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Data on Company Website1
Harvest Blend Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Harvest Blend Dog Food product line lists three dry recipes.
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.
- Harvest Blend Chicken Formula [A]
- Harvest Blend Wild Salmon Formula [A]
- Harvest Blend Turkey Formula (2 stars) [M]
Harvest Blend Chicken Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Harvest Blend Chicken Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, ground whole brown rice, ground whole oats, ground whole barley, herring meal, salmon oil, chicken fat (stabilized with mixed tocopherols), whole eggs, dehydrated alfalfa, monosodium phosphate, whole apples, whole carrots, dehydrated spinach, whole blueberries, dehydrated kelp, brewer's yeast, lecithin, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, MSM, sea salt, glucosamine HCL, chondroitin sulphate, chicory root extract, choline chloride, vitamin E, vitamin C, whole garlic, Yucca schidigera extract, probiotics, ground whole flaxseed, calcium propionate, zinc proteinate (source of chelated zinc), choline chloride, iron proteinate (source of chelated iron), vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate (source of chelated manganese), copper proteinate (source of chelated copper), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine hydrochloride, biotin, cobalt proteinate (source of chelated cobalt), potassium iodide, sodium selenite, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient 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 third ingredient is ground brown rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The fourth ingredient includes oats. Oats are naturally rich in dietary fiber, B-vitamins and low in gluten.
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 is herring meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2
The seventh ingredient is salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 six notable exceptions…
First, although dried alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
In addition, 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.
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.
We also note the inclusion of 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.
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.
Harvest Blend Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Harvest Blend 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried alfalfa, brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Harvest Blend is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry or salmon meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.
Harvest Blend Dog Food
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.
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
02/03/2018 Last Update
- “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 8/3/2016 ↩
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- 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) ↩