The food is marketed as an affordable pet food that provides dogs of all ages and sizes with nutritional ingredients for optimal health. Since the launch they have added a grain free formula. There is also a 4Health food for cats.
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According to Tractor Supply Company, the food is priced up to 20 percent less than similar national brands. 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 do 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.
Each of these formulas has meat listed as its first ingredient, and none of the formulas use poultry by-product meal or artificial colors or flavors, according to the company.
4Health Dog Food Review
These foods have no corn, wheat, soy, or rice and meat is the first ingredient. I chose this food to review because it is listed on the Tractor Supply Company web site as their most popular 4Health food, so a lot of people are buying it. And, I was talking to a friend of mine the other day and he said he had been feeding this food to his two mixed breed dogs. He said since he started feeding it that most of their skin problems had cleared up and they were doing much better now.
So, I was curious to see what was in the food and if it might be something to recommend to others. The first two ingredients are meat proteins — salmon and ocean fish meal. You have to like salmon as the first ingredient. And dogs usually love the taste of salmon. Ocean fish meal is a concentrated form of fish protein. Diamond Pet Foods, which makes 4Health for Tractor Supply Company, has stated that they only use fish meals that are free of ethoxyquin as of and this seems to be true with food such as Taste of the Wild and other products they make.
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I believe that this food is ethoxyquin-free but this status can change with dog foods, so you might want to re-check this point periodically. The next three ingredients in the food provide carbs and fiber and some additional protein: potatoes , peas , and cracked pearled barley.
The potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber as well as vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. Many dog food companies today are using peas instead of grains like corn. They are high in protein and dietary fiber, as well as being a natural source of vitamin K. However, some dogs have problems digesting them because of the fibrous cellulose surrounding the interior of the peas. This is a cellulase digestive enzyme to help break down the cellulose in the fiber ingredients in the food so they can be more easily digested by your dog. Again, some dogs have more or less problems digesting these fiber ingredients in the dog foods that include ingredients like peas.
The fifth ingredient here is cracked pearled barley which is considered to be a good source of carbs that are absorbed more slowly in the gastrointestinal tracts so the blood sugar level stays steady. There are a number of other interesting ingredients in this food. Egg product appears as the next ingredient. Eggs are high in protein and very easy for dogs to digest so they get lots of nutrition from them. Canola oil supplies another source of fat in the food.
Plant-based fats are not as desirable as good named animal sources of fat but canola oil is a very good fat source. We also find tomato pomace here which is the pulpy part of the tomato, together with the seeds. It is used as fiber in the food. Some people object that tomato pomace is a cheap filler in dog foods, and they might be right. But it also contains lots of vitamin C, lycopene, and beta-carotene which are desirable. The food also has flaxseed.
Flaxseed has pros and cons. However, if you are a dog breeder, flaxseed and flaxseed oil have been associated with failure to conceive, smaller litters, and other breeding problems. The food also contains dried kelp which is typically added for its trace minerals and iodine. Blueberries and cranberries are sources of antioxidants. And rosemary extract is often used in dog foods as a preservative.
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The food uses lots of digestive enzymes , pre- and probiotics such as dried chicory root, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, and dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product. Their purpose is to help your dog digest the food better.
You should also note the presence in the food of chelated minerals which makes it easier for your dog to absorb them. The food also has glucosamine and chondroitin which are usually added as joint supplements, though in most cases if your dog really needs a good joint supplement you should add something in addition to his food to be sure he is getting what he needs.
Yucca schidigera extract is added to dog foods to reduce odor from the stool, though it supposedly has some healing properties, too.
And, finally, L-Carnitine is an amino acid nutritional supplement that is sometimes added to food to help metabolize fatty acids into energy and keep the body lean. A dog food might add it to the ingredients, as in this case, when the proteins are mainly fish. The Linus Pauling Institute reports that 3 oz beef contains between 80 and 81 mg of L-carnitine, while a 3 oz serving of pork contains between 20 and 24 mg.
Fish and chicken do not compare as well, with fish containing only 5 mg in a 3 oz portion, and chicken containing 3 mg in a 3 oz portion. The quality of the ingredients appears to be very good. The salmon and ocean fish meal are good animal proteins, especially if your dog has any problems with chicken or lamb, and they are the first two ingredients. The fish meal is also thought to be free of ethoxyquin. The food appears to use natural preservatives. The chelated minerals make them easier for your dog to absorb them and use them. Some dogs may have problems digesting the peas but overall it looks like the ingredients are of good quality.
Nothing stands out. However, I think more research needs to be done on peas in the diet of dogs.
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This raises concerns about the nutritional adequacy of this food. The 3 percent fiber in the food is a little low. Make sure that his stools are normal and that he has regular bowel movements each day while feeding this food.
Tractor Supply Company has a good reputation and they have been in business since Diamond does manufacture the food and that will make some people nervous, but it seems to be a very good line of foods. It seems to be exactly what is claims to be: quality nutrition for a good price. But it looks like the food provides good nutrition. Buy your dog food with the convenience of Chewy. If you click on any of the Chewy. How cool is that?! We would really appreciate your support and every penny earned through our Chewy commission helps to improve this site and add even more dog food reviews.
Do you know if any of the ingredients for 4Health dog foods are imported from China? Vitamins or other? I realize it is a not a law to provide this information on the packaging although it should be. All the more reason for companies like yours to research and inform us. I also realize that ingredients can come from different countries at different times.
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But if this is the case, than the answer to me is….