Nutrition - 4/10
Ingredients - 5/10
Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion is a low-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is below average and it provides above average proportions of carbohydrates and below average proportions of fat. We consider the carbohydrate proportion to be far higher than ideal and would prefer it to be replaced with additional protein and fat.
It contains a limited range of fish-based ingredients such as Whitefish and Menhaden Fish. It contains Sweet Potatoes which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. Unfortunately, it also contains grains such as Rye and Barley which are considered low-quality sources of carbohydrates.
Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion contains a range of vegetables, grains and two different sources of fish. For this reason, it is unlikely to be suitable for dogs that suffer from allergies or sensitivities.
Some High-Quality Fish Ingredients
Very High Level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
No Vegetable By-products
Contains Low-Quality Grains
Poor Overall Nutrition
Full review of Ocean Fusion 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 49% of Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion 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 above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The very high carbohydrate proportion appears to be sourced from a mix of starch and grain ingredients such Sweet Potatoes and Rye. While Sweet Potatoes are considered a higher-quality ingredient, the grains are not. These ingredients will be discussed in depth later on. This is far above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates. This issue is compounded when the source of this proportion is taken into account.
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 23% of Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion 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 average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will be a sufficient proportion of protein for relatively inactive dogs but will be inadequate for those who are active. This protein appears to be sourced from fish ingredients which are all considered high-quality sources. A small proportion of this protein is from the vegetable ingredients. 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 28% of Earthborn Holistic Ocean Fusion 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 below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from a range of fish ingredients which are all fantastic high-quality sources. Fish fat such as this is a dog’s natural source of fat. This low estimate of fat content may be insufficient to fulfill the energy needs of active dogs.
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 Ocean Fusion
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) – 22.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 12.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.6%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.0%
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.
- Whitefish Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
- Menhaden Fish 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 Ocean Fusion contains two sources of meat and fish.
The primary 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.
Another fish source present is Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden Fish Meal is considered an average-quality source of fish. Menhaden Fish are small oily fish that are not fit for human consumption. The oil is removed from these fish and the leftover flesh is turned into fish meal. This fish meal is high in protein. Unfortunately, as most of the oil has been removed Menhaden Fish Meal is not high in the beneficial Omega Fatty Acids like other fish.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Sweet Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates. Sweet Potatoes are considered superior to traditional Potatoes as they contain more fiber and a more extensive range of vitamins and minerals. Some examples of vitamins and minerals that are abundant in Sweet Potatoes are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. The higher amount of fiber and the range of micronutrients in Sweet Potatoes mean that they are considered a high-quality ingredient despite containing mostly carbohydrates.
Barley is a grain containing gluten and can be considered a low-quality ingredient in dog food by some. It is very high in carbohydrates and can be difficult to digest. The fact that it is challenging to digest could lead to constipation or other symptoms. However, Barley does contain high levels of selenium and manganese. Learn more about Barley in our article Barley In Dog Food.
Rye is a cereal grain similar to Barley and contains gluten. Rye is not biologically appropriate for a dogs diet and causes problems for sensitive dogs similar to other grains like Wheat and Corn. Rye is most nutritious in its whole form and not processed.
Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a dense source of complex carbohydrates. Also, Potatoes can provide fiber and a surprising number of minerals and vitamins such as Potassium, Copper and the Vitamin B6. Sadly, Potatoes are considered an average-quality ingredient as they provide minimal nutritional value beyond their carbohydrate content.
Canola Oil is derived from a modified version of Rapeseed. Canola Oil is most commonly added to dog food to supplement the levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids. These Fatty Acids are crucial for a dogs skin, coat and brain development. While Canola Oil is not the ideal source of the Omega Fatty Acids, it does have a high ratio of Omega 3 Fatty Acids to Omega 6 Fatty Acids. Sources with high ratios, such as Canola Oil, are considered superior. However, Canola Oil can be a controversial ingredient due to the fact it is genetically modified.
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 Ocean Fusion
Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Ground Barley, Rye Flour, Potatoes, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Taurine, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Chondroitin Sulfate, Beta-Carotene, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Salt, 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, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.