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Last updated: 24 Oct 2020

WholeHearted Dog Food Review

Key features

Formula includes pea protein; a high quality ingredient that can contain as much as 25% of protein

Key features

Our premium pick is available from Petco's website at $50 per 25 pounds

Key features

Can either purchase formula in bag containing five pounds or, to save money, containing thirty pounds

Show contents
Destin Benoit
Published 11:44 am

We truly believe that premium quality food is the way to a dog’s heart. Just like us humans, a dog plans their day around when their next meal will be plonked down in front of them. Why? As a high-quality meal packed to the brim of nutritious ingredients will make them feel exceptional, excel physically, and improve their long-term health. That’s why it’s essential that you must carry out a serious amount of research on different food recipes and brands to set them up for success.

Thankfully your research will come to a close, as you’ve luckily stumbled across Petco’s private label, WholeHearted dog food. Boasting a vast selection of delectable recipes to choose from, this dog food product line have soared in popularity over the four short years they’ve been around for. We’ve done our research and included in our dog food review what we believe to be five quintessential recipes that encompass what the WholeHearted product line represents: kibble containing premium ingredients that bring out your dog’s best.

WholeHearted Dog Food Review

1

As our favorite kibble from the Wholehearted dog food product line, the company’s Chicken and Pea recipe is grain-free to limit the chance of food sensitivities. The company’s decision to include canine probiotics was a smart move; these live microorganisms help poorly dogs overcome stomach issues such as diarrhea and constipation.

With protein-packed chicken featuring as this formula’s principal ingredient, your dog will stay by your side for the hour before their dinner time in the hope that you may give in and be convinced to feed them a little early. Another first-caliber ingredient that equips canines with the protein levels they require to thrive is, surprisingly enough, pea flour, which provides up to 25% of protein. Seriously, your dogs will love this scrumptious kibble – and you’ll love it too for providing them with the protein their bodies crave.

Check out our detailed reviews on the best dog food for loose stool and dog food for sensitive stomachs

Calorie content: 3,625 kcal/kg (339 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 26.0%

Minimum crude fat: 15.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 5.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Lentils

Specification:
  • Brand: Wholehearted
  • Weight: 25 pounds

2

Take one glance at the ingredient list of Wholehearted’s Pea and Salmon formula and you’ll instantly discover why it’s been lauded as our premium pick. As well as celebrating the return of our favorite protein-packed ingredient pea flour as the second principal ingredient on the ingredient list, the inclusion of hydrolyzed salmon is also a protein source to get excited about. When a protein source partakes in the process of hydrolysis, the ensuing splitting of protein contents into peptides reduce the probability that an animal’s immune system view the protein source as a threat.

For dog owners who struggle to curb their poorly dog’s skin allergies, feeding your pup a kibble containing premium ingredients should visibly improve the irritation of their skin as well as the amount they itch. For the itch relief and quality of food your dog will receive, the price that Wholehearted set is worth it for kibble of this quality.

Calorie content: 3,510 kcal/kg (328 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 22.0%

Minimum crude fat: 12.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 4.5%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Peas, Pea Flour, Hydrolyzed Salmon

Specification:
  • Brand: WholeHearted
  • Weight: 25 pounds

3

Just as us humans love a mix of Beef and Peas for Sunday Roast, our dogs adore feasting on this timeless combination for dinner every night. WholeHearted’s Beef and Pea recipe is recommended for large breeds who require their daily dosage of protein. Containing no artificial ingredients or additives, WholeHearted have substituted harmful ingredients for beneficial additions like glucosamine and chondroitin – joint supplements that support joint mobility by reducing inflammation.

Packed full of antioxidants, the addition of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids will have your dog’s coat shining and gleaming in only a matter of weeks. With this fantastic ingredient list, Wholehearted grain free dog food grants your dog a bowl full of delectable flavors and energy.

Calorie content: 3,408 kcal/kg (319 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 25.0%

Minimum crude fat: 13.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 5.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Beef, Beef Meal, Peas

Specification:
  • Brand: WholeHearted
  • Weight: 40 pounds

4

If your dog struggles with their weight, the Lamb Meal and Pea recipe of Wholehearted grain free dog food is the bag to opt for. Not only will a bag of this healthy Wholehearted recipe help your dog shed a few pounds, this formula will assist with any bloating or gas that your dog suffers from.

