WholeHearted Dog Food Ingredients

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WholeHearted manufactures roughly 69 different dog food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore WholeHearted ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that WholeHearted uses roughly 195 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For WholeHearted, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. chicken broth
  3. pea
  4. chickpea
  5. salt

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in WholeHearted is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken broth, followed by pea, chickpea, and salt.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Our records indicate that WholeHearted does use artificial food coloring dyes. More specifically, we've identified 1 artificial food dye used by WholeHearted.

Although these food dyes are classified as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, we recommend avoiding them when possible.

According to the Center For Research In The Public Interest (CSPI), there are many potential health risks associated with the consumption of artificial food coloring dyes.

Given that most pets consume the same products for prolonged periods of time, these concerns should be taken seriously. In general, we recommend pet owners avoid feeding products which contain artificial food coloring dyes.

For more information regarding the CSPI's findings, read our artificial food coloring article.

The ingredient "added color" is ambiguous and may include various artificial dyes. Most artificial dyes have been linked to various chronic diseases.

The following recipes contain added color:

Animal By-Products

According to our records, WholeHearted does not contain any animal by-products.

Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.

Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including WholeHearted have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).

For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 3 anonymous meat ingredients used by WholeHearted.

Fish is typically an excellent protein and fat source. However, the specific type of fish is not mentioned and therefore we cannot discuss any specific qualities of this ingredient. In general, anonymous ingredients are low quality inclusions when compared to ingredients such as mackerel, cod, salmon, etc.

The following recipes contain fish:

Ocean fish can refer to multiple species of fish, since the particular type of fish is not specified, it's difficult to discuss this ingredient. The nutritional contribution of ocean fish depends on the species included; however, fish generally provides high quality protein and fat.

The following recipes contain ocean fish:

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce dog foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 9 controversial ingredients inside WholeHearted products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

Dried tomato pomace is a by-product of tomato manufacturing. It's considered a controversial ingredient because many people believe it is an inexpensive low quality filler. However, tomato pomace provides a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, Lycopene, and vitamin A. Although it is a very inexpensive ingredient, it is not nutritionally empty.

The following recipes contain dried tomato pomace:

Iron oxide is an FDA approved natural food coloring agent. It's commonly found in rusting metal and provides a reddish-brown color.</p><p>We believe food colorants are unnecessary ingredients in dog food. Other than potential harm, food colorants do not provide any nutritional value. These type of ingredients are used only to make the food look appealing to humans.

The following recipes contain iron oxide:

Powdered cellulose is produced from minuscule pieces of wood pulp and plant fibers. Other than its fiber content, powdered cellulose lacks any nutritional contribution.

The following recipes contain powdered cellulose:

Pea protein is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein is considered controversial because it provides a substantial plant based protein boost. This boost is undesirable because plant based protein is typically lower in biological value when compared to meat based proteins.

The following recipes contain pea protein:

Caramel color is a concentrated form of caramel, a natural food colorant. Caramel color has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel color is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.

The following recipes contain caramel color:

Canola oil is a plant-derived oil from the seeds of canola plants. Although fat is an essential component of any diet, canola oil is controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that canola oil provides a better fat profile in comparison to other plant based oils. However, opponents claim that canola oil is typically produced with genetically modified rapeseed and that rapeseed oil has multiple adverse health affects.

The following recipes contain canola oil:

Beet pulp is the by-product which remains once sugar has been extracted from sugar beets. The primary contribution of beet pulp is dietary fiber.</p><p>We'd also like to note that beet pulp is fairly controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that beet pulp can promote intestinal health and regulate blood sugar. However, opponents claim that beet pulp is an inexpensive filler.

The following recipes contain beet pulp:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting WholeHearted for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 2 harmful ingredients used in certain WholeHearted recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

The ingredient "added color" is ambiguous and may include various artificial dyes. Most artificial dyes have been linked to various chronic diseases.

The following recipes contain added color:

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex is a synthetic version of vitamin K that has been linked to many health concerns. Research has suggested possible toxic reactions in liver cells and red blood cells among other serious problems. In fact, one large chemical supplier warns, "The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."

The following recipes contain menadione sodium bisulfite complex:

WholeHearted Dog Food Ingredient Lists