Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Earthborn Holistic product line lists 6 dry dog foods. But because of its unique higher quality formula, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is reviewed here in its own special report.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
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.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey meal, chicken meal, peas, dried egg, pea starch, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whitefish meal, flaxseed, natural flavors, pea fiber, blueberries, cranberries, apples, carrots, spinach, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, taurine, l-carnitine, beta-carotene, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, folic acid, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, vitamin B12 supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||22%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||34%||44%||22%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The second ingredient lists chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The third ingredient lists 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 fourth ingredient is dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is whitefish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The eighth ingredient is 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.
After the natural flavors, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, 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 contains 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.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Dog Food looks like an above-average dry 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
For those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural at least begins to approach this noble goal.
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning this recipe 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.
Earthborn Holistic 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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Important 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.
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Notes and Updates
03/25/2018 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