Review of Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4.5 stars.
The Whole Earth Farms product line includes the 6 dry 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 Healthy Grains Chicken and Rice 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 Healthy Grains Chicken and Rice
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, rice, barley, pork meal, canola meal, chicken fat, whole grain sorghum, natural flavor, flaxseed, apples, carrots, dried beet pulp, dried yeast, potassium chloride, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, riboflavin supplement, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, minerals (iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, zinc sulfate, sodium selenite, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), taurine, mixed tocopherols for freshness, citric acid for freshness, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||16%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||33%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fourth ingredient is barley, a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The sixth ingredient is canola meal, a by-product of canola oil production more typically used to make feed for farm animals and to produce biodiesel.
Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
In any case, because canola meal also contains about 37% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.
Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.
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 Whole Earth Farms product.
With 7 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
In addition, dried yeast can also 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 insist 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.
Next, we find dried fermentation products, which are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
We also note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Additionally, this recipe 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.
Our Rating of Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food
Based on its ingredients alone, Whole Earth Farms Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Which means this Whole Earth Farms product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the canola meal, flaxseed and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Whole Earth Farms Dry Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Those looking for a wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Whole Earth Farms canned dog food.
Whole Earth Farms Dog Food
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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12/21/2021 Last Update