Which Holistic Select Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?
Holistic Select Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Holistic Select Grain Free product line includes the 11 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Holistic Select Grain Free Adult and Puppy Health 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.
Holistic Select Grain Free Adult and Puppy Health Recipe
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon, anchovy and sardine meal, potatoes, peas, menhaden fish meal, dried ground potatoes, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, pea fiber, flaxseed, pumpkin, natural flavor, cranberries, apples, brewers dried yeast, salt, taurine, papayas, choline chloride, blueberries, pomegranates, vitamin E supplement, inulin, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, niacin, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, vitamin A supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), ground cinnamon, ground fennel, ground peppermint, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus 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) = 6.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||16%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||33%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 anchovy and sardine meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains 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 third ingredient includes potatoes. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient lists 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.
The fifth ingredient includes menhaden fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The sixth ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The next 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 is 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.
The ninth item is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
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 Holistic Select product.
With 6 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
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.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, inulin is a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
This recipe also includes 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 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Holistic Select Grain Free looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Which means this Holistic Select product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Holistic Select Dog Food
Holistic Select Grain Free is a dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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Holistic Select Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Holistic Select.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
03/25/2022 Last Update