Which WholeHearted Grain Free Dry Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?
WholeHearted Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The WholeHearted Grain Free product line includes the 23 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken Senior
|WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Puppy
|WholeHearted Grain Free Salmon and Pea Small Breed All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Grain Free Salmon and Pea All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Small Breed Adult
|WholeHearted Grain Free Beef and Pea All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Grain Free Beef and Pea Puppy All Breeds
|WholeHearted Grain Free Duck and Lentil All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Grain Free Beef and Pea Small Breed Adult
|WholeHearted Grain Free Lamb and Lentil All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Grain Free Beef and Pea Small Breed Puppy
|WholeHearted Grain Free Beef and Pea Large Breed Adult
|WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Pea Large Breed Adult
|WholeHearted Healthy Benefits Grain Free Weight Control
|WholeHearted Healthy Benefits Grain Free Skin and Coat Care
|WholeHearted Limited Ingredient Grain Free Salmon All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Healthy Benefits Grain Free Easy Digestion
|WholeHearted Limited Ingredient Grain Free Lamb
|WholeHearted Grain Free with Pork, Beef and Lamb
|WholeHearted Simple Blends Grain Free Lamb, Sweet Potato and Egg All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Simple Blends Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Egg All Life Stages
|WholeHearted Simple Blends Grain Free Salmon, Sweet Potato and Egg All Life Stages
Recipe and Label Analysis
WholeHearted Simple Blends Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Egg All Life Stages 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.
WholeHearted Simple Blends Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Egg All Life Stages
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, lentils, cassava flour, egg product, dried yeast, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, dried beet pulp, flaxseed, salmon oil (a source of DHA), dicalcium phosphate, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, salt, ginger, taurine, choline chloride, dried chicory root, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, ascorbic acid (preservative), vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
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 includes 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 fourth 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 ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is cassava flour, or tapioca starch. Cassava root flour is a gluten-free, carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The seventh ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) 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 eighth ingredient is 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 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.
The ninth 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.
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 6 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, 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.
In addition, 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.
Next, we 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.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
This recipe also 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, WholeHearted Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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 47% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Above-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 lentils, chickpeas, dried yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of WholeHearted Grain Free Dog Food
WholeHearted Grain Free is a 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.
WholeHearted Grain Free Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to WholeHearted through March 2024.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More WholeHearted Reviews
The following WholeHearted dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
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