Best Grain Free Dog Foods


Grain free dog foods have become popular for those wishing to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet.

Grains for Dog FoodAnd it’s easy to see why.

After all, compared to the typical kibble or wet food, the best grain free recipes contain more meat protein as well as easy-to-digest animal fats.

And fewer carbohydrates, too.

However, are grain free dog foods really better for your dog?

Are Grain Allergies
Common in Dogs?

Even though many insist cereal grains are the most frequent cause of allergies in dogs, published data may not support that belief.

According to Dr. Stephen White, Professor of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, cereal grains are not the only cause.1

Dr. White has found “the most common proven allergens in the dog are beef, chicken, milk, eggs, corn, wheat and soy.”

Are Grains
Hard to Digest?

Many dog owners favor grain-free dog foods because they believe grains are more difficult to digest.

That’s because unlike plant-eating animals (herbivores), dogs can be deficient in a natural digestive aid known as amylase.

Amylase is a special enzyme most herbivores and omnivores — like humans — produce in their saliva. It’s used to help break down starchy carbs2 into simple sugars before they enter the stomach.

However, although dogs don’t produce amylase in their saliva, the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract — in the small intestine.

So, as long as cereal grains are adequately cooked, they can still be digested.

Grain-Free Doesn’t
Mean Carb-Free

Compared to canned dog foods, kibbles cannot be made with just meat.

That’s because the process used for making kibble requires a notable amount of carbohydrates to create a dough-like binder to hold everything together.

Since there can be no cereal grains in such a recipe, other carbs must be used in their place to make grain-free kibbles possible.

So, vegetables — like potatoes or legumes — have become the most common source of carbohydrates found in non-grain recipes.

So, how can you find a quality grain-free dog food?

Best Grain Free Dog Foods

The products listed below were selected because they met the following two requirements. Each dog food:

  1. Must be rated 4 stars or higher
  2. Must be grain free

Click below to view our lists of best grain-free dog foods:


  1. White, S., Update on food allergy in the dog and cat, World Small Animal Veterinary Association, Vancouver, 2001
  2. Carbohydrates
  • DIxiesMom

    I think he is right regarding the food the vets push, most vets have very little knowledge of nutrition and dog food. They get as little as one week in schools and they are usually by someone at Purina or Imes, I was told this by two vet techs.
    I was on my own figuring out how to help my dog with mange etc.. I found this site and the information helped more then all the vets I tried for a year! They get money to push that garbage.

  • Diva Chloe

    I just wanted to weigh in on this. I don’t think anyone recommends not listening to their vet. But it is true that vets get precious little education in their schooling regarding nutrition. And, yes you almost always see Hills Science Diet promoted by vets. That is because they do get a lot of kick-back and bonuses, etc. They rely almost 100% on what Hills tells them about nutrition, and do not question it, unless they specialize in pet nutrition. Most do not. So, yes I always listen to my vet when it comes to the health care of my dogs, but when it comes to diet, my vet gives me basic guidelines but I do not, will not feed my dogs anything manufactured by Hills. Look at the poor ratings on this web site compared to so many other healthy brands. Decades ago Hills made good quality foods, but recent history has shown there are so many much better quality foods out there that HIlls cannot or chooses not to match, regardless of their marketing. Big example, when all the food recalls scared us half to death, my vet put a cat on Hills PRESCRIPTION food and the cat died from the poison in it. He raised holy H with Hills but do you think he still recommends Hills made in China? No way!

  • Diva Chloe

    Have you tried the 4Health product distributed by Tractor Supply? This forum gives them very high ratings-4 to 5 stars. It’s manufactured by Diamond but made in the USA. They have dry, canned, grain free of both, and are very, very reasonably priced.

  • bababoochick

    Shame on you for being so high and mighty.

  • meyati

    I’ll try Costco. Thank you

  • meyati

    I’m going through it now. I have 2 large old coonhounds (89 lbs & 99 lbs). I shopped wisely- lots of chicken, American food and production. I brought the bag home. They loved the smell. I opened it up- the size of small peas and the hounds can’t eat it. It’s like 000 ought buckshot. It’s NUTRO MAX- farm grown chicken-Don’t waste your money. We’ll be dropping dog food off at a shelter tomorrow. My old Bluetick is starting to have bad liver readings and needs to get off of a beef diet.

  • Twayne Tur

    I found out that 4health is made by Diamond Dog Food Co. I figure (but not sure) that Diamond DF might be the same as 4health.

  • LabsRawesome

    Sounds like you need big bags!
    Costco is going to be your best bet. They sell 2 brands there that are good.
    Kirkland Signature Adult chicken or lamb 40lbs $28.
    Nature’s Domain grain free 30lbs $29-$33 depending on formula.

    Tractor Supply has 4health grain free 30lbs $37
    The grain inclusive 4health comes in 35lb bags.
    They also have Sport mix Wholesomes. Make sure to get Wholesome, as the regular Sport mix is garbage. Price and bag size is similar to 4health.

    Fromm Classic is a very good budget food too.
    If you Google Fromm their website has a store locator.

  • Shana Cooper

    I need a suggestion for dog food that is budget friendly yet healthy. I know, I know we should give our pets the best but reality for us is not buying $60 bags of dog food. We have a 165 pound American Bulldog with food sensitivities. If he weighed 10 lbs I would splurge, but we go through 2 1/2 30 lb bags of food a month. With 3 kids and another dog that really adds up. I haven’t been able to figure out if it’s the meat by-products, grains or both that really affect him. I know if I feed him the cheaper bags he breaks out in welts and gets really sick. Does anyone have a suggestion for food that’s in the $30-$40 per bag range?

    Security Cameras Atlanta-

  • NellieBucket

    So true.
    It’s the same with doctors. My ex went to med school and in his first year the drug companies swooped down on them, giving them bags of drug samples. They never spent much time at all in nutrition. I believe veterinarians are brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies just like medical doctors.
    Folks my loyalty is to my pet, not my vet.

  • NellieBucket

    I disagree.
    However not all vets are greedy for money. Some of them put animals first. But there are just as many who are more about profits as there are those who are more about the welfare of the animal.
    I do not believe pet owners are purely being critical of veterinarians. I m a decently intelligent person and I m fully aware of my own experiences with vets. Each person “needs” to do their own research and determine the validity of a diagnosis and treatment.
    As it is said in the medical profession “you are responsible for your own health, so also, we are responsible for our pets health.
    If I were your pet I would say shame on you. Do you know how many dogs die each year from simple flea treatments given by vets? Toxic flea treatments that the vet recommends.
    I’m not a vet, nor a vet tech but I am a former nurse and that gives me enough training. If it’s not good for humans then it cannot be good for your pet. Not everyone takes their doctors advice and some even get a second and third opinion. Are we too lazy to do the same thing for our pets?

  • NellieBucket

    I agree, vets cannot be fully trusted when it comes to “your” pet. You don’t have to go to vet school to do research. I’ve got a lot of experience with dogs and health issues and having been educated in the medical field enough common sense to figure out that vets are like many medical doctors who take kick backs for promoting and prescribing drugs and treatment s.
    I don’t even have the time to list the issues we have had with vets that were completely wrong in there analysis and three vets who suggested we put our dog down because he would not make it though the night after having mini strokes. After taking him to NC State it was determined he did not have mini strokes and after leaving the previous vets he began improving right away. He was back home in five days and is now healthier than he has been since he developed diabetes two years ago.
    The vet bills have averaged $20k in two years. The previous vet did tons of test every time he was ill, prescribed expensive drugs and we were still taking him almost every few weeks for another illness. After NC State he hasn’t had any more serious illnesses. Yes, I agree don’t “always” trust the vet. Do your own research.
    This is only a couple of issues that frustrated me with veterinarians. Our dog was also prescribed Hill Science for his diabetes. The first ingredients is CORN. Eating corn is like eating sugar, diabetic s aren’t supposed to have corn. Perhaps you can explain that to us?

  • MerriB

    Please……I have a degree in science which is the tip of the iceberg of what vets know.
    Veterinarians receive years of education and must keep up to date on licenses to keep practicing. They are highly educated at the best schools, and many who want to study veterinary can’t get the grades required to actually become vets.

  • DeLynn Davis

    If you look at the FIRST ingredient of Science Diet, which vets do sell and get a kick-back from (I asked MY vet and she told me they do!), it is a GRAIN, not a protein, which is the main food that wolves eat. As you know, wolves are the ancestors of our canine friends! Some dogs have allergic reactions to grains so a food with high protein content is better for our dogs. Rice or oatmeal tend to be the better grains for dogs, but, not as the main ingredient. I am not a DVM, but being an attorney, I am really good at research! And, what I just wrote is what I have gleaned from all I have read about food for our dear dogs!

    To be fair, Science Diet does offer a grain free product but I have yet to see that on the display at my vet clinic!

  • MaggityMac
  • jcostin

    Then why trust a website that clearly states it DOES NOT TEST THE FOOD…it only posts OPINIONS!

  • Mary Meghan Nordman

    couldn’t have said it better!!

