H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free product line includes 3 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.

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.

  • H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free Salmon and Chickpea [A]
  • H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free Beef and Chickpea (3 stars) [A]
  • H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free Chicken and Chickpea (4 stars) [A]

H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free Salmon and Chickpea was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free Salmon and Chickpea

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Salmon, menhaden fish meal, dried chickpeas, dried potatoes, dried peas, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, salmon meal, dried egg product, dried carrots, dried sweet potatoes, tomato pomace, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, 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), 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%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

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 salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The third ingredient includes dried chickpeas. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried chickpeas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient lists dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The fifth 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.

The sixth 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 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.

After the natural flavor, we find dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

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 salmon meal, another protein-rich 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

Next, 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.

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
Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free 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.

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 58%.

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

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

Bottom line?

H-E-B Heritage Ranch Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

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.

H-E-B 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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Special 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.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

03/07/2018 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials