4Health Grain Free Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

4Health Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The 4Health Grain Free product line includes five dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • 4Health Grain Free Pork and Potato
  • 4Health Grain Free Duck and Potato
  • 4Health Grain Free Whitefish and Potato
  • 4Health Grain Free Beef and Potato (4 stars)
  • 4Health Grain Free Turkey and Potato (4 stars)

4Health Grain Free Whitefish and Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

4Health Grain Free Whitefish and Potato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 49%

Ingredients: Whitefish, fish meal, pea protein, dried peas, tapioca, whole potato, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried plain beet pulp, whole flaxseed, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, manganese proteinate, l-carnitine, copper proteinate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%16%49%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%33%43%

The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1

Although it is a quality item, raw fish contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The third ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient includes sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

4Health Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, 4Health Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 49%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, dried peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

4Health Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

08/22/2014 Last Update

  1. Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Allyson

    Dad’s is a fairly new company, I checked it out. They make versions of cheap dog chow like Purina, and just recently went into grain free. They do private label foods so it is hard to find info on them without directly contacting them. I am happy with how TSC tries to help and work with you as a consumer, but just don’t trust these dog food companies well. It’s trial and error, plus having a dog with grain allergies I worry about contamination from some of these companies. If they continue to do fine having separate facilities for grain free and such, I would consider keeping them in my rotation, but if they start having contamination issues we will definitely be switching to other foods.

  • Donna Heimall

    I spoke with the manager of the TSC that i always go to, today (they sent out their 10% off coupons so I load up on dogfood), he asked me how my dogs were doing on the 4Health grain free. So we were talking for a bit, and he said that Diamond no longer makes the grain free version, they are now made by the company who made Dad’s (no idea about that one…..). The reasoning behind that was at the time, Diamond was not making their own grain free line- they are now- and were not able to keep up with the grain free demand from TSC, but the Dad’s company was able to dedicate an area. Once Diamond started making their own grain free, they COULD have switched back, but TSC wasn’t having any problems with Dad’s, so they didn’t. So hopefully that helps you rest a little easier….at least until we learn more about this Dad’s place!

  • Doxie7

    Robin, Have you tried Pure Balance??No grain,color or by products……Have many flavors….You can get it at Walmart and is rated 31/2-4 on here,we switched from Wellness to this a few years ago when it first came out and my gang loves it…We do the Salmon/peas which my little one with the tummy problem… has no problem anymore,,Bye Bye gas..lol I know you and everyone else is saying Walmart…but please check it out ..made in usa..also have can 95% meat……

  • Allyson

    I like the 4health grain free for the price but have noticed there are some formulas that have caused my dogs some problems before. It is made by Diamond, and I know they source their chicken among other ingredients from china. I avoid their chicken formulas, some of the other ones though are decent for the price, you just have to be very careful.

  • Jade Bacon

    Another thing to try (my mother in law did this with our senior dog) bake chicken breast, grind them up after cooking in a food processor; mix the ground up, cooked chicken with cooked brown rice. It will stretch *much* farther than canned food, it’s very gentle on their stomachs & you know what’s in it, since you make it yourself. The fresh chicken may be more enticing to their old noses. This food mix was also recommended by our vet after many food allergy trials.

  • Jade Bacon

    An allergy to a food (from my experience ) has presented with vomiting, diarrhea, excessive scratching & hot ears. I think our dogs are all using furniture as their napkins, the little boogers!

  • Jade Bacon

    I’ve been getting 4health for our beagle since we got him at 6 weeks of age (he’s 4yrs next month. He was the last of his litter at 6 weeks! The breeder was looking for a home for him, brought him in where she & my husband worked. It was love at first snuggle.) I recently switched to the whitefish & potato, due to fish having more beneficial oil than other meats. He doesn’t seem to be scratching as much since the switch.

  • Jade Bacon

    Problems with itchy skin can be food & bathing related. The 4 health brand has omega oils, which can help with skin issues. Regular bathing with an oatmeal shampoo may help.

  • Robin Earnest

    I just checked and a whole can of Garbanzo beans has 9 grams of sugar. Also please advise as to what Colloidal Silver is? I was reading previous threads that stated this was a very good cure for yeast/Candida. I also need to know the best place to buy it ? Thanks so much, I am knew to posting here :-)

  • Robin Earnest

    I need to change dry dog foods yet again. Currently my two Jack Russell Terriers are on Natures Choice chicken with sweet potato and pumpkin Grain Free. One of them is having a scratching, scratching and licking endless reaction. I think I have narrowed these symptoms down to many carbs turning into sugar which is causing a high level of yeast growth. He is also biting and licking his feet.I am planning to purchase 4-Health grain free with no type of potato in it. I know peas have some carbs but not as much as all 3 starches combined.
    Your thoughts and comments are much welcome re this post.
    Here is what it has in it,it is for small breed adult dogs.
    4health Grain Free Small Breed Formula for Adult Dogs has no grain, no wheat, no corn, and no soy.

