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As dog lovers, we’d do just about anything for our dogs.
But waking up in the middle of the night to rush your dog outside before he has diarrhea all over the carpet is never fun, especially if it happens on a regular basis. Some of us are extra generous with food (who could resist those puppy eyes?), and our dogs are looking a little rounder these days, especially around the waistline.
For dogs who are affected by special needs such as a sensitive stomach or excessive weight, your veterinarian may recommend a special diet. You may think a special diet will break your bank account, but 4Health’s Untamed Formulas may just provide your dog with the nutrition he needs at the price you love.
So: Do 4Health’s Untamed Formulas really provide optimal nutrition with taste that dogs “instinctively crave?” Let’s find out!
For a full company review see: 4Health Dog Food - Brand Analysis
- 4Health Untamed Wild River Recipe Trout & Lentil Formula [M] [Dry]
- 4Health Untamed Open Highland Recipe Lamb & Lentil Formula [M] [Dry]
- 4Health Untamed Southern Bayou Recipe Wild Boar & Lentil Formula [M] [Dry]
- 4Health Untamed Red Canyon Recipe Buffalo & Lentil Formula [M] [Dry]
- 4Health Untamed Open Highland Recipe Lamb & Lentil Formula [M] [Wet / Canned]
- 4Health Untamed Southern Bayou Recipe Wild Boar & Lentil Formula [M] [Wet / Canned]
- 4Health Untamed Hidden Canyon Recipe Beef & Lentil Formula [M] [Wet / Canned]
- 4Health Untamed River Recipe Chicken, Trout & Lentil Formula [M] [Wet / Canned]
- 4Health Untamed Open Country Recipe Turkey & Lentils Formula [M] [Wet / Canned]
Untamed Wild River Recipe - Trout & Lentil Formula
Every 4Health Untamed Formula has fresh, exotic meat as its first ingredient, followed by a high-quality balance of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
Like many 4Health formulas, this line is also free of any grains as well as corn, soy, and wheat — all of which are common causes of food allergies in dogs.
4Health formulas also include Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and species-specific probiotics to help promote healthy skin and shiny coats.
With near-average protein, fat, and carbohydrate contents as well as moderate amounts of named meats, there is very little to dislike about 4Health Untamed Formulas.
Read on for a further breakdown of the ingredients and nutritional analysis.
Quick Peek of What's Inside
Trout & Salmon OIl
Trout & Salmon Oil
DOG FOOD LABELING
In the United States, the guidelines for pet food ingredient labels are established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and individual state regulations.
The AAFCO requires that ingredients must be listed in descending order of weight (including water weight). This means that ingredients that appear at the top of the ingredient list — typically the main proteins, carbs, and fat sources — are present in higher amounts by weight in the food than items at the bottom.(1)
Although it is difficult to determine how much of an ingredient is actually in the food (due to high water content in meats and vegetables), you can assume that the first few ingredients are in the highest amounts. Therefore, the first few ingredients of a dog food can tell you a lot about the quality of the product.
The first ingredient in this formula is trout, a freshwater fish species that is closely related to salmon. Trout contains a high level of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Like salmon, trout also contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which gives it the orange-red pigment.
Diamond sources its trout from Colorado and assures consumers that it is free of ethoxyquin, a controversial fat preservative. However, fresh fish contains about 80% water,(1) which means that once it’s cooked, trout likely accounts for a smaller percentage of the total content of the final product.
Next, we have sunflower oil. This popular cooking oil is rich in Omega-6 fatty acids, an essential fatty acid that must be obtained through food. It is an alternative to canola, corn, soy, and other polyunsaturated oils that have been shown to have negative health effects. However, it contains no Omega-3 fatty acids.
There are different types of sunflower oil, and without more information, we cannot determine the quality of this ingredient.
The fourth ingredient is tomato pomace, an inexpensive by-product of tomato manufacturing consisting of the pulp, skin, and seeds. It is a great source of soluble fiber, maintains a healthy digestive tract, contains high levels of vitamins and minerals, and slows digestion, thereby increasing mineral absorption.
However, some people scorn tomato pomace as a low-quality filler that has no nutritional value for dogs.
Next is natural flavor, which is a natural flavoring additive. It can come from various plant or animal sources but does not contribute to nutrition.
Dicalcium phosphate is used as a binding agent and calcium supplement. While it is used commonly in pet food to provide important minerals, there is some concern that it can cause soft tissue calcification and kidney stones.(3)
Calcium carbonate is likely used as a calcium supplement. It can be derived from various sources such as bone meal or oyster shells. It may help dogs with irritable bowel syndrome, but too much calcium can have serious side effects.
