Meet Health Extension Dog Food
Health Extension may not be a household name, but it does have its fair share of devotees. It’s a small, family-owned company that creates food in small batches using only premium ingredients. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your food from your store bought, budget brand, this could be the one.
One significant advantage of this holistic brand over others is that the company focuses on taste. If you’ve got a picky companion who doesn’t seem to like the foods that should be good for him, this could be the one. Let’s break it all down to see if Health Extension could be your newest love.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Health Extension (formerly Vet’s Choice)
- Founded in: 1963
- Made in: USA
- Made by: Dry – Deer Park Location; Wet – Simmons Foods
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon, Walmart
- Types of Food: Wet, dry
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
- Recalled in Past? : No
Behind the Brand
In 1963, a family decided that they wanted to create a better dog food for their own pets and set out to find a recipe that would fit that bill. Three generations later, the company is still going strong, and still family owned.
They pride themselves on creating a range of foods for breeds, life stages, and issues in both regular and gluten-free options. Their foods are manufactured in the United States and feature premium ingredients sourced only from the United States, never China. Each recipe is made in small batches in US facilities and rigorously tested.
Health Extension focuses a lot on the flavor of pet foods because that’s what’s going to encourage your dogs to eat food that’s good for them. Taste is a common complaint with higher quality, yet healthier, foods, and sometimes dogs just won’t eat the food you know is best for them. With Health Extension, you may have found your solution.
What types of dog food does Health Extension offer?
The company produces premium kibble and canned dog foods that use only whole meats with balanced carbohydrates for all-day energy. They feature ingredients designed to mimic your dog’s ancestral canine diet and include supplements from superfoods to help digestion and skin health.
The company uses holistic superfoods to accomplish a variety of purposes including boosting the immune system for health, supporting joints, and improving the texture and tone of the skin (which also improves the coat. It uses a blend of omega fatty acids and probiotics, plus lesser known ingredients such as ginger, ginkgo biloba, and primrose oil.
Some foods are gluten-free, but all of their foods are free of cheap fillers that can harm your pet’s health. You’ll never find any soy or corn products that can cause inflammation and allergic response. There are no artificial colors or flavors that can encourage pets to overeat. There are no by-product meals from unnamed meats that offer low-quality proteins. Nothing but dense nutrition.
Foods are available in a variety of life stages and sizes in both gluten-free and regular options as well as both canned and kibble versions.
- Original Chicken and Brown Rice
- Lite Chicken and Brown Rice
- Lamb and Brown Rice
- Large Bites Chicken and Brown Rice (Large breed)
- Little Bites Chicken and Brown Rice (Small Breed)
- Little Bites Buffalo and White Fish (Small Breed)
Grain Free Dry Food:
- Buffalo and White Fish
- Chicken and Turkey
- Montana Grill Buffalo and White Fish
- Mediterranean Roast Lamb
- French Bistro Rabbit
- Carolina Skillet Pork
Grain Free Wet Food:
- Tuscan Style
- Italian Feast
- New York Style
- Northern Catch
- 95% Beef
- 95% Chicken
- Savory Beef Stew
- Grain Free Tasty Turkey
- Chunky Chicken
- 95% Salmon
Health Extension Recall History
Health Extension has had no recalls in the history of the company. That’s over 50 years of safe, clean foods coming from quality sources. If the thought of recalls has scared you away from certain foods in the past, this one could be your solution. It’s a truly impressive record and a testament to what a small, family-owned company can accomplish.
Best Health Extension Dog Food
All their recipes are quality sources of nutrition, but we do have our favorite recipes. Here are three that we recommend getting you and your pet started on a lifetime of excellent health.
For fans of the classic Health Extension recipes, it doesn’t get much better than this one. It features whole proteins from chicken plus balanced carbohydrates to create a quality, nutrient dense food.
It uses supplements such as probiotics and omega fatty acids to help improve the skin and the immune system. Other holistic ingredients include ginger and ginkgo biloba for better immune system and digestion support, and primrose oil for a fabulous coat. The formula has been tested, and many dogs love the taste.
Their little bites recipe is a formula designed for the unique needs of small breed dogs including a smaller kibble size. The grain-free option is excellent for dogs with sensitive tummies, and the protein sources stay away from poultry, which can also be an allergy.
