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 three dry dog foods.

Although each formulation appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we found no AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product website. So, it’s impossible for us to report life stage targets for these recipes.

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

  • 4Health Grain Free Beef and Potato Adult
  • 4Health Grain Free Turkey and Potato Adult
  • 4Health Grain Free Whitefish and Potato Adult

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

4Health Grain Free Beef and Potato Adult Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 44%

Ingredients: Beef, beef meal, pea protein, whole potato, dried peas, tapioca, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried plain beet pulp, whole flaxseed, natural flavor, salt, potassium chloride, beef tallow (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 Analysis28%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%17%44%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%35%38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 includes beef meal. Beef meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh beef.

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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth 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 fifth 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

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

The seventh item is 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, we find beef tallow, a fatty by-product of beef rendering. Tallow is high in saturated fats.

Historically, tallow was used to make soap and candles. But today, due to its low cost, this fat is typically associated with lower quality pet foods.

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 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 Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, 4Health Grain Free dry 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 31%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

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

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

Bottom line?

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

Highly recommended.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

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

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

02/09/2013 Original review
02/09/2013 Last Update

  • Dori

    Hi Casie. If you look further down the ingredient list the three that I saw as grain free either had poultry fat, chicken fat or natural chicken flavor. That’s the part I always have to be careful with. One of my dogs cannot have anything poultry (fowl) so I used to make the mistake that because the food said it was let’s say for instance, Sardines & Sweet Potatoes, somewhere in the ingredient list would be the dreaded poultry.

  • Casie McNamer

    I was looking up ainsworth manufacturing and found other dog foods that they make. I found one called back to basics pet food. they have a grain free formula that IS POLUTRY FREE!!! http://www.backtobasicspetfood.com/grain-free-dry-dog-food
    hope it helps and seem like you could still get these at TSC

  • LabLover

    I wonder if this food will be changed to a 4 star food when it gets reevaluated at some point. It sure looks like it should be

  • LadyCubsFan

    I am so upset, I noticed the change in the whitefish grain free a month or so ago. It used to stink to high heaven of fish and be much smaller kibble. The kibble is back to normal size but the smell is not back. About a month into the switch my female lab/saint started itching, getting hot spots, and red bumps so I came here to find out if anyone else noticed anything or if it was just me being crazy. Thank goodness I am not that crazy. Any recommendations on a like quality food before the switch to the new manufacturer? When I first put my dogs on this formula it was like night and day, no more itching, coat looked fantastic, stools good etc. so I am super upset about this change :(

  • Angel Pearson Booth

    My girl did absolutely AWFUL on TOTW!!! Horrible horrible itching!!

  • Angel Pearson Booth

    I wonder if all of the varieties of 4 Health have changed. My Dogs have been on it for years and all of a sudden they had major digestive problems. And some allergy type symptoms as well. It really seems as if something in the food changed. Although I did not use the kind you used.

  • mateo956

    My cocker is still scratching days after TOTW….i’m headed to TSC today in search of Earthborn! Thanks for the recommendation…..hopefully this will be the final switch…

  • Shar24

    One of my friends sent me a link to this action figure a few months ago. I wonder what she was trying to say ;)

  • Crazy4cats

    Of course I checked it out. Us crazy cat ladies have special powers! I don’t like what they did with my face though. It’s a little rough. Did you guys see the inflatable unicorn horns for cats on this site? They have an evil unicorn horn too! : D

  • LabsRawesome

    LMAO :)

  • theBCnut

    That was so funny!! And frightening!!

  • LabsRawesome

    OMGoodness. Did you see the photos under the action figures feet? It says click to enlarge. Look at them all, but the 3rd one is sooo funny!! Hahahaha!

  • Bobby dog

    I am putting this on my Christmas list!

  • Crazy4cats

    OMG! I love it! They made me into an action figure! I picked up my 50lb bag of Victor today. It was still the same old green packaging. Expiration date is March 2016.

  • LabsRawesome
  • LabsRawesome

    Hey C4C, yeah I did notice the new bags. I’m picking up a bag on Friday, I’ll let you know if it’s the new bag design. :)

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Labs-
    Did you notice they changed the pictures on the bags on the main page now? I’m curious to see if my bag that I will be picking up this week will have the new name and picture.

  • LabsRawesome

    You’re welcome. Let us know how the new food goes. :) Here’s another option you can buy at TSC, Earthborn Coastal Catch.Great Plains Feast, and Meadow Feast are also poultry free. http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/us/dog_formulas/coastal_catch/ingredients.php

  • mateo956

    I was apprehensive as well for TOTW because of Diamond. I will definitely keep an eye on my dog for changes. I hope the poor thing gets better soon :-( I tried the horizon locator but there are no results in my area; but i will look next time i’m at the pet store as well. Thanks!

  • mateo956

    I’m not sure what’s in the whitefish now that the supplier has changed. I learned of the supplier change from the comments on this page. My cocker spaniel’s allergies have flared up since 4health changed the food, and her stool is different as well. This all started with a bag of whitefish i purchased 6/15 at a tractor supply here in CT (i’ve had my dogs on whitefish for 6 months now). The food visually appears different (see my comment below with pic), and does not smell like fish like the old one did. I don’t know how recent they changed suppliers :-/ good luck with your puppies….

  • Kayla Mason

    I just started my two very itchy lab puppies on the white fish and potato formula this is day number two. I’m reading all these things and I’m very confused, do is not actually grain free?? I work at a vet clinic and we supply science diet and my puppies were on healthy advantage large breed puppy and w believe they have svelte a food allergy, not from science diet just genetically. I am supposed to do an expensive food trial buti don’t have the money some one told me about 4 health so I switched. Anyone have any comments on this?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Mateo,

    I was thinking about TOTW for you, since I know they carry that at TSC. The only thing is that TOTW is manufactured by Diamond so, if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for recalls and be vigilant with your pup’s response to the food.

    Another food that I was thinking about that you might be able to find locally, that’s an excellent quality food and probably a similar price to TOTW is some areas, would be Horizon Legacy’s fish formula. Where I live, I can find it locally at a feed / garden center. I used to use it, but can’t any longer after having identified some of my dog’s food intolerances. Here’s a product locator: http://www.horizonpetnutrition.com/retail-partners.html

  • LabsRawesome

    You’re welcome. Let us know how the new food goes. :)

  • mateo956

    Thanks everyone for the responses. I returned the whitefish & sp this morning to tractor supply and went with Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream with Smoked Salmon. No grains and no chicken or beef. I am hoping it will work quickly over the next couple of days. It sucks that I have to switch the food cold turkey, but i didn’t have any of the original whitefish & sp left. And I didn’t save a little bit of the new whitefish i returned today, because my cocker is absolutely miserable. She’s scratching her ear until it bleeds along with her skin. Something is absolutely wrong with that new whitefish and i’ll be keeping my eye out for a recall as more and more dogs react to it.

  • aquariangt

    Petco has solid gold, barking at the moon variety is grain free and I believe poultry free. I’m sure wellness core has one that would fit the bill, though wellness is certainly not as budget friendly as what it sounds like 4h is (we don’t have tractor supply here so I haven’t looked into it much)

  • Bobby dog

    I also have been looking for a replacement for the 4H GF foods I feed because I am afraid the Beef and Turkey recipes are going to go to Diamond also. Infinia is a food I am looking at that is available to me locally. It is budget friendly and is only $1 more per bag. They also have a GF salmon recipe.
    Here’s the DFA link:
    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/infinia-dog-food/

    Here’s a link to their website with a dealer locator as well:
    http://www.infiniapetfood.com/products/default.aspx

  • HappyTails

    Tractor Supply carries Earthborn Holistic grain free,they have a fish based formula (Coastal Catch) they also have bison and lamb formulas too, my little guys have chicken and grain intolerances as well,they’ve been on earthborn for awhile now and are doing really well on it. Good luck!

