Wholehearted Dog Food Reviews


The health of your canine directly depends on the diet you are given to him /her. There are many pet food brands claiming to provide good quality pet food with all the essential nutrients your furry friend would need. But unfortunately, not all pet food suits all dogs. 

A dog’s needs vary according to its age, size, and breed. That’s why Wholehearted came up with a wide range of pet food for all ages and different breeds of dogs.

Wholehearted Dog Food

  • Omega-3
  • Best dog food
  • Improve the joint movement
  • Healthy
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WholeHearted Grain Free Skin and Coat Care Pea and Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Delicious salmon flavor
  • Contains omega 3
  • Free of corn
  • Healthy
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WholeHearted Grain Free All Life Stages Beef & Pea Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Dogs enjoy this taste
  • Improves bones health
  • Joint functioning
  • Antioxidants
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  • Great dog food choice
  • Essential nutrients
  • Multi-color
  • DHA
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  • Healthiest food
  • For small breeds
  • Omega-3
  • Zinc and other antioxidants
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  • Real and healthy ingredients are used
  • No recalls history
  • Best dog food for all types of dogs of different ages
  • Quite affordable
  • No fillers or the byproducts of meat are added
  • Comes in a range of different flavors
  • Not easily accessible
  • The grain-free dog food is not really good for their heart health


Therefore, in this article, we will review some of the best Wholehearted dog food along with the ingredients that they use, and the buying guide for dog food to know what factors must be kept in mind while picking a diet for a dog. 


Wholehearted is a pet food brand launched by Petco, a leading pet store for providing supreme quality pet food, pet supplies, pet products, services, and consultation regarding health care of various pets. They also provide specialized pet treatments and offer some of the best live pets including fishes for sale.

Petco was established in 1965 and spread over 1500+ areas in the US. Later, it created Wholehearted in 2016 to provide the best pet food range at an affordable price to its beloved customers.

Wholehearted dog food is comprised of the finest and the healthiest ingredients to create a range of grain-free dog food that suits all life stages of multiple breeds including short or big-breed dogs.

Wholehearted Dog Food

Wholehearted has a variety of all kinds of dog food for your puppy or an adult furry buddy. Wholehearted dog food range includes wet or canned dog food, dog treats, dry Wholehearted has an extensive dog food product range. This range includes dry dog food, wet/canned dog food, toppers, and dog treats.

Among this wide variety, Wholehearted dry and wet dog food is the largest of all and comes in over 20 different and healthiest recipes including the famous dog food niches in the market. 

The other types of dog food including senior dog food, small breed dog food, puppy food, weight loss died and specified dietary dog food are manufactured by Wholehearted.

Best WholeHearted Dog Food Reviews

WholeHearted Adult Large-Breed Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe

Dog Age: Adult dogs

Food Flavour: Chicken

Package Weight: 45 lbs

Ingredients: Real chicken, rice bran, chicken fat, chicken meal, brown rice, dry beet pulp, dry yeast, natural flavor, glucosamine hydrochloride, dry fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium; Bacillus subtilis; Lactobacillus Plantarum; and Lactobacillus acidophilus, L-Carnitine, salt, chlorine chloride, white rice, flaxseed, barley, and potassium chloride

Most of the Wholehearted dog food collection is plant-based which is good for health but not so great as dogs are carnivorous animals and require protein in their diet to stay healthy. That’s why the Wholehearted Adult Large-Breed Chicken & Brown Rice recipe is the best overall.

With real chicken as the major food ingredient, this dog fulfills the main requirement of your large dog’s body requirement. Also, well-balanced other essential nutrients like fiber, zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, whole grains, and carbohydrates are included in this recipe.

This recipe is not only made to meet the requirements of your adult canine but also your furry pup. But, it comes in a different packing labeled for puppies and includes extra nutrients to make your baby retriever’s bones strong and healthy.

By adding this recipe to your dog’s diet, he/she will become more nourished and active than before due to the energy booster ingredients like carbs and fibers.

As the dogs grow older, they need more supplements to stay healthy and fit. Therefore, chondroitin and glucosamine are incorporated in meals to make the joints of senior dogs strong so they function well. Moreover, for dogs with a furry coat, Omega-3 is great to keep it healthy and thick. 


