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Whole Earth Farms Dog Food Review

Dog Food Nutrition February 19, 2020

Whole Earth Farms Dog Food Review

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Whole Earth Farms dog food is cooked in the USA with quality ingredients to make wholesome, nutritious dog foods at good value. The foods are made by one of the leading dog food companies in the U.S. Before buying Whole Earth Farms dog food, find out more about the company and its foods to see if they are right for your dog with our unbiased review.

Whole Earth Farms Dog Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypeProteinkcal/Cup
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb RecipeDry26%348 kcal/cup
Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey RecipeDry27%370 kcal/cup
Whole Earth Farms Adult RecipeDry26%376 kcal/cup

Brand Score

Our reviews are based on extensive research and years of professional knowledge of dog food brands. In order to remain objective, we do not accept gifts of free products or write sponsored posts on this site.

We’ve looked at Whole Earth Farms closely and graded it according to the PupJunkies.com standard. Our criteria include ingredients, quality, customer experience, recall history, working with veterinary nutritionists to formulate the food, nutritional standards, research, and price.

Whole Earth Farms Dog Food Ratings
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Whole Earth Farms has not had any recalls that we could find
  • The brand appears to use good quality ingredients but their sourcing is a little vague
  • The prices are very good for a premium dog food
Cons
  • Many of the brand’s foods contain peas and/or pea protein in the first several ingredients Some ingredients may be sourced from outside the U.S.
Pros
  • Whole Earth Farms has not had any recalls that we could find
  • The brand appears to use good quality ingredients but their sourcing is a little vague
  • The prices are very good for a premium dog food
Cons
  • Many of the brand’s foods contain peas and/or pea protein in the first several ingredients Some ingredients may be sourced from outside the U.S.
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

About Whole Earth Farms

Whole Earth Farms kibble and canned recipes are cooked in the United States with good quality ingredients and sold at a moderate price. The brand is owned by Merrick PetCare. Whole Earth Farms brand was introduced in 2009.

According to Whole Earth Farms and information on their web site, their foods feature high quality protein as the first ingredient along with vegetables and fruits. They have kibbles and canned foods (including new grain-free options).

The company says that Whole Earth Farms dog foods are the perfect food for people interested in exploring natural pet food.

According to a cost comparison chart on the Whole Earth Farms site, their food (Data Based On Adult Dog Food Large Bag And 50 LB Dog Feeding Guidelines Sourced From National Online Pet Products Retailer, November 2014) is more affordable per day than Pedigree, Iams, Purina ONE, and Nutro MAX.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Whole Earth Farms is somewhat vague about the source of their ingredients. This is the response to a FAQ question about their ingredients:

At Whole Earth Farms™, we believe your dog deserves only high-quality ingredients and that’s why we put in only the best and leave out the rest. Our natural recipes are loaded with goodness from multiple proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef and whitefish; vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots, fruits such as blueberries and healthy oils for skin and coat. Our Whole Earth Farms™ recipes do not contain many of the ingredients that other brands do: no corn, no wheat, no soy, no poultry by-products, no artificial flavors, no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives.

Whole Earth Farms foods are made by Merrick. Merrick has claimed that the ingredients for their foods are “locally-sourced” to their manufacturing facilities in Texas but it would be guesswork to assume that Whole Earth Farms’ ingredients are local.

We found this customer service response on Chewy.com: “Whole Earth Farms source the majority of their ingredients from within the United States. To ensure a high quality and consistent supply, they may source outside of the United States. Their recipes contain no ingredients from China and are sourced from facilities that are USDA approved and inspected .”

Merrick, the manufacturer of Whole Earth Farms dog food, has been making pet treats since 1988. They started making premium dog food in 2003. They make their own kibble, canned food, and treats in Texas in their own manufacturing facilities.

In 2012 Merrick earned organic certification under the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) for all of its Texas-based manufacturing facilities. It is organic-certified for both dry and canned pet food for pets.

