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Halo Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Halo Dog Food a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Halo is a health-conscious dog food brand that’s marketed towards women who love their pets and the planet. All of their recipes we reviewed feature a well-balanced blend of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to fortify your dog’s gut.  The Elevate Dog Healthy Grains Salmon Recipe is our favorite choice because it’s grain-inclusive but doesn’t contain any common meat allergens such as chicken or beef. Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Dry Dog Food is Halo’s most popular recipe on Chewy, and we like it because it’s a good source of whole meat chicken, grains, and vitamins. Our first two choices are adult-only, so we selected Elevate Healthy Grains Puppy Chicken Recipe as our third best option because it’s formulated for puppies.

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At a Glance: The Best Halo Dog Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish
  • Good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids
  • Healthy grains
  • Vitamins, minerals, taurine, & probiotics
  • Second place
    Halo Adult Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Halo Adult Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver
  • Whole chicken as the first ingredient
  • Includes oats and barley
  • Tons of probiotics
  • Third place
    Halo Puppy Formula Holistic Chicken Halo Puppy Formula Holistic Chicken
  • Chicken is the sole animal protein
  • Vitamins, minerals, taurine, & probiotics
  • Contains oatmeal and flaxseed
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    Halo Dog Food Reviewed

    Who Makes Halo Dog Food and Where Is It Produced?

    Halo dog food is owned by Better Choice Company and is made in the USA from globally sourced ingredients. This company prides itself on providing high-quality dog food recipes to dog moms everywhere. There’s even a vegan recipe, although most vets don’t recommend putting your dog on a vegan diet unless medically necessary.

    Is This Food Formulated for All Life Stages?

    All of the recipes specify whether it’s intended for puppies or adults. To the best of our knowledge, Halo doesn’t make a dog food that’s inclusive for all life stages. Adult-only foods are formulated for maintenance needs, not growth. Puppies need extra nutrients as they mature, so while it probably wouldn’t hurt them to eat an adult food, it’s not the best choice.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    We love how all of the Halo products we reviewed include probiotics in the food. These beneficial bacteria are found naturally in your dog’s gut, but a highly processed diet can cause them to decline. Probiotics indirectly reduce inflammation by fighting off the bad bacteria that causes infections in your pet. Because inflammation is linked to almost every chronic disease, including cancer, probiotics may indirectly reduce the risk of your dog getting sick. This is why there’s such an important part of your dog’s diet!

    Salmon as the main ingredient is a great protein in our overall choice because it’s rich in omega 3 fatty acids and isn’t widely known to cause allergies in dogs. Although chicken is the main ingredient in our other top picks, some dogs are able to tolerate the protein well, and it’s still one of the most popular proteins in dog food.

    Although none of the recipes listed here are grain-free diets (Halo offers them, we just didn’t include them in this review), the Holistic Chicken formula includes chickpeas which is a common ingredient in grain-free foods. A 2018 study by the FDA found a correlation between grain-free diet—including the substitutes for grain such as pea ingredients—and canine cardiomyopathy, a type of heart disease in dogs. This leads us to be wary about too many lentil, pea, and potato ingredients in our dog’s food, but there needs to be more studies before we can actually say what caused the link.

    Is Halo Actually Holistic?

    On Chewy, the product description for the Holistic Chicken recipe states that there are no meat meal products in their food because “whole meat is more easily digested than rendered, processed meat meal containing higher levels of ash.” They claim that they never use meat meals in their food, just “whole chicken.” While it’s true that the Holistic recipe avoids meat meals, we don’t see this promise reiterated in the other two recipes. In fact, the Elevate Dog Healthy Grains Salmon Recipe contains three different kinds of meat meal! We wonder what made Halo change their tune.

    Also, Halo claims that their ingredients are high-quality, but unless their food is human grade (it’s not) then legally it’s held to animal feed standards. These regulations have low accountability and can even contain 3D and 4D meats, which include animals found dead, dying, diseased, or destroyed. We’re uncertain about the stance Halo takes on these meats since they seem inconsistent with their beliefs on meat meal—which is a common source of these lower-quality proteins.

    Halo Gives Your Dog Healthy Grains

    While Halo does offer grain-free formulas, all the foods we picked to review feature heart-healthy grains such as oats, barley, and quinoa. Added fiber is a bonus to a grain-inclusive diet. And if the FDA found a link correlating grain-free dog foods to heart disease, then the inverse might also be true: grains may help prevent heart disease in dogs.

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    A Quick Look at Halo Dog Food

    Pros
    • Grain-inclusive
    • Fortified with probiotics
    • Made in the USA
    Cons
    • Some recipes contain meat meal and chickpeas

    Recall History

    No dog food recalls have tarnished Halo’s good reputation. The company as a whole has only had one recall, and that was for wet cat food in 2015.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Halo Dog Food Recipes

    1. Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish – Our Favorite

    Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Dog Food Recipe Adult

    Protein (min): 25%
    Fat (min): 15%
    Calories: 3,680 kcal/kg

    We like this food best because wild salmon and whitefish are tasty meats which serve as excellent sources of Omega 3 fatty acids. Oatmeal and flaxseed are beneficial whole grains that provide your pet with fiber. Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe is also packed with vitamins, minerals, taurine, and probiotics, which is so helpful for your dog’s immune system and health overall.

