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Lotus Dog Food Review (Dry)

Lotus Small Bites Chicken Dry Dog Food

Review of Lotus Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Lotus Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Lotus 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.

Product Rating AAFCO
Lotus Good Grains Chicken and Brown Rice 4.5 A
Lotus Good Grains Senior/Special Needs 2.5 A
Lotus Good Grains Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice 5 A
Lotus Good Grains Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bites 4 A
Lotus Good Grains Senior Small Bites 2.5 A
Lotus Good Grains Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bites 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Lotus Good Grains Chicken and Brown Rice Small 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.


Lotus Good Grains Chicken and Brown Rice Small Bites

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Chicken, rye, chicken liver, sardine, brown rice, barley, oats, brewers dried yeast, pea fiber, pea protein, chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid, calcium carbonate, pumpkin, spinach, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, blueberries, calcium propionate, salmon oil, potassium chloride, olive oil, salt, garlic, ground flaxseed, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, glucosamine hydrochloride, iron proteinate, chondroitin sulfate, choline chloride, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, dried kelp, Yucca schidigera extract, inulin, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D supplement, vitamin B supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%13%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%29%47%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 47%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 second ingredient is rye, a cereal grain nutritionally similar to barley.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

Although it is a quality item, raw organ meat 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 next ingredient is sardine. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw fish contains up to 73% water and after processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The fifth ingredient 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 sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is 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 seventh ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The next ingredient is brewers yeast, which 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.

The ninth 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 tenth item is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the 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 Lotus product.

With 7 notable exceptions

First, this food includes 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. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

Next, we note the use of 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.

We also find garlic, which can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

In addition, 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.

We also note the inclusion of 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.

Additionally, 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.

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, Lotus Good Grains Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Which means this Lotus product line contains…

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Our Rating of Lotus Dog Food

Lotus Good Grains is a grain-inclusive baked dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Lotus Dog Food
Recall History

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

No recalls noted.

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

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More Lotus Brand Reviews

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

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

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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. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)

11/23/2021 Last Update

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