HEB is an American supermarket that is centered in Texas. They have a few locations in Mexico, as well but for the most part, their stores are found within Texas. Heritage Ranch is their brand of dog food. Therefore, this food is technically a supermarket brand—not a “name” brand.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this food is bad. There are many situations where this food may be a good choice for your canine. Keep reading to find out if this food may be suitable for your dog.
At a Glance: The Best HEB Heritage Ranch Dog Food Recipes
HEB Heritage Ranch Dog Food Reviewed
Who Makes HEB Heritage Ranch Dog Food and Where Is it Produced?
We don’t really know where Heritage Ranch dog food is created. The company does not say where they produce it. However, it is likely that they outsource the production to a third party, as they are not a dog food manufacturer themselves.
Most store brands are outsourced in this way, so this isn’t anything unusual. However, this does mean that we don’t really know where this food comes from or where it is made. Plus, the company does not have direct control over the safety procedures followed by the factory where the food is produced. That would be up to the third party.
Which Types of Dogs is HEB Heritage Ranch Best Suited For?
We recommend this food primarily to your average dog that doesn’t have many health problems. While their recipes are pretty good, they don’t have some of the premium features that certain dogs may need. Furthermore, they do not produce veterinary diets or specialty diets. These foods are for the average dog only.
Luckily, though, most dogs fit into this category.
The company does have quite a few different recipes. If your dog is allergic to a particular food, you can likely avoid it by choosing the correct recipe. Therefore, you should be able to find a recipe for most dogs.
Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better with a Different Brand?
If your dog needs specific nutrition, this brand probably isn’t the best option. They create their food with the average dog in mind. Therefore, extremely active dogs or overweight dogs should probably find food elsewhere. This brand is not suitable for these dogs, simply because it isn’t designed to be suitable for them.
Dogs with certain health conditions may benefit from a different food, as this brand does not make any illness-specific foods. However, some dogs with underlying problems may thrive on these foods even though they aren’t specifically designed for any illness. Speak to your vet if your dog has an underlying disease that may affect their dietary needs.
Discussion of Primary Ingredients (Good & Bad)
Most Heritage Ranch foods start with meat as the first ingredient. Typically, this meat is chicken, though it does depend on the exact formula you’re looking at. Other flavors may have different meats utilized as the primary ingredient.
Often, whole meat is utilized. Whole meat contains a lot of water, which means that it weighs more than most ingredients. Therefore, it can be artificially raised to the top of the ingredient list, since ingredient list items are listed by weight. The water content adds a lot of weight.
Luckily, chicken meal and similar ingredients are also used. These ingredients add a lot of protein, as they are basically concentrated chicken. Chicken meal is chicken that has had its moisture removed. Therefore, it contains more protein per ounce than whole chicken.
This brand produces both grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas. Most grain-inclusive formulas contain whole grains after the list of meat products. These provide extra fiber and carbohydrates, which many dogs benefit from. For this reason, many dogs usually do well on them.
At the same time, their grain-free formulas don’t include any grains. Instead, peas, potatoes, and other lower-quality veggies are used. These have been linked with certain heart conditions by the FDA. Therefore, they are not recommended for most dogs. Whole grains are a much better option than peas.
Furthermore, pea-derivatives like pea protein are also utilized. These proteins add even more peas to the dog food, typically on top of the whole peas and pea starch that are already listed. Plus, this ingredient artificially raises the protein content in the food, though most of that protein would come from peas.
While this company does utilize a lot of high-quality ingredients, like organ meats, their use of peas does bring the overall quality of their food down.
This brand produces dog food that typically contains a very suitable amount of protein and fat. Unlike many other brands on the market today, Heritage Ranch doesn’t include tons of protein. Often, dogs only need about 20% to 24% protein in their diet unless they are very active. Most formulas this brand creates fall within these guidelines.
Therefore, this brand works well for most dogs out there.
Furthermore, this brand usually uses protein that is absorbable. While the overall protein content of the food does matter to some extent, how much your dog actually absorbs also matters. Thanks to the use of meat and meat meals, the protein in this dog food is very absorbable.
This formula typically includes a moderate amount of carbohydrates. Despite some common misconceptions, dogs need carbohydrates just like they need any other food. Carbs are vital for energy. If your dog doesn’t have enough carbs, they will begin using protein for energy instead. This takes away protein that they could be using to maintain muscles and other body tissues.
Furthermore, fiber plays a huge role in our dog’s digestive tract. Fiber is extremely beneficial, as it regulates our dog’s digestive system and prevents diarrhea. If your dog has a problem with their stool quality, they may need to eat more fiber.
Luckily, whole grains include a lot of fiber. Therefore, they are a solid choice for dog foods.
The foods this brand produces seem to have around the same number of calories that most dog foods do. Therefore, you’ll likely need to feed your dog about what they are eating now, assuming that they have a proper body condition currently.