    Beef is the #1 ingredient

    A blend of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids for skin and coat

    Contains DHA

    Natural fiber and probiotics support healthy digestion

    Antioxidant formulation

    Ingredients:
    Beef, Lamb Meal, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Lentils, Canola Oil, Egg Product, Tapioca, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Ocean Fish Meal, Salmon Oil (Source Of DHA), Salt, Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, L-Carnitine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Lactobacillus Reuteri, Vitamin E Supplement, Beta Carotene, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

  • Sean

    Seems a bit big… do you think it would be okay for a brachycephalic dog like a boston terrier?

  • MissyT

    They rarely get food treats.
    We use praise to reward good behavior.

  • YoMama

    I have my 2 English bulldogs and Boxer on the duck and potato and they do very well on it. English bulldogs will always have an odor no matter what you do, it’s a breed thing.

  • Vasi

    Stomach tacking is a great option if you are worried about bloat. It usually isn’t an extremely expensive venture, and is pretty minimally invasive.

  • MissyT

    I don’t feed store bought treats and I very seldom give (almost never) give them leftover eggs or meat off my plate. Basically, they don’t get food treats.

  • LabsRawesome

    What treats do you give them?

  • MissyT

    5 of my dogs and both if my mom’s dogs were on 4health for about 6 months (about a year ago) they all started peeing in the house and drinking more water than ever before after about a month. These dogs are very potty trained. Has anyone else had these problems?
    I switched to Victor, and loved it at first, but now 2 of my dogs have had liver problems in the last 3 months and I’m wondering if it’s got something to do with the Victor dog food?

  • Dori

    C4D. That’s exactly what they’re doing. Their own personal gigantic napkins. I’ve got one with no allergies, never has and she’s always done it after each and every meal.

  • Dori

    I feed all grain free. One of my girls has always done that since she was a puppy, she’s now 15 + years old and still does it. She’s wiping her mouth on the skirt parts of the couch after each meal. Since they’ve been eating commercial raw I wipe her mouth area after she eats but she still feels she has to use the furniture as a napkin to dry herself off. She does not and has never has had any allergies. Funny thing about her is that she is not a dog that is fastidious about her hygiene. My other two that are never wipe themselves on the furniture. One of those two has a ton of allergies. I think your dog is just cleaning herself on your furniture as if it were her great big napkin after meals. No worries.

  • Jean

    I agree. An allergy to the food I would think they would be scratching the back area with their paws. Mine rub their faces too and roll over on their backs and wiggle, it feels good to them.

  • Jean

    Mine do really good on Duck and Potato Grain Free and they like it best. Also the shape of the food is easier to eat, instead of being a round kibble, it’s flat like a disk and even my 4 lb Chihuahua can eat it well. I wish they had small bites but at least this does work. I had mine on Pedigree about 12 years ago and thankfully I learned about food grades. I have fed 4Health about 3 years now and it’s working well. I have a good friend with your breed and it’s rough with allergies to foods. Good luck, try a small bag, see how it goes.

  • Samantha

    I recently switched from Pedigree to 4health GF beef and potato and my English Bulldog loves it. What I’m wondering is should I switch to turkey since beef is one of the top things dogs can be allergic to? He still does scratch , just not as much as he did on Pedigree.. and he still has an odor that I thought would get better with the food change. Any thoughts?
    Thanks!

  • ck

    The beef is around the size of a nickel.

  • Crazy4dogs

    My previous dog was more deep chested than my current labs, they are more the “conformation” or “bench” type rather than the field type. There are also some breeds that are particularly prone to it. I know Great Danes seem to be particularly vulnerable.

    BC is absolutely right. I agree that it can be a combination that causes it.

    I’ve always given my dogs a wet food of some type, whether it’s a kibble/canned/warm water mix or fresh to prevent expansion in the gut. I’ve used slow feeders for my vaccuum cleaner dog to slow her down. I always make sure there has been @ least 45 minutes before or after exercise to feed them.

  • theBCnut

    The current thinking is that raised feeder would increase the chance of bloat because the throat is open more when eating from a raised feeder, so there is more chance of swallowing air. They have done studies on all of the individual things that people say cause bloat and were not able to cause bloat with any of them, not one. Likely, bloat is something that happens when the right combination of things all happen at the same time, rather than any one thing. If you are really worried about bloat, keep some GasX on hand. You can even add one drop to her food to prevent gas buildup.

  • slice

    Yeah the bloat thing is what I was worried about. So it’s basically 50/50 then.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I use raised feeders that are on the low side for my dogs size. I originally bought them when the theory was they help prevent bloat. Some studies are finding it may actually increase the chance of bloat.

  • slice

    What are the thoughts on having a raised food / water bowl? Her shoulders are about 25″. Should I keep the bowls on the floor? Black lab mix, somewhat big chest.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I prefer grain free, but I have a lab who does the same thing but shows no signs of allergies. He does it no matter what I’m feeding, canned/kibble mix, raw or fresh. I’ve tried researching it & the concensus is they’re just wiping their faces. Others on this forum might have a better answer.

  • slice

    My dog is three years old, about 70 lbs (a fit 70). We’ve been feeding her 4health dry food (usually the salmon / chicken / lamb varieties, non-grain-free) and when she’s done eating, she’ll walk around the couch rubbing her face on it or rub it on the floor for a few minutes. She never has any digestive problems however. My first thought was an allergy to something in the food. Should I give the grain-fee a try?

