Earthborn Holistic Grain Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★½

Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Earthborn Holistic Grain Free product line includes six dry dog foods.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

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

  • Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Coastal Catch
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Large Breed (4 stars)
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Weight Control (4 stars)
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Meadow Feast (4 stars)
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Primitive Natural (5 stars)
  • Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Great Plains Feast (5 stars)

Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Great Plains Feast was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Great Plains Feast

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 38% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 34%

Ingredients: Bison meal, peas, pea protein, tapioca, dried egg product, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), flaxseed, lamb meal, pea fiber, natural flavors, blueberry fiber, cranberry fiber, apples, blueberries, carrots, spinach, cranberries, choline chloride, potassium chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, taurine, l-carnitine, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, folic acid, biotin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, salt, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate, vitamin B12 supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis34%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis38%20%34%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%40%28%

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

The second ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

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

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

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

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

The fifth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The sixth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

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

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

The eighth ingredient includes lamb meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

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 two notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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

Earthborn Holistic Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

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

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 38%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 34%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

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

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this still looks like the profile of a kibble that contains a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Earthborn Holistic Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

Those look for additional grain-free products may wish to check out our special report on grain-free dog foods.

Earthborn Holistic 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.

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

05/17/2015 Last Update

  • Crazy4dogs

    Did you contact Earthbon to see if there were any changes in the food?

  • Jamie Hawkins

    I used to think very highly of Earthborn and my dogs ate Coastal Catch for years. They did well on it, seemed to like the taste and never had any food-related issues. Many of the dogs in our rescue have done quite well on it in the past also.

    Some time ago, I made the decision to switch my dogs from Coastal Catch to Taste of the Wild Wetlands formula in order to save a little money. Last month, I decided to switch them back to Coastal Catch and took 2-3 weeks transitioning them over slowly to prevent digestive upset. When I received my 2nd auto-shipment of CC, I opened the bag and noticed it was much lighter in color. I fed it to my dogs anyway as I know that batches can vary slightly and didn’t think it would be a problem. Almost immediately, I noticed that one of my dogs started lapping his paws far more than normal. Then it progressed to chewing his paws and if we didn’t keep stopping him, he would have raw, bloody nubs for paws. Last night, he woke me up in the middle of the night with his incessant paw lapping and chewing. I had already eliminated any other potential causes, such as their treats, trying to pinpoint the problem. I decided this morning to search online to find if anyone else had experienced problems with Earthborn lately. I was a little horrified at the problems experienced by quite a few other people in recent months. I immediately drove to the local pet store and bought a bag of Orijen. I’m not going to risk my dog’s health by letting one more piece of this kibble to touch their lips.

    This could simply be a bad batch of food, I really don’t know, but I do know that I won’t take the risk of feeding it again. It’s just not worth it.

  • BGRoss

    Regarding Earthborn Holistic… it’s without question one of the best possible foods you can feed your dog. It excels on every level and is produced by a manufacturer who’s NEVER had a recall of any kind. Please read…
    My CBR has been on it now for a couple of months after feeding him Fromm LBPF for his 1st year, (equally great food/company). Shifts from Coastal Catch to Great Plains formulas with zero digestive issues. Can’t say enough about this brand. I’ve even switched my little guy, a 12yo Pug on to it. I have experience with many top rated foods from my previous retrievers and Earthborn, in my opinion, has been quite a find.

  • Sia

    HappyTails & Debbie,

    I use to feed my two dogs Earthborn in their rotation- both different breeds, one with no allergies. Then a one day I was sent a bag during auto schedule, when I opened it- the grains varied in color and texture. (Some were dark, compact and fine without grain variation, and others were light, grainy and easy to crumble.) I sent a photo along with my concern to Earthborn about the difference and variation. I received an email from a Cindy M. whom seemed less than interested in helping.

