Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods

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The following is a list of our best dog food brands — each known to include at least one dry grain free dog food.

Bowl of Grain Free Dog FoodTo qualify, each dry kibble must have been rated four or five stars by the Advisor.

And of course, it must be grain free.

If you know of a dry grain free dog food you feel should have been included on this list, please feel free to share your suggestions in the Comments section below.

Or if you’re searching for some suggestions yourself, remember to browse our readers’ Comments below to get some more ideas.

For more information about grain free dog food, be sure to check out these links…

Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods

The following is a list of our top-rated dry dog food brands. Each line has been shown to contain at least one grain free dog food.

  • chris

    i have a pug she itches all the time what food is best for her

  • Dixie Robinson

    my pure breed 3 yr old boxer got deathly sick from a bad bag of hill’s science diet grain free salmon only a month and a half ago. and trust me when i say this…even the vets were beyond upset when the seen how in such a short time the grain free salmon made my dog that bad. they contacted science diet as well as i did. and they gave us nothing but grief and wanted to try to put it off on anything but their own food. when the dog was fine till she injested a bowl of the food. then lethargy and vomitting. the bag had fowl order and even my cat who usually will pounce at anything with a fish smell ran from the oder from the bag. it even tainted the container we kept it in..the odor did. that grain free crap is hidieous. and i will never risk the life of my service dog again with it. she is on another brand and alive, healthy and thankfully ok..no thanks to hill science diet grain free salmon

  • Lyn Shepherd

    Thank you I’ll check it out

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Lyn, Victor grain free Ultra Pro 42 has 17% Carbs. I pay $40 for a 30lb bag. If your interested, check their store locator. victordogfood.com

  • Lyn Shepherd

    Hi my boxer has had mast cell tumours removed in the past and suffers from seasonal skin allergies which requires a course of steroids to treat . I read that carbohydrates in kibble are not a great diet choice for him but he loves it ! Any suggestions of low carb kibble would be greatly appreciated !

  • JACK LINKERS

    Depending on how you consider pets and love you have for them, the effort in finding quality food will vary.

    Any pet is a living being that deserves same attention as a part of your family (health, care) but with their own pet place (not to humanize them). A dog stays a dog and has a master: YOU.

    Dog food for instance, is important as human food. The right question is: would you eat some stuff and some other not ? I’m not telling you have to cook a 3 courses meal with sirloin everyday but about the composition itself of the food.

    Royal Canin is the worst food you can give to your dogs. They are very good in marketing and sponsoring dog events, but their food is very bad (as 80% of pet food on the market).

    Look at the technical datasheet about your dog food and try to read between lines. For example : they say animal proteins… So it means it comes from any animal and any part (including bones). So basicaly, it means, they contain all the stuff that goes to the trash and certainly NOT meat. They also say animal fat, ok but what animal ? Evrey animal and every fat… again, the worst fat from beef, lamb and pork…

    You can see as well wheat, wheat flour, rice… they made of grain, which is not recommended for dogs.

    Hav a look at NUTRAM for example, they have their own chicken farms and use only chicken MEAT, chicken FAT, canadian fresh salmon (including oil) instead of fish protein (essentially bones) and fish oil (from dunno where).

    JOSERA is also an over the top pet food, they guarantee the meet they use is of human consumption quality. (A german brand not listed above).

    This is my opinion about pet food and especially for dogs. I know some may disagree and say, they would eat anything in the nature as lions in the bush, so what pet food you go for doesn’t matter. Well it’s their own opinion and conscience.

  • LabsRawesome

    Take a look at Victor. My 3 do great on it. I buy it local. I pay $40 for a 30lb bag of grain free Ultra Pro. I rotate with Yukon River and Active Dog & Puppy. victordogfood.com

  • Anastasia Ra

    Hello. We were feeding our two boxers Royal canine boxer food for 2 years. And I decided to switch to different brand because I heard that it’s better for dogs to eat grain free dog food. I’m out of food and still didn’t figure out what I need to get. They don’t have any health issues or allergy that I know of. I would appreciate your help.
    Ps. My male started to eat poop lately and I don’t know if he needs more food or not. After we fixed him he started gaining weight.

  • Cyndi

    Hills Science Diet Grain Free is only a 3 star food. The ones listed above are 4 or 5 star foods. Most of Hills Science Diet foods are crap.

  • Credit Warrior

    I am surprised that Hill’s Science Diet Grain Free is not on the list? Military dogs are only fed Science Diet products

  • Jess W

    That’s the problem. No one is entirely sure. When the shelter found him, his skin was awful and the vet suggested they feed him grain free food. The shelter started and his skin cleared up

  • Melissaandcrew

    Jess..what is he allergic to?

  • Jess W

    That’s great! Thanks for the advice, I will definitely look into that as an option!

  • Dori

    The only thing that turned my severe food allergy dog, Katie, around was switching her to commercial raw foods that are grain, corn, soy, poultry, white potato free foods. At 9 weeks old she was riddled with allergies, intolerances, sensitivities, etc. You name it, she had it. I switched her (and my other two dogs) to raw approx. 2 1/2 years ago. She is now 5 years old and no more scratching, yeasting ears, gas, bad breath, shedding. She looks great and feels great. It was a long long road to get to where we are now with Katie.