  • Melanie Clanton

    I switched from Science Diet small breed, to 4health Small bites and BOTH my pups have thrived immensely!. There coats and skin are soft and shiny, they no longer itch and no more constant paw licking!. they absolutely love 4health, and occasionally Ill switch to the 4health Beef and Potato Grain Free and they love it also.. I recommend 4health to all my family and friends! you cant go wrong with a plant based food.. (flaxseed) so good for them..

  • Susan C. in VA

    Dana Lynn, there is so much being said about the Tractor Supply Brand 4health dry dog foods. Some of the 4health dry foods are made by Diamond, but a few are still being produced by Ainsworth. The “4health Grain Free Duck and Potato” is still made by Ainsworth and has fabulous ingredients. My 3 dogs are doing great on it!! They love it and their stools look perfect.

  • Susan C. in VA

    Hi Jane, there is so much being said about the Tractor Supply Brand 4health dry dog foods. The thing is, some of the 4health are made by Diamond, but a few are still being produced by Ainsworth. The “4health Grain Free Duck and Potato” is still made by Ainsworth. My 3 dogs are doing great on it!! They love it and their Stools look perfect.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Diane:
    I have read the complaints posted here on 4Health kibbles. I have never had any issues with any of the recipes (wet or dry) I have fed. I stopped feeding the kibble because one of the GF recipes that Ainsworth manufactured went to Diamond. I don’t feed Diamond manufactured products at this time due to their repeated history of recalls. I was afraid the remaining GF recipes that Ainsworth manufactures (turkey and beef) would go to Diamond without me realizing it. I do use some 4Health canned recipes in my rotation.

    Sign up for re-call alerts here:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall-alerts/

    Here is the dog food recall list:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recalls/

    I understand about being hesitant to rotate foods with a senior pet. A feeding plan does have to be tailored to the individual pet. I rotate foods and believe it is a healthier way to feed. The added bonuses are I can feed my dog and most of my cats any food without a transition and take advantage of sales. For my dog I feed low fat/senior kibbles that are rated between 2.5 – 5 stars. However, I do have two senior kitties (16+ years old) that do not do well with rotational feeding. They eat a few foods that I am not thrilled with, but they are eating consistently and doing well.

    If you do change to a different kibble I suggest finding one that matches or has similar percentages of protein, fat, and fiber. Sometimes when feeding a new food that has a difference in any of those percentages it can contribute to digestive upset.

    I am not sure what brands Harris Teeter carries. Print out the lists of DFA 3 – 5 star rated foods and take them with you when you do your shopping. Then narrow down your choices by researching the foods they carry.
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/3-star/
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/4-star/
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dry/5-star/

    You have allot of choices at Pet Smart. They have their house brands Authority and Simply Nourish that are fairly budget friendly. I feed Simply Nourish to my cats, they like it and do well on it; they are very finicky. Take a look at the brands they carry by visiting their website to narrow down your choices.

    Here is a thread on the forum side listing foods rated well on DFA that are available at Wal-Mart:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/need-advice-about-walmart-brands/
    Good luck with your pups and your budget!

  • Susan C. in VA

    When I was checking out Diamond I wanted to know which independent sites could also confirm their improvements that have been made to Diamond Pet foods processing procedures since 2012. Well, here are two:
    http://www.petmanianc.com/diam… and
    http://www.wellmindedpets.com/
    Also, Diamond themselves have quite an impressive video on their site where you can see what they have done to greatly improve their standards. Probably better than a lot human food processing places now!! Apparently some decision makers from Pet Mania Stores saw this first hand on a tour they went on and thought the changes warranted it good enough to bring Diamond foods back into their stores in NC. (their customers were requesting it, apparently)
    Again, I have NO allegiance to any company, just trying to find a very good dry dog food at a reasonable price. Since the two 4health dry foods I am referring to are relatively new, I just hope that they will get the thorough review by DFA that I believe they deserve. Again, they are:
    1. 4health dry Grain Free Chicken and Vegs, and
    2. 4health dry Grain Free Duck and Potato
    Anyone else have any thoughts about this?
    A caring mom of 3 dogs,
    Susan C. in VA

  • Diane Zimerle

    I shop at Walmart, Petsmart, Harris Teeter. Just seems there are so few foods that have not had problems lately I worry if I buy the cheaper ones I will wind up with dead dogs. I even heard there was problems with the 4health?

  • Bobby dog

    If you post what stores you shop at, I may be able to suggest some foods they carry. I am a budget shopper myself!

    To help with my budget I sign up for e-mails from local & national chain pet stores and join any pet club programs they offer. Most times they have extra deals for pet club members. Ask stores if they have frequent buyer programs and ask pet food companies if they offer frequent buyer programs. Allot of pet food companies will mail coupons if you ask for them. Sign up for e-mails from on-line merchants they often offer free shipping when they have sales or free shipping with a minimum purchase. I buy from Petco.com, Petsmart.com, Chewy.com, and Petflow.com on a regular basis along with shopping at brick and mortar shops for the best prices. About once a month Petco offers free shipping with no minimum.