  • Vicki

    Well said!!

  • Becka

    Hahaha Shame on him? Shame on you!! If you cared about ur pets at all, maybe you would do research on your own. Not trust some vet to “educate” you. Some vets are smart, some are greedy. Most are BOTH. The idea that you say, did you recommend ppl do not listen to their vet, makes me think you depend on your vet more than educating yourself. Which says they like u bcuz ur a money dumpster. I have met great vets. And others that graduated from the university of stupid. (some are excellent and im not saying all are bad) Make EDUCATED choices. There is enough information out there. A previous vet told me that I should feed a kibble (by name) that was LESS quality than my chosen brand, the first ingredient of my brand being real cuts of chicken, and no grains, which spoiled $100 bill for LESS than 50 lbs. and she recommended I feed a puppy food in which the first ingredient was corn, and cost about 18.00 for 50 lbs. ( But she SOLD the $18 bag at her office) Obviously I CHANGED VETS. Seriously. Do some research. The person above this post is obviously a very good pet owner!! And cared enough to find REAL information to do the BEST for their dog! You wanna see what vets are about.. call one…..and just say, my dog is dying and i have no money can you please help him!? Watch them tell you pay or let it die in your arms! Watch them tell you im sorry we have a policy!!!! Yeah, the policy is pay or let it die bcuz if you have no money they have no time for you or your pet. And thats who you trust to educate you bcuz oh they have a degree? Really? I have talked to those vets, and those ppl are who YOU recommend ppl DO listen too bcuz YOU feel they care about your pets well being? Hahaha. Ill tell you the above person has a little more sense than that. And knows EXACTLY what vets are and why they live in $250-$400 thousand dollar houses!! Because its about MONEY NOT PETS they would sooner let it die than save its life if you cant pay, and they will SURE AS YOU BREATHE tell you to do something bad for your dog, to keep you bringing it back, sick with something else. I currently have an awesome vet and even he tells me what some of his “professional” peers are willing to do to ppls pets in order to make a buck. Its sick. Like say ur dog needs a surgery it doesnt bcuz they know that certain customers will pay for it. Or take ur pet “in the back” to give a shot you never SEEN it get but you get a $40 charge for when that bill finals out. (It never got that shot, and im not talking about puppy shots) or do cbc bloodwork thats $80 when they knew the pup just had coccidia, which they found on a $10 fecal, that they charged you $30 for, bcuz they know ppl like you pay with no question. (My vet charges $9 for a fecal. Vet on the other side of town… $33.) A fecal (in most cases) is puttin poo in a thick solution that can be made from salt and water. SALT AND WATER. And thats worth $33? And thats where your trust lies? $9-$33 and you dont think a vet shouldn’t be questioned? Why such a huge price difference? Wake up. Do your own research and dont judge others for having enough common sense to not trust the hand sticking out to take the money, when it should be out to take your sick pet. Ive watched to many animals die in my life, when strangers, friends or family were in a bad spot, because of LACK OF MONEY -not lack of greedy lying veterinarians- lack of money and greed killed there pets!. They have the facilities, medical knowledge and medicine, but will let your pet DIE!! And thats who YOU trust? No they cant give free service to everyone for everything. But if an animal is DYING they need to open their hearts, not their wallets. Maybe you should rethink who you should be saying “shame on you” too. Maybe its a vet you know. And then, maybe that person is in your mirror. Think about your pet before you trust anyone with its life. Even the vet. Because the truth is, education doesnt have to include a degree for you to have knowledge of a situation, product, experience, subject, etc. Self education with facts, sure can make a vet look stupid, when you call them on their bs. Watch their shocked face as you sit there telling them why they are full of it, and they already know. They are smart enough to know why your pet is sick and smart enough to get you to buy whatever they say is “needed”. This post is long enough, so ill stop.. I hope you choose to love your pets enough to educate yourself. And if not, keep listening to your vet. Im sure they are more than happy to charge you. Have a great day. And I pray you have money the day your pet is laying in your arms, because its money that will save it. Vets dont save animals. Money does.

  • zoe the chow

    Hi aimee,

    “At the end of the day (are) we not saying the same thing?”

    Not really, at first you described dog’s as having: “a generalized teeth pattern, sharp pointy teeth in front for acquiring and shearing flesh and flat molars in the back for grinding plants.”

    No mention of bones. Then you shared: “For canids I’ve read the molars are for crushing insects and plant matter or they are described as being grinding teeth.”

    Again no mention of bones. Now you ask if we’re not saying the same thing?”

    Even though we’re not saying the same thing when we describe the teeth and the bone eating abilities of a dog, we do have a few things in common, science classifies us both as non bone crushing, omnivores with an unspecialized dental pattern! Peace V

  • aimee

    Hi zoe the chow,

    This is a straw man argument as science never concluded that dogs don’t crush bone. “In this case, science has concluded using “observable information” that a dog is not a “bone crusher” even though throughout the natural history of the dog there are millions of observations of dogs doing just that.”

    You said the dog’s “teeth are very specialized for eating the diet they were designed to eat, whole prey animals, bone and all, along with some fruit, and plants”

    At the end of the day we not saying the same thing? The dentition of the dog is that of an animal that eats both animals and plants.. in other words, an omnivore.

  • zoe the chow

    Hi aimee,

    In this case, science has concluded using “observable information” that a dog is not a “bone crusher” even though throughout the natural history of the dog there are millions of observations of dogs doing just that.

    It looks like in this case, it’s science that can’t see the forest for the trees.

  • aimee

    Hi zoe the chow,

    Science starts with observation and makes reasonable conclusions, charts and diagrams in this case, based on observable information.

    I don’t discount the value of an observation but for me the richness of a single observation, a tree, is found when I put that observation in context by looking at the entire forest.

  • zoe the chow

    Hi aimee,

    I think you might be a little too reliant on “science” to explain things. Simple observation will show you how a dog eats a bone.

    You also use a lot of scientific jargon which in the case of the word “specialized” can be a little misleading to the average Joe.

    I would say that a dog’s teeth are very specialized for eating the diet they were designed to eat, whole prey animals, bone and all, along with some fruit, and plants.

    Where you look at diagrams that theorize, I look at the dog in vivo, in life.

  • aimee

    Hi zoe,

    Interesting… it could be that we are finding different things because we are reading from different authors perspectives as they are focusing on different parts. Previously I’ve read about teeth structure and not bone structure.

    The author you quoted from interprets the greater jaw strength in that area as being used for bone crushing but others interpret it for breaking down heavy fibrous plant material as well as bone. So a non specific finding.

    Are a dogs molars specifically for crushing bone? No, they are not, which is why the dentition is classified as non specialized. I think it would be hard for dogs to use molars for anything but breaking down small bone fragments as the dog doesn’t have an especially wide gape and the occulsal surface isn’t that large. The first upper molar has a fairly large table but the rest do not.

    Dogs, though they ingest some bone, are not classified as “bone eaters” as that distinction goes to the hyenas and in hyena’s the lower molar is very different from a canine molar and the other lower molars are missing. A reduced upper molar remains. The true bone crushing teeth of bone eaters are the premolars, robust conical teeth, not flat molars. Dog premolars though are not suited for this and fracture easily.

    Thus bone specialists do not have nor use flattened molars for bone ingestion, nor do the true carnivores, the felids, have flattened molars further providing support that the flattened molars in the dog’s dentition are retained for a different purpose.

    I found this illustration which helps to visually understand this.

    Both cusps of the first lower molar in the bear are flattened … the bear is a hypocarnivore. Its primary diet is not meat nor bone. In the fox the back half of the first molar is flattened and the front half is sharp same as what is seen in the dog. All are classified as mesocarnivores consuming plant and animal sources. In the hypercarnivores primarily meat and bone eaters both cusps are pointy.

  • zoe the chow

    Hi aimee,

    Here’s a description of canid molars being used for bone crushing. Which teeth do you think a dog uses to eat bones?

    “An increase in bending strength of the corpus caudal to the camassial blade in canids is interpreted to be an adaptation for bone-crushing with the postcarnassial molars”

  • aimee

    Hi Lysette,

    Yes, I’ve really looked closely at the teeth of the dog.. and the wolf… and the fox… and the coyote and the jackal. The university my husband works for has a very extensive natural history museum, Specimens are available for study and I was able to get them on loan.

    The molars of canids have a flattened occlusal surface, very different from the premolars which are for shearing.
    The scientific literature characterizes the pattern as suitable for plant and animal ingestion.

    “The dog is typical of its genus,Canis in its relatively unspecialized dentition”
    and “However, the dentition of the modern wolf is not dissimilar to that of jackals (3), and is consistent with a more omnivorous diet.” ( Bradshaw, 2006)

    This is from an educational site on wolves “In the family Canidae, large molars have been retained, making a thorough crushing of food possible. Being more opportunistic in feeding habits than many other families of carnivores, the canid’s possession of molars allows for a wide variety of both animal and plant material to be eaten.”

