Halo Spot’s Stew (Canned)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Halo Spot’s Stew canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Halo Spot’s Stew product line includes four canned 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.

  • Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Recipe [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Beef Recipe (4 stars) [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Succulent Salmon Recipe (4 stars) [A]

Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Halo Spot's Stew Wholesome Lamb Recipe

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredients: Lamb, chicken broth, chicken, beef liver, carrots, zucchini, celery, yellow squash, peas, green beans, barley, mustard greens, rolled oats, tricalcium phosphate, flaxseed oil, calcium citrate, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, salt, potassium chloride, guar gum, garlic powder, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), xanthan gum, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, dried kelp

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis6%5%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%28%31%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%51%24%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 24%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

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

The next six items include a series of nutrient-rich vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Yellow squash
  • Peas
  • Green beans

We’d like to mention that besides being a good source of carbohydrate, peas like all legumes, are 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 next ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest 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 three notable exceptions

First, this recipe includes garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.3

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

Next, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

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.

Halo Spot’s Stew Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Halo Spot’s Stew canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 33%, a fat level of 28% and estimated carbohydrates of about 31%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 26%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, with 51% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 25% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Halo Spot’s Stew is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources 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.

Those looking for a quality kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Halo dry dog food.

Halo 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.

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

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

01/16/2017 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • יהודי נודד

    i know this is an old post buti took my dogs off halo after 10 yrs and got them on Orijen for seniors..Extremely high quality!!u can find it at the natural dog stores. petsmart and petco etc dont sell it..or online. it is worth every penny. they even have alow sodium blend for senior pups

  • יהודי נודד

    if ur dog has auto-immune issues,then u need to explore a non-gmo organic diet. not cutting out meat. your dog will develop other issues.. non-gmo/organic will helpyour dog heal,that is the heart of the issue.

  • Shea

    Looking for a review of the Halo Grain Free Small Breed canned food. Would like to know more info on it!

  • riverdivine

    I’d give Halo another try, if I were you. 🙂 Its really a top quality brand (I’d give it 5 stars if I were rating it)…I tried my Siberian Husky on many different dry and wet foods- all organic ones, actually- She always had GI issues,.. For the past 3 yrs, I’ve been giving her the Halo Dry Chicken Food. (I add a can of human grade salmon, tuna, or sardines as a daily ‘topper’). This is the ONLY dog food that has never given her any problems! I also give her the canned Halo chicken on occasion, and she loves this, also. She is a healthy, happy 9 yrs old- people think she’s still a puppy. 🙂 Halo has never had a recall- all of their ingredients (except for the peas, from Canada) are sourced from the USA. Great ingredients- really high quality food. 🙂

  • Pingback: Best Canned Dog Food: A Few Extra Years For Your Dog | Best Dog Treats For Your Happy & Healthy Dog !!()

  • Mary

    I would love to see one too. My dog must have a vegetarian diet as she has an auto-immune response to animal protein. She does well on Natural Balance Vegetarian, but I wondered if Halo is any better.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Probably two stars tops. Please do not force your dog to eat a vegan food..

  • Tone King

    Could you please post a review of

    Halo Vegan Garden Medley?

  • hotsauce999

    My border collie has recently become super picky about his food, he won’t eat any dry food without water and a bit of wet food mixed in. He’s not so crazy about any of the flavours except the lamb, he goes nuts for it. I have always had trouble getting him to eat and with this food he wont stop eating.

  • carol

    hi mike,
    like Pamela, I was hoping you would review halo spots CHOICE, grain free canned dog food.

  • Pamela Torma

    Hi Mike…I was wondering if you had any plans to review the new Halo grain free chicken or turkey with chickpeas?
    Thanks for your help.
    Pamela Torma

  • guest

    the expiration date – the “best by” date – is Aug.8,2014

  • Guest

    I am returning 10 cans of Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Recipe to the Whole Foods store where I bought them. The food smells o.k., but there is pasta (WHEAT) listed on the label as one of the main ingredients and you can see lots of rotini noodles in the food itself. I thought the food was wheat-free, but apparently they changed the recipe. My dog eats other grains in moderation, but does not tolerate wheat (makes him vomit every time).

  • Ndc923

    Thanks for the quick reply! The thing that concerns me is that the first week – two weeks she absolutely LOVED it, she was almost eating it too quickly. Now she won’t touch it, not even if it’s mixed with her old food. I will look into Weruva and Addiction. Thanks again for your help!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Ndc923 –

    If she doesn’t like it, I’d just try a different brand. Weruva and Addiction both have some high quality, low-fat canned foods. It would be a good idea to mix up the brands and varieties occasionally too so she doesn’t get bored with her food and so that you have other go to options if there is a formula change in the future.

  • Ndc923

    I’m wondering if anybody can help me. I recently switched my dog from Cesar’s ( I know, I know) to Halo. She has a very sensitive stomach and the vet recommended I keep her on a low fat food. I placed two separate orders of the chicken stew, the first case and first week she couldn’t get enough of it! All she wanted to do was eat it,and was noticably spunkier (she’s going on 10). I thought great, and ordered another case. I have mixed the two cases up, but have noticed some of them are a much thicker consistency and have (what I thought was fat) but based on reviews seems to be noodles of some kind. Well, all of a sudden – she will not touch the food, she seems hungry, she will smell the bowl several times but not eat it, and if she takes the tiniest bite, she will drink right after as if to get the taste out of her mouth. While reading this, I thought that the new formula must be exactly what is happening, I have mixed batches, but the reviews go back to 2010, is this possible? Also, does anybody have any recommendations of a similar brand that has work for them in a similar situation with their dog? Sorry for the long post, I just want the best for my mutt 🙂 Thank you guys in advance!

  • Ddhilljl

    oh yes the bpa issue…. halo said they did have bpa then on another call told me no they did not have… when isaid i do believe you told me on my last call you have bpa… so i asked which is it you do or don’t… i was told only some cans have it…then i noticed the smell…. for this and bpa i will no longer buy dog food… i make my fur kid meal now and treats… it has been a long while and i see great results by doing so. i do give vitamins and minerals and powdered egg shells along with fish oil and coconut oil on some days.now my 8 year old fur kid looks better than she has in years.

  • Ddhilljl

    yes, halo has changed their recipe( formula )if you want to call it that.the noodles are not the issue with me it’s the smell…. it reeks stinks.and i put the left over from the can in a glass container and put it in the fridge for my fur kids 2nd meal… oh my! when i opend the glass jar it smelled so strong a  friend of mine said she couldn’t use it either for the smell  so what i do is make the spot stew from andi browns book… until i found andi brown is making doc’s stew now more like the old halo in the 1980’s.if it is that strong in smell of rotten meat and garlic… i will not feed it to my fur baby at all. shame on halo for changing all their recipes.and it is not made in their usda kitchen but a factory like all other pet foods now. i guess nothing stay’s the same.all the change took place after halo was sold out to another person.and , i can say from the day i bought that new formula… was the very last time i bought halo.i do not like that kind of a change… for my fur baby.by the way my fur baby threw up over and over… and had eaten halo for all the years i have had her … so i did not like the change… and, it should not have been a issue to wean her over to the new formula…. hummm!!! i have bought the can halo food since the 1980’s i do know i do not like the change.and will not buy it ever again. 

  • drillhead

    I bought 2 small cans of Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Beef Recipe on a whim.  My dog is at least 15 yrs old and has problems with too much protein causing severe digestive problems.  He would only eat chicken. I know you are supposed to gradually change a dog’s food, but what did I have to lose.  He was very skinny and was refusing to eat.  He ate both cans and his digestive problems disappeared immediately.  He is gaining weight again, is very alert and his bathroom habits are back to normal.   With his old age problems, the lower protein and higher carb combination is what the Vet said he needed.  The smell may be strong, but older dogs smelling ability decreases so this food fits the bill.  Thank you Halo!!

  • Hi Guest,

    When I updated this review in September 2010, there may have been pasta in this food at that time. But the newer recipe (over a year ago) appears to be pasta free.

    Hope this helps.

  • guest

    I don’t see pasta as one of the ingredients of this food- but when I fed it about a year ago, it definitely had pasta in it. Maybe this is part of the recipe change people are talking about. I was actually shocked at how many noodles were in this food. When I pulled the noodles out (if i wanted to give my dog pasta, I’d cook it for her myself) there was only about 1/2 to 2/3 of the other food left in the can. This is an awfully expensive food for it to contain 35% pasta noodles!

  • Allison

    To all the dog lovers and owners out there, I wanted to share my experience with spot’s stew. My maltipoo seems to be allergic to chicken and began to lick and bite at her paws so I have switched her from natural balance ultra dry food and the occasional halo wet food to solid gold, barking at the moon dry food with a quarter can of wellness beef stew wet food. So far so good. Spot’s stew isnt stewlike at all…the wellness brand is definitely stew-a-licious.
    Hope this is helpful!

  • Janice D. McCollam

    I recently began buying Spot’s Stew. I used to buy it years ago. I, too, noticed it looked entirely different than I remembered. I now realize from everyone’s posts that they changed the food. Hmmm….I don’t think I’ll be buying the can food anymore. I do like their kibble, though. Also, for those interested, Merrick did a similar thing to their can food. They changed it from a more “stewey, soupy” food to a “gloppier” food. Sort of the same description someone gave earlier of Spot’s Stew…it’s more solid now. I used to be a regular buyer of Merrick cans, but haven’t bought them since the change. The Merrick Rep I spoke with said a similar thing as the Spot’s Stew info….they changed it because customers were complaining it was too “liquidy? and not enough meat” and that dogs liked more condensed food….not my dogs, it seems lol. I’ll keep using the Spot’s Stew dry, but will move on to other can foods.

  • dianna

    if any of you read this….. i did call halo about the pba. and was told the small and med size can’s do not contain bpa now only the large can does.i use the beef and make the home made spot stew nowwhen i feed chicken.i do know that my macey my golden retriever lived on halo from the 1980’s and passed away in 2004 on halo food. and i do use all the halo products as it is the only shampoo that i put on my pets the eye was is good for the one who has stains and the ear wash was theonly thing that ever kept ear fungus away from my schanuzers ears. i was so very upset with halo but i do now realize leaving halo food i saw bad things happen to my pets now it has taken two months to get their healt back to the way it was from get go.

  • Hi Mari… Unfortunately, I haven’t yet put together a list of suggested low fat dog foods. However, many of the low protein dog foods are also low in fat, too. Hope this helps.

  • Mari Smith

    I have a shitzu-bichon mix that has the type of problems as Kathleen’s Schnauzers. Teddy has had a very bad bout with pancreatitis and his lipids were so high that he developed lipid keratopothy(fat deposits-white spots- in the center of his eyes. I have started feeding Spots Stew because the calories in Weruva were so low that he was still very hungry. I have done so much research that I am just overwhelmed. He had been on the canned Innova senior because of the lower fat content, but have read that the opinions on senior foods vary a lot. Teddy cannot get much exercise because of malformed leg. Can use any advice.

  • Hi Anthony… Sure, you can. But when you switch entire brands and make more major changes in the recipes, you must be prepared for a more cautious transition to avoid GI upset. You can learn more about this feeding method (and see how we do it with Bailey) on my FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Diet Rotation for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • Anthony

    Hey great site keeps me informed…i ha a question..i currently feed my lab beagle mix chicken noodle soup for the puppy soul dry and at times i mix the dry with the canned version and then sometimes i add warm warter to just the dry food (usually when out of can). I recently read about dog food rotation i was wondering would it be ok to rotate Halo puppy dry and canned with the chicken noodle soup canned and dry?

  • Hi Dianna… Bisphenol-A (a plastic used in certain food packaging and can linings) is becoming more controversial every day. And the most recent news about BPA is becoming increasingly disturbing. The FDA is studying the issue and is expected to soon take some kind of action. However, and unfortunately, there are no government requirements for food manufacturers to inform the public of the presence of this substance in its packaging.

    For this reason, I’m unable to advise you on exactly which products contain the substance and which ones don’t. On the brighter side, as the public grows more aware of the health risks associated with BPA packaging, I would expect an increasing number of manufacturers to significantly reduce their dependence on the use of these potentially dangerous chemicals.

    Here’s a link to some of the most recent news about bisphenol-A. Hope this helps.

  • dianna

    i have tried for days to get more info on the subject of bpa in the ling of cans but no one will answer back and i use only one brand of food and have since the 1980’s. but am so ready to not use the food any longer . i just contacted fromm to ask about their dog food and if their cans have bpa in the lining. i just don’t see that if you put what is claimed to be the best dog food in bad cans w/ bpa.. how they can say it is the best.. as long term use will kill your pet so it would be the same in my mind as feeding junk to your beloved pet.i am thinking of making home made spot stew leaving out the garlic. this has me very worried for the safty of my gang.

  • dianna

    i too have used halo for many years and started worrying about it. as i noticed my dogs for the very first time licking their feet to stains in feet. they never had… before. i used halo from the time it was just canned food and dream coat. my goldie lived 20+ years but latley it is different. and, finding out the can is unsafe.i have a five year old schanuzer that is very tiny weighing only 4 lbs. and a yorkie and a small chihuahua. i pay 3.29 a can for the food and i bought the dry food all those veggies are at the top of the bag so didn’t get it anymore. i have been worrying about the can food as it smells funny like it is spoiled or something. so i guess i will make my own pets’s food to make sure it is safe.because the coats have changed also. not happy and the cans have … what!!!!!!!!! b.p.a. and they can call their food safe… how i dare them….to say they care about our pets. and call their food safe… i have been a customer since sometime in the 1980’s. mess with my 4 legged kids health… i turn away. and 4 lb bag of food is 15.99 too much for junk.. if it was safe that is a different story.. but when i started worrying i started investating… and, found this sight… w/ the same worries.and never knew that bpa was in the cans… shame on halo for getting rich on pets that they didn’t even care about just high price we paid to keep them safe.for something that was fake….wait until i tell my friends that i taslked into halo they too will drop them… we demand safe food!!!!!!!!! or make it and put all dog food out

  • Hi Kathleen… Both Party Animal and Spots Stew are certainly above-average products. However, since each dog responds to a particular food in its own unique way, it’s not at all unusual to find a feeding history like yours.

    Regarding the source of Weruva products, I believe they’re produced in a human-grade Thai facility meeting the ultra-rigid quality control standards of the International Organization For Standardization (ISO9001).

    I wouldn’t be the least bit alarmed by this. In fact, these products are probably superior to many products produced in North America. For more information about Weruva, check out my comment near the top of this thread.

    Hope this helps.

  • Kathleen

    Here is the 2nd part of my post – a follow-up to what I found out and am doing about my schnauzers high lipids & prevention of pancreatitis. Will post again in a month on further results.
    I have decided to switch from Halo Spot’s Stew Original Chicken Formula to Weruva human style mixes, starting with Funky Chunky chicken and Jammin Salmon. I have only been mixing it in with Spots Stew for 6 days now – no problem so far. I am amazed at the quality of this food. I thought it was going to be really soupy by looking at the photos. The can is jam packed with solid food!! It is mostly chicken and these versions have the white rice which is really well cooked (which is great for dogs, especially with pancreatitis or digestive problems), and small chunks of carrots and more peas that I thought it would have. These foods are high protein (from animal flesh sources using chicken mainly and adding salmon, duck, beef and some mixes are tuna and mixed sea animals). The dogs are absolutely crazy about this food. ANd it is very low fat – which for dogs that need to watch their fat, this is great. You can always add more fat to the diet if you wanted to, or more carbs such as sweet potato, pumpkin, etc.
    NOTE: WERUVA’s KOBE versions are HIGHER FAT – more in the NORMAL RANGE of fats for dogs without problems with high fat.
    My cost is only a couple of bucks more per case of 12 cans than Spots Stew. I have come to the conclusion that Spots Stew is way overpriced – where is the meat & why so much noodles!!!?????
    Spots Stew ticked me off when I ordered my last 10 cases and was unaware that they had jumped the FAT PERCENTAGE from a dry matter basis for the canned food from ~12% to ~17%. That is a big jump. And they only increased the protein by 1%. THEIR PROTEIN IS JUST TOO LOW – I have often wondered where the meat is. And it appears to have more “noodles” in it! Don’t understand the need for so much wheat noodles!!! Except lowers cost drastically. I was mixing their food with Castor & Pollux Organix canned food – which is a high fat food & caused an overload of fat for my male 12 yr old schnauzer and he had a mild attack of pancreatitis (first one). So I had to read a lot – because I did not want to feed him the garbage that the “nutritionist” at the Univ. of TN wanted to feed him (you know, the sweepings off the floor). I learned that moderate protein & low fat & moderate carbs are good for recovery. (He recovered very quickly.) ANd then higher protein, low fat, low carbs are best. Schnauzers are prone to very high lipids in their bloodstream – not always resulting in pancreatitis, but pre-disposing them to it.
    Here is what “nutritionist” at university recommended – actually insisted upon:
    The food was Royal Canin Vet Diet – Digestive Low Fat LF (canned) – listen to what is in it – not that I am ignorant about this problem – but it never ceases to astound me as to their ignorance and/or greed!
    Water, Pork by-products, pork liver, corn grits, rice flour, chicken by-products, GELATIN BY-PRODUCTS, Powdered Cellulose, NATURAL FLAVORS, dried beet pulp, guar gum, fish oil, then the huge list of vitamins & supplements.
    P.S. I never knew there was such a thing as GELATIN BY-PRODUCTS – I thought it was a by-product!
    Most of your dog’s nutrition OR your own nutrition should come from FOOD!!! I know they have to add all these supplements to qualify for AAFCO label.
    So Goodbye to Spots Stew. They really need to improve their product – want to actually see the chicken & forget the noodles. If using carbs, use less & shoot for sweet potatoes maybe. But now, their food is too high fat for schnauzers anyhow. And the chicken is the lowest fat, the others are much higher.

  • Kathleen

    This is a long post – so I split it in two. I posted this on another website, where I was also reading about problems with the new SPots Stew.
    WOWWEE! I am getting concerned about feeding Spot’s Stew. Thought perhaps if Ellen bought into it, the product would get better. They did change their formulation a bit, increasing the protein just a bit, but also increasing the fat. If this is true about Science Diet former exec now CEO of HALO – that could possibly be very bad. I wouldn’t feed Science Diet if it were free. And I certainly don’t want foods from China being fed to my dogs or anyone’s dogs or cats. My dog had a minor bout with pancreatitis – and at over 12 years had never had one before, but I was trying to switch from Spot’s Stew combined with Organix to Party Animal with a little bit of Organix & bang my schnauzer got sick – they cannot handle this much fat, even when fat is considered “normal amount.” But, I am concerned about Halo being too low protein & the protein sources. The wheat noodles are also contributing to the protein–possibly even more than the peas, as peas are actually low in protein and wheat noodles have a decent amount of protein. All plant foods have protein – question is how much, beans are as much as cattle flesh, and fruits have tiny amount. Many plant foods have ALL the amino acids necessary for HUMANS; I am still very unsure that true omnivores can digest the foods well enough to absorb these proteins (amino acids). (their digestive tracts from the mouth to the end product are very different from human animals) True carnivores must have their animal flesh.
    I have spent hours & hours on this subject & decided I will talk with the local nutritionist at the Univ.ofTN – even though I won’t feed from their recommended lists (of crap). I need to know if there is a certain level of protein that is just too high for these schnauzers (I have 2 adopted at ~12-1/4 yr old) – one has an enlarged heart with heart valve disease & other I have to watch for bladder infections (she has being doing great since I fired a vet 2 yr ago). My female also threw up when she ate the Party Animal canned dog food. There are some really low fat diets out there like Weruva & Tiki – but are they too high protein (very high) and possibly too low fat.
    And how do I then find out where anyone else gets all their ingredients??

  • HI Karen… No matter which food you eventually select, be sure to “dovetail” your old and new choices. Most experts recommend transitioning between two dog foods by starting with about 20-25% new food and gradually increasing it to a full 100% over a 7 to 10 day period. Hope this helps.

  • karen

    My dog has been on Halo for years. It was the only food I could find that didn’t upset her stomach. Just tried the new formula, and she immediately got sick–liquid diarrhea and vomiting. My guess is that it’s one of the new vitamin and mineral additives (which were not in the old formula). What a disappointment! I’m on the hunt again for new food and would appreciate ideas from anyone else who has a dog with a sensitive stomach.

  • crystal

    thanks everybody for the info on halo ,i am so upset not knowing what food to trust,my dog to got sick until reading this now i now have to switch food again,my little dog has had pacritis,she also cant eat rice for some reason,please can anyone sugest a healthy food for her ,my vet bills are puting us out of our house,

  • Andrew

    This is my response to my first post above back from July.

    I too, am disappointed with Halo’s formula change. I have received the same response from Halo as Joan (Oct 12) regarding soy sauce–>sea salt, and by changing to new cans so they “don’t contain BPA anymore.”

    I just want to point out that it’s called Halo Spot’s STEW. When I think of “stew”, I think of “soupy” with “chunky goodness” in it. That’s how the Halo Beef Stew was before. I recently bought Halo’s “new” beef formula in their new size can, and when I opened the can, the inside was SOLID. I can’t really explain it, but the previous formula looked like clam chowder, and the new formula looks like I opened a can of Spam.

    My dog currently has upset stomach, and I’m not sure whether if it has to do with Halo’s new formula. She’s on white rice and chicken until she gets better, and if not, I’ll have to take some more student loans to take her to the Vet.

    For now, I won’t be touching Halo’s new canned formulas. They also changed their e-mail newsletter so instead of receiving a coupon for a free bag of Halo Dog treats, you get 2 free cans of their new canned formulas. Hmmm?

    My Petco store still has the “previous” formula canned Salmon, but my dog doesn’t like it.

    For the record, I’m not trying to badmouth Halo, but I would say take caution and watch for any changes in your dog if you DO choose to feed the new formula.

    Once again, thank you for running this wonderful website. I’ll go look for another canned food to supplement for my dog.

  • Joan

    When I noticed the difference in consistency, I called Halo. They told me they found that dogs liked a more condenced food. They said they changed one ingredient only. Old formula had soy sauce; new replaced soy with sea salt. You can tell the difference in the cans. The new can has a note by HALO saying new look or something like that. My dog does not like the new either. I can still find the old cans in other stores but not Petco.

  • Rosemay

    I heard that Proter & Gamble has bought out some lines of dog foods. One of the line is the one I use which is Innova therefore I am switching her dog food because I know they will cheapen the good quaility to make more money.

  • Cindy

    I too just learned of this change and was very upset they did not bother to let anyone know. I had my dogs on the Spots Chicken and found it had low enough fat for my dog with pancreatics -After I called Halo I find out they added more meat and more FAT!!! That could have really got my dog sick. I have researched Evanger Holistic food and found out it is a very good food( Many have said better than Halo)

  • Leigh Ann Patterson

    Just to back up some of you. I too have been a long time Halo customer way before Ellen became co-owner. I happen to give my 7 shih-tzu’s some of this bad “New” can about four weeks ago and at first I thought it was expired as the consistancy looked different right away. I checked it’s date and it was over a year from expiring but I gave it anyway and it cost me a whole home carpet cleaning. One by one the diarrhea came and my poor babies couldn’t help it. It affected them so badly. They could not hold it for me to get them out the door. They too had vomiting alon with the diarrhea but their was not black. It was pure watery and even when they were done, they still felt as if they had more in them to go. It was pittiful. I opened another can and it was fine. That is until tonight four weeks later. I now have a can of the old and new and am able to compare them. The old is a 13 oz can and the new is 13.2 oz. I’m going to photograph them each as I can see the consistancy and color is different and I am contacting the company. Maybe since Ellen became co-owner and gives away so much food they are having to make it up by making the quality poorer now. Shame on them. If anyone comes up with anything close to the old one, please let me know.

