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.

  • InkedMarie

    LOL@kibble coctail!

  • Sugar

    Another thing I would like to add: For allergies and chronic diseases Vets don’t always have a cure and often claim nutrition has nothing to do with it while it has everything to do with it! I would stick with Grain free and see if it clears up with Horizon Pulsar. If my dog had allergies I would beside Nettle also give it Quercetrin and Co Q 10. There are many natural remedies, sometimes you just try it out and see what works! Good luck! OH I forgot to mention: My neighbors went to the vet with their dog who had skin issues. The vet charged them $ 200 and gave them flea treatments (without finding any fleas). The skin issues got worse, even with all of their medication (antibiotics, cortison). I gave them a bag of grain free Fromm dog food and it started clearing up in 1 day! After 2 weeks the skin issues are completely GONE! With skin issues vets should always recommend grain free foods, as this often works! My neighbors wasted $ 200 they could have spent on supplements and dog food!

  • Sugar

    Julie, sorry for you having this experience on this forum. Yes people can be a bit rude on here! I responded above to your post. I am so sorry! You seem to be a dog lover and you did nothing wrong!!!!I love it the way you care about your dog!

  • Sugar

    I would try Fromm or Horizon. Fromm is probably THE most reliable company out there, or one of the very best, honest, human grade company, Horizon is also of high quality and very good for allergies, esp. Horizon Pulsar. I would give him herbal remedies for allergies, such as nettle tea. Just add to drinking water.

  • Julie K

    Never mind, I found it! I will be buying a bag tomorrow!

  • Julie K

    No, you aren’t being rude, my intuition has been going bonkers this last year but I’ve really tried to tell myself that the vet knows best… They are the expert right??? My Bailey is the first dog I have ever owned… And he has been quite the challenge for me with all of his issues and I really feel like the vets I have taken him to, have really steered me in the wrong direction. For two years they told me the food was not his skin issues and I just changed it to grain free and now the nasal issues… I just want my poor dog to breathe again. He can’t go for walks and he pants all day and sneezes at all hours of the night. My heart is broken for him. I am starting to decrease the prednisone and want to buy a new food ASAP!!! Thank you for the reassurance. I don’t see the natures logic on the list… Can you help clarify?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Julie K,

    I don’t mean to be rude, but I would’ve gotten him off of it as soon as he developed nasal issues and long before he had to have a biopsy and I never would’ve allowed him to be on prednisone for six months. OK, sorry, what’s done is done so let’s move forward.

    I’d get him off of this food to something grain free and with a completely different protein source. Make sure to look and see if there are other meat meals besides salmon and steer clear of those also. I believe they use peas, potato and sweet potato as binders, so I’d look for something that didn’t have those things in it either.

    There are lots of great foods within the four and five star ratings, but the first one that comes to mind for you (IMHO) would be Nature’s Logic. It uses millet as a binder, contains only whole food ingredients with nothing synthetic and nothing from China. I’d probably choose either the lamb or chicken formula.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I suggest looking for a food that has different protein and carb sources than anything he has had before.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    They did just fine but it was part of a kibble cocktail.

  • Julie K

    I have a 8yo beagle who used to have skin allergies. A year ago we switched him to the Nature’s Domain Salmon dry food and his skin allergies cleared up. Shortly after the switch he developed nasal allergies. We had a biopsy done, no infections… so they started him on prednisone 6 months ago. Well that doesn’t help either and he has gained almost 8 pounds and is still blowing snot all over the house. My poor guy is just miserable. I am convinced it is this dog food. What would you suggest as an alternative?

  • InkedMarie

    Sandy,
    I’ve never thought much about Wysong. You said you’ve used the fish; how’d the dogs do on it? Think it might be an option for Boone? Yeah, I said I gave up but…

  • POODLEMOMMA1

    I feed my babies “ORGANIC FOOD GRADE” (ONLY ORGANIC FOOD GRADE!! NOT the type you can buy at the hardware store for pools and natural pest control) It has SOOO many health benefits, and it will also DEWORM, as it dehydrates the parasites and they DIE!! it is also a all natural flea and tick powder when applied on the skin/fur. I use this religiously and I even put a scoop of it in my morning protein shake!! I cant say enough good things about it. do some research and you will see that DE has been used for THOUSANDS!! of years and has some amazing properties.. Check it out..

  • POODLEMOMMA1

    I wonder what you bathe them with?? I make a homemade dog shampoo with dr bronner’s peppermint castile soap, tee tree oil, lavender oil, and dilute with water. I have used this for years on all of my dogs, and friends dogs also. the tee tree will help with the yeast issues, and the detergent free will prevent excessive drying of the skin. My friends Aussie, and my late Silky Terrier both suffered from Flea Allergy dermatitis (FAD) and NOTHING was clearing up the skin, and after spending WAAAAY too much $$$$ I took the natural route and NEVER looked back. My friends all now refer to it as Trish’s Witches Brew!!!! Good luck with your babies… Have you tried to cook for your dogs?? it might actually be less money than a high end dog food?? Once again GOOD LUCK!!!!

  • InkedMarie

    Two things: head over to the forums (link in the red line above), click on the Dog Food Ingredients subforum and look at the stickie at the top of “Grain & white potato free” foods.

    Second, order online. It’s cheaper, free shipping and you sit home and it gets delivered to your house. Look at PetFlow.com, Wag.com and Chewy.com for starters

  • InkedMarie

    I agree with Storms Mom, there is no reason to feed low protein unless there is a medical condition that makes it so.

  • Rubie Bell

    My 4 year old Rottie has allergies to Potato, Rice,Barley, Salmon, Pork, Egg, dairy among other things. She is fine with Chicken, Rabbit & Beef. We are looking for options for dry dog food for her that we can get at local stores such as wal-mart or pet co etc… as we live in a rural area.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Does your dog have a specific medical issue that requires low protein/low fat? The reason I ask is because low protein/low fat = high carbs …which creates the same issues in dogs as it does in humans!! ..most of which are not good. There are very few reasons to feed a low protein/low fat food to a dog. The only lower protein/low fat one that comes to mind is Holistic Select GF Fish. Why not feed a high protein/moderate fat/low carb grain-free food, though?

  • Pat

    I’m looking for a lower protein/fat grain free dry dog food for my 10yo pug, any suggestions?
    Thank you.

  • InkedMarie

    Thanks for posting the link!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    The yeast starvation diet at homemadedogfood.com. If not an option for you, then a commercial raw food diet (frozen is cheaper than freeze dried), Wysong Epigen kibble claims to be starch-free and is very low carb (I’ve used Epigen Fish). Here’s the list of grain and white potato free foods:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/grain-and-potato-free-dog-foods/

  • Matthew

    Question and I need help. We have 2 dogs a 10 year old Miniature Schnauzer and a 3 year old Beagle-Harrier. The Schnauzer has really bad yeast infections all over his body. he has been eating the same food for years, and we are trying new food now for him. the Beagle-Harrier who eats the same food as the Schnauzer is also starting to get infections on his back and side, not as bad as the Schnauzer but still there. My wife told me we need to look for food that has now sweet potatoes, corn, any kind of sugar or grain. What is the best food you recommend?

  • Kathy Romanick Pruznick

    I would like to mention that my 11 year old Lab had cancer surgery for a peripheral nerve sheath tumor 2 years ago, and I was surprised to learn that cancer growth is fueled by carbs. I immediately started researching low carb and grain free dog foods and put Riley on the best rated I could find. I introduced the new food slowly as recommended. After about 2 months, he developed severe GI symptoms,and I had to wean another excellent product in. After about 6 months of trial and error- the best rated all caused the same symptoms, I found Iams Prime Naturals to agree with him. He’s very healthy and cancer-free 2 years, beating the odds. I guess the best food doesn’t agree with all dogs, but. I am thankful Iams has a good alternative with no wheat, corn, or soy.

  • Jan

    I just adopted 3 rescue dogs….one is less than a year Doxy-Corgi mix. She has a very sensitive stomach, quite fussy and doesn’t chew her food well…..very gassy as well. I’ve tried several types of dog food but I’m suspecting food allergies so thought I might try the grain free dog food. Any suggestions? Also one is a Beagle with urinary issues…had had 2 operations for bladder stones which were not totally removed so he has an incision to bypass the normal urinary channel. He’s on Royal Canin Urinary SO….any suggestions as to what other special urinary diet dry food I can give him for a change since he tires of the same food all the time. Thank you.

  • Flora

    I have recently adopted a rescue from Romania. She was in a dreadful state when rescued (parasites, skin issues etc) but she was fostered by a vet who gave excellent treatment but she was not fully “cured” when she got to UK. Despite spending a fortune with UK vet, her skin has worsened although skin scraping was negative. I have decided against continuing with vet’s regime of almost constant antibiotics and steroids as the dog’s immune system is being battered. I have concluded that she may have one or more of a number of conditions – from yeast/fungal infections to malassezia dermatitis to ichythosis. Each of these conditions recommends a “raw food” or meat based diet (no cereals) although I am concerned about the effect which added potato (sweet or otherwise) and rice which are frequently added may have on her skin. I have her on garlic, ginger and salmon oil capsules, acidophilus and antihistamine daily and have recently started massaging her affected areas with 100% natural coconut oil. I currently live in the UK but will be moving to France at the end of the year. I have a low income (and another 3 dogs plus 1 cat) so would appreciate recommendations for the best low cost food I could get. I have given consideration to adding Vitamin A to her diet but I am worried about overdosing her. Can anyone help here also? Many thanks

  • Storm’s Mom

    The Pork variety of Merrick Grain Free would work for Heather’s dog, as I posted below, but the others all have an ingredient (lamb or egg product) that her dog is allergic to. I’m assuming that because eggs are an issue, so is chicken.. but if chicken is fine, then Merrick’s GF Chicken would work as well.

  • Scott

    I have a 2 year old American Pitbull Terrier that has severe allergies and a very sensitive stomach, not too mention how picky she is at meal time. I have tried almost every top of the line grain free food and the best results came with Merrick Grain Free. We have tried the Duck, Pork, Buffalo and we’re now on the Texas Beef and she has not had one allergic reaction in 4 months and she gets so excited at meal time. I would give it a try!!

