Halo Spot’s Stew (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Halo Spot’s Stew Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating rating of 4 stars.

The Halo Spot’s Stew product line includes seven 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.

  • Halo Spot’s Stew Succulent Salmon Adult [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Lamb Adult [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Adult [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Wholesome Chicken Puppy [G]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Large Breed Wholesome Chicken [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Toy/Small Breed Wholesome Chicken [A]
  • Halo Spot’s Stew Toy/Small Breed Turkey, Duck & Pheasant [A]

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

Halo Spot's Stew Wholesome Chicken Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Chicken, eggs, pea protein, oats, vegetable broth, pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), whole peas, chicken liver, salmon, flax seed, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea fiber, sweet potatoes, apples, blueberries, green beans, carrots, cranberries, zucchini, alfalfa, inulin, calcium sulfate, potassium chloride, taurine, salt, vitamins (folic acid, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, choline bitartrate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, ascorbic acid, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, cobalt proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, magnesium proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.2%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%18%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%37%37%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 37%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% 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 includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The third 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 fourth ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient is vegetable broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The sixth 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 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 includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re 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 ninth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. However, organ meat contains about 80% water.

After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

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, 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, pea fiber is 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, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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.

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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Halo Spot’s Stew 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Above-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 pea products and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Halo Spot’s Stew is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and egg as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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.

Those looking for a quality wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Halo canned 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

01/25/2017 Last Update

  • Nor Akkyok

    I have four dogs.. 2 boxers, a boxer mix and a shepherd/Doberman mix. I have been feeding Halo lamb for 3 or 4 years and I’m now beginning to question the quality of the ingredients . After reading the reviews from other people my oldest dog has lost weight and has been having skin and ear infections for the last 2 years she now has blood in her bowel movements . Other reviews are having the same symptoms with their dogs that eat Halo “they did great on the food in the beginning but are now becoming ill”..My boxer mix is now 5 and she has just begun to get a rash that resembles boils all over her body my other 2 boxers are constantly scratching now as well and at times have thrown up their food.I never questioned the dogfood because Ellen DeGeneres was associated with it. When the food was hard to find at petsmart I made my own dogfood with brown rice, ground chicken, peas, carrots eggs etc. and I also add coconut oil. Within 2 days of going without Halo food my oldest dog with hair, ear and skin issues showed improvement. Her skin became soft and her ears became dry without smelly discharge (which had been a constant problem for 2 years) now healing. My boxer mix with the rash started to heal as well..I cant help but wonder if Halo’s ingredient change now has more to do with bad ingredients being found and they don’t want to publicize a recall. The dogs did well on it in the beginning but now I’m convinced that someone got greedy went with cheaper produce and I’m furious that I fed this poison to my dogs. The truth is that even as I write this review my dogs are getting healthier now that they are not eating Halo and that’s all the proof I need.

  • Crazy4cats

    OMG!

  • haleycookie

    Just a heads up if you buy this at petco you may see a crazy price jump here soon. My store is upping the price of these bags about 20$. The 28 lbs bags will be 85$ and the 15 lbs bags will be 55$.

  • haleycookie

    To add to this the bags are also going up in price and down in weight

  • magjayran

    Halo feeders will want to keep their eyes peeled for new Halo packaging. They are reformulating everything and the new formulas will include soy protein concentrate. It’s not on their website yet but work at a place that sells the brand and we had a file sent to us with the new ingredient panels.