The next ingredient in this formula is salmon oil. It is probably one of the most important supplements you can add to your dog’s diet. Salmon oil is rich in EPA and DHA, two types of omega-3 fatty acids that have proven benefits for your dog. Many people add it to their dogs’ diets to alleviate itchiness and other skin issues.
While the addition of salmon oil should be commended, fish oil can be unstable if stored longterm. Also, this ingredient is far enough down the list that it is unlikely to be present in high enough amounts to prove beneficial for your dog. Therefore, we recommend supplementing your dog’s diet with fish oil that can be used within 1 to 2 months.
Choline chloride is a source of the essential B vitamin choline. It is essential for liver function, proper brain development, nerve function, muscle movement, and other processes in your dog’s body.(4)
Following choline chloride, we have various fermentation products:
- Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product
- Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product
- and Dried Lactobacillus Reuteri Fermentation Product.
These ingredients are added to provide digestive aid and increase probiotics.
From here on, the list includes a number of other items, mainly additional vitamins and minerals.
Listed ingredients: Trout, Lentils, Sunflower Oil, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Oil (Source of DHA), Choline Chloride, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Reuteri Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid (Preservative), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Major sources of energy. The Dog Food Project’s Sabine Contreras states: “Independent researcher Dr. Doug Bibus (formerly University of Minnesota) completed a fatty acid study with dogs and recommends a ratio between 2:1 and 4:1. Personally, I believe that a quality food should contain a ratio of at least 7:1, the lower the better, especially if skin and/or coat problems are present. When my dog suffered from severe flea allergy dermatitis I switched to a food with a ratio of 2.5:1 and had great results within just a few weeks.”
ME is defined as the amount of energy available from pet food once the energy from feces, urine, and combustible gases has been subtracted. Essentially, ME is the energy left for your pet's body to use once all digestion is complete.
Note: That some nutritional percentages reported are only estimated values, and are indicated as such as (est). Each dog food manufacturer is required by law to publish a Guaranteed Analysis, which defines each product’s maximum values of fiber, moisture and ash in addition to the minimum values of protein and fat contained within. Exact nutritional percentages are not available and hence all calculated values (including carbohydrate percentages and calorie amounts) are determined using these minimum and maximum published values and therefore may differ from actual values.
ⓘ Nutritional information as published by the dog food manufacturer.
DRY MATTER ANALYSIS
ⓘ The manufacturer's published guaranteed analysis values normalized for moisture content.
Using the calculations provided by the AAFCO, 4Health Untamed Wild River Recipe Trout & Lentil Formula has approximately 336 calories per 100g (95.3 calories/ounce): 28% from protein, 33% from fat, and 39% from carbohydrates.
VITAMINS, MINERALS & OTHERS
4Health Untamed Wild River Recipe Trout & Lentil Formula has a large variety of added vitamins and minerals. The minerals are chelated (ex: Iron proteinate), meaning that their binding to amino acids make them more biologically available.
Vitamins & Others
4Health’s claims of providing “complete nutrition” that satisfies “the primal hunger of cats and dogs” have no actual definitions under AAFCO or FDA. These terms are simply used for marketing purposes.
While we have concerns about the limited insight into the quality of some ingredients, the ingredients themselves are appropriate for dogs. The product has many characteristics of a above-average quality dog food.
But ingredients don’t paint the whole picture. What do the customers say about 4Health Untamed Wild River Recipe Trout & Lentil Formula?
It has a very high rating on Tractor Supply Co.’s website, with an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.
Most customers reported being extremely satisfied with the quality of the ingredients for the value, and said 4Health Untamed formulas were comparable to more expensive brands of dog food. Many also noted significant improvements in their dogs’ digestive and skin problems.
Based on the reviews, 4Health Untamed Formulas even won over picky eaters!
4Health does not have a dedicated page on ConsumerAffairs.com, but Diamond Pet Foods (the manufacturer) has a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars with over 410 reviews. Since Diamond manufactures many different brands of pet foods, it is important to remember that the customer ratings and reviews may not be applicable specifically to 4Health.
How do you rate this product line?
Overall Quality 4 Nutritional Content 3 Recipe Selection 3 Availability 2 Price 2 Average
Overall, 4Health Untamed Wild River Recipe Trout & Lentil Formula is an above-average dry dog food, earning 4 out of 5 paws on its nutritional analysis and ingredient list.
All in all, we do recommend considering 4Health Untamed Formulas as a choice for your dogs food bowl.
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