    Non-GMO fruits and vegetables such as dried blueberries, sweet potatoes, and carrots add some nutrition and flavor to the recipe, as well as chicken fat. Soy protein is also added, presumably as a source of extra protein. However, some people might be opposed to this since soy is a common allergen in dogs and humans, and is sometimes considered a filler. We don’t really like all of the pea products that are included in the mix, but this is a common problem in dog food.

    Pros
    • Salmon and whitefish are good sources of Omega 3 fatty acids
    • Oatmeal and flaxseed give your pet some healthy grains
    • Includes a good blend of vitamins, minerals, taurine, and probiotics
    • Contains a nutritious blend of non-GMO fruits and vegetables
    Cons
    • Contains soy protein
    • Includes pea products

    2. Halo Adult Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Dry Food

    Halo Adult Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Dry Food

    Protein (min): 25%
    Fat (min): 15%
    Calories: 3,660 kcal/kg

    We like this food because it’s the top-selling formula by Halo on Chewy and it contains whole chicken as the first ingredient. Unlike some of their other formulas, Holistic Chicken only uses “whole chicken,” which means it doesn’t include any meat meals or by-products. Chicken livers are included further down the ingredients list, but that’s the only other animal protein listed besides dried egg product. Oats and barley are good choices of grains. Probiotics are found in the form of “dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product” fairly early in the list, which means there are even more probiotics than vitamins and minerals. This recipe also includes a healthy produce blend of dried blueberries, dried cranberries, dried carrots, and dried sweet potatoes.

    Marine microalgae is featured about halfway into the ingredients list. It’s a natural additive that’s a good source of EPA and DHA, which are Omega 3 fatty acids that promote joint health.

    Although this food has a lot of benefits, we’re wary about the inclusion of chickpeas after the FDA exposed a potential link between grain-free diets that use chickpeas and DCM, a type of heart disease in dogs. Soy protein concentrate is another hotly debated ingredient that’s included in this food because soy is a common dog allergy, and it’s not as helpful to them as meat. Chicken is also a common allergy, but it remains a top choice of protein in dog food and seems to be a high-quality ingredient in this formula.

    Pros
    • Whole chicken as the first ingredient
    • Includes oats and barley
    • Tons of probiotics
    • Good blend of fruits and vegetables
    • Marine microalgae provide Omega 3 fatty acids
    Cons
    • Contains chickpeas
    • Contains soy

    3. Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Puppy Food

    Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Puppy Food Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Protein (min): 33%
    Fat (min): 20%
    Calories: 3,849 kcal/kg

    This chicken-based recipe is the only Halo product on this list that’s formulated just for puppies. We’re happy to see that it’s similar to the adult Holistic Chicken recipe, which may ease the transition into adult food as your baby grows up.

    Probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, minerals, and taurine equip your puppy with the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong. Prebiotics help their bodies naturally grow more probiotics on their own. Chicken is the sole animal protein, which is an added bonus if your dog is allergic to other meats such as beef. Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver also has dried egg product as an ingredient near the top of the list for extra protein, but just like the adult formulas, it also contains soy protein, which we’re not as crazy about.

    Oatmeal and flaxseed are included as excellent grain-inclusive sources of fiber, but this food also contains several pea products that we could do without.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the sole animal protein
    • Prebiotics, probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and taurine prepare your puppy for a healthy life
    • Contains oatmeal and flaxseed
    Cons
    • Contains pea ingredients
    • Soy protein is added as a potential source of protein, or filler

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    Halo Adult Holistic Chicken is the most popular choice of Halo foods on Chewy, but the Elevate formulas are still fairly new. It may only be a matter of time before they’re the new favorite of Halo moms! Before making your decision on what Halo food is best for your pet, we recommend reading pet parent reviews from Amazon and Chewy.

    • Amazon – As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read these by clicking here.
    • Chewy – These reviews will give you something to chew on as you make the best choice for your dog.

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    Conclusion

    Halo promises to give your pet holistic food that will help them stay healthy. While we’re not sure about some of their beliefs on the quality of meat, we think their food is a pretty good choice overall. We especially love how all of these formulas included a rich blend of probiotics, vitamins, and minerals.

    The Halo Holistic Wild Salmon & Whitefish Recipe was our favorite choice because the fish is loaded with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids. Holistic Chicken Recipe is an excellent meal that features deboned chicken as the first ingredient, although it does include meat meals further down the list. Finally, we were impressed with the nutrients in the Halo Holistic Chicken & Chicken Liver Puppy Food. It was a comparable recipe to the adult version, and contained probiotics and healthy ingredients to help your new baby thrive for life.

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