  • Heather Seils

    Thank you!!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Ah, ok, the reason I was asking because, if he were a large breed puppy, he’d have specific nutritional requirements that not all foods fulfill. At any rate, I would suggest trying something with fish, like Orijen Six Fish or Acana Pacifica, Nature’s Instinct (any of the ones that don’t include lamb), stuff like that. Nature’s Logic has millet, so it’s not grain-free, but it is gluten-free and, in my opinion, would be a great addition to a rotation. Wellness CORE Ocean would be another option. Merrick Grain Free has several that would work (all except the Duck, it looks like..the Duck has Lamb Meal). Those are the ones that immediately come to mind, anyway. Hope this helps!!!

  • Heather Seils

    He is 3

  • Storm’s Mom

    Is your dog a puppy?

  • Heather

    I Have a question?? I have a st bernard who has bad allergies. I am trying to find a good food that is grain free and does not have eggs, barley, rice, or lamb in it. Any suggestions??? Thanks

  • Beauce Mom

    Diamond Naturals, Extreme Athlete. Its about $40 for a 40? lb bag. Only thing that keeps weight on my active girl.

  • courtb

    I live in Texas where, unfortunately, the heat and humidity make for a flea’s paradise most of the year. A few years ago when I first got my dog, Rufus, my vet and I started him on one of the normal prescription topical flea treatments. Unfortunately, within a day it had caused a large allergic reaction around the area where it was applied and we ended up back at the vet…

    Since he was apparently allergic to something in the topical flea formulas, this cut out most of the normal monthly flea preventatives that were available. My vet suggested trying the Comfortis pill which was fairly new at the time, but had proven successful for dogs she had treated which were allergic to other flea meds. I gave him the pill when we got home with some food and then nervously waited…

    Well, much to my relief, he was just as hyper and happy as ever after taking the medication and it didn’t seem to have any side effects at all. About a day later, I was also thrilled when I looked through his fur and didn’t come across one flea!! It worked!

    He stayed on Comfortis for years with with no problems and, even better, no fleas :-) It was only last year when the same company who makes Comfortis came out with their new Trifexis pill that he stopped taking it. We switched over to this pill which works in the same manner to treat the fleas, but also includes a heartworm preventative . Sorry this ended up being so long, I just wanted to agree with those above and let you know that Comfortis is a great option for flea control as is Trifexis…Rufus and I both give it a thumbs up…lol ;-).

  • disqus_v11XwW5X2B

    I had a dog that had this same problem. The minute that I switched to a grain free food….the problem was solved.

  • Nothing but Bull

    Hi Hound Dog Mom! I am extremely interested in switching my bullies to a RAW diet. I feel as overwhelmed with choosing the right Raw foods as with kibble. Some say meat & bone only others say you must add certain veggies &/or fruits.. So many (too many) options gets so very confusing when your just trying to do the right thing… I own 4 English Bulldogs & a little dash mix. How can you meet their needs AND keep it affordable? Any Guidance from Raw feeders would be GREATLY appreciated!

  • RuthWilmore

    They have it rated on here somewhere and it is pretty low.

  • Susan H

    Rachel Ray Nutrish Zero Grain is available at Walmart. You can print out a couple of $4.00 coupons on the Rachel Ray dog food website.

  • LabsRawesome

    What would you like to know about ND? Maybe you can find the answer here. http://www.naturesdomainpetfood.com/about-natures-domain

  • Tamara Stresau

    Would sure like to know about Kirkland’s Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal and Sweet Potato formula for dogs.

  • coastalstorm25

    Hi I know Presidents choice is not a 5 star unless you go with the salmon formula..but the chicken and rice formula is a 4 star and very affordable..and you can find it at Superstore and its made in Canada..and has a money back guarantee…

  • mdkroma

    If you’re transitioning from something as (sorry) crappy as pro plan, you might want to consider taking an intermediate step first – for example a high quality grain-inclusive food (Nature’s Variety, Acana, Earthborn, etc) and then transitioning to the grain free recipes within those lines.

  • robertsmom2

    Gave both of my dogs gas. I’m in process of switching them off Wellness as we speak.

  • Sucker4Rescues

    Earthborne holistic GF sends out $3 coupons every month if you register on their website.

  • Tammy Sheehan

    Dogs are Carnivores, I recommend Wellness Core. Wellness also manufactures all their own food now. I try to stay away from any brands that use Diamond for manufacturing because their plants are dirty and they have had multiple recalls.

  • Tammy Sheehan

    Wellness Core is awesome, fish oil as a supplement would not hurt. Your vet should send fecal sample to lab to know for sure what kind of worms. If the vet has done this you also need to clean all poop up so they do not get re-infested.

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t know the cost of Natures Recipe but check out Hi Tek Naturals, dr Tim’s Kinesis grainfree and I think Victor makes a gf.

  • Katrina Thomas

    I Have 2 beagles, Bonney (11mo rescue) and Clyde 7yrs. I feed them grain free. I may lose my job, can anyone suggest a grain free low cost food? I can’t afford Nature’s Recipe on unemployment! Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Are they little flat white worms? Those are tapeworms and they have to have a wormer that is specifically for them. Dogs get them when they groom themselves and swallow a flea, so once you do get rid of them, they will be gone until he swallows another infected flea.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    It wouldn’t hurt to use diatomaceous earth (food grade) in his food and/or fresh ground pumpkin seeds while you and your vet figure this out.

    http://www.earthworkshealth.com/pets-animals.php

    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/pumpkin-seeds-natural-worms-dogs/

  • Betsy Greer

    Your lab x with the injured shoulder needs plenty of protein for tissue repair if indeed the nature of the injury is muscular.

  • Melissaandcrew

    What do thd worms look like…spaghetti or rice..

  • Jesse Pyfrom

    I have two lab mix one is 1 1/2 and the other is a rescue puppy which we are guessing is around 6 months old. Right now I am feeding them purina pro plan but Im looking to switch to a better food but after reading about the reviews on the dry dog foods i realized i have no idea where to begin. any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    The lab is super hyper all the time and very lean. but she has a shoulder that she has hurt several times and the vets think its a muscle thing bc i’ve had her xrayed when its happened. so i was hoping to maybe try and feed her something that’ll help make her stronger.

    Also, my rescued puppy was really sick when i found him. he had bad demodex mange and after weeks of treatment he cleared up. he also had really bad round worms. He’s been dewormed several times and is also on trifexis but still has worms in his stool. Any suggestions on how to better rid of these things??

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Merrick Classic and 96%, Wellness grain free Stews, Weruva, and Tripett. I’m just starting some Nature’s Logic and Hound & Gatos rabbit formulas. I usually feed canned with something else (kibble or Vital Essentials freeze dried) because canned food by itself gives the dogs soft formed stools instead of solids. Or I just give them some extra fiber with the canned food.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    You can feed your dog a varied diet of 4 – 5 star foods and grain or grain-free foods, and single or multiple protein foods. The possibilities are endless (unless your dog has a medical condition that dictates otherwise).

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    If you can’t find frozen raw green tripe, then look for freeze-dried tripe (like K9 Natural and Dr Harveys). The next type would be canned tripe (Tripett, Merrick and Solid Gold). Avoid the white bleached tripe at the grocery store. It’s been processed for people.

    https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/the-stink-on-tripe/

    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/five-foods-dog/

  • Pattyvaughn

    From the link you posted, it appears to be available in a very small area. I’ve never seen or heard of it over here, except for the last time you posted about it. Hopefully, it will catch on and become more widely available.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It is highly unlikely that random people in the US would be able to find this food, since it doesn’t even look like it is widely available in the UK. Was I missing something on their website?

  • HEATHER

    has anyone heard of eden dry dog and cat food I feed my shar pei eden kibble 80%multi-meat fish formula 20%fruit+veg+herbs+vitamins+minerals 0%formulated without grain andgluten hypollergenic

  • HEATHER
  • Pattyvaughn

    The kind in the grocery is already cooked and sterilized. It’s actually kind of useless except as a flavor enhancer, because all the best things about tripe have been killed.

  • CranberryCoco

    If I wanted to add tripe (the kind you can find at the grocery store), do I need to cook it or prepare it in a special way?

  • CranberryCoco

    Thanks for the input. There’s so much I want to try out. I guess for now I want to get her Wellness, Nature’s logic, nature’s variety, and the party animal cocolicious.

  • Annie

    When we switched to Dogs For The Earth Organic Dehydrated Food all our dogs “allergy” problems ended…was it from the antibiotics in the chicken? We don’t know but after reading their web and emailing them – we were convinced to try their food….now we will never switch! Everything about our dog has improved with the use of their food …hair, skin, vitality..and they use human grade ingredients we are really happy with this food

  • Elli

    Thank you so much everyone for your advice, I really appreciate it! I’m definitely going to look into a limited ingredient diet, b/c it breaks my heart to know he’s in pain or uncomfortable.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Right now I’m using TOTW (non-poultry flavors). I have used Wellness (95%, Stews, Simple), Weruva, Merrick, Nature’s Variety, Simply Nourish with success. I plan on ordering some Hound & Gatos soon.

  • InkedMarie

    Wellness core, natures logic, hound & Gatos and Weruva are what we use

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I feed raw now but when I used to feed kibble with canned as a topper my favorite brands to use were Tripett, ZiwiPeak, Nature’s Logic, Nature’s Variety Instinct and Merrick.

  • CranberryCoco

    I’ve already done some research on canned food, but I’d like some input from anyone who feeds canned or tops their dog’s kibble.
    What works well for you?

  • Shawna

    Hi Elli,

    Allergy testing is not reliable — false positives and false negatives are common. And the testing doesn’t identify food intolerances which are much more common than true allergies.

    I agree with CranberryCoco that a limited ingredient diet is the way to go and that the problem ingredient can be anything — potato, egg, peas, tomato etc as well as the major protein/s of the food.

    In my opinion, Wellness Core is a good food but ALL foods have ingredients that can be problematic for some dogs.. There is not even one that is exempt.. You just have to find the food that doesn’t have an ingredient that YOUR dog has an issue with.

  • CranberryCoco

    Benadryl works wonders. My vet also said 1mg/lb and to round up to 25mg(20# dog). I used it on my dog when she had an allergic reaction to a vaccine. But…you want to find & treat the problem–not mask it.

