Alpo Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Alpo Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Alpo Dog Food product line includes two dry recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

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

  • Alpo Prime Cuts Savory Beef Flavor
  • Alpo Come and Get It Cookout Classics

Alpo Come and Get It Cookout Classics was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Alpo Come and Get It Cookout Classics

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 21% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 61%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, corn germ meal, beef and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), pork and bone meal, egg and chicken flavor, animal digest, corn gluten meal, salt, potassium chloride, dried peas, yellow 6, red 40, choline chloride, yellow 5, natural grill flavor, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, l-lysine monohydrochloride, manganese sulfate, blue 2, dl-methionine, niacin, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, garlic oil, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis18%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis21%11%61%
Calorie Weighted Basis19%24%57%
Protein = 19% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 57%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is corn germ meal, a meal made from ground corn germ after much of the oil has been removed. Corn germ meal is a protein-rich by-product left over after milling corn meal, hominy grits and other corn products.

However, the protein found in corn germ meal (about 25% dry matter basis) must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is beef and bone meal, a dry rendered product from (beef) tissues, including bone, exclusive of blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Beef and bone meal may have a lower biological value than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

On the brighter side, beef and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh meat.

In any case, beef and bone meal is not considered a better quality dog food ingredient.

The fourth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

The fifth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is pork and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from (pork) tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.3

Pork and bone meal may have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased protein quality may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

On the brighter side, pork and bone meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.

After the egg and chicken flavor, we find animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

The ninth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

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 six notable exceptions

First, this food includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

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

Next, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

In addition, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.5

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

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

Additionally, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this dog food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Alpo Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Alpo Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 21%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 61%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 21% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 61% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn germ and corn gluten meals, soybean meal and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a limited amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Alpo is a plant-based dry dog food using a limited amount of beef and bone meal or meat and bone meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not 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.

Alpo 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

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

06/01/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for meat and bone meal as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2012 Edition
  4. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, , Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  5. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • Cannoli

    There is no conspiracy here simply look at the ingredients. Alpo is terrible food

  • AmericanFaith

    What you say maybe true, but the mud slinging can go both ways with market companies, with the customers being stuck in the middle, confused and not knowing what to buy and what to believe. My dilemma is that, my dogs eat Alpo, they don’t seem to have a problem with it, first dog food they will actually eat, they would turn their nose up to the kibbles an bits (I don’t know if purina or some other makes it) and it would sit in their bowls until they got really hungry… And listening to all this, and the revelry between so many companies, and their shills…I would believe it that they would put out bad information on the other company, no one knows what to believe. With all the lies and manipulative herd mentality of our government and the covering up of crap by others. For all I know you could be a shill AGAINST alpo/purina, and I could be a shill FOR (I’m not, I have nothing to do with alpo/purina, just my dogs like alpo.). Don’t know what to believe…but I do try to stay away from any chinese crap food, if I can help it. But now they are not saying that they put chinese ingrediants in the food but its “made in USA/America”.
    Sigh 🙁

  • mahoraner niall

    Alpo users – try Sport mix wholesomes chicken meal and rice
    Alpo – 66c …….. Sport mix wholesomes is 70c a lb (only 4c more a lb)

    Beneful users – try Diamond naturals beef meal and rice
    Beneful – 86c a lb ……. Diamond naturals – 86c a lb (1c cheaper a lb)

    Dog chow users – try Sport mix wholesomes chicken meal and rice
    Dog chow – 65c a lb … Sport mix wholesomes – 70c a lb (5c more a lb)

    Purina one users – try Diamond naturals chicken and rice
    Purina one – 96c a lb … Diamond naturals – 93c a lb (3c cheaper a lb)

    Pro plan users – try FROMM family classics adult
    Pro plan – $1.12 a lb ……. Fromm family classics – $1.12 a lb

    Beyond users – try Wellness complete health
    Beyond – $1.58 a lb …. Wellness is $1.58 a lb

  • Pitlove

    I started at a Petco…I would advise never working for a corporate pet store. It is pretty terrible. The owners of the independently owned one I work at now are wonderful people.

    As much as I enjoy working there, I am far more excited about starting school in the fall and working towards becoming an RVT.

  • Cannoli

    lucky you I always wanted to work at a pet store but sadly I have expensive hobbies.

    I have realized that after 20 years of working with humans and dealing with office politics I might have preferred the occasional leg hump.

  • Pitlove

    No Iams, no Pedigree. We do carry a limited amount of Pro Plan and Science Diet for the customers loyal to those brands that want to support a local business.

  • Cannoli

    I don’t mind if they sell these “crappy” foods. My local grocery store still sells hungry man frozen dinners but hey as long as they carry the good stuff

  • Cannoli

    Here in Btwon quite a few have closed. So your place doesn’t sell Iams, Purina or pedigree?

  • mahoraner niall

    i kind of understand, but they i dont think alot of people will buy those crappy foods (like beneful and alpo) online since you can get them pretty much everywhere, but thats just my opinion

    While on the other hand, the only places i have ever seen orijen is at a small pet store near me and on chewy

    I know, every one is different and some prefer to do shopping online, but you can find alpo and beneful almost everywhere on the net (, amazon, jet, etc)

  • Pitlove

    The one I work for has been in business for 15 years 🙂

    Orijen/Acana is surprisingly one of our best selling foods, along with Fromm.

  • Cannoli

    They need to make money and cater to all income levels. Not chewy’s fault. I am happy they carry this. More business for chewy and therefore it allows me to order the extremely high protein kibble. Most boutique pet stores that carry expensive high quality foods don’t stay in business for long

  • mahoraner niall

    So sad, just saw this, and beneful on

    Ah, i remember when chewy only sold high quality food
    why chewy, why

  • mahoraner niall

    i agree that blue buffalo is “bad”, but definitely not the absolute worst.

    If anyone wants a list of the worst dog food brands (by everything i have researched,) heres the list

    1 Pedigree
    2 Purina (all except purina beyond, ONE, and pro plan)
    3 iams
    4 Purina one AND pro plan
    5 royal canin
    6 science diet

  • Jason Shwagner

    Lizzi must be ANOTHER Purina shill. They are all over these message boards. Purina has been reported THOUSANDS of times as a prime food for an animal that died. I for one certainly am not taking that risk on a beloved pet. Why anyone would risk using Purina with a beloved pet to save what, a few measley bucks? If you look for iron clad proof well, whatever. Nothing is iron clad in life but there is virtually endless anecdotal and circumstancial proof out there that Purina has some bad food and some controversial ingredients.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Ken,

    You’re right. Exercise is very important! Wet food is really good for your dog as well. Have you thought about feeding a better quality canned food? If you shop at Walmart, Pure Balance is rated 5 stars and only a few bucks more per case. If you belong to Costco, the Kirland Signature Nature’s Domain cans are rated 5 stars and cost about the same as Alpo. Tractor Supply carries 4health canned food that runs about $1/can and is rated 4.5 stars. There are probably even more options that other posters can offer.

    Edit: Nice looking dog! 🙂

  • Ken Knavenshue

    remember exercise is as important as your diet, Soldier
    loves Alpo prime cuts dog food

  • mahoraner niall

    eh, “except maybe pro plan” if you look at the ingredients, all it is is an overpriced purina one, if you look at the first five ingredients in their large breed puppy formulas they are VERY similar

    pro plan:
    brewers rice,
    corn gluten meal,
    whole grain corn,
    poultry by-product meal

    Purina one :

    brewers rice,
    corn gluten meal
    poultry by-product meal
    whole grain wheat,

    i didnt check the others since i only have a large puppy and noticed this,

    but i expect this from this company, this just proves they are only in this for the money, if they weren’t, they wouldnt have tried to cheat us like this
    if there was one food that they made tht was OK, i would say beyond, thats it,’

    if you want to check the ingredients for your self, here you go:|Exact-Search-Computers|USA-_-Dog%20|%20Food%20-%20Pro%20Plan%20Large%20Breed%20Puppy-_-131ded92-9e6c-4846-87c3-5ff84975dbe9

  • HurpDurp

    Check it yourself. Thousands of people online have reported their dogs becoming severely ill and even dying as the direct result of poising after using Purina dog products. There is even an ongoing lawsuit against them right now.

  • Lizzi

    I 100% agree that purina foods (except maybe pro plan) are utter crap, BUT they don’t kill dogs. Not exclusively. What treats was she getting? Were you taking her to the vet regularly? Are you sure it was the food the first time around, and it wasn’t just something that the food irritated. I’m so sorry for your loss, but things like this don’t just happen overnight, mostly, even if they look like they do.

  • Dan Levine

    March 3,2015: My tiny,little chihuahua named Bella died from Purina products.Purina Home Style & Purina ALPO .
    My story,
    8 months ago Little Bella became sick.First she stopped eating,Next she started throwing up.Then,she became very weak.All with in 3 days of time.I took her the the vet.The vet found a strange gas pocket inside Bella.Strange the vet told us.The vet stated she never seen anything like this before.The also,stated Bella’s blood work chart looked low and liver chart was low.The vet didn’t know what was wrong other then Bella was dehydrated and sent Bella home.Since,the vet had not a clue what got Bella sick.We stopped buying/feeding Bella Purina Home Style dog food.After that Bella got better and back to her normal self.That was 8 months ago when that happened.

    Last week,The wife & I went to Big R in Michigan City to shop .We noticed Big R was selling a 50 lb.bag of Alpo for only 22 bucks.For the size and price we thought wow that’;s a good deal so we bought the bag.At that time we had no idea Purina made Alpo as we didn’t think to notice.
    Tuesday I filled the dog dish with Purina Alpo and Friday Bella was dead.Bella started getting sick again just like she did 8 months ago.
    Wednesday,she stopped eating,Thursday she started throwing up,Friday morning she stopped drinking water and bleeding out of her female area.That afternoon she became very weak.A few hours later she died.

