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Heed Foods Dog Food Review

Dog Food Reviews May 27, 2020
heed dog food
Amy

author:

Heed Foods Dog Food Review

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Heed Foods believes a healthy gut is the key to everything, so they created premium kibble blends and treats to ensure optimal digestive health for your dog. This is done by adding human grade freeze-dried fruits, and vegetables, and 100% chunks of raw meat to a high-quality dry blend of grain free, fresh meat to their kibble.

Heed claims to offer a food that meets a higher standard than the kibble currently offered on the market via their website by direct purchase or subscription.

Quick Summary

While it maybe a gut healthy food option for my dog, it is a bit too costly when there are just as healthy options out there with a lower price point

How We Tested:

  • We purchased two Heed dog food recipes to test and review
  • We spent a week testing them on several dogs
  • We did not receive these products in exchange for a favorable review and they were purchased with our own money.

Quick Picks (Flavors)

  • Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Kibble is made with fresh chicken and antioxidant rich super foods like blueberries, flax seeds and kelp.
  • Fresh Salmon & Superfoods Kibble is made with fresh salmon, rich in omega-3 fatty acids for a stronger immune system and glossy coat, and super foods like blueberries, flax seeds and kelp.

Heed Foods Dog Food – Top 2 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypeProteinkcal/Cup
Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains KibbleDry31.0%384 kcals /cup
Fresh Salmon & Superfoods KibbleDry31.0%365 kcals /cup

Brand Score

Heed Foods Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Great for dogs with digestive issues
  • High quality protein used
  • Free food toppers with your order
Cons
  • Very expensive kibble
  • Shipping is not free
Pros
  • Great for dogs with digestive issues
  • High quality protein used
  • Free food toppers with your order
Cons
  • Very expensive kibble
  • Shipping is not free
Ingredients
Pricing
Customization
Quality
Customer Reviews
Recall History
Recipe Variety

About

Heed Foods dog food was created out of wanting a better kibble for a dogs digestive health. They market themselves as a gut health focused pet wellness company, delivering healthy premium treats and food to heal dogs from the inside out.

Heed Foods partners with leading pet nutritionists to create dog food and treats with gentle blends of natural pre and probiotics.

All Heed Foods recipes are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Program for all life stages for growth and maintenance, except for large breed puppies.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Heed Foods partnered with leading pet nutritionists to create dog food and treats with gentle blends of natural pre and probiotics. Each Heed Foods kibble recipe contains natural super-food ingredients sourced from high quality ingredients from trusted and reputable suppliers.

The recipes are prepared in small batches in kitchens that meet the highest standards of food safety and integrity in Pawnee City, Nebraska. The dry food is cooked via an extrusion process which does remove some of the nutrients in the ingredients, but because they use extremely high quality, natural ingredients to cook with, the kibble still maintains high amounts of nutrition. They also mix in minimally processed fruits, vegetables and protein, for added nutrition and taste.

How Does Heed Dog Food Work?

You have the option of buying Heed Foods dog food by the bag or by signing up for a subscription which saves you 10% on your order. You can choose from the two kibble recipes offered as well as additional items like freeze dried toppers and treats.

Heed Foods Dog Food Review
Recipe selection with options

The food selection screen under “shop” will also allow you to select the recipe type of kibble and size of bags, which come in 5 pound and 10 pound bags. Once you choose the recipe type you can select if you would like to subscribe or make a once time purchase. You can also choose a topper flavor which is included in your order in quantities of two for every bag of dog food.

If you decide to do a subscription you can choose to have your food delivered every 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 weeks at a 10% discount. Shipping is $5 unless you spend over $35 which is easy to do if you are buying more than a one pound bag.

If you are not sure what your dog needs you can select the “how much food do I need” selection under kibble pricing . Here you will answer a few questions like age, weight, and body condition. Then you will be provided with a recommended serving size, calorie intake and how many bags you will need for your dog.

Heed Foods Dog Food Review
“How much food do I need” form

Once you place your order you will receive an email confirmation. Orders ship out after a 2 to 3 day processing period and should arrive at your home anywhere between 1 to 5 days, depending on your location. Heed Foods currently only ships to the continental United States.