  • Best dog food for adults and seniors
  • Contains real protein, Omega-3, zinc, and other nutrients
  • Enhance the overall health of dogs
  • Improve the joint movement
  • This recipe is also available for small breed dogs and pups
  • Involves probiotics for better food digestion


  • Brown rice ingredient is not intended to be consumed by dogs having diarrhea


WholeHearted Grain Free Skin and Coat Care Pea and Salmon Recipe Dry Dog Food

Dog Age: Adult

Food Flavour: Salmon

Package Weight: 5 lbs & 25 lbs

Ingredients: Peas & pea flour, sunflower oil, tomato pomace, hydrolyzed salmon, natural salmon flavor, salmon oil, calcium carbonate, taurine, dicalcium phosphate, chlorine chloride, dried fermentation products of Bifidobacterium; Lactobacillus reuteri; and Lactobacillus acidophilus, Iron proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc proteinate, zine, and vitamin E

If you want to give something different flavor then try this salmon recipe by Wholehearted. This complete grain-free recipe is great for your dog’s fur and skin. The main ingredients in this recipe are peas and salmon. 

The salmon is in a form of hydrolyzed and the larger proteins are broken down into smaller molecules. Plus, these smaller protein segments help the canine to develop more muscles and defense systems by better delivery of simpler amino acids.

Therefore, it helps to lower down the chances of allergy reactions in dogs. Also, it does not contain any ingredient that can cause allergies like wheat, grains, or corn.

It also contains essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) to keep the skin and fur of your retriever healthy, shiny, and thick. Plus, it is rich in other antioxidants with minerals and vitamins to improve a dog’s immunity and keep him overall healthy.

wholehearted dog food reviews


  • Delicious salmon flavor
  • Contains omega 3 & 6 for healthy skin and hair
  • Rich in antioxidants to boost immunity
  • Free of corn, grains, and wheat
  • The larger meat molecules are broken down into smaller segments for better protein absorption and incorporation in body


  • Some dogs do not like seafood flavor


WholeHearted Grain Free All Life Stages Beef & Pea Formula Dry Dog Food

Dog Age: All stages of life

Food Flavour: Beef

Package Weight: 5 pounds, 14 pounds, 25 pounds & 40 pounds

Ingredients: Pea flour, beef meal, beef, sweet potatoes, tomato pomace, salmon oil, flaxseed, chickpeas, canola oil, salt, zinc, zinc proteinate, and iron proteinate. ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, extract of yucca Schidigera, dried fermentation products of Bifidobacterium animalis; Lactobacillus acidophilus; and Lactobacillus reuteri, and  vitamin E 

Another best dog food by Wholehearted, Grain-Free recipe which suits all dog breeds of different ages including the ones who are sensitive to grains or have diarrhea. Instead of chicken, this recipe used beef as the main ingredient to provide essential proteins to build the muscles of your retriever. Plus, dogs love this taste.

Various nutritious ingredients make this recipe very versatile and healthy. The probiotic segments work great to keep the digestive system of your dog maintained, the presence of some fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 aid in turning the dull and dry fur into a healthy and shiny coat. Also, they help to make your canine skin nourished.

Despite healthy skin, bones, and coat, dogs need more immunity to fight back diseases and only the right ingredients in their diet meet this requirement. The specialized formula of multiple vitamins, minerals, and strong antioxidants improves the dog’s immune system.

Additionally, it is safe to consume by all dogs with any kind of skin allergies or digestive issues as it is free from all such ingredients which can cause problems for the canine. These ingredients can be wheat, grains, corn, and soy, which are not added to this dog food.

wholehearted dog food reviews


  • Ideal dog food for all dog types and ages
  • Used beef as the main ingredients
  • Dogs enjoy this taste
  • Does not includes allergenic ingredients
  • Safe to be used by dogs with digestive problems
  • Improves bones health, joint functioning, and coat
  • Boost immunity with antioxidants
  • Can be used for dogs with skin allergies


  • Grain-free dog food may lead to certain cardiovascular diseases


WholeHearted All Breed Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe Dry Puppy Food

Dog Age: Puppy

Food Flavour: Chicken

Package Weight: 5 lbs

Ingredients: Chicken, brown rice, chicken meal, peas, chicken fat, dry yeast, dry beet pulp,  rice bran, millet, salt, DL-methionine, choline chloride, potassium chloride, salmon oil, flaxseed, calcium carbonate, natural flavor, taurine, dried fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium; Lactobacillus acidophilus; Bacillus subtilis; and lactobacillus Plantarum

If you want to provide your puppy with all the essential nutrients and minerals then this dry puppy food formula will be best for your furry baby. Wholehearted dry puppy food contains a perfect balance of grain-free ingredients that helps your little buddy grow faster and healthier. 

