H-E-B Texas Pets Dog Food Review (Dry)

HEB Healthy Bites Dry Dog Food

Review of H-E-B Texas Pets Dry Dog Food

Rating:

H-E-B Texas Pets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The H-E-B Texas Pets product line includes the 12 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
H-E-B Texas Pets Adult Complete 1 M
H-E-B Texas Pets Puppy 1 U
H-E-B Texas Pets Senior 1 M
H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Original 1 A
H-E-B Texas Pets Small Bites 1 A
H-E-B Texas Pets Brisket BBQ Flavor 1 U
H-E-B Texas Pets Texas Sporting 1 A
H-E-B Texas Pets Puppy Chicken Flavor 1 G
H-E-B Texas Pets Small Bites Chicken Flavor 1 A
H-E-B Texas Pets Bacon and Cheese Flavor 1 M
H-E-B Texas Pets Pulled Pork Flavor 1 U
H-E-B Texas Pets Large Breed Chicken Flavor 1 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Original was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


H-E-B Texas Pets Healthy Bites Original

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Corn meal, chicken by-product meal, rice bran, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), corn gluten meal, natural chicken flavors, ground whole wheat, wheat middlings, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), dried cane molasses, salt, flaxseed, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate monohydrate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), l-threonine, calcium propionate (preservative), dried sweet potato, choline chloride, potassium chloride, pea protein, red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, rosemary extract, dried chicory root, dried spinach, dried cranberries, dried tomato pomace, dried blueberries, dried carrots, blue 2, yeast culture

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%11%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%25%49%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is cornmeal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the choice cuts have been removed.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

The third 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 next ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The next 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 corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

After the natural chicken flavors, we find wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The next item lists wheat middlings, commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

Unfortunately, the variations in nutrient content found in wheat middlings can be a critical issue in determining their suitability for use in any dog food — or even livestock feeds.3

In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically associated with lower quality pet foods.

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 H-E-B product.

With 8 notable exceptions

First, although molasses can be rich in minerals, it’s also a less refined form of sugar with a glycemic index in humans similar to maple syrup.

Like table sugar (and in excessive amounts), molasses has the potential to raise a dog’s blood sugar.

Next, 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.

In addition, pea protein is 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.

Next, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

We also note that this product contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Also, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

Another controversial 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.

And lastly, this food includes menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, H-E-B Texas Pets Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean and corn gluten meals, flaxseed and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Our Rating of H-E-B Texas Pets Dog Food

H-E-B Texas Pets is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named and unnamed meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

Has H-E-B Brand Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to H-E-B.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Get Free Recall Alerts

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

More H-E-B Brand Reviews

The following H-E-B dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

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

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Wheat Middlings as defined in an article by Wikipedia

09/28/2021 Last Update