    Try to find a limited ingredient diet that has different meat than what you’re feeding right now. Although, it could be ANY of the ingredients on the label that’s bothering your dog. And it’s also possible your dog may have gotten his paws into something.

    Wellness core is a great food. It just might not work with your dog. Check out the wellness simple if you want to stick with the same brand. Otherwise, there are other brands to choose from.

  • Mike

    Meat based, potato based, plant based grain free dog foods. Single source or multiple source proteins. All rated 4, 4.5, and 5 stars. This is valuable information; but still very confusing.

  • sassy

    depending on the weight of the dog you can feed him 1 gram of benadryl per pound before he eats. Try natural balance dog food with the benadryl. The combination of the two has worked for a boxer with bad allergies.

  • Elli

    I have a 5 month old English Bulldog and just recently broke out in hives. Vet said it’s the food, but didn’t do any test to prove that’s what it is. I feed him Wellness Core (grain free), b/c I thought it be good for him, since they suffer from allergies, but I guess, it’s not. I don’t know what to do, really. Help!

  • Shawn

    She is probably responding to the sugar in the cat food. Cheap crappy food is usually spiked with lots of sugar and artifical scents to make it smell and taste delicious and fool the dog into thinking its eating anything but colored sawdust. After a while a dog is addicted to it… if your kid was eating lucky charms every day for years and then one day you tried to get them to eat unsweetened grapenuts or something, they would balk at it too. It doesnt smell or taste like food. I dont think mixing cat food would be a good idea. I would try some naturally sweet foods that she may respond to, like maybe some banana and peanutbutter, mash it up with a little warm water and mix it in the food. Try that for a few days then gradually reduce it. Good luck!

  • Shawn

    Two of the cheapest grain free foods with quality ingredients are Rachel Ray’s zero grain (about $1.5 a pound, but contains chicken) and 4health grain free white fish and potato, or beef and potato. I would not use the chicken formula (4health GF is $36 for a 30LB bag and available at Tractor Supply stores), if your dog is having allergies it may be to chicken which is a very common allergy. Taste of the Wild can also be purchased for under $50 for a 30 lbs bag, but it is manufactured by diamond which has had multiple recalls so it is kind of a toss up. Earthborn is a great lower cost GF food, at about $50 a 30# bag. But any of these foods would be a much higher quality then what you are currently feeding, so if cost is your biggest obstacle in switching, I would go for 4Health. You won’t find a grain free formula anywhere else for $36 for a 30# bag.

  • Brenda

    I got a new 6 week old German Shepherd puppy that had stomach issues right from the beginning of life. She was born with a birth defect. Her stomach was up in her esophagus. At 7 weeks old she had surgery that only 2 places in Michigan would perform at a 5 percent chance of making it. Because of these issues i had to put her on food that would not aggravate her system, such as corn & wheat gluten. With the professionals and myself we decided to try Taste of the wild (salmon). It was a toss up between Blue Buffalo & Taste of the wild. My puppy is now grown to be a healthy 1 1/2 year old dog and takes 1 pepcid a day. She has had dry skin so the vet has me give her fish oil in her food. She looks forward to this every day. The vet said if their skin is dry, applying flea treatment to their back won’t spread as well. The flea treatment spreads better if your pets skin has some moisture to work with. So anyone with animals with flea allergies and dry skin should talk to their vet. Some dogs won’t eat well if they have fleas and also could get very sick. Well i hope i answered some of your questions. I’m not a vet but just wanted to pass on some things i learned along the way. Good luck to all of you.

  • Bridget

    Please consider a Thundershirt for the anxiety. I had a lab mix who was EXTREMELY anxious to the point where we had him on Prozac. The Thundershirt was much cheaper, and worked like a charm.

  • beverly

    oops! meant for this to post as reply for Jen with 6mo old puppy

  • Beverly

    I am not a vet but saw symptoms and thought to pass this on. We had client whose puppy had issue with symptoms that you describe and pet was on a great dog food, no people treats, active active active and a bit of anxiety…. and vet issued similar treatment. Then puppy started getting lil bumps in groin, like allergy etc …. pet had giardiasis. They do not live near water nor visit parks so unsure how puppy was exposed. Puppy was just over 20-some weeks old. Apparently can cause immune issues if not treated too. It was missed at vets.

    “Symptoms are more visible in younger animals than in older animals and can be either sudden (acute), temporary (transient), non-continuous (intermittent) , or ongoing (chronic) in nature. In some cases, dogs will exhibit diarrhea that is soft, frothy, greasy, and with a strong, awful odor or excessive mucus.”

    Took two treatments but not that pet feels better… less edgy now too. Still gets some skin concerns but not big flare-ups as before. Perhaps warrants looking into.

  • Lawman561

    As someone else mentioned Comfortis is a very easy to administer chewable (or stuck in cream cheese or some other treat, like soft dog food rolled around it) once a month. My Dutch Shepherd and Yellow Lab take it easily. Feed it to the dog after a meal as it’s a low incidence of stomach upset when taken with a meal.

  • Lawman561

    The two most common allergies are wheat and chicken. If you’ve gone grain free I’d go buffalo, venison or beef to try. Yellow vomit is normally bile and may be from several causes. Besides food allergy and intolerances, it could be stress/anxiety related. I’d consider a holistic anxiety tonic and see how she does if taking her to the vet is becoming less cost effective.

  • Lawman561

    Either that, or just like we do with our big dogs start off with some dry and make it kibble by adding a few tablespoons of cat food. Each day, incrementally reduced the amount of cat food and add either water or soft dog food. I treat my dogs with kibble a couple times a week and have had no problems digestive wise with either my Dutch Shepherd or Yellow Lab on Blue Wilderness or Merrick.

    A cheaper alternative is Life’s Abundance, rated 4 stars here as my dogs came from the breeder and rescue and both were using it.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Have you looked into Bach flower essences? There’s some for stress/anxiety/fear.

    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/flower-power-for-pets-to-the-rescue/

    And also Tellington TTouch.

    http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_8/features/TTouch-For-Dogs_20039-1.html

  • Pattyvaughn

    A full grown husky could handle a tablespoon, not heaped, twice a day. It is definitely one of those “a little goes a long way” things. I did much the same the first time I gave pumpkin.

  • Storm’s Mom

    :-) You’re not the first, and you will no doubt not be the last ;-)

  • Jen

    We honestly were misjudging it entirely and were using a generous tablespoon. It’s a little embarrassing to admit, but once it occurred to me that it could be to much, I stopped.

  • Jen

    Hi Yes, thank you for pointing it out. I am going to try adding the water. I would REALLY like for him to be off the Hills, and I know the vet will continue to suggest it. I think I might try to wean him onto regular kibble and use the method you suggested. Thanks so much for the idea.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Without knowing how much you gave before, I’m going to suggest 1 teaspoon per meal. You might be able to go up to a heaping teaspoon.

  • Nir

    Hi Jen ,
    Please See my answer below
    Did you try kibbles with qaulity grains?

  • Jen

    Thank you! We had fed him canned pumpkin, but I felt that we were adding too much, so we stopped when we took him to the vet because he was not going to the bathroom for a few days mixed with some blood. I think I’m going to try weaning him back on his normal food with much less pumpkin and see how that works. I’m just afraid to have that happen again, but maybe with less pumpkin, it wont go back to that. The ice idea is great.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Adrenaline and cortisol are both dumped into the system from stress and they can speed up transit time of food through the intestines which leaves them loose. For some dogs, adding fiber helps, so try adding a spoonful of pure canned pumpkin or ground chia seeds to the meals and see if that helps. Extra pumpkin can be frozen in ice cube trays so it doesn’t go bad.

  • Jen

    This actually makes a lot of sense because he is pretty high strung. He has severe separation anxiety. I’m home all day with him, but if I step out for a few hours, he loses his mind. Sometimes he struggles so much when he goes, that he just walks in that “poop position” in circles for a couple minutes. Most of the time when he does that, he just drips out little poop water. Sorry for the gross description, I just dont know what else to call it.

  • Ely

    I have a Peke w/the same issue. She is a very anxious dog & my personal opinion is that, as the day goes on & she gets excited when I come home from work, to go for her walk, etc., her stool gets softer. Also whenever we go anywhere, she gets excited and will almost always go, even a little, just because she got excited. I don’t think it has to do with the food at all.

  • Nir

    Hi Jen ,
    Did you see my answer?
    Things are getting better?

    Nir

  • Nir

    I have an alaskan malamute which also has minor sensative digestive system .
    I tried to feed him many grain free or small percentage of grains dry food and it has been a failure.
    I think there are some dogs which some quality grain in their food.
    I feed him canine caviar pearl millet and nature variety prarie somtimes and the stool are good.
    I also can recommend you to try add water to the kibble and hour before serving and save it in a cool place.
    This might help him to digest.
    Let me know how you are progress.
    Goodluck

    Nir

  • Jen

    Hi I’m having a terrible time with my 6 month old Husky. When we got him, he was eating Purina Proplan. I weaned him off of that and onto Taste of the Wild puppy with venison. Since we’ve had him, he has never had a normal day of pooping. It always starts off good, but then as the day wears on, it gets softer and softer until I can’t pick it up anymore. We took him to the vet, but everything (fecal and blood tests) came back negative. He sent us home with some anti-diarrhea medicines, a probiotic, and put him on Hills I/D. I told him i really did not want him to be on that for an extended time, but he asked if I would just try to see if his system calms down. Well, he finished the medicines and is just on the food now and I’m still seeing the same issue. Though his stool has gotten better in the size and frequency (he’s no longer going horse-sized number 2s and he’s no longer going 5-6 times a day), I still see the same issue of softness. His first stool of the day is perfect. Then, I see him still struggling sometimes and it comes out watery. I’m at a loss as to what to feed him. He’s also not getting into anything as he’s usually in my constant sight.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi Rita-
    There are several products that are lower cost, but “breaking the bank” is dependent on the person. For dogs that corn is not an issue, ProPac is a great bargain-$28.99/bag, $2 coupon in each bag, buy 10, get 1 free. Hi Tek naturals-grain inclusive(no corn) $33 a bag, buy 10 get 1 free and the GF variety is $43 or so, same deal on free bag. Nutrisource-grain free line is about $50 aa bag, frequent buyer program as well. Earthborn product $32-$50 depending 0n variety, fre buyer program. Victor dog food is awesome as well and under $50 a bag.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You may want to stay away from chicken too. It is a common allergen. What do you consider breaking the bank? Maybe look into NutriSource or Earthborn.

  • Rita Biagioni Rodriguez

    My collie has infected anal glands our vet said was cause by food allergies. I was giving him Purina Healthy morsels until 2 weeks ago when I switched to Come and Get it. It was right after this that he started having problems. The vet said to get food without corn mean and corn by products. Any suggestions without breaking the bank? Thank you.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dogs don’t care what the kibble looks like, they care what it smells like. You can try adding a little canned tuna to the food. With such a small dog, maybe you can feed her canned food instead.

  • Kari de St. Germain

    I just adopted a stray Maltipoo. She’s been surviving for about six months on people’s outdoor cat food and now she won’t eat anything else. I have Precise Holistic grain free that I feed my 15 year old Dalmatian, but she won’t touch it. Is there a grain free dog food that has really small kibble for small dogs that kind of resembles cat food?

  • squareangel

    I have had many dogs threw the years and used to be a breeder. I have found my dogs and puppies have always done much better on Taste of the Wild.

  • squareangel

    What makes you u think that just because you live in a city you can’t have fleas. We had an big flea problem which in turn was caused a our dog to have some terrible skin problems. We also live in a city. We put our dog on Comfortis which got rid of the fleas and her skin problems went away.

  • Dogggggggggg

    Take the dog to an AAHA-accredited veterinarian, explain the situation, and ask if an allergy work-up would be useful.
    I have a German Shepherd that hacked and coughed and choked while eating and later would throw up yellow and have the runs. I switched her to Nature’s Recipe Grain Free (Chicklen) and everything except the runs went away. I started giving her Dasani bottled water and did not allow her to drink any tap water or drink any water outside/lick the grass, etc., and the runs went away. Even when not allowed to drink outside water/lick the grass, she gets the runs on tap water (that the city says is safe).
    If you do switch foods, do it slowly. About 10% new to old the first day, 20% new to old the second day, etc. Do not feed anything except the old and new dog food. Empty the food and water bowls every day, wash and sterilize them, and put new food and water in them. It is best to use stainless steel bowls for both food and water. Do not use plastic or aluminum. If you use ceramic or glass, make sure it is human food safe. Make sure whatever bowls you use are made in the USA, Canada, or Israel. Some items made in China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Europe, and elsewhere meet standards, but contain metals (cadmium, etc.) and toxins that aren’t regulated/tested for. With the exception of Siberian Huskies, dogs will eat when they get hungry enough. You have to have the willpower to outlast the dog’s desire for something else.
    My general rule for dogs (in the absence of any symptoms, injuries, changes in meds, or known exposures) has been if the dog hasn’t eaten for 3 days, on day 4 call the vet. If the dog doesn’t drink water for a whole day, on day 2 call the vet. Our dogs are happy and healthy.
    Good luck!

  • Chase

    My 2 dogs itched and itched. A Bassett hound and a catahoula. I started them on taste of the wild with a few squirts of the grizzly pollock oil. Most people use salmon oil but the pollock is much cheaper and igot amazing results my pups look great and healthy. Both are very active the Bassett May not want to be but his best friend the catahoula doesn’t let him get much sleep.

  • Boogies_Dad

    I’ve been giving 1 teaspoon per day of coconut oil, he loves it, dont have to sneak it in the food, also I give him about 1/3 of an omega3 fish oil 1000 mg capsule in his diner once a day. Hes only about 18 lbs 5 1/2 months. I even rubbed some of the coconut oil on his paws, the chewing spots, only a couple of weeks so far so we’ll see if any benefits kick in. You can see the fur a couple of inches above his paws looks cut short but that is from him chewing on them,
    thanks

  • Boogies_Dad

    Thanks for the info, we are going to try him on Wysong Anergen or Holistic health extension both are lamb and rice, I follow up after another vet visit and when hes been on the new food long enough to see if there is any change.

  • dtblues

    My rescued 5 month old lab shepard mix puppy was having problems with his digestion which included awful flatulence , hot spots on his under body and runny bm’s. So i began mixing extra virgin olive oil and raw steele oats or physillium in his first meal of the day and no more problems and his coat is beautiful I feed him the puppy form of science diet and give him a quality puppy vitamin. He is now 8 mos. Old and beautiful. Oh yeah and about once every week or so i add a little bit of braggs apple cider vinegar or activated charcoal to his water. Currently researching an inexpensive but quality adult dog food for him.

  • Demi Moreno

    I’ve taken her to 2 vets who say she is ok. Unfortunately I got her from a pet shop (I had no intention of getting a dog thus I had no knowledge on pet shops). She has been problematic and sensitive from the start. I’ve had her since she was 8 weeks. I haven’t tried the things your mentioned

  • Pattyvaughn

    Canned often has fiber too. And by your logic, your raw should be a problem, because it is unlikely to have that much fiber in it. Diarrhea is from an unhealthy gut. Dogs with a healthy gut can go from kibble to canned to raw with no problems. Mine do and so do the dogs of many of the regulars here. Fiber can help firm up a stool while dogs have an upset stomach though.

  • 1bestdog

    Also try a bit of coconut oil in the food. Springtime (online) makes excellent products (supplements) for dogs, including food allergies and it is very reasonable. Have you tried single protein diets and changed when one doesn’t work try something else.

  • 1bestdog

    How are you making your conclusions, may I ask? Lots of dogs have better bowel movements with some kibble in their diet. Take the kibble and just feed can you get wet stools. (Not adding anything) It is a know fact kibble has fiber. But generally, my dog does better on raw and some kibble (Orijen or Acana).

  • 1bestdog

    Is your puppy from a pet store aka a puppy mill? Have you taken her to a vet? Have you tried Weruva? Health Extensions? Raw lamb?

  • Pattyvaughn

    The wet stools are upset stomach, not because it is wet food, any more than you get diarrhea because of eating something with more liquid in it. Feeding it all the time would allow her to get used to it and yes you can mix it with dry. Unfortunately, the tale about dry food keeping the teeth clean is just that, a tale. Even dogs that are fed all kibble still need to have their teeth taken care of.

  • Demi Moreno

    Thank you guys,

    When I do feed her Merrick Wet Canned Food her stool is runny. Im guessing this is a given because its WET food…. Now if I fed that to her daily mixed with pebbles should it stay loose? Would feeding wet and dry mixed be a good idea (always) not just when she doesn’t eat? She doesn’t allow for me to brush her teeth and already has some yellowing in her back teeth.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You could just take the leap and start making her homemade food. “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Dr Karen Becker is a good place to start.

  • InkedMarie

    Yes! Quality wet foods are better than dry foods. Look for a high quality canned food here http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/wet/

    look for a pre made raw here http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/raw/

    and there are a number of dehydrated foods. I like The Honest Kitchen & Grandma Lucy’s.

  • Demi Moreno

    Hey all,
    I have a Shihtzu mix who is 2 yrs old and weighs 13 lbs. She will eat anything as long as its not kibble. I ONLY mix wet when i see she hasnt eaten. Her food is always available BECAUSE she never eats it. She throws up yellow and I assume it’s from not eating. So then i boil chicken and give her rice… She has been on Merrick Grain Free for over 6 months, tried all flavors and nothing. I see that she is vomitting more and more because she refuses to eat and it has me worried as she is pretty sensitive as it is. I dont like Diamond food products nor Innova or Evo.. Can anyone reccomend something, or some dog food to me?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Wow! Nice food at $19 for 5 cups. I can’t imagine that many people could afford to feed their large active dogs this food, but it might be great for someone with 1 Chihuahua. I found their website to be a little cumbersome to find the info about it that I wanted. Maybe you could tell me what the protein and fat levels are for the Beef and the Turkey dehydrated formulas.

  • somebodysme

    Yes I have an allergy dog and I can tell you that the whole “grain free” idea was the worst thing for her because she is allergic to PEAS which is in almost all grain free foods. Though it is not in Epigen. I’m curious as to how your dog does in the epigen 90 as it is one of the few high quality dog foods that does not contain peas. Interesting about your own allergies…it really can be that simple! For my dog it really should have been obvious in the fact that before I decided to put her on grain free, she didn’t have the problems that she developed once on grain free. She still did have some skin issues but they were WAY less.

    Do you see any of the same ingredients in Bil Jac that are in his new food since he is itching on both? Possibly they could have the same ingredient that he is allergic to! I would, just for grins, go through and see if they have a common ingredient and try to avoid that one.

    Keep us updated on his progress!

  • Annie

    Dogs For The Earth Organic Dehydrated Dog Food…..has helped countless itchy dogs! http://www.DogsForTheEarth.com …..it’s made with 100% organic ingredients, is grain free and my dogs love it! We discovered it while on vacation last year and we can’t believe the difference it has made … Best dog food ever!

  • Annie

    Try Dogs For The Earth Organic Dehydrated Dog Food…..has helped countless itchy dogs! http://www.DogsForTheEarth.com ….read the reviews ….it’s made with 100% organic ingredients, is grain free and my dog loves it!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Are you suggesting that dfly add cooked chicken to her dogs kibble or feed only cooked chicken? Because that is not a good diet at all.

  • GSDsForever

    We don’t have a serious flea prolem where I live either, and none of my dogs (for years) have ever had a problem here . . . vs. travelling to the humid South, lol.

    But my dog does have a serious chicken allergy, so common in foods today. One of the ways it manifests (or used to, rather) is in ear infections, beginning with red hot-to-the-touch ears on a GSD . . . with those giant upright ears, lol. I eliminated chicken years ago . . . but once in a blue moon, when someone has given him any, it’s bad news. You might look up the most common food allergies . . . they start with beef and include eggs, chicken, dairy, soy, etc.

    That said, many dogs, including my own, also have seasonal grass/pollen allergies. You might consider that too. There are some pretty simple solutions, but they can cause itching, redness, rashes, chewing in dogs . . . or eye problems.

