Whole Earth Farms Dog Food
Whole Earth Farms dog food is made by Merrick Pet Care, Incorporated, based in Amarillo, Texas. According to the Whole Earth Farms web site, the food specializes in naturally nutritious food at a great value. They produce kibble and canned foods, including grain free options. The food is made in the United States and the company says that no ingredients come from China. They use no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-products, no artificial colors, and no artificial preservatives. The company says they are the perfect food for people interested in exploring natural pet food.
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According to a cost comparison page on the food’s web site, the food costs less to serve, per day, than grocery store brands such as Pedigree, Iams, Purina One, and the popular Nutro Max sold in pet stores:
Who Manufactures Whole Earth Farms dog food?
Merrick, the manufacturer of Whole Earth Farms dog food, has been making pet treats since 1988 and premium dog food since 2003. They make their own kibble, canned food, and treats in Texas and recently built a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing plant.
Whole Earth Farms Recalls 2017
We did not find any recalls in the FDA or AVMA databases involving Whole Earth Farms dog foods, which is a relatively new food. However, Merrick has had several recalls. Their recalls mostly involved pet treats.
Whole Earth Farm Dog Food Coupons 2017
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Whole Earth Farms Reviews
As mentioned, Whole Earth Farms states (repeatedly) that their food is naturally nutritious at a good value. Sometimes this is code for cheaper ingredients. They also state that they use no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-products, no artificial colors, no artificial preservatives and no ingredients from China. That’s all well and good, but it makes you wonder what is left to put in the food, especially if the food is not very expensive.
Note, we think it’s great when you don’t have to sell a kidney to buy dog food. However, dog foods that use lower cost as a selling point tend to raise a red flag.
Since this does appear to be a new dog food or at least a new product line, Whole Earth Farms does not have a lot of products yet. Their web site shows four kinds of kibble: Adult Recipe, Puppy Recipe, Grain Free Recipe with Chicken & Turkey, and Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb (Poultry Free). All of these adult formulas are 26/13 crude protein/crude fat, with 348 calories. The puppy formula is 26/12 with 340 calories. They are all formulated to meet AAFCO approval for all life stages.
Whole Earth Farms also has seven kinds of grain free canned dog food: grain free adult, grain free puppy, grain free hearty chicken stew, grain free hearty turkey stew, grain free hearty beef stew, grain free chicken & turkey recipe, and grain free red meat recipe. Based on 12.7 ounce cans, these canned foods range between 8 and 10 percent crude protein and 3 and 6.5 percent crude fat. Calories range from about 290 to nearly 400 ME. They meet AAFCO approval for all life stages.
A cursory look at the ingredients in the foods shows that they look very good.
How would you rate Whole Earth Farms:
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Our Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb (Poultry Free) Dog Food Review:
Since grain free dog foods are so popular, many dog owners will probably be interested in Whole Earth Farms grain free dog foods. We have chosen Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb (Poultry Free) dog food for our review. The first five ingredients in this food are:
- Pork Meal
- Dried Potatoes
- Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
- Sweet Potatoes
Pork meal is the only meat protein in the first several ingredients. If you believe, as many people do, that a good dog food should have at least a couple of meat proteins in the first few ingredients, then this will concern you.
Pork meal is a perfectly good meat protein for dogs. There are some other good quality dog foods that use it, such as Eagle Pack. The concern here is that it’s the only meat protein in the first few ingredients. As with other meals, most of the moisture and fat is removed, leaving mostly protein. Pork is up to 80 percent protein and a good source of nutrition.
Although this is a grain free dog food, it does contain carbs in the form of potatoes and sweet potatoes, in particular. Potatoes are around 92 percent carbs with 7 percent protein; and sweet potatoes are 93 percent carbs with 6 percent protein. Both are good sources of dietary fiber. Some dog owners worry about sugar overload and their dog’s glycemic index but, honestly, unless your dog has known issues with his blood sugar, you probably don’t need to be worried about potatoes too much. Don’t give your dog a bowl of mashed potatoes for dinner, obviously. But mixed in a dog food recipe, they won’t be a problem for most dogs.
Peas, however, can be a problem for some dogs. Peas in dog food usually refer to field peas (split peas – yellow or green). They have around 22-24 percent protein and they provide some fiber as well as some good vitamins and minerals. But some dogs have difficulty digesting them. They have been used in livestock feed, with success, for years, but dogs don’t have four stomachs, like a cow, to help digest them. If your dog has digestive problems with a dog food, it’s often because the food contains peas, pea fiber, pea starch, or pea protein. It’s becoming hard to find dog foods that don’t contain this plant source of protein.
