Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 7/10
Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides above average quantities of protein and fat.
It contains well sourced high-quality ingredients and limits its meat-based ingredients to Quail, Turkey, and Pork. It contains Lentils, Chickpeas, Peas and Pumpkin which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.
Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail contains a large range of vegetables and a range of meats, this means it will likely not be suitable for dogs that suffer from meat allergies or sensitivities.
High-Quality Meat Ingredients
Contains Pea By-products
Full review of Wild Heart with Quail by Solid Gold
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 41% of Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail 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 vast majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable content of this dog food. This will be discussed later on. This is considerably 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 27% of Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail 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 more than sufficient amount of protein for almost all dogs including those who are extremely active. This protein appears to be mostly sourced from Quail and Turkey ingredients which is a high-quality source. However, some of this protein is from the range of legumes present. Plant-based protein such as this is not quite as optimal as animal protein but given the already high levels of protein, it is not significant.
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 32% of Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail 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 the Quail and Turkey ingredients which are an ideal source. This low estimate of fat content is sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of most dogs.
Solid Gold Wild Heart with Quail contains on average 3565kcal/kg or 365kcal/cup.
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 – Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail
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) – 27.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 14.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.75%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.75%
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.
- Turkey Meal
- Pork Meal
- Pea Protein
- 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. Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail contains four sources of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Quail. Quail is considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition to being a fantastic protein source, chicken has high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6. Unfortunately, Quail does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Quail. However given that Quail is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
Another meat source present is Turkey Meal. Turkey 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. Turkey Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Turkey but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
Another meat source present is Pork Meal. Pork 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. Pork Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Pork but in higher concentrations. This includes Thiamin and significant levels of the Iron.
Ocean Fish Meal is considered an average quality source of fish. It is a concentrated form of fish that has already had most of its moisture removed. Ocean Fish Meal is likely to have a relatively high protein content which is ideal for a dog’s diet. Unfortunately Ocean Fish is a vague description. For this reason, it’s difficult to gauge exactly what fish the meal is made of. In addition, this makes it difficult to gauge the quantities of fish oils such as Omega 3 and Omega 6.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Chickpeas and 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.
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.
Pea Protein is a by-product of Peas. Pea Protein is considered a low-quality ingredient. It is often used as a cheap way to increase the overall level of protein in a dog food without including additional meat or fish content. While the protein in Pea Protein is not harmful, plant-based proteins such as this are considered inferior to meat and fish-based proteins as they do not contain the full range of needed amino acids. Pea Protein is one of the most common ingredients used in a technique called Ingredient Splitting.
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.
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.
Salmon Oil is a reliable source of the Omega 3 & 6 Fatty Acids. In fact, Salmon Oil is particularly high in the Omega 3 Fatty Acid which is considered to be the more beneficial of the two. The Omega Fatty Acids are essential for an extensive range of reasons. They can help maintain a dogs skin and coat, they can reduce inflammation and they can help fight heart disease. The full list of potential benefits of the Omega Fatty Acids is far too numerous to list.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Solid Gold – Wild Heart with Quail
Quail, Chickpeas, Peas, Potatoes, Turkey Meal, Pea Protein, Pork Meal, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin, Ocean Fish Meal, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavors, Dried Eggs, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Carrots, Parsley, Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Lettuce, Celery, Beets, Watercress, Spinach, Dried Chicory Root, Broccoli, Spearmint, Almond Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Sesame Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Kelp, Thyme, Lentils, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.