    Plant material makes up a significant portion of a lot of canid diets. Sometimes as much as ~ 40 % of the ingested biomass. It has even been reported that when prey are abundant, in certain seasons when available, plant material is eaten in large quantities in lieu of prey. (Chamberlain and Leopold, 1999)

    This is why scientists classify the canids as mesocarnivores in the diagram I previously posted.

    The “amylase” argument has always puzzled me for two reasons. 1. some researchers do report the dog as having salivary amylase and 2. I’ve never found in any scientific literature that for an omnivore to be classified as such it must have salivary amylase. I suspect that a lot of omnivores do not have it. I’ve never found it written that bears have salivary amylase. Do maned wolves have salivary amylase? They eat a lot of plant matter. Do any of the canids have salivary amylase? I don’t think they do yet they are classified as omnivores and at times consume a sizable portion of their diet as plant.

    As you pointed out canids aren’t big chewers and so I don’t see that their would be any evolutionary pressure to retain salivary amylase. I will say though that my dog matches me chew for chew when you give him a carrot.. so they do chew harder materials.

    Keep in mind the reasons canids are classified as omnivores do not end in the mouth, metabolic pathways also land them in the omnivore category.

    In closing, vets are correctly educated in regards to the classification of the dog as an omnivore.

  • aimee

    Hi Zoe,

    When reading the scientific literature I’ve never seen dog’s molars described as being for the purpose of bone crushing.

    I’ve found the molars of the hyena as being described for that purpose, but structurally the teeth are different from that of dogs.

    For canids I’ve read the molars are for crushing insects and plant matter or they are described as being grinding teeth.

    Here is a description from a veterinary text in regards to a dog’s molars.

    “Over the palatal cusp is the occlusal table, which acts a grinding surface with the lower molars.”

    I’ve found the most detailed information on dentition in canids by searching the evolutionary biology of canids.

  • zoe the chow

    Hi aimee

    Aren’t a dog’s molars used to crush bones? Dogs aren’t really able to grind anything with their teeth because they lack any substantial side to side movement of their lower jaw.

  • Lysette Miller

    Canine teeth are designed to shear meat, break up tendons and bones and for gnawing..they are not flat in the back (have you ever really looked in your dog’s mouth?) Canines rarely chew their food, they swallow most chunks of meat whole or chew once or twice into pieces that are swallowed whole. They are adaptive animals but evolution has still programmed them to eat a meat dominant diet. They do not produce the enzyme amylase in their saliva like omnivores do to break down plants, so it’s unwise to include plants in a capacity of more than 8%..which is nearly impossible in dry dog foods. Dogs and all canids can taste sweet, it serves as an adaptive trait but plants do not serve an important role in their diet.

  • Lysette Miller

    As long as a vet will push prescription dry diets, I discredit their education. As someone who lives next to Cornell University and visits hospitals and clinics with vets fresh out of school, I’m disappointed to see that most have very little knowledge of what our pets really need. Now, here’s one vet that has changed her game, and she’s saved millions of cats. Continue your education right here..

  • Shawna

    Please don’t underestimate the ability of those without a veterinary degree to understand and research nutrition or to be so inadequate as to not be able to use google appropriately. Yes, Google is full of misinformation but it also has some fantastic resources — like the Merck Vet Manual or Waltham.

    Here’s just one example of data that can be found on Google that has many questioning nutritional advice given by some vets.

    “Mythology of Protein Restriction
    for Dogs with Reduced Renal Function”

    “Kenneth C. Bovée, DVM, MMedSc
    Department of Clinical Studies
    School of Veterinary Medicine
    University of Pennsylvania
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania”

    Dr. Bovee writes
    “Dietary protein restriction has been widely accepted as a form of nutritional management for animals with reduced renal function for over
    four decades. While scientific evidence has not been presented to justify this practice, it is particularly used in dogs.

    Why Is Dietary Alteration Still Used if
    There Is No Proven Benefit?

    Why Have We Chosen to Keep the
    Reduced Protein Myth?

    The myth has been maintained even in the past decade despite negative scientific evidence because the dogma has persisted about its value for the past 40 years. If we as professionals are uncertain about the facts concerning a controversy,
    we are likely to put ourselves in someone else’s hands who appears to have authority. Power to command this authority is in the hands of commercial advertisements
    that promote these special products with misleading messages. Marketing is aggressively aimed at veterinarians and owners alike. There is a profit motive for veterinarians to sell these diets.

    In conclusion, the continued existence of this false myth about dietary protein is an uncomfortable reminder of the lack of sophistication, lack of critical thought, and reliance on oversimplified and attractive dogma that persists in our
    profession. This is only one example of many false myths, misinformation, and partial truths that are repeated from decade to decade. Until a more critical approach with standards and oversight are brought to bear in our profession, we will likely continue to be ensnared in false myths despite
    the presence of sound science.”

    Does your clinic still recommend prescription diets for dogs in early and moderate stage kidney disease? If yes, then they are not up to date on current science on a topic that affects a large number of animals.

  • ssn708

    You should really stop talking and get a clue.

  • ssn708

    If you had any idea how little they actually know, or why they advise the things they advise, you would not be making such a statement.

  • aimee

    Hi Lysette,
    I don’t disagree that vets get little nutritional training as they really don’t receive a lot of training in any one discipline. For example, veterinarians graduate with little if any dental training or even surgical training for that matter and yet a large part of practice is performing surgery and dentistry.

    Some vet schools may still utilize the nutritionists from pet food companies to teach but I think it is less and less common and even then there is oversite as to what is being taught.

    The practice I take my pet to now has 10 DVM’s When I last surveyed them only one DVM had ever even seen a dog food company rep on campus and that was for a presentation and not part of the academic program.

    And yes some pet food companies, usually those that are interested in advancing nutritional information through research, do donate monies to vet schools, sponsor scholarships and such and yes there is the potential for influence.

    You can read here for further information about the nutritional education vets receive.

    I totally agree that there is room for improvement as to the nutritional training in vet schools. Thankfully there are sound resources for vets to continue their nutritional education after they leave school just as there are for advancing their surgical and dental skills.

    Academics far removed from the pet food industry classify canines as mesocarnivores which means they utilize both plants and animals in their natural diet. Other refer to animals with this diet pattern as omnivores.

    Really all one has to do is look in the dog mouth to see this. They have sweet taste receptors which hypercarnivores( those animals that eat primarily only animal tissue) lack. There was no selecive pressure to maintain this as no need to be able to select “safe” plants to eat. They have a generalized teeth pattern, sharp pointy teeth in front for acquiring and shearing flesh and flat molars in the back for grinding plants.

    They do have an interesting carnivore trait which is the need for dietary Vit D. So one can say they are omnivores with a carnivorous bias.

  • megan keller

    Are you a veterinarian? Are you aware of how continuing education is required? The entire staff at our clinic is required to stay up to date on all nutritional advancements. I would like to point out how out dated your references are as well. Veterinary medicine as well as the companies that produce specialty foods has come a very long way since then. Who do you trust, someone with no medical training or someone who has dedicated their lives to animal health care? Some vets out there may not be the best and that is why you must research the vet you choose. It is unfortunate that a few people that the diets didn’t work for think they should bash veterinarians and their recommendations overall. I have seen many patients lives turned completely around by simply changing their diet to what the doctor recommended. I speak with 15 years of experience in the veterinary world. For those who want to get offended over a educated comment vs. people’s whining well then I feel sorry for you and your pets. Trust Dr. google all you want but he didn’t spend over 8 years studying to become a vet or maintain continuing education constantly over the years.

  • Lysette Miller

    Veterinarians receive very little nutritional training!!! The training they do receive is often advocated by or even administered by the pet food companies. Their nutritional training comes from the incorrect view that dogs are omnivores. Colgate-Palmolive (makers of Hills Science diet) spends hundreds of thousands of dollars a year funding university research and nutrition courses at every one of the 27 US veterinary colleges. Once in practice, vets who sell Science Diet and other premium foods directly pocket profits of as much as 40%” (Parker-Pope, T. 1997. For You, My Pet. The Wall Street Journal. 3 November 1997. In Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones. p266).

  • Joanne Debons

    I suggest getting a food intolerance test done. It’s expensive – about $300 – but well worth all the vet visits and stress on your pet changing diets frequently. The company I used is Hemeopet. The test was created by a vet and I’ve read a lot of positive reviews. I’m waiting for my dog’s test results as he has digestive upset

  • Joanne Debons

    Your dog probably has a food intolerance. My Sam suddenly suffered a bad case of gas and diarrhea one day and my vet prescribed antibiotics and prescription diet for digestive issues. He actually got worse. When I read the ingredients I couldn’t believe it was all by products and fillers. The probiotic she prescribed actually has animal digest and yeast in it!! I don’t think vets know much about nutrition unless they are specialists/internists. I think that unless they have their own practice, they are forced to use whatever products the company purchases. So I switched my dog to a lamb and oatmeal food but he still has the gas and somewhat loose stool. I ordered a food intolerance test kit from Hemeopet and waiting for results before changing food. I recommend getting the test.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Cannoli-

    I don’t think megan keller or anyone else made the claim that general practioner vets are experts in nutrition. I don’t think any general practioner vet would say that either.

    Why do you feel that it is not that hard to become a nutritionist? I think most people who know how rigorous a Ph.D is and a board certification, would agree that it is not so easy to become a veterinary nutritionist. Now if you are talking about these “pet nutrition specialists” who can recieve their “degree” after 100 hours of an online course, I would be inclined to agree with you.

  • Cannoli

    It’s silly how some people think all vets are nutrition experts. Heck even human doctors usually recommend a person who is obese to consult a nutrition expert. it’s really not that hard to become a nutrition expert nowadays, even sillier when I read about people who major in nutrition at schools

  • Amateria

    Jesus who up voted you worst idea they ever had.
    We don’t need to be vets to eat well or doctors to tell us what we need to eat either and the breakthroughs really? A dog shares its DNA with a wolf, heck they even act like wild animals sometimes and somehow I need a freaking breakthrough to tell me what to feed a dog or cat oh that’s awesome congrats to being a sheep, now go eat grass and be sure to tell your owners what they need to feed you, because they may not know without the breakthroughs.

  • Susan

    My boy has IBD & did the same on the Wellness kibbles I blamed the peas some of the Wellness kibbles are pea heavy & potato heavy, I started feeding “Taste Of The Wild” Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon cause I read a few dogs with IBD & EPI were doing really well on the Pacific Stream, it has no Peas or Garbanzo beans in Australia, I couldn’t believe it no more farts or bad wind pain, normally when he starts a new kibble he gets wind & farts for 2 weeks, but with the TOTW he never got any gas…….Now I’m feeding the TOTW Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb & I only introduced for 3 days & he was good, no farts or wind pain….

  • Susan

    Hi some vets don’t know anything about Pet Nutrition, they don’t do the extra courses for nutrition & believe in the vet diets that have real crappy starchy ingredients, some of us are starting to wake up, that vet prescription diets are crap….Vet Diets should be feed for a couple of months only till their owner can find another food for that health problem, some vet diets even say on their kibble bag not to be feed long term & some owners just keep feeding the same vet diet day in & day out for years all cause their vet said yeah it’s OK, I put all my faith in a vet when I rescued my dog, stupid me listen to my vet, I didn’t know any better & kept my Patch on a vet diet for 9 months for IBD, his skin started to smell real yeasty, he was scratching, real itchy, shaking his ears, so I saw the vet again, the vet just said are his poos firm, I said yes, she then said just keep feeding the kibble & prescribe him steroids for his skin….When I came home I read the name Prednisone, I’ve taken Prednisone, it made me feel very sick.. I stared doing research & found that the vet diet he was eating was 69% carbs, no wonder he smelt like a stinky yeasty dog…Patch now is doing firm poos & is itch free & drug free, some vets really have to do more research into foods & skin problems & start realising these vet diet aren’t for long term use & help some owners find a healthier food..

  • megan keller

    Did you really just recommend to people to not listen to their vet…. not a good idea. Have you been through vet school? Are you up to date with all the studies out there and the breakthroughs in medical technology when it comes to veterinary diets? I think not, Shame on you sir.

  • pusherswithdegrees

    Stay away from vet food. Vet clinic recommend their crap because they get kick backs.
    Wysong Epigen Starch free; been there done that…makes for soft or loose stool…got tired of cleaning my dog’s rear end.
    Best kibbles on the market today is Orijen: first 5 ingredients are meat, then low glycemic fruits and veggies and basically no carbs.
    Second, with first 3 ingredients being pure meat, then low carbs, low glycemic organic veggies and fruits is Natural Planet rabbit/salmon or duck/white fish.
    Best dog food overall is freeze dried Stella’s & Chewy almost all meat and starch free.
    One MUST switch food at least every year to prevent intolerance to some ingredients. The only kibbles that should be fed to pets must have pure meat as the first 3 ingredients listed.
    DO NOT feed potatoes base food. Starch, carbs are sugar and create yeast overgrowth making pets very itchy.
    Run of the mill vets put every itchy dogs in the same label and prescribe armful allergy meds.
    Yes, premium pet food is expensive but will save you trips to the vet in the long run.
    Same goes for treats.
    Peace out!

  • Maggie May

    Both. Eliminated it several times when he was on chicken formula. Seemed to help, but did not eliminate the problem. He has been on Ocean formula for over a month, started passing gas around the third week. Today was his first day back on training snacks since switching his food. Only other thing I can think of, he attends Camp Bow Wow 2 to 3 days a week, about 5 to 6 hrs a day, to play and socialize with other dogs. He loves it there, but continuously walks and plays the entire time! Does not sit still. Is exhausted when he gets home. Could the gastronomical problem be stress related? Some weeks he doesn’t go to camp at all and still passes a little gas. He also eats grass, leaves, small sticks, chews on rocks, can’t seem to stop him from constantly eating stuff outside. Everyone I talk to including my vet tell me to change his food, as they are perplexed as I am.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Did you eliminate the Bil-Jac when you were feeding the chicken formula or the ocean one?

  • Maggie May

    Have a 14 month old Border Terrier that has always eaten Wellness Core grain free food. Initially I fed him the chicken puppy chow, then switched him to the adult chicken when he reached 12 months. He eats 1 1/2 cups per day and it seems to suit him, he has regular healthy stools, only problem is he started passing gas right before reaching adulthood. I assumed it was the chicken based food, so about a month ago I switched him to the Ocean formula. The first couple of weeks he was fine, but has now started passing gas again! It is not nearly as bad or frequent, but pretty embarrassing and annoying. I hate to switch again, but looks like I will be changing his food again. Want to continue him on a grain free five star food, thinking about Merrick, which is available in my area. Looking into maybe lamb? Would appreciate any advise or feedback on this problem. Really hate to keep changing his food, but at a loss for what to do. He does also get Biljac training snacks made with real chicken liver. Thought that was the problem, but all but eliminated it from his diet at one time and the gas was still an issue. I only give them to him when walking and training occasionally. He does not get any other type of snack or people food.

  • Susie Gervais

    I am looking into cooking for my dogs but I am so worried that he will not get the proper nutrients. I am aware of what percentages of each should go into his food but I hear you should add things like calcium and omegas. I just feel I won’t do it right.

  • aimee

    Thanks for the heads up! Interesting indeed!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Mark, you might want to follow the trademark links posted in this discussion.

  • Crazy4dogs

    aimee, read through el doctors post! TM on starch free was denied!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi el doctor,

    Thanks! I did find the link. I wished I had read all the way through, but thanks for listing it for others that would be interested! It’s amazing that they have TM on so much of their website and products when it isn’t even true. I wonder if this is allowed by law?

  • el doctor

    Hi C4d

    The term “Starch Free” was NEVER trademarked by Wysong or anyone else. It can’t be trademarked, because “it is descriptive AND it’s generic.”

    Your link shows that they APPLIED to have it trademarked, but they were turned down. There is no registration number.

    When you apply for a trademark you are issued a serial number for your application. If your trademark is accepted you get a registration number.

    Here is a link to the document that shows why their application to trademark “Starch Free” was turned down.

    Registration is refused because the applied-for mark, as used on the specimen of record, is merely informational matter; it does not function as a trademark to identify and distinguish applicant’s goods from those of others and to indicate the source of applicant’s goods.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hey aimee,

    They did trademark it in 2010, but it’s considered “dead or abandoned” by the trademark office. I went to the online trademark website and if you search their trademark names, they don’t appear to be true. Epigen/Epigen 90 was not on there and Wysong is trademarked, but not by Wysong Corporation. Their Denta Treat was actually trademarked (now dead) by Dad’s Products Company. It’s pretty interesting. Here’s the link. You can type in any name, including things like Canidae, Merrick, Purina, Beneful and they show up. Let me know if I’m correct.

    Starch Free link:

    Basic search link, just type a name in the Search Term box:

    I find it interesting that a company lists so many supposed “Trademarks” that don’t seem to be true. Kind of makes you wonder about the company.

  • aimee

    I went to the website and saw that… I just don’t get why it is there unless as you say it is to make it look special as a marketing ploy???

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi aimee,

    They do have the TM symbol on the term “Starch Free” on their website. I linked it in a reply to el doctor.

    Maybe to make it look like it’s something extra special and “propietary”? 🙁

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi el doctor,

    Not sure how or why they did it, but they did.

  • aimee

    Interesting information el doctor. I wonder why a company would add the TM symbol when it is meaningless.

  • el doctor

    Hi MaggityMac

    You’re right, Starch Free is not a trademark 😉

  • el doctor

    Hi Mark

    Hi Mark

    Welcome Back 😉

    You wrote;

    “Yes, actually, they did trade mark Starch – Free. You can check with the trademark office.”

    I think that maybe you should have checked with the trademark office before coming on DFA and making that statement!

    Starch Free is a term that cannot be trademarked, it is descriptive AND it’s generic. You are spreading false information!


    I apologize, putting the “TM” symbol after a term that is not officially trademarked is NOT illegal. It’s just legally meaningless.

    NONE of the following slogans that Wysong puts the letters “TM” after, on their website and in their advertising are actually registered trademarks.

    Wysong Epigen
    Epigen 90
    Starch Free
    Conventional Dog Food… Changed Forever

    Why do you think that after “36 years” in business Wysong hasn’t officially trademarked any of their slogans, not even their name?

    Every one of those slogans except for Starch Free could probably be registered.

  • el doctor

    Hi Mark

    Welcome Back 😉

    You wrote;

    “Yes, actually, they did trade mark Starch – Free. You can check with the trademark office.”

    You should have checked it yourself before coming on DFA and making that statement!

    Starch Free is a term that cannot be trademarked, it is descriptive AND it’s generic.

    Wysong is illegally using the trademark symbol after the term “Starch Free” on their bags and in their advertising, and you are spreading false information!

  • Mark

    Yes, actually, they did trade mark Starch – Free. You can check with the trademark office. They were smart enough to protect this since virtually every pet food company has used one or more of Wysong’s innovations over the past 36 years.

  • Tracy


  • Bobby dog

    Hi Tracy:
    Check out the Wellness Core line, Zignature, Rawz, and Annamaet brands.

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh, you’re right! Oops, bot sure how I missed it. Looks like Nutrisource’s Pure Vita line may have a few. Best wishes!

  • Tracy

    Thanks I’ll search more on that link, sadly the grain free has sweet potato, I wonder why that’s the going trend. I’ll go through the list, there must be one out there! I just want to get her off that vet stuff, I know its vet approved but there is so much junk in there.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Tracy-

    Are white potatoes OK? If yes, how about Whole Earth Farms grain free kibble? Here is a tool that may be helpful. Last time I used it, it had a few “bugs”. Make sure to double check the ingredients on the bag or online before you buy something using this link, but it could prove to be helpful:

    Good luck!

  • Tracy

    Are you serving it as wet dog food than? I am thinking this is the way to go for Bootise. Where is NuVet availbale? I am in Saskatchewan

  • Tracy

    Yes that brand is available there, but the Vet blend which doesn’t have those specific ingredients are only available at the vet. She was on a grain free dog food, but because she is reacting to so many ingredients, it extremely limits to what can be fed to her, now paying premium for pet for not the best of quality. Seems all the grain free pet foods all contain sweet potato, does anyone know of a quality grain free food that doesn’t contain it?

  • MaggityMac

    Starch free is not a trademark

  • MaggityMac

    Royal canin vet is available at petsmart and petco. It’s also full of fillers and by products.

  • Beckyjeanp

    Cook for your dog. I do and it’s so easy! Veggies, protein and a good base vitamin like NuVet and your problems are solved. I use fish, broccoli, green beans, carrots and sometimes spinach. I used to use Wysong but it was as expensive as cooking and because I freeze it up in serving sizes, the process takes an hour and I’m done for the week.

  • Tracy

    My mom just ended up with this same issue, jack Russell terrier, where for years she was feeding her Acana grain free, and suddenly the poor soul was sooo itchy! no such luck, the only place that she could find that Is without sweet potato is the Royal canin vet, available only at the vet… and at a premium price. I don’t know if this helps, but maybe look into the ingredients list…
    I am still searching, but so far its agreed with Bootsie.

  • Susie Gervais

    HI, I have a 6 year old boston terrier who has been very itchy and I had an allergy test done on him. I am having a hard time finding a dog food where he can eat where there is not one thing he is allergic to. He can only eat Turkey or Chicken. Potatoes are ok but not sweet potatoes. He can not have peas either which is very common in a lot of foods. He was just on Kangaroo and green lentils and come to find out he can not have that either. Any advice would be great. Thanks.

  • I wanted to update on what I had written 10 months ago. We are still using Pulsar’s food. But we have added a piece of ham roll-up with one Claritin and one benedryl pill/day. This has also helped in the allergy zone. Between the food and his once/daily allergy pill- we are making great strides. Hope you’ve been able to find similar success with your pup.

  • el doctor

    Hi Mark

    Thank you for your reply!

    You say that;
    “Fiber in a pet food is sugar, for example. It may be called fiber but
    chemically it is a sugar”
    “A diabetic, who must know the real amount of sugar in a food, knows
    that 35 g of carbs means 35 grams of sugar.”

    Fiber in a dog or human is not equal to sugar, as a matter of fact, for the purpose of calculating the actual sugar content of a food, fiber is to be deducted from the total carb (sugar) content.

    A diabetic eating a meal with 35g of carbs must deduct the fiber content from the carb (sugar) content to arrive at the total amount of sugar in those 35g of carbs

    This is from the Joslin Diabetes Center.

    “Carbohydrate is the one nutrient that has the biggest impact on blood
    glucose. So, does fiber have any effect on your blood glucose?

    The answer is that fiber does not raise blood glucose levels. Because
    it is not broken down by the body, the fiber in an apple or a slice of
    whole grain bread has no effect on blood glucose levels because it isn’t
    digested. The grams of fiber can actually be subtracted from the total
    grams of carb you are eating if you are using carbohydrate counting for
    meal planning.”

  • Mark

    In chemistry/biochemistry sugar and carbohydrate are exactly the same thing. There are many terms used to describe the chemical structure of sugars but regardless of the name they are sugars. Carbohydrate essentially means “water on carbon,” or a hydrate of carbon. I know that labeling regulations allow for foods to have a label that reads 30g carbohydrate per 100 grams of food, but only 2g sugar. This is a potentially deadly game that is played with human lives and it is even worse in pet food because they aren’t even on the label (carbs don’t need to be listed on pet foods because they have NO dietary requirement for them). A diabetic, who must know the real amount of sugar in a food, knows that 35 g of carbs means 35 grams of sugar. The types of sugars are important as well but they need the total sugar value, so they need the total carb count. This is what their biochemistry says not what the regulators or label makers say. Sugars come in many shapes and sizes but no matter what they are called they are chemically sugars. Fiber in a pet food is sugar, for example. It may be called fiber but chemically it is a sugar and that is how the mamalian system processes it. Fibers are often types of sugars that mammals can’t digest so they are digested by bacteria or other organisms that live in the animals GI tract, but they are still sugars and produce the same types of metabolic products as would galactose for example. All I am saying is that food producers for dogs/cats/people all use terminology that can be very misleading and dangerous and it may “hide” the truth about what is in a food. As a chemist it upsets me when people say things like carbs turn into sugars or fiber isn’t sugar, etc. Ask a diabetic how many grams of sugar their body thinks are in a potato. Carbs are sugars, period. Then of course you need begin a discussion of the Glycemic Index of a food and this opens a whole new ‘can of worms.” Not even going down that road.

    Sugar=carbohydrate=saccharide=fiber=many others

    Interestingly enough, even a piece of steak has a measurable amount of sugars. True that measurement is essentially meaningless because it is such a small amount, but today’s instrument sensitivity allows us to determine that it is there!

  • el doctor

    Hi Mark

    You replied to me on another review where I recommended The Honest Kitchen’s Love & Zeal dog foods to someone,

    “Unfortunately, one problem with the honest kitchen diets is they are very high in carbs, 35-50%. While they are “human grade” they are very high in human grade sugar.”

    I see more than “one problem” with Wysong Epigen in comparison to foods such as The Honest Kitchen’s, Human-Grade Love and Zeal.

    1) It’s a dry food which ican be harder on the kidneys than a wet food.

    2) It’s an extruded ultra processed kibble containing rendered meat meals which are far from “Human Grade”

    3) It’s ingredients include protein powders and isolates which usually contain problematic excitotoxins,

  • el doctor

    Hi Mark

    The quality of the ingredients in a dog food are of utmost importance to me, and I find there are at least “one problem” and most times many problems, with any commercial dog food.

    I would have to rate the Honest Kitchen’s Love and Zeal above a freeze dried-dried food that is not a Human-Grade product, which makes the quality of the ingredients harder to determine.

    And saying that THK’s Love and Zeal are “very high in human grade sugar” is a little misleading. Very little of the carbs in Love and Zeal could be classified as “Sugars”.

    For instance a medium potato has a carbohydrate content of 37g and a Sugar content of only 1.7g

  • el doctor

    Hi Mark

    I’m glad you’re been successful in treating your dog’s epilepsy!!!

    “Grain free/gluten free has little to do with the issue since grain free foods are often very high in carbs (sugar).”

    While I can’t comment on the correlation between sugar and epilepsy, as this is the first I’ve heard of it, I can say that there is a definite proven scientific correlation between glutens and epilepsy.

  • Mark

    Unfortunately, one problem with the honest kitchen diets is they are very high in carbs, 35-50%. While they are “human grade” they are very high in human grade sugar. There are many freeze dried raw diets (honest kitchen IS cooked) that are well below 20% carbs.

  • Mark

    Although there have never been any studies done in dogs, it has been shown that there is a correlation between sugar in the diet and seizures. See below for references. Grain free/gluten free has little to do with the issue since grain free foods are often very high in carbs (sugar). I too have a dog with idiopathic seizures. He has required a fairly high dose of Phenobarbital to keep them under control. Fortunately, he has tolerated the medication for nearly 5 years and his liver function is perfect. This is not always the case. We have been lucky that way. He also improved when we limited his carbohydrate intake dramatically by feeding a food called Epigen™ a product made by a company I work with called Wysong. A friend who works at a pet food retailer had similar results with her dog that also has seizures and uses medication to control them. She also found lowering the sugar intake improved the frequency of breakthrough seizures. When we lowered his carbs he had significantly less breakthrough seizures. TheEpigen™ foods are very, very low carb foods (~3-11%). In fact the lowest of any dry and lower then many raw and freeze dried raw foods and even many canned foods. They also make a product called Call of The Wild™ which can be added to foods to ensure the diet has the proper balance of vitamins and minerals. This product also has a significant amount of probiotics and digestive enzymes. It is nice because it is all in one product and it has freeze dried raw meat which makes it very palatable as well.
    Call of the Wild™
    “…there was an obvious evidence of parallelism between seizures, increase in carbohydrate levels…” Hevor, T. K., et al. Correlation between carbohydrate and catecholamine level impairments in methionine sulfoximine epileptogeni… Neurochemical Research, 15 (9), 861-868, 2005. • “…our results indicate…a comorbidity of malnutrition and neurological disorders…” Nunes, M. L., et al. Evaluation of the Nutritional Status…and its Relationship to the Development of Epilepsy. Nutritional Neuroscience, 2 (3), 139-145, 1999.

  • Mark

    I work with a company called Wysong. They have made a line of dry foods called Epigen™ that is in fact Starch-Free™. They have proven that dry food does not need to use any carbohydrate sources as a binder. These foods range between ~3% carbs in the Epigen™ 90 and about 11% carbs in the Venison and Fish formulas. They are quite reasonably priced especially considering the high amount of meat they contain and are truly innovative unlike the grain free foods that just replaced one carbohydrate with another and are based on the incorrect assumption that dogs are allergic to cereal grains. They are just high carb gimmicks sold and marketed using fear mongering based on an incorrect assumption. Most are also quite expensive. Very expensive bags of sugar.

  • michaelcomaha

    I think one other qualifier ought to be added to be best, and that is low carb, like maybe below 40%.

  • lisa_196

    Hi Brenda. I have a Golden doodle with the same history. I was asked to take her and she had yeast over growth resulting in ear, feet and skin infections. She was antisocial and depressed but over two years has made remarkable recovery. I’m using Fromm wild bird grain free. I’ve tried most of the grain free and Honest Kitchen dehydrated. Fromm seems to be working best for my girl.

  • Nicole Johnson

    Thank you all for your suggestions!!

  • Dori

    Hi Nicole. In addition to el doctor and Bobby dog’s suggestions I would suggest that if you are giving tap water or well water that you switch to either filtered, spring or reverse osmosis water.

  • el doctor

    Hi Nicole

    Welcome to DFA!

    I’m sorry to hear about your “luggle’s problems 🙁

    The Honest Kitchen is a dehydrated food to which you add water and re-hydrate. THK is also one of only 2 or 3 dog foods that are Human-Grade. Human-Grade means that it uses human edible ingredients and is made, packaged, and everything else, in human food facilities.This, I believe is about as good as it get’s as far as quality of ingredients go in a commercial dog food.

    As you know, idiopathic means they don’t know the cause of whatever follows the word idiopathic, in your case, your dog’s epilepsy. I think that wanting to avoid gluten and grains is a good idea for your pup. The 2 foods I am posting the links to are Gluten and Grain free. It might be worth a try before you embark on a home prepared diet.

    I feed my pups a home prepared diet and I believe that when balanced properly there is nothing better! The reason I suggest trying THK is because it will simplify a little, your task of seeing whether or not grains and or gluten are contributing to your pups seizures.

    Here are the links;

    While the medications used to treat epilepsy are serious, depending on the type, duration, etc, of your pups seizures, they can be very serious also. So please try to keep that in mind as you figure this out.

    I wish you and your “luggle” the best and if there is anything you liked to ask, please feel free.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Nicole:
    I don’t have any info to share with you in regards to your dog’s health issue, however here are some companies that can help formulate a balanced homemade diet, provide supplements, and even formulate homemade Rx diets:

  • Nicole Johnson

    I have a 4 year old “mutt” (half lab-half puggle) who suffers from idiopathic epilepsy and before putting her on any strong medications I have read that many dogs who suffer from this, it has to do with their diet. Gluten/grain free diets are best. I am all for making her food and have even found quite a few recipes but I am unsure of vitamins and other ingredients that she needs. Does anyone have a similar issue and would like to give me some advice on where to go from here. Her vet is currently not helping me and I am on the verge of finding a new one. Any advice would be great appreciated!

  • Ruth Trinidad

    Hello I have af Bulldog Inglés 1 1/2 year old. Dog Food grain free that could recommend me, it is well sensitive to your skin. Thank you

  • Betsy Cambareri

    Look at the approved list on the Nzymes website here:
    Though they want you to buy their products, the information they provide when you scroll down the page is quite helpful with regards to diet.

  • Brenda Stines Mills

    IF your pup has yeast, quit the carrot, they are high sugar content….also, if your pup has diarrhea stop them as they are high fiber…

  • Brenda Stines Mills

    my Rhodesian Ridgeback is troubled with yeast…he is much better than he was when he was dumped off at my house, but still has skin issues….I’ve had him wheat, corn and beef free, but now i’m dropping rice……i’m going to TRY to find a great food for him with a VERY low glycemic index…..almost everything has an ingredient that feeds yeast….I am open to suggestions from all experienced yeasty dog owners…
    Mason has been with me since Oct. last year….starving, multiple infections, skin a mess, scared, but smart , trained, loving, good natured, sooo well-mannered, got a long with the 3 rescued girls…..I tried for months to find an owner… no chip….he’s part of my pack now….someone recommend the right food for my itchy boy!

  • Cissy

    My pitbull became very yeasty even on grain free food plus he’s allergic to poultry & has sensitive stomach I’m in the process of switching food now today is the 1st day on
    Dogswell Nutrisca Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • karen

    going to order this asap this helped my dog from peeing indoors

  • Dani

    i need something else than dry food this helped my dog from peeing in my home

  • Pitlove

    Hi Ttbb- I also have a pitbull that is yeast prone. I’m planning on trying Wysong Epigen 90 for his next food. It is completely starch free and the only dry diet on the market of it’s kind. It is also the lowest carb dry food I’ve ever seen, at only 4% carbs on a dry matter basis. Another good food to look into that I plan on using in rotation with Wysong is Nature’s Logic.

  • Ttbb

    I’m trying to find a good food for my pitbull her is very yeasty

  • Julie

    Thanks for getting back to me. He just has bad diarreah and stinky farts and itchy all the time and dry fur. But this new food he is on the vet put him on his poop is better on (royal canin gastrointestinal diet) but it is for overweight old dogs so low in calorie and fat and too expensive. So looking for something that is cheaper but every dog food I put him on he goes back to having diarreah. he has always been on royal canin as my friend is a vet clinic and that is what the vet sells,…but I got some NOW! dog food and am mixing it with the stuff the vet gave me to see if it is ok for his stomach. I have also tried Nutro for sensitive stomach and that didn;t work either. Also orijen and didn’t help.

  • el doctor

    Hi Julie

    It doesn’t have wheat, but it has wheat gluten which is the (or one of the) problems with wheat!

    It also has corn gluten. Glutens can be very problematic in sensitive individuals. They are a cheap source of what I believe are totally inappropriate protein boosters used in dog foods.

    The food also has psyllium seed husks and prebiotics which might have a positive effect on a sesitive stomach but you could buy a combo pre and pro biotic that will do a better job because you can use a higher and more beneficial dose. Psyllium husks are very cheap and you could fine tune the dose to best suit your individual dog.

    Can you please tell us exactly what you mean by sensitive stomach, what were the symptoms, and what foods did you have problems with?

    Once we know a little more we will be able to help you better.

  • Julie

    My german shephard/malamute 5 month old puppy has a very sensitive stomach. The vet just put him on this gastrointestinal Royal Canin puppy food and it seems to be working well but it is really, really expensive. Is there something cheaper I can buy that would be good for his stomach? I noticed the first ingredient is rice and has no wheat. I heard royal canin is not good either? Thanks
    It also has a way lower fat and protein percentage than most other brands I noticed (not puppy food or high in calories). he is a growing dog though (already 55lbs for 5 months old).

  • Vanessa Fee

    It may be yearly allergies, fleas, and diet. I give my pups oral flea control every month, and my one dog who becomes super itchy I take to the vet for an allergy shot. As far as diet goes, I sent off for an allergy kit for my pups at and found out what they were allergic to. Hope this helps.

