Acana Regionals Dog Food | Canada (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Acana Regionals Dog Food (Canada) earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Acana Regionals product line includes four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Acana Pacifica
  • Acana Grasslands
  • Acana Wild Prairie
  • Acana Ranchlands

Acana Grasslands was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Acana Grasslands

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 34% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Deboned lamb, lamb meal, duck meal, whitefish meal, whole peas, red lentils, field beans, deboned duck, whole eggs, deboned walleye, duck fat, herring oil, lamb liver, herring meal, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fibre, whole apples, whole pears, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E, zinc proteinate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis31%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis34%19%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%39%33%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 33%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

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

The second ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The third ingredient includes duck meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth ingredient is whitefish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The next two ingredients include peas and red lentils. Peas and lentils are quality sources of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

The seventh ingredient includes beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

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

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

The ninth ingredient is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 next ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

After eggs, we find walleye, a freshwater fish native to the northern region of the United States and much of Canada. This item is inclusive of water.

The next ingredient is duck fat. Duck fat is obtained from rendering duck, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

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

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 note the inclusion of dried 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.

Next, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

In addition, 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.

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

Acana Regionals Dog Food (Canada)
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana Regionals (Canada) looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 34%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line.

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

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, lentils, field beans and dried alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Acana Regionals (Canada) is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources 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.

Acana Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

04/26/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • laura tosetti

    just found an 8″ piece of plastic in the freshwater fish formula! I’m not happy

  • CruizinLG

    Yes, I found something in our Prairie kibble that was blue in color. To me, it looked like broken bristles of a cleaning brush….which I could see happening if they use bristle brushes to clean any of the containers used in the making of the food. I contacted Acana and they thought it may have come from one of their suppliers. I was surprised that they didn’t want the pieces back for further investigation but I did send them pictures. They sent me a coupon so that I could replace the bag of food that I had. I have not seen this issue with any bag of food since then.

  • Britney A

    All 3 dogs in our household , very different breeds, have switched to Acana Pacifica. Suddenly within the last year they have all started growing tumors (epulis) and have elevated liver enzymes. They live in the same yard but separate suites in the house. The timeline for the problems starting seem to match up with the food switch.

    Has anyone else noticed similar issues?

  • Kim

    I’ve fed my dogs Earthborn Holistic for many years. Seems as though they are having a Quality Control issue now that they’ve opened an additional plant . . . I’m hesitant to feed them Earthborn now based on several reviews. I was ecstatic to find a non GMO list on this website, so I switched to Acana Grasslands. My dogs were not crazy about this formula . . ate it because they were hungry. So I’ve now ordered the Wild Prairie . . hopefully it’s a bigger hit among my 3 fur babies!! Love the GMO list, as I don’t knowingly eat GMO foods and having the option of choosing this for my FB’s is awesome!!

  • Jay

    Has anyone else found plastic pieces imbedded in the kibble of the Acana Heritage meats formula?

  • Renee

    He gets numerous red areas that he bites. They then get scabbed over and the process repeats. I have since added Nutra-Vet vitamins which may be helping a bit. I may start a homemade diet which I am currently investigating.

    What is everyone using for flea control out there?

  • it_must_be_dunning-kuger . . .

    Renee – what type of skin sores does your dog have? How do they originate, do they heal or linger?
    Our Aussie was misdiagnosed by several vets, treated for allergies, fungal infections, and atopic dermatitis, it turned out to be a very rare auto immune disease which presents as oozing skin sores. Treatment is a long course of high-dose steroids and vit E, it’s the only option but it works and no lasting ill effects.
    It’s called sterile nodular pannicultus (similar to cellulitis in humans) which is an inflammation of the subcutaneous fat layer of the skin, but there is no infection, hence ‘sterile’ so antibiotics aren’t effective. It can be lifelong or go into remission, triggered by auto immune system, not allergies per se. Our dog is sensitive to stress which will trigger an episode.

  • Pitlove

    Your welcome! My dog who had the yeast problems is picky as well, so I do understand what you are going through. I always have to give him canned food or something else as a topper. I don’t really mind though since it’s a healhy addition to the food.

    If you know that Ranchlands would work and nothing in the food would trigger an allergy and therefore yeast flare up, then go for it! The carbs will have no effect on the yeast.

  • Mia’s Mom

    Thanks for the info. She has bad allergies and has had them for years. I ran across a yeast checklist a while back and she checked almost every box. So I put her on a yeast detox, full system detoc, blood and lymph detox, changed her food, got her good quality vitamins, more baths, to name a few things. She has almost kicked her yeast issues and her allergies have improved greatly until a couple of months ago she stopped progressing. She has one little tiny spot of yeast left. I wasn’t sure why until I just noticed her current food added some ingredients without notice. And 2 of them are triggers for her. So I am switching her. And yes I have cooked for her and tried all kinds of different food. Problem is she is the pickiest eater on the plant! It is very hard to find anything that she actually likes and will eat consistently. Most all of the things in this food she has eaten before (while doing good) so I am hopeful she will actually like it. I just need some dry food for her breakfast as she doesn’t always eat breakfast and I hate throwing away good cooked food because it sat out to long.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Mia’s Mom-

    Couple things I’d like to suggest to you…it’s not a food recommendation because each dog is different and what works for one may not work for another. However, this is general information on yeast and what really causes it and it may help you in choosing a food.

    Do you happen to know which form of yeast your dog has? Malassezia is the most common form and is seen on the skin in the folds, in the ears, in the nail beds, between the digits etc. Candida is a yeast that forms in the gut, but is less common in dogs.

    If it’s Malassezia, the only way to treat it is to determine what is causing it. Which means figuring out what is suppressing the immune system to where the body can not properly control the yeast on it’s own. Contrarary to popular belief, feeding a low carb or carb free diet will not cure Malassezia yeast as it does not actually feed off carbs. This misnomer has been spread around the internet for quite some time now. Yeast is always a secondary response to a primary trigger. Allergies, hormone changes, parasites, long term steriods, etc…anything that suppresses the immune system.

    If you believe food is the culprit or partly the culprit, doing a food trial with a single source protein and carb diet for 2 months and then a food challenge where proteins are introduced back into the diet to see if there is a reaction, is the only way to test accurately for food allergies/hypersensitivities.

    I did this for my yeasty dog and we found that fish works well for him. He’s been yeast free for quite some time now. It is definitely worth it if you can’t/don’t want to spend the money for blood testing for environmental allergies.

    If you can’t do a food trial either, picking a limited ingredient food with none of the triggers you believe he has (chicken) may work. The less ingredients in the food the easier it is to determine what is causing the reaction. That is why either homecooking for 2 months or using the prescription hydrolyzed protein food is recommended for the food trial.

    Edit: One thing I can say related to this brand and Orijen is that, I personally would not use it due to how many ingredients it has. If your dog has a reaction, there is almost no way to know what is causing it

  • Mia’s Mom

    I am looking for a dry dog food that is grain free, low carb, noe white potato and no chicken. I have a corgi that has an over production of yeast issue and doesn’t do well with chicken. I was looking at the Acana Ranchlands and it looked pretty good for her but then the advisor said 39% carbs. That may be the best I can do but does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance for the help.

  • Mia’s Mom

    I have a dog with an over production of yeast issue. So I am looking for a dry dog food that is low in carbs (no white potatoes for sure) and no grain at all. Also she can not have chicken. Which makes finding her a food really hard. I was looking at the Acana Ranchlands and it looked pretty good for her but then the adisor said 39% carbs. That may be the best I can do but does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks in advance for the help.

  • Rachel Tibbs

    Really late reply, but have you tried the Duck and Pear yet? It smells amazing.

  • Cindy

    Looks like the packages will be smaller which probably means more expensive & the Kcals per cup will be less. I was just going to try it again, as my field bred springer needs the calories. Now I see in a few months they will be lower, so I may as well stick with Fromm.

  • Pam c

    I really hope so. I think I’m going to email them.

  • I’m not certain, but I think there’s going to be the Canadian-made version and the USA-made versions both available.

  • Pam c

    So looks like acana is changing their formula on their regionals dog food line.

  • Dennis

    I think when she says toxic, she might be referring to the process in which rawhide is made, chemicals are used to strip the leather from the hide, then more chemicals used to remove the chemicals.. any rawhide is a by-product of leather and is in no way beneficial to a dog’s diet or health. The CET strips seem like a great alternative and you’re right the only thing to worry about is if the dog is trying to swallow it whole.