  • Jess W

    Hi, I am currently in the process of adopting a lab/rottie mix. He has very severe food allergies. I have been looking at the different types of grain free and limited ingredient food but getting a little overwhelmed. I don’t have a budget or brand preference, I would love some suggestions since the list is huge. Thanks!

  • Ben Bouman

    Thank you, I will look at that one. It was confirmed for me by 2 sources that the Zignature is a good one. No grain, no potato. They also suggested I look into Nutrisca, also grain and potato free. Hope to have her insulin regulated soon. Thanks for the feed back.

  • Melissaandcrew

    That is a hard question as dogs are so different. Last time I checked into it(when I had a diabetic dog) was the recc feeding protocol of low fat low card, high fiber and high protein. Avoid rice and corn due to higher glycemic ratings. Take a look at Acana Wild Prairie on the Acana website. It talks about blood sugar levels etc.

  • http://www.exfuzelife.com Jennifer Cunningham

    Brittany, with the larger dogs, also make sure his bowl is high enough that is can eat comfortably without taking in a lot of air which can cause bloat. If it is not comfortable to eat, then he won’t. Ours has to have grain free for sure along with my GSD so they all went grain free. Best wishes for you and your giant, lovable couch potato!

  • Ben Bouman

    Of course. First thing we noticed was she just was not being herself. Then came massive water intake and bed wetting and a lack of appetite. All of which I attributed to heat and old age. The massive weight loss was the final straw. We took in a urine sample and there it was. Blood was also done. She is also on antibiotics for her kidneys and liver as they appeared enlarged. We passed on a ultrasound of the kidneys and liver for now. We are working to find the right amount of insulin and diet.

  • sue66b

    Hi Ben, may I ask what was ur dogs symtoms, also what test was done to find that she had diabetes??

  • Ben Bouman

    My 12 year old female Lab recently was diagnosed with Diabetes. I just bought a bag of Zignature Trout and Salmon for her. I like the high protein, low carb aspect but might be a little high in fat. The people at my food store felt it be good for stabilizing her blood sugar due to its lack of potato. Her glucose curves are crazy. She spikes about 2 hours after her shot and never really seams to settle under 300.
    The question is: Is there a food that is best for diabetic dogs?

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Hi Brittany,

    That sounds great!

    I wish you could find out what he was eating before he came home with you and your boyfriend as I’d probably pick up a small bag of that to use while you were deciding on a food and to transition him to the new food. Chances are also that he’d eat whatever food that was.

    I would take a look at the list that aquariangt already linked to and choose a food from it. Here it is again: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit?pli=1

    Because your pup is a giant breed pup, he’ll reach maturity more slowly than a large breed pup would. For that reason, you should continue to feed him a controlled level of Calcium until he’s at least two years of age. The list includes 4 and 5 star foods that have 3.5g Calcium per 1,000 kcal. or less and are approved for growth or all life stages. You can read more about large and giant breed puppy nutrition here: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/. Excess Calcium can contribute to skeletal disorders include hip dysplasia. Continue to keep your pup lean as excess weight stresses growing joints.

    Of those foods on the list, some of my favorite brands are Dr. Tim’s, Earthborn Holistics, Wellness Core, Nature’s Variety Instinct and Fromm. They’re all excellent products from good, solid companies that have a history of transparency.

    All of those foods should be within the price range that you’re comfortable with.

    Once he’s fully grown, there are lots more to choose from!

  • Dori

    Wow!!! For $75.00 for a 25/30 lb. bag of dog food you really have plenty of choices from the 5 starred reviewed foods. That’s a very nice budget.

  • Dori

    Not the pumpkin pie filler that is sold in grocery stores, just pumpkin in a can. You can always or use a digestive enzyme. I keep on hand a product that I swear by that is called Perfect Form by The Honest Kitchen. You add it, or the pumpkin or the digestive enzyme to each of the meals until the transition is complete. Helps their digestive system as they get used to a new food.

  • Dori

    Your boyfriend didn’t throw out the bag, did he? Regardless of what food you switch to, always keep the bag. Even if you decide to empty the bag into an airtight dog food container please keep the bag in case there is something wrong with the food, or there is a recall. The bag will have all the info you need including manufacturers date and lot number. Also if your dog has an issue with a food you can start to narrow down ingredients by having the bag to compare to other foods.

  • Dori

    Just keep an eye on Sam. Took awhile for me to realize that she had an issue with kelp. None of her other allergens were in different food. The common denominator was kelp. Sure enough I found a food that she could eat without kelp and she was fine. It really does make us use our brains. Anyway, that’s the excuse I use to not get too frustrated with all her intolerance issues. Good Luck and I hope Sam doesn’t have any kelp issues.

  • aquariangt

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk/edit
    there is the most recent list of foods from the forum side that hound dog mom put together, it’s a great starting point

  • Brittany

    I don’t believe we really have a budget, but I’d say cap it at $75 for a 25-30lbs bag. And no we don’t mind ordering off line, as we are Amazon Prime members, so free shipping. Or if we find it on another site, we would have to look into that.

