Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 9/10
Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides significantly above average proportions of protein. We consider the carbohydrate proportion to be higher than ideal. It would be better replaced with additional fat.
The formula contains a high-quality meat ingredient which is Duck. It also contains Peas and Pumpkin which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.
Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin contains multiple vegetable ingredients and a single source of meat or fish. For this reason, it is very likely to be suitable for dogs that suffer from allergies or sensitivities.
High Proportion of Protein
High Level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
No Grains or By-products
Lower Than Ideal Fat Proportion
A Full review of Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin By Earthborn Holistic
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 40% of Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be sourced from a mix of vegetable ingredients such as Peas and Pumpkin. These ingredients will be discussed in depth later on. This is above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates and could be lower to better reflect a dog’s natural diet. That being said, they are from a reasonably high-quality source and this percentage is an overestimate.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 30% of Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will a sufficient proportion of protein for the majority of dogs including those who are active but may not be adequate for those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from the Duck present which is considered a high-quality source. A small proportion of this protein is from the vegetable ingredients such as Peas. Plant-based proteins are considered inferior to meat-based proteins. However, this proportion is very small and likely negligible.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 30% of Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from Duck present which is a fantastic high-quality source. Animal fat such as this is a dog’s natural source of fat and is easily digested. The Duck also provides a very satisfactory proportion of the Omega Fatty Acids that are proven to provide a range of health benefits. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of the average dog but perhaps not those who are more active.
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 29.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 13.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 8.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 4.0%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.1%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Duck Meal
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin contains a single source of meat and fish.
The primary meat source present is Duck Meal. Duck Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Duck Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Duck but in higher concentrations. This will include the selenium and phosphorus mentioned previously.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Pumpkin is a high-quality vegetable ingredient and a beneficial addition to a dogs diet. Pumpkin contains high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. However, Pumpkin is probably best known for the Dietary Fiber it can contribute. This fiber can improve and regulate digestion. Finally, Pumpkin does not contain significant levels of plant-based protein. This lack of protein prevents Pumpkin being used solely to inflate protein levels like other vegetables, such as Peas, often are.
Peas are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
Tapioca is a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates. Tapioca, which is also known as Cassava Root, is a staple of South America and is rarely seen in the western world. This means it is often used as a novel ingredient for dogs with allergies or sensitivities to other ingredients such as Peas and Potatoes. Tapioca does not contribute substantial nutrition beyond its carbohydrate content but does contain the some B Vitamins such as Folate and the Vitamin B6.
Sunflower Oil is one of a number of oils commonly added to pet food. Sunflower Oil contains high amounts of Omega 6 Fatty Acids. However, it does not provide any of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are often considered the more beneficial of the two. For that reason, Sunflower Oil is considered by many to be a less desirable addition than other oils such as Salmon and Canola Oil.
Flaxseed is a beneficial ingredient that is commonplace in higher quality dog food. Flaxseed contains high levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which provide a range of health benefits such as healthier skin and fur and improved cognitive function. Also, Flaxseed contains high levels of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Finally, Flaxseed provides Lignans which can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.
Full Ingredient List – Earthborn Holistic Venture – Duck Meal and Pumpkin
Duck Meal, Pumpkin, Peas, Tapioca, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Taurine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.