    Purina needs to be held responsible for dog deaths.It’s not just Purina Beneful that’s killing dogs.It all of Purina’s dog food.
    Stay far away from Purina Products!

  • Terrance

    You’re completely correct I will submit a request to have my comment deleted. Thank you.

  • aquariangt

    Sounds very much like food intolerance to me. Perhaps to chicken, which is in most of the foods you’ve fed, which is why Alpo’s garbage which doesn’t really have it would appear to be ok.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I sound like a “tool” lol! I never said that every dog food will work for every dog. What works for one dog may not work for another. I too have been through a lot of brands trying to find foods that i can rotate that my girls do well on. There are so many foods out there that i can’t sit here and say that i have tried them all.

    Prove you wrong you say? The proof is in the fact that you are still feeding Alpo. If you would have done your research you would have not stopped at this food. Have you actually read the review and saw all the ingredients that are in red? Not healthy for any dog. Have you tried Pure Balance from Walmart ? What about Nutrisource? Both quality foods that just happen to be budget friendly!

    Sorry if you feel “offended” I’m just stating the facts and my opinion. Best of luck!

  • Patrick Dennison
  • Patrick Dennison

    “Perhaps if you spend a little time…” Why do people assume I haven’t done my due diligence? I have, but as I have mentioned elsewhere…me reading and studying isn’t going to change my dog’s specific digestive experience. I have figured out what works for him. Sorry if the choice that makes my dog finally want to eat and makes him happy appalls everyone else, but I’m not on here trying to change other people. I’d like the same courtesy and restraint given to me as I give to others.

  • Patrick Dennison

    I reread my post; perhaps it seemed to you was saying ~all~ dog foods were junk, premium or not, but that was not my intent. I have surely tried many brands besides BB and Iams, and before that Nutro Max, but those were the three most recently. Chipper is still on the Alpo. Despite what you say and what the site says, all other foods I have tried give Chipper horrible diarrhea and constipation at the same time. Alpo does not. He is over 16 years old, and in good health and active if the weather isn’t cold and rainy like it is now. I might be in the minorit, but I also know Alpo works for my dog, despite everything that is said and what else I have tried. It ain’t broke now, so I am not going to try to ‘fix’ things. Alpo is owned/partnered with Purina, which is owned by Nestle (big surprise). Nestle owns a number of pet food brands. How about you or anyone else trying to sway me come here and coach me? I’ll leave it to you guys to prove me wrong; clean up the ‘soup’ off the floor; comfort Chipper when he is so bloated and in pain from constipated diarrhea that only comes out in uncontrolled squirts. H&M’s Mom, you sound like a tool…what works for your dog apparently does not work for mine. I am offended that you assume I didn’t ‘read’ or do my research. Reading doesn’t change that facts of ~my~ situation. Thank you.

  • Terrance

    The amount of roadkill cleared by states and county’s across the country is staggering. That’s where it comes from, rather than the DOT guys taking it to a landfill it goes into dog food.I do note that canids are scavengers and coyotes in particular regularly dine on roadkill here in Pennsylvania which is why the state is diligent in clearing it ( the native wolf population was hunted to extinction here so they aren’t a factor despite having been reintroduced on a very limited basis). Euthanized animals are far worse, in my opinion. The animals are injected with highly toxic poison to stop their hearts. Then they are tossed in a dumpster and taken for pet food. So your dig ends up eating the deer you hit last week on your way home from work, the neighbors 15 year old Golden who had to be put down two weeks ago AND the poison they used to put the neighbors dog to sleep. . .the world is NOT black and white, we exist in the myriad shades of gray regardless of what we know or do. I choose to seek the brighter side and learn along the way. . .

  • theBCnut

    And how is it that I change my story? You don’t seem to understand that even though our diets are not necessarily perfect or even great, we are not eating floor sweepings, banned preservatives, and banned food dyes, all, in every single meal we ever eat. You are the one that erroneously said there are antibiotics in most human foods and then changed your story to say meats.

  • Ashley Rockhold

    Funny how you change your story.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Glad your dog is better, and kudos to you and your vet for figuring that out! I’m not at all surprised at your dogs reaction after seeing the ingredients of this food though.

  • theBCnut

    You don’t need to lecture me about antibiotics in meat. I have over 700# of grass fed home raised beef in my freezer right now, but you said there are antibiotics in most human food, not most meat. And I’m fully aware of what the government allows sprinkled, sprayed, or other on our food plants, and compared to what goes into dog foods, especially these cheap nasty ones, it is wholesome. Please note that I said compared to, I am by no means endorsing the many ways our government encourages big business to poison us. We get to make that choice about what we put into our bodies for ourselves though, our pets are stuck with what we choose to put in front of them.

  • Ashley Rockhold

    Unless your raising your own meat animals or your buying from the amish, then trust me, any meat you buy from any store has antibiotics in it. Farmers keep their animals on antibiotics up to 2 weeks before slaughter and that is not enough time to get all the antibiotics out of animals system,especially after long term use. They don’t have to list they use antibiotics either. Anything you buy from the store is junk. Unless your raising and picking your own garden,fruit trees and raising your own meat animals then you are eating junk.

  • theBCnut

    No, most food do not have antibiotics in them, but some certainly do. And I sure hope that most people don’t eat all those nasty things in every single meal every single day, like you seem to think, especially since some of those nasties are illegal in human food.

  • Ashley Rockhold

    most people do and most human food has antibiotics in it to which lower youe immunity by causing a tolerance to the antibiotics

  • Bob K

    Patrick – You do not have to spend a fortune to find a decent 3 or 4 star kibble for under a $1.00/lb. You never mention transitioning your dog to a new food. Perhaps if you spend a little time using this website and come comparison shopping you can do much better and not spend a fortune. Have you ever shopped at Costco, Menards, Farm & Fleet, TSC?

  • Bob K

    Cassie – Now that you learned a lesson, what are you currently feeding your dog?

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Blue Buffalo and Iams are two of the worst foods that you could have picked to feed your dog. Many dogs have had problems with Blue Buffalo and Iams is nothing more than junk. You have only tried those two so how can you say they are all junk? Not all of the higher priced foods are junk as you say. You have to do your homework. There are many budget friendly foods that you can feed your dog that will not break the bank that are rated four and five stars on here. Alpo is a horrible dog food! Please research dog foods on here and try something else on here that actually has some nutrition in it. Your dogs health with thank you!

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    “… 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.”

    Also, please notice that this website does not contain (or allow) any paid or display advertising from pet food manufacturers.

    You can learn more about how we support the cost of operating this website by visiting our Disclosure link located in the footer of every page on this blog.

  • Cassie

    When my dog was a pup (11 years ago) I knew absolutely nothing about different foods. At first I was feeding him a grain free food (I don’t remember the brand) but it was a bit expensive and I was a newly high school graduate that had little money. So I went to my local grocery store and picked up a big bag of Alpo. He LOVED it. I had never seen a dog eat a bowl of food that fast in my life. Aside from a little tummy upset he was doing pretty good.

    But after a month I started noticing little things like he was itching more, he started vomiting every evening, and he had a slight head shake. Then at about 6 weeks on the food it just exploded. He had horrifying diarrhea, vomited constantly, his head shake went from a slight shake to it looked like his head was going to fall off of his shoulders.

    I took him to the vet and she asked the normal questions including “Could he have eaten anything unusual while outside?” Not a chance he was training for “heel” so he was kept on a short leash and his head wasn’t able to lower below my knee. I asked why and she said that his symptoms were of a dog that had been poisoned. She asked what I was feeding so I told her the only food he is allowed is his kibble Alpo. She told me to stop feeding him his kibble immediately and to bring him back in 2 months after he had time to recover and switch to a different food.

    He was treated and due to the stomach issues he was put on a bland diet of boiled chicken and rice for a week. Once his stomach was recovered I switched him back to a higher quality food. Everything stopped his head tremors were gone and never came back, unless he is really ill he has not vomited since, and no more diarrhea.

    I took him back and the vet said she believed the Alpo was slowly poisoning my dog! She wrote this big long report and sent it to Purina but no one ever heard anything back.

  • Patrick Dennison

    We get it…but why are you SHOUTING?

  • Patrick Dennison

    I agree. See my longer post up above. The high priced premium foods are what has messed my Chipper up. From the first bowl back on Alpo, his digestion and elimination has gone back to normal. Who writes these reviews and who’s pocket are they in?

  • Patrick Dennison


  • Patrick Dennison



  • Patrick Dennison

    JasRae, what you write is interesting, because my search for a acceptable food for Chipper (Staffordshire Terrier) has yielded the exact opposite.

    A friend shared these horror stories – such as the review in this evaluation of this dog food – and I was moved to try to find something better than what was ‘working’ at that time – Gravy Train.

    As soon as I started introducing Blue Buffalo to his diet he got a clearly uncomfortable cross between constipation and diarrhea. I switched to IAMS, after kicking myself for spending so much money on a ‘premium’ food, and the result still was not much better. I am sorry to say I had to use up these foods, being on a tight budget now after having a great income for many years. When the IAMS was gone this last time around, I had to just get a small 4 lb bag of Alpo. He’s on the second 4 lb bag now. His digestion and stools improved 100%; solid, dry, well formed. Passing easily and without straining or pain.

    So, these reviews can say whatever they want…but until these other ‘premium’ (overpriced, in my opinion…$60 to $80 for a 32 lb bag that used to be a 40 lb bag? Forget it.) foods formulate their product to be compatible with my dog, Chipper gets what works…not what the ‘experts say’ is nutritionally superior.