  • Dan

    Yeah, Rawhides are bad, and ANYTHING coming directly from China–or indirectly for that matter. It’s really hard to know the full stack of what you’re buying

  • jgs350

    Hi Nancy. I have the same problem. I have to now avoid all routine vaccines due to horrible reaction my Deerhead Chihuahua had just under 2 years ago to his booster combo shot w/Lyme booster included. He became deathly ill within 12hrs of vaccination. Diarrhea, constant vomiting, drooling, drooping of head and as I was rushing him to an after hours emergency Veterinary hospital just under an hour from where we live, he was becoming lethargic. We live in a very rural area and this happened on a late Sat afternoon, of course all Reg Vets were closed for the weekend! We got there and he was dehydrated in that short of timeframe. Blood work revealed his liver enzymes were thru the roof! His electrolytes were out of kilter. He had to go on a bland diet after he was to fast 24hrs. They did an IV push to quickly hydrate him and gave him Benadryl and unfortunately a steroid to counteract the allergic reaction. I had taken his immunization record that had the vaccine lot# and showed it to them upon request as they were not quite sure why he was reacting so badly. Well, come to find out the lot# was identified as being on recall because the Lyme portion of the booster was much stronger than it was supposed to be!! I was beyond livid, but more worried about my furbaby! He means the world to me and he was only 3 years old at that time and a lean, used to be healthy “before” booster vaccination 14#! He had to have a 24hr fasting blood gas done and another test at the same time that cost a fortune to test organ function on fasting via blood gas test also. It was sent to Indianapolis by Air Rush and cost $$$$$ for that service! But that came back acceptable. We just had to get Paco through this major hurdle so he would not get liver failure or Pancreatitis! I had lost my beloved 7yr old Yellow Lab in 2008 to Pancreatitis. Broke my heart in so many pieces to have to put her down. I was NOT ready to do that again so soon! After over 1 1/2 months of a bland diet, lots of extra TLC, probiotics, medication and a DIFFERENT vet with many follow-up visits, his liver enzymes came back to normal. BUT then he “suddenly” develops IBS/Colitis? Too coincidental in my opinion. He developed too what I call the Rumble Upset Tummy Issue! His stomach will constantly roar, grumble, growl, churn, Rumble and then he will have soft to loose stool to almost diarrhea. It would range in colors of light brown, to yellowish brown, to greenish brown. Once or twice he did have an infection and one other time he had a tapeworm and was dewormed. He gets a stool check frequently. Hes on heartworm preventative year round. And he’s on Phenobarbital for just under 2yrs now as he’s epileptic, but well controlled with maybe an average of 1 mild seizure a month. Those started about 2 years ago. Coincidence? For the tummy/intestinal issues he was put on Science Diet Sensitive Dry and supplemented with the can, and he was put on a powder packet probiotics sprinkled on 1/4 of his can dog food in addition to 1 cup of dry each day. That seemed to work for a while. But by last fall he started having big issues again. So we were told to try Hills Z/D dry and canned. Hes to get 1 cup a day in addition to 1/4 a can and switched his probiotics to Vetribiotic brand he gets in his food daily. Its suppose to have more strains of beneficial probiotics. Hes still not any better. We’re told to give him 1/2 Prilosec OTC every 12hrs. That’s not helping. He’s had the most horrible foul smelling gas and flatuance on this Z/D diet. But he loves the taste. He just had his 2nd flare up of anal sac inflammation but was caught immediately and drained within 24hrs of initial symptoms. I read online to feed raw bones but NOT cow bones as a preventive for anal sac disease. Is anyone familiar with this? But Paco was just fine last Nov 2015 when he had a head to tail check up. With a stethoscope listening to heart, lungs and bowels. We were told he was fine and everything sounded good. Normal. This week, 1-25-16, all of a sudden (after he was switched dog food on last appointment Nov 2015 not more than 2 months ago!) He was diagnosed with a grade 2 heart murmur! And the Vet says to sit back and do nothing!?!? No way! And I’m thinking this food has something to do with it! Reading consumers reviews and results AFTER the fact makes my blood run cold! And looking closely at the ingredients listing, this food has NO nutritional value at all!! So how can it support organ health, support vital health and quality of life?!?! I don’t think it can! I’m getting really frustrated trying to find a dog food that is Safe as well as healthy AND nutritional without additional harmful chemicals, harmful additives, and GMO free. Its possible they’re just too cheap and too lazy to do it. They already charge a premium for subpar inferior quality dog food. Its time for them to buck it up and step up their game and stop poisoning our babies! I know its pretty hard for humans to find safe, untainted, healthy, nutritional, non GMO chemical free, additive free, with no “hidden harmful” ingredients “. I suffer from multiple chemical and food additives, allergies. I am ultra sensitive and hyperactive in my reaction and its really hard for me to go shopping for myself. Its too difficult and dangerous to go to restaurants, deli’s, fast food chain’s or even to friends or family members house’s unless I take my own meal which is such a pain but I have to do it to stay safe. Why would we put our furbabies in jeopardy or treat them any less if they have as sensitive or more sensitive systems? Why can’t more manufacturers see this and serve this growing population? Its not going away anytime soon. If anything its growing. And with the Monopoly Monsanto has endured themselves in their GMO seeds that all our farmers must adhere to and buy in the USA by policy (I know several farmers in this rural country farming area so I KNOW how Monsanto ” really ” operates behind the scenes) and how they have mandated and monopolized the fertilizer and herbaside weed killer industry in the USA. They’re underhanded lobbying in the Capital in winning that major contract ensuring that they own the Monopoly and controlling interest over all the farmers and farming industry as they “bought” government into the fallacy that MUTATED GMO’s are the thing of the future. When its been proven in independent labs that mutated GMO’S manipulated to grow bigger and faster DO cause cancer and double or may triple the rate and rise of certain cancers and debilitating disease. And not only are their seeds resistant to their own herbicide Roundup, they have made another herbicide that is more toxic and spreads farther and invades neighboring “organic” feilds, streams, neighborhoods with potentially devastating consequences to humans and animals via ingestion or exposure. Its called Dicamba. Are you aware that Monsanto also made Agent Orange amongst other things equally poisonous, deadly and toxic? And your willing to eat anything modified GMO or treated by them, or feed to your furbabies? No way! I’m trying to search hard for something more acceptable, and I’m sure I’ll get a retarded smart a## comment or few which I will choose to ignore

  • Kibas Mom

    Plus can you imagine the horrified looks at the check out counter because of the noises coming from the package. ..and say you do purchase a bag – are we expected to club the live animals inside over the head before feeding it to our dogs? And are we also expected to feed the live animals in the dog food bag so they can “stay fresh” until your dog has eaten the entire bag? These are practical questions consumers would have so you had better be ready with an answer! LOL!

  • LabsRawesome

    I always buy foods labeled as puppy for my adult dogs.

  • theBCnut

    Puppy food is not designed for puppies alone. Puppy food can be fed to any age. There is NOTHING in puppy food that older dogs can’t have. If a food meets AAFCO guidelines for Growth, the company may CHOOSE to have it labeled for Growth or All Life Stages. Actually ALS goes one step further because it has to be OK for lactating bitches too. BUT IT IS PUPPY FOOD. Your vet should know this. Period. End of story. Do a little research. I wouldn’t fire a vet for wanting what is best for my dog, but I would for not being educable and not knowing the most basic thing about what he is suggesting.

  • DogFoodie

    You can of they’re wrong.

  • Stephanie Valentine Losinger

    Hah you can’t fire someone for suggesting what they believe is best for your pup! My little guys mother was shot and killed at 3 weeks so he missed out on a lot of vital nutrients early on so my vet was only being precautionary since puppy food is specially designed for puppies alone.

  • Stephanie Valentine Losinger

    Well he is 43 lbs now and still growing! Only 10 months old. He has bigger paws then our golden retriever did so I knew he’d end up big! We’re guessing he will max out at 50

  • Stephanie Valentine Losinger

    No problem! We live in Baltimore so I know what you mean and his allergies seemed to get better in the fall months before the leaves actually fell. They picked up again when the leaves were on the ground – so we don’t know either if it’s food or environmental. Things will get better though I promise! These rescue pups come with a host of problems but once in a loving home these issues get better over time 🙂 This is a more recent pic of Buster. Good luck

  • EllieMack

    Hi Stephanie!
    Thank you for the detailed reply – so helpful! I just got back from the vet, and they suggested that even tho Linc may be a little young to have allergies, to go ahead and try a chicken-free food and if he likes it, stick within for 10-12 weeks to see how he responds… Kind of wondering if the itching/scratching (and he has had some eye goo since we adopted him – now on antibiotics) is possibly due to the crazy weather/mold and early blooms (DC area – one extreme to the next)…
    Best of luck with your pup – he is so stinkin’ cute (and looks a lot like some of Linc’s female siblings – wish I had a pic to forward)!
    Lisa Mc

  • theBCnut

    All Life Stages foods are formulated to meet the requirements for Growth, so if a vet is so ill trained as to not know that there is nothing in puppy food that adults can’t have except for extra calories, then I wouldn’t trust that vet to know other things as well. AAFCO is pretty straight forward and should not be a mystery to anybody who has tried in any way to understand it. I could almost understand if a vet didn’t want an adult on ALS food because it has the higher calorie requirement for puppies, but to not want a puppy on it when it is designed to meet the needs of puppies(and other life stages just happen to be less stringent in their requirements) is ludicrous.

  • Pitlove

    From what I’ve heard, it’s not that they don’t know All Life Stages is a growth formula, it’s that they don’t recommend it because they are told dogs need to be fed for their specific life stage. I’ve heard that they feel that an All Life Stages formula shouldn’t be used because they don’t feel one food can work for both a puppy and an adult because of how different the nutritional needs are.

