4Health Grain Free (Canned)

Share

Rating: ★★★★½

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 5 canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • 4Health Grain Free Chicken (2.5 stars) [M]
  • 4Health Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Stew [U]
  • 4Health Grain Free Beef and Chicken (2.5 stars) [M]
  • 4Health Grain Free Chicken and Vegetable Stew [U]
  • 4Health Grain Free Turkey and Sweet Potato Stew [U]

4Health Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

4Health Grain Free Beef and Vegetable Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 23%

Ingredients: 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) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%25%23%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%48%18%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 48% | Carbs = 18%

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.1

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 product.

With four 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.

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

4Health Grain Free Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, 4Health Grain Free looks like an above-average wet 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 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 32%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 17% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.

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 notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

4Health Grain Free is a meat-based canned dog food using a notable amount of named meats 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.

4Health 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.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company on its product label or its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

However, we do receive an affiliate fee from certain online retailers to help support the operation of our website... and to keep access to all our content completely free to the public.

In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

02/13/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials