Halo Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Halo Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Halo product line includes 7 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Halo Holistic Chicken and Chicken Liver Recipe for Adult Dogs was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Halo Holistic Chicken and Chicken Liver Recipe for Adult Dogs

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken liver, dried egg product, oatmeal, pearled barley, dried peas, dried chickpeas, soy protein concentrate, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, pea fiber, natural flavor, dicalcium phosphate, calcium sulphate, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, dried blueberry, dried cranberries, dried carrot, dried sweet potatoes, calcium carbonate, salt, dried golden algae, inulin, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin), potassium chloride, minerals (zinc methionine complex, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide), taurine, mixed tocopherols (preservative)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 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 liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

Although it is a quality item, raw organ meat contains up to 73% moisture.

The third ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The next ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The fifth 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.

The sixth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

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

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

The eighth ingredient is soy protein concentrate, what remains of soybeans after removing the water soluble carbohydrates from the beans.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

The ninth 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.

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 Halo product.

With 5 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 fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

In addition, inulin is 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.

We also note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

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 Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Halo looks like an above-average dry kibble.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

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

Which means this Halo product line contains…

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried chickpeas, soy protein concentrate and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Halo is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of dried egg product as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Halo Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Halo. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

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

10/15/2019 Last Update