  • theBCnut

    I’m afraid that might be a firing offense. Veterinarians should know that All Life Stages foods ARE designed for Growth, so they ARE puppy food.

  • Pitlove

    Hi- 35 lbs would actually be considered a medium breed dog and not large. Large is 50lbs or over. I don’t think the calcium levels will have much of an impact on his growth.

  • Stephanie Valentine Losinger

    Hi Ellie – We saw a big improvement with his allergies on Acana grasslands, but my vet was concerned that it wasn’t a puppy formula. It is all life stages, but she preferred that he be on a puppy formula at least until 10 months. So after searching and searching the only grain free chicken free formula we found was “Now Fresh Puppy.” It is carried at Pet Valu but they had to always special order it as many people don’t buy it. Its a great food, but not as well known. It is Canadian which in my experience is always better as they have stronger dog food standards than the US. It got a 4.5 rating on here and it did wonders to his coat and minimized his itching a lot.

    He recently got super bored with the flavor so we added beef bullion to spice it up and then he bit off all his paw hair! Right after that incident he was boarded with our pet walker for a long weekend. While with her he loved eating the other dogs’ food and seemed to like the Taste of the Wild Lamb the most. He had no stomach issues, but was still biting off the paw hair.

    When I went to our local family owned pet store I was advised the TOTW may not be a great switch because it had a lot more ingredients and that ACANA Singles Lamb would be better with his allergies because its a limited ingredient formula. We haven’t been able to single out what he is exactly allergic to, but so far he seems to like ACANA Singles Lamb and his paw hair is growing back!!! He still itches, but not nearly as much as when we first got him.

    We also tried Merrick when we first got him and it did not help. Blue I was told isn’t as good as it used to be because it was bought out. ACANA is also Canadian and has wonderful customer service, reviews, and facilities. BUT they are opening up facilities in the US soon and I worry that the quality may diminish. The singles are only rated a 4 because it has less protein with only one source of meat. The Acana Grasslands was rated higher and we may toy around with going back to it in the future if he starts getting board again. I hope this helps 🙂

  • EllieMack

    Hi Stephanie! We recently adopted a Golden/Terrier mix (he looks like a yellow lab, but his siblings distinctly look like either goldens or terriers), and are having a hard time finding the right food for him… What did you end up with (estimating your pup is now about 10 months). Linc is about 4 months/22lbs, and we started him on Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Wilderness, but he started regurgitating it so we switched to Merrick Grain-Free Puppy. I just learned that Purina now owns Merrick (not a Purina fan – personal pref), and he has been itching/scratching more frequently, so wondering if it is an allergy.
    Since we likely have a similar mix, would love to hear if you are still using Acana or made a switch… Thanks!

  • Dee

    Actually, I have a black labs and a small breed dog, and I buy the CET strips for my dogs at their VET, which is basically rawhide for their teeth. It’s only bad if the dog does not chew it up, rather than gobble it and swallow it in whole pieces. Then, it can become a problem especially depending on the size of the raw hides given. I wouldn’t give my 9 month Labrador a rawhide bone, but I would give her a CET strip that I know she chews up, I also am there to make sure they do not choke on them or try to cheat. So really it is only toxic depending on the owner, the dog, the behavior in which they learned to eat them, and where it is made. I also feed the Acana, and give a whole omega 1000mg from Whole Foods on their food. It was recommended by a Specialist.

  • Tina Marie

    I also feed the same,but never give rawhides,they are toxic and cause cause damage to dogs intestines.

  • Cheryl Madigan

    It could just be that she is not hungry. Acana is very high quality compared to Beneful so she won’t need anywhere near the amount of food she was eating before for her nutritional needs to be met.

  • Cheryl Madigan

    If anyone is interested, the best dog food I have ever fed to my dogs is Acana Pacifica. I have 2 Goldens and a GoldenDoodle. Their skin and coats are just beautiful, eyes are nice and clear, very healthy and energetic. I mix the Pacifica with various other blends of Acana. And they just love this food. I only purchase premium dog food and this has been the best. They each get only 2 cups of food at night and one rawhide strip in the morning and all 3 dogs are a perfect weight.

  • nancy

    Acana is the way to go . do not insult ACANA or their users with the other.
    the other food is a fraction of the cost and in the not so recent past was tied to plastic/melamine and whatever else could be blended/mixed into the food / hows is that for bulk … ACANA uses people grade ingredients.
    when ever transitioning a pets food, use a probiotic along with the food and mix / blend the two over a gradual change (a week should do it).
    Fido will not get scoots/runs or upset tummy.
    Beneful has prettied up their bags and i would expect/hope the insides as well – past history had them running second to your cupboards or paint … yummy
    oh and Beneful is commonly used by some breeders – it is cheap, they likely can buy in bulk. the only care is not for their pooches but the $$ bottom line

  • nancy

    PS – avoid the meds if you can -steroids will cause him/herto get fat and antibiotics on a regular basis are bad news ..
    probiotics are the way to go – these clean up the bowel and will show a better result in the long run.
    i had friend who relied on vet visits, meds and the poor little dog suffered. she never stayed on one regime before moving on to another …. and the last resort was always the vet and the big guns came out (ie steroids/antibiotics)
    another thing to look is a titer test – are his boosters caught up and does he really need that annual vaccination .
    titer cost the same as the needles, but no need to inject unecessary chemicals if not needed.
    a pet can go his lifetime without readmisnistering annual vaccines.
    check Dr Dodds .. good reading
    take a picture of his sores … before and after … u will be amazed and your pooch will love u even more

  • nancy

    have u ever heard of – US based company with a natural skin line – very easy to administer – drops in the water and probiotic powder in the food … my little Bichon suffered terribly same allergies as your doodle — in 3 months or less a dramatic change … Pebbles itches got worse in the fall ,, she was allergic to flea bites – she was on revolution but this med does not stop the odd hitchhiker from taking a nibble. sand fleas = i tried creams and lotions = these helped but the problem persisted. her itches went away with the nzyme regimes. i give this to all my dogs now – prevention is the best the cure

  • Kathryn Mashburn

    This was happening to my Newf and it turned out to be a thyroid problem. After adjusting her thyroid medicine she is eating the Acana Pacifica like a champ!

  • aimee

    I agree that there is a lot of inaccurate info on the web but this is a viable alternative to presenting the allergens by injection.

    Apparently it has been used in people for years, more so in Europe than here ( gobs of publications in pubmed in people) and is only recently being trialed in dogs.

    The sublingual route may or may not be easier to follow for any one dog/owner team.

  • anonymously

    Again, it depends on the dog and what tests the specialist decides to order after physically examining the dog and reviewing his history..
    He then will decide what treatments he thinks will work best for the dog.

    Blanket statements/articles don’t work for allergies…every case is different.
    There is a lot of inaccurate information on the internet.

  • aimee

    As I understand it the dermatology specialist tests the same way as usual via skin or combo skin/ blood but then orders the allergens to be given under the tongue.

    Here is an article on it

  • anonymously

    I think the sub q would have a better absorption rate.
    It may depend on the dog? That’s why it is best to work with a specialist that has examined and skin tested the dog.
    I’m not talking about mail-in saliva and hair tests.
    Allergies are complicated, they wax and wane, it is very difficult to tell what is working or not.

  • aimee

    It is the same the one sense but I have to say I’d likely choose that option over shots. It intrigues me that presenting the antigens to the immune system via a different route(sub lingual vs sub Q) may be yielding better results in certain situations

  • anonymously

    It’s the same thing, hopefully it works as well as the shots, the people that opt for sublingual are usually squeamish and don’t want to give injections.

  • aimee

    Hi anonymously,

    I just read that the oral immunotherapy often works quicker than doing it by injection and that it may work in dogs that failed to respond to injections. Looks like it is a good option!

  • anonymously

    The allergen specific immunotherapy can take up to 1-2 years to see the full effect, even then, they can have flare-ups. I would work closely with your dog’s dermatologist, the solution and how often he is getting it may need tweaking. You should see gradual improvement, he shouldn’t be getting worse. Although, unfortunately some dogs don’t respond.
    My allergic dog does well on Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea (dry and canned).
    I have found that bathing up to 2x per week helps with dust mites etc.
    PS: Have you gone to the Forums section at DFA? Search allergies, lots of info.

  • Renee

    I’m wondering if anyone can help me. My 6 year old Goldendoodle is highly allergic. We routinely go through antibiotics and steroids several times a year. He has been found to be allergic to Nettle Weed, certain trees, cock roaches and DUST MITES. As a puppy he always had a bit of a wet, runny nose. In most recent years he has red sores on his belly and back side. I currently have him on sublingual immunotherapy along with medicated shampoo and Nutrisource Seafood Select Grain free food. None of which seems to be helping. Does anyone have a similar situation or has anyone had any success treating allergies in their dog! I am at my wits end! It breaks my heart to see him like this.

