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Halo Vegan Garden Medley Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The Halo product line includes one vegan dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for adult maintenance .
Halo Vegan Garden Medley
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Green peas, chickpeas, pearled barley, oat groats, pea protein, whole flaxseed, sunflower oil, dried plain beet pulp, potato, sweet potato, alfalfa meal, carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dicalcium phosphate, monocalcium phosphate, dried kelp, natural vegetable flavors, flaxseed oil, carrots, dried apple, dried blueberry, dried cranberry, chicory root, taurine, rosemary extract, l-carnitine, potassium chloride, dl methionine, salt, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D2 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, cobalt proteinate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, sodium selenite)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||22%||11%||59%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||25%||54%|
The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The third 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 fourth ingredient lists oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The seventh ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The ninth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are 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 five notable exceptions…
First, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, we find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
In addition, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, 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.
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 Vegan Garden Medley Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Halo Vegan Garden Medley is by design a meatless product.
So, although we recognize the need for some dog owners to feed a meat-free diet, we also respect a dog’s natural carnivorous bias.
That said, and before we assign our final rating, it’s still important to compare the amount of plant-based protein present with other dog foods.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
As we’d expect, this looks like the profile of a meatless kibble.
Halo Vegan Garden Medley is a plant-based dry dog food that uses legumes, grains and pea protein as its main sources of protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 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.
Halo Dog Food
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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
- “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 2/5/2017 ↩
03/12/2018 Last Update