Made by Merrick Pet Care of Amarillo, Texas, Whole Earth Farms Dog Food offers naturally nutritious dog food at a great price. They make both kibble and canned foods, as well as grain-free selections. Made at home in the USA, the company states that none of their ingredients are sourced from China. No corn, no soy, no wheat, no artificial colors and no artificial preservatives are used in the making of Whole Earth Farms dog food. The company promotes itself as being the perfect dog food for those who are interested in trying out a natural pet food.
Wondering about the cost of Whole Earth Farms dog food? According to their website’s cost comparison page, their dog food is less expensive to serve per day than popular grocery store brands like Iams, Pedigree, Purina One and Nutro Max.
Its manufacturer, Merrick has been manufacturing pet treats since 1988, and high-quality dog food since 2003. All Whole Earth Farms kibble, treats and canned food are made in their new Texas manufacturing plant, which adheres to the highest standards.
Examining Whole Earth Farms
Sold without the Merrick brand name, Whole Earth Farms is a relatively new product line. Whole Earth Farms is marketed as being natural and wholesome, at a great value. At times, this means that cheaper ingredients are used. They are good about declaring all the components that are missing, (such as corn, soy and wheat) but one is left to wonder what it is made of, especially since the food isn’t particularly expensive.
Since this is a new product line for Merrick, there isn’t a wide variety of different products just yet. There are 4 different kinds of kibble shown on their website: Puppy Recipe, Adult Recipe, Grain-Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb and Grain-Free Recipe with Chicken & Turkey. Each of their adult formulations contain 348 calories per serving, and have a protein to crude fat ratio of 26/13. The formula for puppies has 340 calories and a 26/12 ratio. Each formula meets AAFCO approval standards for all life stages.
Let’s take a look at their canned dog food varieties. All of them are grain-free. Choose from adult, puppy, hearty chicken stew, hearty turkey stew, hearty beef stew, chicken & turkey, and red meat recipe. In each 12.7 ounce can, they contain 8-10% crude protein and 3-6.5% crude fat. Their calorie count ranges from 290 to 400. They also meet AAFCO standards for each stage of life.
Dog Food Review of Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb
Let’s take a look at this poultry-free, grain-free option, since grain-free dog food is all the rage at the moment. The first 5 ingredients in this formulation are as follows: Pork meal, dried potatoes, peas, pork fat and sweet potatoes.
Some feel that a good dog food should have several meat protein sources in the first listed ingredients. The only meat protein source in this food is the pork meal. Nevertheless, pork meal is a perfectly acceptable meat protein for dogs. Many high-quality dog foods use pork meal as a primary ingredient. Containing up to 80% protein, pork is a good nutrition source for your dog.
Its main source of carbohydrates are the potatoes and sweet potatoes. Potatoes contain about 7% protein and 92% carbohydrates. Sweet potatoes contain 6% protein and 93% carbohydrates. Both provide great sources of fiber. Some worry about potatoes containing too much sugar but unless your dog has issues with his blood sugar, there shouldn’t be a reason for concern.
Peas on the other hand are problematic for some dogs. Some dogs find peas difficult to digest. Peas have about 22-24% protein and also contain fiber, vitamins and minerals. Peas have been used successfully in livestock feed, but dogs are different from cows. Peas, pea fiber, pea starch or pea protein are often a cause of digestive problems in dogs.
Dog owners often worry about excess carbs when they instead should be concerned about meat proteins being replaced with plant proteins. Although peas don’t exactly sound unhealthy, they serve the same function as corn in a dog food, as a filler ingredient. Most animal nutritionists agree that meat protein is far better for a dog than plant protein.
With that being said, there is a reason many dog food companies choose plant protein over meat protein, because it is cheaper. In most cases, the more meat the dog food contains, the more expensive it is. Dog food with more meat protein is easier for your dog to digest and more of the nutrients are able to be used.
Pork fat is used to add flavor to the food, which your dog will like. It acts as an energy source, and also helps fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed. Mixed tocopherols are included, which is a natural preservative comprised of vitamin E.
The 6th ingredient in this dog food is beef, which is a great source of protein. Lamb is the 8th ingredient. It would be better if both of these ingredients were higher up in the list, but nevertheless it is still included.
This formula also contains salmon oil, which is a beneficial ingredient. An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, it is great for your dog’s skin and coat. Dried blueberries found in this formula are a great source of antioxidants. Rosemary acts as a natural preservative.
In regards to calorie count, it has 348 calories per 1 cup serving, which is about average. Overall, this food has a moderate amount of protein and a relatively low fat percentage. The fiber count is relatively low and the carb percentage is higher than most.
It is appealing that Whole Earths Farm dog foods leave out things like artificial colors and preservatives. It is great that they offer grain-free alternatives. The only drawback is that it would be better if there were more meat protein in their formulations. Nevertheless, Whole Earth Farms offers a quality natural dog food at an affordable price.