    Buying locally might be easiest, but not necessary. And I’m pretty sure we would like to feed him kibble food which I’m assuming is dry food. We aren’t opposed to dry food with toppers either.

    I wish I knew EXACTLY what we are feeding him, but I never took a moment to look at the bag. My boyfriend knows that information.

    Thanks for your help!

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Great! : )

    To start, do you have a budget for dog food? Do you have a preference as to whether you want to buy locally, or is ordering food online an option for you? And, what type of food are you looking at primarily? It sounds like you were feeding Blue Buffalo kibble, so I was thinking you might be looking for another kibble.

  • Brittany

    Getting suggestions for foods would be great! :D

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Kelp too! Dang! I’m planning to start Sam on an algae supplement soon since he has to have a vegetarian Omega 3. I hope he doesn’t react to that, too! : )~

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Let us know if you’d like suggestions for foods!

  • 4FootedFoodie

    You’re definitely not over-analyzing things! You’re your pet’s advocate!

    You’re very perceptive to realize so quickly that something was amiss!

    Oh, and if he gets some loose stool when you begin transitioning him to a different food, some plain canned pumpkin works wonders!

    And, aquariangt was definitely right when he said that he could speak for me when he said that I wouldn’t feed Blue Buffalo. I wouldn’t. Their QC is all over the place and they totally lack transparency.

    While I don’t love all of The Great Dane Lady’s suggestions for foods and some of her reasoning seems askew, she’s very experienced with Great Danes; here’s her site: http://www.greatdanelady.com/.

  • Dori

    Let us know how it goes. Good Luck! I’m sure you’ll find that feeding twice a day a good quality grain free food will do the trick.

  • Dori

    Katie has issues with flax also and recently kelp. I swear it’s always something that might not really pop out at you as an intolerant issue.

  • Brittany

    Thank you guys so much for your replies, this has truly helped a lot! I will share all this with my boyfriend tonight. I wasn’t sure if I was over analyzing things but I was starting to get a little worried. This morning he actually dumped his bowl so I’m thinking there’s got to be something wrong with the food!

    I am doing some reading on Premium Dog Foods and which brands are some of the best. I will slowly start integrating the premium food into his current food and over the next two weeks hopefully find something he really likes.

    It’s also reassuring to know it’s okay to take the food away from him when he hasn’t eaten. You guys are right, he will learn when eating time is.

    Thanks again for your help!! Greatly appreciated.

  • 4FootedFoodie

    It’s funny, Dori. My Sam will sniff food and reluctantly walk away hungry. He seemed to know before I figured out that he can’t have fish. The poor guy wouldn’t touch a sardine.

    Now, I’ve been using the new Nature’s Domain as a canned topper. Keep in mind, I’ve been on the fence for a few weeks about flax. He sniffs it and looks around and with hesitation, does seem to finally eat. However, he started with some loose stool this weekends and I noticed last night that he had the anal gland smell. I had to get out my cheaters to look at the tiny print on the canned to see if I overlooked something and sure enough, it has flax in it. So, it sounds like flax is definitely on Sam’s list of food intolerances.

  • aquariangt

    I second that. Even though I wouldn’t feed Blue (as I know 4FF (that’s my new nickname for you) wouldn’t either) I wouldn’t change things up too much right off the bat. The only Blue I’ve ever fed was a puppy that came on it and I bought another 5 lb bag to keep transitioning. While I start rotation young, definitely needs to acclimate to your living situation before you go on
    Also-the meal time only eating is important, and a slow feeder is good for a dane to help with bloat-so you are on the right track there.
    As far as grain free goes-it may help him if there is something he doesn’t like in that food, but it may be a protein preference as well. I would definitely try adding a topper. One way or the other make sure you are feeding a size appropriate food with calcium levels. I suggest checking out the forums for a great thread on large breed puppies and what is acceptable to them. Page 15 has the most current list.

  • Dori

    I agree completely with 4FootedFoodie. I think the first thing you have to do is change his food to a 4 or 5 star rated Grain Free food. I for one would never ever feed BB under any circumstances.

    As 4Footed said, it’s a bad idea for many reasons to just put food in bowl and leave on the floor. Most will tell you to feed your dog twice a day. Put food in his bowl and leave it down for 15 to 20 minutes. Then pick it up. Either throw it away or cover it and put in refrigerator. At dinner time put down a fresh bowl of food or the one from the fridge. Put down for 15 to 20 minutes then pick it up. He’s not going to starve if he doesn’t eat a meal or two or three. He will get the message. Eat when the food is down or it goes away.

    With all that said, I would urge you to switch his food to a grain free high quality food. Check out the grain free 4 and 5 starred reviews and read some of the posts to see which foods people are having better experiences with. BB and Orijen have a lot of negative posts.

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Honestly Brittany, it sounds like he probably just doesn’t like it. Try dressing it up with a canned food topper, some goat’s milk or raw green tripe. If he still isn’t eating, you might want to look for another brand that he finds more palatable.

    Also, I wouldn’t leave it out for him to graze on all day. Fats can quickly become rancid once exposed to the air. Also, it teaches him that eating what he’s given is sort of an option. Put his food down and leave it for 15 minutes. If he doesn’t eat it when he’s offered, pick up his bowl and try it again at the next meal time. He’s smart. He’ll figure out that he needs to eat when it’s offered.

  • Brittany

    Hi, we just got a 1.5 yr old Great Dane. We are feeding him Blue Buffalo, and unfortunately my boyfriend purchased it so I’m not sure which one it is. But I’m afraid he’s not eating enough. We give him a KONG controlled feeding bowls worth in the morning, and he could go all day with only eating about a 1/4 of it. We have a vet appointment for September 1, but we are concerned for until then. In people’s experience, do you think switching to a Grain Free Diet might help?

    We would love some advice if people have it. I’m a new dog owner, and my boyfriend hasn’t had a dog in a few years. This is our first BIG dog as well. We know that Great Danes are a special breed and have special digestive issues, but anything will help us!

    thanks

  • Mickie Connor Young

    Have you actually had your puppy tested for food allergies? We went through hell with our Lab/Golden mix, finally had her blood tested for food allergies…SURPRISE…she’s allergic to pork, peas, potatoes and, the biggie, oatmeal. Once we cut these items totally out of her diet, she’s doing great. It means a lot of label reading, but for Fiona…it’s worth it! You would be amazed at how many foods and treats have peas and potatoes and, especially the big bugaboo…oatmeal! You can find what you need with a little extra work!

  • Gisela

    Hi – am moving to Caribbean and can’t find any foods that are similar to Acana brand Lamb and Apple. Any suggestions?

  • Shonya S

    I’m appalled that you would try to scare people off a kibble or a raw diet for this reason! Please get accurate, unbiased information instead of buckling to pressure and scare tactics.

  • Dog Lover Plus

    Yeah, it appears that there are more than a few 5-star grain free kibbles and canned foods that haven’t properly been added to the best grain free lists.

    I’ve also found editing errors, I.E. lack of consistency throughout reviews. It’s really too bad too, I believe this site is a great source of information. It simply seems to lack the resources to be truly thorough. I’d suggest the site adviser to expand his business model and allow donations…

    Or, do a kick-starter campaign and really revamp the site. Maybe even go into greater detail about omega ratios (5 to 1 or better, 6′s to 3′s) and EPA/DHA (THE Important Omega 3′s!) content relative to what the national research council advises for dogs (20-55 mg per pound). I consider these VERY important for dogs in general and particularly for older dogs or dogs with certain inflammatory conditions. It would be nice to know if you need to supplement DHA/EPA with certain dogs foods.

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks for the explanation on the proposed increase in calcium. Very interesting and troubling when a company intentionally misinforms consumers.

  • aimee

    Hi Bobbie,

    Thanks for that interesting link! Amazing to what lengths companies twist information to make their questionable diets look appropriate!

    Farmina min Ca in their large breed chicken and rice is 4.0 g/1000kcals which is the max nutritional allowance by FEDIAF ( Europe equivelent of AAFCO) and higher than I’d choose to feed a growing large breed.

    The proposed increase in calcium is rather minor and this was recommended to make it “consistant with the 2006 NRC RA and FEDIAF Guidelines”

    The proposed increase has nothing to do with large breed growth and as I posted earlier the committee actually proposed a decrease for large breeds which was not accepted.

    Farmina’s post is very inaccurate!

    There is no NRC 2013 recommendations that I’ve ever seen. The most recent NRC publication was 2006. Nor have I ever seen the FDA get involved in nutrient recommendations.

    Thanks for that interesting look into that company’s integrity!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi aimee:
    I am not well versed in LBP care because I don’t own one, but these two posts bring to mind a post I read on Farmina’s Facebook page dated 4/12/14. Maybe the two agencies mentioned there can help you with finding a reference to the info written in the above post, IDK. Here’s the link to the post:
    https://www.facebook.com/FarminaUSA/photos/a.637137816329864.1073741829.637130276330618/693151570728488/?type=1

  • aimee

    Hi Michele,

    As this is a topic I’m interested in can you lead me to the reference for the range 3.15-3.94 grams Ca/1000kcals.
    I’ve never seen that range anyplace before.

    Using the posted min Ca and energy density for Now Fresh LBP1.3% and 3446 yields 3.77 grams Ca/1000kcals. Using 1.4 % yields 4.07 grams/1000 kcals.

    I prefer Ca levels to be close to 3 grams/1000 kcals for LB pups.

    Currently AAFCO min for growth is 2.8 grams Ca /1000kcals and the proposed min is 3 grams/1000kcals.

    Did you mean the Center for Veterinary Medicine proposed an increase or the CNES?

    While CNES increased the min Ca they recommended a decreased level be allowed for large breeds.

    “The CNES increased the
    minimum calcium and phosphorus concentrations in the Growth and Reproduction
    Profile to 1.2% and 1.0%, respectively, consistent with the 2006 NRC RA and
    FEDIAF Guidelines. The CNES
    recommended that the calcium and phosphorus in growth formulas for the largebred or large size dogs be allowed to decrease to).9%
    and 0.75%, respectively,
    while still being judged to meet the Growth and Reproduction
    Nutrient Profile.”

  • Michele Dixon

    The Calcium Level in the NOW FRESH LB puppy is 1.4% which is an appropriate level for Large Breed Puppies. This is in line with the current level range from 3.15-3.94 grams Ca /1000kcals.
    Interestingly enough the Center for Veterinary Medicine has requested AAFCO to increase the minimum level for puppies to 1.2% due to concerns regarding the levels being too low in some LB puppy formulas.

  • Betsy Greer

    I agree that Now Fresh is a great brand. I actually like many of Petcurean’s brands. However, even the Now Fresh LBP formula has a pretty high Calcium level for LBPs. The website lists the minimum level as 1.3%. I’d contact them and ask for the as fed Calcium to be sure that it wasn’t too high.

  • Lange

    We have a large breed puppy and we’ve been feeding him NOW Fresh Large Breed Puppy. Only their large breed puppy food is rated 5 star. It’s got fewer preservatives than a lot of other brands. Not cheap but our guy has thrived on it.

  • Gina

    It’s called HALO Purely For Pets Vitaglo Dream Coat

    Here is a link to it at Amazon:

    http://www.amazon.com/Halo-Vita-Dream-Natural-Supplement/dp/B0015QT5EU

    According to Amazon I have the one that says “Natural Supplement” though I don’t see that on the bottle anywhere. It costs about $20 but it will be enough for several months as you just give them a teaspoon or two at a time. I mix it into her kibble. I have cut back to just putting it in her morning meal and she is still doing well. She seems to enjoy the taste and her skin is so much improved. No more dander and she hardly scratches anymore.

    When the vet told me she had allergies I immediately started worrying about years and years of allergy meds, side effects, costs, etc; and then I was skeptical when the vet wanted to go with a holistic approach but I followed all of her direction; and it has really done the trick. I hope this helps you.

  • Betsy Greer

    What essential oils are you saying to get food?

  • Gina

    Until just a few weeks ago she was in a shelter in Austin and before that nobody knows. She was itching and scratching all the time from the first day we brought her home. We had to make our best guesses as to what the problem might be. I suspect she’d been on a high grain diet (cheap dog food) that didn’t do her any good. Once her skin got irritated it became a cycle: the scratching irritated her skin, and her irritated skin caused her to keep scratching. The first time I brushed her i noticed a lot of flecks of dander, so I could see how dry and flaky her skin was. That would certainly make me itch. The vet also gave us some oatmeal shampoo to bathe her in, which helped soothe her skin. I think the essential oil was key in helping her have healthier skin.
    She also may be extra-sensitive to flea bites. We treated the yard and gave her monthly dose of preventative. I think it was probably a combination of food allergy and flea sensitivity.

  • Storm’s Mom

    What is she allergic/intolerant to?

  • Gina

    We recently adopted a Golden Retriever, about 1 year old. She had terrible itchy skin issues, licking and scratching almost constantly. We immediately put her on Blue Buffalo. The vet we took her to diagnosed her with allergies, and following a holistic approach, advised us to add essential oil and enzymes (to help in the absorption of essential nutrients) to her meals. It worked like a charm. Her scratching is minimal, and the new fur that is growing in to replace fur she scratched away is looking absolutely luxurious, so much softer and shinier than her old coat of fur.

  • Soleil

    Your list of Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods allows the mention of certain brands twice when there is more than one formulation worth mentioning of the same brand.

    While I see the Nulo Freestyle on your list I don’t see the Nulo Medal Series which is what I buy for my German Shepherd puppy and have had great success with. My puppy came to me a few weeks ago unvetted, with more than one type of worms, fleas and ticks, dry fur, weepy eyes and has turned around in just a short while with the help of basic vet care and a diet of the Nulo Medal Series dry puppy food.

    In comparing ingredients and estimated nutrient content I really like what I see in the Nulo Medal Series, which is on your 5 Star list, including the fact it has a fewer percentage of carbs than the Nulo Freestyle. The Medal Series is made for sale in the stores of a major pet supply retailer rather than for distribution on the open market but I was wondering what are the chances you could add it to your Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods list just for the fact that someone else may find it to be equally as good in helping rebuild or maintain their puppy’s physical condition as I have found it to be for mine.

  • Booger Picker

    You can order your food from dogfooddirect that’s where I get mine can’t find it in stores in my area.

  • disqus_sTWKowF3Mc

    Nature’s Variety Instinct is a great food. It’s an all stages food, so you wouldn’t have to change as the puppy grown older. My dogs have been on it for years. They have limited ingredient as well. One thing to consider is that if you plan to ever volunteer with your pet, some organizations discourage any form of raw diets and the non-limited ingredient Instinct has a freeze dried raw boost.

  • theBCnut

    So just what additives are supposed to stimulate growth? For the most part, I agree to avoid LBP foods, but certainly not because they have additives that stimulate growth. Most don’t have appropriate calcium levels which, along with over feeding issues, are the cause of joint issues in LBPs.

  • Crazy4cats

    I would do another fecal test. I feel bad for you because I went through this also. Unfortunately, my pups’ systems were very sensitive for a long time. Did you ever find out which type of test was performed? Here is some info on tests: http://www.petmd.com/blogs/fullyvetted/2009/march/whats-your-pets-fecal-test-anyway-6735. I’m so glad you had a normal stool today. Like you said, one step at a time. A couple of other supplements that were (and still are) helpful are: Gastriplex by Thorne, Vetri Pro BD by Vetri-Science and Phytomucil by Animal Essentials. You can read about these on: dogaware.com. I feed Victor grain free food. It contains a clay that is supposed to help with digestive disorders as well. Good luck. It sounds like you might be on the road to recovery!

  • enggirl

    I picked up some pumpkin last night and gave her a little over a teaspoon. This morning her stool was firm. YEAH! One BM at a time. Lets hope that we are finally making some progress with this.
    Ive been reading a lot about giardia and another parasite that gets into their intestines. My understanding is that even after the anti-biotics, it can take weeks for their system to get back to normal. If that is the case, then she hopefully feeling better because its being flushed from her system. But how will we know if its all gone?

  • Crazy4cats

    Good idea. Make sure that they do the centrifugation test. It is the best test to find giardia or coccidia. My pups poos were mustard color when they had giardia and more greenish when they had coccidia. Wishing you luck :)

  • enggirl

    Her poop has been very yellow. I will call the dr and have them redo the stool tests.

  • enggirl

    Thanks for the suggestions. I will try the pumpkin. And I will stop for a bag of Merrick dog food on the way home. When we switched foods, I was considering using it instead of the Blue Buffalo. From what I have read and heard so far, there can be issues with any food depending on your dog.

    I dont remember having all these issues with any of the dogs we had as kids. We had other pets as well and there were only a few options for dog food. And they did just fine.

    Now we have what is being sold as better food for the animal, but so many people are having so many more issues finding one that doesnt make their pet sick. The claims dont seem to fit the results.

  • Crazy4cats

    I agree with everything that crazy4dogs said. Please have another fecal done that is sent out to lab. Mine have had both giardia and coccidia and it can be hard to detect. Is their poop greenish or yellowish at all? I also used slippery elm supplements that helped a lot. You can learn about these on dogaware.com. There is a ton of information on diarrhea, IBS, IBD and leaky gut remedies on that site. I’ve been there and it is frustrating good luck!

  • Crazy4dogs

    enggirl, did your vet do a stool float or an actual microscopic inspection (he may have to send it out to a lab if he doesn’t have that capability). The microscopic check is really the best. My current foster had diarrhea on and off which turned into really bad diarrhea. The rescue’s vet tested for worms & said he was clear. 3 more days of constant diarrhea with varying between limited food and boiled chicken, rice & pumpkin made me take him back. This time they sent the stool sample out (which they should have done originally). He had hookworm, even though he had been wormed. I had my own dogs tested but my vet said they had to be retested in 3 weeks as they may have eggs that didn’t show up yet. Hooks eggs hatch after 3 weeks so you have to re-treat and sometimes more that 2-3 times.

    My 1st foster (failure) had giardia even though he had been treated. My own vet always does the microscopic. It could be worms There’s giardia that isn’t always caught. Coccidia could be another possibility. There are just so many possibilities. It could be food, but it could also be a worms or an organism. The other problem is that antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad. You might want to try starting her on a probiotic. I give my own dogs & foster dogs Kefir (plain) on a daily basis but you can find priobiotics @ pet stores as well.

    I would pull her off the BB if she’s back to diarrhea on it. You could try feeding boiled beef and rice (I always add a touch of pumpkin) and see if there is improvement. That would show a chicken intolerance. If that works I would choose a food that contains no chicken. There are foods out there that don’t contain chicken in various formulas. Earthborn doesn’t have chicken in several formulas, Zignature is another one that uses single source proteins. Instinct has several limited ingredient formulas that are very simple. The Blue Buffalo just might not agree with your girl. Another option is to move her to a fish based food. Most dogs do very well as it is very easily digestible, second only to eggs. I personally feed single protein foods and rotate my dogs diets. That’s how I found out my chocolate Lab had developed and allergy to lamb.

    Another natural way to help if it is a Gastrointestinal upset is Slippery Elm. It’s totally natural and helps control diarrhea. Good luck! I hope this helps.

  • Betsy Greer

    Lots of folks report problems with Blue Buffalo. Personally, I’m not a fan of their products. It could actually be the chicken that’s the problem. I think I’d look for a chicken free food to try her on. Chicken is actually the second ingredient in the food you’re feeding currently. Actually, most of Blue Buffalo’s foods contain chicken.

    In the meantime, try adding a couple of spoonfuls of plain, canned pumpkin to her food.

  • enggirl

    My little girl is 22 months old. She is current on her vaccinations, I believe she was last in for vaccinations in January. Until now she hasnt had any problems with food.

  • Betsy Greer

    How old is your pup?

    When did she last have vaccinations?

    Does she have any food intolerance issues that you’re aware of?

