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 4 or 5 stars by the Advisor.

And of course, it must be grain free.

For more information about grain free dog food, be sure to visit the following 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.

  • Crazy4cats

    OOh, I’ve never heard that about Pure Vita. I think it is made by a reputable company. I don’t believe half of the reviews you can find on the internet. I know that people post fake/false ones all the time. It’s too bad because it makes it tough to wade through them. Anyway, there have been others on this site that give Canine Caviar a thumbs up. It has millet as its carb. Millet is an ancient gluten-free grain. I hope it works out for you. Good luck!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Katie-

    Pure Vita is from the same company that makes NutriSource, KLN Family Foods. They are manufactured by Tuffy’s Pet Foods and do indeed have excellent standards and quality control practices.

    Unfortuntely the quality of a food does not ensure it will work for your dogs needs.

  • Katie

    I have been reading other reviews and called local dog store. I guess Pure Vita does not have the best standards. I have read about dogs throwing up blood and etc. The bag was not that expensive since I ordered it from chewy.com. I was just told to stay away from potatoes. So, I went to the local dog store and they had Canidae, but it had sweet potatoes and all the girls who worked there, recommend it for my dog. After he ate the food tonight, he was rubbing his mouth/nose all over the carpet and an hour or so later, he was licking himself a lot, to the point where his fur was wet. I felt bad for him. Maybe, he does not do well with all potatoes, including sweet potatoes. I got in touch with chewy.com and they offered a list of dog food that was 1. grain free. 2. no peas 3. no potatoes of any kind. I was thinking about going with Canine Caviar. I found this: https://www.chewy.com/canine-caviar-limited-ingredient/dp/113393

    As far as the ears, it comes and goes. When dog first wakes up, his ears look great. There is nothing coming out of his ears, no wax or anything, Just a little pink/red. I think the doctor was the one who recommend the Monistat for his ears as this clears up any yeast infection. I also, try to fold back his ears too. I was going to try the Zymox maybe.

    Thank you for all the help! I am so glad chewy.com was able to give me a long list of foods with no peas, grain free and no potatoes. I highly recommend anyone ordering food goes w/ chewy.com!

    Has anyone tried Zignature? I know it has a lot of sodium. My dog seems to do well with it though.

    Thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Crazy4cats

    It is hard to say what caused your dog’s diarrhea. It sounds like it was a one time thing at this point. I think Pure Vita is an excellent food and wish I could afford to feed it more often! Is your dog allergic to potatoes? Does it matter if they are white or sweet potatoes? Usually dirty, waxy, yeasty ears are due to allergies which could be environmental or food. Also moisture, particles in the ear, or the structure of the ear could be the cause as well. My dogs have floppy ears and tend to get yucky ears. Most likely due to them retaining moisture. Regular maintenance is helping keep them infection free. I use Zymox ear cleaner on a regular basis and it works great. I also try to fold back their ears in the evening to let them air out some. I’ve also heard that Vetericyn Ear Rinse works well. I think it will be very tough to find a grain free food that does not contain any potatoes or peas. Plus, I doubt it is the potatoes causing the yeasty ears unless your dog is allergic to them. On a side note, if your dog’s ears are actually inflamed and infected, not just yucky, it will need to be seen by a vet to get the infection cleared up before you start cleaning them on a regular basis. I hope you find a food that works for you. Good luck!

  • Katie

    Hi! So my dog has been having yeasty ears and we were told it might be the potatoes in the food. Originally we were on Fromm. My dog is 5 years old and has occasional seizures. We were also told to stay away from rosemary, so that cuts out a lot of dog food. I recently had a few samples of the Pure Vita Grain Free Beef & Red Lentils. He ate it with no problem and without a ‘topper’! He is very picky about his dry food. Anyhow, I was debating between Pure Vita and Zignature. I am so confused now. ๐Ÿ™ I ordered from Chewy.com and order a 15 pound of the Pure Vita Grain Free Beef & Red Lentils, its been 2 days since he started back up on it. We had him on Zignature for a couple of weeks till we decided which brand he liked. So, the past 2 days, he seemed fine till tonight. He has had normal poop but tonight on his last walk of the night, he had diarrhea one time only. I felt awful. Then I began to think, could it have been the non-fat plain yogurt? He’s been having some yogurt in the morning and at night. I just don’t know anymore. After reading some of these reviews, I’m scared to go back to the Pure Vita. I thought maybe it was a bad batch of yogurt? That was the last thing he had tonight around 7pm (we went on a walk at 9pm). I’m so confused. I don’t know what to do. Any advice? Sometimes he is a little hesitant to eat the yogurt, I think maybe because it is so cold, he doesn’t like extreme temperatures. Any advice please? I’m looking for a grain-free dog food with no rosemary and no potatoes and if possible no peas (but no pea allergy here) and no chicken. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you!

  • Pitlove

    I don’t know that there is any concrete science linking grains to cancer, but if there is I’d be interested in reading the literature.

    Royal Canin does not contain artificial coloring.

  • Sandy. M

    Well I’ve lost 2 shitzu to Cancer & I know from my experience I was told to stay away from grains. Although I’ve never had a giant breed I’ve been doing research as I want to keep him as healthy and happy as I can. I read the labels and grain free are usually higher in Protein and I’ve read that Saints should not get more than 22% protein and 9% fat.

    He does well on his current canin royal food but would like something more natural with no preservatives or coloring.

    Thanks for your input. As u can see I’ve been doing my homework but would like some guidance and would like to hear of similar cases.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Sandy-

    I find my two large breed dogs do better with a grain inclusive food. What is your concern with grains?

