Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food isn’t a standard dog food. The brand does make a limited range of complete foods, but their main lines are called pre-mix bases that are meant to be combined with protein and oils and are designed to make feeding a homemade raw diet easier. The food is expensive, but it is very high quality, has excellent nutritional value, and makes feeding a raw dog food diet easier. The company’s two complete foods are also good quality, being made from the same base mix and combining this with good-quality protein and additional oils.
Although the brand is not as well known as the big-name brands found on supermarket shelves, it was created 40 years ago and long before the current trend for raw feeding. In that time, the food and pre-mixes have not had any product recalls but does enjoy generally positive feedback from human buyers and canine eaters.
Read on for more information on this premium dog food brand and its products.
At a Glance: The Best Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food Recipes:
Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food Reviewed
Who Makes Dr. Harvey’s and Where Is It Produced?
The Dr. Harvey’s brand was formed by Dr. Harvey Cohen in 1984 having been horrified by the number of chemicals and bad ingredients in commercial dog foods. Dr. Harvey set about creating dog food that used natural ingredients and was free from potentially harmful chemicals. Although this natural approach is more common now, it was virtually unheard of in the 1980s. Dr. Harvey’s dog food is made in the U.S. and the company has a facility in New Jersey. All the food’s ingredients are sourced in the U.S., too.
Which Type of Dog Is Dr. Harvey’s Best Suited For?
Dr. Harvey’s is considered suitable for dogs of all ages, including seniors and puppies, and because it uses natural ingredients and is free from potentially harmful chemicals, it is also suitable for dogs of all sizes, breeds, and with various health conditions. You should always consult a veterinarian before starting your dog on any new supplements or a new diet, however.
Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?
Dr. Harvey’s dog food really is suitable for all dogs and dog types and even for dogs that have special dietary requirements. The only time that a dog might be better suited to another brand is if it has a specific allergy to any of the ingredients.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
The ingredients in Dr. Harvey’s dog food vary according to the recipe and formula, but most of the foods use the same pre-mix base that the company sells. When it comes to the limited range of complete foods, the main ingredient is a meat-based protein source. In the Oracle Grain Free Chicken recipe, for example, the main ingredient is chicken. This is whole chicken that includes flesh and skin and is made from the carcasses of chickens. It is considered a high-quality protein ingredient that includes all the essential amino acids that dogs need.
Other ingredients include sweet potatoes, which are considered a good source of dietary fiber and are a beneficial addition to dog food recipes. Flaxseed is included for its omega-3, carrots for the fiber and beta-carotene, and whole eggs for their high biological value.
There are very few, if any, controversial ingredients in the food other than dried yeast. Dried yeast comes in for some criticism because it is considered an allergen. However, unless your dog is specifically allergic to this ingredient, it is considered safe and a beneficial addition to a dog’s diet.
Raw Feeding Diet Made Easier
A raw food diet is a natural way to give dogs the type of food and nutrition that they would get in the wild. It consists of unprocessed, raw ingredients, and proponents say that changing to a raw diet can have virtually instant health and visual benefits for dogs. However, it can be time-consuming, and it requires that you carefully determine ingredient amounts and nutritional requirements, source food, and prepare meals.
Dr. Harvey’s complete food contains natural ingredients, including freeze-dried protein like chicken, as well as a selection of nutritious fruit and vegetables, while the pre-mixes work as a base for a raw diet. You add the protein and oils, which means that it takes a lot of the work and preparation out of a raw food diet.
Natural, Healthy Preservative, and Chemical-Free Pet Food
Dr. Harvey started making his own dog food in the 1980s as a result of having seen the chemicals and artificial ingredients that were prevalent in commercial food. While commercial food has improved since the 1980s with more requirements and regulations in place today, some of the foods still have a long way to go before they could be considered ideal. Dr. Harvey’s dog food is free from preservatives and chemicals. It is certified organic, too.
Mixers and Complete Foods
The range of Dr. Harvey’s foods is fairly limited with a handful of pre-mixes and a couple of complete foods available. This means your choices are limited in some respects, but because the pre-mixes form the base of meals, rather than the whole meal, you can add your choice of protein, and you change this according to what’s available, what’s fresh, and to satisfy your dog’s tastes and preferences. It still requires some work to feed a raw diet, but with Dr. Harvey’s it is certainly easier.
Because the ingredients are natural, organic, and free from potentially harmful chemicals, this does come at a cost. Even the pre-mix foods, which are essentially a mixture of fruits and vegetables, are expensive, and by the time you add protein, it means that this is a pricey feeding option. But, as they say, you get what you pay for.
A Quick Look at Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food
Dr. Harvey’s dog food has been around for nearly 40 years and has not had any product recalls in this time.
Reviews of the 3 Best Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food Recipes
We took a look at the quality and features of three of Dr. Harvey’s most popular food ranges:
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Chicken Formula Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Dr. Harvey’s Grain-Free complete food is considered suitable for all life stages and for breeds of all sizes and types. Other ingredients include flaxseed, for the omega fatty acids, and chelated minerals that are easily absorbed by your dog. The food has a 28% protein ratio, which is suitable for seniors and puppies as well as adult dogs, and the ingredients are organic and natural.
The food is expensive, but it doesn’t require any additional protein. Just add water to rehydrate, and it is ready to serve
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Beef Formula Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Again, it is an expensive feeding option because of the natural, high-quality ingredients. Added vitamins and minerals help ensure that the food meets your dog’s daily requirements, and the minerals are chelated, which means they are more easily absorbed by your dog. This is another good quality food, with a 27% protein ratio, but it does come at a price.
Dr. Harvey’s Canine Health Miracle Dog Food
It doesn’t include a meat protein, but it does contain fresh, natural fruits and vegetables as well as organic grains, and crushed eggshell. It can be fed just by adding water and an appropriate amount of meat, but you can also add extra supplements like fish oil to further balance the meal and give your dog everything it needs to be healthy and strong.
The food is expensive, although it is rehydrated before serving, which means that this 5-pound bag makes 33 pounds of finished meals for your dog, so it goes a surprisingly long way.
What Other Users Are Saying
To help determine the quality and popularity of Dr. Harvey’s, we looked at other review sites, forums, and marketplaces, to find what others were saying. Here’s what we found.
Whether you buy the pre-mix or the complete food, it is difficult to ignore the fact that Dr. Harvey’s is expensive food. But it is natural, uses organic ingredients, and it makes feeding a raw diet much easier than having to research, source, and prepare the whole meal yourself. It has good nutritional value, lacks potentially harmful chemicals, and is suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes. It is a good option for those that want to feed a natural diet without all the hassle, as long as you have the budget.
Featured Image Credit: dogboxstudio, Shutterstock