Nutrition experts at WholeHearted have astutely added in L-Carnitine – an amino acid that helps metabolize fat as well as treats dilated cardiomyopathy. Boasting a commendable grain free ingredient list suitable for dogs of all life stages, we couldn’t recommend this bag full of goodness more.

Calorie content: 2,979 kcal/kg (279 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 22.0%

Minimum crude fat: 6.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 10.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Lamb Meal, Peas, Chickpeas

Specification:
  • Brand: WholeHearted
  • Weight: 25 pounds

5

WholeHearted are insistent on creating bags of their nutritious kibble to suit every budget, as they believe all dogs should have access to formulas that bolster their overall health. Catering towards large and small breeds alike, the company’s chicken and brown rice recipe has been designed for puppies.

Your little furry rugrat will be blown away by the abundance of flavors within this high quality kibble. Just as you’ll be astonished by the large amount of health benefits your puppy will obtain from this modestly-priced pet food. Featuring canine probiotics to bolster digestive health, plenty of omega-3 fatty acids to ensure your pup’s coat and skin remains healthy, and real chicken as the first ingredient, you can’t compare buying a bag of Wholehearted puppy food with any other pet food company for the price it’s going for.

Check our our ultimate reviews of puppy food and dog food for small breeds.

Calorie content: 3,665 kcal/kg (395 kcal/cup)

Minimum crude protein: 26.0%

Minimum crude fat: 16.0%

Maximum crude fiber: 4.0%

Maximum moisture: 10.0%

First three ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice

Specification:
  • Brand: WholeHearted
  • Weight: 5 pounds

WholeHearted Dog Food Buying Guide

Company Information

Although their undeniable success leads prospective customers to believe that WholeHearted are a stand-alone business, WholeHearted aren't actually an individual company. In fact, they're an exclusive food line belonging to pet food giant Petco, launched in 2016. The private label originated by virtue of Petco's objective to create an affordable product line that prioritized both high quality ingredients and affordability. And by the looks of it, Petco have succeeded in doing just that. Boasting an extensive dog food collection available on Petco's website, the brand have bolstered sales for the pet store giant.

Pertinent to the product line's success is the money-saving online membership Petco advertize that allows customers to pay $29 upfront. After this yearly charge, they'll enjoy a colossal 25% off every WholeHearted food bag. Given that our premium pick in this buying guide, WholeHearted's Beef and Pea recipe, sells for $50 dollars for $25 of kibble, this offer saves loyal customers a whole lot of cash in the long run. Besides, we believe this offer shows what values WholeHearted cherish: the chance for all dog owners, no matter their income, to keep feeding their beloved pet good food.

Dog eating dry food

Why Choose this Brand?

The company include stories from loyal Petco customers on every bag: Petco decided to create their Wholehearted brand for the people. Accordingly, the company felt that it was only right to feature heartwarming stories of the bond real Petco owners and their beloved pets share on every single bag of their kibble. Our favorite example has to be of the beautiful bond shared between Rosco and owner Heidi. Hearing about how Whole-Hearted's weight control formula helped "mama's boy" Rosco overcome his tubbiness and curb his treat-motivated tendencies makes other customers feel inspired and part of the Petco community. Hash-tagged #WholeHeartedPets, our hearts certainly feel warmer from knowing that real pets are reaping the benefits of Petco's line of affordable pet food.

The selection that WholeHearted provides customers with is astonishing: Is your older dog a member of a small breed who suffers from food allergies? Or are they a large puppy who needs plenty of protein to cater for their active diet? Whatever life stage, size, or lifestyle your dog is or leads, Wholehearted promise they'll have the right recipe to satisfy them. In just four short years, the number of different Wholehearted recipes has jumped from zero to a whopping fifty plus bags of kibble to choose from.

Ingredient Analysis

Still not convinced by our non-stop prattling about how the ingredients within WholeHearted's formulas are first-class? Read our ingredient analysis below to find out more about the incredible benefits these ingredients will have for your dog.