    AS for the bit about roadkill being used…roadkill isn’t guaranteed…do they have road patrols driving around just hoping they find a possum? That would seem a bit foolish and wasteful financially, given the huge amount of dog food produced daily. But, people will believe anything if it is put in print and touted by ‘experts’. The old ‘it’s on the Internet, it must be true’ syndrome.

    We humans feed ourselves and our children ‘junk’ all the time and do nothing to change. Monsanto is more powerful than ever, with nary a peep from the masses. Just because the packaging says healthy or organic or whatever these days means nothing. In my experience, the higher priced dog foods have panned out as ‘junk’. Go figure.

  • JasRae Thompson

    We currently live in a country where they mostly have small dogs and therefore most of the time have small breed food. As we were waiting for the food we ordered online (Blue Buffalo grain free) we had to find something else for our 13week Labrador puppy to ensure she will get the appropriate amount and food. Purina Alpo Puppy was the only one in store, close to us so we took it home. We did the transition from Royal Canin small breed to this in 7 days. As soon as she was only on Alpo food, her energy level went way down (not just the usual naps and sleep), soft to diarrhea (6 times a day instead of her consistent 3-4 times), green feces, coat was very different and her paws start cracking. We thought it may have been some fluke so we waited a day…we monitored her closely with food and water and i stayed up just in case. Over the night she threw up her food and again had diarrhea. That was it for me. The morning of, we stopped giving her this junk food and made her scrambled eggs to hold her for a bit and went straight to the Vet. We had to look all afternoon through various stores to find a high quality one. She is now on Orijen Puppy Food. Immediately that day she was wayyyyyyy better. No more diarrhea, color and consistency through out the day went back to normal and her coat and paws are how it suppose to be. I’m very glad she only had this food for 8 days. If your dog means much to you…STAY AWAY FROM THIS JUNK!!!!!! You wouldn’t give yourself or your kids junk food…don’t give it to your dog!!!

  • theBCnut

    Making your own fresh food is one of the best things you can do for your dog, but to make sure you cover all your nutritional bases, you may want to get a book like “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” by Dr Karen Becker. Also, check out dogaware dot com.

  • Bob K

    Wanda – There are many 3.5 – 5 star rated chicken and rice dog foods for the same money or perhaps less. Using this website you will probably be able to find a better kibble for less money. Check out stores like Menards, Tractor Supply, Fleet Farm, Farm & Fleet and buy in larger bags to save money. remember to transition slowly to a new kibble.

  • Wanda Gaines

    Hi! My name is Wanda and i have been feeding my. 8 year old lab. The purina alpo prime cuts, beef. After going thru 1 – 50lb bag and 1/2 of the start of another buddy , buddy got to where he would not eat it.started getting sick took him to our vet. Lots of meds to treat pancreatitis his liver and stomache and bowels are. All iinflammed. I have had to put buddy on freshpet chicken and rice it has no dyes or artifical colors. It is very possible that the dog food it what made him sick, I just read the ingredients. Roadkill animals that have been euthanized diseased dead annimals . I will be. Making my own chicken and rice with veggies and. feeding it. Really worried that i might lose my best friend and protector.

  • lisa ettienne

    My problem is that Alpo dog food almost killed my muffin .She had skin issues and vomiting and her hart was racing,

  • Dori

    Hi Dawn J. I too would like to know what foods you are talking about that cost $69 + for a 4 to 5 lb. bag. That would be pretty much no food and lights for everyone. There are so many real quality foods that don’t cost anywhere in that neighborhood. I’ve never come across a food that costs that much. Oh, and they don’t have fillers which I would never feed. I feed mostly commercial raw foods and even they don’t cost that much. Can you give us some examples? Thanks.

  • LabsRawesome

    I can’t imagine what food you’re talking about.There are lots of good foods that don’t cost nearly that much. Actually every 5 star food that I know of is no where near that much. I can recommend a bunch of budget friendly 4 and 5 star foods, if you’re interested HMU.

  • sue66b

    Hi Dawn when I resuced my boy he had stomach/bowel problems, He’s on Wellness now Wellness has Large Breed puppy complete health Deboned Chicken & Brown Rice & Salmon Meal Recipe…its easy to digest & much healther, even if you get them on the Wellness then when they are better find a cheaper premuim kibble to mix with their Wellness….here’s a link to look at all the Wellness range & read the differene in ingredients to the Alpo.. Complete Health Dry Dog Recipes

  • Crazy4cats

    The vet clinic did do a fecal test, didn’t they? Sometimes puppies are prone to Coccidia and Giardia.

  • TLB

    Dawn: Not sure if this helps but I have four dogs. One yellow lab, an English Cream Golden Retriever, a Goldendoodle, and an American Eskimo. All three BIG dogs are on Natural Balance Synergy. The puppy (the English Cream) was having “runs” from the NB Ultra so we switched him to Synergy. He has been fine ever since. Hope this helps.
    Unfortunately, the old adage applies for dog food as well “you get what you pay for.”

  • Cyndi

    Find a good 3 star or even better a 4 or 5 star food and put them on it. I doubt you’d have to do a slow transition because they already have diarrhea but make sure you add digestive enzymes and probiotics as well as some canned pure pumpkin. That will help with the diarrhea.

  • Storm’s Mom

    $69 for a 4 or 5 pound bag?? Which foods are you referring to? I’m in Canada, where prices are usually more expensive than in the US, and even I’ve never seen $69 for a 4 or 5 pound bag (not even close to that), not even for 5 star foods!

  • Dawn J

    I did find a few. Oh course, with 2 lab pups. Unfortunately they cost $69 + a 4 to 5 pound bag. That would pretty much mean no food or lights for me lol

  • Dawn J

    Yeah just read all ingredients on Pedigree. It’s overall health ratings were lower.

  • Dawn J

    Thanks so much. Just so frustrated.

  • Dawn J

    My problem is. I’ve had my puppies to the vet 6 times. They keep telling me it’s the food. I at first only took the female thought maybe separation anxiety since never separated from brother. They are very happy. Just severe diarrhea and some vomiting when eat. No nothing on vet exams. I’m frustrated & confused. Wondering if it’s protein intolerance with digestive tract. Why can’t they just tell me previous food

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Dawn, Large breed puppies have specific nutritional needs. Please pick something off of this list to feed them. List was created by HDM.

  • Dawn J

    This is what stinks!! I bought 2 totally healthy black lab puppies from humane society. Paid years vet services. Tracing services. They were healthy. Told where food was donated from. Waiting to hear was recommended Purina Puppy Chow. 3 month old labs began vomiting and diarrhea. Told to switch to Alpo Puppy. Supplier cannot release original product name to me. However, did advice to immediately change food. Fillers & difficulty to digest apparently had my puppies in danger. She gave me a recipe to make a safe healthy food for my puppies. Told me get rid other products. What does that tell you?

  • Mr_Juggernaut

    Sounds like parvo…

  • Mr_Juggernaut

    I totally agree neezerfan.

  • Margaret

    My Lab was on one of the Purina foods involved in the 2007 recall. She died. Someone gave my new dog a Purina jerky treat and those ended up on a recall list. Both recalls involved outsourced components from China. Since the class action lawsuit began over the 2007 poisonings there has been an internet ban on any relevant info. Purina can post whatever they like on their site, twice now their continued outsourcing and lack of controls have caused thousands of pets to suffer.

  • Raven Dominique Pozsgai

    I have found that switching to a food that seemed more expensive at first has actually saved money in the long run. I used to be feeding my 55lb lab mix 2.5 – 3 cups a day of her old food but since switching her food to Go! fit & free she is now eating 1.75-2.5 cups a day, (please keep in mind if we fed her according to weight she would be eating to eating too much and get quite fat). We have also noticed that since going grain free her poop has been ‘nicer’ – not as smelly and runny lol – and her coat is so much shinier and softer now.

  • Raven Dominique Pozsgai

    Maybe you should do just little bit more research. It is true that all processed pet food has a certain amount of ‘fillers’ but this can vary from brad to brad and formula to formula. I do suggest that you take a look at some o the 5 star food on this site and compare for yourself … If you want to draw fairly extreme comparison I would look at Orijen.

  • Pingback: Do You Know What You’re Feeding Your Pet? | Melodic Havoc()

  • Kip

    In short, mixed tocopherols are a healthy preservative for pets. You may notice that with mixed tocopherols, food and treats have a shorter shelf life than other foods; this is because mixed tocopherols are a natural preservative.

  • Shawna

    I’m curious what you consider junk, that they all have?

    It is true that a kibble must have inappropriate amounts of starch to bind the kibble together. Starch, is that what you are referring to as junk?

  • LabsRawesome

    You must only be looking at grocery store dog foods. Check the 5 star grain free list on this website. You won;t find ant fillers….or crap.

  • Michael Beauchamp

    and by the way them dyes are toxic to humans not animals huge difference

  • Michael Beauchamp

    same idea plus pedigree isnt as good they dont get there aimals help when tested like purina does

  • Michael Beauchamp

    all dog foods have is the same junk . even them 45 dollar 8 kg bags fillers too same thing sorry but its true

  • Michael Beauchamp

    lmao it has same ingredents read it i have same stuff morons

  • Michael Beauchamp

    not true both same even them expensive bags same stuff ii never saw abag that doesnt have fillers n crap

  • Jana Maria Shaw Church

    I’m feeding something a little better now…..pedigree.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Do you eat fillers, artificial presevatives, dyes, and ingredients that have been linked to cancer in every meal you eat day in and day out for life?

  • InkedMarie

    Neezerfan said it best but I want to add that it doesn’t matter what dogs like, they will eat their own feces. There are higher quality foods out there that are much better than both Alpo and anything Purina.