  • enggirl

    Well we have gone through about 8 days of chicken and rice meals after which we worked into a new dog food mixing 50/50. Blue Buffalo, Freedom, grain free, gluten free, beef dry dog food.
    The chicken and rice diet helped but wasnt 100% solid stools. And now that she is only eating her dog food she is still having diarrhea. We have taken her off all treats as well and there isnt a huge improvement. We have tried giving her a pepcid as instructed by the vet as well.
    What do we do now? Her behavior isnt the same either and seems to be more anxious as the days go by.
    Does anyone have any idea what could be going on with her?

  • Neva

    We have 7 pyrenees or pyrenees cross dogs in our family currently we are feeding our little pack Iams puppy food. We are looking for a puppy food with 0 grains but until we find one the Iams is working great for them.

  • Neva

    We are currently feeding our pyrenees pups Iams Smart Puppy. You want to avoid bags labeled as large breed dog food! Alot of them have additives that stimulate the growth! You just want a well balanced food with minimal or no additives. We are thinking about trying the brand at walmart (pure balance, I believe) that has no additives.

  • W0lfman

    No dog food is perfect for every dog, try adding pro biotics, that helped me with my yeast overgrowth, can’t hurt, & you may see a difference.

  • W0lfman

    Alphabetical, can you list the choices in ranking order, from the #1 pick #2 pick and so on?

  • theBCnut

    Your instincts are good.

  • theBCnut

    Go with the large breed. There are no special dietary concerns for small breeds except that they can chew the size kibble, but if you feed a large breed wrong, you can end up with hip and elbow dysplasia. Look over on the forum side for the thread on large and giant breed nutrition. Pg 15 has the newest list of foods that are OK for large puppies. Look for Hound Dog Mom’s posts.

  • theBCnut

    Some “breeders” will do anything(and some vets will help), and then they dump the puppies at the shelter when they don’t sell immediately, because they don’t want to continue to feed something that big.

  • Melanie Paris

    Awe thank you, he is definitely different than any puppy I’ve had before. lol, I’m not sure how that happened. I adopted him and the vet said that he believes him to be a mix breed of the two. I am sure hoping the corgi is the father, I’m not sure the corgi female would be able to carry the great pyrenees pups :( still unsure about what the best food would be for him and whether or not to go with the large breed or small breed.

  • Melanie Paris

    Thank you :) He is a sweet puppy. I don’t want to over feed him, nor do I want to over feed him. But the amount the food bag says to feed him just don’t seem like it’s doing the job. The ingredients are not what I am wanting him to eat either. I think that he should have a different brand of food, grain free and I’m just not sure which food is the best. I am also still unsure on whether I should be feeding him a large breed food or small breed food. My gut instinct tells me to go with the large breed due to the size of his paws. I called several vets in my area today, as was told by most of them to just give him Purina Puppy chow, and with all the grains and by products, that doesn’t seem healthy for him.

  • Cyndi

    A corgi and a great pyrenees made that?? How the heck did THAT happen?? Lol!! Cute little guy though!

  • theBCnut

    Cute puppy!! Never ever worry about whether a dog seems to feel full. Some dogs just don’t have that mechanism that tells them to stop eating. Feed ONLY according to his body condition and make sure you keep him lean until he is completely full grown. That’s to protect his joints until they are fully formed.

  • Melanie Paris

    Hello, I just adopted a 4 month old Corgi/Great Pyrenees mix, who is currently weighing 25 lbs. At the moment he is eating Hill’s Science Diet, but he doesn’t seem to be getting full. I am feeding 3 1/2 cups per day. I am looking for suggestions on puppy food that will be well suited for his breed as well as for his health. Any suggestions?

  • Shar24

    The grain free Salmon and Pea would probably be your best bet as a good place to start. The Lamb and brown rice might work as well, since it doesnt’ have corn in it and lamb is often used for dogs with sensitive stomachs and skin, but if not then you would want to eliminate the rice.

  • Shar24

    Walmart has a brand, Pure Balance, that a lot of people seem to think highly of, and they have grain free varieties, as well as some novel protien options for a reasonable price.

  • Shar24

    rude

  • enggirl

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with me. I dont even know if she has a problem with grains. But we will try a grain free food and go from there.

  • Cynthia

    I understand, been there done that. Most vets really aren’t schooled in pet nutrition. When we rescued Hershey our special needs dog, I already knew my vet didn’t care what I fed him, we had to put our 16 year old mini schnauzer to sleep after moving here, she was on semi good food (she refused the good stuff) I had asked him then about pet nutrition he ssid he didn’t care what I fed her as long as she was thriving. So when Hershey came along & was in horrible condition I knew not to even ask. I did my research & put him on blue buffalo & while many here on this board disapprove he’s thriving & isn’t paralyzed as 2 vets predicted he eould be by age 2 or 3, he’s now 8, thinks he’mighty dog. Follow your instincts, many here have tons of experience & excellent advice to offer. I’m glad I found this place. Good luck!

  • enggirl

    My exclamation was not about changing her food. I was not aware that chicken could also be an issue with her. The instructions from the bet were so vague and non-committal that Im not sure that what they suggested was the right thing to do. They gave us a paper with a few dozen different foods to try. A FEW DOZEN! With no indication of what to avoid. After reading through the commentaries here, I have picked up on some things to avoid and also somethings to try. I dont like playing the needle in a haystack game with my dogs health any more than I do with my childrens. Changing vets is also on my list of things to do. Thanks for the info. And as for changing foods or not changing foods regularly…. it would depend on my dog and what works best for her.

