While many commercial dog food recipes are made with low-quality grains, Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is completely grain-free. Made with bison meal and lamb meal, this dog food formula is rich in protein and as well as a variety of healthy vitamins and minerals. This dry dog food is specially formulated to meet the high-energy needs of active dogs, designed to sustain energy as well as lean muscle mass. Because it is made without grains, this dog-food formula may be a good choice for dogs that are sensitive or allergic to common fillers like wheat- and corn-based ingredients. This dog food is also made with bison as an alternative to chicken and beef, two other common food allergens found in many dog foods. If you are looking for a healthy commercial dog food formula for your adult dog, Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food may be a good option to consider. Before you purchase this brand of dog food, however, you would be wise to consider the ingredients used to make this dog food and how they impact the total nutritional value of the product.
Bison Meal, Peas, Pea Protein, Tapioca, Dried Egg Product, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Lamb Meal, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavors, Blueberry Fiber, Cranberry Fiber, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Spinach, Cranberries, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Salt, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Yucca Schidgera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product
Explanation of Top 5 Ingredients
The top 5 ingredients included in Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food are: bison meal, pea protein, tapioca, dried egg product, and canola oil. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:
Bison Meal – Though you may be tempted to think that bison meal is less nutritious than raw bison meat, you would be mistaken. Raw meat contains up to 70% water which increases its volume significantly. When the dog food product is cooked, the actual measured volume of the meat is greatly reduced as well as the protein content. Bison meal has already been cooked to remove the water and it contains up to 300% more protein than fresh bison meat. The fact that bison meal is the first ingredient on the list for this dog food formula speaks to its high protein content.
Pea Protein – Pea protein is the substance that remains when the starchy part of the pea is removed. This ingredient contains about 80% protein, but it is important to note that this type of protein is less biologically valuable to dogs than meat-based proteins. Plant-based proteins like this are commonly used by dog food manufacturers to boost the protein content of their products without actually adding anymore meat. This ingredient is not harmful to your dog but it could easily be replaced by a higher quality source of protein. It’s also important to note that a small percentage of dogs may have loose stools due to pea related ingredients. While most dogs are not effected, it is something to note just in case.
Tapioca – This gluten-free carbohydrate is made from the root of the cassava plant and it is high in starch. Though this ingredient may not provide a great deal of nutritional value, it is a better ingredient than alternative starches because it is gluten-free, non-GMO, and non-toxic. This ingredient does contain some protein, as well, including a valuable combination of essential amino acids – it is also a highly digestible carbohydrate compared to alternatives like wheat and corn.
Dried Egg Product – This ingredient consists of the dehydrated form of eggs after the shells have been removed. Eggs are an excellent source of protein for dogs but dried egg product varies greatly in quality. In some cases, the eggs used to create this product come from commercial hatcheries and they may include eggs that failed to hatch. For the most part, however, this ingredient is a good source of digestible protein and it provides high biological value.
Canola Oil – This oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, though some argue that canola oil is a harmful ingredient since genetically modified rapeseed is used to make it. There are arguments both for and against this ingredient but, even if this ingredient is not necessarily harmful to your dog, plant-based oils are less biologically valuable than animal-based oils like fish oil.
Other Notable Ingredients
Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include: flaxseed, lamb meal, pea fiber, various vegetables, dried fermentation products, and chelated minerals.
Even though it is a plant-based ingredient, flaxseed is a good addition to this dry dog food formula. Flaxseeds are one of the highest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids and, because the seeds have been ground into meal, they are a good source of digestible fiber as well. One thing to keep in mind with this ingredient is that it contains about 19% protein which means that it can be used to increase the protein content of this dog food formula without adding more meat.
Compared to flaxseed, lamb meal is a much more valuable source of protein. Like bison meal, it is a highly concentrated source of protein made when fresh lamb is cooked. It would be nice to see this ingredient a little higher on the list, but it is a valuable addition to this formula. Pea fiber, on the other hand, is less valuable. This product consists of both soluble and insoluble fiber which is derived from the hulls of peas. Although dietary fiber does provide some benefit for your dog, this ingredient is largely a by-product which provides little to no nutritional value for your pet. Peas are popular in grain-free food as it is a good alternative to grain based fillers, but as stated above, a small number of dogs develop loose stools due to pea based ingredients. A number of other vegetables including carrots and spinach, as well as several fruits, are also included in this formula. These ingredients may provide some nutritional benefit in the form of vitamins and minerals as well as some dietary fiber.
Dried fermentation products may sound like a questionable ingredient but it is actually of some benefit for your dog. This ingredient may help to provide your dog with healthy enzymes to improve and regulate your dog’s digestion. Chelated minerals are also a good addition to this dog food formula. Chelated minerals are simply minerals that have been chemically bonded to a protein molecule – this makes them more biologically available for your dog. Some of the minerals included in this formula are zinc, manganese, copper, calcium, and sodium. This dog food formula also contains several vitamin supplements including folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and biotin.
The fact that bison meal, a highly concentrated source of protein, is listed first on the ingredients list for Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food gains this formula a lot of points. The next two ingredients, both starchy carbohydrates, result in a slight point deduction, however. Other ingredients included in this product could be of higher nutritional value. The canola oil could, for example, be substituted with fish oil for improved bioavailability and the pea protein could be substituted with another source of animal protein for higher biological value. Overall, however, this dog food formula provides more protein than many commercial formulas and less carbohydrate, so it can be said to provide an above-average level of nutritional value.
This Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast Grain-Free Dry Dog Food formula receives a paw rating of 4 out of 5 stars, making this an above average dog food. Not only is this product grain-free, but it includes a high-quality source of concentrated protein as the first ingredient on the list. There are a few ingredients which could be improved but, for the most part, this dog food formula provides an above-average level of nutritional value.