Whole Earth Farms Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

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

The Whole Earth Farms Grain Free product line includes 9 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.

Use links below to compare price and package size information at an online retailer.

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free with Pork, Beef and Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free with Pork, Beef and Lamb

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 15% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Pork meal, dried potatoes, peas, sweet potatoes, pork fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural pork flavor, pork, beef, lamb, yeast culture, organic alfalfa meal, salt, salmon oil, vitamins (vitamin e supplement, vitamin a acetate, vitamin b12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin d3 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, thiamin mononitrate), minerals (zinc sulfate, iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt amino acid complex, sodium selenite), dried blueberries, choline chloride, cinnamon, rosemary, sage, thyme, yucca schidigera extract, 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) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%15%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%31%43%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 43%

The first ingredient in this dog food is pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The second 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 affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The third ingredient includes 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 fourth ingredient lists 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.

The fifth ingredient is pork fat, a product from rendering pig meat.

Commonly known as lard, pork fat can add significant flavor to any dog food. And it can be high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, pork fat (in moderate amounts) is actually an acceptable pet food ingredient.

After the natural flavor, we find pork. Although it’s a quality item, raw pork 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 next two items include beef and lamb, additional quality raw ingredients inclusive of moisture.

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 four notable exceptions

First, although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, 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.

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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.

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Whole Earth Farms Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 15% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Near-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 dried potato, peas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Whole Earth Farms Grain Free is a plant-based dry, dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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.

Whole Earth Farms Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

02/13/2018 Last Update