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
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 denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||25%||23%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||48%||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 Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, 4Health Grain Free Dog Food 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- Diamond Dog Food Recall Summary (5/6/2012)
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
02/13/2018 Last Update