Along with making their own Merrick brand of foods, Merrick also owns Castor & Pollux (USDA-certified organic pet food with ORGANIX and Pristine – a complete line of pet food made with responsibly-sourced ingredients). They own Zuke’s, a line of trail-tested treats that features Mini Naturals – the top-selling training treat in pet retail. And they own Whole Earth Farms.

Merrick PetCare was purchased by Purina PetCare in July 2015 but it continues to operate as a separate entity.

Recall History

We did not find any pet food recalls involving Whole Earth Farms. Merrick had multiple recalls between 2010 and 2018, all involving pet or dog treats. Most of these recalls came in 2010-2011, before they built their own manufacturing plant and controlled their own facilities.

What Kinds Of Dog Food Does Whole Earth Farms Offer?

Whole Earth Farms offers foods with and without grains. They have kibbles and wet (canned) dog foods. They also offer cat foods. They make foods for puppies, adults, and small breeds. They also have a healthy weight formula.

Most of Whole Earth Farms formulas today are grain-free.

They still make a couple of their original formulas which contain grains such as their original puppy recipe and their adult recipe.

Whole Earth Farms Dog Food: Top Three Recipes Reviewed

We’re taking a look at three of the top-selling Whole Earth Farms dog foods as found on Chewy.com.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 26% Min
  • Fat – 14% Min
  • Fiber – 3.5% Max
  • Moisture – 11% Max
  • Caloric Content – 3478 kcal/kg, 348 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

A bestseller, Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe Dry Dog Food is grain-free with no corn, wheat, or soy. We noticed in the customer comments that some people were buying this food because they had dogs that could not eat chicken or poultry.

Here are the ingredients:

Pork Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Sweet Potatoes, Pea Protein, Pork Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Pork Flavor, Pork, Beef, Lamb, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, Apples, Salt, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Pork meal, pork, beef, and lamb supply good meat protein for dogs. We do have an issue with the potatoes, peas, and pea protein in the first five ingredients. If you are concerned about nutritional DCM, these ingredients would raise red flags. The remaining ingredients look good.

According to the guaranteed analysis, this food has 26 percent crude protein, 14 percent crude fat, 3.5 percent crude fiber, 11 percent moisture, and 348 kcal/cup.

Due to the peas and potatoes in the first five ingredients, we would lower this food’s rating to 4 out of 5.

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 27% Min
  • Fat – 14% Min
  • Fiber – 3.5% Max
  • Caloric Content – 3589 kcal/kg, 370 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food is another grain-free formula with no corn, wheat, or soy. Like other Whole Earth Farms foods, it has no artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

Here are the ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Sweet Potatoes, Chicken, Turkey, Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Sunflower Oil, Apples, Salt, Salmon Oil, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Chicken meal, chicken, and turkey provide good meat protein for dogs. We again have issues with potatoes and peas in the first five ingredients because of their possible connection to nutritional DCM. The peas, in particular, are a concern. The FDA and veterinary researchers have not found any final answers about this health problem but we have to point out the possible problem.

“Natural flavor,” in the list can be a problem because it’s so vague. The FDA allows this terminology but it can refer to a lot of different things that make the food more appealing to your dog, including a stew of chemicals.

Truthfully, this substance, in small amounts, is probably not harmful to your dog. It just makes the food taste better. But if you are choosing between a food that has natural flavor and one that doesn’t have it, go with a food that doesn’t have it.

This food has 27 percent crude protein and 14 percent crude fat, according to the guaranteed analysis. It has 3.5 percent crude fiber and 370 kcal/cup.

Our main concern with this food is the presence of the peas and potatoes in the first five ingredients. Again, we give it a 4 out of 5.

Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 26% Min
  • Fat – 14% Min
  • Fiber – 3.5% Max
  • Moisture – 11% Max
  • Caloric Content – 3696 kcal/kg, 376 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food does contain grains but it contains no corn, wheat, soy or poultry by-products, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

You can take a look at the ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Chicken, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Whitefish, Sunflower Oil, Apples, Salt, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Proteinate, Cobalt Carbonate), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Chicken meal, turkey meal, chicken, and whitefish are good animal proteins for dogs. Brown rice, oatmeal, and barley are considered healthy grains/cereals for dogs today.

