Review of Whole Earth Farms Canned Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.
The Whole Earth Farms product line includes the 13 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Whole Earth Farms Hearty Beef Stew Grain Free 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.
Whole Earth Farms Hearty Beef Stew Grain Free
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, turkey broth, beef liver, peas, sweet potatoes, carrots, natural flavor, pea protein, dried egg product, potato starch, calcium carbonate, apples, sodium phosphate, cassia gum, salt, sunflower oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salmon oil, flaxseed oil, guar gum, gelatin, caramel color, xanthan gum, cinnamon, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodate, cobalt glucoheptonate), sodium selenite, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, thiamine mononitrate), rosemary, sage, thyme, Yucca schidigera extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||17%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||38%||35%||27%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next two ingredients are beef and turkey broths. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The fourth ingredient is beef liver, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient lists peas. Peas 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 sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The seventh ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
After the natural flavor, we find 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.
The tenth 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.
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 Whole Earth Farms product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
Next, we also find flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
In addition, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.
However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.2
In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.
That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
Next, this recipe contains 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 includes 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, Whole Earth Farms canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Which means this Whole Earth Farms product line contains…
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other canned dog foods.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Whole Earth Farms Canned Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms includes both grain-free and grain-inclusive canned dog foods that use a moderate amount of named meats as their dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Whole Earth Farms Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Whole Earth Farms.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Whole Earth Farms Brand Reviews
The following Whole Earth Farms dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
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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.
02/01/2022 Last Update