    Here is a coupon thread on the forum side that regulars post any sales or specials they come across. You can subscribe (upper right hand corner) to the thread to get e-mails when someone posts a new reply:
    page one:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/coupons/
    current page:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/coupons/page/29/

  • Diane Zimerle

    Thanks!!!!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Diane:
    Okay, the canned foods that Crazy4Cats suggested below are probably the most budget friendly and well rated foods. They are all 4 or 5 star rated and about $1/can. If you have a Costco membership the Nature’s Domain is the most affordable about 80 cents/can. You have to buy a case, but well worth it!

    As far as Tractor Supply 4Health grain free and Wal-Mart’s Pure Balance 95% canned foods goes I do not recommend them. They are too high in fat most likely due to using cheap cuts of fatty meats.

    If you are interested in adding fresh budget friendly foods to kibble here is a download I use. I add fresh foods as toppers for several meals rather than making a meal out of them:
    http://www.dogwise.com/ItemDetails.cfm?ID=DN330EBK

  • Diane Zimerle

    Right now I am taking a large can of food, spilt 4 ways, then each dog gets 2 TBS of dry mixed in. they get that morning and evening. So the dry lasts awhile, It is the canned that is killing me in prices and finding something they will actually eat. They won’t eat Pedigree anymore, no Kibbles & Bits(can), no Caesars

  • Diane Zimerle

    Mostly in stores, but I am not against changing to online if need be. I add kibble with a can of food (split 4 ways) so my kibble budget can be a little higher. It is the canned food that is killing me

  • Diane Zimerle

    i have 4, they are dachuas (doxie & chi mix). 2 have very sensitive stomachs so changing food often wouldn’t sit well.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Diane:
    Where do you shop, on-line, in stores? What is your budget for kibble?

  • Crazy4cats

    My favorite kibble for our dogs is grain free Victor. I rotate between Pure Balance (Walmart), 4Health (Tractor Supply or Del’s), and Nature’s Domain (Costco) canned foods as toppers. The above are all considered budget friendly 4 and 5 star foods. I also use eggs and sardines as mixers a few times a week in their evening kibble. How many dogs do you have?

  • Diane Zimerle

    Hi folks, a little help needed. My dogs are all senior (3 are over 12), they are loosing their sense of smell and taste therefore nothing is good to them. I am looking for something safe, canned and dry food they might like… any suggestions? They got very sick on Beneful, Kibbles and Bits, I can’t afford the $2.00 a can foods as I am using 2 per day.. any help/suggestions?

  • Kameron Perrone

    My dog has been sick the last 2 days vomiting and yellowish diarrhea. We have been feeding g her 4 health grain free whitefish for over 6 months. I am going to be switching dog food immediately… and no more diamond products

  • Deborah Smith

    Thanks

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Deborah:
    They are the same size.

  • Deborah Smith

    Could anyone tell me what size the kibble is in the beef and potato grain free? I want to use either the turkey or beef because it is made by Ainsworth but the turkey seams a little big for some of my chi’s. Tia

  • Paulett Casper

    I have been feeding my dogs 4health for about 3-4 years now. I love it and so do they. They had some loose stools when we first switched to 4 health and never had a problem since. Last year I found out that 1 of my dogs has allergies to the grain. I now feed them either beef or duck and potato grain free.

  • Deborah Smith

    I do rotate some now they are eating the grain free turkey and potato they do good Eddie has stinky poops but that’s all. I do wish this was a smaller kibble for my chi’s that are older.

  • Deborah Smith

    Also the turkey and potato is made by Ainsworth that is what tractor supply told me when I sent them an email. It also gets 4 stars.

  • Julie Stevens

    I feed mine the 4health mature dog that has lamb or the adult dog with chicken when the mature is sold out. They love both. Coats and skin are nice and they maintain a healthy weight even in the winter when they have less exercise. For years I fed pedigree, then they changed the formula to have nuclear colored kibble. Then I fed Diamond and they did great on that, but the recalls scared me off. An employee at TS suggested trying the 4health and they guarantee it with a full refund if the dogs don’t like it. I’ve had up to 7 dogs at a time, they have all done well on this product.

  • Katray447

    I fed my labs this product for about a solid year – they seemed to thrive on it. Nobody had any digestive problems with it, coats looked good, energy to burn. About 8 months in, I noticed that none of the girls were coming into regular heat cycles. They’d have split cycles, abbreviated cycles. During the entire year, out of 7 females, only one had a successful litter of only 4 puppies. I switched off 4 Health in late October (I just didn’t connect it with the dog food) – within a month, all but one were cycling perfectly normally. Talking with a bunch of others, many were having the same problem – switched and the problem was fixed. No idea what the ingredient is that’s causing the problem. One vet said he thought it was the flax seed, which is being used a LOT in the ‘grain-free’ dog foods. He also said it affects the reproductive abilites of the males, as well. Purely anecdotal, but it was pretty powerfully conclusive for me.

  • Mark Lozano

    The whitefish gives my dog untolerable gas, and he pukes everytime he eats the pork but loves every other flavor.

  • Cheryl Wilson

    Hi Haley, it was several posts in the beginning of this. Also, the manager at our Tractor Supply said the lamb and rice for the puppy he has experienced diarrhea when first being fed that brand. We stopped it feeding after 2 – 3 days when the diarrhea was not getting better, only worse. I went back to Taste of the Wild and within 2 days the dogs were back to normal. You’ll just have to look through the posts from the beginning.