  • Bobby dog

    I am not sure if it is available in your Petco store. I don’t travel near a Petco anymore so I order from them on-line quite a bit.
    On Avoderm’s website I entered my zipcode and several Petco’s pop up as a local retailer. Check out Avoderm’s “find a store” option:
    http://www.avodermnatural.com/Dog_Foods/RM-trout_pea.htm
    They also have a $5.00 coupon you can download! :)

  • mateo956

    Thank you for the ideas! Do you know if Avoderm is in the petco store, or is it online only? I looked it up on th petco website and I don’t see an option to purchase in the store. Also i looked up Rachel Ray’s grain free salmon, and it has poultry fat listed in the ingredients :-( I am hoping to stay away from chicken completely. Thank you again!

  • mateo956

    thank you for the idea. I looked it up and unfortunately there aren’t any dealers in CT :-(

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi

    mateo956, Check out Victor. It’s family owned/operated. They have a grain free fish formula called Yukon River. I pay around $40 for a 30lb bag at my local pet store. Check their “Find a dealer” for a store near you. victordogfood.com

  • Bobby dog

    Hi mateo 956:
    I feed my dog 4H GF recipes, however the Whitefish will no longer be fed if Diamond is now manufacturing it.

    I have fed two fish based kibbles you may want to look into that my dog did well on. Avoderm GF Trout, sold at Petco and other pet stores as well as on-line retailers and Rachael Ray GF salmon sold at Wal-Mart and grocery stores. Check out the ingredients to see if they may suit your needs.

  • mateo956

    I’m glad I found this article’s comments to see that the supplier has changed; i thought I was going crazy. My dogs have been on the whitefish & sp for 6 months now after I learned my 1 cocker should stay away from grains and chicken and beef. I noticed instantly that the size of the kibble is at least double if not triple. I looked at the bag and didn’t see any indication that the food has changed. I fed it to my dogs all week, and noticed their stool was definitely softer and lighter in color. I also noticed my cocker was itching all week. I connected the dots and figured this food isn’t right, it’s like it has grains in it. I called tractor supply this morning, spoke with a manager, and she was unaware of any changes to the food and told me to come in and swap it out. I exchanged it, and just opened the bag at home, and it’s the new form again. I still have a few kibbles from the old kind so i took a pic to compare and upload. I don’t know what to do at this point; clearly this food won’t be changing back to the old recipe, so now I guess i need to find another grain free food that is fish and not beef or chicken….arg!

    in the pic, the right side is what it used to look like, and the left is what it looks like now….

  • Crazy4cats

    Ooh, I hope it comes in for you soon. That is how I was a few months ago when the boys’ Victor was back ordered. I noticed that Petsmart is now carrying Natures Variety as well as Petco.

  • theBCnut

    Just pull your hair out now. You don’t need it for anything anyways. That’s what I tell myself at least twice a week, but I’m not bald yet.

  • theBCnut

    Even my vet agrees with that!
    My other dogs love that Micah has issues. I never would have bought so many different types of food or started feeding raw, if it weren’t for him. Gideon and Angel get all the rejects!!

  • Betsy Greer

    Oh my gosh, I can so related. I’m thrilled to say that I officially have one food Sam does great on, Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Duck.

    I wanted to keep him on it for at least a couple of months, so I ordered more last week. I looked yesterday and it still hasn’t shipped. I sent an email and was told there was a problem. Great.

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks! I emphathize with you and Micah. So far Bobby is not particular, has no health issues and I have spent hours researching food. I can only imagine the hours you put in let alone the money spent trying out different foods (still cheaper in the long run than Vet bills)! Your dogs are very lucky to have such a caring person in their lives. ;)

  • theBCnut

    Good luck! Every time I think I might have found a more budget friendly food for Micah, it still has one ingredient he can’t handle. Argh!

  • Bobby dog

    I was in my TSC yesterday and checked out the bags. The original 3 GF’s at my store were still from Ainsworth. But I think it is just a matter of time before they go to Diamond. I am going to give Infinia a try for my budget go to food. It’s only a $1 more than 4H GF and it is sold at a lumber/feed store a few blocks away from my TSC.

  • theBCnut

    I always thought this would happen eventually. I think the only reason for them to go with Ainsworth was because so many became anti Diamond after the last recall, so they used a different company until people became used to using their food again. This is scummy behavior to my way of thinking.

  • Amy

    That is what I was told too. I am in the process of switching their food. I think it is terrible what they are doing. My cousin feeds her dogs the same food and they are sick too

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, you’re better off calling. That’s what I always do. :)

  • Bobby dog

    I sent an e-mail to Ainsworth a few weeks ago when this issue came up. I haven’t received anything from them and I just keep forgetting to follow-up. When this was mentioned a few weeks ago I did start looking for another alternative because I am afraid they are phasing out Ainsworth. I am going to give Infinia a try. It is $1.00 more a bag. This really bums me out if it is true. :(

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Bobby dog, are you planning on contacting them?

  • Bobby dog

    I have not verified this with Ainsworth or TSC, but reportedly the 4Health GF Fish and Potato is now being manufactured by Diamond; the other two original GF recipes (turkey & beef) are still being manufactured by Ainsworth.

  • Amy

    I have also been feeding my dogs the 4-Health Fish and Potato for about a year and a half and was happy with it until they changed it. Now my dogs have loose stools and very bad gas. I am very upset about this and I will be changing their food.

  • Matt

    I have been feeding my 9 year old Choco Lab the 4-Health White Fish and S.P. food for several years. The newest bag I bought reflects the recent supplier changes.. and WHEWW.. along with those changes have come the worse gas I have ever had to deal with from my boy… I am going to switch to another brand… sad too, because we both loved the old variety and I felt good about feeding him the 4-Health brand…

  • LabsRawesome

    If you’re looking for a new food to try take a look at Victor. Check their “Find a dealer” for a store near you. If you can get it local it’s a really good deal I pay $38.99 for a 30lb bag of Ultra Professional. If you need a fish based food they have Yukon River. victordogfood.com

  • Brandon Goertzen

    We feed this to our two GSP and this last bag of 4 health grain free fish one has had very bad stool and very bad gas. Never had a problem in the past year with this food and he seems alot more hungry than usaual. Why did 4 health have to change.

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks! I am disappointed they moved the Whitefish to Diamond, kinda seems like they are phasing out Ainsworth.

  • kdanielz

    Hi Bobby dog,
    I was actually just coming on to post that the Whitefish formula is switching to Diamond. So far it is just that one, nothing has been said on why or if the Beef and Turkey flavors will be switching. The formula is supposed to be the same as it was when Ainsworth made it. To answer Bobby Stout’s question, the kibble size should be changed back to what it was under Ainsworth, not sure when that will be in stores. I hope this helps.

  • Bobby dog

    Just sent an e-mail to Ainsworth, I will post the reply when I receive one! :)

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Bobby Stout:
    How did you find out Diamond was manufacturing it now?

    A few months ago we found out Diamond was making the new GF flavors (duck & pork) but Ainsworth was still making the GF beef, turkey, and fish flavors. Sounds like I need to look into the manufacturer again, thanks for the info.

  • Bobby Stout

    Has anyone that has been feeding the 4 health fish noticed the different size kibble on the 30 lbs bag. Just found out that diamond is now making this food

  • Mickie Foster

    Julie, Tiffany and Dawn

    Just a note that with my husky I have went to a hydrolyzed protein food by royal canin, where the protein is broken down so it will not be recognized as protein. with her on prednisone and this food she seems to be doing much better. Something still must have been problematic with the 4health grain free dog food she was eating before. For both dogs to be reacting like they did to such a severe degree,, it is very obvious.

  • theBCnut

    While it is true that it is more common to have allergies to meats, since allergies are a reaction to proteins, any food that has proteins in it can cause an allergic reaction. And when doing research about allergies, it is good to remember that when most people say that their dog is allergic to something, they are lumping food intolerances, food hyper sensitivities, and all other types of food reactions into the same category. To most, “food allergy” means avoid this food, not the type of reaction the dog is having, and their are many, many dogs that have varying reactions to grains. But you are right that “grain free” is a bandwagon that many companies have jumped on, and their grain free foods are actually worse than their grain inclusive ones.

