Heed Foods: Probiotic Dog Food for Healthy Digestion
Contents of Article
- Why We Love It:
- Overview of Heed
- A Quick History:
- How Are the Products Made?
- How Many Recipes Are There?
- How Much Does It Cost?
- What’s the Subscription Process Like?
- Recipe Feature: Fresh Chicken and Ancient Grains Kibble
- Heed Pros and Cons
- Our Conclusion
- Heed FAQs
Why We Love It:
Your dog’s health and wellness come down to his nutrition. The best dog food isn’t just made with quality ingredients, however, it’s made with a focus on optimal digestion so your dog gets the most out of those nutritious ingredients. Heed Foods is all about your dog’s digestive health. Their recipes are formulated for complete and balanced nutrition with a focus on digestibility and maintaining your dog’s digestive health for lasting wellness.
Many pet owners make the mistake of thinking all dog food is created equal. Though one brand of kibble may look like another, each brand is unique and two similar products could actually be quite different.
What makes one dry dog food different from another is the formula. The ingredients themselves matter greatly, as does their quality, but it also comes down to the combination. Some dog food companies focus on choosing the least expensive ingredients while others try to boost their prices by using premium ingredients. What may be best, however, is choosing ingredients your dog can actually digest so he benefits from the nutrition those ingredients have to offer.
That’s what makes Heed Foods a top choice. We’re not here to convince you which brand of dog food is the ultimate best, but we want to provide an unbiased review to help you make your own decision.
Read on to learn more about the Heed Foods dog food brand and what we think of it.
Overview of Heed
When it comes to the best dry dog food, there are too many options to name. Dry dog food offers a convenient, shelf-stable choice for dog owners and is also generally one of the more affordable options. This isn’t to say that all dry dog food is created equal, however. Heed knows this full well and they have taken great care to create a product that provide for your dog’s nutritional needs.
Heed only offers a limited selection of products including kibble and freeze-dried food toppers and treats. Their products are focused on supporting your dog’s digestive health to maximize nutrient absorption and support his optimal wellness.
In this review, we’ll go into detail about Heed Foods to help you get an understanding of this brand as well as their dog food recipes so you can decide whether it’s the right pick for you and your pup.
A Quick History:
The story of Heed Foods is the story of Rei and Melanie. LA locals and pup parents themselves, Rei and Melanie were tired of wasting their time worrying what was going into their dog’s food, so they set out to create their own. Working with leading canine microbiologists and animal nutritionists, the pair created a range of high-quality, nutritious kibble that was designed for optimized health, inside and out.
At Heed Foods, it’s all about dogs. This company believes that it’s a pet parent’s job to make sure we’re deserving of the unconditional love our dogs have to give. Here are their promises:
“We put your pooch first. Unconditionally. Pups over profits. Dogs over dollars. Mutts over moula. A long and happy life is our greatest KPI.”
Using real, wholesome ingredients, Heed Foods offers recipes that meet your dog’s nutritional needs but, more than that, support his gut health. The combination of high-quality ingredients and a healthy digestive system ensures optimal health and wellness for your pooch. It’s that simple.
To help you get a better understanding of the brand, here are the answers to some common questions:
How Are the Products Made?
Though Heed Foods was started by two LA locals, their products are made in Pawnee City, Nebraska. Their formulas were developed in partnership with leading pet nutritionists with an emphasis on digestive health. The dry food formulas are cooked via the extrusion process, but Heed emphasizes that this doesn’t mean it has been stripped of nutrients.
Here’s what they have to say:
“During extrusion cooking, temperatures can be relatively high (260-350˚F) but the residence time at this temperature is very short (5 to 10 seconds). This process tends to maximize the beneficial effects of heating the food while minimizing the detrimental effects on its nutrients. Although some nutrients may be more susceptible to loss during any cooking process we perform our guaranteed analysis after cooking so you can be sure your pup is getting exactly the right amount of nutrients they need.”