  • Haley

    Hi Cheryl-
    I was wondering where you read that at? I switched my dog over to 4health on Saturday. He started having very loose stools and bad gas. I also got the same symptoms above on Sunday until Tuesday. On Wednesday, my dog had awful diarrhea. He even had an accident in the middle of the night two hours after I took him out. He wouldn’t touch his food. So, I stopped feeding him it. I was just curious if other people had this happen? I didn’t initially think I got sick from the dog food, but now I am wondering..

  • Jane

    I feed my two adopted Springer Spaniels duck and potato GF. When I got them,..They had poor coats, itchy skin and yucky ears. After 3 weeks on 4Health, I am so happy to say that their coats are lustrous, no itching, skin sores healed, and clean ears! I’m sticking with this food. Their previous owners gave them Purina Pro Plan.

  • shortcake

    My pup would scarcely eat the whitefish, but she -loves- the beef. We’ll be sticking with that. Even one of our cats sneaks into the dog food, though we also feed them 4health.

  • Kayla Maria Lewis

    Grain free beef and potato is made by Ainsworth , different contractor. And if you read above the beef and potato is 4 stars

  • Tawny Daniels

    My digs personally love this I have a full breed doberman pincher and a loss apslo (not sure if that’s the name he’s a rescuse) and it keeps them both in great heath and healthy weight.

  • Ed

    lost adog due to a diamond recall.I willnever feed any product made by diamond.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Yup! I am constantly looking at new foods to try. You may be able to get kennel/rescue/breeder programs from various foods. Each company calls it something different. As well if you call the companies many offer bulk pricing breaks.

  • http://theuglypugglyboutique.com/ sandy

    You should find out if there is a Rescue Pet Adoption League (RPAL) in your area. They have discounts for rescues.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Deborah:
    Do you feed any other kibbles? I feed a rotational diet. I believe the variety is healthy for my dog, but selfishly it also allows me to take advantage of sales when they pop up. You’re right, you can get caught up in finding affordable pet food! 😉

  • Deborah Smith

    Thank you so much I kind of was figuring that but wanted to make sure. Does anyone else feel like trying to figure a good food that you can afford is becoming an obsessive. I have so many rescues. My money is limited.

  • Deborah Smith

    I just found out that Ainsworth was making the Whitefish and Potato but in 2014 they stopped making it now Diamond makes it . I ask them what kind of fish is in the fish meal they said it is Menhaden fish.

  • theBCnut

    For yourself, in the future, always treat all dog food like it might be contaminated. Wash thoroughly after handling it. For now, take yourself to the doctor and let them know you have diarrhea and all your dogs do too and you think their food is contaminated. If it’s e coli or any of the other bacterias commonly found in kibble, it can get serious very quickly.

  • Cheryl Wilson

    I have read many many reviews tonight about 4-Health in the last month or more – people have been having diarrhea profusely, vomiting. So have I in the last 3 days I have been to the vet with every dog I own. We reduced this down to the food. The last bag I bought was about 4 days ago and dogs got sick within 2 days of eating. I have reported this to Tractor Supply as well as Diamond. If you have recently bought 4-Health dog food – do not feed any more. Something is fishy with this food.

  • Cheryl Wilson

    I recently ran by Tractor Supply to buy a bag of 4-Health Lamb and Rice because they were out of Hunden-Flocken made by solid gold. Within one day all 4 dogs had diarrea and my dogs have a cast iron stomach. I don’t trust dry dog food anyway, but I do mix a little kibble with millet, eggs and raw meat, either chicken or USDA grade A meat. I bought a 35 lb bag, they have eaten this on many occasions and I usually mix this with a higher end dog food such as SolidGold. I’m keeping this bag in the fridge and am reporting this. My dogs have never gotten sick on anything and became so bad this week I was giving them pedialyte and gator-aid just to make them drink to keep hydrated. The vet and I deduced this to this bag of 4-Health. I am watching for recalls, although like auto dealers there has to be massive complaints…

  • DogFoodie

    The three original grain free varieties are made by Ainsworth, but the duck and pork are made by Diamond; as are all of the grain inclusive formulas.

  • Deb

    Well I switched them and they were better in less than a week. I will NEVER buy 4 health ever again. I looked on down and thank god I did as it looks like people are losing their babies. Diamond,Dads makes no difference they are not good food suppliers and it is getting ridiculous because even Canidae is a Diamond product with a big price tag.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Deborah:
    All the recipes are rated 3.5 stars unless otherwise noted next to the recipe name.

  • Deborah Smith

    Not all of the grain free is made by diamond some is made by dads

  • Deborah Smith

    I feed mine the duck and potatoe they do absolutely great on it. I was feeding Turkey but the poop stunk so bad i slowly switched. I feed 15 dogs this and everyone is doing great. I see some are rated 4 stars I wish I knew what the duck gets.

  • KL

    Ive been feeding my 2 dogs 4Health and never had any issues until I switched to the Beef & Potatoe Grain Free and now 1 of my dogs has the urge to poop 3 times each time I take them out and they never did this b4. The pop is also runny and not firm and my one dog even had a poop accident which they never do. Is it just the grain free or all 4health food causing issues? What do I need to do, I don’t want to kill my dogs feeding them this stuff. This food was highjly recommended.