If you want to make any changes or cancel your subscription account, just make sure you do so before your next shipment is sent out. You can cancel or make changes to your subscription at any time through your accounts page under “your current plan”.

If your dog is not satisfied with Heed Foods they will provide a full refund, on one bag of dog food only, within the first 14 days of purchase per customer.

Unboxing

I received a 5 pound bag of Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Kibble, Fresh Salmon & Superfoods Kibble and two 2.4 ounce bags of freeze-dried toppers from Heed Foods. Included with my order was a scoop, a booklet with information about the company, ingredients and transitioning your dog, as well as a printout of all ingredients in each recipe.

The kibble bags are made from recycled materials and come with a resealable closure so the food stays fresh. I did notice one bag had the recipe flavor and “use by” date stamped on it, but the other did not. I had to check my receipt to confirm it was the chicken flavor. Also, the bags usually come with your dog’s name on the front but mine did not. I may have forgotten to enter that part when ordering.

Analysis/Review of Heed Dog Food Recipes

Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Kibble

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 31.0% Min
  • Fat – 16.0% Min
  • Fiber – 5.0% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 384 Calories/Cup

Ingredients

Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, pearled barley, oat groats, egg product, flaxseeds, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), chicken liver, carrots, spinach, natural flavor,  dicalcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, sun-dried miscanthus grass, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), kelp meal, dehydrated blueberries, sea salt,Potassium chloride, choline chloride, yeast extract, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), taurine, fumaric acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, thyme extract, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper proteinate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese proteinate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, folic acid, rosemary extract


The first 2 ingredients in this recipe are the animal protein sources. Lets look at the top 6 ingredients in this chicken and ancient grains recipe by Heed Foods.

  • Chicken is a good source of Omega 6 fatty acids which are good for the skin and coat, and has essential amino acids and glucosamine for healthy bones.
  • Chicken meal is meat concentrate used as an inexpensive way to increase protein. Meals can contain nearly four times more protein than the fresh sources.
  • Brown rice is an easily digestible carbohydrate and provides beneficial minerals and B vitamins. Because dogs aren’t strict carnivores, brown rice or other grains can be a part of their diet.
  • Pearled barley is a grain and is an excellent source of select vitamins and minerals such as the B Vitamins, Manganese, and Phosphorus.
  • Oat groats are the hulled grain of whole oats. The soothing properties of oatmeal can help dogs with some digestive issues.
  • Egg product is a  source of protein that contains essential amino acids, fats, and fatty acids.This is a questionable ingredient because it maybe unclear whether this egg product came from eggs fit for human consumption, or egg waste products.

Fresh Salmon & Superfoods Kibble

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein –29% Min
  • Fat – 17% Min
  • Fiber – 4.5% Max
  • Moisture –10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 365 Calories/Cup

Ingredients

Salmon, herring meal, sweet potatoes, yellow peas, buckwheat, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), whitefish meal, chickpeas, green lentils, flaxseeds, carrots, spinach, natural flavor, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, kelp meal, dehydrated blueberries, Dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, yeast extract, potassium chloride, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), taurine, fumaric acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, thyme extract, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper proteinate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganese proteinate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, folic acid, rosemary extract


Let’s take a look at the first 6 ingredients in this salmon recipe.

  • Salmon is a great source of protein with omega-3 fatty acids, which support the immune system, decrease inflammation, and can keep your dog’s coat shiny and healthy.
  • Herring meal is an excellent source of natural, bio-appropriate amino acids, fats and certain minerals and vitamins. It is far more concentrated than fresh fish.
  • Sweet potatoes support a healthy digestive system due to high dietary fiber content. They are also low in fat and contain essential vitamins like B6, C, and A.
  • Yellow peas are considered a carbohydrate. They offer dietary fiber, and small amounts of Vitamin K and Manganese.
  • Buckwheat is a gluten-free substitute and is low on the glycemic scale, making it a great option for dogs with diabetes. It also contains a significant amount of soluble fiber for dogs with digestive issues.
  • Salmon oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that support a healthy immune system, heart health, anti-inflammatory properties, healthy skin and coat and cognitive function.