  • Sandy. M

    I just inherited a 3 yr. old Male St. Bernard 215lbs. I currently food my other dog Grain free earthborn dry kibble “& occcasionally add some Stella chewys freeze dried raw. My St. has been on Royal Canin German Shepard breed dry kibble. But it contains grains. I like that it’s a larger size kibble for him. I want to do what is best for him. I’d welcome any advice especially if anyone out there with same breed? Tia. Sandy

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/choosing-the-right-diet-for-your-pet/ Article by a veterinarian that specializes in nutrition (DVM, DACVIM)
    http://skeptvet.com/Blog/category/nutrition/ Science-based veterinary medicine blog written by a veterinarian.
    Hope this helps.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    My neighbor’s dog is doing very well on Zignature kibble, she was previously feeding Fromm and was happy with it for a couple of years, but then the dog was having occasional GI upset, nothing severe, but she decided to make a change and so far, sees improvement.
    I use Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea as a base with good results. I also use Newman’s Organic Advanced Formula kibble for my other dog, this one has grains, though. Check Chewy.com for reviews

  • Susan

    Hi I looked at the Zignature Trout & Salmon meal formula on dog food adviser site where they are rated with stars, then I looked at Fromm four star nuritionals Game Bird formula on DFA, the Zignature is more pea, pea protein & pea flour heavy & has Beet Pulp only 2 meat proteins in the first 5 ingredients.. The Fromm seems to have more meats & less pea protein, peas, in the first 4 ingredient there’s 3 meats, all up I counted 6 different meat proteins in the Fromm formula & has less carbs then the Zignature Trout & Salmon formula, maybe rotate with different brands & pick a different protein with different ingredients to the last kibble your dog late ate….
    Have you looked at Canidae Pure formulas? my boy did small poos, had no gas & his poo didn’t smell when I feed him Canidae Pure Land Bison…. there’s so many good kibbles.

  • Michael Lambright

    I am looking to switch dog foods to either Fromm or Zignature dry dog foods. Which would be better.

  • Susan

    Hi CV, look for a kibble without the Chickpeas, Lentils, peas..a kibble that is lower in protein around 25% protein some dogs don’t do real well on some of these Grain Free kibbles, look for a kibble that has brown rice, sweet potatoes, potato not many ingredients a limited ingredient kibble is best then you can add whole fresh foods to the kibble…. a lot of these rescue dogs have eaten a poor quality diet so when they are feed 4-5 star kibbles they do too well, it has taken my rescue boy 3 yrs & now finally he can eat most foods but he does better eating a kibble that has rice, sweet potatoes, potatoes & peas further down the ingredient list…

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Grain free kibble usually has chickpeas and stuff, not a big deal for the dog (regarding the gas).
    But, if it bothers you, mix with a more bland kibble such as Newman’s Own Advanced Formula (1/2 and 1/2) that may make a difference.
    Check chewy.com
    Hope this helps: https://www.mspca.org/angell_services/choosing-the-right-diet-for-your-pet/
    “Grain free diets have become all the rage in the last few years. I suspect this has stemmed from greater recognition of gluten sensitivity in humans. Most pet food companies have jumped on the band wagon following the marketing success of grain free human diets. The truth of the matter is that there are no dog or cat studies showing a health benefit to grain free foods. A myth has been perpetuated that grains are unhealthy. In fact, whole grains contribute vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids and are highly digestible by dogs and cats. Allergies to grains are actually very rare, and only the Irish Setter breed has been demonstrated to have a gluten sensitivity. Many grain free diets substitute potatoes and tapioca, which have less protein, more sugar, and less fiber. And typically these come at a higher cost”.

  • CV

    Hi’
    I just adopted a two year old bull mastiff female who was eating Origen salmon and WOW, the gas is out of control. Poor thing, She has got to be so uncomfortable. So, I’m in search of a grain free food that won’t cause so much horrible gas. Any suggestions?

  • Susan

    HI Nancy, I also feed TOTW, when the Pacific Stream is nilly finished give the TOTW Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb a try, my boy loves it & it doesn’t smell like dog kibble, it has the same amount fat%-15% & Protein%-25% as the Pacific Stream, so changing kibble doesn’t cause any poo problems…

  • Nancy

    I just switched to Taste of the Wild and my 2 rescue dogs love it! I switched because the previous food they were on must have changed their formula and gave my girls diarrhea. Their stools are now firm, probably due to the sweet potatoes as well as the chicory root. Plus it is grain free and one of my girls locks her front feet frequently…not sure if it is allergy related or behavioral. Bonus…it comes in several different flavor options, all grain free. So I can change up their diet a little so they don’t get bored with one flavor. This will help out my daughter’s Great Pyranees who is a picky eater. All dogs are currently eating the Pacific Stream with salmon and they all love it! And as far as cost, it was surprisingly affordable and made here in the U.S.
    http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/#home

  • ChefPattyO

    the food I use is not on there either and its a 5 star you can only get at the pet stores.#baffled??

  • ChefPattyO

    Canidae chicken for puppies

  • ChefPattyO

    I rescued 2 dogs and I had allergy issues with their diet.After a few switches I went with Canidae pure they have several flavors like chicken,salmon,lamb,and life stages for all ages.The price runs about $50 a 30# bag but you dont feed them as much as you would a lesser quality food. I also stay away from processed treats and give my dogs fresh veggies and fruits as snacks.They love carrots,string beans ,apples,blueberries(great for the urinary tract!)can/fresh pumpkin when their bellies are upset its great for diarrhea! broccoli and others.

  • ChefPattyO

    Blue Buffalo brands have been recalled several times due to high moisture content resulting in mold.Just be careful with this line of dog food.I know this because I get sent alerts to my email with all recalls of dog foods.They just now recalled Ceasars wet can food due to plastic fragments being a choking hazard on certain lots.

