an above-average canned 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.
Whole Earth Farms is a grain-free meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of poultry, beef, lamb or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.
Whole Earth Farms 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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A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
09/21/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