Acana Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Acana Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Acana Dog Food product line includes nine dry recipes, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and six for all life stages.

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

  • Acana Senior Dog
  • Acana Light and Fit
  • Acana Sport and Agility
  • Acana Puppy and Junior
  • Acana Adult Large Breed
  • Acana Adult Small Breed
  • Acana Puppy Small Breed
  • Acana Puppy Large Breed
  • Acana Chicken and Burbank Potato (4.5 stars)

Acana Adult Small Breed was selected to represent others in the line for this review.

Acana Adult Small Breed

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, steel-cut oats, deboned chicken, whole potato, peas, chicken fat, whole egg, deboned flounder, sun-cured alfalfa, chicken liver, herring oil, pea fiber, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis32%19%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%21%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%42%29%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The third ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 fourth ingredient includes potato. Assuming they’re cooked, 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 includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The eighth ingredient is flounder. 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 ninth ingredient is suncured alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

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 four notable exceptions

First, we find herring oil. Herring 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, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

In addition, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

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.

Acana Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana 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 36%, a fat level of 21% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 37% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Acana Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a significant amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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.

Those looking for a grain-free version of the same brand may wish to visit our review of Acana Grain Free dry dog food.

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

07/18/2014 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
  • Friv2G

    Great post. Thanks

  • pamela

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  • Baek

    Thank you

  • Shawna

    Hi hbrobdawg9,

    Sorry for the delay. Haven’t been on for a bit.

    No, I switch cold turkey and I feed a WIDE variety of brands and proteins. I feed Acana but mostly stick to higher protein foods. I feed Orijen, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Logic, Earthborn Primitive Naturals and others. I can go from 30% protein to 42% protein without any issues and can go from lamb to venison also without issues.

    I add some raw and canned to every meal as well. I add a different canned food about every third day and a different raw food about every other day. I have three that eat kibble with every meal ranging in age from 12 to 14 and all are about 12 pounds. The littler dogs eat mostly raw (the oldest being an 18 year old 4 pound Chihuahua who has been on raw for 9 years). I can switch the smaller dogs, including the 18 year old, from raw to kibble without any consequences too. The more used they are to it the less it affects them. UNLESS they are intolerant of a specific ingredient in the food. Example, my 5 pound Pom gets diarrhea whenever she eats chicken for more than 3 days in a row — doesn’t matter if it’s raw or kibble it causes diarrhea after about three days.

  • hbrobdawg9

    When you switch/rotate the dry food, do you transition each time? Or do you try to just find foods with similar ratios?

  • Nickie

    Thank you for sharing your story. Nook sounds like a very lucky and loved dog. My dog is 12 and I have had her all her life. I can’t bear the thought of loosing her. She is my heart. Your home sounds wonderful and I bet Nook is a happy boy.

  • Kathie

    Chinook itches, which is normal. I bathe him with a good shampoo, so that gets rid of the fleas. We live in a very cold climate in northern Canada. Our winters are long, and summers short. I keep Nook indoors in winter, and he’s outside every day in summer but comes in at night because of the bugs. I notice Nook has bad breath, so Breath Busters really work well for him. Sometimes, he smells bad, so I try to bathe him often. He doesn’t like bathing, but he loves swimming so I clean him there. Do dogs have odor problems when they are old, like 13? I have so much to tell about my Nookie. He is gentle, and so faithful. He’s been with me thru’ a very significant loss in my life. The last vet visit in April, the vet said Nook was doing considerably well for 13. He gets all his shots every year, he gets dewormed. I do all I could for him to be healthy. Thank you for reading about Nook. The kids love him and call him Nook-nook. We live in a tiny village of about 260 people. Very quiet and peaceful, and lots of room to run.

  • Kathie

    I give Chinook Acana for Senior dogs. He is 13. I also add a bit of salmon, caribou, moose, and other fresh fish. He gets everything fresh. He loves fish!!! I do not give him poultry, it makes him sick. I love my dog, so i don’t over-feed him. I want him to feel comfortable, and healthy in his final years. I give lots, and lots of fresh water. We walk every day and in summer we go swimming on hot days. I give all the love in the world. I don’t know what I will do if he dies. It is going to be very difficult for me, as I’ve had Nook-nook since he was six weeks. O, he is neutered, so there’s no problem there. He can be around ten females in their heat, and he won’t bat an eyelash. Great dog, I love him dearly. Any suggestions for me? Anyone with a 13-year-old Retriever out there? Thanks.

  • Maggie

    Very belated, but Acana’s new formulation of the lamb and duck flavours are very very simple and grain/potato free. Plus there’s now a pork flavour. You may want to try it.

    (Not affiliated with them: just a pet food retailer)

  • Mike Sagman

    Per the Wikipedia definition: “…a percentage is a number or ratio expressed as a fraction of 100.”

    All the numbers found in The Bottom Line section of every one of the 800+ reviews on this website are expressed in terms of dry matter basis.

    From this review: “As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 19%.”

    So, divide 19 by 36 and you get .527. Multiply by 100 and you get 52.7% (rounded to 53%). The fat-to-protein ratio.

  • Paul Obika

    Mike, is there something I’m missing here,otherwise how could you express ratio in percentage? Besides, the figures are from 2 different estimated nutrient content parameters-Guaranteed Analysis and Dry Matter Basis. Can you really do that? Where did you get the 100 from? I’m getting confused, pls explain!

  • Mike Sagman

    To determine the FPR, simply divide the fat by the protein (dry matter basis) and multiply your result by 100. Thus, 19 / 36 X 100 = 53%

  • Paul Obika

    Many thanks for your analysis. Could you possibly explain how you worked out fat-to-protein ratio of 53%?

  • sharron

    hi kay and thanks for your comment
    since feeding acana – which lexee will not any more and orijen as well, i tried canisource again, this was last week, she wouldn’t eat it so i was talking to a canisource customer service rep who asked me to send him the lot # of the box – he emailed back saying that with that lot # it was wasn’t a good batch that was produced, nothing wrong but he had heard of dogs refusing to eat it – so he sent a new bigger size box and so far everything is just fine – i have to watch her in regards to weight so i really make sure that i feed her the # of calories the vet recommended – she’s not food motivated so she doesn’t eat a lot

  • Kay

    My dog was doing the same. The vet told us to eliminate all wheat and grain products as well as chicken. Apparently those are the most common allergies in dogs. Its a pricier thats for sure but definitely worth it to make sure they feel good.

  • Kay

    I take the dishes and pretend that I am doing something special to it and a sprinkle a little drop of water and that seems to trick them and works every time for me. Having picky dogs isn’t fun, you just have to try and be creative and not add more calories to their diet, like by adding canned dog food. I have little chubsters so I am cautious about what I give them.

  • LabsRawesome

    Orijel? Isn’t that for mouth sores and teething pain? LMAO.

  • Susan

    Thank You! It is reassuring to know that we are not going mad, and that my 9 month old Beagle X, Darwin, is not alone with having issues switching to Arcana.
    His mother’s owner fed the littler Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Rice. He loved it, and did well on it, and I continued to feed him that to 6 months.
    After doing some research, it became apparent that Purina might not be the best choice. So I discussed the matter at great length with a very helpful staff member at the pet store who said go with Hills Science Diet.
    Trouble was, Darwin wasn’t keen on it. The change over went ok, but his stools became much looser, and he really didn’t like the food. The stool issue sent me back to researching – and I was not happy with what I saw about Science Diet. So, more research, more questions – decide on Arcana (and it’s local!). Darwin loves it. Change over seemed to go ok, still soft stools, but I figured that another week on the Arcana, we should be back to normal (like with the Purina!)
    Last week, the smell that hit me after opening the screen door – before I even got the storm door open! – was enough to point out to me that things were not improving! Poor Darwin had had a catastrophic incident in his crate (good excuse for a washout!) which led to his first bath experience. Like a small child though, the look of bewilderment and discomfort was the worst of it. Yogurt, rice, chicken for a day, hoped it was a temporary upset, slowly back on the Arcana. Went out yesterday, and came home to another mess (not as bad this time – short times alone he doesn’t need crating!) So back onto rice and yogurt, but still feeding Arcana – hoping this is a temporary adjustment thing, and knowing I needed to look into it today!
    This morning, he is still looser than loose. First bits more solid, but then liquid. So only rice and yogurt and chicken until I get this sorted.
    Which leads me here…
    And what appears to be the case is
    1) that even though it says “Puppy and Junior”, younger dogs in particular seem to have digestive issues with Arcana
    2) could be parasitic… have to figure out how to get a sample and take it to the vet
    3) Pro-biotics may do the trick
    4) Might be a food allergy
    My house now contains
    – 3/4 of a 28.6 lb bag of Arcana Puppy and Junior Food
    – 1/2 a 30 lb bag of Hill’s Science Diet Medium Puppy Food
    – a nearly full 28.6 lb bag of First Mate Grain Free Formula that we fed our last dog various types of for over 13 years with great success (he also had auto immune skin disease and was on steroids for nearly all of his years – amazing that he lived as long and well as he did!)
    I think the first thing I am going to do is try Darwin on the First Mate, but probably not until tomorrow. (I may change that if research shows that First Mate doesn’t cut it – my previous experience, however, doesn’t lead me to believe that will happen).
    No change – stool sample and vet visit.
    No results, no change – Pro-biotics.
    Still no results, no change – back to Purina Pro Plan.
    Thank you for sharing stories that, while they don’t clean up after Darwin, at least make me realize this is not some unusually, devastating problem.
    Oh, and Darwin? Uncomfortable with the voiding experience, but otherwise still the active, bright eyed, curious, playful, energetic, cool moist nosed, voracious puppy he ever has been…

  • Jule Schweighoefer

    pretty much any of the 4 or 5 star foods on this site are just fine for any dog. you may want to try a raw diet if she has health issues

  • theBCnut

    If you are interested in making your own food, look at “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown and “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Dr Karen Becker.

  • nadia2664

    sorry about that I am not able to place a link. Just search dog food secrets and you will see a video taking about how his dog died and all I think that guys name is andrew bought forgot the last name.
    Subject: Re: New comment posted on Acana Dog Food (Dry)

  • Betsy Greer

    Maybe you could share a link to cite your source of information.