The recipe includes whole fruits and veggies for critical vitamins and minerals. It also uses probiotics for better digestion and to support the immune system. Omega fatty acids help keep the skin and coat healthy, and glucosamine promotes joint health and cushioning. It also uses holistic ingredients such as apple cider vinegar, ginger, and turmeric to support healthy body systems.
Inspired by the flavors of New York City, this canned food contains everything your dog needs for a hearty, healthy meal. It uses only premium ingredients for densely nutritious food. Beef, beef broth, and beef liver make up the first three ingredients for a concentrated protein balanced with low glycemic carbohydrates.
It also includes whole fruits and veggies for critical vitamins and minerals, plus probiotics for immune support. Coconut oil and apple cider vinegar help support digestion and gut flora. Other holistic ingredients such as flax and chia seed keep your dog’s sensitive system running smoothly.
Customers really appreciate the premium ingredients of the food and the long history of healthful recipes. They consistently rate the food above four stars on Chewy, Amazon, and Walmart. Many of the recipes have as many as four and a half stars.
A few of the recipes have five stars, but with hundreds of ratings at four and above, we think this could be a great food to try if you’re looking to get into the world of premium dog foods.
What do people like and dislike about Health Extension dog food?
Many people love the healthy ingredients and the use of more holistic supplements to help tackle common problems like digestion or the immune system. Lots of customers noticed a considerable difference in their dog’s skin and coat health, and a few noted that their dogs seemed to have an easier time getting around when previously they had joint issues.
Lots of customers also talked about how their dogs are super picky but seemed to like the taste of Health Extension different recipes. A few even praised the fact that Health Extension makes a vegetarian option for households who need an ultra-sensitive formula for dogs with severe digestive issues.
Some complaints as always were that not every food can satisfy every picky dog. There will still be dogs who don’t like the taste of the food regardless of what you do. Some people noticed the food tended to give their specific dogs gas, but that wasn’t as common as the benefits people talked about.
“This food is loaded with real meat protein, no peas or legumes in here to up the protein content. Rice is the carb which my dogs do well on. Firm poop, energy, brite eyes and clear skin is the indicator that this food is 5 stars!” LorialAmHairlessTerriers, chewy.com
“I was hopeful in this product given all the great reviews, but unfortunately my dogs refused to eat it even if I sprinkle it with treats. They spit it out, and now I have a whole bag of dog food wasted.” Dogs4Life, chewy.com
Health Extension Original Chicken and Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Organic Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat
The Original Chicken and Rice Recipe uses whole proteins from chicken to provide your dog with the very best building blocks of life. It balances the right amount of carbohydrates to keep your dog full of energy throughout the day without adding extra calories or fillers.
The addition of holistic ingredients helps your dog with things like better digestion and healthy skin and coat. Omega fatty acids support skin health while probiotics and ginger help keep digestion on track. For many dogs, this is a sensitive issue, but Health Extension may be able to help keep your dog’s regular and improve the quality of stools.
Glucosamine and chondroitin help keep joints healthier and alleviate some of the effects of aging on joint cushioning. The chicken is organic and free range with no added growth hormones that can affect your dog’s digestion.
The Bottom Line
The recipe uses no corn or soy fillers that can cause inflammation or digestive issues. There are no artificial ingredients like flavors or colors that often encourage dogs to way overeat. Grain-free recipe keeps inflammation down and may help alleviate itchy skin due to food allergies.
This recipe is good for dogs that have frequent trouble with difficult digestion and skin irritations. If you’ve had trouble in the past with some commercial dog foods, this recipe may be a good one to try to help alleviate those digestive issues and food allergies.
One possible downside is the kibble size may not be appropriate for all sizes or ages. If your dog is a senior, the kibble could be too difficult to chew properly. Small breeds may also have the same type of trouble. However, the company does make small bites options so that could be more appropriate.
If you notice your dog has more gas than usual, it could be that you didn’t transition your dog as slowly as it needed. Some dogs may also have trouble with the chicken because this is a common, though less well known, allergy. Make sure you transition your dog slowly to this food if it’s new and give its digestive system time to adjust.