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WholeHearted Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: June 6, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Rating:
star
star
star
star
star

Which WholeHearted Grain Free Wet Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

WholeHearted Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The WholeHearted Grain Free product line includes the 24 moisture-rich dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
WholeHearted Grain Free Adult Chicken and Vegetables Cuts in Gravy 5 U
WholeHearted Grain Free Adult Turkey and Sweet Potato Cuts in Gravy 5 U
WholeHearted Grain Free Puppy Chicken and Vegetables Cuts in Gravy 5 U
WholeHearted Grain Free Adult Chicken and Whitefish Dinner Minced in Gravy 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Skin and Coat Care Turkey Recipe 4 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Easy Digestion Boiled Chicken Dinner 5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Beef and Chicken Dinner Minced in Gravy 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Easy Digestion Chicken Recipe 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Lamb and Chicken Dinner Minced in Gravy 5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Duck Dinner Minced in Gravy 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Fish Cuts in Gravy 4.5 U
WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken Dinner Minced in Gravy 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Chicken and Salmon Dinner Minced in Gravy 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Puppy Beef and Vegetables Cuts in Gravy 5 A
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Adult Beef and Veggies Cuts in Gravy Cups 4 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Adult Chicken and Veggies Cuts in Gravy Cups 4 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Puppy Chicken and Veggies Cuts in Gravy Cups 4.5 A
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Puppy Chicken and Veggies Minced in Gravy Cups 5 A
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Chicken and Duck Dinner Minced in Gravy Cups 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Lamb and Chicken Dinner Minced in Gravy Cups 5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Chicken Dinner Minced in Gravy Cups 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Small Breed Beef and Chicken Dinner Minced in Gravy Cups 4.5 M
WholeHearted Grain Free Adult Lamb and Carrot Cuts in Gravy 5 U
WholeHearted Grain Free Adult Beef and Vegetables Cuts in Gravy 5 U

Recipe and Label Analysis

WholeHearted Grain Free Easy Digestion Boiled Chicken Dinner 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 Grain Free Easy Digestion Boiled Chicken Dinner

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

53.3%

Protein

13.3%

Fat

25.4%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, chicken broth, water, carrots, pumpkin, tapioca starch, sunflower oil, calcium sulfate, salt, guar gum, sodium acid pyrophosphate, fructooligosaccharides, tuna oil, potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, reduced iron, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid complex, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, beta-carotene, folic acid


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 2% NA
Dry Matter Basis 53% 13% 25%
Calorie Weighted Basis 48% 29% 23%

Ingredient Analysis

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 is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.

The next ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The fourth ingredient includes carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient lists pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The seventh ingredient is 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.

The eighth ingredient is calcium sulfate, a source of supplemental calcium.

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 Petco product.

With 4 notable exceptions

First, we find fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

Next, this product includes tuna oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

In addition, 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, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, WholeHearted Grain Free looks like an above-average wet dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 53%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

Which means this WholeHearted product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of WholeHearted Grain Free Wet Dog Food

WholeHearted Grain Free is a moisture-rich dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the product line 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

WholeHearted Grain Free Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to WholeHearted through July.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More WholeHearted Brand Reviews

The following WholeHearted dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials


A Final Word

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