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Heed Dog Food Review 2023: Pros, Cons, Recalls & Guide

heed review

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Heed dog food a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Heed dog food is a newer dog food brand that is relatively unknown. However, their offering of fresh kibble is quickly picking up steam and proving to be a hit with most customers. They advertise that their food is different because it is specifically designed for better gut health. They put natural prebiotics into all their foods and design their formulas with sensitive stomachs in mind.

As you might guess, this food is best for dogs with sensitive stomachs for this reason. The company also advertises that their foods are suitable for all dogs. Therefore, even if your dog has an iron stomach, this food may help them become their best self.

Plus, all of their foods are formulated by canine microbiologists and animal nutritionists, which is surprisingly difficult to find in the industry.

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At a Glance: The Best Heed Dog Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Heed Foods Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Dry Food Heed Foods Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Dry Food
  • All life stages
  • High in protein
  • Chicken is the only animal-based source
  • Second place
    Heed Foods Fresh Salmon & Quinoa Dry Food Heed Foods Fresh Salmon & Quinoa Dry Food
  • Whole grains included
  • Good for dogs with allergies
  • Salmon and other fish as the main protein
  • Heed Dog Food Reviewed

    Who Makes Heed Dog Food and Where is it Produced?

    All Heed dog food is made in Pawnee City, Nebraska. However, we don’t know exactly who makes their food. The company doesn’t specify whether its food is made by a third party or if they own the facility. They also don’t specify where their ingredients come from.

    It isn’t uncommon for companies to make their food in the US but source their ingredients from elsewhere.  Because the company doesn’t specify where their ingredients come from, we must assume that at least some come from other countries. They do specify that their ingredients come from North America, which likely includes Canada and the United States.

    Which Type of Dog is Heed Dog Food Best Suited For?

    First and foremost, this food is made with sensitive stomachs in mind. Therefore, if your dog is prone to stomach problems, we highly recommend that you consider this dog food. It contains tons of prebiotics, which can help regulate your dog’s digestion system. All their foods only contain one lean, animal protein. No by-product meals are used, ever. They also stay away from soy, peas, and lentils.

    In other words, these recipes are built for dogs with allergies or stomach issues. They avoid many triggers of stomach problems, such as hard-to-digest ingredients. If your dog has allergies, you should have no problem finding something to feed your canine.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    Technically, any dog could consume this dog food. However, those without stomach issues or allergies likely won’t see the biggest improvement. While these dogs may benefit from this food, dogs that can eat just about anything aren’t the intended audience.

    Therefore, you may want to choose something cheaper and easier to get if your dog isn’t prone to stomach upset.

    Furthermore, this brand only makes two different recipes. Therefore, there aren’t very many options for your dog. If your dog doesn’t like either or is allergic to both chicken and salmon, you’ll need to choose a different brand.

    Because this brand is newer, we do expect that they will come out with new formulas in the future.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    This company only provides two different recipes—and they have very different ingredient lists. However, the ingredients do tend to be high-quality and fresh. Because their foods are made for dogs with sensitive stomachs, they tend to be free from fillers and ingredients that commonly upset dogs’ stomachs.

    You could also categorize their recipes as “limited ingredient”, as they only contain one animal protein source. One recipe is made with chicken, while the other is made with salmon. Their recipes are allergy-friendly, though they are not grain-free. They also don’t use peas, soy, or lentils in their foods, which means that you don’t have to worry about DCM.

    On top of the main ingredients, their formulas also include additives to help with digestive health. For instance, they use thyme extract to improve stool quality and chicory root as a natural source of probiotics.

     

    Macronutrient Content

    This food tends to have a higher protein content than other brands. Their recipes sit at 31%, which is quite high. Furthermore, they do not use plant-protein isolates or anything of that sort to increase the protein content. Therefore, this protein is considered higher quality than most options out there. It is digestible, so your dog will actually be using it (which can’t be said for all brands).

    The protein content comes mostly from real meat. The first two ingredients in each recipe are from an animal source (and always the same source, due to their allergy-friendly mission.)

    Kibble

    Unlike many premium, health-based foods out there today, Heed makes only kibble. However, they make very high-quality kibble that is much different from the average kibble you’d find on the shelf. According to their website, they choose to make kibble for a few different reasons.