  • Robert OZinga

    Don’t trust vets. Dollars are their number 1, 2 and 3 priorities while their ignorance is rampant. I research their recommendations and found them quite often wrong. One such was last month. Rescued a Vizsla pup from Texas and took her for a general check. Vet said that she should have a fecal test for a “very nasty bug from Texas” The nasty bug turned to be the “Kissing Bug” which is responsible for Garda (not Giardia). Garda is incurable and is found in the blood, not in the digestive track.

  • Kenneth Duke

    Interesting they didn’t include Presidents Choice Nutrition First Grain Free. They have rated it 5 Stars. Maybe because it is a supermarket brand?

  • Susan

    Hi Jennifer, the best test for vomiting is have an Endoscope & Biopsies on the stomach, my boy was vomiting, I thought stomach ulcers, he ended having the Helicobacter Pylori & he suffers with food sensitivities, Biopsies results said IBD… the best & only way to find out food sensitivities is to do an elimination diet or feed a kibble with very limited ingredients like “California Natural” Lamb Meal & Rice, it has just 3 ingredients, Lamb Rice & Sunflower Oil… or feed a cooked diet 1 lean protein & boiled sweet potatoes..
    http://www.californianaturalpet.com/products

  • Jennifer Dockray

    Hi Ivan, we’ve just had bloods sent to labs for these tests. Can you tell me your dogs symptoms prior to the tests being done. It’s a very worrying time but our Labrador hasn’t been well for the last three weeks. On & off with vomitting. She’s been under the vet the whole time. Had X-rays etc but still seems unwell. We’re awaiting her results coming back. Hopefully with some answers.

  • theBCnut

    Unfortunately, tests for food allergies are well known to produce both false negatives and false positives, so the gold standard for allergy testing is the elimination diet.

  • Ivan Thompson

    To everyone who thinks their dog may have allergies,if you haven’t already,please see your vet and have them send a blood sample out to be tested.I did this a few weeks ago and I learned that my dog is allergic to 29 different things 9 of which are food related and this gives me a spicific group of items to avoid when looking for a food he can eat.

  • Ivan Thompson

    My dog Ree was having problems,I had the vet do a blood test and send it out to be checked,he is allergic to 29 different things.9 of which are food related and am still trying to find a dry food he can eat.Please see your vet to get a accurate list of your dogs possable allergies.

  • RachelandMike Burton

    Good food for 6month golden doodle? i have acana now and he doesn’t like it:(

  • Susan

    Hi just be careful I rescued a dog & he wasn’t use to eating high protein, high fat kibble & was probably feed super market crap food….start off with a kibble with limited ingredient with the fat around 14% & protein around 26% then after 1 month & if poos are firm you can pick another kibble with a higher protein & fat % in the end my boy is doing really well on “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb fat is 15% & protein is 25% & Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/

  • theBCnut

    Most of us feed a rotation of different foods, since we feel that no one food is perfect and the gut is healthier on a variety of foods. So I’ll list a few of the foods I like. NutriSource, Earthborn Holistic, Nature’s Variety, Nature’s Logic, Acana, Annamaet, Dr. Tim’s

  • Rhonda Leopold

    Can someone recommend a dry dog food that is good for German shepherds. I just adopted 2 rescues and the female who is about a year old has her ribs showing. I want a good quality food for them. I’m not worried about cost.

  • InkedMarie

    Late in seeing this but pretty sure Annamaet Lean is grainfree.

  • GussieAndre

    Does anyone know of a Grain Free dog food?

  • GussieAndre

    Nice Post

  • most vets have very limited knowledge of nutrition.. case in point they recommend and sell garbage like Science Diet.. that is because they get 1 day nutrition training in school… if anything see a holistic vet…

  • sandy

    I have good results with Nutrisource Grain Free and Nature’s Logic (contains millet) on a regular basis. But I also sometimes top their kibble with some freeze dried raw bits or Core Air Dried for variety. They will also eat plain kibble. Actually, they eat everything from kibble to raw.

  • V-Ness Ferns

    I have a 2 yr. Toy Fox Terrier Pom mix and a Pug. The Toy Fox Pom is a picky eater. He grew up on Royal Canin, which was recommended by the vet, however I have now discovered that the brand uses by-products instead of good meats. I then switched to Blue Mountain Freedom Grain Free – both the dogs eventually liked it, however i noticed their poo’s were not solid..more on the sot watery side. I have tried Fromm, and Acana, but I have not had much luck there. We switched to raw food (chicken) on recommendation of a family business groomer that sells dog food that we go to often. The pug ate the raw chicken almost immediately, but the Toy Fox Pom was not having any. I tried tricks like searing it a little, adding cheese on the top, chicken broth and garlic salt. The Toy Fox Pom did have runny poo’s the first week. And the day has come, three weeks later, he did not want any this morning. He was eating it till last evening and the pug now prefers a little sear. I am worried now and it has been a struggle getting them to eat the food for a few days now. I want to switch back to dry kibble. I would love something grain-free, nutritious, ideally no unnecessary fillers – yes the holy grail of foods. What do you guys recommend?

  • theBCnut

    If you are on facebook, friend Rodney Habib. He is at a facility this week where they are looking into the best diet to fight cancer.

  • Shawna

    I’ve heard that grain free, or more importantly low carb, has been recommended but I don’t know that there’s any solid evidence on this. In fact, there are carbohydrates that have actually been shown to prevent cancer and kill cancer.

    Some foods that prevent cancer include garlic, the spice turmeric and an enzyme in pineapple called bromelain. These foods help the cells that are old or damaged to die – this is called apoptosis.

