Fromm Heartland Gold (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Fromm Heartland Gold Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Fromm Heartland Gold product line includes four dry 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.

  • Fromm Heartland Gold Puppy [G]
  • Fromm Heartland Gold Adult (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Fromm Heartland Gold Large Breed Puppy [G]
  • Fromm Heartland Gold Large Breed Adult (3.5 stars) [A]

Fromm Heartland Gold Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Fromm Heartland Gold Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Beef, pork meat meal, peas, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, dried tomato pomace, pork liver, pork fat, salmon oil, dried whole egg, flaxseed, cheese, pea flour, lamb, brewers dried yeast, alfalfa meal, carrots, lettuce, celery, potassium chloride, salt, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, taurine, dl-methionine, l-tryptophan, sodium selenite, sorbic acid (preservative), vitamins, minerals, probiotics

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis24%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%18%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%37%41%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains about 80% 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 pork meat meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

The fourth ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, both peas and lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

We also note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:

  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Pea flour

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.

You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making legumes (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.

The sixth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh 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.

The eighth ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The ninth ingredient is pork fat, a product from rendering pig meat.

Commonly known as lard, pork fat can add significant flavor to any dog food. And it can be high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, pork fat (in moderate amounts) is actually an acceptable pet food ingredient.

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 six notable exceptions

First, flaxseed is 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, we find pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

In addition, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe includes alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

We also note the inclusion of chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

And lastly, although the vitamins and minerals added to this product are not detailed sufficiently here to permit us to judge their quality, we’re reassured to find a detailed list of nutrients on the company’s website.

Fromm Heartland Gold Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Fromm Heartland Gold looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 27%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of all the legumes, flaxseed, brewers yeast and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Fromm Heartland Gold is a grain-free, plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of pork meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.

Fromm 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.

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Notes and Updates

10/05/2016 Last Update

  • redcore

    Also Heartland Gold is primarily beef/pork meat meal, Gold is duck/chicken meal/chicken

  • Justin Kalmus

    prairie gold doesn’t say grain-free….. do you know why? I’m just making sure its the same because i found it on amazon but i don’t want to make my dog sick. he’s one of those random hippie dogs that can’t have grains at all lol

  • sandy

    The product line gets a group rating of 4 stars but some recipes did not meet the criteria for the group rating of 4 stars and instead only received 3.5 stars for the particular recipe. Heartland Gold Large Breed Puppy received 4 stars.

    “Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content…”

  • sandy

    Gold includes grains and Heartland Gold is grain free.

  • Nicole Margarete

    What is the difference between Gold and Heartland Gold ?

  • Nicole Margarete

    Whats the difference between the “Gold” And “Heartland Gold” Lines ?

  • JW3267

    Is it 3.5 or 4 stars? You seem to have it listed as both.

    “Fromm Heartland Gold Adult (3.5 stars)” — From the top
    “Fromm Heartland Gold Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.”
    “Fromm Heartland Gold is a grain-free, plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of pork meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.”

    Also, is there anyways to get a rating on “Fromm Heartland Gold Large Breed Puppy”?

  • Daniel K

    Before and after.

  • Daniel K

    Sure enough. Prairie Gold is now known as Heartland Gold. I asked Fromm and they sent me the following:
    “We have changed the name of Prairie Gold Adult to Heartland Gold Adult. Everything has stayed the same, just the name has changed. Our website showcases the new name “Heartland Gold” and in stores you may find it as “Prairie Gold” for the next few weeks to couple months.

    The recipe (kibble) inside the bag is identical and will have no changes at all. Simply we are restructuring the name to avoid confusion among other brands of pet food.”

  • Daniel K

    So has Fromm Prairie Gold been renamed as Heartland Gold?

  • Karolina

    We have a 7 month old boxer mix we adopted from the shelter a few months ago and have had some issues with picking the right food for him. He was pretty much sick all the time until I started making home made food for him with ground turkey and veggies and eggs. But as great as that could be I just don’t have the time to prepare food for my dog all the time. A friend recommended Fromm’s and with a little bit of research we decided that the Large Breed Puppy Prairie Gold formula (the red meat ingredients) would be the best fit. And it really has been! It really makes me happy feeding this food to him. I can see that he feels so much better, his stools are completely normal, his coat is so shiny and soft and he pretty much entirely stopped shedding. I know it’s making my dog healthy and strong and he feels great. I am so happy I found this food and I would recommend to anyone! Especially because there are so many varieties so all different tastes and dietary limitations can be accommodated. We discovered that our dog doesn’t tolerate chicken as well as most dogs and the fact that they have an all red meat formula was really great. The price is very affordable for the integrity of the ingredients that the food contains. We have definitely found our life long brand!

  • Crazy4cats

    That is a good catch. There is a contact us at the bottom of the page. The crew would probably appreciate being notified of the error!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good catch on that DO! I’ve seen these in the independent stores I shop. They do seem to be a decent food for the price, but I think they all included pork in them.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    It displays “meat meal” in “pork meat meal” as a controversial ingredient, probably from an auto-sensor. That might confuse people, as there is not actually “meat meal” in the food. Is there any way to make it not do that? Thanks!