  • nadia2664

    sorry the sentence does not make sense, there is a video going around the secrets of dog food, this guy says that we shouldn’t feed commercial dog food, but he said there are 9 brands of commercial food that are good, wellness is good, fromm is good, and I think orijel is on the list too, other brands aren’t. Plus remember giving the same food everydays isn’t good dogs develop allergies to their foods because of it. soon I will make my own food for my dog I mean home recipes I bought myself a recipe homemade dog foods and also she explains why commercial dog food isn’t good and to never give the same dog food 2 days in a row. The author also states what kind of vitamins you need. Subject: Re: New comment posted on Acana Dog Food (Dry)

  • theBCnut

    Acana and Orijen are both Champion foods. They are two separate lines by the same company, but I have no idea what you mean by saying ” it is rated by the doc is the secret dog foods”

  • nadia2664

    acana is an orijel food

  • nadia2664

    well I know that orijel food is the tops in Canada, it is rated by the doc is the secret dog foods

  • sharron

    i know i have to cut back on the dry food (acana) when i mix can with it, do i do it with veggies too

  • sharron

    thanks sandy
    my thinking is since acana is a 5 star food i shouldn’t be supplementing it with other foods. it’s like overkill

  • sandy

    Yes, it is ok. But take away a few pieces of kibble if you’re still watching her calories and weight.

  • sharron

    hi – i’m sure i have asked this before but i’m wondering if it is appropriate to add can food to the acana that lexee is on – she WILL NOT eat just plain dry food – thanks

  • sharron

    i’m feeding lexee acana light and fit and wondering if it’s better to mix veggies with it or can food – she would rather just eat a bowl full of veggies if it was up to her

  • Alyssa

    I have a 5 pound toy poodle rat terrier mix and she eats pedigree but I want to switch her to a healthier food but I don’t know what kind. Any suggestions? she has had pancreas problems in the past. Thanks

  • Ara

    Thank you so much for your post, I will try some of these!!! Thankz again for sharing your information :) -Ara

  • Shawna

    Hi Ara,

    Not at all sure why your post was missed yesterday??

    Most of the regulars on Dog Food Advisor believe in a rotation diet versus feeding just one food. I think the majority of us use “toppers” as well.

    I’m not a fan of Purina products so I would say switch, but that’s just me. :) I have eight dogs ranging in size from 4 pounds to 12 pounds. Five of mine get mostly raw but the three biggest get some kibble and my foster dogs get kibble with toppers. The kibbles I use for all are ones like Orijen, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Earthborn Primitive Naturals, Nature’s Logic and similar. I buy a different brand with differing protein and starch with each new bag. Example — I get Nature’s Logic Beef and Millet and the next bag will be Nature’s Variety Instinct with rabbit and tapioca and then Earthborn with turkey/chicken and potato and so on.

    Toppers can be anything from healthy table scraps like left over non-fatty meats, commercial raw or freeze dried foods, canned foods, human grade tinned sardines, raw or lightly cooked eggs, in season blueberries or a cut up strawberry etc etc. The canned food brands I like are Weruva, Lotus, Fromms, Earthborn (tubs), Merrrick and similar canned products.

    Nutritionist and vet Dr. Meg Smart says this
    “Variety is the Key (My conclusions after over 30 years of teaching veterinary clinical nutrition)

    Do not be afraid to add variety to your pet’s diet. Variety in the diet can include healthy table scraps (not leftovers often laden with salt and fat), homemade diets, kibble, canned, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.”

    Good luck with and best of health to your little one!!

  • Ara

    Hello everyone i have a 5 month Maltese/Shih tzu and am currently feeding her purina pro plan lamb and rice (puppy) and I’m not sure if i should switch to something better, I don’t know which would be best any suggestions??? Also she likes to eat grass but she throws it up within a couole hours would you have any advice on that??? Thankz in advance -Ara

  • BlondeAmbition

    you’re not very nice.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Congratulations. I think Acana is great food and I have some bags that I plan to feed our Golden Retriever bec she can eat ANYTHING anytime. I’m thinking I will either go with Victor’s or Nature’s Logic. I gave our GSD Dr. Mercola’s enzymes and still the diarrhea continued. Such a disappointment bc I REALLY liked what I learned about Champion foods. Thank you for the post; I shall remember this and maybe down the road I’ll try Acana again. He’s only 21 months.

  • Alex james

    Hi Ec, Sandy recommended to me in a post below pre and probiotics with Digestive Enzymes which I’ve now been using for a month and has solved all of my dogs upset tummy troubles. Have you given them a go at all?

  • Alex james

    Forgot to say thanks Sandy! The Pre and Probiotic with digestive Enzymes has worked a treat. Stools can be a little soft a times but no diarrhoea and NO MORE GAS! Ended up using Naturvet’s ( Thanks again!

  • Alex james

    Thanks Nancy, I probably should have updated on here sooner but I have had huge success with the Digestive Enzymes with Pre & Pro Biotic. We’ve been using NatuVet’s ( and now jessie’s stomach has really hardened to 100% Arcana. She’s been on it for a while now with no Gas! Stools are a little soft but thats no problem for us. Thanks for your post.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Try reading what I just wrote. My GSD had terrible diarrhea when I switched him to both Origen AND Acana — great dog foods and I WANTED him on them but NO GO! I think it’s the legumes ? There is something in that food that your dog cannot digest. I even used enzymes to help him transition and HIS BODY SAID NO. By then the darrhea was bad enough to go to the VET and that started a very long process. I studied foods for days. I read everything on this site. People wrote back to help me. I made a list of ingredients so that I could pin point the culprit.
    There are numerous very good foods that your dog can eat, so keep trying… but I would not push a food that causes gas. The BODY IS SPEAKING T O YOU ABOUT THAT FOOD. How marvelous the body is. You’ll get there!
    Nancy Calloway

  • Nancy Calloway

    I have been through similar with my 20 mo old German Shepherd who suffered through two bouts of terrible diarrhea. Vet put him on Hill’s WD and Metronizadole twice. (His diarrhea started with tranisitioning to Origen and then to Acana. With BOTH he started diarrhea at the 50-50 level.)
    Once his stools firmed up she kept him on WD for 4 weeks to “calm down the system.” Don’t read the ingredient list; it is everything I would NOT give my dog to eat — but, it worked. Here is where we are: Purina Pro Select Sensitive Stomach — ugh — but I must say: IT WORKS. His stools are perfect and I am giving nothing else but that. No treats, nothing. It is such a JOY IN LIFE to have a normal poop that if I have to use PURINA to get it, they are doing something right. I am told by some folk who “know dog food” that this is a higher end Purina – not found in the groc store – and is more pricey. Maybe so. It works. My goal is to move to NATURE’S LOGIC but we won’t be doing that for another month or so. I have read on several websites where dogs with digestive issues did GREAT on N L. Their website states that this is the only dog food that does not use synthetic minerals/ vitamins in their food. Go check out their website. There are some very good articles there as well.
    One other thing: I discovered on the second round of diarrhea that it had started up when I bought a SOLESTO flea/ tick COLLAR at the vet for my dog. We had been there for his “WELL CHECK UP ” after the 1st diarrhea. Within 30 hours he had the worst diarrhea I have ever seen. ALL PUDDING. Inside and out. It would not stop. Vet had put him on “normal” Sensitive Stomach food at that check up. On a Friday I started with 1/4 cup of Sc Diet Sen Stom. By Saturday he had pudding poop all day. There is no way 1/4 cup Sc Diet mixed with 2 cups WD caused that. After sev days racking my brain over WHAT WAS DIFFERENT IN HIS LIFE that Collar popped up in my brain. I yanked it off and within 24 hrs he improved. The pudding stopped. You might go over EVERYTHING in your mind… I learned a lot through this. Everything matters.
    Nancy Calloway

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  • EC

    Hi – I’m looking for help with my dog. He’s a mixed-breed rescue of unknown origins (both in terms of breed, though he certainly is part vizsla and, we think, part pit bull, and in terms of history). We’ve had him for about a year now and we’re still trying to figure out what diet works for him. He has allergies (both environmental and food-related we believe), and we’ve been sticking to grain-free, limited ingredient foods: he started with Call of the Wild (which his foster family had fed him prior to our adoption), then we switched to Natural Balance LID, and now we’ve been feeding him Acana Wild Prairie Grain-Free. He loved the Acana at first (we had difficulty getting him to eat slowly enough), but now he literally won’t touch it. He has gastrointestinal issues in general, with lots of gas, irregular bowel movements, and rare but periodic instances of vomiting. He also has another symptom, though I’m not sure what its origins are: he starts gulping air uncontrollably (it almost seems seizure-like and he appears to be really suffering); this happens often and in many cases shortly after eating. We’ve been told that this may be allergy-related and not to worry, but it can get pretty intense. His instinct is to eat grass, a lot of grass, which at times leads to vomiting and at others seems to just calm him down.

    I don’t know if these issues are related or not, or whether we should just get rid of the Acana we have (could it just be a bad bag? I haven’t seen any recalls) and try a new food, or if anyone has other suggestions. Any advice is appreciated.


  • Alex james

    Thanks Sandy, Due to being in the UK I’m afraid those options are not available to me so have opted for NaturVets – Digestive Enzymes with Prebiotics & Probiotics – I hope this one does the trick. I will keep you posted on how we get on.

  • sandy

    There are many brands, but I look for a product that has multiple organisms, at least 9 or 10. For instance, I buy alot of Dr Stephen Langer’s Ultimate Probioitcs from, I have Mercola pet probioitcs and digestive enzymes, and will probably try out’s prob/enzyme product. I’ve been using probiotics and digestive enzymes for a couple years and my boys rarely have any gas and they eat a variety of things. It helps my fosters to transition as well.

  • Alex james

    Hi Sandy, No these are new to me. Can you recommend a good brand? Which would you recommend to try first? Thanks, Alex

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I really wanted this food to work for our dogs. Molly has been chewing her paws and doing a lot of scratching today. The only food so far that i have found that works is Wellness Core. I guess it’s back to the drawing board to find another food to rotate the Wellness with.

  • sandy

    Do you give probiotics and/or digestive enzymes with meals?

  • Alex james

    OK so now a month in and have been trying to ween her onto the arcana slowly, still 50/50 with Royal Canin but she still has terrible gas! Help!!??

  • Crazy4cats

    I also have dogs with this issue. First of all, I’d like to make sure that you have done a fecal test with the vet to rule out parasites, particularly Giardia. Worms and parasites can cause this. Mine were treated for both Giardia and Coccidia a few times and have had a leaky gut since due to many doses of antibiotics. I have been feeding Victor grain free for about the last 3 months and it has been the best food so far for their issues. It contains a special type of clay that I believe is partly responsible for the improvement. I also give supplements that help. I’ve used The Honest Kitchen’s Perfect Form, Thorne’s Gastriplex and Vetri Science’s Vetri-Pro BD with success. They contain either enzymes, probiotics or slippery elm. My dogs did much better when I added raw nuggests to their food than they are now with canned, but still much better than before. Now and then I have added plain canned pumpkin and/or applesauce as well. It was and has been very stressful, but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, finally! A lot of information can be found on for help with loose stools. Good luck!

  • theBCnut

    My first thought is that this could be a food intolerance issue, so when you go looking for food, take the ingredient lists of the foods she has eaten with you. Try to find something that has a different protein source and different starches too. Look at NutriSource, Earthborn, Nature’s Logic, and Nature’s Variety Instinct.

  • Sadie girl

    I came across this site recently and truly appreciate the advice and experience! I have an 11 month old Golden Retriever who has been having more and more GI issues over the last two months. She has been a gassy girl from the word go and I swear could out-gas a high school football player. Most recently, she will have a solid bowel movement in the morning and progress to soft, then loose by the end of the day. I have been feeding her Acana–initially large breed puppy, and now Wild Prairie adult. I have intermittently given rice and cottage cheese or chicken when her belly is really acting up, and have also tried Medi-Cal Gastro (on recommendation by my vet…the ingredients look rather questionable though). I know there are many other excellent food out there, and am open to suggestions. I would almost rather try on my own versus the suggestions of my vet as they push Royal Canin. Suggestions anyone? Help would be much appreciated! Thanks :)

  • Ingrid

    I am a Toy Australian Shepherd breeder and I am on my SECOND generation
    of Raw or Cooked Whole foods dogs. I add in Acana (all varieties except
    fish) at a side dish. This last batch of puppies has been the healthiest
    I have ever seen and for 5-6 years now I have never had a puppy death
    or health issue! This last litter came out of the mother (still in the
    sac) squiring, running and opening their mouths! When I helped the
    mothers tear off the sac they were quickly on the move! One puppy
    actually stood up on all fours and walked!!!! We call him runner as he
    was doing laps around the puppy whelping pool within a few hours. He
    actually climbed out of the pen too several times!!! Ask any breeder and
    they say this is not possible, but I see it every time with my puppies.
    You see and hear stories of how you need to “rub” a puppy or “wake” him
    up, when our momma delivers we have to “catch the puppies and
    constantly corral them right from birth! At 4 weeks they are chewing on
    raw bones and eating ground turkey and goats milk! They are active when
    they eat and shortly after, but one day I had a friend puppy sit and she
    took kibble (yes good kibble) and soaked it in water and gave it to
    them. When I came home 1/2 hour after feeding all the puppies were
    rolling on their backs and looked bloated. They looked like they has
    just eaten a turkey dinner and were fat and lethargic!!!! Next feeding
    back to raw meat and goats milk and we were back to normal activity! I
    am planning on video taping this effect on the puppies as my next batch
    is currently 4 weeks. I expect the same results and it should be an eye
    opener about what dog food does to a body!!! Barks and Wags, Ingrid at
    Urban Aussies!

  • Audie Dewey

    Fellow dog owner, If you’d cry if your dog died, then you need to see this. Discover the deadly secret the dog food industry spends millions to make sure you never find out.Check it out..

  • theBCnut

    If your dog can handle it, yes. You may want to switch slower at first but many of us feed our dogs a different meal each feeding and we even switch between brands.

  • Alex james

    After doing a lot of research about different dog foods online I decided to change from Royal Canin – Junior which i’m now mixing 50/50 with Acana – Puppy and Junior to ween Jessie my 12 week old Border Collie x King Charles Puppy onto. Todays Day one so will keep u all posted on how it goes….. For the last week she hasn’t been finishing her Royal Canin meals but with the Arcana food in the mix she absolutely wolfed it down today. Surprisingly though only 2/3rds of the amount of Arcana is needed so was thinking maybe the Royal Canin Instructions were a little on the heavy side. Another surprising thing was that actually Orijen Instructions had been stuck on with a sticker over the main feeding guidelines. For value your saving just under 35% over Orijen 13kg = £69.99 with 13gk Arcana = £46.99 which was the deciding factor for me. Big saving also seem to apply to some very similar adult foods also. Watch this space!

  • vivian1412

    Pet is my hobby, but to the pet BB buy it like that I have been a
    headache thing, because on the Internet, can not see in kind, so often
    buy back with her would not be the same as last week, also have a try in
    the heart to buy a dog house in this home!
    the received anything let me be startled at it, as like as two peas
    with the picture, really can’t believe, very happy, my BB now live very

  • sharron

    i have 4 different acana formulas, can i feed her a different one from day to day

  • Traci J.

    which formula did you choose?

  • Tami

    Thanks, Hound Dog Mom! I do currently rotate and/or mix 2-3 types of the Science Diet but wanting to get away from that brand. Thanks for your recommendations. Going to check out the book, as well. I am going to have to do a lot more reading on the site to know what meats, proteins, veggies, etc are truly good for him.
    I appreciate your input and the great info. Going to shop for your recommendations now.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Tami –

    If you’re not opposed to making his meals I’d highly recommend ordering a copy of Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.” It’s available on Amazon and includes recipes for complete and balanced meals. The recipes are simple and most of the ingredients you can get right from the grocery store. You could also check out a pre-mix which is (generally) a blend of supplements and veggies to which you only need to add fresh meat. There are several out there, my favorites are See Spot Live Longer Dinner Mix, The Honest Kitchen’s Preference and Urban Wolf. These pre-mixes could also be prepared ahead of time and frozen.

    As far as picking a commercial food, the best thing to do would be to rotate between many and add healthy toppers (canned foods, raw foods, healthy leftovers, homemade foods, etc.) regularly. I’d recommend just picking some foods from the 5 star list that you can find at your store and trying them. Often, boutique stores will have samples on hand or you can email the company and ask for them to send you samples (most will). I don’t currently feed kibble (I feed homemade raw) but some of my favorite brands to recommend would be Orijen, Acana, Nature’s Variety, Annamaet, Dr. Tim’s and EVO.

  • Tami

    I have an 8yr old male basset that I have been feeding Hill’s Science Diet and Natural Balance, but I would like to switch now that I have found this site. He is a fairly good eater with little problems, rarely gas or bloating, and currently weighs 55lbs. He started dropping hair once with a Hill’s product that had corn, but no other problems to date. Our vet said his weight is fine and he is pretty trim. I have looked at the list of 5 star food on the site, but it is pretty overwhelming. Any suggestions on a few to start? I am not opposed to making his meals either, especially since it looks like you can freeze them. Thanks for any/all recommendations/comments.
    I am learning!!

  • Msams0975

    I’m looking for some opinions! Would you rather feed:
    Acana Chicken & Burbank Potato
    Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
    Solid Gold Barking at the Moon
    TOTW High Prairie
    Merrick Grain-Free Pork
    Halo Spot’s Stew Surf-n-Turf

    Which one (or two) would you feed? I’m not against mixing two or so together if you think there is a benefit.

    If there is one missing off my list that you think is worth me looking into, please go ahead and let me know.

  • Angela Primanti

    Acana & Orijen are now available at the big box chain Pet Supplies Plus. I saw them next to Pro Plan. I would guess Petco and Petsmart are next so for consumers it could be more convenient to buy them.

  • MamaV

    I first fed Acana to my Havanese shortly after his first birthday. Unfortunately, it gave him diarrhea so I had to move him to another food. However, I really wanted him to eat this high quality food so I recently weaned him onto it again (he has just turned 2 years old). This time his digestive system is handling it beautifully and he does not have diarrhea or gas!! He loves the food so both he and I are happy!

  • Rita Letunova

    Hi! I`ve got a young hound (1 year 6 months) and I`d like to start feed him by more qualitative food than Royal Canin, he has eaten earlier.

    Has somebody experience of starting Acana after Royal Canin, Hills or something like this? I`d like to know some opinions :)

    And what`s better Acana or Orijen for quite active dog? (We walk every day about 2 hours, play active games and he often plays and runs with other dogs)

  • shannoncookie

    I didnt really know or think about dog nutrition when I first got my pup I bought a pack of begging strips t bonz and busy bone treats on sale. After feeding her these treats I noticed her urine smelled soooo bad it was awful. I pretty much cried I knew if her urine smelled that bad it must be doing something horrible to her organs… I felt like such a bad mom and now I try to be really careful with what I feed… it really taught me a lesson

    now im feeding her freeze dried beef liver and fresh cooked eggs cheese random meats as treats… my dog goes really crazy for the freeze dried beef liver one ingridient and us meat. Pure bites is the brand I use and she goes 10x more crazy for the freeze dried treats rather than the t bonz or begging strips!!

  • Betsy Greer

    I always have almonds on the counter. When I stop a grab a few, Sam and Bella always get very excited and start begging for theirs.

  • Taryn

    She’ll love that!

    She’s had diarrhea for the past few days since I tried to switch her, so hopefully that subsides soon and I can get her off the chicken and slowly into the Regional Red.

  • Taryn

    So adorable!

  • Taryn

    That’s actually the only way she’ll eat them, or if you play with her with the treat and she attacks it to pieces! :P

    Bite sized is always nice! She also loves anything that she can spend her time chewing on, time to get those puppy teeth out!

  • Taryn

    Oh dear I didn’t know! She got the begging strips from my grandma and I’ve been hesitant to give them to her.

    I’ll see if I can find some all natural treats and some Acana and Orijen treats to give her.

    It’s so hard to find good dog treats that aren’t made in China nowadays.

  • Pattyvaughn

    LOL!! I had to run off and prep dinner for the oven.

  • Taryn

    Oh okay good! I don’t want her being a little hulk :P

    I definitely do like the way Acana is filling her out and her coat is very silky and shiny. I’m excited to up a level to Orijen and eliminate the chicken, because almost everyone has told me that she has a chicken/ poultry allergy, or at least it’s suspected.

  • InkedMarie

    I highly recommend getting rid of Milk Bones & Beggin Strips. As far as rawhide, most of it is not safe. Do a google search for the article on rawhide from the Whole Dog Journal. I use, very sparingly, rawhide from the Wholesome Hide. Maybe its Wholistic Hide, I always have to look.

  • Alexandra

    Lol Shawna!! See, I told you he was special!! He cracks me up when he does that.