    There’s a wonderful Ted TV talk given by oncologist Dr. William Li called “Can we eat to starve cancer”. Dr. Li discusses “antiangiogenic” foods. Antiangogenic foods cause the blood vessels that feed a tumor to die off, thus starving the tumor and killing it. Some antiangiogenic foods that are suitable for canines are – turmeric, bromelain and garlic (in appropriate amounts of course) as well as berries, broccoli, certain mushrooms etc.

    I recently learned that raw honey (definitely a carb) is also antiogenic. Therapeutic hemp oil is also quite beneficial as is therapeutic grade frankincense essential oil and copaiba essential oil. DVM Dr. Melissa Shelton has a therapeutic line suitable for pets on her animaleo website.

    I too would personally avoid kibble for a more natural diet. Possibly a commercial raw or freeze dried or cooked option (where available). Feeding foods with the least chemicals is ideal. The environmental working group has a list of fruits and veggies that are the most chemically contaminated called the “dirty dozen”. If you feed any of these foods it could be wise to seek out organic versions. Grass finished or naturally fed animal proteins are going to have a more appropriate balance of omega 6 to 3 likely making them less inflammatory and more desirable to feed.

    I like Answer’s brand raw goat milk and their fish stock as well.

    My foster dog Lola came in with cancer and after six months of just diet and essential oils, although not 100% cured, she was 90% better. My friends foster dog was give 4 weeks to live due to a very aggressive cancer in her mouth. That was 9 weeks ago and the cancer has shrunk to half it’s original size when diagnosed. Although Ebony is not out of the woods she is definitely heading in the right direction with nothing but the above mentioned dietary options. I believe the right foods and nutrition can truly heal.

  • Babslynne
  • SB

    Has anyone had any experience with a particular food that slowed the progress of cancer cells in their dog? I was told a grain free diet may help. I want the best possible brand / food. (Of course we will home cook too)

  • Itโ€™s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian before changing
    your petโ€™s diet with a new type of dog food, especially if you want to
    give your dog supplements of a special type of dog food or if your dog
    has race- or disease-specific food needs. It is important to use the
    correct dosage of dog food if you give your dog supplements in the food,
    otherwise you risk giving your dog an overdose of minerals or vitamins.
    Not all veterinarians at the matter on dog nutrition, but they often
    see many nutrition-related cases in their practice. The best vets give
    you an honest answer about the depth of their knowledge in a field, and
    return to you with the answer to your question.

  • Eating fast does not have to be synonymous with eating poorly. This
    premise of nutrition is not only valid for people, but for dogs. โ€œThe
    homemade diet, if it is balanced, can serve to feed a dog in the same
    way as commercial food,โ€ says Ignacio Arija, professor of Animal
    Nutrition at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the Complutense
    University of Madrid. In this proportion it is precisely the key to
    preparing a nutritious and economical recipe for dog at home.

  • amy broer

    After trying 10 different foods my dog, with stomach issues, like Taste of the Wild Brand Dry food. If she has Grains she get constant gas and diarrhea.

  • Derek zarn

    U want a diet dog food? Feed them less and exercise them more. Dummy.

  • DOBIE lover

    maybe wilderness blue buffalo

  • DOBIE lover

    Try blue buffalo

  • Mya Garcia

    I have a Alaskan Malamute puppy and we feed her “taste of the wild” she loves it, it’s not too expensive, and is easy for her to digest. At first we had her on puppy chow and her little belly was so swollen. Since the switch she’s been doing great.

  • rev

    Paleo here.

    Their (and your…) ‘allergies’ may be a normal reaction to petroleum-based chemicals and GMOs in the stuff. Notice I avoid the word ‘food’, because with all those chemicals, it isn’t food!

  • Bobby Garcia

    I have a 3 month old Siberian Husky who has had soft stool and was suggested a non grain diet. What is the best one for a growing puppy?

  • Chelsea Kolenc

    I have a two year shiba inu who has become a picky eater as well as his, 1 1/2 year old puggle mutt, brother. They have been on Royal canine, and both are starting to refuse their food. My shiba also has issues with throwing up. What would be a good grain, corn, soy free, sensitive stomach food to feed my babies?

  • Taylor Moon

    Thank you!

  • theBCnut

    I’m having some luck with Acana Singles. Look for foods listed as Limited Ingredient Diets. You can do a search on that term on this site.

  • Taylor Moon

    My 2 year old husky malamute cross suffers from what I’m almost positive is food related allergies, and unfortunately she is quite picky with her food.

    Does anyone know of a good brand I could try with her? Thank you! (:

  • Bobby dog

    If you also feed wet food Wellness makes a Core Weight Management canned recipe that my dog loves. It has a great fat to protein ratio.

    http://brands.wellnesspetfood.com/core/dogs/wet-weight-management

  • Jean Harman

    Peter loves the core rf! thanks so much!

  • Jean Harman

    Thanks very much!!!

  • Candice Tuchlinsky

    My dog lost over 4lbs in 3 months switching to Acana light and fit. She recently had surgery for a torn cruciate ligament, so she wasn’t very active at all during that time! She’s down to just over 20lbs now, so that 4lbs was almost 1/5 of her body mass!

  • Jean Harman

    Thank you VERY much!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Jean Harman:
    Wellness Core reduced fat and Annamaet Lean are two I feed.

  • Jean Harman

    Does anyone know of a Grain Free — DIET dog food? help!

  • Jean Harman

    does anyone

  • CalliMae Malec

    Try Earthborn Meadow feast

  • my4k9s

    I was also reading about raw diets, that soft dog food is actually better than hard food, that carbs break down into sugars so one should be watchful of rice and sweet potatoes, etc. The research is arduous and frustrating. My dogs are breeder rescue purebreds. 2 strikes against them from the start. I’m not noticing any problems at (we’re guessing) 6 years old and 3 years old, but I don’t want them fed things that aren’t necessary or good for them. I’ll look for a nutritionist today. Thank you for your valued input

  • Pitlove

    Let me claify that a veterinary nutritionist is different from a veterinary practioner, which is what you are refering to. Nutritionists are specialists in the field of canine nutrition that hold Ph.D’s and are board certified. They have advanced training in nutrition and I would absolutely look to their guidance, along with your regular veterinary practioner.