  • Hi Julie… Changing formulations is a common practice with many dog food companies. What’s worse, they never bother to let consumers know.

    Hopefully, you can use the many other foods on our website (rated 4-stars or higher) to find something you think your dogs would like. Unfortunately, you may not be able to transition slowly into the new food to prevent GI distress. If you come across something you like and it works for you, please be sure to come back and share what you’ve learned. That might help others in the same boat. Julie, thanks for sharing your experience.

  • Julie

    I have been using Spots stew for at least 12 years and am a dog trainer and recommended it to clients as well. I have seen the recent posts about the changes in the food and thought people were exaggerating. That is, until I opened the can. The smell was awful , it looked disgusting and I was afraid to feed it to my dog. I am so disappointed in this as I used to brag to people that I would eat it myself. NO LONGER TRUE !! ICK !
    I am looking for another food . I , along with other people have posted their opinions and have asked questions on their FB page and no one ever replies although they reply on other comments and continue to post their own things of course. It’s like they are just ignoring it after these people were so devoted to them as a company. Very sad 🙁

  • Susan

    I’m also no longer feeding my dogs halo dog food because it made them sick. It’s such a shame because they loved it and they were doing so well with it. But recently (I guess because of this formula change) they got really sick in the same way, black diarrhea and vomiting. It’s back to cooking until I can find something else.

  • Lori rotundo

    Thank you for that info.I did not know Halo changed their formula.My dog loved Spots Stew for yrs but suddenly refused to eat it anymore, early this Aug.I suspected something was either wrong or different.You are right,,they should have left it alone.Never change a good thing.Now I am cooking my own dog food,using much the same ingredients Halo used.I thought I could always trust Halo Company.Now,Not so much.I’m very dissapointed 🙁

  • Tabetha Thomas

    I have been a dedicated Halo Spot Stew customer since before it was available in stores. I gave my 18 year old mixed breed dog Spots Stew and when I got a new puppy I immediately gave him the same. Recently Spots Stew decided to change their formula. VERY BAD DECISION! It no longer looks or smells the same and it made my dog very sick. His stomach was upset and he threw up and had loose black bowel movements. And the worse gas that could ever come out of a dogs body all night long! I immediately knew it was the dog food and what ever change that was made to the product. $250 dollar trip to the vet for no reason! I will never EVER buy the new product and Halo should reconsider the changes that were made to a perfectly wonderful product. It looks as though they are changing the formula to make it less expensive to make. Bad Decision! I would have paid extra to keep the product’s original integrity. This NEW product deserves a rating of 1! They should have left it alone! If it ain’t broke don’t fixit!!

  • Hi Claire… Vegetables do contain carbohydrates and/or protein (sometimes even fat) depending on the species. After you consider the pea protein “booster” here, Halo (at 33%) appears to contain only an average amount of meat. So, four stars.

  • Claire Sellers

    Do vegetables count as carbs? And why does HALO get a 4 instead of a 5 star rating??

  • Andrew

    I currently mix in a little spoonful some of Halo’s Beef canned recipe into my dog’s TOTW. I then add some warm water to the spoonful, and it makes this gravy-like/soupy-like broth in the bowl.

    I don’t use the chicken one because of the garlic issue, but the beef formula contains:
    “Beef, beef liver, broth, carrots, green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, green peas, mustard greens, celery, water (sufficient for processing), dried kelp, calcium citrate, flax seed meal, oats, pumpkin, sweet potato, dicalcium phosphate, ascorbic acid.”

    Currently, Petco has a 20% off sale on all their Natural canned dog foods (Halo, Natural Balance, Solid Gold, Wellness, etc.)
    until the 17th of July. Currently, a 5oz can of the Halo canned formulas are $1.43 each. In addition to that, Halo has a $1 coupon off any canned formula. I only had to pay $0.43 cents + tax! It’s a pretty great deal, especially for a broke college student like me.

    The only concern is the lining of the pet food contains BPA.

    Other than that, I think this is a good quality product, and affordable (with the coupon above), and a nice company to buy from because Halo holds a lot of charities/donations to animal Shelters from purchasing their dog/cat foods, and being involved in their social networks.