  • Samson

    I just switched back to Acana after 8 months +/- of a “boutique small batch brand” called Only Natural Pet. As many of you know, Acana has become hugely, Hugely, HUGELY popular — and unfortunately as is often the case, the prices have quite literally skyrocketed. I usually buy a year’s supply at a time (prepping includes my “son” Aussie Cattle Dog!!) and I was doing my research when I found ONP had a grain-free, super-premium, ultra-quality-production dry dog food that listed reasons why it was “better” than Acana and cheaper per pound. I had been feeding all 4 varieties of Acana Regionals (Wild Prairie, Pacifica, Grasslands, and Ranchlands) on a meal-rotation (to keep him happy and healthy with nutritional/taste balance.) The ONP samples were pretty awesome so I bought all 3 types and at first had great results… but with HUGE efforts all for naught, the food doesn’t seem to last nearly as long as the Acana Regionals. Further, there is no doubt in my mind that Acana had better flavor and nutrition profiles- that’s not saying ONP was or is bad, but Acana Regionals is simply The Best of The Best. When it came time to order more food, I notice that ONP is basically the same price now, or very insignificantly lower (they pack their bags 22.5 lb vs ~29 lb. for Acana) so it’s no longer a real savings. I am back to feeding my Blue Heeler the best, but have expanded the rotation… I am still going with his favorite (and coincidentially, the cheapest) Regionals Wild Prairie, but now also the Chicken & Burbank Potato and the Singles Duck & Bartlett Pear. I will report back with more information in some time but I suspect they will be as amazing as all their products always have been. Acana = The Absolute Best Dry Dog Food you can feed your dog. Truly, amazing nutrition in a bag.

  • VegEater

    My dogs reacted the same way that yours did. They like Six Fish, but not Acana Pacifica. They ate it, though.

  • Pam c

    I agree! I think Acana Pacifica and Grasslands have that same fresh smell. However, I tried Orijen tundra and that didn’t smell quite as nice but my dog enjoyed it.

  • Shawna

    Oh, my mistake. I thought you were saying food was in the bowl all the time. No, I think having the food exposed for a couple of hours in ideal conditions is likely perfectly fine.

    I hope the original poster and others reading didn’t / don’t misinterpret your post to mean food always out like I did.

  • TuMadre, Ph.D

    Ok. As stated, I put the food in an airtight container. My kitchen is cool and dry, and so is the inside of the container. The container is placed where direct sunlight never touches. So are the food bowls. My house is air conditioned, and kept at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (about 21 degrees Celsius) year round. I’m not certain how anything you’ve said to me matters. At all. Are you implying that the food would spoil simply by letting cool, dry air touch it for a couple of hours?

  • Shawna

    “Q. How should I store ACANA pet food?

    A. Ideally, you should store your ACANA pet food indoors, in a cool, dark place. Use a re-sealable container constructed of food grade plastic. The original package also works very well, provided it’s rolled tightly to maintain airtight conditions after opening. Prolonged exposure to higher temperatures increases oxidation and reduces shelf life, as does exposure to direct sunlight.

    Refrigeration is not required. A storage temperature of 10 – 20 degrees Celsius is ideal.”

  • TuMadre, Ph.D

    Well, considering the bag isn’t resealable, and it says “Good for 30 days after opening” on the bag, I’m not too worried about it. We also put the bulk of it in a sealed container as soon as we open it, so as to reduce further exposure (which is actually more than most people do with their kibble, as far as I can tell). I just wake up in the morning, and top off their bowls. When I walk by, and notice that the bowls are low/empty, I add another cup per bowl (I have small dogs).

    They don’t seem to mind at all. And while I agree that nothing compares with raw, Acana is literally as close as kibble can get to being raw. The dog will get used to it, or the dog will go hungry until it’s willing to eat. If the dog is refusing to eat for days at a time, you should take it to a vet, just to make sure there isn’t something else going on.

  • Shawna

    Did you try a different freeze dried, dehydrated or raw food? If your pup associates that specific food with getting ill, he likely won’t want to eat it again. I doubt the food is too rich as he seemed to do fine on it for most of the six months it was fed. My guess is that it was contaminated. This happened to my friend. Her Newf got sick after eating a commercial raw turkey product. She is refusing all turkey now but is fine with other protein sources made by the same manufacturer.

    It hurts me to admit that a raw food was likely contaminated. That said, kibbles get recalled for contamination all the time. It happens.

  • Shawna

    What do you do to prevent the omega 3 oils in the food from going rancid? It is true that vitamin E is added for that reason but since vitamin E degrades with light an oxygen it would not be available to protect the omega’s after a certain period of time (not sure how long that is).

    Like you, I would not give in to a dog’s, or child’s, whims but this seems to be a bit different. The dog went from a freeze dried diet to a kibble. To me, that’s like asking me to go from a homemade meal to a highly processed boxed dinner. Yeah, I’m going to notice the difference and not be pleased. Acana is a good food but a kibble can’t compare to freeze dried raw.

  • TuMadre, Ph.D

    Well, to be fair, I would rather eat cooked chicken than dog food, too. I have a yorkie poo, and two bichon poodle mixes. I’ve had them all since they were puppies, and there has been always been food down and available for their entire lives (and not a single one is overweight, despite owning a 2 year old, a 4 year old, and a 7 year old). I remember first switching over from Beneful to Acana Ranchlands. I had to refill all three bowls twice before they realized that the food wasn’t a treat, and would always be there.

    My mentality about it is that so long as they aren’t losing weight, getting obese, or acting ill, the food is down, and they will eat it if they are hungry. If the food is available, and they aren’t eating, then they just aren’t hungry. I’ve never had to top the food with anything, and I believe that as soon as your dog realizes that the food in the bowl is all that he will be getting, he’ll eat it when he gets hungry enough to. If he doesn’t eat to the point that he’s losing weight, then he is likely ill and should be taken to a vet ASAP.

    When a child is refusing to eat carrots, you don’t go dip the carrots in chocolate. You just don’t let him eat anything else until he eats the carrots. Same thing with your dogs.

  • Dori

    As we all know, smells that some have no issues with other’s cannot tolerate. I can’t stand the smell of any perfume and yet ladies where a lot of it. Also men’s colognes, can’t stand them. I recently tried Orijen Six Fish (need to find a dry food that my husband will feed if I’m not around….I don’t trust him to handle raw any more) and the smell didn’t bother me in the least. I have a good friend and neighbor who gave me her bag because she felt the smell was going to make her vomit. We’re all different in what we like and don’t even with scents. By the way, the dogs love it so I think I have found a winner for hubby to feed while I’m away.

  • Pitlove

    Glad it worked for your girl. I wonder if I had a bad bag even though it was delivered that day to my work.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I have one of my very picky girls on the Pacifica as well. She loves it! The smell is not over powering to me at all.

  • Pitlove

    My dog ate the Pacifica and the smell was awful to me. He didn’t like the food either, yet he likes Orijen Six Fish. I’m usually not bothered by bad smells, but this was horrible.

  • DogFoodie

    One of my dogs is currently eating Acana Pacifica. The food has a strong aroma to it, but it’s a fresh smell, not acrid. Orijen and Farmina are the same way to me.

  • Eileen Staszak

    I just bought a bag of Acana wild prairie dry dog food. My dogs seem to like it, but I’m really put off by the smell. It has a very strong odor. Has anyone else noticed this?

  • Kyle

    I’m so fed up with this. We have two shih tzus, and recently one has become extremely picky. He was on Ziwipeak for six months, but the last bag of Lamb he had made him get diarrhea and throw up. We think the food was just too rich for him. We switched him back on Acana reluctantly, as this isn’t a raw food. He was on Acana before switching to Ziwipeak last year and did well on it, so that’s why we decided to go back on this food.

    He used to eat just Acana right away, but even after rotating foods, he would get tired of it and walk away. Now, we have to top it with either chicken, sardines, or a little Orijen freeze dried food to get him interested. He sometimes goes all morning without even eating. Luckily, I work home, so I’m able to supervise him all day, but it bothers me a lot that some days, he may eat within a half hour of putting down his food, and other days he won’t eat for hours.

    What else can I possibly do? He’s just tired of dog food. He will eat cooked chicken and other pieces of meat right away, but he has no interest in dog food.

  • NT

    Hi all! I would like to share my experience with the brand.
    My Akita pup (yes, a lot of hair and I want to keep it beautiful and healthy) is on Acana Pacifica right now and it is better for his coat, helps with itch.
    He is 8 and half months. I had him at first on Grassland for about 2 months, he was growing fast and I knew this is not healthy for his joints. So, I called Acana and asked for advise. Sure enough, while any Acana food is great quality and suitable for all ages, Grasslands happened to be a little too much for my boy in terms of protein and I was advised to put him on Wild Prairie or Pacifica until he is about 2 years old. He loved it just as much as Grasslands, but two months later he started to itch a little. Not sure if allergies or what, summers in TX are warm. Vet recommended to add fish supplement, but instead of that I just switched him to Pacifica. He loves it just like anything else and itch is different. I must admit though, that different food works different ways for all dogs. They are just like us have different immune systems and tolerance to everything. The good thing about Acana is you can switch the food back and forth without causing tommy issues; no need to introduce little by little. Also, in the USA, the dog food companies do not need to display % of the contains of each ingredients, while in other countries (including Canadian Acana) they must. So, it helps me better see what exactly he eats.
    Good luck all in selecting your best food for your babies!

  • sharron

    i have a yorkie/chihuahua and she eats acana and orijen and the kibble isn’t too big for her

  • theBCnut

    Most dogs really don’t chew much, so other than something being so big that it’s a choking hazard if they swallow it whole, kibble size is usually a nonissue. My 12 lb dog eats the same size kibbles as my 45 lb dogs, which is the same size my 65 and 85 lb dogs used to eat.

  • Pat

    Called orijen and they said it was fine to add a little hot or warm water to soften..let it sit for about 10 min. Just make sure it isn’t too warm for her..I guess I will try that

  • Pat

    my dog is really tiny like yours..but don’t know if she could chew the you add a little warm water to it?

  • Kibas Mom

    You want people to be foolish enough to buy your book to find out if your dogs food has “dead pets and/or other ” DEAD ANIMALS”? Please forgive my silly question but could you please explain how else fish or chicken or lamb is put into dog food if they are not DEAD? I laugh at how scare tactics are used to make someone feel they need to pay for so called “secret information” that “nobody is aware of” and “dog food companies dont want you to know” when in fact it’s all to easy to search the internet and find out the info for free. I swear you hope that you hypnotized and lulled the reader to sleep trying to read everything up to the point where you state that “dead animals” are in dog food purposely trying to horrify unaware readers who are not totally paying attention. Of course the fish put in is dead – same for the chicken etc. I would not want to view what a dog food package that contains LIVE ANIMALS would look like!

  • Shelby Geneva Baker

    I’m going to assume that the pieces are just too big (for her little teeth). His/her dog needs “bite sized” pieces for small breeds.

  • Dori

    I’m sorry, what do you mean it’s too big for her teeth? Please explain. Thanks

  • Pat

    how big is the Acana kibble? gave my 5 lb. little girl orijen ..she likes it but the kibble is too big for her little teeth

  • Jenn

    Acana is an excellent food. My elderly shih tzu was on the Pacifica formula for a little more than a year. I switched him to Orijen Six Fish because it doesn’t have potatoes. That said, Acana recently removed potatoes from the Pacifica formula. My dog has severe food and environmental allergies and it took me a long time to find a food he can tolerate. Because it’s a better quality food, and has higher protein and fat content, I’ve found it important to stick to the feeding guidelines. If your dog still seems hungry, you can add raw green beans and/or fruit (my pup gets blueberries in his evening meal)to the kibble. Green beans are high in fiber but low in calories. As far as transitioning goes, the best thing to do is has some organic pumpkin to the food each night. Your Nala is SO adorable!

  • Dori

    Well that’s a step in the right direction. That’s great.

  • Pitlove

    One thing I will say is that this food helped me figure out he has a beef intolerance. He doesn’t have gas anymore since switching to a fish based food.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Sorry, I forgot about the chicken allergy. The rolls are easily cut and are marked in 1/4 lb increments. There is a salmon/whitefish and a beef and bison formula. These are cooked. You could preportion them in sandwich bags.

    These are both chicken free. They do have carageenan, but it’s only for a few days.

  • Dori

    I just looked at the reviews for the pouches and they seem to all be chicken. Katie can’t have any poultry.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Dori, would your husband feed the dogs something like Freshpet grainfree? You could use the cooked varieties and they are very simple to serve. There are rolls to cut or there are packages that he would just pour into the bowls.

    I’ve used them before and it’s so easy!

  • Dori

    Thanks Pitlove for the prompt reply.

  • Pitlove

    I haven’t tried any of the other proteins yet. I had a trial bag of Six Fish for him and he ate it no problem for 2 meals and as soon as I put the Acana down he looked at me like I was a crazy person lol. My vet wants him a fish based food to help heal his skin. I will probably try other Acana proteins once his skin heals more.

  • Dori

    Have you tried any of the other Acana proteins or are you trying to find a fish protein food? Just curious. I’m going out of town for a few days and my poor girls will be at the mercy of my husband. He won’t feed raw and if he would he would think the amounts I feed aren’t enough and would feed them way more than they should eat. I’d come back to fat sick dogs which I refuse to do after all the time I have put into making them healthy. So anyway, I’m trying to find a quality grain free brand and everyone speaks highly of Acana by Champion. They make Orijen too but Orijen has too many ingredients that one of my girls can’t have.

  • Pitlove

    well..Bentley actually hates the Pacifica, but loves the Orijen Six Fish, so it’s back to Orijen after this bag of Acana. Such a shame too since it’s cheaper.

    I am still however rocking my Acana shirt I got from work!

  • Pitlove

    it’s not, but a lot of people feed medium size breeds like large breeds to be safe.

  • Harsha Sandaruwan

    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…

  • Kyle

    We’re looking for some advice. One of our shih tzus was originally on Acana, and he did great on it, always good poops, and we would occasionally top it with something like Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried. Over the course of two years, there were two different times where he urinated a little blood. We freaked out, took him to the vet, and they said he had crystals after taking a urine culture. After the second time, and going against the advice of our vet to feed Science Diet, no thanks, we switched him to Ziwipeak raw air dried.

    He’s been on Ziwipeak for six months now, along with a cranberry supplement for dogs to help with crystals, and he’s been good. However, his poops haven’t been as good as they were on Acana. Two weeks ago, after we rotated to Ziwipeak Lamb, which he’s had before, he had diarrhea, which he never has. The next morning, he threw up. We freaked out and thought either the food was contaminated or he got into something in the yard.

    We put him on rice and chicken for a few days, and he didn’t poop, probably due to the rice constipating him. After giving him Pumpkin, and switching back to Acana and slowly weaning him on, his poops are back to normal. Actually, they’re much better than when he was on Ziwipeak. While they used to be slightly soft on Ziwipeak, they’re now nice and firm and come right out. We thought long and hard whether getting him off raw was the right choice, but something with Ziwipeak wasn’t agreeing with him recently, and due to the recalls with Stella and Chewy’s and now Vital Essentials, we agreed on going back to Acana as he always did well (despite the crystals).

    So, he’s now doing great on Acana for the last few days, and his poops are healthy, but I have two concerns. Is this food not a good choice for a dog prone to crystals? We’re going to continue with the cranberry supplement a couple times a week, and we also will be adding some water to his food for some extra moisture, but I don’t know if either of these will help, or if raw is the better choice. Also, he came to us from a high kill shelter when he was one (he’s now five), and his teeth weren’t that good. This year, we decided to have his teeth cleaned, and I told myself I won’t do it again due to the risks of going under. We have switched his toothpaste to the C.E.T. anti tartar earlier this year, right after we had his teeth cleaned, and his teeth have stayed nice and white. Not sure how much of this was due to the toothpaste and how much is due to the Ziwipeak. This past week, I feel like his teeth already have some brown on them after switching to Acana, even though I brush both our dog s’ teeth every other night. Is this possible?

    Sorry for the long post. Just want to make sure our little guy has the best possible food. Thank you

  • Dori

    No Shawna, 35 lbs. is considered a medium size dog. Funny, 35 lbs. sounds huge to us that have toys. I used to have a Tibetan Terrier that weighed between 30 – 35 lbs. and she was classified as a medium breed dog.

  • Shawna

    Is 35 pounds considered large breed?

  • Crazy4cats

    The puppy in your avatar is A….dorable! Is that the one you are asking about? Rotating foods is very healthy regardless of the size of your pup. If you are concerned at all about the calcium level, then definitely transition to the new food just to be sure! They are both great foods!

  • Stephanie Valentine Losinger

    We switched our 4 month old puppy to the acana grasslands formula because he was super itchy and it was recommend we try grain free chicken free. He seems to like it a lot and he transitioned smoothly over a 10 day period. My only concern now is the high calcium levels. He is supposedly a “golden retriever mix” but looks like he has more terrier in him. The vet said he will max out at 35 lbs. He is 20 lbs currently. I know large breed puppies should avoid a higher calcium content, but I am wondering if continuing on the acana grasslands would be suitable for my puppy. I was considering switching to now fresh puppy grain free. Any thoughts?

  • Kevin Wadsworth Jr.

    Sorry I’ve been pretty inactive here. Transitioning has been good. I’ve been increasing by 20% ever 2 weeks. Dogs seem to love the new food. My 6 year old boston has gotten leaner and more muscular; though could be the new staffy puppy keeping her busy. Stools have been normal, soft for a few days at the start. Constipation seemed to happen for the 1st week or two (just dryer stools). Now it seems to have evened out. My boston hates not being free fed since the new puppy. Lastly, they have been eating more of this food than TOTW. My older girl seems to eat more frequently than before so maybe just prefers this better.

  • llenti33

    Curious how your transition went? I, too, am currently considering to switch from TOTW to Acana – have you noticed any difference?

  • Carol08

    Hi, I have an 11-week old chihuahua mix puppy at home and started feeding her Natural Balance as it was recommended to me. However, I found reviews that are not that great… Looking for an alternative and thinking of starting with Acana. It is my first dog and appreciate any advice!

