Lotus Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

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

The Lotus Grain Free product line includes the 8 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Lotus Grain Free Turkey recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Lotus Grain Free Turkey Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey liver, dried peas, chickpeas, cassava flour, dried egg product, pea fiber, dried sweet potatoes, brewers dried yeast, herring, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, whole ground flaxseed meal, calcium propionate, salt, potassium chloride, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, garlic, choline chloride, olive oil, salmon oil, blueberries, pumpkin, spinach, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, dried kelp, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, inulin, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin B supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%14%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%31%45%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 45%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables, and chickpeas contain about 22% protein.

The fifth item is cassava flour, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated 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.

The next 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 sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The ninth 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.

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

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

With 5 notable exceptions

First, we find flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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, garlic 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, 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.

Lotus Grain Free Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Lotus Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Which means this Lotus product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

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

Bottom line?

Lotus Grain Free is a dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals and egg as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Lotus Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Lotus brand. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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.

Notes and Updates

  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)

05/09/2020 Last Update