  • Dana Lynn Sharpton

    Just great. However, Diamond hasnt had a recall since 2012 I believe. My baby wipes had a recall but I still use baby wipes. It happens right? Im just going to buy Earthborn and be done with the guessing.

  • Dana Lynn Sharpton

    I just bought 4Health Grain Free Duck and Potato for my pug with allergies. He has eaten 1 bowl. Some of the reviews have me worried…does anyone else feed Grain Free duck and potato with success?

  • DogFoodie

    Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case. The three original grain free varieties are made by Ainsworth, but the duck and pork are made by Diamond; as are all of the grain inclusive formulas.

  • Dana Lynn Sharpton

    The Grain Free is manufactured by Ainsworth

  • DogFoodie

    You bet!

    If you have any questions, fire away! Most of us here are a little “obsessed” with feeding our dogs and we’re happy to help.

  • Deb

    Thx for spending so much time helping out …much appreciated

  • DogFoodie

    Ah ha, gotcha. : )

    $100 is a healthy budget. It sounds like you’re trying to get something that they both can eat. Obviously, you have two important considerations, food allergies for your Boxer and possibly fat levels for your Schnauzer.

    If you’re able to buy it locally, Victor is a great food at a very affordable price. Look at the find a dealer tab on their website; here: victordogfood.com. Another budget friendly food that can be challenging to find is Dr. Tim’s. You can find it online at Petflow.com and Chewy.com, if you don’t have it in a local store; here’s their product locator: DrTims.com. Some other brands that are a bit easier to find are Wellness, including Wellness Core, Earthborn, and NutriSource. Some Horizon products would also fall into your price range. Some affordably priced canned foods, should you choose to add a topper, are Pure Balance cans at Wal-Mart and if you’re a member at Costco, Nature’s Domain Turkey & Pea Stew is a great deal at about $19 for a case of 24 cans.

    Ideally, if you could find a few foods that they can both eat, you could rotate foods periodically. When I rotate foods, I choose foods made by different manufacturers that have different proteins and binders. Choosing different manufacturers usually ensures you’re varying ingredients as much as possible. Variety is important for a healthy gut.

  • Deb

    No I have 2 a 14 yr old min schnauzer and a 3 yr old boxer who is the one having trouble with 4 health…lil guy has steel gut but allergies boxer has sensitive gut. He was doing great with this food until this last bag. I buy 60# a month mostly for the boxer lol

  • DogFoodie

    Oops, forgot an important question. It sounds from your first post that you’re feeding one dog and that you were buying “small bites” for that dog. So, I just want to make sure you’re buying food for one small dog, is that right?

  • Deb

    Well I am at about 100 a month and I can go either way have pets art,petco and a few others around me

  • DogFoodie

    Blue Buffalo has had numerous complaints of dogs becoming I’ll while eating their products. It appears they have some serious quality control issues and the company lacks transparency.

    Do you have a budget for dog food and where will you be buying food… brick & mortar, online?

  • Deb

    Really? What are the issues with Blue? Any recommendations for a good food?

  • DogFoodie

    Be prepared for some quality control issues with Blue Buffalo, also.

  • Deb

    Thanks Dori, I will be switching back to Blue never have had any problem with this brand and my animals all lived long, healthy lives. Due to $ and what I had read about 4 Health it seemed to be along the same quality. It was great until last month. They have done something to it. Just want others to be aware…sometimes a few bucks saved are not worth those we love.

  • Dori

    I would also give some thought to changing where you shop for your dogs food. The manager doesn’t seem to care one way or the other and is not taking your issues seriously which they are. If you don’t have other stores in your area that you can purchase dog food, there are a few well rated on line sites. I know a lot of people on DFA order food from Chew.com, Petfooddirect.com, Wag.com. Probably others also. On the issue of Diamond, I agree with you, as will most of the regular posters on this site, that Diamond is not a food we would feed nor a company that we would support. Too many quality control issues and way too many recalls.

  • Deb

    I just contacted our local Tractor Supply and asked what changes were made to the 4 Health grain free duck formula? I was told nothing has been changed and when I told the manager the size of this bags kibble was small bites which was the first thing we noticed she said well, they don’t see those things! After telling her that it has made our dog sick for past 2 weeks with gas, diarrhea , and him wanting to eat grass she tells me I am the only one that has complained. Not true as I look through reviews! She also confirmed that 4 Health is made by Diamond…so, I will be changing my dogs food ASAP . Diamond is one of the worst dog foods ever. I have always mixed foods when changing and it sometimes takes a few weeks for dogs to completely adjust to the change but, it is not improving. Just FYI .

  • Melanie

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • JeremyScottRenolds

    I am sorry for your loss. I know how devastating it is.

  • Dori

    Oh my gosh Rachel! I’m so very sorry for you and your loved ones. Words cannot really express how saddened we all are when our babies pass and when we hear of another’s loss but please know that you are in our hearts and minds.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    So sorry for your loss. As DogFoodie said, you should report this to the FDA and spread the word.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Rachel, I’m so very sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you.

  • DogFoodie

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss, Rachel.

    If you suspect the food could be the cause, please contact the FDA and make a report and ask your vet to do the same on your behalf. Do not dispose of the food or the packaging and if you contact the manufacturer who requests you send the food to them, do not send them the bag and reserve some of the contents of the bag for your own use.