    Firstly, kibble often leads to healthier teeth. This is pretty common knowledge in the pet food world today. Because kibble is crunchy, it helps scrape plaque off your dog’s teeth. It also doesn’t get stuck as easily as wet or fresh food, which leads to fewer bacteria growth.

    Secondly, kibble is safer to eat than fresh or raw food. It doesn’t require as much specialized handling, fridge space, or special container. Plus, it lasts a lot longer and isn’t prone to spoilage.

    Thirdly, kibble is simply very easy to feed. It is extremely convenient and doesn’t require any special prep. Therefore, it is a great option for pet owners and on the go.

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    A Quick Look at Heed Dog Food

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Free from fillers
    • Free from peas, soy, and lentils
    • Real meat included
    • Lean, single-animal protein in each recipe
    • Designed with stomach health in mind
    Cons
    • Only available on the company’s website
    • Expensive

    Recall History

    This company has never had a recall. However, they are newer, so this is to be expected. Plus, their dog food output isn’t exceptionally high, currently.

    While no recalls are great, at this stage, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is safer than others. Only time will tell if they will have recalls in the future as they ramp up production.

    Reviews of Heed Dog Food Recipes

    Heed currently only makes two different recipes. Let’s take a look at each option separately.

    1. Heed Foods Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Kibble

    Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Kibble

    The Fresh Chicken & Ancient Grains Kibble is the company’s “basic” recipe. It includes chicken and chicken meal as the first two ingredients. The protein content is extremely high, as we have discussed previously. Most of this protein comes from chicken meat, though small amounts also come from whole grains.

    Speaking of grains, there are quite a few in this recipe. However, the company uses whole grains exclusively to ensure proper nutrition and increase the fiber content. This recipe contains high amounts of natural prebiotics, as well as many of the specialized ingredients we discussed previously. Kelp, flaxseed, and blueberries are all included for different reasons.

    This food is designed for all life stages. You can feed it to your puppy, through their adulthood, and into their senior years.

    Pros
    • Chicken is the only animal-based source
    • High in protein
    • Includes helpful added ingredients, like kelp
    • 100% made in the USA
    • All life stages
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Difficult to find in-stock

    2. Heed Foods Fresh Salmon & Quinoa Dry Kibble

    Fresh Salmon & Quinoa Kibble

    If your dog is sensitive to chicken (or just doesn’t like it), you may be interested in the Fresh Salmon & Quinoa Kibble. As the name suggests, the main ingredient in this food is salmon. Salmon is a novel protein, which means that many dogs are not allergic to it. Salmon is also very high in omega fatty acids, which may help with skin and coat health.

    Besides salmon, other types of fish are also included. You’ll find herring meal and whitefish meal pretty high on the ingredient list. Whole grains are also utilized, which increases the fiber content. This helps regulate your dog’s digestive system.

    We recommend this food for dogs with allergies, first and foremost. However, it also seems to be in stock more often than the chicken recipe.

    Pros
    • Salmon and other fish as the main protein
    • Good for dogs with allergies
    • Whole grains included
    • For all life stages
    Cons
    • Expensive

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Many people did announce that their dog’s digestive health improved on this brand. Even dogs with chronic diarrhea and other serious problems saw improvement on this brand. Therefore, if you’ve tried just about everything and still can’t find something that works for your dog, we recommend this brand.

    We find that heed works particularly well for dogs that have allergies and sensitive stomachs. There is little reason to purchase this food if your dog only has minor allergies (though that doesn’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t). However, customers seemed most impressed when their dogs had chronic stomach issues.

    With that said, this food can be hard to get. It is out of stock often. Switching foods on a dog with a sensitive stomach is never a good idea and should be avoided. Therefore, the fact that this food is chronically out-of-stock is worrisome.

    Furthermore, some users also complained about the price. This food is quite expensive compared to other brands, even those labeled as “premium”.

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    Conclusion

    Heed dog food is designed for dogs with sensitive stomachs (and food allergies to a lesser extent). Therefore, it works best for dogs with serious and chronic problems with their stomach. Each formula only includes one animal source, for instance, as well as countless ingredients that can help regulate your dog’s digestion system.

    Plus, many users do report improved digestion health, even if their dogs had serious, life-long issues.

    With that said, you can only purchase this food from the company’s website, and it tends to be out of stock very often. Therefore, even if it works for your dog, getting it can be a problem. Plus, it is also extremely expensive—more so than practically any other kibble brand on the market.


    Featured Image Credit: Heed

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