You need to be careful before using this food option as it is grain-free. Must ensure that your puppy does not have any allergies associated with grains otherwise they could have diarrhea, or develop other allergies. Otherwise, it is the best dog food for puppies. 

Don’t worry about your pup’s cardiovascular health, it is safe and does not include any substance that threatens heart health. Plus, the kibbles are of the right texture and shape so young puppies can easily chew and eat with small teeth and premature jaws.

It contains chicken as the main protein source, probiotics to help their gastrointestinal problems, DHA for better development of cognitive skills, and omega 3 for nourished and thick fur and skin.


  • Great dog food choice for puppies of nearly all breed
  • Contains essential nutrients for the bone development
  • Perfect sized kibbles of multi-color
  • Contains DHA for their better growth
  • Omega 3 prevents their hair loss and dry skin


  • Not suitable for pups with allergies or digestive issues


WholeHearted Adult Small-Breed Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe with Whole Grains Dry Dog Food

Dog Age: Adult dogs

Food Flavour: Chicken

Package Weight: 14 pounds

Ingredients: Chicken, barley, chicken mean, brown rice, dry beet pulp, salmon oil, salt, taurine, DL-Methionine, flaxseed, rice bran, natural flavor, potassium chloride, choline chloride, extract of yucca schidigera, dicalcium phosphate, dry chicory root, L-Carnitine, Dry fermentation products of Lactobacillus acidophilus; Lactobacillus Plantarum; and Bacillus subtilis.

Here comes a specialized formula for small-breed adult dogs. The delicious recipe of Chicken & Brown Rice included the whole grains which are suitable for all dogs including the puppies. 

This recipe packs all the nutrients including proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals to help your doggy grow well. Just, serve out this dog food in a clean bowl and let your buddy chew kibble of special size. The kibbles are made in small sizes for their little jaws and teeth.

Organic chicken is used as the main protein source for growing buds. Whereas, whole grains provide the essential fibers to keep the digestive system function properly. Plus, the right amount of phosphorus and calcium helps to make their teeth and bones much stronger and healthy.

This specialized dog food for small breeds does not contain corn, wheat, or other such ingredients which can lead to allergy reactions. Therefore, it is totally safe for your dog even if it has some allergies or gastrointestinal problems. This food formula would help them to combat these issues with strong antioxidants and canine probiotics.

wholehearted dog food reviews


  • Healthiest food option for small breeds
  • Does not contains wheat or corn
  • Contains dog probiotics, omega-3, zinc and other antioxidants
  • Small-sized kibble for little jaws


  • Not easily accessible


Wholehearted Dog Food Ingredients

Wholehearted provides balanced nutrients to your canine. But the proportion of these foods can vary slightly with different recipes. Each recipe’s formula is prepared by balancing the nutrients in the right amount so they could fulfill your dog’s body needs.

Some of their dog food recipes have more than average amounts of nutrients such as proteins and animal fat to help build their muscles and less than average amounts of healthy plant-based carbs to provide enough energy to keep them active. 

Whereas, some other recipes contain more than average carbohydrates and lower proportions of proteins which is quite unimpressive.  

High-Quality Animal Protein Ingredients

Wholehearted pick fresh ingredients for each dog food recipe. Since dogs need more animal protein, Wholehearted’s mostly dog food range contains more meat from different sources including:

  • Beef and beef meal
  • Seafood Salmon and salmon meal
  • Duck and duck meal
  • Lamb and lamb meal
  • Chicken and chicken meal
  • Turkey and turkey meal

Wholehearted only uses high-quality fish and meat ingredients in their recipes and the most liked and used protein ingredients are beef, salmon, and chicken. They are also cheap and easily accessible, that’s why the company finds it easy to use them.  

Wholehearted never use simple one or two ingredients. Instead, it mixes all the wholesome meat ingredients with their meals. Some people think meat meals are not a good choice in their dog’s diet but in reality, these meat meals provide a lot of advantages to their pet’s body.

Also read Can dogs eat tuna fish? 

