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Holistic Select Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: July 9, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Holistic Select dry product range is made up of five recipes with ratings varying from 4 to 4.5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 4.5 stars.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy and Sardine and Salmon Meals 4.5 M
Holistic Select Adult Health Chicken Meal and Rice 4.5 M
Holistic Select Adult Health Lamb Meal 4 M
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Adult Health Chicken Meal and Oatmeal 4 M
Holistic Select Large and Giant Breed Puppy Health Lamb Meal and Oatmeal 4.5 G

Recipe and Label Analysis

Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon Meals was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Holistic Select Adult Health Anchovy, Sardine and Salmon Meals

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

27.8%

Protein

14.4%

Fat

49.8%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Brown rice, oatmeal, rice, anchovy meal, sardine meal, salmon meal (source of glucosamine), canola oil, oats, flaxseed, dried plain beet pulp, pumpkin, salmon oil, cranberries, apples, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, papayas, choline chloride, taurine, blueberries, pomegranates, vitamin E supplement, inulin, dried kelp, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, niacin, zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin A supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ground cinnamon, ground fennel, ground peppermint, sodium selenite, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, d-calcium pantothenate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried Lactobacillus delbrueckii fermentation product, dried Streptococcus thermophilus fermentation product, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, dried Bacillus licheniformis fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product, dried Trichoderma reesei fermentation product, dried Rhizopus oryzae fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 25% 13% NA
Dry Matter Basis 28% 14% 50%
Calorie Weighted Basis 25% 31% 44%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The third ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The next three ingredients include anchovy meal, sardine meal and salmon meal. Because they are considered meat concentrates, the fish meals contain almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The seventh ingredient is 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 that 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.

The eighth ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The ninth 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.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But realistically, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Holistic Select product.

With six notable exceptions

First, we find 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.

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, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this product. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

This recipe also contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

And lastly, this food includes 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, Holistic Select looks like an above-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Which means this Holistic Select product line contains…

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 flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.

Holistic Select Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Holistic Select through July 2024.

No recalls noted.

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

Our Rating of Holistic Select Grain Inclusive Dog Food

Holistic Select is a grain-inclusive 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.

Those looking for a wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Holistic Select canned dog food.

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Highly Recommended

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

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