  • Cynthia

    Wow, I didn’t mean to imply that if your dog is sick DUE to his food not to change it, from what you’re describing here something definitely is not right & I too would have suspected the food & yes I would have changed foods in a heartbeat! I’ve been VERY lucky in that none of my dogs have ever been affected by their food, the special needs dog does have issues from time to time w/metacam &Tramadol which we rarely have to use now that he gets regular Adaquan injections & like your vet I was told to give him chicken & rice for a few days to settle his tummy, personally, I found that the babyfood, stage 2 foods Ham (small jars) worked best, added a generic pepcid ac pill & it calmed his tummy
    down well. I was simply saying that
    as a rule I do not believe in constantly
    changing their food, but if you have a
    sick dog due to the food, by all means
    a change is needed. I hope your dog
    gets well soon. The same thing
    hapened to my cat. She had been put
    on a canned food for her urinary tract
    issues, started vomiting, unable to
    keep her food down. Crazy4Cats
    actually helped me find out about cat
    nutrition & she has made a full
    recovery. I wish you & your dog well.

  • enggirl

    You cant be serious! My 22 month old mini-Australian Shepherd has been sick for 4 weeks now. I noticed her energy level was lacking just prior to our vacation. She was anxious and passing soft stool, then diarrhea and vomiting. Her appetite has declined. Last week the vet took blood tests and stool samples and said there was nothing in the results. They put her on an anti-biotic and de-wormer (out of precaution) and told us to give her CHICKEN and RICE. There has been no improvement in her stool and she vomits occasionally, which seems to be from the anti-biotic. She has been eating Natures Choice, Lamb and Rice. Today we are going to get her new food. I hope that a new food does the trick.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Thank you for changing your comment to read “many of their foods are essentially the same” instead of “all of their foods are essentially the same”

  • Cynthia

    Thank you, I didn’t see the packed in water in the other post, trying to get my caffeine in me! I know a lot of people are for raw diets, I do see the benefit & I know all 3 dogs would love such a diet, but given the success I’ve had w/the special needs dog I really do not want to make such big changes in his diet. I amso glad I found this board, everyone here is very helpful & friendly

  • Cynthia

    Sorry didn’t see the packed in water, not enough coffee in me yet, thank you!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Cynthia,

    You want sardines packed in water, not oil. You can drain the liquid of our pour it over the kibble.

    Also, if someone else has already suggested this, forgive my redundancy. There is a fantastic little download written by Steve Brown, who many consider to be one of the authorities on raw feeding, about how to easily augment a diet of kibble with fresh whole foods. The download costs $2.95 and is worth every penny! http://www.seespotlivelonger.com/home/sll/page_41/see_spot_live_longer_the_abc_way___electronic_down.html

  • Cynthia

    Hi, love your pic here, sorry I missed your reply & thank you for this information. I’m certainly willing to move them to a different protein within the Blue Buffalo line, the duck being the one I would switch to. I really do appreciate everyone’s input here, everyone has given some excellent information. Their next bag of Blue Buffalo will be duck. Thank you again

  • Cynthia

    I will try the sardines! Thank you! I think all 3 dogs would like them. Do you drain off the oil or just mix it into the kibble?

  • Cynthia

    Thanks, I do want the best for all of them, he’s turned out to be our little miracle dog. They also get Glucosamine & Chondroitin w/MSM & Vitamin C & Manganese Advanced Hip & Joint formula, it has really helped the special needs dog. He gets regular pain injections but other than that unless he has a bad flare up he’s not on Tramadol or Metacam though once in a while he needs a muscle relaxer. To look at him you’d never know anything was wrong, his x-rays however tell a much different story. Small dog w/a BIG attitude!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Cynthia,

    There are 5 varieties in Blue’s Life Protection formulas that do NOT contain any chicken and 11 varieties in Blue’s Basics line that do NOT contain any chicken.

    The proteins in the Life Protection and Basics lines that do not contain any chicken are:

    Fish
    Lamb
    Salmon
    Turkey
    & Duck

  • Crazy4cats

    Sardines packed in water once or twice a week is another way to make their kibble healthier.

  • Cyndi

    Well, I guess I certainly can’t blame you there. Atleast you’re not feeding him crap food, but it truly is better for dogs to have a rotational diet. Keep doing what you’re doing, you must be doing a great job!

  • Cynthia

    Thank you for your kind words. All of the dogs are always offered fresh veggies (canned as a last resort then I rinse them like crazy first to get as much sodium off as possible) w/their meals, Green beans, tomatoes & zuccinni are the favorites, the Pekignese & the fat Chiuahua LOVE poached eggs, the other dog won’t touch eggs no matter how they are prepared. Other than that, they have the Blue Buffalo, no table scraps.

  • Crazy4cats

    It sounds like you have done an amazing job with this pup. I understand your reluctance to switch foods. No matter how much common sense it makes, it would be scary! Do you ever give him any fresh, canned or healthy leftovers to him? This could at least add a little variety to his diet. Good luck!