H-E-B Heritage Ranch Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The H-E-B Heritage Ranch product line includes 4 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.
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Healthy Weight (3 stars) [M]
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Chicken and Brown Rice [A]
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Lamb and Brown Rice (3 stars) [A]
- H-E-B Heritage Ranch Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice [G]
H-E-B Heritage Ranch Chicken and Brown Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
H-E-B Heritage Ranch Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, brewers rice, pea protein, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, dried peas, natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseeds, dried egg product, dried carrots, oatmeal, dried sweet potatoes, fish oil, potassium chloride, salt, minerals (iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, copper amino acid complex, sodium selenite, copper sulfate, manganese amino acid complex, manganous oxide, calcium iodate), choline chloride, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, l-threonine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, folic acid), citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservative), l-carnitine, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is beet pulp. 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.
The ninth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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 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.
Next, we note the use of fish oil. Fish oil 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help 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.
H-E-B Heritage Ranch Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, H-E-B Heritage Ranch 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
H-E-B Heritage Ranch is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 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.
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
08/31/2019 Last Update