Review of Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Oracle product line includes the 2 freeze-dried, raw dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Grain Free Chicken Formula||3.5||A|
|Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Grain Free Beef Formula||3.5||A|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Grain Free Chicken Formula was selected to represent both products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Dr. Harvey's Oracle Grain-Free Chicken Formula
Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, flax seed, whole egg, pumpkin, broccoli, tricalcium phosphate, green beans, spinach, beets, cabbage, celery, kelp, coconut, blueberries, bananas, parsley, dried yeast, lecithin, alfalfa, fenugreek, fennel, ginger, peppermint, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate, vitamin A acetate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract, mixed tocopherols
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||14%||47%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||31%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient includes sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The third ingredient lists carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The next ingredient 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 fifth item 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 sixth ingredient is whole egg. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The next ingredient is pumpkin, which is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is broccoli. Broccoli is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
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 Dr. Harvey’s product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find coconut. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.2
Because of its proven safety3 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.
Next, this recipe includes alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
In addition, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in 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.
What’s more, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, yeast and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle is a grain-free freeze-dried, raw dog food using a moderate amount of freeze-dried named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Dr. Harvey’s through June 2022.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754 ↩
- Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9. ↩
05/09/2022 Last Update