  • Rachel Graham

    My baby lost her battle this morning. The antibiotics seemed to be helping but she went downhill very quickly this morning. Please be careful with this food!

  • Jen Jenkins Pennington

    I am glad I Googled this.. Yes I just spent $425 at the emergency vet for one of my sick dogs last night.. About $600 on another a few weeks ago and trimmed dried diarrhea of my 3rd last night as well! All 4 (out of 7) have had stomach issues within the past 3 weeks and it seems to be getting worse as I open a new bag.

    I will be switching foods immediately!

  • Rachel Graham

    Has anyone had an issues with the duck and potato recently? We bought the whitefish and on Sunday hubby came home with the duck. Starting Sunday night/Monday morning my girl started having diarrhea issues. It’s been non stop. She also has the most disgusting farts that I have ever smelled. I’m pretty confident that it’s the food, but I can find nothing of any other issues.

  • http://cowgirlexpressions.com/ Ramsey

    Does anybody know the Calcium content of the Beef & Potato formula?

  • Carrie

    Back in the summer, I had fed all my dogs 4health for a couple months. The next bag and last bag I ever bought, made all my dogs sick. It caused them all to throw up and they had terrible diarrhea. I took the food back and would never purchase this brand again, because now I question the quality of this food.

  • theBCnut

    Sorry to hear about your dogs. Are they OK now? When did this happen? BTW, I hate it when store employees do this, 4Health is not and never was the exact same thing as Blue. When people make claims like this DO NOT listen.

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m sure glad they all survived. What are you going to feed now?

  • Joselyn Mercier

    I was talking into buying 4Health by the manager in tractor supply, I was told it was the exact same thing as blue buffalo just cheaper. Took him three months of me coming in to buy blue buffalo to convince me. I switched my dogs to 4health salmon and sweet potato, they were on it for roughly 4-5 months…after i made the switch it was pleased with it, the next bag i noticed all the dogs had really bad gas (there was times I had to leave my own house they stink so bad, and it lingered for hours) my little yorkie was farting like an old man after eating taco bell. (yes THAT loud) next bag i notice My pitbull was going outside every two hours or so and crapping 3-4 times each time he went out! I bought one more bag like a fool and POISONED not only my two dogs, but the dog I was babysitting for! I nearly lost my senior pitbull, my 6 month old yorkie, and the 5 year old yorkie I was taking care of! Salmonella poisoning is what my dogs got because I fed them 4health, they nearly died, they couldn’t walk, they couldn’t pick their heads up, they were pooing on themselves because they couldn’t stand. It cost me a fortune in emergency vet bills. I didn’t know what had caused them to get so sick I thought maybe they had gotten into the trash…. I walked into tractor supply while my dogs (and the one i was watching) were still at the er vet…As i walked past the food isle I noticed the shelves were all stripped bare and they was bright yellow signs were the 4health should have been that said “recall for salmonella!!” … After i told the manager my dogs were at the vet, he said “if you bring the old bag back in i’ll refund the money for a bag of food” ….PLEASE, do not feed this garbage too your dogs. I’m not the only one this has happened too.

  • Jess

    We have been through two 30# bags of the 4 Health Turkey & Potato — 1st bag was great, our American Bulldog loved it, his skin cleared up, his poops were dark and firm so his anal gland issues cleared up, his coat was shiny. 2nd bag of the exact same food — he doesn’t seem to like it, his skin is bad again, his poops are soft and no longer dark and all anal gland issues have returned. What the heck? Have they changed the formula? Is the Turkey & Potato manufactured by different companies — is Turkey & Potato switching from Dads/Ainsworth to Diamond too? Either they changed the formula, or I bought a mislabeled bag. TSC just referred me to Dads/Ainsworth and so far no response from them. The first bag worked so well, I just don’t know how to make sure I get that same stuff the next time?

  • Diane B

    Thanks for the suggestion. The itching has not stopped and he’s been on 4Health Turkey and Potato now for a month. I’m finishing this bag and trying something else. I’m also considering Wellness Core from the Editor’s Choice options for October.

  • Caitlin Flesher

    Hi Diane, I know your post was from a while ago but if you haven’t found anything yet I have heard the Zignature dog food brands are wonderful for dogs with allergies.

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Hi Sean,

    The manufacturer wouldn’t affect the rating, but ingredients and the guaranteed analysis would.

  • Sean

    Just want to clarify… so the Beef & Potato + Turkey & Potato have a higher rating because it’s manufactured by Ainsworth and not Diamond?

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Linda:
    There’s a thread on the forum side that might be helpful. A poster made a list of low sodium and low fat dog food. I know you are not looking for low fat, but there might be some foods listed that you could research further. I would suggest if you find a food from the list that you still call to verify the sodium content; recipes can change without any warning to customers.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/dry-dog-food-with-low-salt-and-low-fat/

  • Linda Leino-Mahac

    My vet suggested that I feed my little dog a dry food with lower salt. I
    thought that would be an easy task — only to find out salt is not
    listed on dog food labels. You have to call each company. In calling
    around, I found the 4Health that I was feeding (from TSC) was very high
    in salt. I settled on chicken and brown rice from Blue (also sold at
    TSC).