The company carefully revolves all the moisture present in the meat meals and leaves behind more protein and fat mass. If you see meat meals at the start of the list, then that formula would definitely contain nutritious and big portions of protein.

Meat Meals have had their moisture removed, which means they are much denser sources of protein and fat than whole meat cuts. If a formula has a Meat Meal as its first listed ingredient, you can be sure it contains a large and nutritious portion of meat.

Wholehearted cares about your beloved pet and provides premium-quality dog food. It does not use poor quality meat, fillers, or other meat by-products. In their dry food, they utilize real proteins from real meat. They take the fresh meat and remove its moisture and dry it for an efficient amount of amino acids in a portion of dog food.  

Low-Quality Ingredients

The grain-free range of dog food contains chickpeas, pea flour, peas, sweet potatoes, and lentils which are a great source of plant-based protein and other essential nutrients. Apart from grain-free recipes, Wholehearted has also made gain inclusive dog food for those dogs who do have grain allergies. These recipes include other plant-based ingredients like rice bran or cracked barley.

Where Wholehearted is popular for providing premium grade dog food, it also uses some low-quality ingredients like by-products of vegetables including:

  • Pea proteins
  • Powdered cellulose
  • Pea flour
  • Potato protein

Rice Bran, Millet, and Brown Rice

The whole grains are not a really great source for some dogs but they can’t be totally avoided as they provide other important nutrients including carb content which is the reason that Wholehearted has added a small proportion of these in a diet.

The Rice bran is not liked to be added into dog food’s recipe due to its low nutrient supply. That’s why rice bran in Wholehearted dog food is considered a low-quality food.

Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes

The most used starch sources are potatoes and sweet potatoes to add to dog food recipes. Both of these vegetables are excellent sources of carbohydrates, that’s why they are used and their quantity is kept smaller or the carbs can get unbalanced in the formula.

Chicken Fat

The chicken fat has various benefits for adding in dog food and of such benefits is to add animal fat in dogs’ bodies. It is also used to add some palatability and flavor to dog food. Other ingredients can also be used for this task but chicken fat comes very affordable and easily available.

Dried Beet Pulp

To add some soluble fiber to a dog’s diet, Wholehearted has used dried beet pulp. This soluble fiber is really good for the digestive systems of dogs and other animals. It helps to cleanse the bowel and prevent constipation in animals. Adding good dietary fibers in food makes the stool consistent.

Real Fish Meal

Ocean fishes are not a part of cheap dog foods. They are used to make good quality dog foods and contain many essential nutrients for your dog’s health. The fishes that are used include; Pilchard, Menhaden, and Pollard.

Sunflower Oil & Canola Oil

Wholehearted use sunflower and canola oil in their dog food recipes. Both of these vegetable oils are used to add vegetable fat to their diets. They are a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which help to nourish the skin and fur of dogs.

Tomato Pomace

Another great source of adding dietary fiber is tomato pomace. Wholehearted has used tomato pomace to fulfill its requirements and it also provides some nutrients. 


Flaxseeds are used in premium grade good foods because they are the best sources of plant-based omega 3 fatty acids source. It also has many health benefits and does not come cheap. Therefore, Wholehearted has also used it in some of their supreme dog food recipes.

Importance of Giving Dog Food

A dog is an omnivorous animal. Thus, dogs require multiple micro and macronutrients. That’s why they must eat a balanced diet which should contain meat and vegetables. 

At a young age, puppies require a lot of nutrients to grow well. A deficiency in their body can lead to disability in pups. Therefore, it is important to take proper care of puppies and give them a complete diet. 

Also, a dog’s diet impacts its mood as well. Everyone wants to see their dog wagging its tail happily and staying cheerful but if you really love your furry buddy then have a close look at their likes or dislikes and give food accordingly.

The right dog food helps them to live long with a strong immune system and bone structure. Also, with premium food quality their fur will grow thicker and shiner. 

Buying Guide For Dog Food

Giving the right amount of balanced nutrition to pups in their puppyhood is the best time to set the strong foundation of a healthy body. Some people don’t consider it important but they must know that it is really important to choose the correct diet for your growing up baby.

Now you know why it is important to be careful while selecting food for your dog. But with an extensive range of dog food available in stores, it has become very difficult to pick the right one. Therefore, we have listed down some important things that you must know before giving a certain diet to your dog.  