  • Hello There

    Have you tried giving your dog cooked meat, poultry or fish? Buy a whole chicken , cook it and feed it to your dog for a week and see how she likes it.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’ve been referring to it as a “rotation”, but really it’s not yet because I have yet to feed most of the foods in my “rotation” more than once lol :-) I keep finding new ones I want to try (like what happened with Nutrience GF!!). But it currently looks something like this (I’m feeding the GO Turkey right now, and have a bag of Wholesome Blend patiently waiting in the fridge lol):

    Nature’s Logic Rabbit
    Nutrience GF Fish
    GO Turkey
    Wholesome Blend Turf
    Nature’s Variety Instinct Duck
    Nutrisource GF Lamb
    Nature’s Logic Sardine or Venison
    Performatrin Ultra Grain Free
    Acana Grasslands

    ..I might try Primal Duck instead of Nature’s Variety Instinct Duck, though.. I’m not sure. The Nature’s Logic Sardine inclusion is also dependent upon whether/when the Sardine kibble actually becomes available in Canada *sigh*

    Those kibbles will have random canned toppers too.. Pet Kind, Merrick, Nature’s Logic, Weruva, Wellness Core…. ones like that. I don’t use the same protein source(s) in both the kibble and dry, though.

    Generally, I’m trying to rotate the protein sources as much as possible, and I’m also trying to vary the carb sources a bit …but that’s more of a challenge, actually, because so many formulas use peas these days! :-(

    Some formulae I haven’t put up there but are still ones I might use every so often are Merrick (Classic or GF), Holistic Blend GF, and Orijen Six Fish …but all contain salmon meal, and I have 3 other kibbles with salmon meal – which I prefer over Merrick or HB (haven’t tried Orijen yet), so I’m reluctant to add more to the rotation at the moment (next time it comes up in the rotation I may mix, say, NutriSource GF Lamb (which also has salmon meal as the 3rd ingredient) with Orijen Six Fish, to boost the protein content). It’s also likely I’ll take out a formula with peas for one without peas when I come across another pea-free formula I like.

    Anyway, hope this helps!!

  • Ashley

    Hey Storm’s Mom!

    So I was secretly hoping you’d have good things to say about it :) So I have another question? What food are on your rotation? I noticed several posts where you mention you have a list lol

    I have three dogs, two large one small and a variety of ages….. 8yr, 2 yrs, 8wks… I like to keep them as healthy as I can for as long as can be :) Thanks for all your help :)

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hi Ashley, I have..my experience with it is here (bottom of page):

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/nutrience-grain-free-dog-food/

    and here (I originally posted at the link below because the page linked above was not up yet):

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/nutrience-dog-food-dry/

    The summary: Storm did fantastic on it, and I’m now a BIG fan :-) Let me know if you have any questions about what I’ve written.

  • ASHLEY

    Anyone try Nutrience grain free? what do you think? TIA :)

  • Boogies_dad

    Thanks for the reply’s, I never considered protein allergy, chicken is a common ingredient in all the foods thus far. There are probably others as well so the limited ingredients sounds like a good plan. Yep I hear ya I guess those fleas are just about everywhere, its just that here in Brooklyn you cant walk half a block without meeting another dog with owner in tow. Most seem to suggest that fleas aren’t much of a problem for them until they take their dog upstate or on vacation. I just figured they didnt do as well on asphalt and concrete as they do in grass and dirt. The vet didnt see any and gave us the flea and tick stuff. So i sorta ruled it out but you never know. Thanks again much appreciated we’ll look into the protein allergy.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    try Natures Variety Limited Ingredient line or Nature’s Logic Rabbit and see if that helps. Epigen 90 is an excellent food but I think the common protein in Wysongs food you described is chicken

  • Pattyvaughn

    First of all, fleas are not a country problem, they live in cities just fine. Since they need a blood meal to breed, they thrive where animals live closer together. That is the city. So check your dog instead of assuming.

    Next, most allergies like this are to a protein that your dog is ingesting, so try to figure out what ingredients the 2 foods have in common and search for a food that doesn’t have those. Chicken, beef, grains, and potatoes are common, but Somebodysme’s dog just turned out to have a pea allergy, so it can be anything that has proteins in it.

  • Boogies_dad

    Hello all, our 5 month old wheaten terrier is itching/scratching his hair out. He was on Bil Jac puppy so we switched him to Wysong optimal growth canine, which claims low carbs and glycemic level, we top that with wysong canned au jus chicken 95% meat. 6 weeks on and still itching himself. we live in the city so flea itching isnt as likely. So we were thinking of trying the Wysong Epigen 90 which states ( starch free TM not like the nutritionally meaningless “grain free” ) Not sure if thats true and not sure if the Epigen 90 would be appropriate for a puppy? Also curious why its not on the list here, seems many rave about it? Not sure if any of the other listed grain free dry foods would be a better choice, I think this may be the last try before RAW, I really dont want to give him drugs and just mask the problem. I’m confident it can be fixed by eliminating the culprit. I spent years of discomfort and aggravation, piles of cash on dermatologist ,renowned specialist and drugs with my own skin allergies. Only to find out years later that it was a simple matter of avoiding hot showers or baths, completely and permanently eliminated all symptoms. Any advice for Boogie is greatly appreciated, txs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Applaws looks like a very intesting dog food, but it isn’t 75% protein. It’s 75% meat, but meat is made up of proteins and fats and depending on whether this was fresh meat or meat meals, water. But it still looks like a very good food, though their website leaves a little to be desired.

  • Louise

    Applaws dog food 75% protein

    Applaws contains no cereals or grains which are high in
    carbohydrates and may lead to hyperactivity & could see your dog
    becoming overweight

    Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids nourish your dog’s coat which
    helps in producing a stunning silky appearance while maintaining healthy
    skin texture.

    Applaws also contains an active pro-biotic which may encourage the presence of protective and friendly bacteriain the gut.

    As well as being naturally hypoallergenic, applaws contains
    purified beta glucan from yeast to help improve the immune system.

  • L.

    Kuma’s Dad: The best value for the money is PetSmart’s Authority brand, grain free. It’s considerably cheaper than any other premium food and the company stakes its reputation on it. I would definitely try that next.

  • Kuma’s Dad

    Ok thank you! I will look into these brands.

  • InkedMarie

    Wait, their gf is chicken. Scratch that

  • InkedMarie

    Can I add dr Tim’s?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I like Brother’s Complete, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Earthborn Holistic, and Nature’s Logic for good kibbles. Hare Today is a great place to order a variety of different proteins for raw toppers. And of course there is also your grocery. You can also do raw cage free eggs, tinned sardines, kefir, lean meat leftovers, etc.

  • Kuma’s Dad

    I would rather just slowly switch to a high quality food… The only reason I had him on Pro Plan was a coworker said his dogs loved it and I had not really done any research into good foods, do you reccomend anything grain free other than BBW? Im thinking I might just do kibble with raw toppers..

  • Kuma’s Dad

    So what would some raw toppers be? And how often and how much should I put into his food?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I agree with Storm’s Mom about BBW, they are having too many people with dogs getting sick for me to feel good about the food. Start with a mid quality food like NutriSource for your first switch or switch very slowly to a high quality food, some dogs that have come from eating Purina and other similar foods for a while have trouble switching to a better food. I guess their bodies aren’t used to dealing with foods that they actually have to get a lot out of. Also, If I were you I would go chicken free too. Chicken is a very common allergen/intolerance problem food. If you have any stool problems, add a spoonful of pure canned pumpkin to his food and slow down the transition process for a couple days. If you are serious about wanting to switch to raw, there are many people here and on the forum that will help with pointing you to good info and such. If you want to make your kibble more specie appropriate, but you aren’t sure if raw is for you, you can just add canned and fresh foods as well as water to his kibble.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If you can go entirely raw, I would. Either that or do raw (or canned) toppers on a regular high-protein kibble, but make sure the raw is not more than 20% of the total food intake, otherwise you will be feeding an unbalanced diet. Be careful about the Raw Boost, as some dogs have been known to just eat the raw bits, leave the kibble, and get sick (plus they are only eating a fraction of what they should, of course). I would stick with raw or raw toppers rather than go the Raw Boost route. I wouldn’t touch Blue with a 10ft pole.. too many apparent quality control issues.

  • Kuma’s Dad

    I have a one year old Shiba Inu (Just turned 1 today) and I was feeding him Purina Pro Plan puppy, and I am not a fan at all. He itches and sheds a lot so I am looking in either grain free, or Raw… And I cant decide. Raw is so expensive but it looks like it is much better for them… I am trying to decide on Blue Buffalo Wilderness, or Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost, with kibble and freeze dried raw food. Or should I just mix in some Raw food with his kibble? I am stuck…

  • 2iceblest

    I lost one lab at 3 1/2 to a brain tumor and the next before she was 11 due to an allergy to the preservatives in lower quality dog food. The amount of money, frustration, and heartache spent the last 2 years of her life (and we lost her anyway) more than outdid what we saved on food. I have three mixed-breeds now of varying ages and spend about $80/month on food. Since cooking for three dogs’ nutritional needs would be a full-time job, this is the next best option: grain-free, holistic, organic. Try to mimic what they would normally eat. And, this gentleman does a wonderful job doing the research!! (I also recommend Rejuvenate if their hips aren’t great.) :-)

  • InkedMarie

    To avoid sticker shock, I advise trying NutriSource or Earthborn.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yup, sounds like he’s not getting the nutrition he needs..not surprising given the foods you’ve been feeding him. I would DEFINITELY switch to something high in protein and low in grains or grain-free. As a first step, though, you might want to try NutriSource, either their grain-inclusive formulae or, better yet, their grain-free formulae (particularly the Lamb Meal or Chicken). It’s a great, budget-friendly food that a lot of dogs seem to do very well on. It could be considered as a “stepping stone” food to something like Orijen, etc if you want. After Nutrisource, you could try Orijen, as mentioned, or Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Logic, Earthborn Primitive Natural, Merrick… those would be my top suggestions. Or you could just stick with Nutrisource, too, of course. But, regardless, you will probably have to transition from the old food to the new food very very slowly (start with 75% old food, 25% new food, stick with that for a few days, then go to 50%/50% for a few days.. make sure the stool is firm before adding in more need food), and add in probiotics, digestive enzymes and canned pure pumpkin, to help with that transition. Good luck!

  • stockmaa

    I have a 4 yo yellow lab and a two and a half yo yellow lab, I just got the two and half yo in Dec. He is very active/hyper and doesnt seem to gain any weight. Although he loves to eat. He was eating Kibbles and Bits and now he/they eat Purina dog chow, but now I am thinking he needs something high in protein and low in grains??