  • Mickie Foster

    Well, grains are used for affordability and also to create a variation in nutrition. But I have researched allergies in dogs a lot,, and actually dogs are more likely to become allergic to the meat protein sources rather than the grains. And I have learned potatoes (now used widely as grain substitutes) also seem to make yeast problems spike bigtime and as well if a potato has any green portion it would have the neurological toxin solanine present. Sadly much of this grain free hoopla is a lot of marketing,, and the replacements can possibly be actually much worse.

  • Mickie Foster

    Yes Julie,, my dogs have been eating 4 Health Grain Free Whitefish and Potato for about three weeks. We went to it because my Siberian Husky was having skin issues and I wanted to see if this food helped. The skin itching actually got much much worse with sores even raw spots in the urinary area,,, and has culminated also with my husky having a total of 5 seizures in the last 2 weeks. I think the clincher is my other dog, a 2 year old docker who is also on this food,, and now she has now had three terrible episodes of what I call “itchy tounge” in the last 5 days,, where she wants to wander aimlessly and lick the floor obsessively after eating this food, along with heaving and throwing up. I feel very sure this food has triggered these problems. Our vet is treating the symptoms for now and I have stopped this food.

  • theBCnut

    Peas are 25% plant protein. They are a source of fiber, but they have more protein in them than fiber.

  • Dave Jones

    peas are a fiber. The protein refers to the molecular make up.

  • theBCnut

    That’s higher than the highest calorie food I’ve ever heard of. The vet should have realized that that didn’t even make sense.

  • Crazy4cats

    I think it is reported on the bag in kilo grams or something like that. I didn’t know how to convert, so I emailed Ainsworth. I feed mostly by calories, so it was important to me. Your vet apparently does not know how to convert either!

  • Crazy4cats

    That is crazy! I’ve never seen ANY dry food that high in calories. Like someone else responded, you could just feed a little less.

  • Carole

    and that is why these forums are so important. I researched and it is only about 350 cal per cup. The worksheet my vet filled out says it is 816 cal/cup. Wow! I’m guessing he didn’t do well in math class. It’s actually kind of disgusting. So disappointed but thankful so many of you responded otherwise I would not have questioned the vet’s report.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Carole, actually Taste of the Wild has higher calories per cup than 4health. TOTW Southwest Canyon has 360 calories per cup, TOTW High Prairie has 370 calories per cup, and TOTW Wetlands has 375 calories per cup. 4health’s grain free formulas are lower in calories, the 4health gf fish is 285 calories per cup, 4health gf beef is 339 calories per cup, and the 4health gf turkey is 337 calories per cup. 4health gf formulas are LOW calorie foods. And I highly doubt that your Vet knows the calories per cup in specific brands of dog foods. I had to request that info from Ainsworth, it is not given on the TSC website. You say that 4health has twice the calories of most gf brands, what gf kibble are you feeding that has only 150 calories per cup? I feed foods with higher calories, you feed less, and that saves you money.

  • theBCnut

    Are you sure? This is what I would consider a low calorie food.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Carole-
    That surprises me because I emailed Ainsworth and they replied quickly. They stated that the grain free beef has 339 calories, the turkey has 337 and the fish has 285. I actually think they calories are quite low and decided not to feed as I try to keep the calories around 400 for my dogs. Which variety were you feeding? I think that Taste of the Wild has a little higher calories in their food. Good luck!

  • neezerfan

    Perhaps you could just feed them less.

  • Carole

    My vet was shocked at the calories in this dog food. It is twice what many of the other grain free foods are–all 3 of my dogs are being taken off this food as they are older and have gained weight rapidly since eating this brand. Trying Taste of the Wild which has half the number of calories per cup.

  • theBCnut

    Real winner.

  • YoMama

    Kiss it

  • theBCnut

    Diamond makes the 2 newest grain frees that just came out too. You are replying to a conversation from a year ago, and this has been hashed out and settled for a very long time.

  • YoMama

    Diamond makes the grain inclusive foods, not the grain free

  • theBCnut

    Take a look at Victor’s and Earthborn.

  • Aly

    Ok, first – what do you mean Philip that your dog ate this and died?!? I fed my two dogs APD (Advanced Pet Diet) for a long time but couldnt find it after moving to PA. Someone recommended 4Health and within two weeks, theres chronic vomiting and like one person beliw said, horrendously foul smelling diarrhea and gas. What do you folks attribute this to? And what other grain-free options are there is this price range?

  • theBCnut

    ” I’d rather spend time researching the useful points made on this site and others and use the rest of my free time actually getting outdoors with my dogs.” That sounds like a most excellent thought.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Since this is really a non issue for me and my healthy dogs that do eat dry kibble with rice I won’t waste too much time arguing something that is pointeless for my pack. But as you stated for anybody that cares, feel free to check out information that has been released by WALTHAM Science & Research. But personally I’ve found some of these pet food threads leave the point of useful information and turn into a fight in which everyone wants his/her OPINION to be right. I’d rather spend time researching the useful points made on this site and others and use the rest of my free time actually getting outdoors with my dogs.

  • theBCnut

    You made a blanket statement without providing scientific evidence to back it up when you said that “The ground rice that is in dog food isn’t any better or any worse than beef, chicken, or other ingredients.” It’s the internet, we all do that. It’s only “dangerous” to those people that think if they read it on the internet, it must be true, and breathing is dangerous to those people. Dr Mike provided an article on this website about the issue of arsenic in rice. Anybody who cares can put in a little effort and look at it for themself, and maybe even get a more accurate understanding about what the issue really is.

  • Antonio Fisher

    I realize that the comments from Warm Heart weren’t directly involved ingredients like chicken, beef, etc, but my point was that making blanket statements without fact or proof is dangerous and caution should be used when making those statements or at least provide some type of scientific evidence in regard to those claims. Thanks

  • Bobby dog

    Ditto for Bobby and he likes the stew varieties too.

  • LabsRawesome

    I can see why they would drop the Ol’roy name.lol. My 3 like the 95% meat cans. :)

  • Bobby dog

    Two things I observed recently regarding info on labels: RR zero grain does have manufactured by Ainsworth on their bag and Pure Balance has dropped “Premium Dog Food By Ol’ Roy” from at least the label of the new food they are selling. They replaced it with “The Best Ingredients Pure and Simple.” I checked out the new PB Bison GF but I can’t remember if they dropped the Ol’ Roy reference from that bag. Can’t blame them though. lol I did buy the lamb dinner pate’ and Bobby did enjoy it.

  • LabsRawesome

    If you go on the TSC website the bag difference is noticeable. The 2 new Diamond made formulas have a white tear strip at the top. And the 3 original Ainsworth made foods do not. It would be so much easier if all bags of dog food just said where/by who the food was made. It seems like such a simple thing, that should just be included on every bag. But for some unknown reason the manufacturers are a big secret.

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks, I did see the other posts. All I know for sure is I am definately looking at the bag designs on any future purchases I make.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Bobby dog. Not sure if you saw the other posts, but we found out that Ainsworth still makes the original 3 grain free 4health formulas. And Diamond makes the 2 new Duck and Pork formulas. You are correct, if I would have seen the difference in the packaging, that would’ve been a big red flag for me, as well. :)

  • stephanie_j2888

    SAME THING HERE! My black lab mix was vommiting yellowish bile for days and i took him to the vet and switched him to chicken and rice for a few days to calm his stomach. As soon as i started the food again he started having issues again so i switched.

  • Bobby dog

    They just won’t make it simple, too bad.

  • theBCnut

    Of course she doesn’t have any peer reviewed studies to back that up. It’s where the rice was grown that is the problem, not what kind of food it was found in. And the arsenic isn’t naturally occurring either. In the US, rice grown in old cotton fields is contaminated with small amounts of arsenic due to what they treated the cotton with being in the soil still. And that has nothing to do with beef or chicken, or other ingredients.

  • theBCnut

    Diamond make all of their lines, so do a few other companies, from what I can tell. But I would still like some way of telling if a bag bought over the internet did or didn’t come from Diamond.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Do you have any testing or hands on data to back up this information? Preferably something that has been peer reviewed would be best. The ground rice that is in dog food isn’t any better or any worse than beef, chicken, or other ingredients. Rice is pretty much there to serve the purpose of adding carbs to the diet and balancing out the starch ratio which helps the dry kibble to stay together.