Different Stages of Life

Before going out to shop, look carefully and determine the life stage your dog is going through because the body requirements change with different life stages and dogs need the diet according to that. The food requirement also depends upon the energy level and the breed of your dog.   

Puppies ( Under 1-year-old)

At this stage, the puppies are really active and need more energy to play, run, and do activities. So, make sure you provide them food with enough carbs to stay energetic throughout the day. Also, this is a growing age for little dogs and they need more protein and calcium to grow well so check the ingredients accordingly and keep them well fed.

Adult Dogs (1 year to 6 years old)

At this age, you must give proper food enriched with the right ratio of fats and protein so they could carry out their daily activities. But make sure not to give him too much food, otherwise, they will get lazy and could become obese.  

Active Breed Dogs

If your dog is really active and plays throughout the day then give him dog food that includes antioxidants, proteins, fat, additional minerals, and vitamins to keep him healthy. 

Senior Dogs (Over 6 years of age)

As the dog’s age, their body requirements change as their metabolism slows down and they can’t really digest the food that young and active dogs can. So, reduce their fat and protein supply so they won’t gain weight. Look for glucosamine in dog food as it is intended to improve joint health in older dogs.

Suggestion: Check the weight of your dog and if it exceeds the recommended weight by the vet then lowers the fat and protein intake of your dog and try to indulge them in some healthy activity.  

Dog Food Ingredients

Looking for ingredients is the most important thing, make sure the dog food has at least two protein sources in top ingredients. These sources can be fish, chicken, lamb, or beef and their meals. 

Another important ingredient is grains. The grains are a great carbohydrate source but it can also be problematic for some dog breeds as they can cause digestive problems so be careful. Otherwise, grains can be easily digested by dogs and provides instant energy.

Those dogs who suffer from diarrhea or have allergy issues can go for a grain-free diet. If you opt for this option then sure that it has enough potatoes and meat in it. You can find grain-free diets in both forms wet or dry at pet stores. 

Dog or Puppy Size

If you are using general dog food for your puppy then don’t think it could satisfy the needs of your dog because the food requirements of your puppy also depend on its size.

It does not mean that they will just need to feed more or fewer kibbles. It depends on the number of nutrients per serving you are giving to your puppy. Because different dog breeds have different characteristics and require food accordingly. Some puppies need more food and some get full with even less. That’s why you should be specific for picking dog food for your pups.

Also read Best Organic Dog Food Ideas for Boosting Health of Furbabies

Large breed pups

The large breed puppies grow really fast and absorb more nutrients than other breeds. So, they need food which could limit the supply of excessive calcium, phosphorus, and other nutrients. Otherwise, your puppy will continue growing and will develop skeletal or joints problems and will face many problems later in life. That’s why you have to control their diet to make them grow uniformly.

Toy or small breed pups

These puppies do not grow too fast or too tall. That’s why you can give them a diet enriched with calcium and phosphorous for a strong bone structure. The toy breed dogs have a relatively fast metabolism and require food that will release energy slowly. So, provide them with a meat-based diet with complex carbohydrates. Also, the small breed puppies reach their adulthood faster than tall breeds so you can switch their diet once they get mature.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Wholehearted dog food good for dogs?

Yes, Wholehearted is one of the best dog food manufacturers who carefully add balanced nutrients in their over 20+ recipes. They offer both grain inclusive and grain-free diets for all dog breeds and sizes. The right amount of balanced ratios of proteins and carbs makes their dog food the most suitable for puppies and adult dogs.

What ingredients a dog food must contain?

Dog food must have protein and carbohydrate sources as the dogs are omnivores. The sources of protein are fish, lamb, chicken, beef, turkey, and suck whereas, for carbohydrates the dog food should contain brown rice, barley, chickpeas, and grains.

Should I avoid by-products of meat in dog food?

Yes, the by-products of meat are not good for your dogs’ health so avoid them.

What is the best dog food available on the market?

The best dog food available on the market is Wholehearted wide range of dog food.

Is Wholehearted owned by Petco?

No, Wholehearted was launched by Petco but later they sold it.

Is Wholehearted dog food AAFCO approved?

Yes, Wholehearted dog food is AAFCO approved.

Is Wholehearted dog food grain-free?

Yes, Wholehearted has also a range of grain-free dog food for those with sensitive stomachs or allergies. 

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