Heart To Tail Dog Food Review - A Closer Look At Aldi's Dog Food Range
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There is a new dog food brand in town! The giant discount food retailer ALDI has jumped into the dog food game with two offerings: Heart to Tail Complete Dog Food, and a Pure Being Grain Free Dog Food. In this article we will review these ALDI dog food lines.
Dr. Sara Redding Ochoa | Doctor Of Veterinary Medicine
Sara is Wileypup’s Veterinarian Adviser and helped compose this article to ensure the information is up to date and accurate. For more information on Sara click here
Learn how to read these ALDI dog food labels, judge for yourself if they are high quality enough to feed to your canine companion, and read on to find out about a better option you may be able to get delivered right to your door!
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Aldi Dog Food Review: Complete Nutrition Formula (Heart to Tail)
The first thing that every dog owner should learn to do is to read the label of any dog food they plan to buy for their dogs. Let’s have a look at the ingredient label on the Aldi Complete Nutrition bag:
Ingredients in ALDI Complete Nutrition or Heart to Tail Dog Food:
Whole grain corn, meat and bone meal, corn germ meal, corn distillers dried grains with solubles, what middlings, animal fat preserved with mixed tocopherols, rice bran, soybean meal, poultry byproduct meal, natural chicken flavor, calcium carbonate, salt, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, Vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, potassium chloride, calcium phosphate, menadione sodium bisulfate complex (source of [unreadable] activity, biotin.
Nutritional Analysis for Heart to Tail:
Aldi Dog Food Price (Heart to Tail, Complete Nutrition):
Here is a red flag for customers to note right off the bat:
The first ingredient is not meat, but rather, corn.
As a basic guideline when buying food for your dog, you should never settle for a dog food that has any grain listed as a first ingredient. Keep in mind that grains, especially corn, are the cheapest part of any dog food in terms of cost, often called “filler” by pet food industry professionals. While dogs do need the fiber, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients that can be found in grain, it should not be the main ingredient.
The second thing to notice about this Aldi Complete Nutrition Dog Food ingredient list is:
There is no “meat” in it at all.
When it comes to dog food labeling guidelines, manufacturers are held to some very specific rules. This product contains meat meal and poultry by-product meal. Although these are sources of animal protein, they are not the same as “beef” or “chicken” or “lamb” which are actually the muscle part of the animal, that is, what we know as meat.
“Meat and bone meal” does have meat (that is muscle tissue) in it, for example, that left on the bone after dressing cuts of meat for human consumption. However, by definition, it also contains a whole lot of other stuff that is part of an animal and is cheaper than meat because it is essentially waste leftover from processing animals such as cows, poultry and pig for human consumption.
Similarly, “Poultry by-product meal” is not the same thing as “chicken.” It is defined as “non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as heads, feet and viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice.” It is made by processing what is left over from carcasses after the bulk of the edible meat has been dressed for humans or higher quality animal feed.
The nutritional analysis is poor.
When we look at the nutritional analysis for the Aldi Complete Nutrition dog food, we see it has relatively low portions of protein and fat. In a quality dog food, we would like to see both of these numbers a bit higher.
All in all, the ingredients list is NOT indicative of a high quality dog food. If “cheap” is your first priority, then this food might fit the bill. But if you are looking for a high quality dog food, this just isn’t your best option. (Read on for better options.)
The second line of Aldi Dog Food is the Shep Pure Being Grain Free Natural Dog Food. One look at the ingredient list and we can see that it does fare a bit better than the Heart to Tail ingredient list:
Shep Pure Being Grain Free Natural Ingredients:
Deboned salmon, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, whole ground garbanzo beans, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea starch, lentils, ground flaxseed, natural salmon flavor, fish oil, dried chickory root, dried cranberries, cried blueberries, dried carrots, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, magnesium sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, D-Calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Source of vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
Nutritional Analysis of Aldi Pure Being Grain Free Formula:
Price of Aldi Grain Free dog food:
Now we are getting somewhere.
The ingredient list does include meat (Deboned salmon) as the first ingredient. It also has other whole food ingredients such as garbanzo bean, flax seed, chickory root, cranberries, blueberries, etc. While these ingredients are more expensive, many dog owners appreciate that high quality dog food contains more of the kinds of foods we might see on a human label. That is, real whole food nutrition.
The nutritional analysis is stronger here than for the low-end line (Complete Nutrition also labeled Heart to Tail). And the price is competitive for similar grain free options by other manufacturers.
Taken as a whole, this is still a middle of the road dog food. There is only one meat listed, the rest of the protein is provided by meals and by-products. It has a few whole food ingredients, but not a ton to brag about.
Plus, another red flag for both lines of Aldi dog food:
There is no manufacturer webpage for any of the ALDI lines of dog food.
Why does this matter? Well, for one thing, we can’t know much about how the ingredients are sourced, a major quality factor. When a manufacturer doesn’t even bother to offer detailed information about how their dog food is made, it is a sign that they just don’t think the consumer cares to learn more…and of course…as a reader of WileyPup…You DO CARE.
Let’s turn now to a higher quality dog food that you can order right from your computer to be delivered to your home:
Diamond Naturals: A Better Option for Your Dog
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Grain Sorghum, Dried Yeast, Dried Beet Pulp, Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Salmon Oil (Source Of Dha), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Kale, Chia Seed, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Oranges, Quinoa, Dried Kelp, Coconut, Spinach, Carrots, Papaya, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.
Notice the first ingredient is chicken, followed by another protein source, chicken meal. Then we see a long list of whole food ingredients including some nutritional superfoods such as kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, quinoa, spinach, carrots, and more. In terms of the quality of ingredients, right off the bat, we see a strong label.
In addition, the nutritional analysis is stronger. It has higher levels of protein and fat, and a lower level of fiber (these are good signs) than either of the Aldi dog food brands we reviewed above.
Finally, it has a better price than the ALDI Pure Being dog food, coming in under $1.00 a pound! (as of 12/19/19).
Considering Aldi Pure Being or Heart to Tail Dog Food? This Review Suggests a Better Option
If you were exited to learn that one of your favorite discount retailers offers a few new lines of dog food including Heart to Tail (Complete Nutrition) and Pure Being Grain Free, it might be a let down to learn that a less expensive and more wholesome option is available. But, the great news is you don’t even have to leave your house to have it delivered.
- Dr. Lisa M. Freeman, (21 June 2016) Why you shouldn’t judge a pet food by its ingredient list: Retrieved from https://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2016/06/why-you-shouldnt-judge-a-pet-food-by-its-ingredient-list/
- Angele Thompson PhD, (23 July 2008) Ingredients: Where Pet Food Starts: Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1938973608000378
Sharon Elber (M.S. in Science & Technology) - Professional Dog Trainer
Sharon is a professional dog trainer with over 10 years experience. She is also a professional writer that received her M.S. in Science & Technology Studies from Virginia Tech.
For more info on Sharon click here