Both Heed dog food recipes are formulated to exceed AAFCO standards for dogs in all life stages, including puppies. They do not, however, recommend their products for large breed puppies.
Heed doesn’t provide as much specific information about the sourcing of their ingredients as some companies do. They say all of their proteins are sourced from North American and more than 99.9% of their ingredients are non-China sourced. The exception is their vitamin B12 and E supplements and Heed says they are committed to finding an alternative reputable non-China source for these nutrients.
How Many Recipes Are There?
When it comes to kibble, Heed dog food is different. Not only does it provide complete and balanced nutrition according to AAFCO food nutrient profiles, but it is designed for optimal digestibility. Heed says their nutritionists created their kibble “with a strong focus on maintaining healthy digestive environment, maximizing food digestibility and efficiency, promoting beneficial bacteria development, and reducing pathogen presence.”
At this time, Heed offers a limited selection of products. Their primary offering is their Fresh Kibble, though they also offer a few options for freeze-dried food toppers and dog treats.
The Fresh Kibble line consists of the following two recipes:
- Fresh Chicken and Ancient Grains Kibble
- Fresh Salmon and Quinoa Kibble
The Freeze-Dried Toppers line consists of the following recipes:
- Turkey, Banana & Carrot
- Turkey, Apple & White Bean
- Cod, Apple & Carrot
All of Heed’s dog food recipes start with a quality source of real meat as the first ingredient. You’ll find their recipes are supplemented with digestible carbohydrates like ancient grains or quinoa as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. Their recipes are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids to support your dog’s healthy skin and coat with antioxidant-rich superfoods as a bonus.
Here’s what Heed Foods has to say about their ingredients:
“We are nutritious. Unconditionally. Real, fresh meat sourced from North America is our number one ingredient. Which makes us pretty delicious too.”
How Much Does It Cost?
Many pet parents shop by price when it comes to dog food. There’s nothing wrong with having a budget in mind, but it’s always best to evaluate a pet product on merit as well as price. Some of the most expensive dog foods on the market aren’t any good while some of the best are surprisingly affordable.
Heed dog food is going to be more expensive than your average kibble, so you’ll need to decide if the benefits are worth the added cost.
The purchase price for Heed is $34.99 for a 5-pound bag or $65 for a 10-pound bag. You can save an additional 10% by subscribing for regular deliveries. Your weekly and monthly price will vary depending how much you feed your dog, but the per-pound price is over $6.50 per pound.
What’s the Subscription Process Like?
When it comes to purchasing Heed dry dog food, there are two options. If you’re not sure whether you are ready to make a long-term switch, you can purchase a single bag and try it out with your dog. When you know how your dog responds to the food, you can switch to a subscription plan and save 10%.
Here are the steps involved in creating a subscription plan:
- Click on the “Shop” button in the menu on the home page
- Select from the Fresh Kibble, Freeze-Dried Toppers, or treats options
- Choose the desired product size and quantity
- Click “Subscribe and Save 10%” then select delivery frequency
- Finish by clicking “Add to Cart” then fill in your info to check out
You can customize your subscription at any time by logging into the online account you create when you place your first order. Change your delivery frequency from every 3 up to every 8 weeks or keep making single purchases, whatever works for you. You can also adjust the recipes in your order, the size of the bag, and the number of bags you order.
Recipe Feature: Fresh Chicken and Ancient Grains Kibble
|First 5 Ingredients||Chicken||Chicken Meal||Pearled Barley||Brown Rice||Oat Groats|
|Guaranteed Analysis||31% protein||16% fat||6% fiber||10% moisture|
Chicken, chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, oat groats, whole egg, natural flavor, chicken fat, chicken liver, carrots, spinach, flaxseeds, sunflower lecithin, sun-dried miscanthus grass, dehydrated blueberries, kelp, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), sea salt, dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, potassium chloride, yeast extract, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), taurine, fumaric acid, lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, thyme extract, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper proteinate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxin hydrochloride, manganese proteinate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, folic acid, rosemary extract.
