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Lotus Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Lotus Small Bites Grain Free Duck and Cassava Small Bites Dry Dog Food

Review of Lotus Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Rating:

Lotus Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Lotus Grain Free product line includes the 8 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 Grain Free Sardine and Herring 4 A
Lotus Grain Free Sardine and Herring Small Bites 4 A
Lotus Grain Free Duck and Cassava 5 A
Lotus Grain Free Lamb and Turkey Liver 3.5 A
Lotus Grain Free Duck and Cassava Small Bites 5 A
Lotus Grain Free Lamb and Turkey Liver Small Bites 3.5 A
Lotus Grain Free Turkey 4 A
Lotus Grain Free Turkey Recipe Small Bites 4 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Lotus Grain Free Duck and Cassava 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 Grain Free Duck and Cassava Small Bites

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Duck, duck meal, peas, cassava flour, potatoes, herring meal, pea fiber, dried egg product, brewers dried yeast, sweet potatoes, ground flaxseed, duck fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), potassium chloride, salmon oil, olive oil, carrot, apple, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, calcium propionate, salt, vitamin E supplement, blueberries, pumpkin, spinach, dried kelp, garlic, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium carbonate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Yucca schidigera extract, inulin, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%13%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%29%41%
Protein = 30% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.

The third ingredient includes peas, which 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 fourth ingredient is cassava root flour, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The fifth item is potato. 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 sixth ingredient is herring meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

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 dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg products 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 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 6 notable exceptions

First, we find ground flaxseed, 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.2

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.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

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

Which means this Lotus product line contains…

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, flaxseed and brewers yeast in this recipe and the chickpeas and pea protein contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Our Rating of Lotus Grain Free Dog Food

Lotus Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals or dried egg as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Lotus Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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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. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. 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)

11/09/2021 Last Update

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