  • neezerfan

    Humans have the ability to choose whether or not to eat unhealthy foods, dogs do not. They are at our mercy. We owe it to them to feed them the most healthy foods that we can.

  • dchassett

    Depends on what you’re eating. Not everyone is eating human food chocked full of preservatives, fillers and dyes. Just saying.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Jana, There are some budget friendly foods with much better ingredients. Costco has Kirkland Cuts in Gravy a case of 24 cans is just $18.99 (5 stars). Tractor Supply Co, has 4health .99 cents per can (4 stars). Walmart has Pure balance $1 per can or $1.25 for their 95% meat cans (5 stars).

  • Jana Maria Shaw Church

    My dogs like alpo. It’s a little better than Purina healthy morsels.

  • Sarah

    This is the worst food you can feed your dog! It’s like feeding your dog McDonald’s every day. There is a reason why it is so cheap.

  • Landy Zhang

    poor recommended food doesn’t mean it may makes your dog sick. If dogs’ health isn’t in good condition by feeding this food, this brand won’t exit today. the quality of a food depends on its ingrediants.

  • mel

    Both of my dogs eat Alpo and are happy and healthy. They only eat dry. Never ppl food or can. My American bulldog is 90 pounds and my Pitbull is 50 pounds and nether has never had any health issues.

  • mel

    It’s probably not the food. Sad for your dog. I would be heart broken to lose my dogs. I feed my dogs alpo. And never have any issues. Your puppy had to have gotten into something else.

  • Rebecca


  • Shawna

    Yes it is on their site and, for me, that is proof enough.. In my opinion, if they have it documented in writing for the world to see then it likely is true (I believe the laws pretty much insist on it – no false advertising even on websites).

    I will refrain from discussing pento contamination as it pertains to their current foods. Might, depending on the posts, bring up their history but will be sure to identify that was then. Hmm, nothing on animal fat but I’ll give that one the benefit of the doubt as digest was more a concern to me than fat.

    Well played aimee!!! 🙂

    PS — like a few others have commented, that doesn’t change my view of the food in general though.

  • aimee

    Here is general ingredient statement from a site encompassing all their lines

    “As Materials Manager, Dave makes sure we have the right quality
    ingredients at the right time. “A lot of the ingredients come from the
    same places that you and I get our food from,” explains Dave. “Grain
    from Georgia. Wheat and corn straight from the Midwest, America’s
    breadbasket. Meat from facilities certified by the U.S.D.A.”

  • aimee

    Here is there statement on “animal Digest”

    “The process starts with animal protein such as muscle and soft tissue supplied by USDA-inspected facilities.”

  • aimee

    Here is more general statement from a company doc on by products not meat and bone meal but thought I’d point it out to you.

    “Purina purchases all by-products from USDA-inspected plants. They must meet stringent
    criteria for nutrient content, production and quality assurance. ”

  • aimee

    About a year and a half ago I posted that I asked Purina about their sourcing they replied

    far as our sources for ingredients such as corn, chicken, beef, soy
    etc, we get meat and poultry only from integrated USDA inspected
    facilities. We do not use 4-D meat (dead, down, diseased,disabled)”

    You said you wouldn’t believe it since it wasn’t on their site. Now it is on their site.

  • Pattyvaughn

    And Alpo is even worse!

  • LabsRawesome

    Even without the Pento, Purina Dog Chow is horrid.

  • Shawna

    Okay, I see it… In the future I will not bring up pento as it pertains to “meat and bone meal” in regards to Dog Chow. But for the other Purina products I would need to see it on their site (and I’m looking each one up) or a statement on the Purina site encompassing all their lines.

  • aimee

    I posted but maybe disqus didn’t like the link. I went to dogchowdot com clicked on dog chow and about 2/3 down on the left clicked on “learn about our ingredients”

  • Betsy Greer

    Yes, me too (in re: kosher). I made the mistake of watching some secretly filmed slaughterhouse videos on YouTube recently. I honestly had nightmares.

  • Pattyvaughn

    The kosher method gives me the heebie geebies This doesn’t bother me too much, but I couldn’t do it myself.

  • Betsy Greer

    Me too, Shawna. So sad. :`(

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is correct. It does take a couple minutes for the heart to stop beating so bleeding out is assisted by the heart, but there are pieces of skull in the brain of the animal. It isn’t going to revive. Of course their are horror stories of bolts that were not well placed, those are another story all together.

  • Shawna

    Didn’t address the whole post sorry…

    Where on their site is that statement aimee?

  • Shawna

    Sorry folks — This post discusses how stun guns work to kill cattle – don’t read if you don’t want to know.

    This is how hubby explained the procedure to me.

    “Recommended Captive Bolt Stunning Techniques for Cattle
    by Temple Grandin

    A captive bolt stunning gun kills the animal and reduces it instantly unconscious without causing pain. A captive bolt gun has a steel bolt that is powered by either compressed air or a blank cartridge. The bolt is driven into the animal’s brain. It has the same effect on the animal as a firearm with a live bullet. After the animal is shot the bolt retracts and is reset for the next animal. A captive bolt gun is safer than a firearm.

    There have been some questions about whether or not a captive bolt actaully kills an animal. Practical experience in slaughter plants indicates that cattle shot correctly with a penetrating captive bolt have irreversible damage to their brain and they will not revive. If a non-penetrating captive bolt is used the animal may revive unless it is bled promptly.”

    I’m glad I don’t have to think about this stuff daily.. Pretty certain I would become a vegetarian… 🙁

  • aimee

    I think the captive bolt is to stun the animal and then they are hung and bled out. Do they stun and bleed them in the stock yard??

    Regarding meat and bone meal coming from USDA plant.. well I don’t have an AAFCO book but I don’t see any reason that a Beef meal, Pork meal. Lamb meal, all couldn’t be labeled by the more generic term meat and bone meal.

    Purina stated to me that they only use USDA integrated plants and no 4-D meats

    Here is Purina’s description of meat and bone meal taken from their site: “Meat & Bone Meal
    After USDA-inspected beef or pork is processed for human consumption, a second process leaves a nutrient-rich source of protein plus some
    accompanying bone (a good source of calcium and phosphorus). This all helps support strong muscles and keep teeth healthy.”

    Now that you know it is beef or pork from a USDA plant and you said you consider meals from USDA plants free from pentobarbital I’d imagine you will no longer feel the need to advise every poster feeding Purina that it may be contaminated.

  • Shawna

    I’ve heard the same. Hubby actually worked at several of the Tyson beef plants around Nebraska and Iowa for four years. He said that, like you are guessing, if suspected ill they don’t even make it in the building.

    Seems to me they would use the same method to kill cattle not making it in that they use to kill the cattle used for human foods — the air gun thingy. It’s quick, supposedly humane.. No idea why they would use pento in this situation.

    My thoughts on pento and beef (and this is just a guess) is that it is reserved for say injured cattle still on the farm/CAFO.

    What I have yet to figure out is how “meat and bone meal” could come from a USDA plant?

    Edit: When it comes right down to it aimee, I don’t like the ingredients Purina uses in most of their foods and I don’t care for the company as a whole. I have no love for them therefore I have no reason to find reasons to support them.

  • aimee

    Interesting question… Was it euthanized on site?? This is piece of the puzzle I haven’t gotten a good answer to.What happens to those animals that are condemned at pre- slaughter inspection? I’ve read they aren’t supposed to enter the facility and be slaughtered. How are they killed and what happens to the remains?? Are they rendered on site?

    When I talked to Purina they said that since the report they limit all their sourcing to USDA integrated plants and their contracts specify no 4-D. So based on your reasoning Purina products should all be free of pentobarb no matter what they call their ingredients.(Before the report they did use a few independent renderers.) Did the Beef fat that was positive come from an independent or integrated plant? Did someone “slip”one in. No way to know.

  • aimee

    I’m not defending Purina so much as I’m championing for objective analysis and application of data!

  • Shawna

    How on earth would a “euthanized” animal make it to a USDA plant? Maybe I’m missing a part of the picture but I thought that animals that were already dead went straight to rendering by-passing the human product chain.

    PS — I wouldn’t use Nutro no matter how many stars it had. Just me though.

  • aimee

    You are making a lot of assumptions here. Do you know that the beef meal tested was not from an USDA inspected plants? I didn’t see that in the report. The products positive were made by Nutro Premium. I’m guessing that would be comparable to the Ulta line?? a 4 star food.

    Why couldn’t meat and bone meal, beef and bone meal, animal fat or animal digest come from a USDA inspected plant?

    Purina sources all its animal based ingredients from USDA integrated and inspected plants. Heck none of Purina’s products with meals were positive. Only the named fat

  • Shawna

    Poor quality is poor quality aimee.. There’s really no way to make filet minion out of sirloin no matter how hard you try.

    Why do you always defend Purina so ferociously? Alpo to boot…

  • Shawna

    It would only make sense to state that if I know that the beef meal did not come from a USDA inspected facility. I’m guessing most likely do. The one I suspect doesn’t I don’t recommend nor use — owned by the same family that makes Merrick and sold at Walmart. Blanking on the name right now though.

    The reason I feel that that food is likely from rendered beef that might be euthanized is based on the other ingredients and over all quality of the food too.

    What I do know for a fact is that any food using the four identified on the linked FDA page can be contaminated and will never be from USDA inspected plants and therefore are already inferior ingredients, in my opinion.

  • aimee

    The FDA didn’t specifically list beef meal in the synopsis but beef meal is covered in the “take home” statement “associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food.”

    In the interest of keeping pets safe don’t you feel obligated to let people know that when feeding a food with beef meal they may be exposing their pet to pentobarbital.This is an issue you seem passionate about!

  • aimee

    Of the 31 Purina products tested 3 tested positive. They were Pro Plan Beef and Rice products and the identified ingredient was Beef Tallow a named fat.

