Health Food for Dogs (Dry)

Rating:

PRODUCT HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED

Health Food for Dogs earns the Advisor’s second-highest rating of four stars.

Health Food for Dogs is marketed by Breeder’s Choice Pet Foods and includes just one dry kibble product.

Health Food for Dogs

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, ground rice, lamb meal, oatmeal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), natural flavors, dehydrated alfalfa meal, fish meal, flax seed, sunflower oil, lecithin, brewers dried yeast, vitamins (choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, manganous sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract, sage extract, bromelain, papain, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus fermentation product

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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient includes brown rice. Brown rice is a quality ingredient. It’s a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) is fairly easy to digest.

The third ingredient is ground rice. Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s difficult to judge the quality of this particular item.

The fourth item lists lamb meal. Like chicken meal, lamb meal is considered a protein-rich meat concentrate and a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is oatmeal… a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in fiber, B-vitamins and is (unlike many other grains) entirely gluten-free.

The sixth item mentions 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. Though it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is a quality ingredient.

After natural flavors, we find dehydrated alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food.

This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds and plant fertilizers.

The next item lists fish meal. This is yet another high-protein meat ingredient.

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. The term “fish” does little to adequately describe this ingredient. It would be helpful to know the actual species.

And by the way, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative during the transport of fish products.

But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, ethoxyquin’s presence does not have to be reported to consumers.

Based upon the published ingredients list, there’s no way to know whether or not ethoxyquin is present in this product.

The tenth item lists flaxseed… one of the best vegetable sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And the seeds are naturally rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber.

However, we find it strange to see flaxseed here in its whole seed form. Whole flax seeds are almost impossible to digest (at least for us humans) unless they are first ground to a usable powder before they are consumed.

Breeder’s Choice also appears to have added back some of the live bacteria lost during the cooking process. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

This dog food also contains chelated mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to amino acids. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are generally found in better dog foods.

Health Food for Dogs… the Bottom Line

With meat meals claiming two of the first four spots, Health Food for Dogs look to be a quality dry product.

But no dog food analysis can be complete without a glance at that product’s protein-fat-carbohydrate profile.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 50%.

Above-average protein. Moderate fat. And average carbohydrates… compared to a typical dry kibble.

A nice profile… but nothing earth-shattering.

However, with better-than-average ingredients and one non-critical Red Flag item, Health Food for Dogs certainly deserves additional consideration.

Bottom line?

Health Food for Dogs is essentially a grain-based dry kibble using three meat meals as its primary sources of animal protein… thus earning the product a preferred four-star rating.

Highly recommended.

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.

04/20/2012 Last Update