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4Health Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: April 30, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Rating:
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Which 4Health Grain Free Canned Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

4Health Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The 4Health Grain Free product line includes the 4 canned dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
4Health Grain Free Chicken 2.5 M
4Health Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Stew 4.5 M
4Health Grain Free Beef and Chicken 2.5 M
4Health Grain Free Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew 4.5 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

4Health Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


4Health Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Stew

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

25%

Fat

22.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Beef broth, chicken, beef, carrots, dried egg whites, potato starch, dried egg product, peas, guar gum, salt, added color, tricalcium phosphate, dried potatoes, sodium phosphate, beet pulp, ground flaxseed, potassium chloride, natural flavor, ferrous sulfate, xanthan gum, choline chloride, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 5% NA
Dry Matter Basis 44% 25% 23%
Calorie Weighted Basis 35% 48% 18%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

The third ingredient 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.2

Both chicken and beef are naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient lists dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The sixth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The seventh 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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

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 4Health product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

Next, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

In addition, 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.

Next, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

And lastly, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, 4Health Grain Free canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 25% and estimated carbohydrates of about 23%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% and a mean fat level of 34%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 16% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 80%.

Which means this 4Health product line contains…

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of 4Health Grain Free Canned Dog Food

4Health Grain Free is a canned dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

4Health Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to 4Health through May.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More 4Health Reviews

The following 4Health dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

Sources

1, 2: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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