    I wish we could get companies to label their dog (and cat) food honestly in regard to ingredients, salt, sugar, etc.

  • Bobby dog

    The last info I had about 4Health kibbles are Diamond manufactures the GF Pork, Duck, Whitefish and all grain inclusive recipes. Ainsworth manufactures the GF Beef and Turkey recipes.

    Edit: You can also ask Diamond and Ainsworth what they manufacture.

  • Diane Scott Kunkle

    Unfortunately I asked and asked and JUST found out it went to Diamond. Had I know the difference I too would have made the change sooner. thanks so much, I appreciate your information :)

  • Diane Scott Kunkle

    Exactly what I have been trying to get as of late. Yesterday I purchased the big bag of Duck GF 4 Health. It was the small disk type kibble. I was advised the seal on the packaging is slightly different on the different manufactures of the food

  • Diane Scott Kunkle

    I will have to look better at the bags. I am not a fan of Diamond, due to the 2007 incident and so many pet deaths. But that is my personal thing. I never used to keep the bag after purchase but we do now. I will write TS again to see where all their foods are made and hope it matches what I am waiting for from the FDA. I really like TS, and hope they don’t let me down

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Diane:
    I used to feed the GF 4Health kibble and when I found out the fish recipe went to Diamond I stopped. I wasn’t sure if the remaining GF recipes were going to Diamond and just don’t want the hassle of keeping up with who manufactures this food.

    FWIW, a while ago an employee of TSC wrote you can tell the difference between the Diamond and Ainsworth manufactured 4Health kibbles by looking at the bag design. Diamond makes the grain inclusive and several of the GF’s, their bag design has a seam going down the middle on the back of the bag and the nutrient analysis is printed differently than the info on the Ainsworth bags. I have noticed the differences when I checked out the bags at my TSC, but you never know if this will always be the case since package designs can change.

  • Diane Scott Kunkle

    Finally, after making a complaint to the FDA I got the answer about Tractor Supply’s White Fish and potatoes grain free. IT is NOW made by Diamond foods (form your own opinion). They “say” the recipe has not changed but as I advised Diamond it does NOT take a scientist to see that it has in fact changed. My dogs were happy healthy and shiny coats eager to eat. Not after the change that took place I found out, in April 2014. We needed food and bought Blue from TS but I should not have to pay $60 for #28 pounds, when we were happy with the 4health GF. Yesterday, I went to TS needing food and felt the bags to see if they were the saucer type disks or the chunks. I bought the duck Gf version. I bet I looked like a nut feeling the bags. But the disks have never been a problem and the extruded chunks have been. Not feeding them something that makes them vomit, and not like. I still have to find out if ALL the flavors are going to change. in the meantime we are happily feeding Duck. BTW I feel stupid that I did not know the FDA was the “dog food police”. I am hoping they can shed light on who is making what. As if we don’t have enough stress over are we feeding healthy, now we have to know who’s cooking it.

  • Katrina Fletcher

    Just wondering if you have had any reply. I am considering switching to this and now based on the reviews am afraid I am making a mistake.

  • Diane B

    Our vet just recommended 4Health Turkey and Potato because our old (14.5 yr.) 55 lb. mixed breed shelter dog has a real itching problem and a ‘hot spot’ that we’ve tried everything marketed, I think, to get it healed. We have been successful by putting a Comfy Cone or a Pro Collar on him, but then when we try to let him be without the cone/collar…he goes right back to the same spot on his hip and opens it up again. Since his last grooming he’s been bothered by excessive itching again. We’ve been feeding him grain-free kibble plus some meat (cooked) + juices mixed with water for the last 4 years – changed from cheap kibble to Innova, then to Taste of the Wild 5* Sierra Mt. formula because of review found here. Now, I’m in the process of changing slowly over to this 4Health variety. What are your thoughts on this for an itching cure?

  • Carol Martin

    I feed my dog 4health lamb and rice. Does anyone know if this has changed? He has not been eating as well and as been shedding a lot more than usual. I thought was just the hot summer but after reading this, I’m not so sure.

  • Sherry Noss

    I feed the 4Health Beef and Potato GF to one of my dogs that is allergic to chicken and poultry and grains … I wish I could find another food to rotate that is in the price range or cheaper that doesn’t contain poultry….. it is hard as most do in one form or another….

  • Emma

    Just bought a fresh bag of lamb and rice for my boxer. He has had 3 servings and puked after each meal. We noticed the color and shape of the pieces has changed. Will be calling TSC and the vet in the morning.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Have you calculated the price difference on a price/feeding basis? If you’re feeding less, the bag will last longer, so you’ll be buying fewer of the more expensive bags over the long term. For example, if one bag of food costs $50 and you’re told to feed 2 cups per day, and another costs $100 and you’re told to feed 1 cup per day… it’s costing you exactly the same to feed your dog! (because you’ll go through that $50 bag of food twice as fast, which means you’re buying two $50 bags of food for every one $100 bag of food)

  • LadyCubsFan

    Since the change in the 4Health Grain Free White Fish we switched to Earthborn Holistic Grain Free the fish kind, stools look good, dogs are eating it up, recommended amount less than 4Health but the cost is a bit crazy. Wish I could find something else Grain Free, no chicken with the price tag of 4Health.