  • Dori

    Maybe she only seemed hungry throughout the day. Maybe she was just used to being free fed so is wandering back to look for her bowl out of habit? It’s always a possibility.

  • Dori

    Oops! Yeah, I realized that C4D but thanks for posting it. I read the word Prairie and my brain skipped on down the road thinking Nature’s Variety Prairie line which is grain inclusive.

  • Shawna

    I’m glad that you are no longer free feeding!! Many dogs regulate themselves quite well when free fed, but overeating is not really my concern with this practice. The vitamin E that protects the fats in the food from going rancid degrades in air and light and is no longer available to protect the fats. Rancid fats are very unhealthy.

    I often heard others suggest that the pancreas is used to making enzymes for a particular food if that food is fed exclusively. The theory is once there is a diet change the pancreas has to adjust the enzymes being excreted and initially may not digest the food as well as could. This could explain the initial hunger. Or it could simply be that it tastes better.

    As far as eating less now, as DogFoodie and the others mentioned, there is more nutrients in Acana but to add to that, in my opinion, the nutrients supplied are of better quality. The better the quality of the nutrients the less is required by the body to meet it’s needs. It is not at all unusual for dogs eating better quality foods to eat less overall food due to getting more nutrition from the food.

    Once you know your baby is doing well on the Acana and you are comfortable exploring a bit, check out rotational feeding and adding toppers. Most of us on here rotate our pups’ foods and add toppers.

  • Nalapup

    We transitioned for about a week, then we ran out of the Beneful. Thanks for commenting!

  • Nalapup

    Thanks for the advice!

  • Nalapup

    Thanks! The suggested amount with Acna seemed a little far fetched, she always seemed hungry so we gave her a little more. We have been giver her less food than we did with Beneful, but perhaps we will try cutting back more.

  • Nalapup

    With Beneful we mainly free fed because she never over ate, just ate when she’s hungry. But when we noticed she had already eaten a lot we wouldn’t give her more. With Acana we do twice a day now, smaller amounts

  • Crazy4cats


  • Shawna

    Are you free feeding or do you give her scheduled meals?

    She is absolutely precious, and still quite young for a small breed. Of course there could still be something wrong, despite her age, but it’s far less likely.

  • Crazy4dogs

    We are on the same wavelength DF! LOL!

  • DogFoodie

    Are you aware of the difference in kcals between Beneful and Acana? If you’re giving her the same amount, volume-wise, she might simply be full after a smaller amount because the Acana is more nutrient dense. Frequently you’d notice some loose stool with over-nutrition, but just a thought.

  • Crazy4dogs

    She is very cute! When I transition dogs, I pick the same protein as the old formula. I think you picked the right one. This is chicken based and even though there isn’t a whole lot of chicken in Beneful, it does use chicken as it’s animal protein source. A lot of times the dogs are so addicted to the fat sprayed on the kibble and the sugar added that when they get a good food, they don’t like it as much. Another thing is you will be feeding much less Acana than Beneful as it is nutrient dense and there are no fillers. So she might be eating enough to fill her, but it doesn’t seem like a lot.
    You might try adding just a bit of wet food and mixing it well if she’s having no stool issues. If that doesn’t work, I would try a different formula or try another brand that she likes better. Many of the pet food stores have samples that you can try before you buy.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Dori, I do and have fed this fomula of Acana. It is grain free.

  • Dori

    Hi Nalapup. I’m so glad you’re getting her off of Beneful and putting her on a better food. Did you transition very slowly? Sometimes it can take up to a month and even two months to transition a dog off of a food that they have been eating all of their lives. If you’re going to continue feeding her Acana, which is a quality dry food from all that I hear, I would switch her to their grain free formulas. I can’t give you any advice on dry food. I’m a commercial raw frozen food feeder to my three dogs. I think we’ve communicated in the past on Maltese Maintenance FB. She’s adorable, by the way.

  • Nalapup

    Hi! I have a 2 1/2 year old maltese terrier mix. We had been feeding her Beneful her whole life and never had problems with it. After doing some research I realized that Beneful is not healthy or safe. Despite having no problems with it, we switched Nala to Acana Wild Prairie a week or two ago. She was doing fine with it at first, but now she hasn’t eaten since yesterday morning 🙁 we haven’t noticed loose stools or a change in behavior. Does she just need a different flavor?? I don’t know if she has an intolerance to one of the ingredients or what. I have read horror stories about switching dog foods and the dog suddenly dying of health problems without the owner knowing the dog was sick. I’m so paranoid!!!

  • Nalapup

    Hi! I have a 2 1/2 year old maltese terrier mix (as far as we know!). We had been feeding her Beneful her whole life and she never had any problems. After my research, I learned that Beneful was not a safe or healthy food. Despite having no problems with it, we switched her to Acana Wild Prairie a week or two ago. She was doing well at first but she hasn’t eaten it since yesterday morning 🙁 I have done a lot of research that led me to Acana. Haven’t noticed loose stools or a change in behavior but I am afraid she is getting sick or something. Do we just need a new flavor?? I don’t know if she has an intolerance to something in there or what. I have read horror stories about switching dog foods and dogs dying suddenly!!! So paranoid!!!!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Have you ever rotated your dogs between foods before? It should be a fairly easy transition. If you go cold turkey, I’d pick the formula that uses the same protein so it isn’t a completely different food and protein source, which usually makes it easier.

  • Kevin Wadsworth Jr.

    Do I need to transition from moving my dogs from TOTW to Arcana/Orijen? Considering the substantial price increase I’d prefer not having to buy anotehr bag of TOTW…

  • Ray Korbyl

    Fromm lamb and lentils,nature varietys instinct,earthborn just to name a few and there acana singles to.

  • harp31

    I have been feeding my 2 Boston Terriers Acana Ranchland’s Regional Formula Grain Free Dry Dog Food for over a year. I noticed that the last 2 bags I ordered this past Jan and Feb seemed to be unappealing to my dogs. They both have lost interest in this food and have had some digestive issues. My vet wants them on a lower fat dry food so I tried transitioning them slowly to Wellness Core Reduced Fat, which they also have no interest in. My 2 year old just had a digestive issue with this food also, so they have been on a bland diet (boiled chicken and rice) for the past 3 days. She had bloody stools and is now fine on the bland diet. I just ordered some Annamaet Lean Grain Free due to the lower fat content. I hope they will eat this one, if not, I may have to cook their meals for them..

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    One I would recommend would be Nature’s Variety Instinct. I like the Raw Boost formulas.

  • Boyd

    Can Anyone tell me some 5 star brands of dry dog food that do not have potato or potato starch in them?

  • Cate

    NO recalls on Fromm.

  • Marilyn

    I highly recommend all of you to try Acana or Annamaet (grain free) they run a few dollars more than all these “highly recommended brands at these popular stores” but they also do 12 bags and get 1 free if you keep labels and receipt. They are both excellent. Acana is a little more costly than Annamaet but they helped all the allergies and digestive problems in my dogs. I have 2 pits and 2 min. Schnauzers. I never had to deal with maggots or anything disgusting like that, so it’s not true that ANY brand of dog/cat food can get them. Only when they just care about the profit maybe. Acana is made by Orijen which is the best dog/cat food in existence. But super expensive, so Acana is a more affordable version of it. It’s awesome food that will save you vet visits.

  • Tanya

    Hi michelle. I have a brown doberman. Prone to skin issues. At the time he had a terrible allergy or who knows… Stress, i started feeding him Acana grasslands. That was 4 yrs ago and he has never had a problem. I have researched it alot and called champion foods in canada several times to ask questions about the food. Aside from their super courteousness this food has changed my dogs life. However, i also have been giving him for four years HOKAMIX SKIN AND SHINE oil. You can get it at zooplus. Its a german manufacturer, and it will change your dogs life. When my dobi started getting a little itchy recently, instead of the usual 2 pumps of oil in both meals i am now giving 4 pumps, and he cleared up in a few days.
    I strongly feel acana grasslands plus the hokamix is the best you can get. ( they are a bit expensive… But its worth it. I just stop buying so much stupid stuff for myself, and spend the extra cash on doggy). Hope this helps.. I would never write this if i didnt believe so strongly in the products.
    Have a great day! -Tanya

  • Dog Lover Plus

    There are three major reasons I’ll stick with this manufacturer. Which also makes Orijen.

    The first is that they are completely transparent up front about how and were they source their food from. If this is important to you, this brand covers that base.

    The second is that all their dog food labeling includes information aboutwhat the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is. (It should be at lest 5 to 1 or better as Omega 6’s are biologically prioritized in the body, which means if this ratio is out of whack, your pet will not benefit from the Omega 3’s, which are anti-inflamatory and instead use up the omega 6’s first, which are inflammatory, but still very important for biological responses).

    The third is that they also include how much DHA/EPA Omega 3’s are included in each of their selections.

    The reason that this is so important is because plant based ALA Omega 3’s have a biological availability of only 10% according to a Harvard study. That means it would take 10 times as much oil from plants to get the same amount of Fish based DHA/EPA omega 3’s (the biologically available kind, meaning it’s not simply excreted)

    When you look at the labels of other manufacturers you will see something like: Omega 3 content: .75%, which is their way to get around the fact that they don’t include the kind you want them to have. The kind that their bodies can actually use.