  • LabsRawesome

    Omg Milk bones Beggtin strips, and Rawhides are the worst treats/chews you can give. Most good dog food brands have treats as well. Just read labels, you don’t want anything from China. :)

  • Shawna

    Dante is SUCH a spaz!!! What a hoot!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Since she is already on the food that she is reacting to and it takes a bit for symptoms to go away after you get them off of the food they are reacting to, I would transition instead of switching cold turkey, but I would do it as fast as her stool will allow. You may be able to switch faster if you add a spoonful of pure canned pumpkin and probiotics/digestive enzymes to her meals, but I wouldn’t let any of that sit around all day either.

  • Shawna

    I’m surprised that Alexandra or one of the others didn’t post this already — are you guys just making me be the bad guy here??

    Have you seen the ingredients in milk-bones? YUCK!!! Beggin strips are no better and maybe worse :(.. Sorry

    Dr. Karen Becker is my favorite vet. She feeds her dogs, including at least two pitbulls, a pea as a treat. Or a blueberry, or an almond etc. She gives additional ideas and recipes for here.

  • Taryn

    I read up on the Orijen’s feeding guidelines and they are about 1/2 cup less than Acana’s, the pet store owner warned me that she might like this food better so I should keep it in a container so she won’t try to get more and she might eat it faster too. Which is a good thing to hear! I bought her Regional Red and we’ll see how she does!

    Also if I’m suspecting a chicken allergy, should I stop feeding her the Puppy and Junior and switch immediately to the Orijen? Or should I ease her into the Orijen while still feeding her the Puppy and Junior? I don’t want more diarrhea!

  • Alexandra

    Yes a Orijen is appropriate for all life stages. On their feeding panels, they have a paragraph for feeding puppies.

    At 50# at adult weight I would call her a medium breed, some may disagree, as there is a lot of debate on that between food manufactures, etc. Anyway, when Orijen reformulated they dropped their calcium and phosphorus to more species appropriate levels, so over growth or rapid growth should not be an issue.

  • Alexandra

    Too funny!! Mine sleeps with his current favorite, a red kong ball…

  • Taryn

    Surprisingly we never had problems with the Pedigree — not that I would ever feed that to my Nova. He was hit by a car when he was a year old and that gave him a brain injury, so he was always a little quirky!

    Okay, I think I’ll get a small bag of the six fish and a large bag of the Regional Red. This food is good for all stages right? I wouldn’t want to stunt her growth or over-grow her.

    Yes I free feed her, but I’ve started putting only a little bit in her bowl each day because some days I watch the food sit there all day, only some of it disappearing slowly.

  • Alexandra

    Three treats a day isn’t all that bad. you could take the milk bone and break it into pieces…not knowing what size you are feeding. Nova will think she’s hitting the jackpot. :-)
    There is a line of treats that coincide with the Orijen foods, they are freeze dried and over 50% protein. They may be a better option, they are perfect bite sized pieces.

  • Taryn

    My childhood dog was ball obsessed! When we would go shopping, he wouldn’t leave us alone when we got home until we let him ransack the bags to make sure there wasn’t a ball in there!

  • Taryn

    She gets milk-bones, the occasional beggin strip, and raw hides. She has a huge raw hide bone that she uses as her teething toy.

    No, I never thought of it that way! At the most she gets about 3 treats a day. Not including her rawhide bone that she chews on until she falls asleep at night.

  • Taryn

    Exactly! She probably eats about 2 cups a day at the most throughout the day.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Taryn,
    That amount sounds much better than the 2-3 cups! So we covered food, what about treats, what do you use for those? If you give a fair amount of treats do you subtract that out from her ration?

  • Crazy4cats

    My dogs finish theirs quickly too. And yes, they ALWAYS switch bowls just to make sure their brother ate all of his food. But, they still lick them even though they are empty! Heck my cats even finish theirs in about 5 minutes. My husband says it sounds like a cafeteria when all their tags hit against their dishes. It’s so cute!!!!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Taryn,

    So it’s 1-3/4 cup for the entire day that you’re feeding now, right? Before you had said two to three cups. So, you are allowing her to free feed her total daily ration of 1-3/4, right?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I have one that finishes everything in a minute flat unless there is an RMB in the bowl and one of mine takes a couple minutes, but Gideon has sped up to 5-10 minutes. He used to be much slower, eating only one piece at a time, and fastidious like a cat.

  • Alexandra

    Lmao Labs!

    Mine only last for minute also. I was meaning for the transition from free feeding to scheduled meals.

  • Taryn

    She’s about 20-25 pounds. I read the feeding guidelines and she is eating what she should be, 1 3/4 cups, maybe 1/4 of a cup more, but she does eat throughout the day. She might have a few bites in the morning, then she eats with me at lunch and dinner, and she might have a few bites at some ungodly hour in the night when she thinks it’s time to play! :)

  • LabsRawesome

    15-20 minutes? All 3 of mine clean their bowls in about 2 minutes. Then my little Dachshund checks the big dogs bowls to see if they’ve left him any. They never do. Lol. :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    She looks like she is in good weight, so you probably don’t need to try to encourage her to eat more, so only put out the right amount. Maybe measure how much she leaves for a couple days and give her that much less. You definitely don’t want to risk letting a growing puppy get overweight, it’s hard on the joints while they are developing.

  • Betsy Greer

    Her stool is probably starting to get solid because her belly isn’t so full.

  • Alexandra

    Two to three cups is way too much for a 25 pound dog. My 50# Shepherd mix eats 1-1/2 cups a day. My 90# Shepherd eats 3-1/4 a day. I would definitely cut that back.

    While the amount you are feeding is in line with the feeding guidelines for Orijen… Not every dog can handle that much food. Try cutting back a little at a time and see what that does to her output. When it starts forming you know you are headed the right way.

  • Betsy Greer

    OK, so according to the Acana feeding guidelines for the food you’re using, she should currently be eating just about 1-3/4 cups total per day divided between two or three meals.

    I’m suspecting the loose stool could be the cause of the overfeeding.

    But, Taryn, if you honestly suspect a chicken allergy, you must get her off of anything with chicken. Allergic reactions worsen over time. What may be eye goop and loose stool now, could very well result in systemic yeast and anaphylaxis later.

  • Alexandra

    You can turn off the mobile theme on the phone and see the actual site. Much Much easier that way.

    I let mine do that also. Dante loves to shop. He goes for for he tennis balls.

  • Alexandra

    Hi Taryn,

    How much does she weigh?

    I don’t think a canned food would really help with the stools. Pumpkin is the best way to go for that in addition to cutting back on the amount that she eats.

  • Taryn

    She’s about 20-25 lbs, and at full growth she’ll probably weigh about 50 lbs. I put about 2-3 cups in her bowl a day, but at the maximum she only eats 2 cups a day. She’s eating the Acana more now since I tried to switch her off of it. Her stools are actually starting to harden since the failed switch and she seems to enjoy her food more! I do still believe she has a chicken allergy because she is always itching and she has eye goop all day and it’s really prominent.

  • Taryn

    Yeah my iPhone keeps lagging and I don’t like the mobile site is much help either!

    Hahaha oh I think I’ve spoiled her, she picks out her own treats at the pet store! :)

  • Taryn

    Yes, I’m happy that they are sister companies, although Orijen is more expensive, my baby deserves it! :) I want to get her off the chicken as soon as possible and see if her gas and eye goop goes away. I’ll lower her food consumption and if she still has loose stools then I’ll keep up on the pumpkin and maybe I can find a canned food to give her to harden the stools?

  • Pattyvaughn


  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Taryn,

    I was wondering about something… are you certain you’re not overcrowding the Acana currently? Here’s a chart with the feeding guidelines:

    What’s your puppy ‘s current weight and approximately how much do you expect her to weigh full grown?

    Diarrhea is frequently caused by overfeeding.

  • Alexandra

    Happened again, with the scheduled feedings, she would learn she has 15-20 minutes to eat her food.

  • Alexandra

    My last dog, Bear, a shepherd / husky mix made it to 12.5. He got long bone cancer in his front leg…he ate several foods, Iams, eukanuba, Nutro…these were pre buy out, and Canine Caviar when it was first introduced, and when that become hard to get, I switched to. Holistic Select. The Canine Caviar was the only food that stopped him from vomiting bile which he did most of his life. His vet at that time was of no help…and I didn’t know anything about food at that time…and that was while I worked in a pet store to boot!

    My two eat both but Dante seems more partial to the 6 fish. I put them side by side…he went to the fish first…real science right? Lol!

    Do you free feed her? That maybe part of the issue. Leaving the kibble in a bowl all day breaks down the fats, and when that happens, it loses it’s appeal to them. By putti her on a schedule, if you haven’t already,

  • Alexandra

    Oh, they aren’t “spoiled” they are well cared for. :)

  • Alexandra

    Wow, I was unable to edit my typo…

    Don’t know if it is discus or the iPad..


    Dealing with food intolerances is sometime challenging. Be patient and hopefully, just eliminating chicken takes care of things for Nova.

  • Taryn

    My childhood dog actually lived of Pedigree, lived to the ripe old age of 12 years old, he didn’t get any cancers, but he did have seizures.

    So would you say the six fish is more popular than the regional red? Nova is kind of a picky eater, but she will eventually eat what I put in front of her, she just always wants what I’m eating! :P

  • Alexandra

    Well, you would still be switching foods, but most of the core ingredients are the same, just added proteins. So it should be relatively smooth for her.

    Well hopefully the farting will diminish once her digestive system settles.

    Also, the two cups maybe a bit more then she can handle…you could try cutting back a tad and see if that helps the stool to form.

    When I was training obedience and a dog would have an accident, you always knew when it was caused by aorijen

  • Taryn

    Aw thank you! I was actually just researching Orijen, and had those two in mind because I figure it’s safer to exclude all poultry, rather than switch foods yet again! Nova is farting up a storm next to me, my eyes are watering! That would make sense if the potato is what’s causing the diarrhea, I’ve heard dogs have problems with potatoes sometimes, especially delicate little pitbulls! I’m definitely picking up some canned pumpkin and some treat canned foods for her. She’ doesn’t know how spoiled she is!

  • Alexandra

    Hi Taryn,

    You are among good company here. While I never fed Beneful…I did feed Iams.

    I have a bit of a food issue myself…

    Freezer full of raw meats, bones, necks, and organs…

    A bag of 28# Regional red,
    A 28# bag of six fish…ok that one almost empty..

    A bag of Nature Logic Venision…

    Buying kibble next week… I order two-three bags at a time…

  • Taryn

    I love this site! You guys are hilarious! :)

  • Taryn

    Same here! I’d rather my baby get the best of the best than me. :)

  • Alexandra

    She is a cutie!! I love the name!!