  • Ty

    Wellness Core has worked great for all my shepherds.

  • Missrobin

    Thank you so very much- I cannot tell you how reassuring your message was! The foods tht I have listed Is actually over the course if about a year and a half. I am very much a best value for your dollar – sooo I was getting the large 15-30 lb bags of food, I always mix to get him used to it. I once was on a quest to find the perfect food that he really liked and I would keep him on that, that caused even more stress because I couldn’t find THE perfect dog food. I have learned though (from this site) that it is better to rotate. So now I am getting smaller bags, which in reality last about a month (or so). This has definitely helped me to not hold on to perfection!

    BTW – yes the associates (one was a trainer) new of the difficulties I was having. I was at least happy that he store didn’t carry any Diamond products! Thank you again!!!

  • jtomp

    Dear Miss Robin,
    I used to work in an independently owned pet food store. I took classes on pet nutrition and learned all the particulars on the premium brands. Though I learned a lot, it still can be daunting trying to figure out what best works for your dog. Particularly if you have a specific ailment to decipher. What I always recommend is once you start on a particular dog food, try and stick with it for about a month to see how your dog does. Of course if you’re plagued with issues and reactions immediately, take your dog off the food, but usually you will see what works after about a month. Ease your dog on to the new food for about a week to two weeks by mixing with the current food you are feeding. Slowly add more of the new food. For the next couple of weeks, you should see how your dog reacts to the new food.
    When the people at the store recommended Natural Balance L.I.D., were they aware of any issues you had with your pet? If they recommended this food, it should have been because of an allergy or stomach issue. NB L.I.D. is an excellent food for dietary and allergy issues, but I wouldn’t recommend it long term if your dog doesn’t suffer from these issues. It’s a very mild and easy to digest food low in protein. You also don’t have to ease your dog on to this food. You can give it directly.
    Anyway, if you have a particular issue with your dog, I would look into a grain-free food that your dog likes. Don’t stress too much. If you’re picking a dog food from a premium pet food retailer instead of buying the junk from the grocery store, you’re already doing the right thing.
    Good luck and don’t stress too much!

  • 3 boys & a pup

    Thanks! We are realizing this more and more as we study lupus. She’s so social and loves other dogs… So you suggest no prepared foods? Home cooking is new to us.

  • InkedMarie

    You’re welcome. HDM already told you about Canidae

  • charlie

    Heather

    I am sorry to hear about your Boston Terrier!

    PLN is a very complex and multifaceted disease as you probably already know. A dietary plan for a dog with PLN should probably not be generalized.

    Have you found a Vet experienced with PLN? Have you been able to determine the cause of the PLN?

    Determining the cause can help greatly in the treatment plan for your dog. Tests can help determine how PLN is affecting your dog and also guide your treatment plan.

    Good Luck and give your baby a hug for me!

  • Barbara Haugh

    I had a shepherd some years back with lupis and to be honest since this is an autoimmune disease, I would stay away from any processed food (bagged) that adds vitamins that rev the immune system. The only way you will be able to control that is to homecook or feed raw. Your role will be to try and create a stress free life for the dog not to expose the dog to areas that will cause the body’s immune system to kick in (ie the dog park)

  • Missrobin

    : (. Thank YOU!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Most of Canidae’s products are made by Diamond.

  • Missrobin

    Thank you ! I will look into these – what about Canidae, it looked pretty good too. Do you know anything about that brand?

  • Storm’s Mom

    In addition to what InkedMarie said, NutriSource Grain Free Lamb Meal or Chicken is also a great food at a great price! There are 2 other GF varieties that they have, but those ones (Seafood and Heartland) are too low in protein for my liking.

  • 3 boys & a pup

    We have a two year old rescue (lab, collie, Shepard mix) recently diagnosed with discoid lupus :(. Seems as if grain free is the best for her. Anyone with similar stories or experiences? Suggestions on which food (per list above) would help?

  • InkedMarie

    It can be overwhelming. If you are looking for a very good grainfree food (assuming you are, since you’re on the Best Grain free thread), look at Dr Tim’s Kinesis Grainfree, Earthborn, Annamaet….I personally won’t feed TOTW since its made by Diamond & they have had too many recalls for me to feel good about them, Back to Basics is fine as long as you’re feeding the high protein formulas (the other grainfree is very very low in calories per cup). I don’t like Natural Balance for a variety of reasons, for the price, you can do much better.

    look to order online! if you look at Chewy.com, PetFlow.com, Wag.com they have great prices and free shipping for a nominal purchase.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Regarding PLN I found this dietary recommendation:

    “Dogs with PLN should be fed a gluten-free diet that is moderately reduced in protein. Protein sources should come from fish, venison or other protein sources not common in commercial dog food, including chicken.” [akcchf.org]

    Based on this I would recommend:

    -Addiction’s grain-free dehydrated formulas (venison, brushtail, kangaroo, lamb have between 19% and 22% protein).
    -California Naturals Grain-Free Kangaroo formula – 22% protein.
    -FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Senior Formula – 18% protein.
    -Artemis Osupure (Bison, Duck or Lamb formulas – all 23% protein).
    -If you’re okay with feeding products manufactured by Diamond, most of the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets would fit the bill as well.

  • Heather

    Hi! My 10 year old Boston Terrier was recently diagnosed with Protein Losing Nephropathy so I’m trying to find a gluten-free dog food that is also LOW in protein (most that I’ve found tend to be higher in protein). Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

  • Missrobin

    Oh my gosh all of this info is driving crazy!! I am very much an A-type personality and I feel like I am in information overload! I basically have fed my dog 3 different brands: back to Basics, then Taste of the Wild (allergy issues – we think), then Merrick – he didn’t like. Went to the pet store today armed with my 4 & 5 star list from this wonderful site and stood there staring at all of these dog foods. Went through looking at prices that would fit our budget, finally asked for help, 2 VERY helpful people recommended Natural Balance L.I.D. I looked at my all important list, didn’t see it and thought hmmmm maybe it got cut off on printing, got home rushed to dog food advisor, and was VERY disappointed in what I read. I am 40 min. From a pet store and feel paralyzed by all of the information, I have spent hours on websites trying to find the PERFECT kibble only to have my pooch not like the food or have adverse reactions!!!!! My husband says I need help for spending more time on researching dog foods than our food…. And he’s right!! And instill don’t know where to turn, I check this site and ten another and another! They are going to,put me in a straight jacket!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Try adding digestive enzymes and try switching up foods.

  • Dawn

    Hello. I have a boxer with deadly gas. I feed her merrick grain free real buffalo + sweet potato dry. Any suggestions?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Any of the 5 star grain-free foods would be worth a try. Annamaet is a wonderful food and company but I would avoid TOTW though – it’s manufactured by Diamond. I’d also recommend rotating brands (no food is perfect and dogs need variety) and consider topping the kibble with a quality canned food and/or fresh food (leftover meat, tinned sardines, eggs, plain yogurt, etc.).

  • newfie lover

    What are some recommendations for newfoundlands? We’ve had newfies for over thirty years and most have lived to 12 yrs or so. We recently have had 3 rescues ( senior newfs) and the rescue organizations are inisiting on using different foods. annamaet, tastes of the wild and other non grain foods. newfs are expensive to feed and if we change would like to make good choices. any recommendations?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I would switch to a high protein, low carb food and avoid grains as grains are inflammatory. While it technically isn’t necessary to feed a “diet” or “low fat” food to achieve weight loss as long as calories are reduced, it can sometimes make things easier to feed a lower fat and less calorically-dense food. Unfortunately, most “diet” foods are carb-heavy. A few quality weight loss foods that I’d recommend would be Wellness CORE Reduced-Fat, Annamaet Lean or EVO Weight Management. While they are more expensive, dehydrated, canned and raw foods make a great choice for weight loss due to their high moisture content. With such high moisture levels the calories are diluted making these options much lower in calories than kibble (comparing cup to cup). Are you currently giving him any supplements for his arthritis? Supplements such as boswellia, yucca, turmeric (curcumin), bromelain, white willow tart cherry and high doses of omega 3’s are all natural anti-inflammatories and may help with pain. Glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, hyaluronic acid and esterified fatty acids can help to maintain the integrity of the joints.

  • cgiglio

    I have a 11 yr old golden retriever who is over weight and has arthritis. I want to help extent his life and help with his pain. What would be the best food to switch to?

  • Pugsonraw

    Thanks Labs!

  • puddle puppy

    ……I’ve also given her Salmon Jerky but that upsets her stomach as well…..

  • Storm’s Mom

    Agreed, it’s the same with chicken fat – most dogs, like mine, with an allergy/intolerance to chicken will likely be just fine with chicken fat because of a lack of protein. It’s always *possible* that there will be a little bit of protein in there, but very unlikely to cause a reaction, in any case.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes, Salmon oil would be okay because it does not contain any protein.

  • Pugsonraw

    HDM,

    Am I reading this right? That if a dog is allergic to say salmon, than salmon oil would still be ok and not cause a reaction.

    Dawn

  • puddle puppy

    Thanks! (I’ve tried Fish Oil but it upsets her stomach)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I would try a limited ingredient food such as Nature’s Variety Instinct Limited Ingredient Diets, Addiction or Grandma Lucy’s. I would also supplement with a quality multi-strain probiotic supplement and enzymes for her digestive problems and coconut oil and fish oil for her skin and coat issues (the fish oil should cause a reaction even if she reacts to fish as reactions to food are to the protein, not to the fat).

  • Puddle Puppy

    I have a 4 1/2 year old rescued Puggle and she has developed quite the food challenge, she is allergic or has digestive problems with Grain, Fish/Seafood and Dairy AND (as a result I guess) has Skin & Coat Issues. I have tried various high end dry dog foods with some success with her digestive issues but she’s still scratching a lot and is on Temeril. Any dry food ideas will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  • swtsthrnangel

    Thank you for the information. We are looking into finding a different food for our aussie’s.