    The recommended daily intake of combined DHA/EPA is 20 to 55 mg per pound, which comes out to anywhere from .5% kibble content to over 1%. A plant based Omega 3 kibble would have to contain 5% to over 10% oil, by weight, to accommodate this, which is extremely oily, with 90% of that being excreted…messy.

    So, you can see why they simply label their products as containing .75% Omega 3 content instead of putting all that extra oil into the food. What this means is that a product using plant based ALA Omega 3’s with a ratio of 5 to 1 (Omega 6 to Omega 3) really has a 50 to 1 ratio, which makes the inclusion of Omega 3’s nothing more than a facade, as they will never be processed due to the prioritization of Omega 6’s in their bodies.

  • Bob K

    Michelle – How often do you bathe your dogs? What do you bathe your dogs with? How long has it been itchy? Do you rinse your dogs well after a bath? Do your dogs smell or shed lots? How long have you been feeding them Acana? What are they currently eating? Remember to transition slowly to a new food. Have you taken them to a vet for skin scrape? Could be lots of things? Do they swim outside? Do they get into any herbicides or pesticides? Are you sure?

  • DogFoodie

    Do you know what’s causing the itchy skin in the first place, Michelle? It could be a sign of a food intolerance or an environmental issue.

  • emilioaponte

    I feed my little Yorkie with Acana Ranch lands and Acana Grasslands.

  • Michelle S

    I have 2 labs that have very itchy skin and I give them fish oils with their food currently. It’s time for a change and am tying to decide which Acana brand to switchboard them too. Any suggestions?

  • Ray Korbyl

    Sorry about my pour spelling and grammer!!

  • Ray Korbyl

    For any doubters out there, i went on a tour of the champion pet foods facility in morinville Alberta,Canada and let me tell you they are the real deal my house isn’t as clean as there facility and when they say human grade I mean the beef is something I would feed my kids,so to all those people that knock orijen and acana there full of poop because I was one of them,I have tried orijen and it worked for on dog but not the other so now I am feed canine caviar to one and precise holistic, but am switching today to acana singles pork and butternut squash and also bought lamb and okanagan apple hopefully one of them works and to clear any questions about if I Wrk for the company, I don’t, I Wrk in the oil patch and was in the area and decided to take a tour,they make you put on a white Hospital suit before you enter the building and I can say the food that they put in there dog food I would feed to my kids that the quality of the meats they use,so any doubters or people that bash orijen and acana are full of it because they are not no McDonalds type of food there more like the keg or Earls,suit and tie type of place and there quality control is amazing.. Just thought I would add my to sense.

  • Ray Korbyl

    I just went on a tour of Campion pet foods in morninville alberta facility and I have to say they are the real deal,my house isn’t as clean as there building is and when they say human grade dog food it is human grade,I have a new respect for acana and orijen now that I took the tour so any doubters out there that talk bull about the company there full of poop because there dog food is truly human grade and I am gonna try feeding it again (never tried acana) to my dogs,I just bought my first two bags of acana and am going to see if one or if not both work,I bought the singles(pork and butternut squash and lamb and okanagan apples)I hope one of them works because orijen worked for one of my dogs but not the other but now I no there dog food is the highest quality dog food money can buy other than raw..And no I don’t Wrk for the company l Wrk in the oil patch..

  • DogFoodie

    I have a dog that cannot have any fish (I’ve tried several varieties and he’s reacted to them all) or fish oil (which, in theory doesn’t make sense because the protein should have been removed). Figuring out his fish intolerance was probably the easiest. Eliminating fish from his diet is tricky because fish shows up in almost all commercial diets.

    It was his other intolerances that weren’t so easy to figure out; ie: chickpeas, lentils, garlic, barley, tomato and flax. I’ve even now figured out what exposure to certain ingredients results in – fish results in a gunky ear, flax results in loose stool and chickpeas or lentils results in flatulence and lose stool.

    My point is, that hypersensitivities can be really tricky to figure out. It’s not just the obvious animal protein in a food, it can be almost any other ingredient and when there are multiple hypersensitivities, it gets trickier.

  • theBCnut

    Allergies are individual to the particular dog, so no one can tell you what food to use. You will have to try to figure out which ingredients she is reacting to yourself. That being said, keep ingredients lists from all foods you try and take notes on how she does on them. You know she did well on Fromm, except for constipation, so find that ingredient list, those are ingredients you know she can handle. Compare that list to what she is currently eating to figure out what is in the new food that she is not handling well. Look for other foods that do not have any of those ingredients. Keep those ingredient lists too, so you learn more foods that you know she tolerates, or more suspects. If you find a food that she really does great on, you can use that as a base and start adding back foods that you are suspicious of to test them to see which ones end up being safe or definite no-nos.

    As an example, my dog reacts to chicken, turkey, tomato, flax, and all grains, but is fine with beef, lamb, peas, sweet potatos, white potatos, lentils, etc. I know others that their dog’s react to beef and peas, or lamb and sweet potatos, or lentils. You just have to keep trying.

  • Sharon capshaw

    My thinking is that it’s the salmon I looked at the ingredients of what I just ordered and compared to what she’s in now and there aren’t too many the same. I just bought a 5lb bag if it turns out she can’t use this either but it sounds as tho it’s good for doggies that get allergies so I don’t think I will be disappointed. Thank you so much!

  • DogFoodie

    It’ll only help if you stop feeding whatever ingredient she’s eating currently that she’s trying to. You have to figure out what she’s reacting to – which could be a number of things in the current food. You should switch to something more limited in ingredients and with a different protein and binder than what she’s currently eating. The only true way to determine food hypersensitivity, is a true elimination diet.

  • emilioaponte

    You are welcome always. Acana Ranchlands and Acana Grasslands are the ones Tequila eats. I never tried Fromm’s, to many people its a good food. For my little Tequila, Acana is the one.

  • Sharon capshaw

    Thank you I read about it and have ordered a bag. Hopefully will see some results soon after starting her on it…. Thank you again for your help!

  • emilioaponte

    Well, Acana never cause that kind of problems to my Tequila. Allergies to a particular food are common. Just give a change to Acana, its a good food.

  • Sharon capshaw

    Will that help her with the issues I have mentioned?

  • emilioaponte

    Tequila, 13 years old-three and a half pounds, female Yorkie. She eats Acana Ranchland and Acana Grasslands.

  • Sharon capshaw

    I’m new to the site and even tho joining this was supposed to make it easier for me to make a decision I still feel just as over whelmed. So I’m asking for advise!! I have an11 month old Yorkie that has been on Fromm’s since I got her at 5 weeks. She started out a sweet potatoe mix but I can’t remember exactally what it was. It seemed to constipate her so I switched to Salomon and what ever is with it. Now her breath stinks aweful, she has terrible dry skin,itching all the time. Skin is so dry it has dandruff inher fur. Have noticed her biting at her feet She doesn’t ever go outside so it not from outside things and her eyes are watery at times. Im convinced she’s allergic to this food. Can u please recommend the vest food for her to address her issues? Thank you so much!!

  • Stacey

    Taonia….you can try Wellness Core. It’s grain free and great reviews. They have a reduced fat one too

  • The Honest Kitchen brand.

  • Bobbie Schneider

    What is THK?

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I’m interested in that as well. From what i have read Fromm has never had a recall.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Can you give me the info you have where it says Fromm has had a recall? Thanks!

  • taonia

    I have 3 dogs I have had on Blue grain free healthy weight for about 3 years now I’m so confused and scared I don’t know what to give them. My pomchi is 12 she had sore bald spots on her before I started this and the vet said they needed to lose weight the spots healed and they lost a little weight. I have 2 papillons 6 yrs I feed all the same food They still like it but after reading what people are saying about I don’t know what to do.HELP

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I know how you feel! I still feel like i drive myself crazy trying to find new foods to add to my rotation! Acana, Orijen, Annamaet and Fromm are all good foods. Nothing sourced from China. You can always rotate between them if they work for your dog. You will always read some kind of negative review no matter what food you feed. Just because a food does not work for your dog does not mean it’s not a good food. Good luck!

  • Crazy4cats

    It is frustrating and crazy isn’t it? The foods you mention would be a great choice. I’ve had good luck with Victor Grain Free, Merrick Grain Free and Eagle Pack. I also add a canned, fresh, or raw topper to all their meals. It is highly recommended on this site to rotate foods at least occasionally for optimum gut health. Good luck!

  • Kristen

    I’m kind of freaking out. All the foods I look up have some pretty horrific stories about killing tons of dogs. I had all my dogs on Blue Buffalo Puppy and was looking for something better, but reading even the reviews here is confusing. One second Acana/Orijen, Merrick, Annamaet, Fromm (which I’ve found recalls for) are all good and another someone who gives a lot of advice says something to worry me. I just want the best for my dogs without having to break the bank or take HOURS making. Please help!
    I though Merrick looked promising but now I’m second guessing that from what I’ve read about stuff with the FDA and such.
    Acana/Orijen is sounding best or even Annamaet? I haven’t found anything really damning for thme.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    It can really be any frequency. Some people rotate every meal, others change every few months. Personally, I change dry food after each bag, which is about once a month. I change canned food toppers about every week or so. If your dog has a sensitive stomach, then you can start with changing less often and slowly work up to more often.

