Horizon Dog Food Review
Horizon Complete Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Horizon Complete product line includes the 4 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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|Horizon Complete Large Breed Adult||5||M|
|Horizon Complete Large Breed Puppy||5||G|
|Horizon Complete All Life Stages||5||A|
|Horizon Complete Senior and Weight Management||4.5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Horizon Complete Large Breed Adult 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.
Horizon Complete Large Breed Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, whole grain barley, whole grain oats, chicken, whole grain rye, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of vitamin E), pea fibre, flaxseed, egg product, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, vitamin E), carrots, apples, alfalfa meal, calcium carbonate, broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, blueberries, l-lysine, choline chloride, salt, dicalcium phosphate, fructooligosaccharides, dl-methionine, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, pineapple, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), ferrous sulphate, iron proteinate, zinc sulphate, zinc proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, copper sulphate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, magnesium oxide
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||13%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||29%||43%|
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 barley, 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 third ingredient includes oats, which are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The next ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 fifth ingredient is rye, a cereal grain nutritionally similar to barley.
The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 seventh ingredient 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.
The eighth 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.
The ninth ingredient lists egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, 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 Horizon product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, this recipe includes 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.
Next, this food has alfalfa meal, which is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%).
In addition, this recipe contains dried fermentation products. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.
Next, 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.
And lastly, we find selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Based on its ingredients alone, Horizon Complete Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Which means this Horizon product line contains…
Above-average protein. Below-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 alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Is Horizon a Good Dog Food?
Horizon Complete is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meal as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
More Top Picks
Has Horizon Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Horizon Pet Nutrition.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Horizon Reviews
The following Horizon dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Horizon Amicus Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Horizon Legacy Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Horizon Pulsar Dog Food Review (Dry)
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.
09/27/2020 Last Update