    At the later test date the product was negative for pentobarb.

    The important this to remember about this study is that it was to use the FDA “a snapshot in time” and in the words of the FDA “does not predict the likelihood of pentobarbital in a particular brand of dog food on the market today or in the future.”

  • Shawna

    I haven’t included beef meal because the main page on the FDA site states beef and bone meal. Yes, I do know that the survey shows beef meal but it also shows beef tallow (which this food has) but I didn’t mention that either. Nor did I mention the animal digest in this food. Nor did the original poster.

    Edit — I assume there is a reason why the FDA left “beef meal” and “beef tallow” off the list on the main page. I do not know why that is?

    Edit — sorry, one more thought… If the “beef meal” came from a USDA inspected plant (even if not confirmed to pass USDA inspection) it can be assured that it was not from a euthanized cow.

  • aimee

    I used the phrasing from the report.. but yes I would not expect pentobarb in poultry based products.

    Why haven’t you included comments on pentobarb in products using beef meal for example ?

  • aimee

    You could be feeding a contaminated meal no matter what you feed when ever using non poultry animal based ingredients. It is not particular to this food or even to meat and bone meal. It is a risk with ANY rendered non poultry product.

    I’ve yet to see anyone post ” you are risking poisoning your dog if you feed Natures Logic. It has beef meal. Did you know that 100% of the beef meal samples when tested by the FDA were positive for pentobarbital?” or “Some of us choose not to risk poisoning our pets so we won’t feed Natures Variety as they use beef meal…

    The FDA warns against misapplication of the data from this study, yet it seems that this is exactly what is being done. “The surveys represent a snapshot in time, and no conclusions about dog
    food in general can be made. For reasons described above, the survey
    information does not predict the likelihood of pentobarbital in a
    particular brand of dog food on the market today or in the future.

  • Shawna

    The original poster is specifically discussing the meat and bone meal in the Alpo food.

    As far as “any” rendered meal (if you are meaning ingredients such as chicken meal or turkey meal), if you can supply the references, I’ll start including those in my comments.

  • aimee

    Yes that was my point!

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes Beef and bone meal. Po Plan has a lot of positive results for Pento.

  • Shawna

    Understatement of the year!! 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    Lol, you are having trouble picking up what aimee is throwing down aren’t you?

  • Shawna

    Thanks Labs!! I don’t know why I can’t make heads or tails of aimee’s posts??

    I’m not sure of the relevance of that comment though as the article specifically identifies the ingredients found to be contaminated and the one discussed above, meat and bone meal, is on that list? Any thoughts?

  • LabsRawesome

    I think aimee is saying that Pento is also in named meat meals (Beef).

  • Shawna

    Which un-named meals are not rendered?

  • aimee

    The association is between rendered meals and presence of pentobarbital and not specific to un- named meals.

  • aimee

    Isn’t this true of any rendered meal? Beef meal was also found to have pentobarbital as well.

  • Shawna

    The “facts” say you could be feeding your dog pentobarbital (the euthanasia drug) tainted food if meat and bone meal is used. (Note – the below quote is taken from the FDA’s website)

    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.”

    Some of us simply chose not to risk poisoning our dogs with their food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Meat and bone meals can have euthanized animals in them and the drugs used are not harmed by processing.

  • Steven Gianni

    “Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-richmeat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.” – So what you’re basically saying is that we don’t care what facts say, our minds were made up on Alpo long before this review was written. thanks for sharing.

  • B&L

    one major problem I think just like people we forget with our pets that they are individuals . I meet a lady in the park the other day who tried telling me that all dogs got sick from bread she quickly changed her tune when i told her that my mothers dog loved bread. Also i have owned a cat that hated fish so please people wake up we all dont like the same things if we did we might run out hahahaha and i feed both my young dogs ALPO from higher end foods they have finally stopped with there runs and there coats look great

  • Lee

    Not all high quality dog food is expensive. You can always use a raw meat diet for your dogs, to mix it up with the dry foods. I see a 10lb bag of BB Wilderness for $20; that usually lasts my redbone a couple of weeks. Depending on the size of your dog, the Tucker’s raw pork-bison-pumpkin formula works good also. It’s $20 for a bag, but it only lasts my hound a week due to his dietary needs based on size. Proper research is key when choosing dog food. Remember, your dog is only 2/10 of it’s DNA away from being a wolf again; research the diets of wolves and you get a better idea of what your dog needs.

  • InkedMarie

    Exactly, Dave! There are good foods at good price points; people need to be willing to drive somewhere other than the grocery store or Walmart and be willing to order online.

  • Pattyvaughn

    When someone asks for a recommendation of the best, we tell them what we think is best. When someone asks about a food in a certain price range then we suggest foods that are in or close to that price range, unless their price range is so low that there is NO decent food that cheap. We don’t suggest feeding family members garbage, dyes, chemicals, and preservatives.

    BTW, I raised German Shepherd Dogs for many years and HD is not breed specific and diet has everything to do with it. Developement of joints is what HD is all about and food affects joint developement.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    not everyone can afford the most expensive dog foods however you could most likely find a 3 or 4 star dog food for what you are paying now with some research.

  • Cyndi

    I work a 2nd job to be able to feed my dog what I consider is the best I can do for her. If all I could afford to feed my dog was Alpo, I wouldn’t have a dog.

  • cwinkler25

    Are you people going to Pay for the food you are recommending? Most people simply can’t afford it. Doesn’t mean they don’t love their dogs. I feed mine the best food I can AFFORD. Incidentally, my dogs all have lived long, happy and healthy lives. My German Shepard is 13 and other than a little hip dysplasia, a breed specific problem and nothing to do with diet, she is doing great. Her son, a Shepard/Lab-Chow, is 11 1/2 and you would Never guess he was that old.

  • Cyndi

    Awesome!! We ALL need to be able to do that with everyone we see buying crap dog food! Good job Elena!

  • Elena

    I saw someone pull a Bag of ALPO of the shelf the other day at TSC. I approached her and spent the next hour in the dog food isle talking with her about the true needs of a dog and why ALPO is crap. Ater showering her this review she started to cry saying she was “scammed into poisoning her babies” she ended up walking out of there with Fresh Pet Selects and BB Wilderness

  • chris p please take a look at this. I’m pretty sure alpo prime slices killed my dog!

  • Eldee

    You’re kidding right??

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Steve –

    I agree that genetically modified ingredients are potentially very dangerous – I think they’re to blame for many of the health issues we’re seeing in both people and animals. There definitely hasn’t been enough research done on them to prove they’re safe to be consuming on a regular basis – that’s for sure. Corn and soy are problematic for various reasons as is, then adding in that they’re likely to be genetically modified on top of that is a recipe for disaster. Dr. Mike recognizes that corn and soy are controversial ingredients and this is why you’ll see them “red flagged” on all the reviews.

  • Steve P.

    I seem to hear no mention of how much corn and soy your pet receives with low quality pet food, and it being genetically modified organism (GMO) in all commercially processed dog food except possibly organic. To me this is an important factor when considering your pet’s long term health. There has never been any long term studies as to its health effects, and even though the FDA approved GMO grains on a limited study provided by the biotech company.

  • Lara

    Like people have said before, your dog is a ticking time bomb. Just as if you were eating fast food everyday. You may live a healthy life, or you may die from various organ failures, cancer, and etc.

  • McKinely

    Alpo – Now with hormone free dog and cat meats! I can see it now … NOT

    Plain and simple Alpo is crap, your dog is a ticking time bomb on it.

  • Sarah

    Would not be surprised if Alpo killed your dog. You get what you pay for in most cases.

  • Lara

    That was sheer luck. There is no secret that Alpo is one of the cheapest, lowest quality foods out there.

    Dogs and human digestion systems are not even close to being similar. Dogs are non obligate carnivore, meaning they are designed to eat meat but can eat some other things – grains being very hard to digest. It is 100% health wise, better for your dog to be on a grain-free food, with at least 75% meat and 25% veggies/fruits.

    Why do you think meat automatically means hormones? Orijen for example is 80% meat – from free range animals with no added hormones. Also what do you mean by rich? AGAIN, Dogs are designed to eat meat, they can be eating a 100% raw all meat diet and it still would not be too rich.

  • Lara

    Alpo is terrible. I HIGHLY suggest switching. You will notice a skin/coat improvement within a couple weeks. Switch slowly when switching from extremely low quality to high quality food – over 10-14 days. I can suggest Orijen, Acana Regionals, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Blue Buffalo Freedom, Wellness Core, Go! Fit&Free. If budget is a huge issue Blue Buffalo Life Protection, Kirkland Dog Food, Kikalands Nature Domain, Nutro will also be okay.

  • L

    Sounds more like mange to me.

  • Hi Ari,

    No offense, but this is a horrible food! Can you imagine if your dog’s outward appearance has changed this much, what his insides must look like! To what are you planning to switch?

  • Ari

    I am using alpo now and my dog has the worst fur to touch and his skin is getting flaky and has black small spots that look like scabs. I am blaming it on this food because he has never had a skin problem before. His coats are full and opaque. I am switching foods immediately.

  • Shawna

    Well said marsha!!!! I couldn’t agree with you more. The pup in my avatar has had kidney disease since birth and will be seven end of next month. I’ve tried VERY hard to keep environmental and food toxins out of her life. But, I can honestly say that when I am stressed or she is stressed she needs more TLC and kidney care…

  • marsha gutierrez

    don’t forget, having a healthy dog also means mentally and spiritually… it’s not always food that kills the dog, it is the lack of connection the dog has with its family that is also un healthy. Stress affects us all.. regardless of how many legs are involved.

