Whole Hearted adds to the growing trend of “Meat & Pea” grain free formulas we have available in Australia. Actually it seems hard to find grain free formulas without peas these days, and although peas have more nutritional value than the plethora of filler ingredients, it’s not something you should feed your dog all the time. The product is made in Australia but by an American company. The formula available at PetCo in the US differs from the one we have here.
The front of the Chicken & Pea Recipe bag states “Real Chicken is the First Ingredient”, but the reality is peas are the main ingredients. It bugs me seeing chicken prefixed with the word “real”, as if it isn’t real chicken what would it be? Fake chicken? Vegan soybean chicken?
Ok, so in all fairness it’s good to see a meat meal as the first ingredient, and in this case it’s Australian poultry meal. That means it’s not just succulent chicken breast as pictured on the packaging, but other types of poultry as well.
The next two ingredients are field peas and chickpeas. It’s likely these two ingredients are in similar proportion to the poultry meal, which would make the pea content almost double the meat content. Peas are dense in protein and will make up a significant proportion of the 28% protein. There’s some concern with excessive peas in the diet as indigestibility of lectins within peas can lead to gut issues, and also gas. This is one of the reason I often recommended rotating foods and varying diet.
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Sweet potato is the main source of carbohydrates and one of the better choices, so that’s a plus point. There are some really nice inclusions in the food from here on in, and it’s good to see natural antioxidants instead of chemical preservatives.
Salmon oil and flaxseed are included for skin and coat, chicory root for gut health, whole egg powder as a complete source of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. The natural flavours are an elusive way of labelling animal digests, which is an unpleasant broth from animal rendering. It’s in most foods and is used as a cheap flavour enhancer.
As a compositional whole, the 28% protein and 16% fat is good to see, and it means the carbohydrates are kept to a low 38% (approx). Apart from the excessive peas (and labelling trickery) it’s not a bad product, and there are no really nasty ingredients. If you decide to feed this food it’s worth being aware of the high pea content, and rotate it with other foods without peas.
* Carbohydrates aren’t listed on pet food labels. This value is calculated based on levels of protein, fat, moisture, and ash. Estimated values for moisture and ash have been used where these values haven’t been given (moisture of 10%, and ash of 8%).
Australian poultry meal, field peas, chick pea, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sweet potato, natural flavour, salmon oil, flaxseed, chicory root, potassium chloride, whole egg powder, peppermint, natural antioxidants, tomato pumace, vitamins (C, E supplement, B3, B5, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, B6, A, folic acid, B7, B12 supplement, D3) and minerals (zinc sulphate, iron sulfate, monohydrate, copper sulfate, manganese oxide, calcium iodate, selenium), yucca schidigera extract.