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks, good to know! I knew they still had Diamond package some of their product. There is one kibble I wanted to try, but if Canidae won’t be forthcoming about who makes it I won’t even bother with it. When I have time (just for fun), I am going to compare Canidae’s label info with Diamond made product labels to see if I can determine what line Diamond manufactures for Canidae.

  • theBCnut

    With Canidae, the lot# and best by dates are in different locations depending on who makes it, but the company won’t admit to who makes which ones.

  • Bobby dog

    I was picking up horse feed last week and took a look at the small bags of GF. I observed the seam down the back of the Diamond made bags and the slightly different layout of information between the Ainsworth and Diamond made kibbles. Didn’t check out the larger bags for any differences.
    Knowing about these subtle differences in packaging might be beneficial for us in the future. When or if a company makes any changes to their packaging, it might not just be for marketing purposes. It could also mean a company has made a co-packer change.

  • Philip Brooks

    my dog ate this and died

  • Warm Heart

    The problem with rice in dogfood is that it is easily, naturally I think, tainted with arsenic. Yes. Arsenic. No dog should eat rice in dogfood unless it is cooked in your home.

  • Warm Heart

    Mine too now, Stephanie! Yellowish bile vomit from both of them.

  • Warm Heart

    Why do they keep mentioning peas as a source of protein for dogs? It concerns me that they don’t seem to know that dogs only digest animal meat as a source of protein. They get no protein from anything else.

  • Elton

    I have been feeding my guys 4Health chicken and rice for a few years after my vet recommended it. Over the last few weeks one of my dogs has been have loose stools. Wasn’t sure what was causing it. Last week I ran out of 4 Health and couldn’t make it to Tractor Supply so I went to a local grocery store and bought Rachel Rae No Grain. My guys like RR and no more loose, stinky stools.
    After reading other reviews, I’m switching off 4 Health.

  • stephanie_j2888

    I wonder if they have changed something in there formula because mine were on this for a long time with no issues but then the last few months there was lots of diarrhea, vomiting and gas.

  • Tiffani Hallan

    That’s exactly where I threw the rest of my 4health, in the trash!

  • Tiffani Hallan

    I switched mine off this after about three weeks of trying to get decent stool on it. The odor was absolutely FOUL. Stool is stinky, yes but this was absolutely foul! Shoo!

  • stephanie_j2888

    I was feeding my dogs 4Health Grain Free for a LONG time, but the last few months that i fed it it was about every other week i was taking someone (i have 4 dogs) to the vet with vomiting or diarrhea. I finally got tired of it and switched to the Meadow Feast variety of Earthborn Holistic about 6 weeks ago and havent had a single issue! My dogs look and act healthy, they LOVE the food and not a single bout of vomiting or diarrhea.
    Like i said, i fed 4Health for a LONG time, so i am not sure what is going on, but i wont be going back with all the issues that it was giving my dogs over the last few months.

  • Bobby dog

    Bobby likes duck too. I got a free 2 lb sample of Precise Holistic GF duck a few months ago from my pet store, so I’ll probably use that. But the thing that also dissappoints me if Ainsworth doesn’t make the duck and pork is that it is so convenient and nice to pick up dog food and horse feed in one place. It is affordable, a nice product and to get more variety was even better. Until I know for sure either way, it’s a no go on the new flavors for Bobby.

  • LabsRawesome

    I was going to try the Duck because my 3 love Duck. But now that I know it’s made by Diamond, I’m not that enthusiastic anymore.

  • Bobby dog

    I haven’t checked my e-mail today. But, I am glad I didn’t go out and buy the new flavors. I normally am the first in line for something new. It still boggles my mind that TSC would give Diamond the contract for the new flavors. I am concerned if this is confirmed by Ainsworth that there might be a possibility of the original three going to Diamond as well; Bobby likes them and I like how he does on them.

  • Crazy4cats

    That’s just weird. Scary thing is you are probably right!

  • LabsRawesome

    I just called Diamond. They said that Diamond makes the 2 new recipes, Pork & Duck, but not the other ones. I just assumed that since Ainsworth made the 3 original formulas, that they also made the 2 new ones. I’m going to call Ainsworth tomorrow, They will probably say that they make them. Lol.

  • Cindy Loo

    UPDATE: I did a quick switch of the dogs’ food because of the severity of the issues they were having. I put them on SG Barking at the Moon and am pleased to say that I have seen remarkable improvement. The excessive drinking has stopped, the pup’s stools are the best he’s had in a while (no more looseness at all, or gas), their energy has returned. Neither of the dogs are urinating 100 times a day and no more accidents inside. I now know it was the GF 4Health food that caused the problems. I’m no expert on dog food and this is just my personal opinion, but I feel that food is pure poison. I looked into getting it tested and its quite expensive so I will not be able to send it off to have it analyzed. I threw it out in today’s garbage. In all the years that I have had animals and been in rescue, and of all the numerous brands of food I’ve tried this by far was the worst one yet. It had the same effects as the poisonous dog treats that killed hundreds. My vet also believes it was the food and has vowed to steer his patients away from this stuff. I know the company claims that Diamond doesn’t make the GF line but I will have to call the BS on that. Either they are lying or Ainsworth has gone to the dark side. Either way they are getting ingredients from China. I have read that SG is made by Diamond and this does concern me. As of right now all of my animals are thriving on SG (even the cats). I will return with another update after a few weeks.

  • Tiffani Hallan

    Well, I fed it for 2 weeks and I couldn’t stand it anymore and switched foods! The stool resulting from this food was 4 times a day and VERY large and REALLY foul! I could smell how awful it smelled from across the yard! Since I’m the head scooper and it was so disgusting, I stopped feeding it altogether. Just be aware. I think stool quality and frequency is a marker of quality here. I looks pretty and nice on paper but performance is lacking! FYI!

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, sometimes I think instead of asking TSC you’re more likely to get the correct answer from the actual company you believe makes the food. That’s why I called Ainsworth today (no one was there) I also emailed them. I will call them back on Monday. Like I told Melissa, this reminds me of when a bunch of us werer trying to find out who made the original 3 GF 4health. Everyone was getting different answers, and someone at TSC told HDM that TSC manufactured it. She told them no, they don’t, and they were insisting that they do. TSC does not even own a dog food manufacturing plant. Lol. TSC is just the distributor. Someone was also told by Diamond that Diamond makes it. (the original 3) I think because they make the grain inclusive, the person just heard 4health, and said yeah, Diamond makes it, because obviously they don’t. I don’t know who actually owns the 4health name. Anyone have that info?

  • theBCnut

    I have to wonder if this is going to be like it is with Canidae, where they don’t want to tell you who manufactures their food because they want to make out like it doesn’t matter.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi kdanielz, I assumed since Ainsworth makes the original 3 4health GF formulas, that they also make the two new formulas. I find it strange that Diamond would make the 2 new ones. Not impossible, but still, weird. ( I’m not saying they don’t, I just don’t know) I think if you call Ainsworth, and specifically ask them if they make the GF pork, and duck, then you will know for sure.

  • LabsRawesome

    Oh okay, that makes total sense. I understand completely why you feel that way. I read your first post, and I was really confused. Lol. Maybe you should try contacting Ainsworth to be certain.

  • Bobby dog

    I did not make that clear, I need one more cup of coffee to get going!!! If the new flavors are made by Diamond (I swore off of them in 2005), I will not feed the new flavors. Ainsworth products are fine in my book!! And I will continue to feed the original GF 4Health made by Ainsworth.

  • LabsRawesome

    Wait, why will you not feed the 2 new flavors of 4health GF if they’re made by Ainsworth?

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks for the info, it is appreciated!!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Melissa, I’m not surprised. Remember when a couple of us, at the same time, were trying to find out who made the original 3 4health GF formulas. Everyone was getting different answers. And someone at Tractor Supply even told HDM that TSC manufactured them. Lol. I would contact Ainsworth, and ask them if they make the 2 new formulas. That’s where you would get the correct info.

