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Finding the right food for your dog can be a frustrating, and expensive, ordeal. Picky eaters may leave you with a practically full bag of food that they won’t eat or, even worse, that causes them health issues.
While every dog has special dietary needs, HEED is a company that is making it easier than ever to test a food that your dog is sure to love and is great for them.
HEED sent us some free food and asked for our honest opinion on the product.
Unlike very large commercial dog food makers, HEED is a smaller company that works carefully with dog nutritionists and suppliers to create the healthiest, freshest, and most balanced meal for your dog.
This focus allows for stringent quality control and the freedom to be picky and get the best ingredients possible for your dog.
Why is HEED Different:
Unlike many dog foods that use fillers like corn, artificial flavors, and preservatives, HEED uses a unique blend of fresh proteins like salmon, turkey, chicken, and cod; fruits; vegetables; vitamins; and minerals to create a food that supports your dog’s immune system, skin and coat health, and digestion.
To make it easier than ever to find the right food, you can also get a trial size bag of their dog food for just $4.95 each. This is a great way to test out their food to make sure it works for your dog without buying a huge bag.
Another important aspect of HEED dog foods are their use of prebiotics to help nourish the gut flora of your dog. The gut is your dog’s immune powerhouse, over 70% of their immune system functions there. By keeping your dog’s gut healthy you not only boost their immune system but help them maintain a healthy weight, keep skin and coat issues at bay and improve their digestion. HEED’s careful cooking process ensures that your dog’s food is free from bacteria like salmonella but keeps the precious prebiotics alive and well so they can work their magic in your dog’s tum.
HEED also distinguishes themselves from the dog food pack by adding a fresh and fun way to change up your dog’s meal with toppers. These are freeze dried ingredients including great protein and vitamin boosters like turkey, cod, flaxseed, carrots, and white beans, among other all-star ingredients. They have three different topper options to help keep your dog’s diet fun and exciting.
About HEED’s Food:
As natural meat eaters, it only makes sense that your dog’s food starts with the highest quality protein. HEED has two main protein sources, chicken and salmon, along with turkey and cod in their freeze-dried toppings.
These high quality proteins are more bioavailable to your dog and thus are readily digestible and more efficient than lower quality proteins. With a minimum crude protein content of 31.0%, HEED has on average a much higher protein content than other competitors on the market.
Besides protein it is important for your dog to get a balance of fat, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. HEED uses complex carbs like sweet potatoes, buckwheat, chickpeas, brown rice, pearled barley and oat groats, which are digestive friendly and wonderfully nutrient rich carbs to help energize them and prevent common skin and coat problems that often occur with other filler carbs like corn, meat and grain by-products, and artificial ingredients like food dyes and preservatives.
Fat is also key to your dog’s health. HEED uses omega fatty acid packed fats like salmon oil and flaxseed to help with heart, brain, digestive, and skin and coat health.
Lastly, HEED uses a balanced blend of vitamins and minerals, mixed with prebiotics, to ensure your dog is getting everything they need to be living their healthiest and happiest life!
Freeze Dried Toppings:
These human grade freeze dried toppings really set HEED dog food apart by adding a great flavor and nutritional boost to your dog’s food. Their three varieties are ‘Turkey, Apple and White Beans’, ‘Turkey, Bananas, and Carrots’, and ‘Cod, Apple, and Carrot’.
The thought and care going into creating such a fun and interesting way to keep your dog engaged for mealtime shows just how much the team and HEED wants your dog to not only get all the nutrients they need but actually enjoy what they eat! No more boring brown and burnt pellets.
I tested the freeze dried toppings with a few different foods for my dog, just to see how he responded. I put them on his favorite semi-wet food, which he loves and inhales, and on his dry kibble, which he doesn’t love as much.
I tried the “Cod, Apple, and Carrot” flavor first. He enjoyed eating the smaller bits but knocked the larger pieces of cod out of the bowl. I then tried cutting/grinding it into smaller pieces and this helped a ton. This is an extra step that you might want to take if you have a small dog like me, but the larger chunks are probably really enjoyable for a bigger dog.
The other flavor I had was the “Turkey, Banana, and Carrot”. My dog actually was a bigger fan of the turkey than the cod, and loved it on both his foods. For both flavors he had no problem eating it on his semi-wet food, and it actually seemed to improve how much he ate of his dry kibble, which is nice for keeping him on a more regular food schedule.
What My Dog Likes:
Barley seemed to like the taste of HEED’s kibble – but it did seem to give him a lot of gas. That’s since cleared up with a new food change. I didn’t transition him slowly to the new food, but I actually never do (gasp!) – I just feed a variety. So the increase in flatulence was unexpected.
He didn’t seem to totally obsessed with the food, like with some of the fresh foods we’ve tried in the past (Nom Nom Now and Spot and Tango, for example). But he did like it. It was a good size for training treats and wasn’t round, allowing me to toss them easily.
Kayla grew up in northern Wisconsin and studied ecology and animal behavior at Colorado College. She founded Journey Dog Training in 2013 to provide high-quality and affordable dog behavior advice. She’s an avid adventurer and has driven much of the Pan-American Highway with her border collie Barley. She now travels the US in a 2006 Sprinter with her two border collies, Barley and Niffler. Aside from running Journey Dog Training, Kayla also runs the nonprofit K9 Conservationists, where she and the dogs work as conservation detection dog teams.