    As for the food, my GSD Dante had a lot of issues quite similar to yours.

    Here is what worked for him: first avoid foods that contain white potato…which Acana does sadly, it is a great food, but like everything else not fit for every dog. Orijen, made by the same company but a higher grade line, contains higher protein and a heavy variety of meats, that line does not contain white potato. They have a fish formula called 6 fish. My crew loves it.

    If suspecting chicken issues, which after 3 years for Dante..all poultry seems to be problematic for him…they have the 6 fish and the regional red formulas they are chicken free.

    At four months, I would feed her two to three meals during the day, splitting her ration between the meals, you could add some pumpkin to help with the digestion.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Let’s see. I just got 84# of raw and made another 10# after that. I have 5 bags of food waiting to be used that are between 25 and 30# and I have four 25# bags that I’m working on right nowvarious states of fullness. That isn’t counting the canned, freeze dried, and dehydrated.nd Sandy and Betsy, both, can tell you that I’m only a hoarder in training. LOL!!
    BTW, I used to feed Pedigree. Yuck!!

  • neezerfan

    Well, my kids are grown so he’s my baby now. He does eat better than I do, tho.

  • Cyndi


  • Betsy Greer

    I’m too embarrassed to say how much I have you beat by, but at least I have more dog than you do! LOL!

  • Taryn

    Thank you! :) it’s short for Supernova, because when you pick her up she extends her arms and her legs like she’s flying!

  • Cyndi

    Awwwww! She is adorable! Nova is a really cute name.

  • Taryn

    Her name is Nova, she’s my whole world. :) here’s a picture of her in the car yesterday!

  • Taryn

    Wow your pup is living the good life! Can you adopt me too? :P

  • Cyndi

    OMG!!! What a little cutie!! What’s her name? (didn’t notice if you said it)

  • neezerfan

    I’m a hoarder, too. I’m down to an order of Darwin’s, a case and a half of canned and 2 bags of Ziwipeak freeze dried so I’m looking for my next order! Oh, I forgot the 3 containers of homemade I have in the freezer. And my dog is only 11 pounds!

  • Taryn

    that’s what I’m feeling like! I’m collecting!

  • Taryn

    I fed her Beneful once when I ran out of dog food and that was all the local grocery store had as puppy food. It scared me how she scarfed it down and then was trying to knock over the bag to get more, I threw it out immediately after that experience.

    Oh I feel your pain, I’m gluten and lactose. I eat a lot of fruits and salads!

    That’s what I was thinking last night when she was sick and pitiful, is that it was just all the bad stuff leaving her body? I wish I knew what ingredient was causing the diarrhea in Acana, her puppy food may be too high in protein? Someone mentioned that on a Pitbull forum. The protein is only at 32% though. Hmmm..

  • sandy

    I’m a dog food hoarder now! Used to feed Beneful too a couple years ago.

  • Taryn

    I’m so happy I’m not alone! I think I’ve crossed the obsession line and now I’m onto something much worse! :P

  • Shawna

    Chin up Taryn!! :) We’ve all been there at one point or another… Don’t tell, this is just between you and me — at one point in my life I fed my dogs Beneful — ssshhhhhhhh… :)

    Keep asking questions and keep learning and you’ll be answering others questions before you know it!!!

    OlRoy is terrible but food intolerances can cause some major issues. My Pom is intolerant of chicken. I feed the highest quality raw I can get (organic, naturally fed) but she still reacts to chicken — even the organic stuff.. No matter what the quality of the chicken, she can’t eat it.. Your baby seems to be experiencing the same issues with an ingredient in Acana. Once switched you may continue to see symptoms as the histamine etc clears out of the body.. Be prepared for that. May not happen but it could. I react to dairy. My symptoms are usually worse AFTER I quit dairy then while I’m cheating.

  • Taryn

    Yes I will, I wonder if I should switch her to a different Acana food, like Acana Pacifica, it says it’s appropriate for all life stages, and there is no chicken or grains. Maybe it might be a better transition for her since it’s the same brand?

  • Pattyvaughn

    LOL!! Most of us regulars here have had all kinds of problems with our dogs. That’s why we became obsessive about dog food.

  • Taryn

    I can’t win! Who knew feeding your dog was so trialed.. :P

    When we first got her the sellers were feeding her Kirkland, then she was eating Ol’ Roy for about a month before I realized how terrible it was, then Acana, but now the eye goop, diarrhea, gas and I think “the itches” because it’s not fleas.. Maybe puppy itch? Now she won’t even go near the TOTW.

    Today I’m just feeding her her old food, with some eggs, plain yogurt and bananas. I’m mainly worried about TOTW being made by Diamond, who has the recalls and questionable ingredients. She was just so sad last night and this morning, I’m such a sucker for her puppy eyes!

  • Betsy Greer

    But, if you suspect a chicken allergy, you must get her off of the Scans with chicken ASAP.

  • Shawna

    If chicken is the culprit then she needs to get off foods with chicken in them as soon as possible.

    Don’t worry, just yet, about the mucous in the stool.. I foster and every foster dog that has come in my home (and wasn’t already on a good quality food OR had issues with the current food even if good quality) goes through a spell where there is mucous in the stool (usually lasting about two weeks).

    To give her tummy a break, if it is needed, give her turkey and canned pumpkin for a few days.

    I wouldn’t worry about transitioning either. The purpose of transitioning is to prevent symptoms such as diarrhea. She already has diarrhea so what’s the point of transitioning?

    Free feeding is also not a good idea.. The fats in the food can easily become rancid when exposed to light and air. Vitmain E (tocopherols) are added to prevent rancidity but vitamin E also breaks down when exposed to light and air.

  • Taryn

    Yes, I didn’t know TOTW was made by diamond until a little reading up and I discovered they were made by diamond.

    She just had some cheese and a banana to get some food in her. I tried a little test to see if she hates the new food, I gave her the bowl with the mix and a bowl with just the Acana and surprisingly enough, now she wants the Acana! She must really hate the TOTW!

    Yup now she’s rolling around eating my shoe, meaning she wants a walk. I guess she’s feeling better! Now I’m so hesitant to switch brands after that nightmare last night. I’m almost certain it’s the chicken causing her grief from the Acana.

    I’m definitely going to try adding stuff to her food like the pumpkin you mentioned and probiotics, it will probably help with her diarrhea problem and gas, hopefully. Now onto the chicken or poultry issue.

    I’m really considering Wellness, maybe blue buffalo, I’ve heard good things about Holistic Blend, and I’ll do some research on Nutri-source.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Taryn,

    I agree ~ not a fan of Diamond at all.

    I think you mentioned that you had heard good things about TOTW and that it probably met some of the ingredient / nutritional guidelines you were looking to fill, right? Personally, I have to trust my gut instinct when I choose dog foods, if it doesn’t “feel” right, I don’t feed it. Of the brands you mentioned, I think I’d choose either Wellness, Nature’s Variety or Merrick.

    I don’t blame her, her tummy is upset and she doesn’t feel like eating or drinking, but she will. It’ll probably be a tricky transition for her, but she’ll come around. Have you tried adding probiotics and digestive enzymes, that might help as well. But, do try the pumpkin. Even letting her lick a spoonful of it by itself would help if she isn’t eating. You might also try adding a bit of Answers goat milk to her food. That’s full of good stuff (probiotics) and obviously, moisture and I’m sure she’ll lap that right up.

    I would suggest a quick switch to NutriSource adult chicken & rice. It’s very easy to transition to and very well tolerated, but I know you suspect a chicken allergy ~ so you might consider the lamb meal & rice, just so that she can be on a food with solid stool that doesn’t have her belly so upset. I used the adult chicken & rice with my pup once when nothing else was working and to get his system to quiet down.

    Once your pup has had an opportunity to have things calmed down, you could choose to switch her to one of the other brands you and Shawna mentioned.

  • Taryn

    It was about 45 – 1 hour ago, she won’t drink any water and won’t eat her food either. Her nose is also dry and she’s burrowed under the covers right now and she doesn’t seem happy. :(

    I give her probably about 2-3 cups a day, I put it in her bowl in the morning and she eats throughout the day, because she doesn’t seem to like the Acana Puppy and Junior, she probably eats about 2 cups a day at the most.

    Yes I added about 1/4 of the new food to her bowl, she ate some of it, but she seems to have become quite the picky eater.

    I’m worried about her stools not becoming consistent because her Acana food gives her diarrhea and with switching her and feeding her the old food, I’m afraid she might never have a solid BM until she’s fully switched.

    I’m also concerned with feeding her TOTW because it made by a big corporation, Diamond, and they’ve had some recalls and controversy over the years.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Taryn,

    Was it first thing in the morning, before she ate, that she threw up? Some dogs will throw up bile when their stomachs have been empty for a long time.

    The mucus in the stool probably isn’t cause for too much concern since you’re in the midst of switching foods and I think puppies don’t seem to have the mature digestive system that allows them to switch more easily from one food to another.

    How many meals per day do you give her? Maybe go back to three smaller meals (assuming you’re feeding twice daily) so her belly isn’t empty too long. And, some plain canned pumpkin will help a lot with the diarrhea during the switch.

    Are you taking the switching process slowly, mixing a bit of the new in with the old and slowly, over a period of time working up to all new food? Only increase the amount of new food when the stool quality is good.

  • Taryn

    Oh okay that makes much more sense! I’m slowly switching her puppy food from Acana Puppy and Junior to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy formula to avoid any added chicken, and she has diarrhea of course, but this morning she was convulsing on the bed like she was going to throw up, so I got her to the bathroom and she puked up this small amount of milky, yellow stuff.. And her poop had some weird gelatin looking substance. I’m jut a worry-wort because she’s my little baby! :)

  • Shawna

    There are two AAFCO nutrient profiles — one for growth and reproduction (often referred to as “puppy”) and one for Adult Maintenance (often referred to as “adult”). The “minimum” nutrient requirements for growth and reproductive foods are higher in protein, fat and calcium/phosphorus than the “minimums” for adult maintenance formulas. When maximums are necessary they are the same for both puppy and adult foods. So “puppy” foods and “all life stage” foods simply mean they have more protein, fat and calcium/phosphorus than the minimum set for puppy foods. The minimum protein requirement for puppies is 22%.. Every food you have listed has significantly more than 22% protein. As long as fat and calcim/phosphorus minimums are also at or above those suggested for puppies the food can be labeled as “puppy” food or “all life stage” food. Both are suitable for growing puppies.

    Here’s the two different profiles if interested in looking at them.