  • Pingback: R.I.P Bain!!! (Poison Killed My Dog) | Quemela()

  • Mortz

    in 2007 my black lab Cricket became ill Alpo wet and dry dog food was what she mainly ate shortly after she became ill she past away . it was a few days after that the major pet food recall came out though i can not directly link this food to her death I strongly believe its what killed her.

  • Roger Biduk

    If anyone says Alpo is anything more than a toxic mess is very mistaken. If any dog survives, never mind thrives on this stuff is pure luck.

    Alpo was recalled by the FDA in the Melamine Poison Recall of 2007 for poisoning cats/dogs

    All of the main ingredients in this stuff are on the list of Ingredients to Absolutely Avoid in Pet Foods and there’s ZERO meat for a carnivore to boot) (

    Alpo is owned by Nestlé SA which also ownes the following brands that also MUST be avoided: Purina, Purina One, Alpo, Beneful, Beneful Healthy Harvest, Busy Bone, Chew-rific, Deli-Cat, Dog Chow, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Gourmet Gold, Mon Petit, HiPro, Kibbles and Chunks, Kit ‘N Kaboodle, Mighty Dog, Purina Pro Plan, TBonz, Purina
    Veterinary Diets and Whisker Lickin’s.

    The corner dollar store sells this garbage, feel very sorry for the dogs who eat it.

    Best regards, Roger Biduk

  • InkedMarie

    Do you think this Alpo crap, with its whatever meat (it doesn’t even tell you what meat meal it uses, just meat meal) is made with hormone ridden meat? ROFL, no!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Actually she might be right, it probably is hormone free. I don’t think dogs and cats are injected with hormones. But I still I think I’d rather eat hormone loaded beef over pento loaded dog and cat.

  • beaglemom

    Your dog survived to 18 because it had a bomb-proof system, because that’s what this is… a bomb waiting to destroy your dog from the inside out. At least be honest with yourself that you’re choosing one of the lowest quality products available for your animals. Please watch this video so you’re at least educated about what you are offering them each day?

  • JellyCat

    That’s right, we should all switch to Alpo as they use the best non-hormone ridden ingredients.

  • JellyCat

    Maria, I’m wondering if people who make comments on your dog’s coat feed their dogs something even worse 🙂 I did see a difference multiple times switching animals to better foods. I can reassure you, you would see a difference too. Especially if we are talking about true garbage food to good food.
    As far as feeding trials go, there is a plentiful scientific evidence that clearly demonstrates that artificial colours in this food along with animal digest are harmful.
    Also, if you believe that eating GMO corn and high carbs all your life is not going to make a difference in your health you’re either kidding or very uninformed.
    By the way, I don’t eat by-products in my foods. I tend not to buy processed foods so I can reassure you that I know what is in foods I get at least 80% of the time.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    “The best thing you can do is not feed your dog human food. Hormone ridden overly rich food CAN kill your dog.”

    You’re kidding me right? You think if you give your dog some leftovers it’s going to kill it but feeding canned toxic waste full of genetically modified corn and soy, artificial colorings and slaughterhouse waste won’t? You’re worried about hormones in human food? Do you honestly think that Alpo is using hormone free meats? They’re using roadkill, euthanized dogs and cats and diseased animals (tumors anyone?). LOL

  • Maria

    Our family dog that only recently passed away at 18 years old, a large bull terrier mix, lived a healthy and fulfilling life eating Alpo. My current dog also eats this food and I get compliments all the time about how strikingly healthy her coat looks, among other things. People eat a majority of wheat, soy, and by products in our mass produced food. A long term feeding study would be interesting comparing a low cost purina brand and super expensive dog food side by side would be interesting. I think in the long run, we won’t see a significant difference. The best thing you can do is not feed your dog human food. Hormone ridden overly rich food CAN kill your dog. Instead of labeling bad and good owners by the food they feed their pet, gauge it on the time we spare to we give our pets adequate exercise and live a happy life.

  • Mfoxer

    we feed Alpo Prime Cuts, with no problems EVER, over many years!!!!

  • Brushbuster1

    I feed Alpo Dry dog food, I have five dogs and two of them are diebetic and have been able to regulate there insulin with Alpo, after trying dozens of foods this one works, also, I have a 15 year old that has had loose stols for ever, no more, your evaluation of this food is spooky, but it is working for me.  

  • Pattyvaughn

    And red dye, don’t forget the red dye.

  • Ktriemstra

    Yikes, after reading what’s in their dry food it makes me wonder if their canned dog food is just cream corn with an Alpo label slapped on it.  

  • Scot Compston

    hey here is the problem, low quality product. That’s what most commercial foods are made of. These foods cause bacteria to grow in your doggies digestive tract that are not supposed to be there. The high volume poo is just the start. there will be vomiting, bloody stool, and so on. try this Chicken backs, bone and all. a raw diet of chicken with the bone is just what your dogs need. Its way cheaper then those “high quality foods” there is less poop, with no smell and dries up, turns white, and washes away in the rain. less shedding, and less vet visits cause its natural to their system. here is a secret your vet wont tell you, they dont know crap about nutrition, and raw chicken bones are malleable and safe for dogs not to mention extremely healthy with most nutrients they need. Plus you can cut it to whatever size you want. Add steamed or raw veggies but should be mashed like you would find in animal intestine. dogs dont digest plants that well, so why feed them corn wheat and soy that is in commercial dog foods? for smaller dogs use chicken necks. oh and they are way cheaper then kibble. Good luck and get away from commercial foods.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Have you read the ingredients? I don’t think a recipe change should be your first worry.

  • Dbjmtf

    I’m very disappointed that the recipe was change. My dogs don’t like it! For years I bought C&Git because dogs loved it over all the others.Now the bag weighs less, (the cost the same) the dogs don’t like. The new American way,if not broken try fix it.

    Unhappy camper.

  • dugitup – dog food guide

    Hi Dr Mike.

    On the Evo thread you wrote:


    Your discourteous and combative comment has been deleted. And so have comments from others that were directed to you in response.”

    Yet you let the 3 comments below this one stay. Labs and doggone are actually making fun of me and having a laugh at my expense.

    Please be fair and do not accept this behavior from any posters, the popular as well as the unpopular. 

    Thank you

  • LabsRawesome


  • doggonefedup

    I did say “fact” right?  ;o}

  • doggonefedup

    I checked with “the kirkwood fact checker”  You are right. I got the two mixed up.

  • LabsRawesome

     Hey doggone are you sure you’re not confusing another brand? The Aldi’s near me sells frozen products with the name Kirkwood. Maybe you are confusing the two very similar names?

  • doggonefedup

    Aldi near me also carries Kirkland brand people foods. mosly frozen. 

  • LabsRawesome

    Here’s the scoop on Costco, if anyone cares.  🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    Aldi’s was started in Germany. Here’s info if anyone is interested.                        

  • doggonefedup

    The Aldi near me carries both. I was surprised myself when I saw Kirkland there. Maybe Aldi and Costco are the same company. I don’t know.

  • LabsRawesome

     Hey doggone, Are you sure? Kirkland is Costco’s warehouse own brand, I’m pretty sure Kirkland is only available there. My Aldi’s only has Shep pet products, which is Aldi’s house brand. And Shep is pretty low grade, especially the kibble. From what I remember the canned doesn’t have very good ingredients either.   🙂

  • doggonefedup

    I think ALDI alo carries Kirkland. and no membership fee

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi CP, If you want a much higher quality canned dog food, that is reasonably priced, check out Kirkland cuts in gravy. $18 bucks & change for a 24 pack. It’s only available at Costco.  🙂

  • InkedMarie

    The ingredients are pretty bad. Very bad. “it’s the only food he likes”… many foods have you fed him? 

  • Ozekeau

    It may work sure but imagine what your dog would be like if you fed your dog a food with a good portion of meat. I bet if you cooked a turkey your dog would eat it eh? What about corn? The main thing in this food is corn. Dogs cannot digest corn really if at all. Get a sample of a high quality food and see the difference.

  • BryanV21

    If it works, meaning your dog’s health is good, then great… stick with it. But a couple of things to keep in mind –

    1. A lot of veterinarians aren’t that knowledgeable when it comes to dog’s nutrition, as they receive little to no education in that area in vet school. On top of that, the education they do get tends to be from representatives from companies that put the almighty dollar ahead of what’s best for a dog’s health. Yours may be an exception, as there are many very knowledgeable vets out there, but just letting you know in case.

    2. Just because a dog likes a food doesn’t mean it’s good. I love ice cream but there’s no way I’d eat that all the time as I’d be overweight and unhealthy. Plenty of dog food companies will spray the outside of their kibble with fat (the tasty part, as anyone that loves bacon can attest to) to increase it’s flavor for dogs. Clearly that doesn’t help make the food healthy.

    Sites like this are great because not only can you get a ton of information about a lot of different foods, but they include forums allowing people to discuss things and help each other learn.

  • CP

    Alpo can’t be that bad.  My dog just turned 14 and has never had health issues.  Vet says he is in great shape and he has eaten Alpo all of his life.  It’s the only food he likes.

  • InkedMarie

    LOL, yeah, me too! I’ve often said my dogs eat better than I do. 

  • Shawna

    I LOVE your comment melissa!!!!!  Too funny and too true for most of us I’m sure!!  I try to eat very healthful foods (try being the operative word).  But, my dogs definately eat better then the humans in my family :)..

  • melissa

    Hi Palaeologos-

    I happen to agree with you. I would NEVER feed my dogs food that I would eat and think its better. Why? I simply would not allow them to eat the filler laden, highly processed and preserved crap that I so enjoy : ) They eat the food I SHOULD eat . LOl

  • Mike P

    Palaeologos why would you come to this community and make one of the dumbest comments ever? What was your agenda?