  • skyangl55

    Please any suggestions would be deeply appreciated for grain free,gluten free for one of my yr old bluenose pit who has open sores,raw ears from scratching .She was ok until I started introducing adult science diet then all hell broke lose. I have 2 sisters and Ava who has the problems is blue/grey with white and it seems wherever she’s white is red dry and itchy.I’m at a loss here and don’t now what to do for her next.Why one pup is fine and the other from the same itter isn’t is keeping me awake because I’m so worried .I lost my 7 yr. old pit to cancer last year,I need help. [email protected]

  • Storm’s Mom

    Have you tried adding probiotics and digestive enzymes to his food? Personally, I’d start there before changing up his food.

  • Woody

    My lab/retriever/cocker spaniel X is currently being fed Horizon Legacy Grain Free adult, (he’s been grain free since day one-originally Acana grain free puppy, then horizon legacy grain free puppy as Acana was too high protein and caused really soft stool all the time and 4+ bowel movements a day) 90% of the time he is awesome, but occasionally he gets REALLY bad diarrhea to the point that he is leaking walking around the house and some blood. He does not get any human food and very little “treats” (carrots and ice cubes). It happened a few times and I took him to the emergency vet hospital and they gave him and anti-inflammatory for his intestines, forti-flora, and told me to put him on the usual bland chicken and rice diet until it fixes itself. It works fine, but I’d really like to figure out the underlying problem do he doesn’t have to go through this anymore as it’s not fun for any of us. Any suggestions on a new food to try would be wonderful.

  • dcdawn

    I feed all my rescue and personal dog BB Freedom with never an issue…and that is 150+ dogs a year!!! Not cheap for the rescue but healthy dogs are well worth it!!!!

  • dcdawn

    incorrect! not harmful for either human or canine

  • dcdawn

    no…please google and read the medical evidence…

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Sharon:
    If you would like to request a food review fill out this form:

  • Sharon

    I pet sit for a lab and he had skin problems and changed to the food I sell and it helped but at times he would have problems.i told them I didn’t do the stuff for fleas. I used other things and when they stopped it his problems disappeared.

  • Sharon

    I pet sit for a dog with really bad ears and was told to have them try VETS BEST EAR CLEANER AND VETS BEST EAR DRIER. after suffering all those years this made a world of difference.

  • Sharon

    Yes food makes a big difference. I am a Dist for an all natural food and had 2 dogs on meds no hair and after changing foods foods was able to get off the meds and got their hair back.

  • Sharon

    Flint River Ranch has come out with a grain free dog food. I would like for you to check it out. I am a Dist. The dogs all so far seem to love it.

  • stormygirl

    Zymox is really a wonder drug for the yeast infections. For years vets gave me the wrong stuff–that didn’t treat the root cause. Recently I told a new vet that I had run out of Zymox but would rather not use what they recommended. She then suggested an ear culture, which no vet had done, ever. Guess what? Zymox is the right treatment!! She decided to order some in for their office.

  • Crazy4dogs

    The protein actually isn’t the problem, and is a bit of a myth that has been debunked. The origianl study was done on rats and flawed from the beginning. It’s the phosphorus that has to be monitored. The problem really is probably in the fact that dogs are eating dry kibble for their entire life making the kidneys work harder. Years ago a woman that was shopping @ a healthy pet store when I was told me I was dehydrating my dog. I had a premium dry food (one of the best rated) in my cart. She said dogs live in a state of chronic slight dehydration when on a diet of just kibble. I researched it and she was correct. That’s why I always include wet food and feed fresh or raw daily.

    Studies have found that dogs on low protein diets did not live any longer, but did suffer more quickly from muscle waste. Here are a couple of links:

    My 14.25 year old boy had been in definitively diagnosed kidney failure for over 8 months and was probably in it longer than that as we noticed an increased thirst a few months prior so we ran the blood tests. I did a lot of research on kidney failure at that point. The final decision to send him to the rainbow bridge was not due to kidney failure, but myelopathy. He was diagnosed @ 12 and by 14.25 yo he was not longer able to stand.

  • theBCnut

    No, it isn’t for humans, unless there is ALREADY an underlying kidney problem. Protein does not cause the problem.

  • Sugar1221

    It is for humans, not sure about dogs

  • Bob K

    What dog food did you stop using and then move to grain free? Many people experience a significant change moving from 1 star rated kibble to a 4 or 5 star kibble. Perhaps your dogs improvement has nothing to do with a change to grain free? What did you feed your dog before the change?

  • Shannon Davis

    I think the best thing to do is try it if you want. I went grain free for my dogs about three weeks ago and now they’re shedding considerably less, their hair is shiny and super soft, they are eating far less, and they are pooing less. The biggest difference, however, is the smell. They haven’t been bathed since we switched but they don’t have the usual dog smell anymore. Even our 120 pound lab’s smell has went from smelly dog to just-bathed fresh. I’ve been amazed at the change. They just overall look better.

  • theBCnut

    No, it’s not. That’s a myth.

  • Janessa Leonski

    High protein is hard on kidneys.

  • Georgiapeach

    Look at Back to Basics Hi-Protein Pork or Back to Basics Open Range. It’s available on if you can’t find it in your area. I have an allergy dog, too (with more allergies than your lab!), and this food is the only one I’ve found so far that she can eat.

  • Babslynne
  • DogFoodie

    There is a very helpful holistic / integrative vet, Dr. Tabitha, who posts in the forums on this site. She has a website with lots of highly useful information. Dr. Tabitha has written a great PDF article on how exactly to conduct a true elimination diet. If you shoot her an email, I’m quite certain she’d send you the document. I wouldn’t repost it here without her consent first. Here’s her website:

  • westieboy

    hi! Yep, we’ve been working at various elimination efforts since he came home with me in the fall. It gets tricky when several allergies are at play, as you know! I only became aware of his ear infection (he started acting noticeably bothered) in early December. The vet said 8 weeks on the drops, so we are still in that yet.
    No menhaden meal/oil, and I have currently started looking up the sources/origins of some otherwise innocent looking nutrients and pro-biotics that are in his foods. That’s what worries me too, because fishes can be a source for so many other ingredients! He is doing much better though! It’s really just getting him through this ear mischief now. He definitely can’t have potatoes, fish of any sort, including oil as yours, nor grains, especially rice. All I have to do is try something once anymore, and the reaction is pretty immediate, so it’s getting much easier to tell now, once the known 3 have all been eliminated. Tricky getting through the maze of allergies! Dairy is under suspicion, so perhaps I will try that. He loves cheese, but it wouldn’t hurt to see how he does without it for a while 🙂 Thanks very much for your support, too. He’s such a sweet little guy, and had such a horrid life, I don’t want him to suffer anymore 🙂 !!! Cheers

  • DogFoodie

    I have a fish intolerant pup also. In theory, fish oil should be fine, for mine it’s not. They sneak fish into a lot of foods. Are you certain that your dog isn’t still getting some fish in his current food?

    If not, how long have you been battling the ear infection? Depending on how long its been, it’s possible that he’s intolerant to more than just fish. Zymox is great, but it’s just treating the symptoms. I prefer the one without hydrocortisone.

    You need to get to the root of the problem. Figuring out food intolerances is tricky stuff. The only way to truly know what the intolerances are, is to do an elimination diet.

  • westieboy

    Thank you so much, I’ve written them down, and have them on my list for my corner store guy. (He may already have them in fact, I will see!) My little guy is still on his Rx till the end of the month, it just seems like he should be more obviously cured after 5 weeks of drops…Really a time of it. Vet said to give for 8 weeks, to be safe, then he will retest…I’ll definitely look for your super finds!

  • Babslynne

    My Pekingese used to have a lot of ear infections along with his skin problems, now I use probiotic pearls to control the yeast and I use Zymox with enzymes and hydrocortisone 1% in his ears and he hasn’t had a problem since.

  • westieboy

    Wow, I’m so glad you mentioned that, thank you!! They do have a turkey PULSAR formula too, as my little guy can’t handle any form of fish. And this is the thing…, I’m still battling a yeast infection in 1 of his ears, which as a rescue, the vet thinks was brewing along for some time. Nasty to get rid of, we’re not in the clear yet…Quite worrisome issue. The ingredients that bother the skin, bother the skin inside the ears as well, and tehre you go..Trouble! …and the poor little guys can only eat what we give them! I’ll be sure to try it, thanks so very much