  • theBCnut

    THK is an excellent food, but if I were you, I would still continue to rotate foods.

  • PW

    Every second bag I switched blends. It just was easier to go to a raw dehydrated diet such as THK for me.

  • Aileen

    How often do you rotate foods?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I agree with BCnut, Orijen is basically as good as it gets with kibble.

  • theBCnut

    Orijen is made by the same company and it’s Champion’s top of the line food, so as good as it gets! I bet your vet would do bloodwork sooner, if you made it clear that you would feel better not waiting so long after the diet change to see how his kidneys are doing.

  • Aileen

    The vet said he wouldn’t check her blood work again till may which will be 6 monthe from the last. He said he didn’t know what would happen if i switched her back but he saw no harm in trying.they did an US and belive it’s a congenital kidney disorder, but a 1 time insult can not be ruled out. I switched her to raw to feed the highest quality protien. But I find it VERY hard to keep wweight o her and it’s very pricey… It makes me sad that more vets are not up to date on nutrition. :-/.. i just bought her a bag of orijen, that seemed like a pretty high quality food. I have my other dogs on zignature. What are your thoughts on orijen? Thanks 🙂

  • theBCnut

    At first my dogs needed a long transition period, one of them needed a month for each transition. Now I just feed one food one day and another the next.

    Your dog’s kidney issues may have been a one time insult to the kidneys and be completely better by now or may recur if fed kibble, so if you decide to go back to kibble, be very watchful, and consider having bloodwork done a couple times to check for changes. By the time symptoms show up, the kidneys are already very damaged.

    Acana is probably as good as it gets for a kibble, so a good place to start. Even feeding half raw and half kibble would be better than all kibble, if that’s doable.

    Good luck!!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    You should start with a transition period of however long your dog needs. Some dogs only need a few days to transition and others need several weeks or more. If your dog has a sensitive stomach then adding probiotics or digestive enzymes can be helpful. Usually, as you continue rotational feeding, the dog’s stomach will strengthen and you will not need as long a transition period, sometimes none at all.

  • Aileen

    I have a question? When say u rotate foods, do you just switch to a new dog food or slowly transition them over a week each time you change? I currently feed my BC who was in kidney failure last year, a raw diet ( she was only 11 months old when diagnosed) I went to five leaf pharmacy, on line, and ordered their holistic kidney treatment and switched her to a raw diet. Since then dr labs have normalized. (So glad I didn’t listen to the vet and put her on the kidney diet or I belive she wouldn’t be doing well now) the vets couldn’t belive the turn around. I attribute this “miracle ” as the vets call it, to feeding her high quality protien verse putting her on a low protien diet like they do to all kidney dogs and they pass with in 6 months to a year. That being said, I am going broke feeding her raw and it is very time consuming ( not that I don’t love my dog and want to do what’s best for her but I own 7 dogs and have a horse farm and work 10 hrs. Day as a orthopedist) but I was thinking of transitioning her back onto dog food. I was looking into this dog food as a high quality protien option. You seem quite knowledgeable on the topic of dog nutrition and was wondering if you have some food suggestions? I would also like to rotate her since she gets board with food VERY easly

  • theBCnut

    These are symptoms of food hypersensitivity. It sounds like there is an ingredient in the food that your Westie is reacting to.

    The other dogs could be the same or a thyroid or other metabolic issue, even vitamin or mineral deficiency. It’s definitely time for a food change. This is exactly why so many of us believe in rotating foods. If one food is too high or too low in a nutrient, our dogs won’t be on it long enough to have problems with it.

  • Jill

    I’ve noticed this too – I’ve been feeding Acana Wild Prairie (and sometimes Pacifica) for almost two years and I’m starting to wonder about the food. Earlier this year my Golden had to have a lobe of her liver removed due to a large mass growing on it, and I lost my 15 year old boy due to complications with bladder and kidney stones. My dogs all have very dull and THIN coats, my Westie itches ALL the time and my Golden is losing her fur like mad. (I assumed this had something to do with her surgery over the summer). Anybody had anything like this happen? I never thought it could be the food (Until I just read PW’s comment) since it is so expensive. Silly, I know. I also thought I was going crazy because the kibble used to be dark and dense and almost oily, and now it is lighter and dry. So there has been a formula change?

  • aquariangt

    Precise as a company is solid, but all their proteins are so blasted low. I usually only recommend it as a mid step transitional food

  • theBCnut

    From your profile you can upload a picture directly or you can go to and sign up, give them a picture, and then go to your profile, and tell it to get your avatar from gravatar.

  • Ray Korbyl

    How do I get a picture on my profile??

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Me too, that would be a shame.

  • Ray Korbyl

    It use to be one of the best,I don’t no what has happened to them,maybe got to big to fast,not sure!!???I hope that doesn’t happen to orijen.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks, I have just learned about this recently. It sucks too, because I have always recommended Merrick as a good-quality budget friendly food.

  • Ray Korbyl

    I definitely wouldn’t say Merrick is a good brand with all the recalls and I think there quality control is terrible..

  • Ray Korbyl

    Precise holistic complete lamb and turkey has been better for me than orijen,Merrick,Fromm and blue buffalo and it is a family owned business with no recalls and its all American made products, I would check out there website..

  • PW

    I have been feeding my 3 Shelties Acana for over a year. I rotate between the different blends, including the singles. The past 3 months I’ve noticed that my dogs had less energy and their coats seemed thinner than normal. 3 weeks ago I switched to The Honest Kitchen – Preference – the blend with which you add your own protein. The different in their energy levels and their coats is very noticeable. Am I the only one who has noticed that since they changed their formula/ingredients with the Singles that all their formulas seemed different?

  • emilioaponte

    Welcome always.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks, so does your little wolf!

  • emilioaponte

    Lily looks good.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    OMG, I’m dying of cuteness right now!!! Here is Lily “meditating:”

  • emilioaponte

    Hello, I’m a little wolf with a ball.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Those are great foods, and your dog is adorable! At first I thought you literately meant wolf, until I saw the picture. 😛

  • emilioaponte

    My little female wolf,Tequila, 13 years old- 3 1/2 pounds eats Orijen Regional Red, Acana Ranchlands, Acana Grasslands. Despite her 13 years she still a dangerous little wolf. I used to feed her Merrick and Blue, but the last 6 years she only eats Orijen and Acana.

  • DogFoodie

    I think there are a lot of great American made pet foods; to name just a few brands: Dr. Tim’s; Annamaet; WellPet; and Nature’s Variety.

  • Melinda

    Thanks, everyone. This info is most helfpful. Appears the American based (Merrick and Blue Buff) foods have less quality control, yet the ingredients are good. So many things to consider. Thanks again.

  • DogFoodie

    I agree. I wouldn’t feed Merrick myself either. Personally, I feel the company is shady.

  • DogFoodie

    I agree. I wouldn’t feed Merrick myself either. Personally, I feel the company is shady.

    Oops, meant to reply to Hater & Holly’s Mom.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    The ingredients in Merrick look very good on paper. I would never trust feeding it. They have had way too many quality control issues.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Melissa has an answer below, but I just wanted to say that while Orijen, Merrick, and Acana are great foods, I wouldn’t recommend trying Blue Buffalo. They have had some quality control and mislabeling issues recently. This isn’t marked in the review because the reviews are only based off of ingredients and nutritional analysis, because that is what stays most consistent.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Melinda..I rotate 4 and 5 star foods with raw dehydrated etc. I personally do not worry about any one food’s carb content because I figure with the rotation it balances out eventually.

  • Melinda


    My GSD , 18 month old pup is currently eating Orijen. She also enjoyed Arcana grain free regionals, and Merrick grain free for awhile. Haven’t yet tried Blue Wilderness. I love this site but sometimes too much info is confusing. All of these are 5 star grain free, which is what I want. Other than taste, what are the differences? What is a healthy carb % for a dog with normal exercise? I don’t know what to do with all the numbers. I’ve heard from some that one brand should be used all the time. Others tell me variety is the spice of life. I’ not looking for answers to all of these but would love to hear from you. Thanks.. Melinda

  • Bucky Eads

    Hi Sharron, I am sure you have probably got your feeding routine under control for your dogs now, but in case you have not, here is what I do with my five. It works out fine for them. I feed twice a day, every 12 hours: 6AM and 6PM. They are ready for it too! Mine range in size from a 65 lb. senior lab to a 12 lb. Jack Russell terrier mix. I use the same scoop for all but for my lab, she gets a level scoop then the two JRT mixes split a scoop, with a little more going towards my larger one, the less going to the little girl. My terrier/peke and mini heeler split a scoop. Works out great for all. Once you get a good routine down for your dogs, it will be fine 🙂 I also have two feral cat colonies on the same schedule. They are always sitting and waiting 🙂

  • tadbubs

    Excellent advice. Thanks BC

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