Lotus Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Lotus Grain Free product line includes 6 dry dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.
- Lotus Grain Free Fish Recipe [A]
- Lotus Grain Free Fish Recipe Small Bites [A]
- Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe (4.5 stars) [A]
- Lotus Grain Free Lamb and Turkey Liver (3.5 stars) [M]
- Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe Small Bites (4.5 stars) [A]
- Lotus Grain Free Lamb and Turkey Liver Small Bites (3.5 stars) [M]
Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe Small Bites was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Lotus Grain Free Duck Recipe Small Bites
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck, duck meal, tapioca flour, fish meal, dried peas, dried potatoes, pea fiber, dried egg product, dried sweet potatoes, organic soybean oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), sea salt, brewers dried yeast, ground flax seed, olive oil, salmon oil, carrots, apples, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, pumpkin, spinach, blueberries, garlic, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, dicalcium phosphate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, niacin, sodium selenite, calcium pantothenate, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera, dried kelp, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation solubles, Lactobacillus lactis fermentation solubles, and Lactobacillus casei fermentation solubles, folic acid, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement and rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||13%||49%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||29%||44%|
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 is tapioca flour, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The fourth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
The fifth 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 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 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 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 ninth 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.
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 product.
With six notable exceptions…
First, soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.
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, flaxseed is 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.
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.
We also find chicory root in this recipe. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
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.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
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%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, dried potato, brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Lotus Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
Lotus Dog Food
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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
- 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) ↩
11/06/2018 Last Update