    While I can agree that most veterinary practioners are not highly educated in nutrition because it is not their speciality, some do take the time to take continuing education classes in nutrition to be more of a well rounded doctor.

  • my4k9s

    Thank you for the guidance. What we all want here is to do the best for our animals. That’s circumvented by misleading advertisement and some strong opinions. I don’t completely trust any professional when it comes to my animals. I doubt that all of the advertisements they have for products in their offices, that they recommend as well, are pro bono. My experience has been that besides the shots that they get and the heartworm and flea/tick meds I buy at the vet, the best medical treatment throughout the years has been holistic. Thank you for taking the time to clarify the chicken debate

  • Pitlove

    Chicken should not automatically be removed from the diet because it is a “known” allergen. Not every dog will develop a chicken hypersensitivity. It’s irrationale to eliminate a protein or carb from the diet if there is no known sensitivity.

    Most veterinary nutritionists will tell you that the best way to feed your dog is the rotate through the non-exotic proteins, chicken and beef included. You want to have the novel proteins available to you if your dog should ever need them.

    I find that if you look to professionals and research articles for how to feed your dog, instead of consumer reviews on each brand (which is what most people mean by “they have done so much research”) you will find it much easier to make a proper decision for which food to choose.

  • Kathryn Kennedy

    I use Merrick grain free. They have a variety of nonchicken flavors. The problem most people seem to have when they switch from a grocery store brand to a quality dog food is that they are overfed. The quality foods are nutrient dense and lack the fillers of the grocery store brands, therefore they need to eat less. A plus side to this also, is that they poop less as well. If your dog is of sufficient weight at this time, he would not need to be on a low calorie diet.

    It took me a while to figure out portion size for our pitbull. We have three large dogs and they all get one cup twice daily, look great, have plenty of energy, and are of sufficient weight.

    Two of the dogs weigh approximately 60 pounds while the third weighs about 50. The 50 pound dog still gets the same as the other two because she is much more active and runs a lot. And uses the same amount of calories as the other two.

    You can look up on the Internet how a dog of sufficient weight should look. They should taper from the shoulders to the rear and barely see the rib cage. Just as fit humans of sufficient weight, you will see the outline of the ribs with muscle definition.

    NEVER Feed your dog food from your table!!! Dogs are dogs, they are not humans. Not to say a healthy treat is not good for them – some like small bits of banana. But, be careful because some things such as chocolate and avocado can be toxic.

    I would start with whatever recommendations on the bag for your dogs ideal weight and go from there. If they are lazy and sleep a lot and don’t play too much, they may not need as much. If they are very active dogs, they may need a little more. You just have to go by the dog. You will get there, just be patient.

    One more thing, even though fleas and food allergies are on the top of the list, there are lots of other things that can trigger allergies in dogs as well. I had a sheltie who had to take allergy shots because he was allergic to grasses, weeds, fleas, dust mites… and more. So if the food doesn’t help, he may need to be allergy tested.

    Good luck and I hope this helps you as well as others!!

  • my4k9s

    Thanks for the information on chicken. Just when I thought I was making intelligent choices after doing research on dog foods. There’s so much information to absorb. Which grain free, chicken free hard foods for small breeds do you know to be of high quality? Thanks!

  • Tara White

    My dog responded very well to Kangaroo. Unfortunately, it is now banned in California. What is the best alternative to try next? She doesn’t seem to like rabbit too much. She was on salmon for a while but started to show signs of being allergic. She can NOT have any kind of chicken or grains.

  • Kathryn Kennedy

    Not sure why this drastic of a change. This sounds like something you would do for a toothless, sick, elderly dog… Not one that is just suffering from allergies and overweight?!?!? There are PLENTY of very good L.I.D… limited ingredient diet dog foods specifically for dogs with allergies. CHICKEN is one of the primary culprits for dog food allergies, so I would try to avoid anything with chicken or chicken meal. The diet he is on right now, to me, sounds like one that would lend itself to early tooth loss due to the lack of need to chew his food?!?!? Dogs NEED to chew!! He is way too young to be on a “baby food” diet. I have a 12 yo Pitbull Who was overweight and had pain in his low back and just simply needed to be fed less and placed on a “senior” diet and is now at a healthy weight, beautiful coat and pain-free. Good luck!!

  • Kathryn Kennedy

    I have a ‘chorkie’ I acquired at 8 weeks who is now 1 yr old. She, too, was on pedigree. I have an older dog I feed Merrick grain free and did wonders. She was a rescue found on the the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, FL on the brink of death. I initially started her on Blue Buffalo, altho she gained weight and did look better, her shedding was HORRIBLE. I found out that an allergy to chicken can cause this, so I switched to Merrick grain free buffalo and she is gorgeous and VERY healthy, so I went with Merrick puppy. My little chorkie is following in her big sis’s health steps. I give Merrick a HUGE thumbs up!!

  • Joey Michelle Whittington Robi

    Our Boxer takes Apoquel. It is the only thing that helps his itching. Our Boxer is 12. We also give him a human fish oil twice a day. He almost died two years ago from a mystery illness they were never able to diagnose. He is doing much better now (as long as he takes the Apoquel). We spent a lot of money trying to determine what is causing the itching and did the food allergy trial to no avail. I continue to feed him grain free just to be safe. We use Taste of the Wild.

