Happy Paws Dog Food Review

Rating:

Happy Paws Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Happy Paws product line includes one dry dog food.

Unfortunately, we were unable to locate AAFCO nutrient profile information on the product’s official webpage.

Happy Paws New Zealand Lamb Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Lamb meat (New Zealand free range deboned lamb), whole brown rice, pacific wild fish (herring, anchovies, sardines), tomato pomace, chicken oil (non-allergenic), preserved with mixed vitamin E and vitamin C, chicken liver, organic carrots, organic spinach, organic apples, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries, organic parsley, organic garlic, natural sea salt, supplements: prebiotic - nutritional yeast, choline, natural vitamin E, potassium, iron, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin A, calcium pantothenate, manganese, riboflavin, vitamin B6, thiamin, vitamin D3, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 44%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is pacific wild fish (herring, anchovies and sardines). This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1

Although it is a quality item, raw fish 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 fourth 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.

The fifth ingredient is chicken oil. Chicken oil (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 sixth 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% 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 next seven items include a series of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables

  • Organic carrots
  • Organic spinach
  • Organic apples
  • Cranberries
  • Raspberries
  • Blueberries
  • Organic parsley

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, 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.2

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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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.

Happy Paws Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Happy Paws 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 27%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Happy Paws is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat as its main source 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.

Happy Paws 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.

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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

  1. Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. 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)

11/05/2018 Last Update