Obesity is an extremely big problem in companion animals. In fact, most companion animals are overweight or obese. Be sure you pay attention to the feeding guideline on the back of the bag or can. Adjust as necessary.
However, if your dog needs to be on a restricted diet, then we don’t recommend just lowering the amount of food they eat. This may result in nutritional deficiencies. Instead, choose a diet formula.
A Quick Look at HEB Heritage Ranch Dog Food
Heritage Ranch has never had a recall. Therefore, their food is generally considered safer than others that are prone to recalls. However, for the most part, this lack of recalls is probably because they sell a smaller amount of dog food. The less dog food a company sells, the less likely they are going to get a recall.
Therefore, this brand may experience recalls in the future. However, as of now, they do appear to be quite safe. Whatever third party they are using to produce their dog food seems to be following strict quality standards and sourcing their ingredients from trusted suppliers.
Reviews of the 3 Best HEB Heritage Ranch Dog Food Recipes
This company produces many different recipes. Let’s take a look at three of their most popular options:
1. Heritage Ranch by HEB Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food
First, let’s take a look at their classic recipe: Heritage Ranch by HEB Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food. This formula is extremely similar to other chicken-based formulas out there. The first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal. Both of these ingredients are high-quality and full of amino acids and proteins. Therefore, they work well for most dogs.
This formula is grain-inclusive. Brown rice and brewer’s rice are both used as the primary grain content. Brown rice contains a lot of fiber and some other nutrients that dogs may benefit from. Therefore, it’s considered a quality ingredient. However, brewer’s rice is simply white rice, which means that it has a much lower nutritional content.
Despite being grain-inclusive, this formula doesn’t include wheat. It also doesn’t include soy, which is a common allergen. Furthermore, this food doesn’t contain any added colors or artificial flavors. Omega-3s have been added to support your dog’s joints and a healthy coat. Therefore, this formula works well for most dogs, including those with some sensitivities.
2. Heritage Ranch by HEB Grain Free Beef & Vegetables in Gravy Wet Dog Food
Compared to other formulas, the Heritage Ranch by H‑E‑B Grain Free Beef & Vegetables Cuts in Gravy Wet Dog Food includes a lot of meat products. Chicken, beef broth, chicken broth, beef, and chicken liver make up the first few ingredients. As you’d expect, these ingredients contain a lot of protein and amino acids. Chicken liver is especially nutritious, and the use of broth instead of water increases the overall nutritional content of the food, as well.
As a grain-free formula, this recipe includes a variety of different starch veggies, which increase the carbohydrate content of this food. Peas, potatoes, and potato starch are primarily used. While there seems to be a low amount of peas in this food, their potential link to heart problems should be kept in mind.
The rest of this food is pretty similar to the brand’s other recipes. No artificial colors or flavors are added. There are also no meat by-products, which may improve the absorbability of this food’s protein.
3. Heritage Ranch by HEB Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Dry Dog Food
The Heritage Ranch by H‑E‑B Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Recipe Dry Dog Food is one of this company’s formulas that isn’t chicken-based or grain-inclusive. Therefore, it may work for dogs with certain allergies. As the name suggests, the first ingredient in this dog food is salmon, followed by menhaden fish meal. These ingredients include high levels of omega fatty acids and aren’t common allergens.
Because this formula is grain-free it includes a lot of starchy veggies. For instance, chickpeas, potatoes, and peas are all included high on the list. Pea protein appears, as well, which may be linked with a variety of different conditions, such as DCM. Therefore, we do not consider this ingredient to be suitable for most dogs.
On a good note, this formula doesn’t include any chicken (besides chicken fat, which won’t trigger allergies). Therefore, it is a suitable alternative to the chicken-heavy recipes above.
What Other Users Are Saying
Generally, the reviews for this brand are pretty good. Quite a few customers stated that their dogs liked it and seemed to do good on it. Most like the meat ingredients in this food, which do seem more prevalent than other dog food recipes out there. Furthermore, many like the grain-free options and chicken-free options, which are great for dogs with allergies.
Many owners with very picky dogs reported that this dog food was tasty enough for their canines. Therefore, this brand may work well for picky dogs, as it seems to have more flavor.
With that said, this food does seem to be fed less than the more popular brands. For this reason, there are not many reviews out there. It could be that there are some negatives in this food that simply haven’t been reported yet.
HEB Heritage Ranch dog food doesn’t seem to be extremely popular, likely because you can only get it in HEB, which is a regional store. For this reason, it is difficult to find many reviews on it. The brand also hasn’t had any recalls, though this may be because this brand doesn’t sell that much.
With that said, this brand does have pretty good ingredients. Meat makes up a large portion of each dog food. Plus, their grain-inclusive formulas use whole grains for the most part, which add lots of fiber to the formula. However, all of their foods have peas in them to varying extents.
Featured Image Credit: heb.com