  • Brandy

    Just got an 8 week old chihuahua who weighs 1.2 lbs and he came eating pedigree puppy from the breeder but i would like him to be on a proper diet for his small size . Any suggestions?

  • anton cassar

    I Have an 8 year old white boxer. He weighs approx 40 kg, he suffers from allergies & shows mostly around his eyes they are swollen at the moment. The dog is blind. we decided to put him on a free grain diet.
    Our Vet put him on a diet because he used to weigh 45 kg last year.

    We give him 400g of boiled chicken breast with some 125g puree veg. The veg consists of carrots, marrows & occasionally potatoes twice a day. In between we give him squashed banana with yoghurt.

    Any better suggestions?

  • DogFoodie

    The review for the potato & such formula is included here:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/natural-balance-limited-ingredient-diets-dry/

    That formula received 2.5 stars on this site.

  • Helen

    Just wondering if you will be analyzing

    Natural Balance L.I.D. Grain-Free Potato & Duck Dog Food?
    I read all the info on the bag but it does not have the percentages
    like your site gives. =)
    Thank you

  • Melissa Rachels

    Hi Karrla,
    I’m doing some reading for my golden mix with persistent ear ilinfections. I came across this article to share. http://www.thehonestkitchen.com/articles/caring-for-your-dog-s-ears-naturally/

  • Babslynne

    I use Zymox Otic HC 1.0% drops for my dogs ears, look it up on Amazon and read their reviews. I would also recommend probiotics, for the same reason women eat yogurt to keep yeast infections away.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for adopting an adult shelter dog! I foster many from Kill Shelters and am familiar with stress diarrhea. He might be a bit soft just because of a change in his environment. The shelters only feed what they can afford or what is donated.

    The others have given you some very good advice. I also would probably start a transition with a 3-4 star grain free food since he has been on a very low quality food. Do a slow transition and add the probiotics. The others have given you some very good food choices. You might look at 4health, Victor or Propac Ultimates if they are closer to your price range.

    Good luck with your pup! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Pitlove

    Budget wise the Fromm Family Classics Adult is the best quality for the price.
    http://www.chewy.com/dog/fromm-family-classics-adult-formula/dp/32646

    Although I do agree that you’d have more options with NutriSource.

  • Sara

    Thank you! I will definitely look into a probiotic and will transition slowly. Luckily I’ve never had an issue with a transition in the past even when I switched my cats off meow mix (oh the days of total ignorance ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) so hopefully this will go smooth as well. I’m thinking of picking up some plain pumpkin purรฉe and adding a little of that to help his stools right now as well. I think read that it was ok for dogs, I’ve done it with my hedgehogs.

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Sara,
    On top left, click dry dog foods. I’d choose a 3 or 4 star food and make the transition very slowly to the new food. NutriSource would be a good one to try.

  • theBCnut

    If he is itchy now, I would assume he has some food sensitivities. Chicken and grains are common culprits, so I would start with a food that doesn’t have those. You might have luck with some of the NutriSource line or some of the Earthborn line. Both are good quality foods that are reasonably economical. Since he is on Dog Chow, transition very slowly. Dogs that are getting nutrition that poor often get upset stomach from changing to a more nutrient dense food. You might want to give him probiotics while you are changing.

  • Sara

    Hello,

    My husband and I recently adopted a mix breed dog that is around 2years old. The shelter thought he was lab/hound mix. He quite a calm dog. Medium energy level. I’m new to dog ownership and don’t know where to start with this dog food search. I’ve been up to my ears in a search for a good cat food and a good mix for my hedgehogs so I’m no stranger to the frustrations of finding a good food. Right now our dog is on Purina Dog Chow because that is what he was eating at the shelter. We want to be ready to mix in the new food when we are getting close to the bottom of his food bag. We aren’t made of money and since we have no history of this dogs allergies or intolerances, I’m drowning in dog food reviews here. I do know he’s itchy now but his food is what I would consider “junk” and his stools are not firm but he doesn’t have diarrhea. Some of this may be stress of his new surroundings. Where does one begin? It’s hard to get around the complaints of people not knowing if it’s truely the food or just a medical issue. Help please? Thanks!

  • Karrla

    Thank you for replying. Does the coconut oil help?we were told cod liver oil. It doesn’t seem to help either. His ears are clean just when he has this issue. It’s drivinge crazy my poor baby is going nuts. I also read to use diaper rash cream for the dryness irritated ears?opinions?any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks

  • Crystal

    Sounds like a possible yeast infection. My dog has the same problem. We got some cream and cleaner from the vet but it doesn’t prevent it from coming back. I was reading up on yeast infections in dogs and I’m thinking of switching him to a grain-free, carb-free diet as well as giving him some coconut oil daily. Anybody else having this issue? What works?

  • BCHAGYA

    I had my dogs on taste of wild before. After a while, they stopped eating it. My husky wolf had skin problems. Same with blue and now my lab on Kirkland signature “lamb and rice”. I don’t know what the heck is going on with the ingredients these days, but it seems as though theUSA COMPANIES don’t care about, how WE CARE ABOUT OUR PETS! I don’t know how true it is, but reading all these feedbacks of dog foods, (what buying chicke, pork and other ingredients from China where they make fur out of CATS! Come on AMERICAN COMPANIES What are you doing to our pets!!!!!!!!!) I’ve been searching and searching on this site for the RIGHT FOOD WITHOUT PROBLEMS. From “K” on down I’m just getting to “T” one issue or another. UGH. BTW no on BLUE or Taste of the Wild. Sorry my ranting.

  • Karrla

    Hi I have a 1yr old bouvier. He has ear issues. Head shakes and red irritations. Some are saying it’s the grains in his food. We’ve had him at the vets they just pump him with more drops but still not working. Anyone have any suggestions. We have cleaned them many times think we finally got it under control then it’s back. Seems to come and very difficult to get rid of.