  • westieboy

    A daunting pursuit, I know! Read the labels, and keep up the great effort.. ..Helps to check ingredients online too, and find your sources that way. My Westie rescue came with numerous known & unknowns (coming along very well, but a tough start!) ..To date, allergic to POTATOES, FISH, RICE, (so we’re just going with NO GRAINS all together). I am finding these foods to be a happy blessing so far, and he really loves them: ACANA dry kibble “Pork & Butternut Squash” ACANA Lamb & Apples (I think apples, it’s the Lamb one) ..
    (NO OTHER Acanas for my guy, they have potatoes or fish..but these 2 are great, and he devours them) Also, for a kibble..CANIDAE “GRAIN FREE PURE LAND” -“BISON” formula. (Again, no other Canidaes for him, fish or potatoes in his instance)
    EARTHBORN GRAIN FREE “Toby’s” “Duke’s” or “LILY’S” are all great, he absolutely loves them, and no potatoes (unlike the other Grain-free varieties they offer)
    ANIMAL FARM “CHILLIN CHICKEN”, TURN_UP DA TURKEY” or “KICKEN’ CHICKEN” (stay away from their California recipes, they have potatoes)
    I also bought a small sort can of a Venison variety, he loved it and I have to get more. Sorry I forget the nae, but it was the size of half a normal can. And he likes WILD CALLING “HOPPY’S GF Rotational 96% Rabbit for a change of pace here and there. -But of course, that is lacking other things, but it helps to fill in occasionally when he gets bored!!
    I’ve had a time finding things without potatoes, fish, fish oils, grains. Hope my finds help a bit!! I didn’t mention others I’ve tried that he either couldn’t digest well, or for whatever reason, he refused to eat. The ones I have mentioned, are really working well for him, and I can get a couple meals out of those pricey cans by putting just a bit of his kibbles to one side..This reminds him ho much he likes the dry too, and he shifts to the other bowl of kibbles, eats both most happily! A caveat too…it’s really good to become a customer at your local corner pet store…If something costs a tiny bit more (Often, it doesn’t though) it’s worth have a source on your side. My local fella ordered in the Acana trial size bags for me specially, just so we could try them out. (I’d found the product online, but it wasn’t available anywhere near me in his recipe blends) So now he makes sure to have a couple large bags on hand at all times, just in case someone else tries it, my guy won’t accidentally go hungry! ..Now, I’m going to have him order in Earthborn Dry Kibble in “Meadow”…so we’ll see if that is another option, too! Good Luck, Best wishes, and don’t forget, you probably can find more within these, as I had to keep fish out. (Oh yes, INNOVA dry kibbles were great too..until I realized that the fish oil was the culprit for his you may wish to try those too) Cheers

  • Denise

    Hi, i found your post interesting, i too have a pug 9 yr old female. How do you know if she has a urinary inf?? Mine has had all the typical pug issues, skin, eyes, ears etc… she is doing well w/ the grain free salmon so far. Also i though you should not be doing too high protein if they are not active ?

  • Dori

    I love Coton de Tulear’s. My friend has one and yes, absolutely, when she cuts him down in his Summer cut they look like twins. How funny. Glad you found THK and us.

  • Dori

    Yes. Sorry, I realize I said simply human. It is SimpleHuman. They really make good products. Expensive yes, but, darn they last forever. I’ll have to leave them in my will to someone. As I said, I’ve had the Bergan one for more years and physical moves than I can remember and still looks brand new.

  • Michelle

    My Rocky is a Coton de Tulear. When I cut his hair shorter, he looks like your Katie. Anyway, that Bob guy is a nut job. I’m thrilled to have found The Honest Kitchen, and I will recommend it to everyone I meet.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom
  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I have two that i bought from my local pet boutique. They are clear but they have a very tight fitting lid. I keep them in the hall closet with the door shut so it’s always nice and dark in there. I don’t dump the kibble in the containers. I keep it in the bag closed with a clip.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks, that’s another good idea.

  • Dori

    He’s not spewing facts. I honestly don’t know what his deal is but he is most definitely not spewing facts or he just thinks we’re all a bit infantile and don’t do our own due diligence into the foods we feed. He’s got some issues. I don’t know what they are and they certainly aren’t my problem or yours. I suggest we avoid him and start treating him like a troll. I think he’s gotten enough time on this site and a lot longer time and “benefit of the doubt” than a lot of other trolls that we have afforded them the time. I am no longer responding to him enough if I have to bite my tongue bloody.

  • theBCnut

    You can use any good quality container if you are putting it in the pantry with the lights out and door closed. Or you can put the container in a brown paper sack.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! Are you talking about SimpleHuman? I can’t find Simply Human. I will probably get the Bergan one, because it is way cheaper as you said and also available on Chewy.

  • DogFoodie

    Actually, Bob, The Honest Kitchen provided a pledge of quality and origin and an organic statement to Susan Thixton years ago. You can view both statements here:

    Scroll down to The Honest Kitchen.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I’m trying to understand why he feels this way, but I don’t even know if he is talking about THK or just kind of spewing “facts”. I don’t doubt the quality of feeding THK and I worry more about the kibble I feed then THK.

  • Dori

    The one I use is made by a company named Simply Human. You can find it at stores like The Container Store, Bed, Bath & Beyond, Amazon, of course. What doesn’t Amazon carry. I like it anyway because it’s big enough for me to put lots of other foods in their original bags and boxes too and it’s metal and airtight.

    The other one that I also have is by a company called Bergan. It’s soft plastic, also airtight, and a solid blue color. (I’ve had that one for years and still looks like new). Also much less expensive than the Simply Human one.

  • Dori

    Since you’re the one with this issue why don’t you ask them? We trust them, you don’t! It’s as simple as that. Why do you keep going with this issue. Feed what you’d like to your dogs and we all will feel free to feed what we would like to ours. What’s the big deal here with you about THK? Do you work for Diamond? Is that why you’re trying to dissuade anyone from feeding any other foods? Or are you just amusing yourself at our expense? I bet that’s what it is. You’re trying to see how many people you can get riled up. I won’t take the bait any more. Have a nice evening. 🙂

  • Dori

    Most everyone but Bob K feels as you do. They are an extremely trustworthy company.

  • Dori

    That’s why you must thoroughly research the company of the food you are buying. Choose companies that have some control over where they get their ingredients. Choose companies that have control over their quality control. Choose companies that do not outsource to various canning and processing companies. Lord Bob, there are many many ways to research foods and their ingredients and where they get their ingredients and whether they are synthetic or not, is there any GMO in the product. I could go on and on and on. OH, I already have. The fact that of all the foods on the market you choose to feed Diamond products leads me to believe that we are different type of animal guardians. Just as I would not feed myself any old thing off a shelf I would not do that with my dogs either. Is the food I feed my girls top of the line in quality and company and ingredients, and not just because I read it here or on any other blog? I research it all. Yes, absolutely. I would do no less for myself and my husband so why would I do that with them. I’m done with this particular conversation with you. Once again, have a lovely day, or is it evening now? 🙂

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I understand this is your opinion, but I am wondering if you have anything against THK. In my opinion they are an extremely trustworthy company.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! The container I currently have is see-through, can you recommend a good non-see-though one?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    That’s cool! I also try to avoid shopping at big box stores as much as possible. I will NEVER shop at a store that gets animals from puppy mills, which most stores that sell pets do. Pet Smart and PetCo offer dog adoptions instead of selling dogs in my area, but have heard of a lot of people have gotten small animals from there that are sick, and I don’t know where they get their small animals, so I like to play it safe.

  • Bob K

    Ask them for proof of ingredients source of origin – I bet they will not supply it.

  • Bob K

    So if the ingredient is purchased from Canada – Where does Canada get it from? Mexico, China? I highly doubt they can provide that level of details and tracking and do not require that from their suppliers.

  • Bob K

    Its simple – 1.) Some people thing the US food supply is very safe – it isn’t. 2.) Also many people believe that because they buy ingredients ingredients or kibbles in the US that all the ingredients are farmed in the US – another fallacy. Companies repackage and bulk break all the time and thy also buy from multiple suppliers depending on price and availability. What country makes 90% of the worlds penicillin and 50% of the worlds aspirin? as well as the bulk of vitamins A, B12, C and E.

  • Dori

    WELL!!!!! That says it all doesn’t it???

  • Dori

    No, it’s not too long if you take some of the food out and keep it sealed in a container that is not see through (just the amount of food you think you’ll use up in maybe a month. The rest of the food keep tightly sealed in a dark container (again…not see through) that is put in a cool place like a pantry or something like that where you stash the rest of the food. The object is to not let any light or heat get to the food. Keep the food in it’s original bag and box. That helps keep the light out. Only ever take out enough to use up in no more than a month. The rest will last you a long time. Certainly it will stay just fine for more than three months. That’s what I do and I’ve never had an issue with THK when I store it that way. I feed rotation diet so 10 lbs lasts me a good long time. You could always rotate THK for one meal of the day and feed whatever else you feed for the other. I buy the 10 lb. box to save some of the cost. It gets a bit costly buying the 4 lb. boxes especially when I know I’ll be using it long term for the dogs.

  • Dori

    My local pet store that does the buy 10 (food) get 11th one free gives you a card that they punch every time you buy food. When you have the 10th stamp, next bag is free. You don’t have to buy all at the same time. It’s just when your card has been stamped ten times. Then you start over again. Keeps you buying locally and also smart marketing because you are also sure to show up at their store again. Their prices are also competitive to all the other local pet food stores around me. I don’t shop at the big box type stores because I don’t feed any of the foods they sell but mostly it’s because I don’t support stores that sell dogs and cats.

  • Dori

    Definitely have noticed that and most of the time I just ignore his replies and posts but for this reason this one just bugged me and felt the need to say something.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Well said!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Funny you posted that! I noticed that yesterday, lol.

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