  • Bobby dog

    Thanks for checking into it! I still have the e-mail from Tara at TSC customer service stating Ainsworth made the new pork and duck flavors, which I specifically asked about. She even referred me to Ainsworth customer service for questions about the new products that she could not answer. I will not be feeding the new flavors in this case. I did not contact Ainsworth and I am glad I read about the various info being reported from TSC.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Sad thing is that I have gotten several answers from TSC.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Whats even stranger is that I called TSC customer service today and they said Ainsworth, but then put me on hold, and said the info was not available and they will call back on Monday. We will see!

  • Crazy4cats

    Wow! That is confusing. I’m guessing the average customer doesn’t keep track of who makes what. I know I certainly never did for years until we had issues and I found this site while researching.

  • Betsy Greer

    Interesting and helpful information. If you happen to see any additional information in the computer at work, maybe you could come back and share it with us again. Thanks!

  • Betsy Greer

    Very interesting, Melissa. It sounded like kdanielz knew what s/he talking about.

    It’s unfortunate that TSC decided to take that route.

  • Melissaandcrew

    After several phone calls, I was told Ainsworth makes the 3 original grain frees and DIAMOND makes the duck and pork varieties. They did say no plans to switch the originals to Diamondbut who knows. A trip to my local tsc to look at the bags and ask again got the same answer. Thanks kdanielz for pointing this out. How difficult do they make it to keep track.

  • Cindy Loo

    Thanks LabsRawesome I’ve never heard of Victor Dog Food. I’ve been in rescue for years and have had many different types of dogs and cats with special diets. My 2 personal dogs have been the hardest to find food for. They are both allergic to almost everything. My pup isn’t a little baby any longer. He is 7 mos and fully housebroken, as is my 5 yr old chow mix. It has to be the food that is making them do this because they haven’t been exposed to anything else differently. I’m going to have to take them into the vet tomorrow because now their urine is very yellow even after all the water they have been drinking. They are urinating and drinking even more today. I went and got some Solid Gold Bark at the Moon and introduced it tonight. I always do a gradual switch. I’m going to see about getting their 4Health food analyzed. Something is very wrong. If the Solid Gold doesn’t work, I will definitely try the Victor. Thanks again.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Cindy Loo, it sounds like the food is not working for your dogs. Although, when my dogs were young pups, they did need to go out about every 1/2 hour to avoid having any accidents (pee) in the house. As the got older, of course their bladders grew and they no longer needed to go out so often. Anyway, if you are looking for a food within the same price point as 4health, check out Victor. It’s $20 for a 20lb bag. Or $38 for a 40lb bag. Here’s Victor’s site. victordogfood.com What breed is your puppy? I ask because if it’s a large/giant breed they have special dietary needs. If it’s a small or medium breed, then you can go with “all life stages” or puppy food, and feed both dogs the same food.

  • Bobby dog

    I feed a rotational diet to my dog and include 4Health GF in the line-up. He does very well on it. I can only imagine the frustration your going through finding the right food for your dogs, I wish you luck!

  • Cindy Loo

    I’ve been feeding the GF 4Health Beef and potato to both of my dogs for a little over a month now. It generally takes a good month to see how a new food is going to react with them. My boys are drinking tons more water and urinating way too frequently, and the young pup has loose stools from time to time. I wasn’t for certain that it was the food at first but both dogs are exhibiting the exact same symptoms now. I have to take them both out every 20 minutes and the pup is now walking while peeing in the house as if he just has no control. I am bout to pull my hair out with finding a food that will work for my dogs. I’ve literally tried 20 different foods. Back to square one AGAIN. Just wanted to know if anyone has experienced the same issues as I have with their dogs on this food.

  • kdanielz

    Agreed, I don’t feed the grain free myself either, but that is interesting. Perhaps they just haven’t confirmed the switch and sent it down the line, will be neat to find out what happens.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Interesting! I don’t feed either as my dogs did not do well with the dry foods. But, my information came from TSC headquarters, ainsworth and Diamond. I called all three and they all confirmed production. What you say sounds suspicious in terms of I now wonder if something in their original plans changed. I would suggest anyone feeding it call or email Ainsworth and Diamond and be very specific as to whether or not they are producing the individual formulas

  • kdanielz

    I’m sorry, to me it sounded dismissive and rude, I apologize for overreacting. And I am aware that who manufactures the food is important to people, hence why I am posting on here. But I’d like to clear some stuff up first. First, when I said original 3, I meant the grain free Beef, Turkey, and Whitefish formulas, which we all agree is made by Ainsworth. We also agree that Diamond makes all of the grain inclusive formulas. I completely agree that Taste of the Wild is a much better dog food and certainly not identical. We are disagreeing on the Duck and Pork flavors, which I say are made by Diamond, and you say are made by Ainsworth. As of yet, I haven’t heard any evidence to the contrary other than from Bobby Dog. Perhaps other areas have a different manufacturer, but I find it more likely that the customer service rep either misunderstood, or did not realize that the duck and pork had been recently released. Today I did some research at work to make sure of what I thought. My first piece of evidence to backup my side is that our inventory system shows the 2 new flavors as being made by Diamond, along with the grain inclusive formulas, and only the 3 original (beef, turkey, white potato) as being made by Ainsworth (technically, Dads in our system), along with Source dog food, Rachel Ray treats, and the respective cat foods. Secondly, the new flavors do not show glucosamine or chondroitin on the GA as Diamond does their GA differently than Ainsworth, as was pointed out in an email at work, and to avoid confusion, newer bags would also include glucosamine and chondroitin in the GA. Third, if you look at the bags, they are not only made in the same style as the Diamond made bags (they have a seam down the middle of the back of the bag, whereas Ainsworth bags do not), along with a different layout on the back for the writing , but the best by dates are also written in the same exact format as the Diamond made ones. These three things are noticeably different from the Ainsworth made ones (in my area at least, I can’t guarantee bags from other stores) I’m not saying you’re wrong, again, maybe my area is different, but I would look into it further if I were in your position. Also, where did you hear that it was all going to Ainsworth? I’m not doubting you, I’m just honestly curious. And is it due to recalls for Diamond that people don’t like it, or is there something else I’ve missed?

  • Melissaandcrew

    There was nothing rude about labs response. You had the facts backward and that is important. Many folks here do not wish to use Diamond produced products. The original 4healths are Diamond(grain inclusive) and the grain frees are Ainsworth. All may go to Ainsworth in the future.

  • kdanielz

    Rude much? That’s the last time I try and help here with the information I have from working at the place that sells the product in question.

  • Tiffani Hallan

    I’m feeding this currently to my PWD and Bichon. They both have sensitive skin, and the PWD is known for having her touchy tummy. All is fine. Skin, coat, everything looks good. For the PWD, though she gets a fish oil tablet once daily and it keeps her itches at bay.

  • Heather Knowles

    We have been feeding our 8 year old German shepherd 4health for almost 2 years. And now feeding our Corgi the puppy formula. They both do outstanding on it. We did try our German shepherd on the pro 4health for a short time but it was too much for his stomach. It doubled his bowel movements. But he has always had a sensitive tummy. In the past we tried him on Nutro, blue buffalo, royal canine and we couldn’t be happier with the 4health and neither could they. They have a small variety of flavors so they get treated with them on occasion.

  • Tiffani Hallan

    Bummer! I’m just switching to this and got a four pound bag of each flavor. Trying to recover from itching, dry skin and shedding from Fromm! Ugh. What to feed!?

  • Pinewood Acres

    Which food appears to be better – the Rachael Ray Zero Grain or the 4 Health Grain Free? Any comments from any of you that have tried both would be greatly appreciated.

  • Dawnelle Gokee

    I’m having the same issues

  • Julie Lamb

    I’ve been feeding the 4Health grain free (we rotate between all the flavor varieties) for a little over 8 months now, and both the dogs I have on it are having skin issues. Lots of itching, licking, shedding like crazy, etc. which I had originally thought was from moving to a new house and being inside 100% of the day now. However, my sister (who lives in GA) has reported the same problems just 6 weeks or so after switching her dogs to this food. Has anyone else noticed skin issues?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    The loading issues are just Disqus problems. They serve a huge network of blogging sites and sometimes they get overwhelmed.

    However, it appears that the misdirection to 404 error pages is finally fixed. Yippeeee!