  • Shannon

    I have 3 dogs. A chocolate lab(male), black lab mix(female), black lab-beagle sharpea mix(male). The black lab mixes both have allergies to something an have chronic sinus drainage and have to get ears cleaned a few times a week. The vet had us change to grain free food to see if that would be the problem. Well I haven’t seen a change other than the chocolate lab has gained a lot of weight and is always hungry and they all shed a lot more. They are now on taste of the wild. Any suggestions would be really appreciated. I don’t know what else to do I feel so bad for them all especially the black lab mixes.

  • NoctaLynn

    Is the poops formed and/or normal color? If not solid or colored right, could be medical problem.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Shannon, I have 3 dogs. One is a Dachshund. He poops 2 to 3 times per day. 3 is his norm. As long as they are all small firm stools, I wouldn’t worry about it. FYI people should go #2several times a day too. I feed a kibble/can combo, but if I only had 1small dog, I would feed canned exclusively. My 3 do great on these canned foods.Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain (Costco) $20.00 case of 24 cans rated 5 stars. Pure Balance Stews (Walmart) 4health (TractorSupply)

  • theBCnut

    The number of times a day that they poop usually is associated with how much of the food they are not using. So foods with higher fiber content, more plant matter, etc. usually cause more frequent bowel movements. If you find 3-4 BMs a day to be too many, then look for a food that is higher in animal proteins and fat and lower in ingredients that add fiber. Just so you know, many small dogs get constipated easily and actually need the added fiber, so keep an eye on your dog to make sure you aren’t seeing any signs of belly aches. These can just look like a tight back and can be very subtle.

  • Shannon

    My dog is 10lbs and poops 3/4 times a day! I have switched to a natural grain free kibble as advised, any suggestions? Canned food?

  • Athena D

    We had a similar problem with our mini poodle several years ago. I had seen a couple of seizure episodes like you, otherwise it would have gone untreated. Now not to say this will be the answer for you, but it could be a good place to start. I’m not a doctor and can only share what we’ve been through. I’m sorry that this is so long. I hope it’s helpful to you in your search to healing your dog. I researched and tried several companies for many years, but couldn’t get the right one for her.

    We were told the same thing about she may have a brain tumor. We ran additional blood tests and including ultra sounds. Found problems with her gallbladder & kidneys. With guidance from her vet we changed her diet to home made with less than 20% protein / minimizing fat feeding her three small meals daily. Vitamins are added along with glucosamine. We tried several protein sources. Fish, chicken, tofu (which she hated!) and rabbit, but still nothing worked. Not until we used bison. We order it organic, extra lean. She had other medical issues unrelated to this that she was on meds for. Turns out one of the medications she’s on Gabapentin is helpful for reducing seizure episodes. However, it was at a low dose that wouldn’t make a difference in that as a treatment. With that being said, we feel it was the change of diet that really changed everything. It took some trial and error to find the right combo. I spent years trying different foods and even tried that company who says they can tell you by filling out a profile how to make your food. A big waste of time. You can’t reach anyone to talk to and if you don’t understand it it’s not going to help. The right diet and medications she is now 14 years old and still very happy & excited to eat. With everything she’s been through it’s a miracle she’s still with us as a happy old lady. We wish you the best of luck!

  • wearewi

    with respect to eating feces, it may indicate a nutrient deficiency. try a multivitamin. it worked for my dog many years ago. it also helped with another dog i had that had a “lick granuloma”. i automatically give all of my dogs a mulitivitamin now. and i use “human” multi, not “dog” multi.

  • Rose

    Hi Amanda, I just went through a similar experience with my 8yr. old hound mix. She started with seizures 5mos ago out of the blue, took her to E.R., no cause revealed. I thought maybe she was exposed to chemicals or was reacting to heartworm meds. She has been on a very good grain-free dog food right along. Vet said usually it is not a good sign if seizures start after 5yrs old, could be a brain tumor. Meds kept her seizures controlled for a little while. To make a long story short, we took her to a canine neurologist end of September because she began to lose her vision and he thought her neurological exam was consistent with a tumor. We skipped the MRI which would confirm it because all in all, it would cost about $2000. The neurologist said even if we did everything possible (testing, surgery, chemo, radiation), we were looking at 1yr at best. We ended up putting her down last month because things got worse and we did not want her to suffer. But on a better note, I have a friend whose 13 yr.old little dog had a couple of seizures a few months ago and has been fine ever since. The only way to know for sure is to have an MRI done but it is very costly! Good luck!

  • Rose

    Hi Amanda, I just went through a similar experience with my 8yr. old hound mix. She started with seizures 5mos ago out of the blue, took her to E.R., no cause revealed. I thought maybe she was exposed to chemicals or was reacting to heartworm meds. She has been on a very good grain-free dog food right along. Vet said usually it is not a good sign if seizures start after 5yrs old, could be a brain tumor. Meds kept her seizures controlled for a little while. To make a long story short, we took her to a canine neurologist end of September because she began to lose her vision and he thought her neurological exam was consistent with a tumor. We skipped the MRI which would confirm it because all in all, it would cost about $2000. The neurologist said even if we did everything possible (testing, surgery, chemo, radiation), we were looking at 1yr at best. We ended up putting her down last month because things got worse and we did not want her to suffer. But on a better note, I have a friend whose 13 yr.old little dog had a couple of seizures a few months ago and has been fine ever since. The only way to know for sure is to have an MRI done but it is very costly! Good luck!

  • Donna C.

