Meet Dr. Harvey’s Dog Food
Dr. Harvey dog food is a rare breed of natural food that’s been around since the 1980s. It all started when an eccentric doctor looked at what pet owners were forced to feed their pets food that only benefitted the manufacturer’s bottom line. Dr. Harvey created a range of foods that used holistic ingredients to become what true Dr. Harvey fans know as “the miracle food.”
Now, 30 years later, the brand still has a loyal following and creates freeze dried foods and premixes for those who want a more comfortable foundation for a raw food diet. If you’ve been looking to take the step into raw foods, this could be your answer. Let’s break it all down.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Dr. Harvey’s
- Founded in: 1980s
- Made in: New Jersey, USA
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon, drharveys.com
- Types of Food: Freeze-dried raw food and premixes
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
- Recalled in Past? : No
Behind the Brand
It was odd in the 1980s to claim that even pets should be fed organic, holistic diets because there was so much on the market that went against that advice. Dr. Harvey was appalled by the ingredients found in almost all commercially available dog foods at the time and began to experiment with his own recipes that could help conquer the issues so frequent in dog digestion and allergies.
The result was his raw formula. Over the past 30 years, the recipes have undergone changes, but the underlying principle remains the same. Dogs need whole ingredients with no cheap fillers such as corn or soy and no artificial ingredients.
The foods are suitable for all life stages and include both complete formulas and premixes that can be mixed with a protein source for more customizability. It’s a holistic brand that began before holistic was popular and builds on Dr. Harvey’s knowledge and experience to create foods that can finally conquer allergies and digestion problems.
What types of dog food does Dr. Harvey’s offer?
Freeze dried raw foods are an excellent way to get the benefits of natural foods without the hassle of storage or mixing. Owners who can’t feed fully raw can use this food to obtain the same type of benefit but with easier storage and serving options. They’re also great for sitters who may not be used to feeding dogs an entirely raw diet.
The premixes are also great for those who want to customize their meat options or who have picky dogs that only like a particular taste or texture. These formulas allow owners to rest easy knowing they’re giving dogs a balanced meal that leaves nothing out while still providing fresh meats vital to their dog’s systems.
The foods don’t have a lot of recipe options, and you may want to talk to your vet about using the food or premix with puppies. However, they’re all formulated to be suitable for all life stages and breed sizes and consider the unique dental needs of small breed dogs.
- Raw Vibrance
- Canine Health
- Paradigm (Superfood mix)
- Veg-to-Bowl Fine Ground
Oracle Grain-Free Dog Food Recipes:
Dr. Harvey’s Recall History
Dr. Harvey’s has never issued a recall. They are very involved with their food processes, and in over 30 years of business, they’ve never had an issue that required pulling any of their foods off the shelves. Considering how long they’ve been in business, this is an exceptional record.
Best Dr. Harvey’s Dog Foods
The dog foods are the best options because they offer complete proteins, but we do think you may want to try one of the premixes at some point. Let’s take a look at a few of the best recipes you can start with.
The first complete freeze-dried recipe is a chicken-based protein with low glycemic carbs such as sweet potato for energy. It uses whole fruits and veggies for critical vitamins and minerals and offers healthy sources of fats so vital to your dog’s all-day energy. It’s only wholesome ingredients with no fillers and could help settle your dog’s digestion. It’s also great for those dogs who have trouble with their weight.
The beef option uses whole beef as the primary source of protein but features the same fruit and veggie offerings for vitamins and minerals. It’s a good source of protein and fats and helps give your dog all day energy without feeling hungry. It’s good for those dogs who have sensitivities to poultry or need a fattier source of protein (working or sporting dogs).
This is the original premix recipe. It contains a holistic balance of six grains and nine vegetables in a dehydrated blend that takes quite a few steps out of making homemade foods. You only need to add a protein and a healthy oil to round out the recipe, allowing you to customize the meat and oil. It could be a great way to get picky dogs to eat because you can add all their favorite oils or proteins.
Dr. Harvey’s foods have some die-hard followers because they were the only option for a holistic diet for a long time. Although many other options have popped up over the years, most Dr. Harvey’s fans remain so even after trying different foods. People love that they can purchase whole meals or premixes that allow them to customize.
Dr. Harvey’s is highly rated across quite a few online platforms that sell dog foods. The recipes and premixes regularly rate four and a half out of five stars and the food is also highly reviewed with several very reliable and trusted online reviewers.
What Customers Like and Dislike about Dr. Harvey’s?
People love that the premixes allow them full customization of their dogs’ meals and that the freeze-dried foods are so easy to use. They love the convenience of feeding their dogs a raw based diet without all the hassle and storage of entirely raw.
Those who like to make their own foods but worry they aren’t getting the right balance of nutrients also like the assurance that all the complicated steps are taken care of with the premixes. It takes the guesswork out of cooking foods for pets but still allows fresh proteins and oils.
It’s on the expensive side so those on a strict budget may have a difficult time justifying the cost, especially if there’s more than one dog in the house or a large breed dog. However, you could save money in the long run by not having to visit the vet for digestive or immune response issues.
“Thank you dr. Harvey. My puppies love it, and it’s what they’re supposed to have. Best part being I don’t have to fuss with it.” Carol, chewy.com
“what a waste of good money, my four dogs would not touch this stuff and i prepared it right to the instructions, afraid to even bother cooking up the other packages, my dog judy is not fussy about food, she will eat most anything but she would not go near it after i cooked it,, not a good buy” Shirleyjh, chewy.com
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First Five Ingredients:
- Sweet Potatoes
- Flax Seed
Dr. Harvey’s beef formula is a holistic option for those who’d like to feed their dogs a quality, raw food, but don’t have the time or the willpower to create their own meals from scratch. It features whole meat protein with essential oils for all-day energy and muscle tone. It also uses fruits and veggies to provide critical vitamins and minerals for your dog’s overall health and wellbeing.
Freeze-dried foods preserve all the flavors and nutrients of a raw based diet, but the meals are shelf stable and don’t need to be refrigerated until the food is reconstituted. It’s on the expensive side but investing in a quality dog food could help you save money in the long run if you frequently have to buy supplements for skin or digestion issues or if you visit the vet constantly for those same issues.
It’s a convenient alternative to raw diets that allow you to feed your dog balanced nutrition with no fillers, preservatives, or artificial ingredients. Many dogs have trouble digesting those and removing them could be the best thing to do. The formulas build health and wellbeing from the very beginning and offer dogs the chance to clean up digestion and skin irritations from allergies.
Some dogs experience more gas than usual when first introduced to this style of food so it could be beneficial to transition them slowly to the new diet. Feed a little more at each meal time until all you’re feeding is Dr. Harvey’s. For many dogs, transitioning slowly allows their digestion to reset, and you could see easier digestion.