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Dr. Harvey’s was started 30 years ago by Dr. Harvey Cohen who began as a human practitioner in New York City. In 1980, he changed direction and pursued animal nutrition through diet. Now he produces Dr. Harvey’s pet foods from its own plant in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. The company works with a research and development team to create recipes, base mixes, supplements and grooming products for dogs, cats and birds.
Dr. Harvey’s produces 4 lines of food that range from low to moderate risk. They are raw freeze-dried foods that are minimally processed. These foods contain high amounts of carbohydrates which isn’t what you want to see in raw, freeze-dried foods.
Dr. Harvey’s reports using regional, USDA-certified freeze-dried chicken, beef or fish and other whole foods that supply naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients. However, according to the ingredient list, most foods are supplemented with the addition of some vitamins and amino acids. This is a minimal list and not the typical pre-mix that many brands use. Still, it is preferable that vitamins, minerals and amino acids be obtained from whole food ingredients in the food.
Some of the ingredients are also GMO foods including potatoes, alfalfa and lecithin. Genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off. Other ingredients are known to be sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. These sprays pose a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils.
On the plus side, Dr. Harvey’s includes probiotics in its formulas, but it would be helpful to include a guarantee of the colony forming units (CFUs) as well. It’s also good to see that selenium yeast is listed. Dogs need selenium, and it’s usually added in very small amounts. Selenium yeast is the preferred form of this mineral, as included here, and not sodium selenium that might be associated with potential toxicity.
Dr. Harvey’s doesn’t provide the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. They are not the only ones not providing this information. However it’s important to know since diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease, and AAFCO allows a very high ratio of 30:1.
Click on the foods below for a complete review of Dr. Harvey’s dog foods.
Dr. Harvey’s Allergy diet is considered low risk and scores 7.5 points. It offers 2 recipes with average protein of 22% and average carbohydrate of 41.75%. It maintains a good score due to minimal processing. However, high carbohydrates cause the food to lose points for quality. Vitamins and amino acids have been added instead of relying on the ingredients to obtain necessary nutrients. However, there are no added minerals. These foods also have added probiotics. There are some ingredients known to contain higher pesticide/herbicide residues including spinach. Fish is in some recipes, however, it’s not stated whether it’s farmed or wild caught. Dr. Harvey’s doesn’t provide the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Dr. Harvey’s Healthy Weight diet is considered moderate risk and scores 6.75 points. It offers 2 recipes with average protein of 21% and average carbohydrate of 43%. It has minimal processing but loses points for high carbs. These foods have added vitamins and additional amino acids, however, there are no added minerals. These foods include probiotics. There are ingredients known to contain higher pesticide/herbicide residues. These recipes have added probiotics which is good to see. It’s not stated whether seafood ingredients are from farmed or wild caught sources. Dr. Harvey’s doesn’t provide the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
Dr. Harvey’s Garden Veggies Grain-Free foods are considered low risk with a score of 7.5 points. This line offers 2 recipes with average protein of 25% and average carbohydrate of 39%. These are minimally processed, freeze-dried foods. Carbohydrates are derived from fruits and vegetables which keeps the level rather high. These foods have added vitamins and amino acids but there are no added minerals. An ingredient safety concern is the inclusion of high some herbicide/pesticide foods. These foods also have added probiotics. Dr. Harvey’s doesn’t provide the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio.
The company has had no recalls to date.