  • Bob K

     Palaeologos – Are you suggesting that anything a dog will consume is nutritious?  What would you suggest feeding a dog?   What makes a good doggy diet?   Do you believe all dog foods are the same?  Psst. My dog does not eat Prime Beef Filets, Prime Rib, Halibut but they do eat a 4 or 5 star rated kibble that often has a few table scraps and left overs included as toppers.  What does your dog eat? 

  • Shawna

    You’re right…  I do have an agenda — mine is to have a healthy dog…  What is your agenda?

  • BryanV21

    Yeah! To hell with Mike and his agenda to feed dogs better food!


  • Palaeologos

    Anyone who seriously thinks that these ‘reviews’ are impartial or unbiased is seriously mislead. Anyone who would have you believe that feeding your dog what you would eat yourself is somehow better, has an agenda.

  • Ozekeau

    If humans cant fully digest corn in what world would a dog be able to? if you feed this you will have more poop to pick up in your back yard. have a lower energy dog and more then likely have an over weight dog as there is so little nutrition you will have to feed it lots.  even if you pay a little more to get a better dog food you will be feeding less so it will work out to be the same. I feed my border collies Go! and i’m only 22 but my dogs are very important to me. I want them to be able to run around and be dogs.  you dont have to spend 80$/bag like me.  Just ask yourself, would i eat this? My dog food is probably better for me then the food i eat on a daily basis 🙂 spend a but more and you wont be sorry 

  • Kip

    I feed my dogs Blue Buffalo!!  It rocks.  It irks me that there are still ignorant veterinarians out there that do not recommend Blue because they don’t do feeding trials.  What a bunch of crap I say.  I know people who have been feeding Blue for years and no vet visits period.  This is food trial enough for me.  Get your heads outa your butts to those who ignore what good food can do for your dogs and cats!!!

  • daisy1999

    I agree. Thats a long life in my book.  And, if it was happy, healthy, and most importantly loved, I don’t think it suffered of was tortured by eating Alpo, Beneful, or whatnot 😉 

  • melissa


    I find that to be very sad. Any dog that lives to 17 has otherwise had good care and a long life compared to many dogs of today.

  • Shawna

    Nikita ~~ I agree with Daisy that people should not be rude.  Whether they are rude or nice, rich or poor, intelligent or not so bright etc has no factor on whether a food uses quality ingredients or not though.  And we all know the price of a food doesn’t necessarily equate to the quality of the ingredients either.  That is why we look at the ingredients here on DFA.

    Two of the ingredients in Alpo (meat and bone meal and animal digest) are known to potentially be contaminated with the euthanasia drug pentobarbitol.  The FDA talks about it here

    The US Fish and Wildlife Services says these contaminated ingredients are “poison” and should not be “used as animal feed”. 

    “Rendering is not an acceptable way to dispose of a pentobarbital-tainted carcass. The drug residues are not destroyed in the rendering process, so the tissues and by-products may contain poison and must not be used for animal feed….

    All pentobarbital-euthanized carcasses should be prominently tagged with one or more highly-visible “POISON” warning labels. Bagged animals should have a label affixed to the carcass itself and also attached to the outside of the bag.”

    Some will choose to scrape their monies together to afford foods that do not contain such ingredients.  Others simply can’t afford anything else — that is okay but it doesn’t change the quality of the food at all 🙁

  • daisy1999

    If you read my comment below, you will see that I specifically stated that what people feed their dogs has nothing to do with how much they do or don’t love them.  I’m certainly not rich, an idiot, or stuck up.  I don’t find this to be true of everyone on here either, but I don’t know their financial situations.  The above review on the food as on all the foods here is meant to be an educational tool on pet food and how it relates to the nutrition and health of your dog.  That is what this site is to be for-what you feed your pet and how it relates to nutrition and health.  I’m sorry you feel as you do. 

  • Nikita

    U guys r abunch of rich stuck up flipping idiots if u ask me, my dogs been eating alpo for 7 years hes always been healthy and he loves it.. So go screw urselfs lol not everyone can afford 50$ dog food, brats.. Lol i love mu dog more than most ppl just cuz i feed him less expensize food means nuthing. Grow up. Worry bout ur own food and animal and stop commenting on ours!

  • daisy1999

    And, I’m sorry if that comment was offensive to anyone.  But just last night someone posted on Alpo Dry maybe.  He was clearly struggling with having to euthanize his 17 yr old dog that he loved very much.  He just wanted to tell her story as people often do in that situation.  He might not have had anyone to say it to.  For someone at that point to say that they sure hoped his dogs condition wasn’t due to feeding her (nasty references to the food) at that point literally had me crying.  There are people with $ that feed the best possibe and don’t give 2 craps about their dog.  Pay $2000 for one and dump it at the shelter.  Food is important, but certainly can’t be the deciding factor in “good” or “bad” petowner.

  • daisy1999

    Sometimes I think people need to be a little kinder with advice on here.  Just because someone is feeding a low rated food doesn’t mean they “hate their dog, are horrible pet owners, or trying to kill them”.  If I wrote on one of these dog foods that my dog was having problems and I got attacked I wouldn’t be likely to come back for advice.  If someone’s says they like one of these foods, people should point to reasons it might not be the best choice without making them feel like the world’s worst dog owner.  They may be very willing to listen and want to learn more when things are said nicely.  People’s dogs that are fed Alpo can live to an old age without a terrible disease and yet you could feed your dog the best possible and it could die of cancer at a very young age.  These things do happen. 

  • Sug_louiege

    Alpo has had recalls in the past.

  • monkey

    That person,
    Yeah it is just slowly killing your dog..

  • that person

    ill stick with feeding my dog alpo cuz atleast alpo isnt making the dogs and owners sick with salmonella like diamond pet food products….not all supposed “natural” pet food is good.

  • Been there !

    This is a SLOW death for your dog- NEVER feed your pet something that has the first ingredient as anything but MEAT- your dog is not a damn vegan!! NO DYES!!!

  • Smart dog

  • Lucy

    Cheryl-This is not dogfoodadivor’s food…this is just a review site.  And read the detailed review above..look at th horible ingrediants.  This is toxic WASTE!  See if you still think this food is best for your dog.

  • Cheryl

    I have been feeding my dog your Alpo Dog food.  When I went to buy the the food for the week You had changed the formula, to pork and other stuff the barbque dinner.  My dog can’t eat pork, lamb or rice things, so now I have to find a food she can eat again.  This doesn’t make me very happy.  Why did you change it??????

  • Hi Anna… Thanks to your tip, I discovered Alpo has modified both of its recipes. So, I’ve updated my review. The changes were only modest, so the rating stays the same. Thanks again for bringing this to my attention.

  • Anna

    There’s Vitamin E in this food now. Who knows how long it’s been that good. Look over it again, and maybe give it 1/2 star extra. I don’t know.

  • Amanda

    *not daily – 3x a week for the brushing

  • Amanda

    I find it interesting when people give me the money argument regarding pet food. I just had this discussion with my cowoker. I feed my dog Fromm, she feeds hers Alpo. I got to the vet once a year, she goes about 4 times. I brush my dogs teeth daily and feed her kibble with a mix of canned, she feeds her dog canned only and his teeth are rotting. He’s only 4. It costs my 53 CENTS A DAY to feed my dog Fromm, she pays $1.25 per can of Alpo, twice a day. And my dog is twice the size of her dog. Can someone tell me how I am over-paying for high, over-priced dog food?

  • melissa bardwell

    My dog is 16 years old and will not go near alpo food. He wont eat any of it, He’s also wont eat most of the other products made by the same company that makes alpo. I will never feed any dog that junk. Gross.

  • Mike P

    Hi Miguel . I want to understand . Was your dog sick before you started Alpo ? Is your dog young ? Young dogs will look healthy eating any of the bad food out there .It’s when they start to age it catches up to them . Like me , I pretty much said goodbye to my 70’s with the foods I have eaten . Same goes for dogs . I fed very bad food to my last dog along with the junk I ate as well . Well the fatty tumors started at about 8 years of age . 4 operations later my dog died of cancer . Look , dogs lives are short anyway , but the better we feed them they have a better quality of life as they age . At least that’s what I hope for my new dog .

  • Jonathan

    What is this, “we love bad food day”?

  • miguel

    its food it made my dog healthy! thanks Alpo!!!!

  • Mark C

    After reading all of the comments, I think I would have to agree with Mike P. Alpo may not be one of the best dog foods out there, in fact it may not be good or even medium good. (But it is better than Ol’Roy). But if someone else wants to feed their dogs this they should be able to write into a forum like this with out being called names like pitiful or even worse, compared with bad parents.

    Cathy, if you think that arguments about poor-quality kibble are pitiful. Then why are you discussing them with us (poor parents)? Why are you even making comments about in the Alpo section if you hate Alpo?

    Myself, I feed my dogs Diamond high energy dog food or one of the Diamond Naturals.

  • Mike P

    Kate , my sister in law went to Florida for two months this winter and we baby sat her poodle . While she was gone we changed her over to grain free from the beneful crap she was eating LOL. I admit that wasn’t very polite . When I showed her this site and all the red flags in beneful, she was horrified and then thanked us . It was kind of like an intervention haha . Her pup is eating alot better now . I have turned at least 3 other co workers around to better foods also . I just ask them to look at this site and think about it . That usually does the trick and then they change foods . I probably go a little overboard on this food subject, but if it helps the dogs it’s worth it . Thanks Mike you are helping lots of dogs beause I’m sure I’m not the only one giving advise to others because of your site .

  • Kate S.

    I am petsitting for a friend that feeds this stuff (personally I feed Kirkland). Is there a polite way to tell her she could be feeding something better for less money, especially when she didn’t solicit my opinion?

