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Dog Food Insiders Rating
3 1/2 PAWS
In addition to this 4Health Lamb and Rice 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 In 4Health Lamb And Rice
Lamb, lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, ground rice, millet, egg product, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, natural flavor, flaxseed, fish meal, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, yucca schidigera extract, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, chondroitin sulfate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
4Health uses essentially the same selection of ingredients in most of their foods, with some changes in meat proteins and grains. Their 4Health Lamb & Rice Formula for Adult Dogs has ingredients that are very similar to many of their other foods. The first two ingredients are meat proteins. In this case they are lamb and lamb mealwhich both provide good sources of protein. While some people prefer lamb to lamb meal, in fact, lamb meal is a concentrated form of lamb. It’s had most of the moisture removed and it contains several times as much protein as the lamb. Both are good ingredients for your dog. It’s a good source of Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Manganese, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper and Selenium. It also has lots of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Most dogs can eat lamb without any problem though it is not the novel protein it used to be.
The next five ingredients are grains. That’s a lot of grain and carbohydrates but the food does state that it’s a lamb and rice food, so you already know that it goes in this direction from the start. For more information about grains in dog food, check out our article on what you should know about grain free dog food.
The grains in this formula are: whole grain brown rice, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, ground rice, and millet. You may have read or heard recently that arsenic has been found in some rice. It’s a systemic problem – not something subject to recall. The rice grows that way because the arsenic is in the ground water, the land, our fertilizers, and other parts of rice production. At present, the FDA is saying that there isn’t enough arsenic in rice to be of concern to dog owners as a result of previous testing of dog foods for metal content. However, some people are still uneasy about feeding their dogs foods with rice in them and this is perfectly understandable. Brown rice, in particular, contains more arsenic than white rice, according to testing, and this food contains both brown and white rice. In the future the FDA may set revised standards for how much arsenic is considered safe in pet foods. You can always avoid dog foods that contain rice for now.
Brown rice is a good source of Selenium and Manganese, as well as omega-6 fatty acid. White rice adds Folate and Manganese.
Oatmeal is a good source of dietary fiber as well Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Manganese. It’s also slower for your dog to digest which is helps prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
Pearled barley is another good dietary fiber and a good source of Manganese. Both of these grains are good sources of omega-6 fatty acids.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
Millet doesn’t provide a lot of nutrition but it does add more Manganese and some more omega-6 fatty acid. It adds some small percentages of other vitamins.
Egg product is another source of protein. While it’s not a meat source, its nutrients are easy to digest and they have a high biological value so your dog can easily use their protein.
Some of the fat in the food comes from the lamb and lamb meal but thechicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) provides a lot of the fat. This is a good named source of fat. It’s high in omega-6 fatty acids that are good for your dog’s skin, coat, and other systems. The mixed tocopherols are a form of vitamin E so they are a natural preservative.
Fish meal is included in the food. This is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Diamond, the maker of 4Health pet foods for Tractor Supply Company, says that they are ethoxyquin-free and use only natural preservatives. The food uses several natural preservatives: salt, vitamin E supplement, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
The food has several other supplements worth noting. Taurine has been added. Taurine is added in some better dog foods for heart health after it was found that some breeds had problems with dilated cardiomyeopathy and other heart issues. Taurine is an amino acid and it’s believed to help these problems.
The food also contains glucosamine and chondroitin which are often given to dogs with joint problems and arthritis. However, most dog foods don’t contain enough of these supplements to really help a dog with these problems. If your dog has joint problems or arthritis you will probably want to buy your own glucosamine and/or chondroitin or other joint supplements and add them to his diet. Talk to your vet about other supplements that might help your dog.
Yucca schidigera extract is commonly added to dog foods to reduce stool odor. You should also notice that vitamin D supplement is added. Vitamin D (sometimes seen as vitamin D3 on labels) is important in regulating the calcium and phosphorus in the dog’s body.
Finally, the food has vitamins and chelated minerals added. Chelated (“proteinated”) minerals are minerals that are bound to amino acids, which is organic, making them much easier for your dog to digest.
- Crude Protein ….. 21.0% (min.)
- Crude Fat ….. 12.0% (min.)
- Crude Fiber ….. 4.0% (max.)
- Moisture ….. 10.0% (max.)
- Zinc ….. 150 mg/kg (min.)
- Selenium ….. 0.4 mg/kg (min.)
- Vitamin E ….. 150 IU/kg (min.)
- Taurine* ….. 0.1% (min.)
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids* ….. 2.2% (min.)
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids* ….. 0.4% (min.)
- Glucosamine* ….. 300 mg/kg (min.)
- Chondroitin Sulfate* ….. 100 mg/kg (min.)
- Caloric Content 3,506 kcal/kg (328 kcal/cup): Calculated Metabolizable Energy
*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 Lamb & Rice Formula for Adult Dogs is specifically formulated to meet the nutritional needs of your adult dog.”
It also says that it is formulated for all life stages. However, this is NOT the same as an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy. AAFCO statements are present on the packaging of 4Health products but it would be nice if the company would make them available on the web site.
Although this food contains a lot of good ingredients, the overall protein percentage is only 21 percent, which is low for a quality dog food. The fat percentage is 15 percent. It contains 328 calories per cup of food which is also low for most adult dogs compared with other premium foods. The lamb protein in the food looks good but the food does contain a lot of carbohydrates (roughly estimated it contains about 42 percent carbohydrates). The food also contains both brown and white rice, in case you are concerned about arsenic in rice. On the other hand, the ingredients really do look good and the food contains a lot of nice extras like taurine, natural preservatives, and chelated minerals. A medium grade food.
4health Lamb and Rice has received our 3.5 paw rating.
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The Main 4health Dog Food Review
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