  • Taryn

    I saw that, but I didn’t know what to think of it. I questioned what the difference is between puppy foods and all life stage foods?

  • Shawna

    Yes, yes she is very precious!!

    For the record, most of the foods, if not all, you’ve listed are “all life stage” foods and are absolutely appropriate for feeding puppies through seniors.

  • Taryn

    Isn’t she precious? I love her to bits, hence the dog food hunt! I haven’t written off Acana completely, since she’s only 4 months and still a puppy I’ve only fed her Acana Puppy and Junior. So I’m just looking for a new puppy food while she’s going through her growth spurt, but when she’s older, who knows!

    I’ve heard great things about Merrick, Blue Buffalo, Wellness, Natures Variety, Innova, and Taste of the Wild. Although only a few of those offer puppy foods that’s are grain free as well. Who knew feeding a dog was so complex?! She’s so cute though, she’s worth it! :)

    Right now she’s eating left over steak and potato, can you say spoiled!

    Thank you for all the advice! I do fear that she has a chicken allergy, so I will be testing that over the next few days!

  • Shawna

    I just looked at the picture you posted of your sweet little girl.. Can I just say —- I WANT HER!!!! She is SOOOO adorable!!!

  • Shawna

    I LOVE Pitbulls — well, any of the bully breeds. I grew up with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier!!!

    I also like grain free, high protein foods. There are really quite a good choice of them to chose from too.. The thing is, most of us here don’t feed just one type of kibble. We feel that a variety of foods AND brands is the best option to keep the digestive tract and immune system healthy.

    Here’s some of the ones I feed — Nature’s Variety Instinct, Nature’s Logic (uses millet but it seems to be well tolerated), Earthborn Primitive Naturals, Merrick grain free (once in a while), Origen and a few others off and on. The key is to look for foods that have a different protein AND starch source as dogs can react to the proteins in starches too.

    Others an give you some additional options or you can look at the list of 5 star, grain free foods here on DFA.

    The other thing that many of us here do is to not feed exclusively kibble. Kibble actually makes up a small part of my dogs’ diet. To the kibble you can add complete and balanced canned foods which are often higher in protein than kibbles. You can also add unbalanced canned foods as well as raw or lightly cooked eggs, canned sardines, meat left over from your dinner, good quality fruits and veggies in small amounts etc. The thing to remember with unbalanced foods is to feed these at no more than 20% of the daily diet so as not to cause the entire diet to be unbalanced.

    If you have tried all varieties of Acana and are still seeing symptoms then it would be less likely that the protein source is the problem and more likely that the legumes or lentils in the food are the issue. It often helps to keep a diary of foods and ingredients when trying to pinpoint the problem ingredient. Betsy’s dog reacts to legumes, one of mine reacts to chicken, another on here reacts to peas, several react to potato, a friends dog reacts to green beans and on and on. It really can be ingredients most of us wouldn’t think of as causing a problem. That’s where the diary comes in handy. Clip the ingredient list off the bag when done or copy the ingredient list down. After feeding for a while note how pup did on the food. Any eye goo, stool issues, itching, ear gunk etc. My Pom gets colitis from chicken so I quit chicken. Jump forward several years and she develops a mild cough and has eye goo often. I finally figure out that she reacts to ALL poultry (including pheasant, duck, quail and ostrich). As soon as I stopped ALL poultry her eyes cleared up and her cough went away.

    Good Luck!!!!

  • Chandrasiri Wickramaarachchi

    The Surprising Secret About Dog Food
    Fellow dog owner, If you’d cry if your dog died, then you need to see this. Discover the deadly secret the dog food industry spends millions to make sure you never find out.Check it out…

  • shannoncookie

    Sorry I should also say some of the people that can get mean sometimes for the most part give great advice opinions and ideas!! But I just find myself upset reading the way people respond to each other at times

    I find the “drama” in some of the discussions to be quite entertaining though!!

  • shannoncookie

    Thanks for posting this and your work on this awesome website!! I look at this website often and find it to be very informative both articles and user opinions..

    ill let you know ive been very hesitant to post here because there are about 3 to 4 regular posters on this site that can get quite nasty and mean. They really rip people apart sometimes and make snide and condescending remarks… I cant be the only one that feels this way.. just saying I would probably share my opinion or my experiences ifbi didnt see these types of comments because they can be upsetting and im not even a party involved… just saying..

  • Taryn

    Oh yes I’m definitely switching her! The question is to what? Being a pitbull, I’ve been told to only feed her grain-free and high protein dog foods, but there are so many options. Acana and Orijen has been pushed on me since I got her. So of course I don’t want her having digestive problems, but I also don’t want her living off fillers. Any suggestions?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Taryn,

    I agree, Acana is great. Unfortunately, it caused my dogs to have gas and loose stool. So, good as it is, I had to stop feeding it because it wasn’t right for my dogs. It doesn’t sound like it’s right for yours either. I’d probably switch to something else if I were you. Continuing to feed something your dog is intolerant of is setting him up for continued problems. At a minimum, you should be adding digestive enzymes and probiotics.

  • Taryn

    Hi, just popping in to say this is a great dog food! Although, be cautious with APBT breeds.

    My 4 month old Pitbull puppy got really bad gas and consisitant diarrhea, and excessive eye goop. Other dog owners will tell you that this occurs because of over-feeding, but she only eats 2 cups a day (at the most), throughout the day. I worry that she doesn’t like it, seeing as she seems to only want to eat it when she’s starved.

    Anyways, that’s my two cents.

  • InkedMarie

    I apologize for saying your opinion is wrong, I should not have said that. Your dog had a reaction to this food, thats no reason not to recommend it.

    One of mine can’t have food that has chicken as a protein but I why would I not recommend that food? (I’m speaking of a quality food that is chicken, not a crappy food).

  • Mountain view

    Two of my posts have dissappeared. what was not constructive?

  • Mike Sagman

    You’ve already made your point. Please find something constructive to post.

  • Betsy Greer

    Seriously? How on Earth do you translate what I said into my having forced my opinion on anyone? ::smh::

  • Mountain view

    You can’t force your opinion on others.

  • Jackie Nicolas

    If you read back you will see that not once did I say this was a bad food. In my opinion this food has way to many unessasary ingredients and was not a good experience for me or my dog. So in my opinion I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone I know who has a dog.

  • Mountain view

    This food didn’t work for her dog, she doesn’t recommend it.She believes that there are too many ingedients. I say: good interesting point, while you believe she should be like you and still recommend this food . What gives you the right to push YOUR opinion on others? That’s a double standard.

  • Mike Sagman

    Everyone has a right to her own opinion about a particular dog food — even if that opinion doesn’t happen to agree with your own.

    When a visitor takes her time to post her experience with a particular dog food and then concludes that her dog appears to do better on a limited ingredient diet, her opinion (a reasonable one) deserves to be heard and treated with respect.

    No one deserves to be judged harshly or treated with disrespect. All posters here (especially our “regulars”) are expected to help create a warm and friendly atmosphere for all who drop by for help or just to describe their experiences. And to not waste so much time finding fault in the comments posted by others.

    As I look down through our Recent Comments column on the left side of this blog, I am truly disappointed to see such hostility directed toward first-time visitors.

    Please remember…

    “… we delete comments that exceed the boundaries of courteous behavior. This includes remarks that are rude, profane, mean-spirited, disrespectful, lack good manners or otherwise unrelated to the topic at hand.”

    Please be more respectful of fellow contributors when posting and consider yourselves duly warned..

  • Betsy Greer

    My dogs don’t do well on Acana, but I still think it’s an excellent, high quality product. It’s just not right for my dogs.

  • Mountain view

    How can you say her opinion is wrong? Don’t you think y
    ou come across too strong?

  • Mountain view

    I think it is very important to listen to our gut feeling. This dog food is probably not right for our dog.

  • InkedMarie

    You can have your opinion, it’s just wrong. Just because your dog didn’t do well with this food doesn’t make it a bad food. My dog would have a reaction to a chicken food. That doesn’t make it a bad food.

  • Shawna

    Since most of us don’t feed whole carcases it is important to get the extra nutrients from somewhere. Even raw foods have many of these added. Most of us here that feed raw, InkedMarie included, like Darwins raw. The ingredients are —

    “Ground Lean Beef Meat, Beef Hearts, Beef Kidneys, Beef Livers.

    Organic Vegetables (29.3%):
    Squash, Yams, Beets, Zucchini, Celery, Romaine, Parsley, Apple Cider Vinegar. (Vegetables may vary based on seasonality.)

    Special Nutrient Mix (2.2%):
    Bonemeal, Organic Hempseed Oil, Iodized Salt, Inulin (Extract of Chicory), Manganese and Zinc Amino Acid Chelates, Vitamin E.”

    LID diets usually have less ingredients by adding more synthetic nutrients. Many of us feel the body can’t utilize those synthetics as well as nutrients from whole foods.. Just a different point of view…

    Edit — and admittedly, sometimes those extras are simply added to give humans warm fuzzies making the food seem more appealing. All depends on how the food is processed as to whether the nutrients from the extras will survive the process or not…

  • Jackie Nicolas

    Just to reply to your rude comment “have you ever heard of the term, every dog is different?” To reply to your condescending message. Have you ever heard that everyone has the right to their opinion?
    Acana has about 50 different ingedients. Why?? The dog/wolf/wild dogs family are carnivores. Why are we feeding them this….
    whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, cranberries, blueberries, kelp chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary, selenium yeast dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
    I think going back to a “less is more diet” Back to basics, natural foods, meats even raw diet is better then the garbage put in most dog foods.
    This is my opinion which I have the right to. So this is why I don’t recommend it. Not only did my dog not like it, he reacted to one or more of the over 50 ingredients.

  • InkedMarie

    So, let me get this straight. YOUR dog had an allergic reaction to Acana dog food & you don’t recommend it? Have you never heard the term, every dog is different?

    Just because your dog didn’t do well on this food does not mean its a good food.

  • Jackie Nicolas

    My puppy started Acana and had an allergic reaction. I don’t know why there is so many ingredients in the dog food and to top of off he really didn’t like it. I think less is better. Get dogs going back to a more natural diet. He’s now on a limited ingredient dog food and happier and healthier. Not recommended in my opinion.

