Compare: 4 Health Duck & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs & Natural Balance LID Potato & Duck Dry Formula Dog Food

July 30, 2014

4 Health Grain Free Duck & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs

4HEALTH.JPG.PKGReaders of this blog have asked me for a dog food that is healthy AND affordable. With so many manufacturers using China as a source for ingredients, if not actually to produce the products, that task has been difficult. But now, I think we have success. Remember that no one pet food is perfect for every animal. You have to go through the trial and error process to find the one that suits your dog or cat best.

4 Health Dog Food is a private label brand manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods for Tractor Supply Co. (TSC). TSC is an extremely successful group with stores located across America. They launched 4Health in 2010 and market the products as an “affordable pet food providing dogs of all ages and sizes with nutritional ingredients for optimal health.”

TSC provides an ingredients list and nutritional information on their website, and the food is usually advertised in their flyers which can be found in many local newspapers. This review covers only their Grain Free Duck & Potato Formula for Adult Dogs.

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The list begins with two good protein sources in duck and duck meal. The peas, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans and potatoes make the food just fine without adding unnecessary grains, and also provide fiber and carbohydrates. Chicken fat is an excellent fat source. I love the inclusion of the fruits for extra antioxidants. In fact, my only objection to this food is fish meal. I would much rather have seen a named fish in the meal, like salmon or Menhaden fish meal. Then we would know for sure what is in it. Otherwise, the remaining ingredients are just fine.

I did look to www.dogfoodadvisor.com for Mike Sagman’s opinion of 4 Health Dog Food. His review must have been written before the Duck & Potato formula came out, because it discusses the other three varieties the company produces. Overall, Sagman gave the brand 3 ½ out of 5 stars on his rating system. He considers the brand acceptable. I think the Duck & Potato formula contains better ingredients and perhaps he might view it in an even better light. But that’s just my opinion.

What is important to know about this dog food is that it has no corn, no wheat, no soy, no by-products, and no artificial anything! The food does contain glucosamine and chondroitin, which are good for my Weimaraner’s aging joints.

Now, let’s look at a similar food from Natural Balance.®

Natural Balance LID Limited Ingredient Diets® Potato & Duck Dry Dog Formula

Natural Balance generally produces good pet food, so I expected nothing less with this grain-free product. This Limited Ingredient Diet blend provides quality nutrition with a limited number of protein and carb sources.

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The food begins with potatoes, which means those potatoes carry the most weight in the food. (Compare that to the 4 Health Dog Food above that begins with duck!) Potatoes are followed by duck and duck meal, the same proteins in the other food. The canola oil is acceptable as a fat source. Two more potato sources are included but unlike the 4 Health Dog Food, there are no fruits or other vegetable sources. But the remaining vitamins and antioxidants are good.

Please remember that I do not go into guaranteed analyses of ingredients on this blog, but you can certainly find that on the Tractor Supply website.

While both foods are certainly acceptable dog foods, the 4 Health option appears to offer more. The guaranteed minimum protein in the Natural Balance food is 21%, while the guaranteed minimum protein in the 4 Health dog food is 24%.  It is also substantially cheaper. A 16 lb. bag of the 4 Health Duck & Potato sells for $20 on the Tractor Supply website. A 13 lb. bag of the Natural Balance food sells for $39.99 at PetCo. You do the math.

With all the good news about 4 Health Dog Food, I must remind you that it is produced at a Diamond Foods plant. There have been recalls in recent years at this Diamond Foods plant in Gaston, NC, for possible Salmonella contamination. This is something I will keep a close eye on, but I would hope that Diamond has made changes in their production methods to improve the cleanliness of their facilities. Far too many brands of pet food have suffered recalls for this same problem in recent years, and I won’t bash this one when everything else appears to be ok.

I will continue investigating this food and hope to get a response to my request for more information from 4 Health/Tractor Supply regarding this product. Any new information will be added to this post.

For those who cannot afford the price of holistic pet food, 4 Health looks like a good alternative.

Leave a Comment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Adriane Branson September 1, 2015 at 3:55 pm

All of this sounds pretty good. I would like to keep my animals on an all natural food and right now they are eating Blue Buffalo. I switched them to that from Diamond cuz I wanted to be sure there was nothing harmful in their food. However, Blue Buffalo is really expensive and 4health is much cheaper, but although all the information on it sounds good is it all natural? It does not specifically come out and say that it is and that would be a deal breaker with me. Thank you.

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Carol North September 1, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Adriane, choosing pet food is not easy. 4-Health is made by Diamond and you didn’t like that. But Blue Buffalo has had their share of troubles in the last year with Purina calling them out after finding by-products in Blue Buffalo foods. My suggestions is to not limit yourself to those 2 brands. If you can afford Blue Buffalo prices, look at Canidae pet foods, for one. Fromm’s makes an excellent product. There are many others on the market that have no scandals or recalls or issues. Wishing you the best and thanks for writing. Carol

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Marie Wox October 8, 2015 at 9:49 am

We have used 4 Health,….and our pet simply relishes the taste every time he tastes it 🙂 Recommended alternative!

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Christy April 19, 2017 at 9:57 am

I have been feeding 4Health Duck & Potato to my senior Shih Tzu and senior Peke mix for several months. They love it and no more gas/diarrhea from garbage ingredients and grains. My Peke has heart disease and this food keeps him at an ideal weight. It’s affordable and my dogs are doing great on it.

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