Health Extension Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Health Extension Little Bites Dry Dog Food

Review of Health Extension Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Health Extension Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Health Extension Grain Free product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

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Product Rating AAFCO
Health Extension Grain Free Duck 4.5 A
Health Extension Grain Free Salmon 4.5 A
Health Extension Grain Free Venison 4.5 A
Health Extension Grain Free Buffalo and Whitefish 4.5 A
Health Extension Grain Free Chicken and Turkey 5 A
Health Extension Grain Free Buffalo and Whitefish Little Bites 4.5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Health Extension Grain Free Buffalo and Whitefish Little Bites was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Health Extension Grain Free Buffalo and Whitefish Little Bites

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Buffalo, deboned whitefish, buffalo meal, whitefish meal (source of omega 3 fatty acids), chickpeas, lentils, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tapioca starch, whole sweet potatoes, pumpkin, peas, coconut oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whole carrots, dried seaweed meal, pomegranate, blackberries, whole blueberries, whole cranberries, raspberries, potassium chloride, spinach, turmeric, tomato, beets, parsley, chicory root extract, sage, bovine colostrum, organic apple cider vinegar, ginger, green tea extract, vitamin A acetate, vitamin E supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin supplement, choline chloride, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, biotin, inositol, organic dehydrated kelp, zinc polysaccharide complex, iron polysaccharide complex, manganese polysaccharide complex, copper polysaccharide complex, cobalt polysaccharide complex, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, Yucca schidigera extract, pectin, dried Lactobacilus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product

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%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is buffalo. Although it is a quality item, raw buffalo 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 whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast. 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 third ingredient is buffalo meal. Buffalo meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh buffalo.

The fourth ingredient is whitefish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fifth ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient lists 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 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 tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The ninth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

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 Health Extension product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

Next, this recipe includes coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2

Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

In addition, we find chicory root. Chicory 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.

We also note the use of dried seaweed meal, a product made from a family of brown algae known as Fucaceae (Rockweed). Although it does contain a number of healthy nutrients, seaweed meal is primarily used as a source of inexpensive carbohydrates (about 60% dry matter).

This item is only rarely used to make pet food and is more typically found in feeds for cattle, horses, hogs, hens and sheep.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Health Extension Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, lentils and peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Our Rating of Health Extension Grain Free
Dry Dog Food

Health Extension Grain Free is a dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.



Has Health Extension Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Health Extension.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More Health Extension Reviews

The following Health Extension dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

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.

References

  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. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  3. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.

02/27/2021 Last Update