  • guest

    I love the orijen dog food for my gang as well as acana I have one with imha and it seems do do just fine with such a serious disease that was triggered by her yearly shots. and the freeze dried treats are the very best.i do how ever home cook also to top the kibble and I also soften the dry food before adding the home cooked and use less kibble as stated. but for a 2 lb. Chihuahua that is almost 10 yrs. old isn’t a lot of food but it is good and no tummy issues for her or my rat terrier and a older 17 1/2 year old pup that plays ands runs up and down stairs like its nothing. I havew read many reports of liver values in small dogs. I can tell you I have full blood panel done every 3 months for the imha baby and her hct and kidneys and her liver panels are very normal and with this disease that is very important. this little one has a great love of food to be so little and gets her treats 3-4 times a day… she runs and plays even though she is in remission as their is no cure for this disease once they get it. spider bites, snake bites flea meds and fleas, tick and some medications as well as yearly shots can trigger AIHA/IMHA in the most healthy dogs or cats and in any imha fur child the best of foods are of most importance. I wouldn’t use anything but these foods.i know we read reports of high liver values but it might be due to something other than the food. before my baby was triggered with imha I had blood work up on her since she was a young pup as I have with my whole gang that way when the vet asks about whole blood panel it is good to have if you are faced with liver panels to compare test of before and after.i think when you switch from food just a kibble or two then 3 and ect. buy a small bag just in case it doesn’t work for your baby but less is more in any thing new you offer to some fur kids as some can eat anything with a issue even oils if you give those like cocc=onut oil and fish oil even start off w/less over the next two weeks you can give full many have said what works for one fur kid won’t for another.but I can not say anything but good about orijen and acana.

  • aimee

    I agree that feeding trials are not perfect yet it does trouble me that products that meet a nutritional analysis may not meet nutritional needs.

    “Dog foods with similar claims for nutritional adequacy were tested by
    chemical analysis and the American Association of Feed Control
    Officials’ growth trial. All foods tested were similar chemically,
    however, dogs given one regionally marketed food had lower growth rate
    and food efficiency as well as suboptimal PCV and hemoglobin values
    during the growth trial. Pups fed this diet also had clinical signs
    typical of zinc and copper deficiencies.”

    During growth I only feed diets that have passed feeding trials for growth. As adults I loosen that criteria. I think the value of rotating diets is to help offset formulation errors.

  • Shawna

    Although calories is an important factor in weight management, it can not always be trusted in my opinion. Since protein and carbohydrates have the same calorie content, two foods can have the same calories but one be better for weight loss than the other. Research has demonstrated that protein has a greater impact on weight loss so even though both foods have identical calorie content, the higher protein food is going to lead to better weight management.

  • Shawna

    Nutritionist and DVM Meg Smart recently wrote an article where she brought up some concerns about feeding trials. She writes

    “The validity of trials conducted on dogs and cats kept in a kennel or research facility is questioned, as these animals do not have the same freedoms and human bonding
    experiences of the pets kept within a home environment. Most nutritional
    trials on companion animals are only valid for that particular group, maintained under the same conditions, fed identical diets. Even the results from the relatively simple non invasive digestibility, palatability and feeding trials done
    in kennels or catteries specifically established and approved to conduct
    these trials have come under scrutiny when environment, previous diet,
    gender, breed and age differences are considered.”

  • Crazy4cats

    Although, I think it would be awesome to have the calorie counts of the food on this website, I never have had a problem finding them for myself on their individual websites. This site is a great starting point to do some exploring on our own.

  • Mike Sagman

    Even though their value is highly overrated, feeding trials will be covered in our upcoming Editor’s Choice section.

  • Dr. Pat

    you never mention whether feeding trials have been done on the foods .Isn’t it important to KNOW the food performs as expected?
    Also I think calorie content should be addressed since many dogs are struggling with obesity usually from overfeeding high cal food.

  • Ex-business owner

    Champion food made promise after promise to independent retailers to carry and promote their food. The promise was not to sell to large franchises.

    During 2012 the company had great difficulties producing enough dog/cat food for the retailers demands. This continued for throughout the year and straight into the better half of 2013.
    In the summer Champion decided to go back on their word and sellout by signing up with Pet Valu.
    Independent retailers were confused due to the fact that the company could not keep up with the demand already as it is.
    One month later Champion demanded their supplier to increase to minimum quantity for ordering Orijen and Acana. They increased it more than 2.5times the amount it.

    Obviously this was a scheme to drive out the independent store owners to be able to provide to Pet Valu. Many stores went out of business after marketing their product for years only to lose their customer base to Pet Valu.

    Champion pet food has bankrupt and put hundreds of people on the street.

    Stay clear away from the company.

  • Pickle

    I completely agree with you. A dog (or any animal that you take responsibility for) should have good quality food and if that means that I have to adjust my own personal budget, then so be it. People who say that they can’t afford to give their animals anything but low price/quality food usually have the latest phone/tablet or other “must have” gadget.
    I personally have found all the foods produced by Champion to be excellent – the Acana and Orijen ranges are pricey (although you can get excellent prices if you pick the phone up and ask for a better price, especially if you’re buying multiple bags)

    It really doesn’t work out expensive in the long run – you feed less because the food is nutrient dense and then of course my vet bills are lower as my boy’s have far less health issues since going on these foods.

    As far as UK brands go, I rate Lily’s Kitchen/Simpson’s Premium and Eden

  • Ross C.

    If you add all the legumes in Acana and adjust or remove the “fresh” ingredients you will find that legumes are a very big component of the food. That is why the fiber is so high. The company doesn’t publish the percentage of protein from animal sources but I would be shocked if it was more than 70%.

  • steve

    yes, they have regular puppy food or puppy large breed

  • Betsy Greer

    I sure wish mine had done well with it.

    Strange thing is, the lentils are so far down on the ingredient list, I can’t imagine how it was a problem. I assume that was the only issue.

    We’ve tried other foods with lentils and chickpeas and had similar results; ie: gas & loose stool for Sam; and constipation for Bella.

    Not good since that seems to be one of the new trends. I’ve actually started looking more at foods that contain pseudo-grains as a result and am regularly using a couple with millet and one with sorghum.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Its strange that my crew did not do well with the Orijen until the formula change and others did fine until the changes.

  • Todd

    Is there any ACANA foods that I can feed a puppy? I am getting a 8 week old Lab next week and I want to feed it a great food. I bought a bag of large breed Orijen puppy food, but I want to rotate the food and it seems the Champion lines get really good reviews. Any ideas would be much appreciated. I am also thinking of trying to mix in some Raw as well. I appreciate the help.

  • Betsy Greer

    Mine sure don’t. I’ve tried several varieties and haven’t had luck with any of them.

  • InkedMarie

    I didn’t realize it had been around so long

  • Melissaandcrew

    I love Champion products and my dogs do wonderful on the full Acana line.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Acana isn’t a new food. Champion’s been around for almost 30 years.

  • Hannah

    This food is a big seller at the store. I plan on switching to it in the distant future. ( my boys just switched from diamond to Fromm. ) The protein in just high and it’s a newer food, so I think I’m going to wait it out a while to try it. But, everyone who buys it seems pleased.

  • Todd

    Is there any ACANA foods that I can feed a puppy? I am getting a 8 week old Lab next week and I want to feed it a great food. I bought a bag of large breed Orijen puppy food, but I want to rotate the food and it seems the Champion lines get really good reviews. Any ideas would be much appreciated. I am also thinking of trying to mix in some Raw as well. I appreciate the help.

  • Daronwyk

    I can’t say enough good things about this dog food. Acana, while pricey, is the best thing I’ve ever fed. I have German Shepherds (notoriously fussy/senstive stomachs) and Afghan Hounds. My dogs shed less, have brilliant glossy coats, and they have never looked so good. I feed Fit & Light to my older dogs, and rotate through the regional diets for my younger dogs.

  • Daronwyk

    How active is your lab? I have an eight year old GSD that has always struggled with weight. I put her on Fit& Light and saw results after only a month. Her energy levels have greatly increased and makes it easier to exercise her too. My vet can’t get over how her muscle tone has improved and her coat.

  • Cyndi

    Here’s a link to the thread in the forum that Crazy4cats mentioned…

  • Crazy4cats

    You can go to this site’s forum. There is a whole thread that has been going on about budget friendly foods and how to find coupons. I think it is under canine nutrition. Good luck.

  • InkedMarie

    I hear you. My dogs get what they need. I’ve been known to roll quarters to add to my credit card. I’m not saying this’d pertains to the poster I responded to but I get tired of reading or hearing about people who can’t buy decent or better dog food yet they have that new phone.

  • mdkroma

    Two more budgetary notes:
    1.) Get a dehydrator and make your own treats. Better quality, less $.
    2.) On my food spreadsheet, I also can filter by protein sources, protein and fat quantity, etc. I’ve also marked all of the foods that we’ve fed (we change food every bag, to different proteins and brands). That way I have a list of foods that I know I can feed, so when the occasional savings opportunity arises (eg. last year’s Petco 50% ecoupon fiasco) I can take advantage.

  • mdkroma

    Ok… thanks. So, yeah… that’s the site to which I was referring (in case the “chew” hint didn’t make it across.)

  • Pattyvaughn

    You can mention Chewy dot com or any others here.

  • Storm’s Mom

    mdkroma makes a GREAT point! While the price of a bag might be more expensive to start, because you are likely feeding a LOT less of that food at each meal than you would of a med or low quality food (1-3 stars on this site), that bag is going to last a lot longer than a bag that originally would’ve cost less.

  • Storm’s Mom

    “Being on a tight budget and getting the best food possible” is only really possible if you don’t apply that budget to your dog(s). I put myself on a pretty tight budget, but I do not apply that to Storm’s nutrition at all. I put myself on a tight budget in part so that I don’t have to put Storm’s nutrition on one. Not to say that I don’t look for value, but my main criteria have nothing to do with how much a food costs.

  • mdkroma

    The prices within a given line are always going to vary depending on the main source of protein (red meat > fish > chicken/turkey, etc). That being said, to calculate price, you can’t only look at the price of the bag.. you have to consider the caloric content of the food (higher calories/kg = lower food required per serving). That being said, I made a spreadsheet that allows me to instantly compare foods based on the caloric needs of my dog (35lbs) that I update periodically with pricing information. The daily price (again, this factors my dog’s size) for the Acana grain-free formulas ranges from $1.15 per day for the wild prarie to $1.42 per day for the Ranchlands and the Pacifica. The daily price for the Orijen formulas are only $.06 to $.07 a day over their Acana counterparts. This is using a per-bag price gleaned from a particular pet food website that I shop that offers no tax and free shipping. As I’m unsure as to the policy of mentioning specific vendors, I’m simply going to suggest you take a few minutes to google the names of the acana products – you’ll find plenty of information to “chew” on.