Peas are present, but at least they are the sixth ingredient. That’s still a lot of peas but it’s a slight improvement. Natural flavor is also still used. Again, if you have the choice, try to avoid it, but it’s not a deal breaker when choosing dog foods.

According to the guaranteed analysis for this food it has 26 percent crude protein, 14 percent crude fat, 3.5 percent crude fiber, 11 percent moisture, and 376 kcal/cup. The ash content of this formula is 7.42.

Overall, this looks like a good food for dogs. Our score would be 4.5/5.

How Much Does Whole Earth Farms Dog Food Cost?

Whole Earth Farms dog food is very affordable, especially compared to many upper tier dog foods. Even compared to other foods made by Merrick, Whole Earth Farm dog food is a bargain.

What Do Customers Think Of Whole Earth Farms Dog Food?

Most customers and their dogs seem to really like Whole Earth Farms dog food.

All reviews are from Chewy.com:

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Pork, Beef & Lamb Recipe Dry Dog Food

No more upset stomach!!

By Bastetz on Nov 11, 2019

I have a 1 year old lab. She was having a lot of stomach issues. She ALWAYS has diarrhea and would get sick in the house at least twice a month. The vet said she was allergic to the protein and grain source in the food. They suggested hypoallergenic food but it was SO expensive. So I did the math and compared how much she would eat, how much was in a bag, cost of the bag and cost for a month and this food came out on top. And better yet, she LOVES it. She dances around while I’m getting her food ready. It also fixed her stomach problems in 2 days! No more diarrhea and upset stomach! I would highly recommend this food! Especially for big dog owners wanting to do what’s best for their dog but also not spending an arm and a leg.


Great for my pit bull!

By Hailey on Jan 1, 2020

My pit is extremely allergic to grain, and he is very picky. I needed a good grain free food for an affordable price. We’ve been using this one for about 3 months now and he loves it! And no more allergies!

Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Chicken & Turkey Recipe Dry Dog Food

Love this dog food!

By Paula on Dec 26, 2019

My German Shepherd has been eating this food for years and she absolutely loves it! The ingredients are wholesome, and she hasn’t had any problems with loose stool since she has been eating this food. It is also very reasonably priced!


My dog LOVES this food!

By Manders on Sep 19, 2019

I just received this bag 2 days ago but my pup has literally cleared the bowl each time I’ve filled it, she loves it!! I was free feeding her because with her old food, she would just graze all day on a full bowl, I now have to measure out her feedings because she will eat the whole bowl as soon as I fill it. She does suffer from food allergies and I have seen no negative reaction so far. So Yay!!

Whole Earth Farms Adult Recipe Dry Dog Food

MY DOG LOVES THIS STUFF

By TinkersMom on Jan 16, 2020

I don’t know what they put in the bag but my Maltese can’t wait to get into it. She barely gives me a chance to open it I didn’t know she liked dry food, but she really likes this one. Bought 5 lbs. last shipment, bought 25lbs. recent shipment. Don’t want to run out again, there is no peace when I do.


My Dogs Love It

By Jerry on Jan 21, 2020

I have two small dogs, a maltipoo and a pomapoo. Over the years, every food I’ve tried, they seemed to like at first and then, nope, no more. When I tried Whole Earth, they loved it and for the past 4+ years, they devour it. It’s a good quality food at a very reasonable price.

Overall, Is Whole Earth Farms Dog Food A Good Choice?

We do think that Whole Earth Farms dog food makes good foods. Whole Earth Farms seems to be a good food for the price.

We encourage you to look at the ingredients and consider the amount of peas used in the foods. Generally, the first five ingredients in a food, or the ingredients listed before the fat, make up the bulk of the food.

Where Is Whole Earth Farms Dog Food Sold?

You can buy Whole Earth Farms Dog Food online from retailers like Chewy.com and from some pet food stores.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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