  • dchassett

    Thanks Mike for getting this issue rectified. I’m no longer having any problems.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I don’t know if anyone else has been having this problem but I’ve also been having issues with the threads loading. I’m having to attempt to load the threads multiple times before they actually load.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Test comment 3

  • LaurieSPS

    I don’t know of any upsides to eating grain. I know that my dogs have to have grain free because they suffer from allergies, ear problems, skin problems, and a whole host of issues if they have foods with grains.

  • burghdog

    I’m trying to transition or rather in the case of my dogs, include it in the rotation. I use the 4health beef, and puppy. I’m phasing out the puppy and adding the duck. The first few days was rough, but they seem to be tolerating the change ok today. My hope is for them to be off the puppy, and on the duck by Sunday! All my dog’s have done well with 4Health products in general. :D

  • AC

    I guess it depends on what types of grains you’re referring to. Many “grains” listed in dog foods are fillers used to increase the nutrient percentages, particularly protein. A lot of these filler grains–especially corn–have no health benefit to the dog and aren’t actually digestible. Grain free dog foods tend to have a higher protein percentage, and their carbohydrates tend to come from beneficial, digestible plants like sweet potatoes and peas. From my experience, dogs who eat a grain free food have more energy and tend to be much healthier physically.

  • AC

    I’ve rotated between 4Health’s Grain Free Beef, Turkey, and Whitefish varieties for my 2 year old (and VERY active) shorthaired pointer mix for the last year–so excited today when I stopped at Tractor Supply and saw they are now carrying 4Health’s new Duck and Pork varieties. Grabbed the Duck–she inhaled it. My pup loves 4Health and it’s been an excellent choice for me–my dog is has a gluten allergy and most gluten-free foods are considerably more expensive than 4Health.

  • Jeff Dunlop

    Mine love it, and it fixed the digestive issues they were having with the food they were on.

  • Jeff Dunlop

    I recently switched from Canidae Chicken and rice to 4Health grain free after about 18 months, the dogs were having digestive problems and often had very runny stool. It’s going on the 2nd week and they are all solid and regular on the 4Health duck and potato blend.

  • Jamie

    I wanted to ask this to others that may know more on this subject than I do. What are the upsides to using grains in the dogs diet as opposed to going grain-free?

  • burghdog

    Just picked up a bag of Grain Free Duck formula. It’s ingredients seem solid. However, I did notice that the protein % is lower, than the other varieties. I am curious if Mike will be adding the new formula’s to his review, and if they rank higher or with lower protein, lower, than 3.5 stars. I’m just adding this flavor and have no comments other than a piece was eaten straight out of the bag by my crew of pugs. My TSC does have the larger bag’s now. We shall see!

  • Robin

    maybe the new 4 health grain free duck formula? or taste of the wild wetlands (duck)? both can now be found on Tractor Supply Website and stores.

  • Robin

    how about any of the Taste of the Wild Varieties from Tractor Supply. They are a little more costly but maybe their ingredients may work better for your dog?

  • Robin

    The two newest grain free formulas are Duck / Pork.
    http://www.tractorsupply.com

  • Robin

    *** sorry… in south western PA

  • Robin

    The bigger bags are here in my southwestern stores now! I have 2 min pins, 1 has mild skin issues, and both of my pins LOVE the DUCK flavor! Coats are shining and soft. I do sometimes add 1-2 tsp of canned 4 Health Whitefish or Beef, or Taste of the Wild Wetlands (Duck) canned food, in with their kibble.

  • Dee

    I feed this to my pack of four (two pit bulls, a beagle mix and a chihuahua mix). I have to be careful what I feed because my beagle and one pit have a lot of allergies, and the other pit has a sensitive stomach. All four do well on the Whitefish and Potato formula, and I am very satisfied.

  • Freeholdhound

    That’s what I thought- thank you for confirming it. :)

  • Pam c

    If you want to switch foods you’ll have to do so gradually. Grainfree might be a solution to your problem IF your dog is reacting to an ingredient in the food. I’m sure there are other reasons why dogs scratch and chew…like environmental factors(maybe dust or fleas?).

    If you want to do a food trial you gradually transition your dog to a food with a novel protein(meat source your dog hasn’t had before). I believe you need to keep your dog on the food trial for six to eight weeks to see improvements.

    Please post what food you are currently feeding along with any treats.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Freeholdhound:
    I use 4Health grain free in my rotation and was interested in trying the new flavors. I e-mailed TSC and asked who manufactured the grain inclusive and grain free kibbles. I just received a reply (2/8/14) from TSC customer service stating the grain inclusive varieties are still made by Diamond and the grain free, including the new flavors, are made by Dad’s Pet Care/Ainsworth.

  • LabsRawesome

    No. Freeholdhound is correct. The grain free 4health formulas are made by Ainsworth, and the grain inclusive 4health is made by Diamond.

  • Freeholdhound

    Ugh. My dog’s doing okay on the beef & potato but I think he liked the TOTW better.

  • Ffcvv

    Pattyyyy is no fun with her gun

  • Shawna

    Inked mary you are a snake and a fake give me a break

  • Shawna

    Inked mary you are sich a snake and a fake give me a break you are a mistake

  • Ch

    Beys Greer does your boss know you are blogging from work

  • Cj

    Using yax payers money again to blog?

  • Ch

    Bets blogging from work again?

  • kdanielz

    The 2 new flavors are made by Diamond, while the original 3 are made by Ainsworth. It’s possible the old flavors are going to be made by Diamond in the future.

  • Sue and Mike

    Grain free is often the solution to the issue as described. Merrick is a decent brand. Also Taste of the Wild, vet preferred, Artemis, dr. Tim, Go, Fromm and Nature Balance are good companies.

  • Blinky

    I have 2 terrier-pit mix pups 2 1/2 years. They are scratching and chewing on there skin. I was told about grain free dog food. My question is —–is this the answer and which one would work?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Was in Tractor Supply today and saw that 4Health is now offering a grain-free pork formula and a grain-free duck formula.

  • Pattyvaughn

    They are absolutely NOT the exact same food. Both the ingredient list and the GA are different, not to mention the manufacturer. I imagine Diamond would be fairly quick to sue if they thought Ainsworth was copying their formula.

  • Freeholdhound

    It’s my understanding that the grain free formulas are made by Ainsworth and the grain inclusive formulas by Diamond.

  • jc

    I usually buy Taste of the Wild and was told at TSC that this is the SAME food, packaged specifically for TSC. I was surprised there was no manufacturer info on these reviews – where made, where products from, etc.

  • Fred Coulson

    I recommend eagle pack for giant breed dogs although it doesnt trate to high here.
    http://www.greatdanelady.com/index.html

  • Freeholdhound

    Just saw the new GF Pork/Potato formula at TSC (small bags only). Looks the same as the Duck except the first 2 ingredients are Pork, and Beef Meal.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Here’s a topper option: Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Beef

    Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Heart, Beef Kidney, Pumpkin…

  • Freeholdhound

    No I haven’t tried any of the Grandma Lucy’s line. I am planning on trying out Honest Kitchen to see if he can have a bit of sweet potato.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Do you use Grandma Lucy’s Pureformance in your rotation?

  • Freeholdhound

    PS) I’m thinking of giving the GF Beef & Potato formula a shot – looks like it doesn’t have any of our off limits items. Maybe they’ll be a bag of the Pork formula out to look at.

  • Freeholdhound

    I’ve found Natures Logic Beef or Sardine and Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast have worked out the best. I use mostly grinds (meat organs bone & tripe) from Hare Today online. I order beef, rabbit & goat. I also order turkey/duck necks, and chicken/duck feet. He can do poultry bones but not kibble- go figure lol. I’ve also had luck with Steve Brown’s See Spot Live Longer dinner mix that I add to ground beef. I am going to try The Honest Kitchen Love dehydrated to see if he can handle the sweet potato every so often. It’s taken 1 1/2 yrs to figure this out & LOTS of frustration.

  • Julie

    What are the 2 kibbles plus what raw works for your rotation? Sorry if you’ve answered this question elsewhere.