People often worry about carbs when they should be worrying about plant proteins being substituted for meat proteins. “Peas” probably look harmless when a dog owner reads them on the label, but they fulfill exactly the same function as corn in a dog food – they are a less expensive way of adding protein, fiber, and other things to the dog food. Most dogs can digest corn adequately, depending on how it’s processed. But a lot of dogs have problems digesting peas in their various forms. We understand why dog food companies look for plant sources of protein to use instead of meat – they are much cheaper and dog food companies have to make a profit like every other kind of business. But, as owners, we have to choose foods that provide the best nutrition for our dogs. Meat protein is definitely better than plant protein.
However, dog foods that are made up of lots of meat protein also cost a lot. So, we all have to find our own comfort level and figure out what we can afford to feed our dogs. Generally speaking, the more meat in the dog food, the more expensive it is. You don’t have to feed your dog a dog food that is all meat. But you do need to avoid some of the dog foods that have too much plant protein. Make sure your dog is getting some good meat protein in his diet even if you have to spend a little more money. Your dog will digest a dog food with meat protein better and be able to use more of the nutrients.
The food also contains pork fat (with mixed tocopherols). Pork fat is a named fat. Your dog should love the taste it adds to the food. It’s a source of energy and some vitamins are fat-soluble, meaning they need fat in order for your dog to be able to use them. In case you’re wondering, “mixed tocopherols” are a natural preservative made up of different forms of vitamin E.
Other ingredients to note in this food include beef (the sixth ingredient) – a good source of protein. We wish it was higher in the list; and lamb as the eighth ingredient. Again, we wish this ingredient came higher. This food is labeled “with Beef & Lamb,” but if you know anything about FDA labeling regulations you know that means the food only has to have at least 3 percent beef and lamb in the food. It could have more than 3 percent beef and lamb, but it might not.
Salmon oil is a nice ingredient. It is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid which is good for your dog’s skin and coat, among other things. The food also contains dried blueberries which are an antioxidant or natural preservative. Rosemary is also a natural preservative. If your dog is prone to seizures, you should steer clear of foods containing rosemary since it has been connected to seizures.
Yucca Schidigera Extract is often used as an anti-inflammatory and as an anti-arthritic for old dogs. It’s also supposed to be good for the skin, to fight dandruff, and to help prevent hair loss. Dog food companies may also like to add it to their products because, according to research, it helps remove the stink from dog poop.
Finally, the food has several popular fermentation products. These products have become popular in the last few years to help dogs digest their food better. Coincidentally, dog food companies have been adding these ingredients as they have added more peas and cellulose (another kind of fiber-as-filler) to foods.
In terms of calories, the food has 3478 kcal/kg – 1 cup (100 grams) provides 348 kcal of metabolizable energy, calculated value. This is an average dog food in terms of calories.
Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe with Beef & Lamb meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food nutrient profiles for All Life Stages
|Crude Protein||(Not Less Than)||26.00%|
|Crude Fat||(Not Less Than)||13.00%|
|Crude Fiber||(Not More Than)||3.50%|
|Moisture||(Not More Than)||11.00%|
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: 29.2 percent protein; 14.6 percent fat; 3.9 percent fiber; and 48.3 percent carbohydrates.
This food has moderate protein and a moderately low percentage of fat. The fiber content is low to average for most kibbles while the carb percentage is high compared to many kibbles.
We like many of the ingredients in this food. We also like their commitment to no corn, no wheat, no soy, etc., and using natural foods (though “natural” is kind of vague). However, we would really like to see the beef and lamb in the first five ingredients. We’re not fans of the peas either. Still, we have to say that if you are being cost conscious, this looks like a pretty good dog food.
Where can you buy Whole Earth Farms dog food?
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You can buy Whole Earth Farms dog food from Chewy.com, PetFlow.com, Wag.com, and other pet food delivery sites. You can also buy it from Petco and from Amazon.com.
We like many of the ingredients in these foods and we like the fact that Merrick/Whole Earth Farms is marketing these foods for less. You shouldn’t have to be rich to be able to feed your dog a healthy diet or a decent dog food. We can find things to criticize about some of the foods but, overall, Whole Earth Farms dog foods look like pretty good dog foods. Recommended. At least give them a try if you are looking for a food in this price range.
I have been using the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Chicken for about 6 months now and my Golden Retriever seems to be doing great. I have tried the Beef and she hated it but devours the Chicken. She gets bored easily so I have to switch frequently but don’t want to be spending a mortgage payment on dog food. This seems to be a real winner.
After hearing about the issue with Beneful, I decided to switch my dog’s food. Tonight was Betty’s first time having Whole Earth Farms – Adult Recipe with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Betty seemed to enjoy her meal..so far, so good…
I had been feeding my 6 month old Plott Hound puppy Beneful since I got her when she was 7 weeks old. After reading about this issue with Beneful I decided to go see a friend who worked at Petco to see what she recommended. We talked about different priced foods and what she feeds her dogs and she finally told me about Whole Earth Farms – Puppy recipe. I have now fed my dog 2 servings and she loves it, she is a very happy puppy….I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
Also after hearing about Beneful, I wanted to switch. Just picked up a bag after reading some very good things about this brand. The dogs loved it.