  • swtsthrnangel

    Looking for a great healthy dry dog food for our aussie’s. Our 4yo aussie has a problem with grain type foods. We have tried couple different brands, each getting a good amount of time to get into the dogs systems. We are looking for a good food for coat, health, omega 3 & 6’s. Anyone have any suggestions??? We have been reading over a lot of the reviews & so on. Just would like to see which foods are suggested more or which foods people prefer. Thank you!

  • InkedMarie

    Since its tht food, I’ll say it’s not very good. The adult maintaince food is oo low in protein, the other adult one is 26%, on the low end of ok.

  • dfly

    We have a 4-yr old yellow lab who’s eaten Royal Canin all of her life. She’s always been sensitive. She stopped eating earlier in the year and decided it was time to upgrade her food. We’ve tried Wellness Core and Nature Variety Instinct (two type). She will eat for a few days and then stops eating! Our chocolate lab is doing great but she’ll eat anything. We’re at our wits end regarding this finicky lab. Thank goodness for this site as now I have a better resource!

  • Deb R.

    Blue Buffalo Grain Free has stopped my goldendoodle from itching.

  • swtsthrnangel

    Yeah, that is what we fed our aussie’s. The only place thay carried it, was the feed store by our place.

  • InkedMarie
  • Kikki

    I’m currently feeding Wellness Core Reduced Fat to my 7 yrs old slighty chubby girl. I really like Annamaet Lean too. Both are grain free and rated 5 star.

  • Liljaker

    Love this site. I have a mini poodle who has been on Acana grain free regionals and he loves it, but he has put on a little weight. He is 5. I am looking for a weight management grain free that is a 5 star. Any suggestion? I’d rather do that than cut his food amount.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I think it is a protein level issue.

  • Kate

    I’ve looked around for an alternative to Canidae grain free for a while. My dogs were doing so well on it for a long time until they started getting vomity on it. After a long time trying other kibble now, I’ve just started them on Artemis Osopure. I’m happy with the ingredients and my dogs absolutely love it and it certainly smells a bit more edible than some of the other kibble. I’m just surprised that it is not rated a bit more highly. I just wonder why. Apart from it not being a very high protein level, which I don’t mind, is there really anything else that makes it a worse choice than others? I am planning to try Canidae again once the new formula is available where I am but if the Artemis goes well I might not bother? Am I missing something?

  • swtsthrnangel

    We fed our aussie’s ProPremium when we lived in FL, since moving to TN we have not been able to find a food we like as much. ProPremium was awesome with helping our dogs coats, their body used more of the food, & they just all around looked great & were very healthy. Since, ProPremium is not available up here in the Nashville area, what is the next closest food to ProPremium?? It is made by Cargill. Thank you.

  • Michael Barber

    Get her OFF of Science Diet…worse dog food on the market and so many vets need to have their license to practice revoked for recommending it. If a vet recommends it, I find a new vet.

    Got my new puppy 3 wks ago who was on science diet with all kinds of skin problems and fur loss. Switched her to a more protein rich, corn-free dog food and her skin magically fixed itself. Fur nearly all back. It is CRAP!

  • Janice Z Monson

    Try ivermectin for that mange, give the liquid orally once a day. It clears it up in our rescue bullies.

  • CNowlin

    My wife and I own a Shar-Pei Mix & Great Dane Mix – Both Rescue’s. Recently – over the past few months – our Great Dane has been consistently itching around the clock. We first suspected flea’s so we had both dogs treated, as well as the yard, and both have been placed on Sentinel. Our Shar-Pei is not experiences any itching or skin related issues – nor has she ever – but the Great Dane’s coat has been getting so thin, and she has been itching so bad, that her skin is now very visible underneath. We took her to the vet and they said she does have a yest buildup on her skin which is causing the itching. They recommended bathing her twice a week with a special shampoo, gave her a steroid shot along with an antibiotic. Low and behold, nothing happened. I am seriously starting to thing the issue is with her food. When we first adopted her, her skin and coat was full and clean but then this all started and has been very consistent. Unfortunately We do not know what she was fed prior to adoption. Our vet recommended Science Diet – Skin Formulated – which I think is absolute $hit.

    Thus, I am here. Can anyone recommend a great dry food – as well as wet – that will prevent any itching and is well formulated for both of our dogs? We are willing to spend a bit of money, but we are not made of money either. Someone recommended yogurt for the yeast buildup, but it would be nice to find a food that will bring her coat back, prevent yeast buildup, and bring them up to be healthy puppies. I assume the Great Dane has some sort of food allergy but we can not figure out what it is.

  • Ned

    Addendum to my prev comment since no way to edit it: high levels of mercury and pcbs…toxin risks.

  • Ned

    When choosing grain free dog food with chicken or duck as a protein source keep in mind the trickle down effect. Those animals are often fed soy and corn, which many dogs react to as much as grains added directly to the food mix. Also, be aware that fish based food is often sourced from FARMED salmon…if in doubt ask the company. It should be 100% wild caught fish. Farmed fish are not only bad for the environment but carry high-levels of mercury risks.

  • Rssgnl27

    Diamond makes a grain free food in Chicken, Beef and Fish. They’re about $39.99 a bag and its a 23# bag. That’s the cheapest I’ve found, followed by Taste of the Wild.

  • Rellog

    I have been using Chicken Soup for my dogs for about 6 years now. With the rice warnings, I am looking for a substitute for the food that won’t break the bank. Currently, I can get a 35lb bag for about $33. Are there any grain free, rice free dog foods that are comparable in both quality and price to ChickenSoup?

  • Storm’s Mom

    The one(s) that are available in your area (or online, if you’re willing/able to do that), within your budget, and that your dog does best on!! :-)

    I would suggest taking this list to your local store (or print it out to check the online retailers), see what’s available within your budget, and go from there.

    I’ve got some personal favourites – Nature’s Logic, Nutrisource Grain Free, Performatrin Ultra Grain Free, Nutrience Grain Free (a brand new one that isn’t listed here because it hasn’t been reviewed yet, but would likely be a 5 star once it’s reviewed) ….and a few others – I’m sure others do as well – but if they aren’t available to you for whatever reason (ie, the Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is widely available in Canada but only on a limited basis in the US, not sure about Nutrience), it wouldn’t help you too much.

    Maybe let us know what’s available in your area or whether you’re willing to order online, your budget, etc and we can go from there?

  • Lyseestar

    Of these, which is the best quality?

  • InkedMarie

    You’re looking for a more inexpensive food? If yes, look at Dt Tim’s, Earthborn..

  • InkedMarie

    I apologize for my snarkiness. A young pup from a breeder is a purchase. An adoption is from a rescue, shelter etc.

    Anyway, my first two Shelties came here as young puppies, ate anything. My last two cae here as seniors. One was 11 yrs nd lived 3.5 more years. Our current just came here in January, she was ten in June.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I usually tell people to print up the list and take it with you to all the pet boutiques around. Note what is available for what price. Ask for free samples. Pick a few that you are intested in and rotate between them. If they don’t work for your dog cross them off your list and try something else.

  • Kathy

    I heard that shelties can have sensitive digestive systems, so that’s good to hear that you have not had issues. Our 16 yr old sheltie who passed away a year ago was sensitive in older age. No sure what you mean by ?adopt from a breeder. Guess I used the wrong term.
    Just looking for some suggestions on a good food. Thanks

  • InkedMarie

    I must be lucky. I’ve had four Shelties; none have had a sensitive stomach. How to you adopt an 8 week old puppy from a breeder?

  • Storm’s Mom

    What would help you make a selection? Maybe some of the posters here can help…

  • MiniMax

    Not much help in making a selection.

  • Kathy

    I just adopted an 8 week old sheltie who was started on Diamonds small breed puppy food. He seems to be doing okay with this food but has only been on it briefly since weaning a couple of weeks ago. The breeder gave me a small bag but I am looking for an alternative to transition him to as I read reviews about Diamond and felt there were much better choices within the same or slightly higher price range. Shelties can have sensitive digestive systems and also consider their coat and skin. Any suggestions?

  • Kim

    Annamaet has never had a recall and is not manufactured with other food.

    The problem with Taste of the Wild/Diamond brand foods was they are made in the same place as other foods, so when one was recalled they all had to be recalled.

    My 11 month old Pug LOVES Annamaet, for grain free they have Salcha(chicken/duck) Manitok(red meat), Aqualuk (fish) and they also have a Lean formula with low-ash duck.

    Sorry to sound like an advertisement but it really is a great food, and the owner, Rob Downey, is a great guy.

  • froglips7846

    THANKS AGAIN, REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR OPINION.

  • Pattyvaughn

    With food allergies, my suggestion would be to avoid chicken, grains, and white potato. Look at Earthborn Holitic Grain Free, Nature’s Variety Instinct, or Brothers Complete. Brothers is my favorite, but Earthborn has the best price.

  • froglips7846

    thanks patty, my beagle has some kind of allergy, from what I have read, it is a food allergy, he has all the symptoms. What grain free dog food would you recommend? So many, have read them all, real confused to which is the best. thanks suzy

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s a solid 3 star food. If your dog doesn’t have problems with grains, it really doesn’t have any bad ingredients. I would still rotate it with foods that don’t have canola oil in them, just in case.

  • froglips7846

    What is the general feeling on Lassie Natural Way, chicken meal, rice & oatmeal recipe?

  • InkedMarie

    Some foods to consider, no recalls to the best of my knowledge: Fromm, Brothers, Annamaet, dr Tim’s, victor, natures logic.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I believe this list is pretty much all of the grain free 4 and 5 star foods that Dr. Mike has been able to get all the info on and are complete and balanced.

  • Roxy

    I am in the process of switching my Shiba Inu’s dog food from Blue’s Lamb and Rice to something else. It’s exhausting. I wish there was a list of brands that had never had a recall!!!! I am going to try making his own food for a while, to clean him out and try to heal his hot spots and rash, I assume caused by something in his food. I was wondering what criteria determines the brands on this list? How well they sell or have they been reviewed independently somewhere?

  • Robyn

    Laura, Quite a few of the smaller breeds have allergies to corn and some with wheat. One of my Cairns used to chew and get the sores and that stopped when I switched to no corn in her meals or treats. While your figuring out the allergies petmeds.com has a great shampoo and a spray that really helps relieve itching and the sores. The spray is called Be Soothed. The shampoo and the spray have tea tree oil and aloe in it which have great healing powers. I alternate the tea tree shampoo with one of petmeds oatmeal shampoos. (when tea tree oil is diluted with aloe and other compounds it is totally safe for dogs and other animals.