  • jlfleming

    I am very happy with the 4- health grain free; All my dogs coats are slick and shiny and the dogs feel really good. I have some dogs with skin problems and they are doing fine on this food. I appreciate the chelated minerals in the formula also. Since I’m feeding 6, 50lb to 100lb dogs, I appreciate the reasonable cost. I feed beef/potato and turkey/potato. I would recommend this food.

  • LabsRawesome

    Thanks for taking the time to write all that out. I’ll give that one a try when it comes in to my TSC, My 3 love Duck. :)

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi, yes I’ve tried all 3 of the original gf’s. My 3 do good on all of them. I will probably try the two new ones as well.

  • Freeholdhound

    Chicken, turkey, venison, salmon, white fish, oatmeal & sweet potato – and that folks eliminates most kibbles -argh! Glad I’ve found 2 (plus raw) but always hoping to add to rotation.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Chicken and tomato for mine.

  • stephanie_j2888

    Chicken is for one of my dogs. A small amount of chicken or chicken fat as an ingredient then its fine but if it is a chicken based food then it is out of the running because a chicken based food makes my shepherd itch really bad.

  • Freeholdhound

    Thank you for posting the ingredients. This one’s off the list for me- sweet potato & fish meal are trigger ingredients for my dog. Another one bites the dust :(

  • stephanie_j2888

    My dogs absolutely love the duck and its lower in protein then the beef and turkey (my dogs hate the white fish)

  • stephanie_j2888

    4Health
    Grain Free Duck & Potato
    Ingredients:
    Duck, duck meal, sweet potatoes, peas, garbanzo beans, potatoes, chicken fat, fish meal, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, yucca schidigera extract, tomatoes, blueberries, rasberries, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, etc.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Labs-
    Have you fed the 4health G/f to your crew?

  • LFPV

    I hear what you’re saying – true about what’s allowed in foods these days. But what put me off the most is the almost 3 and a half months it took to get the food tested? Thank goodness it was not something seriously harmful. I do respect others feelings regarding this issue, but I’m still disappointed with response time.

  • Joel

    I feed my two 5 month Danes the turkey formula grain free and they live it. I do top a couple of times a week with beef wet mix and they love it. I have just recently saw the new Duck & Pork formula but have not tried. Great coats, healthy, and no issues, made the switch from TOTW… almost same thing fora better price.

  • LabsRawesome

    Seriously, it’s like Chicken little.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yeah, I doesn’t really bother me. Wolves eat fur/hair all the time. I’m sure their getting a couple feathers in dog food as well, probably unavoidable, even with GMP. Even Orijen had issues in the past with large sharp fish bones sticking out of their 6fish. Stuff happens. I would still feed Orijen, if it didn’t cost $100 dollars a bag. I’m not real impressed with their use of lentils tho.

  • LabsRawesome

    Thank You.

  • LabsRawesome

    Ok Thanks. I’ll check their website periodically.. Hey can you list the first couple ingredients in the Duck formula?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I buy whole carcass raw for my dogs. They eat fur all the time. But I’m still a little put off by bristles in kibble, not enough to not feed it though.

  • stephanie_j2888

    Yes there is a new pork as well…I do not know the ingredients yet. It litterally JUST came in so i havent seen it on the website yet (unless its been added in the last few hours)

  • Freeholdhound

    I read on a Greyhound forum that there’s also a Pork formula.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Are you familiar with the whole prey model of feeding a dog? They can consume the whole animal, fur and all (eyeballs, feet, brains) if they like.
    Whole prey animals are even sold:

    https://www.hare-today.com/index.php?cPath=23

  • LabsRawesome

    Please read my post in response to tearsofjade.

  • LabsRawesome

    It doesn’t surprise me that their may be some hair acceptable in dog food. You should see what is allowed in foods for Humans. Btw my cats eat their own hair everyday, hasn’t killed them yet. And my dogs lick themselves and each other too, I’m sure they swallow some hair in the process. Us Humans are eating mouse poo and hair, mold,fly eggs, and insect parts, just to name a few things. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/26/fda-approved-rat-hairs-an_n_773608.html#s165326title=Pizza_Sauce_30

  • LabsRawesome

    Two new formulas? Stephanie only mentioned a new Duck formula. What is the other one?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dog food companies have to make a profit to stay in business, so I’m not the least bit opposed to them making a profit, but not at the expense of my or my dog’s health.

  • tearsofjade

    Acceptable limits? OMG, not for those of us who love and worry about our babies! Shame on Ainsworth!

  • tearsofjade

    Patty, these companies are in it for PROFIT, not for our babies! As long as the owners can get a new car every year and vacation out of the country using the profits, they don’t care about your or my dogs. Do NOT trust big corporations, be they pharmaceutical companies or dog food companies!

  • Freeholdhound

    I tried to find the ingredients also on the 2 new formulas but couldn’t. Harry’s got too many “avoid” ingredients to warrant the trek down to my nearest TSC without knowing about them first.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I agree with you. When every post is bright and shiny, I think it’s too good to be true, so it must be employees posting or something. I think people get a good feel for which posts are just bashers rather than legitimate posts. And one bad review doesn’t turn me away from a food, even a few, but it may tell me that I need to check further before buying. I don’t think checking out a company is ever a bad thing. In fact, one of my criteria for chosing a food is how responsive the company is when you check them out. If they aren’t eager to answer questions about their food, I assume they has something to hide.

  • LFPV

    An Update from original post of September 17, 2013
    I was one of the ones who found some foreign matter in a bag of the Beef Grain Free Formula which was sent back to Ainswsorth for testing. After months (can’t believe it took so long) I finally heard back from AInswsorth and they reported that what was found in the food was Bovine (Cow) hair and that it was within acceptable limits. They said some vendors have more than others and that’s why there may be a difference from bag to bag. I still wouldn’t have fed this to my dog since the pieces were actually stiff and pointy – they could easily cut or scratch internally. I just expect better and have moved on from 4health’s foods.

    What concerns me more than the results is the amount of time it took for them to test the food and report back… pets could be becoming ill and dying in that long a period of time. Shame on Ainsworth for not doing better in a timely fashion when our pet’s health is at risk or at least in question.

  • LFPV

    I was one of the ones who found some strange looking pieces in a bag of the Beef Grain Free and sent it for testing. After months (can’t believe it took so long) I finally heard back from AInswsorth and they reported that what was
    found in the food was Bovine (Cow) hair and that it was within
    acceptable limits. They said some vendors have more than others and that’s why there may be a difference from bag to bag. I still wouldn’t have fed this to my dog since the
    pieces were actually stiff and pointy – they could easily cut or scratch internally. I just expect better and have moved on from 4health’s foods. What concerns me more than the results is the amount of time it took for them to test the food and report back… pets could be becoming ill and dying in that long a period of time. Shame on Ainsworth for not doing better in a timely fashion when our pet’s health is at risk or at least in question.

  • LFPV

    I finally heard back from AInswsorth and they reported that what was
    found in the food was Bovine (Cow) hair and that it was within
    acceptable limits. I still wouldn’t have fed this to my dog since the
    pieces were stiff and could cut or scratch internally. Did you ever
    hear from them yourself regarding what you found?

  • tearsofjade

    Thank you for all of your research and the info you’ve given us. Much appreciated.

  • tearsofjade

    I think its a VERY good idea to hear the bad as well as the good. Not all foods agree with all dogs ( I have 4 dogs and 2 are on specific foods for health issues) and I want to know if someone thinks a food may be contaminated or if someone has found foreign items in a bag of kibble they purchased. These are our FAMILY, our fur babies, and I DON’T want them eating what may just be trash……

  • LabsRawesome
  • stephanie_j2888

    Has anyone tried the new Duck flavor? My tractor supply only has the small bags right now but should have the bigger ones in a few weeks. I bought a small one just to mix and see what they think of it…i gave them each a few pieces and they seemed to like it!

  • snowbird

    You said you switched to “another grain free” but the salmon formula 4health food is not grain free. It has both barley and millet. The whitefish and potato formula is grain free.

  • Karen Joyce Keen Spelman

    hi..yes did you tell the company about the vomiting and blood in stool? i mean if they were eating the food with no problem then that started…maybe it was contaminated?