Seems like a lot of Beneful converts here and I’m one too. My lab, aussie and beagle love the Whole Earth Farms Adult recipe. Their coats are shiny and they have a lot of energy. So far, so good with the transition!
I am also a Beneful convert! My dog loves the Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Chicken. I did not expect her to love this food as much as she does! Her coat is getting shinier as well.
My furbabies have had a problem with yeast and that is fed by grains of all kinds, so I did some research and found that Merrick and wellness were both brands that have ,so far, stayed off the recall lists. So I took my happy self to the pet store to get some and got a severe case of sticker shock! The staff showed me the whole earth brand of grain free, not quite as bad in price and still quality ingredients also made by Merrick. So we are giving it a shot, the dogs seem to like it so we will keep our fingers crossed. I look forward to shiny coats and less itchy yeast problems.
I’ve been researching a healthier food for my dogs than the ones I’ve used in the past, but also something that didn’t cost an arm or a leg. When I saw the portion sizes were smaller, and the price wasn’t as high as other quality brands I started reading the ingredients. When I saw a lot more quality ingredients than other brands then I was intrigued. Then a worker at Petco came over and recommended it as well. They said they are increasing the amount the are selling as it is selling more than any other brand at their store. I bought a bag and my dog ate it all quickly. I was just looking for reviews to affirm my decision, and came across your site. I’m liking this brand more and more.
Just as an update, I did use this food for over a month, but both dogs had lots and lots of gas. After many nights of watering eyes we switched to Taste of the Wild. It’s a little bit more expensive, but I can get it shipped for free and tax free, and it’s actually cheaper. They do have a little gas, but a lot less than with Whole Earth Farms.
I wanted to buy my dog something better than Pedigree but couldn’t justify spending a lot of money for a higher end high protein no grain brand so I bought a small bag of WEF at Petco after a recommendation from a coworker, and my dog is loving it. I highly recommend this brand to anyone who is looking for a budget friendly healthy alternative to the more expensive no grain brands.
Just bought a bag yesterday. I’ve been using Beneful for years and in the past 3-4 weeks both of my dogs have been very gassy and have developed diarrhea (no parasites, had them tested). They seem to like the taste of the new food. We’ll see.
I have a 3 yr old gold lab mix and a 1 yr old German Shepard/rott mix.
I’ve been using whole earth farms chicken and turkey grain free for a couple years. I switched from blue buffalo due to the price, but I feel it is a good dog food compared to other cheaper ones. I’ve never fed them the grocery store brands and I never will. This food seems to fit the bill as far as quality and price.
A couple times a week I buy one of the dog food meat chubs from Petco, slice it up and mix it into their dry food to add a little more meat protein. My dogs are mildly active during the week due to my work schedule and both of my dogs are remaining lean. Their coats are soft and shiny and they don’t shed a whole lot. They don’t get that stinky dog smell either. Their feces still smell but I think compared to other dogs the smell is a bit more mild.
I don’t have any complaints about this food.
I have a four year old golden. She’s never eaten any supermarket brand dog food like Purina Beneful or Iams. I started feeding her whole earth farm late last year to try and save some money after feeding Blue Buffalo for a while, Natural Balance, and Science Diet before that. I did a lot of research on alternatives and found that the ingredients in WEF’s products were pretty comparable to the higher priced brands but were often $10-$20 cheaper even with the grain free kibble. She’s seems to like the food and has no problems digesting it. I recently put her on their Healthy Weight option to help slim her down and she’s been pretty happy with that as well. Overall I feel WEF is a good and more affordable dog food without sacrificing quality.
Blue Buffalo recently switched their ingredients to add Tapiocs Starch to their large breed chicken formula. The bag is also now shiny. My dogs will no longer touch it. I brought my dog to petco and someone had spilled a tiny bit of the whole earth chicken formula and before I knew it my dog ate it all up. We’re now going to buy only whole earth farms and are very happy that it’s cheaper!
Whole Earth Farms used to be a great food. They are owned by Merrick which was recently bought by Purina. I can no longer feed WEF to my dog as I can not trust Purina. It is unfortunate because it was a good food at a great price but Purina only cares about profits and will lower the quality of the ingredients so they can make more money.
Thank you Ken! I was just about to switch back to WEF, but I WILL NOT support Purina. That is really to bad. Finally, a quality product. What are we supposed to feed our animals? It’s ridiculous. Fillers, peas they can’t process and cause leaky gut, “farm raised chicken” on the label, but pork meal is main protein. This is crazy. These are our furrbabies, do they not deserve something we’d eat. What’s left?