    Our Mini dachshund had seizures every couple months and we started him on a tablespoon of organic coconut oil everyday with his food everyday. No seizures since we have started doing this and adding to his food!! We feed him purina one since we’ve had him Lamb and Rice.. Just sayin

  • theBCnut

    He is old for epilepsy to begin which is typically between 1 and 2 years old. But there are cases, so just to be on the safe side taking those precautions is not amiss. Which means trying to limit your dogs exposure to chemicals like herbicides, pesticide, cleaning agents, scented candles and air fresheners, etc. Finding a food that does not have GMOs would be a good place to start, since GMO crops are heavily sprayed. Good luck with your little guy.

  • Amanda

    I believe it’s Purina Pro Plan. The bag has a Yorkie on it. We usually give him peanut butter flavored teddy bear biscuits from Petco for treats.

  • Crazy4dogs

    So sorry about your dog. What are you currently feeding?

  • Amanda

    My 9-year-old Yorkie recently had an episode that appeared to be a seizure but I’m not exactly sure if it was. He was fine all day until he jumped and landed on his side and shook for a split second. Then after that he couldn’t use his legs at all. He started leaning to one side, along with his head, and seemed to be unbalanced. He was disoriented and wouldn’t respond when called. He didn’t want food or water which is very unlike him. His eyes also appeared to move very rapidly up and down and he was panting as if we took him for a long walk. We quickly took him to the ER where they did a neurological test (No CAT scans, I’m not sure what she did) and couldn’t find anything. They did a blood test and said everything looked normal. He was completely fine the next day and today is the second day since that happened and he’s normal. They said we could do a CAT scan next or just keep an eye on him. I’m wondering if anyone has had a similar issue with their dog because my dog is quite young for a Yorkie. Vet said if anything, he could have a brain tumor but not sure. Someone suggested to get grain-free dog food because their dog stopped having seizures after they switched over. I’d like to try switching his food, so I’m wondering what brand is best. Thank you for all your suggestions in advanced. I really appreciate it!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Jennifer- I have a pitbull as well that in the past suffered from yeasty ears and nail beds. Couple things we did that helped for the ears was cleaning them weekly with a gentle ear wash and then removing the rest of the junk with gauze or toilet paper. Since starting this weekly regime, he hasn’t had any yeast in his ears, just a small amount of normal ear wax.

    My boy is actually eating a grain based food and so far it has not aggravated his yeast at all. I prefer brown rice to peas and white potatoes for him personally. I read further down that you’re trying raw now- that is an excellent idea. If you’re still in need of a kibble to supplement for any reason I’d try something from Fromm. Thats what my boy is doing well on.

    Best of luck! I love pits, but they do have a lot of skin issues.

  • theBCnut

    kibble is a bakery product, so you will not find any normal kibble that doesn’t have starches to bind it. The lowest starch kibbles are low enough to help dogs with yeast issues, but not nearly as good as just feeding raw. I started my dog on half raw and half kibble to keep the starch down. I couldn’t do 100% raw due to the need for other family members to be able to feed at certain times and those family members squeamishness. Personally, I think you are doing the best thing by giving raw a try.

  • Jennifer

    Thank you I did look there unfortunately the grain free foods have stuff that breaks into starch and the starch free foods have something that breaks down into yeast. Anything that has or breaks down into yeast or starch he cannot have. I have been making him food with raw meats. The vet suggested that so I’m giving it a try. Thank you.

  • it_must_be_dunning-kuger . . .

    we rescued a golden at age 2, turns out she had epilepsy. She started on 15 mg daily dose phenobarbital, increased to 30 mg at age 5, remained there until she passed at 17 yrs. we’d been told it would shorten her lifespan but we took really good care, minimized stress which would cause break-thru seizures, and we fed her only eukanuba dry (this was when it was a premium food, before all the premium foods now available), and no people food. Our other golden made it to 16 so we did something right.
    IMHO, once the phenobarbital dose is stable, you don’t need such frequent labs until the dog is a senior, the dose is increased, or other meds are needed.
    My current dog has an autoimmune disease and the specialist was bankrupting us with frequent lab work. We changed vets to someone who actually focused on treating our dog at an affordable cost and his disease is now in remission. We feed him Wellness Core dry and wet, both deeply discounted online.
    Find a food your dog does well on and avoid changes which can trigger seizures. Being a premium food doesn’t mean he likes it or that it will agree with him.
    Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Diane Roberts

    I have a 1.5 year old 49 pound Australian Shepherd with hip dyspasia. What is the best recommended dog food for him? Also, What is the best dog food for a growing puppy of his breed?
    I always worry that maybe his diet as a puppy caused the hip issues and not the breeding and don’t want to make the same mistake in the future when we get another aussie. I fed him wellness puppy food when he was little thinking it was a good brand of food, but worry maybe it wasn’t right for him.

  • theBCnut

    A decent budget friendly food is Earthborn Holistic. Try to stay away from foods that have strange chemicals, food dyes, artificial flavors, anything chemically. You may want to think about what might be in and around your house too. Air fresheners, cleaning products, scented candles, herbicides, fertilizers and many other things can contribute to his likelihood of seizuring at any given time. Try to keep things as natural as possible.

  • DL

    I have a 2 year old Golden/Bernese mix. He is 104 lbs and has been having seizures since May 25/2015. He is currently on Phenobarbital which could affect his liver. He has bloodwork done every 3 months to keep ontop of it. My boy scratches often, especially in the summer months, I’m guessing it is allergies. He also is hungry all the time because of his medication. He eats his feces more times than not, I know, disgusting! He is on Purina Pro Plan Focus for large dogs. I know this isn’t the best. My question is this.. Taking everything into consideration, epilepsy and allergies, what food would you suggest ? We are on a tight budget so that has to be a consideration as well. Thank you in advance.

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