  • Dog Lover

    My GSD was on the Turkey and Potato and Whitefish and Potato for approximately 7 months. He has EPI and I was looking for a cheaper food to offset his medicine costs. He really enjoyed this food, even without any toppers (he is picky) and his weight remained steady. However as months passed his coat became very dry and brittle. He also began itching quite a bit and licking his paws, something not typical of him. This continued even while adding coconut oil to his meals. I eventually switched him to Natures Variety Instinct Salmon and the itching stopped almost immediately. He ate that for almost 2 months with horrible gas (again not typical for him). I just switched him to Wellness Core Original Grain Free. Gas is gone in less than a week, he likes it and is having smaller bowel movements. I’m hoping we have found a winner. I was really hoping for good results on the 4 Health Grain Free but no food works for every dog. I would still recommend to someone looking for food on a budget.

  • Dog Lover

    Ann

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Did you have the food tested or report it?

  • Deb Waddell

    I have been feeding the 4 Health salmon & Potato for a couple of months, and the dogs loved it. The last bag I bought the dogs will only pick at. One dog was vomiting & had blood in stool. Switched to another brand of grain free dog food, and dogs are eating again and stools are back to normal.
    I am sad because I like 4Health – grain free & good price. Not good if it makes my dogs sick & they won’t eat it.

  • wv hippie

    Switched over to the grainfree beef about a month ago. My husky is a very picky eater, but now he can barely wait for me to sit down his bowl. I don’t even need to top it with the beef stew, although I still do. Very reasonably priced too if you’re on a tight budget.

  • Windsor’s Mom

    4 health grain free does have a puppy option- I’ve seen it online and in my local tractor supply, also some puppy supplement biscuitsD

  • Sharon

    Hi
    I am a pet sitter and I also sell FRR dog & cat food. I am pet sitting for a great dane puppy which has been eating FRR dog puppy food. She is gorgeous. I raised my Sheperd on FRR. If you would like a sample to try I would be glad to send you a sample to try. It ships right to your front door via UPS no extra charge. They don’t need nearly as much of this food as they do most food. You also don’t have as much cleanup after them either. No yellow spots in your lawn either.
    Just in the last few months I have gotten dogs on the food that has sugar and by being on the Vet recommened food their sugar levels was still staying high. Once they changed to FRR the one dogs sugar dropped to 184 and staying stable and the other dog I don’t know what its sugar level is but I know it dropped big time too. Just had another lady with her dogs sugar level being 600 to start her dog this past Tuesday on FRR after having another check up on Monday and it was still 500. So cannot wait until 2 weeks when it goes back for another check up to see the difference FRR has made.
    Sharon
    http://www.adomesticfriend.com
    304 613 9088
    304 472 6006
    [email protected]

  • Shawna

    I thought you might find this interesting too… Vet Dr. Karen Becker interviews Dr. Jeff Bergin (licensed chiropractor for dogs and humans and Newfie breeder). The title of the video/article is “A 17-Year Old Newfoundland? Discover What This Breeder Is Doing Right”

    Dr. Bergin feeds his Newfies (puppies included) a high protein raw diet and requires a raw diet be fed by most of those he and his partner sell their puppies too.. I’m not suggesting you feed raw just thought you might find this interesting as raw diets are significantly higher than most kibble diets. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/04/05/how-a-newfoundland-pet-dog-reached-17-years.aspx

    Dr. Becker has a separate article on feeding large breed puppies.

    “Protein is Not the Culprit — Excess Calories and Minerals Are

    Researchers have studied the diets of large breed dogs for over 30 years to understand the link between improper nutrition and skeletal problems.

    Studies have repeatedly concluded dietary protein levels have no effect on the development of skeletal problems in large and giant breed dogs.

    But still today, many breeders of large dogs, owners and even some veterinarians will tell you protein is the problem, even though there is no evidence to prove it.

    Protein excess is not the problem. In fact, it’s often a dietary protein deficiency that contributes to skeletal problems.

    The elements of nutrition that have been scientifically proven to negatively impact skeletal development in puppies are excessive calories and high or unbalanced mineral content, specifically calcium and phosphorus.” http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/09/slow-growth-diets-for-giant-breed-puppy.aspx

  • Pattyvaughn

    http://www.lgd.org/library/Optimal%20feeding%20of%20large%20breed%20puppies.pdf
    This is the study I was talking about and Shawna mentioned too. I googled feeding large breed dogs and came up with several large breed dog food ads that mentioned that limiting calories to control growth was good. They said that limiting fat may be important. But none of them mentioned limiting protein. I know they are out there, I’ve seen them by googling something to the effect of limited protein diet in large breeds. You can find something to support anything on the internet, if you know how to search for it.

  • Shawna

    This is my favorite source of info on large breed puppy feeding..

    ” Optimal feeding of large breed puppies

    Jennifer Larsen DVM, MS
    Resident, Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
    Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
    School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis

    The same group went on to investigate the individual dietary components and demonstrated that dietary protein level had no effect on the development of osteochondrosis (Nap, et. al, 1991). For some reason, dietary protein level continues to be incriminated by some owners, breeders, and veterinarians, despite the lack of supportive evidence.

    In contrast to protein, excessive calories and inappropriate amounts of calcium have both been shown to negatively influence optimal skeletal development in puppies.” http://www.lgd.org/library/Optimal%20feeding%20of%20large%20breed%20puppies.pdf

  • Pattyvaughn

    The opinion may have been recent, but not the research.

  • stephanie_j2888

    I’ve probably looked at 25 different sites over the last few days and that’s all that’s talked about…I’ll look again…I’m all about research…but I’m going by the emense amount of research I have found (most of wish was fairly recent…within a year)

  • Pattyvaughn

    Google great dane study on calcium levels and growth.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You have been finding old research. It has been proven that protein level is not the issue, calcium is. They even did the research on Great Danes.

  • stephanie_j2888

    Well all the research that I’ve done says to try and keep it as close to 25% protein and 14% fat as possible (most websites mention nothing about specific amounts of calcium) and this is the only decent brand of food available within a few hours of me…everything else either has WAY to much protein or is a crappy dog food…

  • Pattyvaughn

    BB is too high in calcium for a large breed dog, even their large breed formula.

  • stephanie_j2888

    I wouldnt mind ordering online, but i do a lot of fostering and i need to make sure i can get the dog food i need in stores as well just in case i run out before the next bag comes in or anything and unfortunatly 95% of the ones on that list Pattyvaughn posted is not available. I ended up getting Blue Life Protection for large breed puppies…she seems to like it a lot more then that nasty Iams that her old owners had her on.

  • InkedMarie

    Patty provided the link for you to the foods to choose from but let me say, if you will order online, you’ll have access to all foods, it’ll come to your door step and free shipping. A good amount of the time, cheaper for the food, too!

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is a list of foods that have appropriate calcium levels for giant breed puppies

    https://docs.google.com/viewer?srcid=0BwApI_dhlbnFTXhUdi1KazFzSUk&pid=explorer&efh=false&a=v
    Hound Dog Mom did a ton of research and contacted loads of companies to put this list together. I suggest you print it up and take it with you to all you local stores that have good dog foods and make notes about prices. My favorite for price and quality on the list is Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast and Coastal Catch.
    In the interests of full disclosure, I no longer have a giant breed dog, but I didn’t think that really mattered as much as getting a response and HDM’s list.

  • stephanie_j2888

    I need some advice from some EXTRA large dog breed owners (danes, mastifs, etc.)
    This is the kind of dog food that i feed my dogs that i currently have, but i am going to pick up my new 15 week old Great Dane puppy tomorrow evening and she is currently on Iams Large breed puppy food and Iams isnt really my favorite brand to feed my dogs. Does anyone have any affordable recommendations for large breed puppies while she is still growing? The only puppy food that 4Health has is not grain free so idk if i want to go with that….any tips would be greatly appreciated :)
    (I live in a small town so the only place i have to buy food besides grocery stories is Tractor supply…so preferably something that is sold there)

  • JoseyWales

    I have 8 rescue dogs in size from Yorkie to Shepard. They all eat 4Health Sweet Potato & Salmon. All are in good health and look great.