4Health Untamed Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

4Health Untamed Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The 4Health Untamed product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.

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

  • 4Health Untamed Wild River Recipe [A]
  • 4Health Untamed Red Canyon Recipe [A]
  • 4Health Untamed Open Highland Recipe [A]
  • 4Health Untamed Southern Bayou Recipe [A]

4Health Untamed Red Canyon Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

4Health Untamed Red Canyon Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Buffalo, beef meal, lentils, chickpeas, peas, pea flour, sunflower oil, pea protein, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil (source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid (preservative), vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.1%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%17%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%35%40%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 40%

The first ingredient in this dog food is buffalo. Although it is a quality item, raw buffalo contains up to 73% 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 second ingredient is beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.

It’s important to note that the next 3 ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:

  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.

In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

It’s also worth noting that a number of the ingredients are each a type of pea product:

  • Peas
  • Pea flour
  • Pea protein

When combined, this combination of ingredients would occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making peas (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.

And pea protein contains over 80% protein, and would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

The seventh ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

The ninth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

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 4 notable exceptions

First, 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 will be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe contains salmon oil which is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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.

4Health Untamed Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, 4Health Untamed looks like an above-average dry kibble.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Which means this 4Health product line contains…

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other dry kibbles.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, chickpeas, flaxseed and the multiple pea products, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

4Health Untamed is a grain-free dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

4Health Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to 4Health. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

10/11/2019 Last Update