Dried Chicory Root: This desirable plant-based ingredient is largely composed of the prebiotic fiber inulin and used to maintain heart health. In relation to taste, this fantastic ingredient will even flavor your dog's food! As it has a mild laxative effect, chicory has even ben proven to decrease swelling and increase bile in the gallbladder, thereby ensuring optimal digestion for your dog.

Folid Acid: As the man-made version of the vitamin folate, no pet food company can claim folid acid derives naturally. However, its inclusion in dog food increases the amount of healthy red blood cells in your pet, helping bodily development.

L-Carnitine: This essential compound, produced from lysine and methionine by the body, plays a major role in ensuring the mitochondrial oxidation of long-chain fatty acids takes place. As a result, you'll find your active dog to be more alert and raring to go out on their daily walks!

Menhaden Fish Oil: Boasting a high fatty acid content, Menhaden Fish Oil is one of the greatest sources for your dog to obtain anti-inflammatory fatty acid DPA from. As Menhadens are small fish, the omega-3 fatty acids these oily fish provide us our pets with are toxin-free, unlike fish at the top of the food chain such as salmon and tuna that contain high levels of mercury.

Papaya: Wholehearted follow other reputable dog food brands in including papaya in their kibble due to it being a great source of fiber. Accordingly, the fruit is fed to our pets in order to prevent and treat gastrointestinal tract disorders and help natural digestion occur. Although you don't really need another reason to love this fruit, we'll give you one more – papaya includes the enzyme papain that facilitates the digestion of proteins.

Taurine: This naturally occurring amino acid is beneficial for both your dog's body and brain development. Research conducted by Experimental and Clinical Cardiology even claims that taurine may have potential health benefits in preventing cardiovascular disease!

Dog food in bowl

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • WholeHearted has no recall history to speak of: Given that WholeHearted formulas have only been around for four years, many sceptics won't count this as a pro and rather consider it as an inevitability. Petco themselves have had several recalls, the one regarded in the pet industry as their worst being the company's recall of radiation-tainted pet food bowls. However, we believe it's the nutritionists over at Petco's attention to detail that has allowed for the last four recall-free years for WholeHearted
  • Petco are a brand that have survived and thrived over the last fifty years: Nobody in the business can dispute Petco's success over the past fifty years. It's not just premium dog food brand WholeHearted that the reputable company have affiliated themselves with. Other well-known dog food names you may recognize are Purina, Taste of the Wild, Blue Buffalo, and Natural Balance. What's more, the pet retailer give back to fur balls everywhere through their Petco Foundation – an independent non-profit organisation that helps find loving homes for animals up for adoption
  • WholeHearted offer their consumer incredible ingredients at affordable prices - Given how much we're a fan of Petco's exclusive label Wholehearted, we thought we'd tie up our buying guide with a positive. And it's true; for the wonderful ingredients that WholeHearted feature in their bags of dog food, they could charge their customers a lot more for the high quality dog food they're producing. Containing no artificial fillers to speak of, the diverse range of yummy ingredients within these well-crafted recipes promise to set your dog– no matter their age, breed, or size – up for success.
Cons
  • The food line's emphasis on pairing their principal meat sources with peas and potatoes may be detrimental to your pet's health: WholeHearted unquestionably have a tendency to pair their meat sources like Lamb, Chicken, and Salmon with vegetables such as peas and potatoes, bringing out lovely aromas and flavors in their dog kibble. Yet is complimenting protein-sources with these ingredients as innocent as we may believe it to be? Emerging research carried out by reputable organisations such as the United States Food and Drug Administration have found that Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy may be more likely to originate in dogs eating pet foods containing legumes such as peas or lentils
  • Grain free formulas induce worry in dog owners everywhere: We're of course referring to another alarming FDA investigation which insinuates that Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy may be more common in dogs who eat grain free diets. However, if you're worried about this, Wholehearted grain free dog food isn't the only option. The label do offer recipes containing grain, just like their Beef and Brown Rice recipe that has received rave reviews from delighted customers everywhere
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