    Less than two nights- my dogs really did not go to their bowls at dinner time, this carried for two weeks. For two dogs who literally eat anteing I found it odd. They didn’t seem hungry, which I thought meant the food was giving them enough. Then I began inciting them-Within the month, both dogs had sever shedding, dandruff and constant licking/ bitting feet. Our big dog began panting/drinking excessive water.

    I rotated to another dog food for a month and they stopped- I tried Earthborn again, and the same thing happened. There is something in Earthborn both of my dogs cannot take- and they use to do so well on it.

  • Daniel Gunther

    There are 2 or 3 brands of earthborn that do not use canola oil. And use chicken fat instead

  • Daniel Gunther

    As I understand that’s for dogs who are allergenic to chicken fat as a preservative. But their are other fats they could use to.

  • Debbie

    Thank you, thank you! I will take this home tonight and match against my batch #’s. I know I do have some food that has the expiration date around that time but if the batch # matches we have just cause to make Earthborn respond to our inquiries. If enough evidence I will take this as far as I can, no dog should have to lose their life or risk organ damage over the food we feed them. If you have not already done so please get your dog’s liver values checked. All my dog’s test results were off the charts but many started to normalize. Unfortunately too much liver damage had been done and he couldn’t recover. I can’t imagine what else might’ve made him sick. We were under 5 ft of snow for almost 4 mos and they were indoors the majority of the time except to relieve themselves. No sicknesses with either till these 2 new bags.

  • HappyTails

    Wow that is horrible! So sad to hear another dog has passed away from this. I usually keep 2 months worth of bags at a time but I think in the future I will hold onto them even longer,just to be on the safe side. Please don’t beat yourself up for what happened to your dogs,it was not your fault,I’ve often times mixed meat,yogurt or canned food in with my dogs food(back before we were feeding them Earthborn) to get them to eat when they’ve been finicky. Below is the picture of the numbers from the top of the bag,if they are to small to read(I tried to get a closer photo but my camera wouldn’t focus) just let me know and I’ll type them out. I hope you are able to get some answers for what happened and that you are able to heal from the loss of your dog.If you need any more info or have any more questions,I’m more than happy to help,have a good night!

  • Debbie

    Thank you so much for replying. You are the first one to have saved your bag with the #’s. I keep all mine till about 10 build up so I can cut and send Earthborn the UPC and I had wrapped those 2 bags up in an elastic….so thankful I did that. Also bought another bag the day we realized my dog was very sick and my other dog ate it for a few days and then all of a sudden refused it again. I took it right back but took pictures of that bag with all the numbers. I’m not sure which set of #’s are the batch #’s so I cut all the tops off my bags and/or took pictures of them. If that’s easier for you to take a picture from your cell that would be good too. You can upload it via the little pic icon on the very bottom left of the reply page. Also here is my email address, I am also going to be in touch with dhenry, she was so kind to share her info with me as well. This is devastating to think that this food may be to blame for our dogs illness and/or deaths. The lady you speak of on FB kept asking them via FB and email to reply to her and now her dog has died. I don’t know what possessed me to make my dogs keep eating this when they clearly didn’t want it. I thought they were just being picky! My email is [email protected] If you’d rather send me a pic or the numbers from the top of the bag via email that is wonderful also. Again, thank you so much. Now that I know there is a common link I won’t rest till I figure this out. I will be getting any left over food I have independently tested as well as requesting the test results from Earthborn.

  • HappyTails

    Yes I just read your post,I am so very sorry for what happened to your dogs and the loss of your other one,just horrible :( I noticed something was wrong on Thursday,when I set the bowls down my dogs,intially,would walk over to their dishes,sniff it and then walk away (they have never done that before) eventually they ate it which is why I believe Friday they started getting sick and then stopped eating all together. The complaints were on Earthborn’s Facebook page,in the section “Posts to page” I noticed someone mentioned their dogs had gotten sick from the food and attempts to get in touch with Earthborn were ignored,the post is from May 21st. I did see a few others with similar complaints as well. I kept the bag that my dogs got sick off of,so I can provide you with the batch # and expiration dates. Could you tell me what numbers I am looking for? There are numbers at the top and bottom of the bag,so Im not sure which one is the batch #.

