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Whole Earth Farm Grain Free Dry Dog Food Review

Average Score

3.5
4 color scale

Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our  evaluation criteria.

Whole Earth Farm Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Recipe Dog Food

With a score of 3.5/10, Whole Earth Farm Grain Free dry dog food is considered a high risk dog food. There are 3 recipes that average 26% protein and 38% carbohydrate as calculated. 

The company states it doesn’t use wheat, corn or soy in this line, but it does list various combinations of potatoes, sweet potatoes and peas at the top of the ingredient list and several within the first 5 ingredients. This leads to a carbohydrate content that is excessively high, even for a kibble. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Starch is also required for extrusion in dry foods. Excessive carbohydrate is an indicator of lower food quality as it can be used to reduce manufacturing cost. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates can increase insulin levels, increase the risk of obesity and cause unwanted changes to the gut microbiome. 

This line uses an excessive amount of added vitamins and minerals to fulfill the nutrient needs of these recipes. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from added vitamin premixes, so it’s preferable that most or all vitamins and minerals come from real foods. 

It’s also worth noting that the line contains sodium selenite as a source of selenium. Dogs need selenium, and it’s usually added in very small amounts. However, some research suggests that sodium selenite may be associated with potential toxicity, so selenium yeast is the preferred form of this mineral. 

These recipes also contain plant protein, including peas and canola meal, which are less expensive substitutes for quality animal protein. You want to see animal sources because they’re more digestible and contain a wider array of amino acids than plant based protein sources. 

These recipes include probiotics but the amount of CFUs (colony forming units) is not guaranteed.

On the ingredient safety side, kibble is ultra-processed so it loses points across the line. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species.

The line includes several ingredients known for high pesticide/herbicide residues, including peas in the top 5 ingredients, apples, and beet pulp. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers pose a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils. Foods with the largest reported amount of residue are  penalized, including crops that are known to be spray-dried with glyphosate, which leaves them with higher herbicide residues. 

The line also loses ingredient safety points for GMO ingredients such as potatoes and canola meal in the top 5 ingredients. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they 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

These recipes contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. Natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

It’s not stated whether fish in the recipes is farmed or wild caught. Wild caught fish is more nutritious and has a better fatty acid balance providing healthy omega-3s. 

Lastly, Whole Earth Farm doesn’t provide the omega-6:omega-3 ratio, which is a concern since AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1.

Whole Earth Farm Grain Free Dry Dog Food Benefits

Whole Earth Farm Grain Free Dry Dog Food Concerns

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