  • InkedMarie

    There is one man who does this website; he has a full time job & a life. IMO, it’s unfair to ask him yo get price ranges. If you’d like to volunteer, that’d be great!

    I mean no offense but being on a tight budget and getting the best food possible don’t usually go hand in hand. If you can tell us your price range, about your dog & any issues, we may be able to help.

  • Sara

    My comment is on the reveiw. It would really be nice if a price range was posted. $-$ We are on a tight budget, but want to make sure our dogs are eating the best food possible.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Shell,

    My Cavalier is currently finishing up a bag of Barking at the Moon right now. She likes it, looks great and has great throughput. We’ve also tried Sun Dancer before, but she didn’t seem to get as excited about it as the BatM.

    Here’s a repost from earlier this year regarding who manufacturers what for Solid Gold:

    “In April, Diamond Pet Foods did stop producing the 4 foods that they had been making for us; in mid-August they resumed production of those four foods which include Hund n Flocken and our three bison products (WolfCub, WolfKing and Just a Wee Bit) at their Meta, MO facility. Diamond Pet Foods has established new protocols, which include testing for a variety microbials including salmonella, along with a positive release program to assure food safety.

    Crosswind Industries, located in Kansas, manufactures our remaining formulations which include Holistique Blendz, Hundchen Flocken, Barking at the Moon, Millennia, Sun Dancer, Katz N Flocken and IndigoMoon.”

    I find Solid Gold products intriguing and think of the company as the mother of holistic foods. They’ve been manufacturing dog foods since 1974, and one my holistic vets even carries it at their clinic. A lot of folks don’t care for the company because they still maintain ties with Diamond, but I’m OK with it although I only choose to use those products NOT manufactured by Diamond.

    Good luck and congrats on the new pup! We have but one request of new puppy owners…, pictures! : )

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are right! BatM is not a Diamond food. I don’t know what I was thinking!

  • Shell

    Thank you!
    I thought the BatM wasn’t a diamond. I know our whole food market carries that but I’ll look around for the others you mention.
    We eat only real foods so I can’t imagine feeding my lil girl garbage.
    Thanks again

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m thinking of someone who has a close up of a huge Malamute face, whoever it is.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Aussies should be a medium breed. Any food that is marked for All Life Stages is also a puppy food so you really have a lot of good choices. What I like to suggest is to print up the lists of 4 and 5 star foods and take them with you to the different dog boutiques in your area and see what they have at what price. Then pick 3 or 4 to try and see how your pup does on them. Any that he doesn’t do well on cross off your list and pick more to try. I automatically take any Diamond made foods off my list, because they have had so many recalls, and Solid Gold Barking at the Moon is, unfortunately, in that category. Some of their foods are not made by Diamond though. I really like NutriSource as a starter food, because to seems to be very easy for dogs to transition to. And I really like Earthborn too. Good Luck with your pup and I hope you don’t get as addicted to trying new dog foods as some of us, or maybe I do. :-0

  • malrescueSATX

    Same avatar, Mr Tova. His way too early passing from cancer is what made us learn about pet food. If only we had learned before. But you might be thinking of Bellin Bellin’s fb avatar, his therapy work makes all rescue’s proud. Good to chat again.

  • Shell

    To pattyvaughn.
    I’m getting an Aussie puppy and for dog food, is that a medium breed or considered large? Next, I’m liking Solid Gold Barking at the Moon but what do I feed her as a puppy? In the past, we chose a food and stuck with it not doing rotational feeding. I just want some advice so I can do the best I can do with her.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I think it is a common practice. I believe the temp that Aus wanted damages nutrients more than a lot of better companies want, so they don’t export to Aus.
    The pups and I are great! Glad to see you back. Is that a new avatar? I like it!

  • malrescueSATX

    I didn’t know that about the cooking temperature. The articles I had read when I was researching the food history before trying it made it sound like a common practice with imported foods, but that was a few years ago now and its hard to remember it all. Its been a while Patty, how have you and the pups been doing?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I believe I read that their laws state that the pet food must be cooked at or above a certain temp and Champion cooks theirs below that temp so their food had to be irradiated. It destroyed the Vit A, which killed some cats.

  • malrescueSATX

    Austrailia irradiated all imported pet food from what I had read. And something about the irradiation adversely affected the cat food. I remember looking into this when I was considering switching to Orijen/Acana. This particular problem never happened anywhere else. Ultimately we did choose Acana.

  • malrescueSATX

    It can take a little while for the coat to adjust to the different ingredients. Our boy Bellin lost some shine too for a little while too. Then it came back more brilliant than ever.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi kc66,

    You are correct indeed.

    Per Diana at Champion on 06/06/2013, in her response to my question as to whether or not I could purchase Light & Fit in the U.S.:

    “Our ACANA Classic diets are not yet available in the U.S. The reason for this is because our ACANA Line is quite large (18 different diets) and we wanted to introduce them slowly as to not overwhelm our retail partners. We first introduced the Regional diets and then last year introduced the two single diets and the Chicken and Burbank Potato. We would like to have the classic line into the U.S. but I do not know when that will be.”

  • kc66

    apparently you can’t get Light & Fit in the U.S

  • lovesanimalsco

    sounds like an allergy to something in the food.

  • disqus_OY4mBCVMhc

    I tried feeding Acana, sadly my Amstaff and my Italian Greyhounds shiny coasts began to diminish. As soon as I went back onto Earthborn Holistic, and their coats came back to shiny and with less shedding.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The Pork & Pea and Beef Frittata Veg don’t have chicken. I think you’re right about all the formulas having egg though.

  • Bob3rd

    Apparently Fromm has never had a recall. It looks like a very good dog food but all types of it have chicken or egg product in it. I gave it to my dogs and one started chewing his paws real bad right away.

  • sonia c

    Dont work whit my 10 years old lab. At 2 cup and half she stil a 90 lbs after 5 month after Acana light and Fit. :( lose 1 lbs that it

  • sandy

    Not sure what temperature Austrailia uses but Orijen was just short by a few degrees.

    Here’s a different page from the link posted above:

  • Boxermom

    That’s interesting Sandy, thanks for the info. So in Australia they usually cook dog food at higher tempature? That’s why they felt the irradiation was needed?

  • sandy

    Austrailia irradiated their food because Champion cooks the food at too low a temperature. The irradiated food made cats sick.

  • Boxermom

    About the recall, I read somewhere that this is the reason Champion doesn’t make the food in any other place but their own factory. The only time they made the food in another place- this recall happend so they refused to do it again. Not sure but I think I also read this happend because of different rules in Australia about the process of the food or something.

  • de

    Is there any dog food out there that has not had an issue or a recall in the past? I need to find a new food for my yorkie

  • Pattyvaughn

    Well sooorrrry, I can tell you that I would have no idea what your puppy raising experience is. If I was as experienced as you, and I am, I wouldn’t have had to ask that question in the first place. I responded because someone else did and I didn’t want you to think that that response was the only opinion to be had on the matter. And if you left a follow up post anywhere, Disqus doesn’t show it, Disqus can be funny/selective like that. I’ll try to remember in the future that you don’t actually need help and refrain from responding to any future posts, but if I should forget, because I respond to hundreds of people, just disregard any that you don’t want to hear.

  • sisu

    Have a fecal done at your vet. Do not use over the counter wormers as they are known to be harmful and are often ineffective. You may need to give wormer prescribed by the vet 2-3 time to clear up a severe infestation.

    Consider the difference between am and pm exercise. Some dogs will have loose bowels during and after exercise.

    Try Natures Variety Instinct. To help rule out problems start with the Turkey Limited Ingredient formula. The binder is tapioca which is different than many other foods. It contains montmorillonite clay (a good thing). The clay adds minerals to the food and serves to firm the stool. Do not add anything to the food for the first 3-4 days to see how he is reacting to just the food. Cut the amount to approx. 3/4 of what he should eat for the first few days to allow the digestive system time to adjust. He will not starve with a bit less food for a few days. Natures Variety Instinct is a relatively high calore food that gives you more bang for the buck. Be careful not to overfeed to maintain weight. Always measure the food in a standard US measuring cup. Most dog foods have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Keep the receipts in case you need to get a refund on any of the foods.

    It is natural for dogs to gulp their food. You can try placing a large river rock or other obstacle in the bowl to slow him down. Slow feeder bowls are available.

  • EmmaSpring

    I’m not sure why you’re responding to this Patty as this problem was easily resolved 10 days after it started. I’ve been raising puppies for most of my life so I’m, certainly aware of feeding routines and nutrition. I put up a post stating that all turned out well and that it was a case of giardia, not food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You never said what size dog it is, so we can’t tell if you are feeding too much. Is your puppy slim? Keep growing puppies slim, it is better for their joint development. Your pup is old enough to go to 2 feedings per day, that may be the difference between day and night, at night he has finally processed all the food from the day before.
    There may be some ingredient in the Acana that doesn’t agree with him, so I would move on to a different food.

  • B

    I had that with my dog when i first got got so bad in the house I took him to the vet..they put him on a special diet for a bit & gave him a shot to control the bowel movements. We got him out of the States & many of the wormers, shots etc are very powerful & upset there system..he did have parasites & fleas really bad. Take him to the is not anything you are feeding him I bet.

  • Tae

    Is anyone aware of the Champions recalls in Australia?

    – Acana had an importation ban at least once for salmonella.
    – Documents produced after the Australian recall named Griffin Industries in Alabama as the source of Chicken Meal.
    – Their ‘fresh fish’ is basically just by-product. It states they recently signed an exclusive contract with Champion Petfoods has an exclusive contract with Freshwater Fish to sell them all their minced by-products. Prior to that Freshwater Fish “had been paying to have the waste trucked to a rendering facility”.The article says that after Champion tested some samples, “a product was developed”.…ter%202011.pdf

    What are your thoughts about this?

  • EmmaSpring

    Everything worked itself out within 10 days and my puppy was then free of Giardia. His stools became perfectly formed. After we got straightened out, I started to add the Acana back into his food and we have had no problems with feeding the Acana. This makes me happy because my other dogs are all Acana eaters and it makes things easier. I also want all my dogs on Acana because I feel it’s one of the better dry foods out there.

    The most important thing is that I learned a great deal about Giardia as far as how it acts in the system. It does cause the stools to get looser as the day moves on and it is effected by certain foods. This was great information for me to learn as I didn’t know this, but I certainly won’t forget it. This info should also help people in the future who are dealing with giardia issues. I’m ever so thankful we figured this out quickly. My puppy is a happy camper now… :0)