Nutrition - 6/10
Ingredients - 8/10
Earthborn Holistic Large Breed is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average proportions of protein. We consider the carbohydrate proportion to be a lot higher than ideal. It would be better replaced with additional protein and fat.
It contains some high-quality meat and fish ingredients such as Chicken Meal and Whitefish Meal. It contains Peas which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.
Earthborn Holistic Large Breed contains a range of vegetables and two different sources of meat and fish. For this reason, it is unlikely to be suitable for dogs that suffer from allergies or sensitivities.
High-Quality Meat Ingredients
Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
Full review of Large Breed 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 44% of Earthborn Holistic Large Breed 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 average for a Dry Dog Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be sourced from a limited range of vegetable ingredients such as Peas. These ingredients will be discussed in depth later on. This is above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates. 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 26% of Earthborn Holistic Large Breed 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 above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will be a sufficient proportion of protein for most dogs but may be inadequate for those who are more active. This protein appears to be sourced from a mix of poultry and fish ingredients which are all considered high-quality sources. 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 Large Breed 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 a mix of poultry and fish ingredients which are fantastic high-quality sources. Fish and animal fat such as this is a dog’s natural source of fat. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of most dogs 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 Large Breed
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) – 26.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 13.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.5%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.9%
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.
- Chicken Meal
- Whitefish Meal
- Pea Fiber
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 Large Breed contains two sources of meat and fish.
The primary meat source present is Chicken Meal. Chicken 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. Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
The secondary fish source present is Whitefish Meal. Whitefish Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Fish Meal is a concentrated form of fish 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. Whitefish Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Whitefish but in higher concentrations. This includes Phosphorus and other minerals.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
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.
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 Large Breed
Chicken Meal, Peas, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Dried Egg Product, Whitefish Meal, Natural Flavors, Dicalcium Phosphate, Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Carrots, Spinach, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.