  • Jonathan

    Lol yeah, Bob, I guess you could feed this crap to livestock… Then again, I don’t think I’d like to eat the resulting meat! 🙂

  • Bob K

    Jonathan – Now come on, this food is produced by a large corporation that is concerned about your pets health. This food is great if you have a pig or goat. If you read the first 6 ingredients this food is little more than flavored corn with a touch of soy. Maybe the can is just labled incorrectly as dog food.

  • Jonathan

    Jen, Please re-read the ingredients and their descriptions… there is nothing good about this cancer-causing mess of agricultural by-products and chemicals. Please, for the love of your dog, find a better food. Even Iams was be a step above this mess!

  • Jen

    My Maltese used to seem to love alpo, but since they have changed to NEW & BETTER verison my dog refuses to eat it. It evens smells different ,before it used to have a beef smell to it, now it smells like grain and is grainy. I’m all for new & improved , but leave the original version out there also, if it works why fix it..

  • Cathy

    Yes, exercise is very important for good health. The sedentary lifestyle of our society has also been detrimental to optimum health. My dog gets moderate exercise as do I. Since this is the Dog FOOD Advisor website, my comments are mostly about food.

  • Melissa


    I think everyone(for the most part) is here because they want to do better for their dogs. However, just because someone has a different thought as to what is “good enough” or “works for them” doe not mean that its wrong, or better than someone else’s opinion. And the main reason most people feed kibble is because its easy to do.

    Not every one believes that we must run out and feed the “ancestral” diet. Some believe that the excessive protein is not good, or their dogs simply do not do well on it. Personally, I would prefer to see people try to avoid the chemicals, preservatives, food colors etc as a start and then go from there. However, its next to impossible to beat someone over the head with one’s own personal opinion and expect them to listen or RESPECT the posters opinions. Alienation does nothing to educate and help. In the 40 yrs since you had your doxie(and great age btw)many fads/theories and thoughts have come through the dog world-some valid, some wacky and some just plain trendy until the next one comes along. Through this, many people just continue to feed what has worked best for them over the years.

    Secondly, some people, in this economy simply can not afford to buy a $30-$70 bag of dog food-the fact that they are feeding their animals is a testament to their love of the pet-
    While I would prefer to see them feed foods other than this one, I refuse to judge those posters not having personal intimate knowledge of their circumstances.

  • Antonio

    Cathy, you speak a good bit about REAL FOOD and organic diet, I have no arguments with any of this info as I eat a pretty lean diet myself. But I also believe that no matter how well you eat, it’s EQUALLY important that you exercise, this is not only true for people but for animals as well. What’s your opinion on this?

  • Mike P –
    Instead of heading off to Burger King – try Chipotle, fabulous fast-food made with clean meats and other high-quality ingredients.
    Priced about the same as an average BK Value Meal!
    Chipotle offers FOOD WITH INTEGRITY, as Chipotle CEO Steve Ells calls it. There are over 900 locations, so maybe you’re lucky enough to have one near you.

  • Mike P

    You go girl !!

  • Cathy

    With this website, Mike has made it easy for all of us to ‘win’. His 5-Star list is a good start toward dog nutrition ‘winning’.
    Just because a product is available doesn’t make it desirable. Just because AvoDerm isn’t as inferior as Alpo, doesn’t make AvoDerm a good dog food. We, as a society, continue to lower our standards for the things that matter the most. REAL FOOD should matter. If more people demanded high quality non-toxic food, then more clean food would be produced and be available. Most mainstream pet owners keep playing the game that the PetFoodIndustry wants you to play. The industry keeps winning because most pet owners keep bantering about which food is least toxic, which food won’t make their dog vomit, which food won’t cause diarrhea or which food won’t aggravate the skin and coat.

  • Jonathan

    Mike P, I don’t think Cathy was directing her earlier “pitiful” statement at you… at least I hope not.

    Cathy, if you were referring to Mike P as “pitiful”… why? that wasn’t nice. he was saying he DOESN’T feed ‘Ol Roy now, and this site (and discussions like the above) helped him learn and make more healthful decisions.

    Okay, so can we shake hands? 😀

  • Mike P

    Cathy you win!! I guess we all feed real food. There’s no need to discuss what food we feed our pets . Real it is . Bye everyone , the discussion is over , I’m off to Burger King .

  • Jonathan

    Rachel, your dog “thriving” on this mountain of processed industrial waste preserved with cancer causing agents is a testament to your dog’s genetic health and resilience, not the quality of the product. What’s unfortunate is that this “food” has probably MADE your dog intolerant to change. If some one eats nothing but crappy fast-food for long enough, then suddenly switching to organic salads would probably give then the trots for some time. This is no product to feed a living animal. It has all of the worst of the worst red-flag ingredients, the minerals are hard to absorb, there are no pro or prebiotics, the carbs are way too high and are of poor origins, and what little meat there is comes from low quality sources with high ash content.

    Soooooo, what is so great about this food that your dog just can’t live without? If you need a low-cost food, there are options ten fold better than this hot trash. Pro Pac, 4health, Kirklands, Diamond naturals, … try some other foods. Don’t give up after one and just decide that this food is somehow magically better than the ingredients it’s made from. It can’t be. The kibbling process actually DEGRADES the ingredients… so the best possible ingredients still create a food less perfect (clearly) than natural food. A five-star kibble cannot be as good as a 5 star canned food, which, in turn, cannot be better than fresh food.

  • Cathy

    Mike P – This forum is great for ‘people who want to help each other’. What’s pitiful are the arguments about poor-quality kibble.
    Similar chatter about human food:
    What food do you like?
    Which food is convenient?
    Which food costs less?
    Which food causes headaches, heartburn, bellyaches?
    Which food minimizes or eliminates headaches, heartburn, bellyaches?
    Choices are Burger King, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Chipotle Grill, RawFoodJuiceBar, or home-prepared nutrient-dense organic foods.
    You are what you eat. You get what you pay for. Pay now or pay later. REAL FOOD is the winner!

  • Antonio


    Bottom line is that you will have to do a little bit of trial and error when trying to find a food that works well for your dog, and also a food that works well for your wallet. I’m not sure if you have any local Feed stores or COOPs, maybe even some TSC nearby, but if so, go take a look and see what they have to offer, many times they have decent feeds priced better than you’ll find at stores like Wal Mart for larger quantities.

  • Mike P

    I don’t see what’s pitiful about people who want to help each other . I find this forum a healthy space …sorry

  • Cathy

    My last dog was 18 years old when she died. Dixie was a standard dachshund and was our family dog who was extremely healthy. She died over 40 years ago and was fed meat and human food scraps and some canned dog food that my parents bought but I don’t know the brand from the 1970’s.
    I will continue my stance that something as basic as food consumption shouldn’t be rocket science. Nutritious clean food is what animals were meant to eat; not processed, chemical-fortified food-like substances. I have seen people cure disease by simply improving the quality of their food consumption. Dogs can be healthy by eating clean, non-toxic, species appropriate foods. It is pitiful that people continue to argue which poor-quality kibble is better than another poor-quality kibble.

  • Mike P

    My previous boxer thrived on ol roy . She also thrived on cheetos , big macs , ice cream , and any other garbage I gave her because I loved her so much . She lived for over 12 years and 4 tumor operations . My new love will never eat that way , thanks to this site and all the wonderful posters here , who informed me . Thanks to all …

  • Melissa


    What brand did you try? It may just be that one particular food that did not agree with your dog-I have been through bunches of brands in the past 10 yrs, always seeking something better quality wise, without sacrificing how my dogs do on it.


    I have to ask-How old was your last dog that died, and what did it eat?


  • Antonio

    Rachel, blogs like yours are not that uncommon, quite a few dogs (mine) included have lost muscle and healthy weight when switching to grain free kibble. There are other brands to try out there so I wouldn’t give up just yet, but if you find that Alpho works best for your dog then don’t be swayed by the opinion of others and let that make you feel like your doing a bad thing. When I tried TOTW on my Doberman and he went from about 76lbs down to 71lbs at the time when I was transitioning him. I know 5 lbs don’t sound like a lot, but that’s like 9% of his body weight on a healthy dog that didn’t need to lose any weight. That would be the equivalent of a healthy 180lb man losing about 16lbs in a 7 day time period. That gives you a good idea of what I was dealing with. I have a neighborh that swears by Purina Healthy Morsels for his boxers, his last dog died age 15. I have been fortunate to find a couple of foods lately that agree with my dog, my preference for him ingredient wise, and my money, so if your set on changing formulas for concern over ingredients don’t give up your search on one brand.

  • Cathy

    Rachel – I typically wait for Jonathan to reply to comments like yours.
    But I’m puzzled by your use of the word THRIVE. Your dogs THRIVE on Alpo? Really?!? Unfortunately, some parents believe their children THRIVE on McDonald’s burgers. Animals, including us humans, can withstand years of abuse before they show signs of suffering.
    And, when you switched food, your very healthy boxer/great dane got skinny? Really? How long did you feed the new food? What food was it? It takes quite a while for a large dog to get skinny.

  • Rachel

    My dogs thrive one this I am not to keen about it but, my one dog a 5 yr old boxer/great dane mix is verry healthy while on this, i tried switching his food and he got extremley skinny had diareah and was vomiting and yes i did switch it over a period of time adding less of the old food and more of then new i did this for 12 days.

  • lucy watson

    About a month ago I started feeding my dog this product,alpo mixed grill,soon after I noticed my dog with a cough,like he was coughing up flem.I know it was annoyiong to him.I started giving him rice to see if his cough stopped.It did so I went with a different brand of food and his cough hasnt returned,the vet had advised me to give him an allergy med to go along with his rice,I will not be purchasing this product again.

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