  • Storm’s Mom
  • Shannon

    I’d like to see where Kirkland (Costco’s) Grain Free Turkey and sweet potato stacks up, please ;)

  • mward1993

    yes, thankfully there are grain free, or healthy foods that are grain inclusive that you can get for a good price. You just have to know where to look, and how to read a label. Tractor Supply and other feed stores ect. tend to have good foods for really low prices.

  • Terri

    Laura: I would try an experiment to determine if your Yorkie is allergic to any ingredients in commercial dog foods (and believe me there are so many things, like additives at the rendering plants that aren’t on the bag label). Home cook for a few months. It’s not as difficult or time consuming as you might think, nor is it costly. I buy 10 lb chubs of human ground turkey for about $1.25 a lb. I aim for 30 – 40% meat protein and the rest I split between a couple of vegies (carrots, peas, broccoli–all cooked of course) and a good starch carb (either red potatoes or brown rice). I make all 10 lbs. of turkey at once—-roast the meat in the oven to a “rare” doneness and after it’s cooled a little I stir in the other cooked ingredients. (You need BIG roasting pans!) By the way, one pound of ground meat equals 2 cups cooked, by volume. So 10 lbs = 20 cups. To that I add about 10 cups of rice or potatoes (no skins) and 12-14 cups of a couple veggies. THEN, I divide it up into containers that hold about 5 days worth of food and freeze them. It works wonderfully, my dog is doing so well and it’s not much trouble—-an hour and half of work every couple of months. I have a standard schnauzer (breed prone to skin issues) & my experiment proved he was allergic to beef. Oh, when he was four yrs old I took him to a top Dermotologist at UC Davis Vet School and she informed me that most dogs that are allergic are allergic to the protein source, that’s right the PROTEIN source. Some are sensitive to yucky grains, like corn, wheat etc (which I do not believe in feeding to pets anyway) but most wind up with an allergy to the protein source (because the source is by product or meal (yuck). So pick a protein source for your home cooked that your dog has eaten very little of—-probably turkey or pork, etc. I would avoid beef or lamb. Good luck. If you would like any more ideas or personal experiences, text me at Five3zero-90five-4one1one and we’ll exchange emails.

  • Hound Dog Mom
  • Rob devitol

    Hi, do you plan on reviewing vets choice holistic grain free, I would like to see what you think of it , thanks Rob

  • Pattyvaughn

    For a dog that has envirnmental allergies, often a foot bath on the way in from outdoors will provide a nice amount of relief. Try to keep the grass short where the dog goes, or he may need a rinse up to his belly.

  • Itchy Lhasa

    My Lhasa has skin problem as well, we think it’s food + environmental allergies (when I sneeze more, his skin gets worse). We saw positive results when we added flax seed meal to his food (go slow). We also add coconut oil to his food (also go slow), and once in a while, a scoop of fat free plain yogurt. We have also kept him only on fish based dry kibble. Went from Wellness Super5Mix salmon to Nature’s Logic sardine formula but thinking about trying Earthborn next (although Earthborn has less protein so we aren’t sure yet). Origen looks great as well but it’s about $20 more per bag. His skin problem is now manageable, though not completely gone away, but he’s definitely much happier and less itchy now than before. Good luck!

  • Freckles

    If there is a Costco near you, they offer a grain-free food for $1/lb. Its rating was lowered from 4 to 3.5 recently because they infer that a lot of the protein comes from plant vs animal sources. I feed my dog the Salmon and Sweet Potato variety and she loves it. I also noticed that her coat got much softer when we switched her from the Kirkland (Costco brand) puppy food to the salmon food. The standard Kirkland dog food has a 4.0 rating, comes in chicken and lamb varieties, and is even cheaper (~$0.75/lb), but is not grain free.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I wonder if it is available in the US. I’ve never heard of it.

  • Arna

    I buy Brit Carnilove for my furry ones.. its fairly affordable, good quality and grain free

  • Winnie

    I have a 3 year old white puli and a 6 month old english bulldog. I am feeding them wilderness. Any thoughts on this dry food?

  • InkedMarie

    If you mean grainfree, I don’t think there’s a gf food for that price. For grain inclusive, check out Dr Tim’s, Fromm, possibly Victor. If you can order online, you’ll probably find better deals

  • Diego’s Mom

    I wish there was a way to type in what you can afford, and then have recommended brands. I can’t afford around $50 for a 30lb bag. If I could, I would buy the best. But I can’t…. so where does that leave me? What’s the best/healthiest dog food I can buy for $20-30 for a 30lb bag?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Glad your dogs are doing so well!! Which food are you talking about when you say “this is great bang for the buck”? You don’t mention a dog food brand at all in your post, so I’m a bit confused.

  • Shell

    I have three dogs 2 weimaraners and 1 corgi. One of my weimaraner is a picky eater and he now eats his whole dish without encouragement. I also say this is a great bang for the buck. I have prime time with Amazon too. I am not promoting amazon here, but if you are very disabled and live way out in the county; having someone take you into town and the gas too, it works out better. I will also say my 12 year old corgi has stopped limping and is now jumping around like he did when he was 7 or 8. However, he also gets these supplements fish oil, glucosamine/msm, and turmeric. If your interested in the turmeric you can google and you can find the right dosage for your dog at Ottawa Valley Dog Whisperer. I would highly recommend the turmeric as my vet who is an herbal treatment vet also said it will also help his liver functioning.

    [email protected]

  • Kikki

    I’ve been planning in my head to switch over to raw completely when we get our own place (because there’s no space in the freezer thanks to my hoarding mother-in-law) but now when you mentioned your husband, I’m not sure mine cold handle it either if I went on vacation. Either way, I’m definitely getting a doggie-freezer so I can feed more raw. Maybe 50/50. I’m so envious of you ladies with huge stashes of everything. One day I’ll catch up ;)

  • Pattyvaughn

    I have to stay with some kibble due to too many squeamish people in my family. In case of emergency, they couldn’t handle feeding raw, but my husband did surprise me when I went on vacation by agreeing to continue with the Darwin’s. He said it looked the most like ground beef so he could handle that.
    I actually got the freezer because I’m raising a grass fed steer that will take a lot of room when the time comes. Well, that’s the excuse that I gave my husband. He didn’t blink when I got it a year before the calf needs it and I completely filled it immediately.

  • beaglemom

    LOL. We really should start a club you guys. “Dog Food Addicts Anonymous” or something. I’ve decided I want to make as much as my dogs’ food as I can… which will happen after I finish the 8 bags of kibble (small ones!), 8 cases of cans, ~3-4 bags/boxes of dehydrated and so on and so forth. I’m jealous, Patty, I can’t wait to get a “dog freezer”… but honestly, it might help out financially to wait a little longer in order to work through some of the “non-frozen stash” before I start up a larger “frozen stash” :) That’s not to say I don’t already have my first Hare Today order planned and waiting…

  • InkedMarie

    Ah, gotcha. Earthborn, dr Tim’s, totw are cheaper in price. Orijen is up there. Honestly, I don’t pay much attention. I have a dog with issues o I buy what he needs. I just put away money each week so when the credit card comes in (I usually order), I’ve got the money.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I went and bought a new freezer so I could collect raw food to do that with. My husband frowns on too much kibble around the house, but he doesn’t seem to notice the raw so much.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve thought the same thing!!

  • Storm’s Mom

    I love trying new foods, so much fun!!! Storm seems not to mind, soooo… lol ;-) Right now, I have my next 3 ones lined up – 2 are in the cupboard (Go! Grain-Free, Potato-Free Turkey and Nature’s Logic Rabbit) ..and I just got word that the 3rd one – Wholesome Blend Grain Free Turf – is in now (wow, that was fast!!! I just ordered it!!). The store said they could hold it, but not sure if they had in mind to hold for a couple months?! haha ;-)

  • Kikki

    It’s so, so much fun! I can spend hours and hours browsing and comparing food online. What do you do with the samples bags now when you feed raw? Just give them as treats or a snack? I saw a picture of ur stash and was so jealous that I emailed a dozen companies for samples lol! I have half a box full now and when no one is around I take them out of the box and “play” with them. Sample makes me :D :D

  • Kikki

    InkedMarie mentioned 3 budget-friendly choices below. NutriSource, Earthborn and Dr. Tim’s. All great foods I want to try (and probably will sooner or later).

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Isn’t trying new foods fun? :)

    When I used to feed my dog kibble I went nuts buying stuff. He was about 110 lbs. so he went through food pretty quick. I’d usually buy the 15 lb. bags so I could move on to something new every couple weeks. I also always kept the cupboard stocked with all different brands of canned food. I’d try about any 4 or 5 star brand I could find. I don’t feed kibble any more but I still keep a stash of sample and trial bags.

  • Kikki

    Mm, I see. Thanks for explaining. Maybe I’ll give NutriSource a try next time if the dogs like the samples. The list of foods I want to try is getting longer and longer. Sometimes I wish our 3 dogs were giant breed instead of medium so I could try more foods LOL!

  • Sue

    I know, but generally speaking, some are $40ish and some are $80ish. …big difference, and it would be nice to see them with maybe even just a symbol like $, $$, $$$, for example. I know that is a lot of work, but I can dream. :-)

  • InkedMarie

    What, the best grain free? Prices are different at various towns/cities, not to mention online.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Prices vary by location.

  • Sue

    I would love to see this sorted by price

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Kibble size can have an effect on the calorie count per cup, however that’s not the issue here. Aside from NutriSource’s Large Breed GF Lamb formula all of the NutriSource formulas contain not only more calories per cup but more calories per kilogram. A kilogram is a kilogram regardless of how many cups of kibble it contains.

    Protein wouldn’t have an effect on caloric density – protein has 4 kcal. per gram, carbohydrates have 4 kcal. per gram and fat has 9 kcal. per gram. The only nutrient that can impact the caloric density of a food is fat. With that said, the NutriSource formulas don’t contain significantly more fat than the Earthborn formulas. Ash content and moisture content also play a role in determining the caloric density of a food so my guess is that’s what’s going on here. Comparing the general analysis and caloric densities would lead me to believe that Earthborn likely contains significantly more ash than NutriSource.