This formula features real chicken as the primary ingredient with nutritious ancient grains like pearled barley, brown rice, and oat groats to ensure balanced nutrition.
Of this recipe, Heed says the following:
“Sound delicious to you? Cue the drool from your dog. Presenting our high-protein, grain-inclusive chicken kibble with prebiotics. But no ordinary chicken. We’re talking non-GMO, locally-sourced fresh deboned chicken, naturally rich with Lysine and Leucine – essential amino acids for muscles.”
Made with 52% chicken ingredients and 35% fiber-rich grains, this recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition. The list of ingredients is a little longer than we’d like, however, and the estimated carbohydrate content is over 35% which is fairly high. We’re glad, however, to see the top two ingredients are both quality sources of animal protein.
Overall, this recipe appears to offer decent quality nutrition and there aren’t any red flag ingredients. The only concern is the high carbohydrate content and the cost.
Heed Pros and Cons
We know you want what’s best for your dog, but we also know it can be difficult to decipher dog food labels to figure out whether a brand is really worth your time and money. We love Heed Foods, but we understand it might not be the best option for every dog. Every dog food brand has its ups and downs and you should consider both before making your final decision.
Here are some of the pros for Heed:
- Wholesome nutrition made with high-quality ingredients
- Real meat sourced from North American as the first ingredient
- Made with prebiotics and probiotics, great for dogs with digestive issues
- Protein-rich, 100% natural recipes made in the USA with no fillers
- Choose from a one-time purchase or subscribe and save for 10% off
Here are some of the cons for Heed:
- May be significantly more expensive than some kibble brands
- Shipping isn’t free (standard shipping fee is $5)
- Only two protein options to choose from, limited product selection
- No grain-free options, may not be ideal for dogs with grain allergies
In the end, it really comes down to making a decision for your dog specifically. You know your dog best, including his preferences and unique dietary needs, so consider the pros and cons above to determine whether Heed is a good fit for you and your pup.
Read on to see our final word on the Heed Foods brand and the answers to some FAQs.
Overall, we love the concept behind Heed Foods. Too many dog food companies focus on their bottom line or try to cater their products to pet parents rather than doing what’s best for the dogs they feed.
Heed Foods provides wholesome, quality nutrition but their focus on digestibility puts them a step above other pet food brands. It’s a more expensive brand of dry dog food, to be sure, but it could be a good option if your dog is suffering from digestive issues and you want to try a new diet.
Does Heed offer any grain-free options?
No, Heed only offers two dry dog food recipes and both contain grains like pearled barley, brown rice, and oat groats. These grains are more nutritious and digestible than low-quality fillers like corn, wheat, and soy but may not sit well with dogs who are sensitive or allergic to grains.
Can you get samples of Heed dog food?
No, but Heed does offer a satisfaction guarantee. When you make your first purchase, you have the peace of mind knowing you can get your money back if your dog doesn’t like it. If you’re not 100% happy with your order, you can receive a full refund on the unused portion of your kibble as long as it is returned within 14 days of purchase in its original packaging.
Is the packaging environmentally friendly?
Heed Foods makes every effort to do what’s best for dogs AND for the environment. They minimize waste in their production and design their packaging from recycled materials with a resealable top to keep your dog’s food fresh for as long as possible. Because their products are dry, they don’t require much in the way of packaging other than the box, which is recyclable, of course.
Can I change or cancel my subscription?
Yes, you can log into your online customer account to change your order at any time. Adjust the frequency of your delivery or make changes to your recipe selection, bag size, or number of bags. If your dog doesn’t like the food, simply contact Heed and they’ll do what they can to work with you.
Is Heed a good option for dogs with food allergies?
Maybe, it depends on your dog’s allergies. Heed only offers two recipes at the moment, so if your dog is allergic to chicken or fish it may not be a good choice. Heed doesn’t use any fillers or GMO ingredients, but their recipes do contain grains which could be a problem for some dogs.