OH no not PURINA I am so disapointed to hear that. Just when I thought I found a healthy food for my dog. 🙁
Merrick still owns WEF just so you know. If you look on their website it still says the merrick brand. Not sure where you got that purina took over the WEF. My dogs love WEF we switched over from blue buffalo and my three fur babies love them!!
Started using Puppy WEF for our lab mix, unfortunately, he developed horrible gas and loose stools. We experimented with a gradual switch to Blue Buffalo..no gas and only minor lose stools in between meals. When the BB bag was gone, I started giving full WEF again..well, the gas returned along with loose stools. Will be going back to BB since our fur baby cannot tolerate WEF formula.
I bought this dog food at Petco after speaking to the salesperson about how good it is. I have two large dogs, a lab mix and shepherd. The lab mix immediately got explosive diarrhea that lasted four days and has since been on rice and and boiled chicken and seems to be doing better. The shepherd did fine on the Whole Earth for almost a week and today she got the diarrhea as well so needless to say, I won’t spend that kind of money on this again.
My 4 year old frenchie is not only a super picky eater, he also has some food allergies, and he’s a stubborn jerk about his food. We changed him from wilderness to whole earth farms, and what an amazing transformation in his coat, his attitutde, his energy and he seldom throws up anymore. No more itchy ears, no more bowel movement issues. He has been using it for about 4 months now, and with the different grain free recipes we can change it up for him sometimes. He’s actually excited for breakfast and diner now! Give this stuff a try, after a year of playing around with different brands, we have a keeper!
I had been using Members Mark (Sams Club) premium food, but had issues with gas. I switched my Lab/Rot to Blue Salmon with Tuna chunks, the gas got 10 times worse. Last week I switched him over to WEF Port-Lamb-Beef and the gas has stopped. Up to now the used to nibble and pick, now he’s gobbling it down, stool is solid and no gas. This has not been long enough to really tell the tale, but will stay with WEF and see how it works out, so far so good.
My Boxer can not eat chicken or chicken by products. I found Blue Basic and she loved it. Only my Schnauzer stopped eating it. I found another brand at Petco and mixed it in with the Blue. They seemed to like it but the stomach problems started right a way. I noticed it had poultry oil in it. I found this with no chicken and so far they both love it. I just hope it agrees with my Boxers digestive system.
Very confusing review… Looking to find information on this brand. This review was supposed to be for the beef/lamb flavor but this specific review only talked about pork. So didn’t get the info I was looking for.
I too thought this was a good brand but it did concern me that the label lists Carmel Coloring with is a known cancer causing chemical in the news in the last two year. I was very happy to read it did not contain carrageen but I somehow missed the caramel coloring. I also look for non gmo and non pba, hard to do but Natural Balance does have non pba and no carmel coloring, it’s only a few cents more.
Turkey and Duck formula gave my Great Pyrenees terrible gas. Worse smell I have ever experienced. It think it is too rich and I wanted the turkey and chicken grain free but Petco was all out
this Merrick brand of dry dog food and the cans have been the best for my new rescue doggie. Honey Bear is part Dachand Papillion. She is about 8 or 9 years old, came from horrible conditions and a mess physically not alone mentally and emotionally. She has had 5 surgeries to get her well and ot of that we learned that she is allergic to all chicken and turkey. So i have her on this bag that has pork, lamb and beef plus the cans with only that to. Do you have any coupons that I can use for shopping at PETCO. I keep receiving Merrick but PETCO won’t let me use em for the Whole Earth Farms.
All in all the canned chicken w/gravy and canned turkey w/gravy do well for my min pins and wire haired terrier. Just curious as to the quality consistency. Some gravy is too thick to pour and other times its like water. Sometimes there are very few vegetables in a can and others are loaded with peas. And this is all within the same case of food. None of the dogs like the “recipe” ground food.
I have a 3 year old black and tan Chihuahua that refused to eat anymore Science Diet or Beneful which she has been eating from 6 weeks up to a month ago. I thought she was just being picky (people food) so I stopped sharing my food with her. I tried waiting her out after the third day I couldn’t take it any longer so I decided to cook her doggie diet. Meanwhile I was trying different brands of dog food from Pet Land because they will refund your dog food purchase or exchange it for another brand. “AND THEN” I tried Whole Earth Farms she didn’t care for the salmon but loves the Port, Beef and Lamb recipe. She is eating healthy now and I still make her treats mostly chicken jerky. Happy camper!
I love Whole Earth Farms dog food. I have 4 dogs and order through Chewy and I pay $102 a month. I have two 5 lb. toy poodles, a 17 lb. Pomeranian and a 14 lb. Bichon. 3 cases of canned and one bag of dry.