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In addition to this 4Health Beef and Potato review, you can check our main review of 4Health dog food for even more information on how the food is made, recalls, company history, and their quality control history.
As with many private label brands, information about 4Health is harder to find than for national brands. However, Tractor Supply Company does provide ingredients and nutritional information on their company web site, so you can find out more about this food than many other private label foods. They advertise the food in their store circulars, too. Since it is a private label brand you can only buy it at Tractor Supply Company stores.
Ingredients 4Health Grain Free Beef & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs
Beef, Beef Meal, Pea Protein, Whole Potato, Dried Peas, Tapioca, Sunflower Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Whole Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beef Tallow (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Manganese Proteinate, L-Carnitine, Copper Proteinate, Niacin, D- Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Folic Acid.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The first two ingredients in the food are meat proteins – beefand beef meal. Beef is a very good source of animal protein, Riboflavin, Niacin and Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium. It’s also a good source of omega-6 fatty acid. Naturally beef contains a great deal of moisture. If the moisture were removed this ingredient would come later in the ingredient list. However, beef meal, the second ingredient, has several times as much protein as beef and has had most of the moisture removed. It’s an excellent source of protein and nutrients for dog food. Both of these ingredients will also contribute to the animal fat in the food which is good for your dog. Check out this article to learn more about the difference between meat and meat meal.
The next four ingredients make up most of the carbohydrates in the food. That’s a hefty amount of carbs, especially coming so early in the ingredient list. These ingredients are pea protein, whole potatoes, dried peas, and tapioca. This is a grain free food so you wouldn’t expect to see grains here and these particular carbs are often used in place of grains in dog foods today.
Pea protein and dried peas are being used by more and more dog food companies today as a replacement for corn. There is some thought by dog food companies that these ingredients are more acceptable to consumers than corn and other grains on the label. They are a source of protein, a dietary fiber, and a natural source of vitamin K, among other things. They will boost the protein percentage of the food to some extent. However, some dogs have trouble digesting peas and there have not been any good studies about their digestibility in dogs. Some dogs seem able to digest peas without much trouble but this is something you should watch for when you feed foods that contain peas, pea protein, pea starch, and other forms of peas. You can learn more about peas and pea fiber in dog food here.
Whole potatoes are moderately nutritious for dogs. They are a good source of dietary fiber as well as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. They are also gluten-free. Likewise, tapioca is gluten-free which is one of the things which recommends it. It doesn’t have much nutritional value but it’s sometimes used as a carb to help dogs gain weight.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
The food also contains Beef Tallow (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E) farther down the ingredient list. Beef tallow is the rendered fat from beef. This is basically lard or shortening. I know, I know. Everyone will be horrified. It’s rendered fat! Oh, no! Wendy Volhard in The Holistic Guide For A Healthy Dog says it’s mainly used for flavoring and palatability.
On the other hand, I don’t think it’s so bad. Like most things, the quality of the beef tallow really depends on the source. It’s beef fat and not something bad in general. It’s a named animal fat like chicken fat or duck fat. If you are feeding this food for your dog to gain weight, as suggested by the tapioca and potatoes for carbs, then you might want the beef tallow in the food as an extra source of calories.
To finish up, the food also contains vitamins and chelated minerals which make it easier for dogs to absorb them. The food also contains several sources of vitamin E and vitamin C as natural preservatives.
- Crude Protein (min) ….. 28.0%
- Crude Fat (min) ….. 15.0%
- Crude Fiber (max) ….. 4.0%
- Moisture (max) ….. 10.0%
- Zinc (min) ….. 200 mg/kg
- Selenium (min ) ….. 0.4 mg/kg
- Vitamin E (min) ….. 300 IU/kg
- *Omega-6 (min) ….. 2.5%
- *Omega-3 (min) ….. 0.4%
- *Glucosamine (Naturally occurring) (min) ….. 300 mg/kg
- *Chondroitin Sulfate (Naturally occurring) (min) ….. 100 mg/kg
Caloric Content: 3,580 kilocalories per kilogram (kcal/kg, calculated) of Metabolizable Energy (ME) on an as fed basis; 371 kcal/cup.
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO dog food nutrient profile.
Tractor Supply Company states the following in their description of this and other 4Health foods:
“4Health Grain Free Beef & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your adult dog.”
However, this is NOT the same as an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy and I couldn’t find one listed for the food on the Tractor Supply Co. web site. This raises concerns about the nutritional adequacy of this food.
4Health Grain Free Beef & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs looks like a good food for someone wishing to feed their dog a grain free food that is gluten-free and that could also help their dog gain some weight. The food has a good protein percentage for a premium food of 28 percentage and a fat percentage of 15 percent. The ingredients look like they’re good quality and I’m not bothered by the beef tallow. It’s still troubling that Diamond and Tractor Supply don’t supply the AAFCO statement on the company web site but I hope they will fix this problem.
4Health Beef And Potato has received our 4 paw rating.