Taste Test

Sampson tried both flavors of Heed Foods dog food recipes on a rotation and mixed with his current kibble. Heed Foods recommends adding about 1/4 of your dog’s recommended portion size to 3/4 of their old food for the first 3 days. You can gradually increase the amount over the next 7 days until your dog’s bowl is completely full of Heed Foods dog food. they also provide a poop 101 chart to better understand how your dog is tolerating the food and what stage your dog may require longer in.

Opening the bag of Heed Foods dog food was very easy because of the easy tear top. The bags also have a zip closure on the top of the bag for easy opening and closing. This helps when feeding and storage and makes clean up fast and easy.

During the bag opening process my dog is usually losing his mind knowing he is getting fed. He eats pretty much anything that is considered a food source. He was not excited for this food and was not even curious about it when I offered him a sniff of the bag. Once I put it in the bowl of the chicken recipe with the topper, he almost refused to eat it. This has never happened.

Sampson trying the Fresh Chicken and Ancient Grains Kibble with Cod, Apple and Carrots topper

He did eventually give in and eat some of the food, probably because he was hungry, but he left some behind. Again, this has never happened. He will usually lick the bowl clean and wait for more. I did find pieces of the topper food scattered around which indicated to me he just may not like the topper.

Sampson eating the Fresh Salmon & Superfoods Kibble

To be fair, I tried the salmon recipe over the next few days without the topper and had very different results. Then I tried the chicken recipe again without the topper and Sampson ate it with no complaints. He showed a little more enthusiasm for this kibble when the topper was not included and when I mixed it with a little bit of water.

The Downside of Heed Dog Food

Heed Foods is by far a higher priced kibble when comparing to other similar brands available for subscription and non subscription online ordering.

They also do not offer free shipping for orders under $35.

Heed Foods Monthly Cost Comparison

DOG FOOD BRANDDOG SIZEMONTHLY COST
Heed Foods50 To 60 Pounds$ 160.00 to $ 185.00
Spot and Tango Unkibble 50 to 60 Pounds$ 87.90 to $ 97.50
Hungry Bark50 to 60 Pounds$ 95.00 to $ 107.00
Crafted Kibble50 To 60 Pounds$ 43.00 to $ 53.00

Is Heed Foods Good Dog Food?

Yes. It is a very good, high quality protein kibble. The recipes start with a quality protein-rich meat, natural sources of pre-biotics and pro-biotics, yeast extract, as well as being rich in omega-3 fatty acids. There is no doubt this food helps dogs with digestion and promotes gut health.

Heed Food’s recipes are free of GMO’s, preservatives, soy, corn, and artificial colors or flavors. They currently offer 2 different recipes, chicken with healthy grains and the salmon being grain free. They will be releasing new recipe flavors soon.

What makes Heed Foods a good company is their stellar customer service. I did reach out to them when I first gave my dog the food with topper to ask about their return policy and to explain my issue. They immediately responded (on a weekend no less) and offered me a refund on any one bag opened or not if my dog was not satisfied. They also recommended I try mixing the kibble with water because some dogs prefer it that way.

Would I Subscribe to Heed Foods Dog Food?

In all honesty I would not subscribe to Heed Foods. This is mainly because it is priced higher in comparison to other dry dog food brands. We did bring this to the founders attention at Heed and he explained the price is based on the fact it offers more protein, 100% human-grade freeze-dried toppers, and improves digestion in dogs.

While my dog didn’t seem to get super excited about this food, especially with the topper, he ate it all once I added water. There are reviews on the official Heed Foods website from customers who claim their dogs like the food and have benefited from eating it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does Heed Foods dog food cost?

Heed Foods offers 5 pound bags of kibble starting at $35 or a 10 pound bag for $65. If you sign up for a subscription you can save 10% off those prices.

Where can I buy Heed Foods dog food?

Currently Heed Foods dog foods, treats and toppers are available at Heedfoods.com.

Where is Heed Foods located?

Heed Foods dog food products are made in Pawnee City, Nebraska.

Is Heed Foods dog food cooked or raw?

It is cooked via an extrusion process.

Can Heed Foods dog food be heated up?

Heed Foods dog food should be stored at room temperature and not be refrigerated. Heating up kibble is not necessary and can destroy valuable nutrients.

Amy

Amy Brown is a lifelong animal enthusiast who enjoys writing about dogs and rescuing them. She writes for various pet related websites, including her own, CatMania.net.
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