  • Debbie

    I usually kept my food in an airtight container but for some reason with these 2 bags, maybe because of what was going on, I did leave them in their original bags always pressing the air out and sealed with the zip closure of the bag. I know storage was not the issue in my case. I also thought about residue in the bin so during this whole time frame I went out and bought a new cannister

  • Debbie

    Debbie I don’t know how I missed your reply till now. I will be in touch via email later today when I can get on my computer at home. Thanks so much, one month later and we are still devastated!

  • Debbie

    Happy Tails, did you read my posts below. I had the same problem and lost one of my dogs. Unfortunately I let this go on too long and made the dogs eat it by adding canned food to the questionable food which was coastal catch and great plains. We must contact Earthborn on this! Chewy is only the distributor of many foods and I doubt anything will be sent to Earthborn. Were these complaints on Earthborn’s site? Also did you by chance save your bags and/or document the batch #’s? I have all my bags since the new year and have sorted out the best I can the bags in question. I would really like to get a batch # to compare against mine. Thanks for any info you can give me!

  • Debbie

    You may be correct however it all started when neither of my dogs would eat the same food. The day before they were eating plenty, as soon as the new bags were opened they both refused. However they were both starving and my dog that passed had even learned how to open the door to our trash bin and he started eating any food in there he could get at. So that cancels out the fact that he lost his appetite. He was indeed starving. Usually when they got picky I would add a bit of plain yogurt or raw egg to their food which I did on several occasions. The reason I still think something was wrong with the food is based upon when adding these items (separately) to their food, they were licking the yogurt or egg off the food or the bottom of the dish without eating the food. That had never happened before. They would usually gobble up the food camouflaged by the addition. I finally was able to get them to eat by adding canned food but I fear that might’ve been camouflaging things too much. All this could be coincidence as only my older dog got seriously ill while the younger dog only vomited several times. I had his blood tested and all his tests came back fine. Given that both dogs reacted the same to the food, I have to assume something was wrong with it. As an added note, after reading dhenry’s reply below, I remembered that my cat was also eating this food for a short spell as I ran out of her food. She’s so picky that when she liked it, I was in no hurry to get her regular food. I did notice that she was eating grass constantly, I never associated the two things. Possibly there was a problem with the food and my older dog just went too long without proper nutrition and hence his liver problems. I’m not here to bad mouth Earthborn, I simply am looking for answers and don’t want any other dog to suffer or die if it possibly was related to the food. So far only one reply here on this forum to back up my theory. I do honestly hope it’s NOT the food, I’ve recommended this to everyone and my dogs did so well with it otherwise after going thru too many recalls of other foods.

  • HappyTails

    Thank you! I think we will try Wellness Simple next and see how that goes :)

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely DF! Sometimes the bins themselves can become rancid if they’re not cleaned out every time a new bag of food is added. I always keep my food in the original bags rolled down and sealed tightly with big clips.

  • Wyominggal

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved GS. However, all the symptoms you describe are consistent with liver disease and are not likely related to the dog food. Dogs with liver disease do stop eating–even foods like steak, cheese, and other “people” foods they typically love. A tumor on the spleen or liver could cause all the symptoms plus the fast decline you witnessed. In fact, I thought one of my dogs had been poisoned as she started vomiting one morning and died 6 hours later. Turns out abscesses on her liver had burst–the same condition that killed her sister a year before, but in her sister’s case, the onset of symptoms was somewhat more gradual and exactly like those you describe–vomiting, weight loss, pickiness about foods, and so on. Again, my sympathies and, by all means, try a different food, but I would wager that the dog food was not a factor in your dog’s illness.

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m sure glad your dogs are doing better now. Good luck!

  • HappyTails

    It has been what seems like forever since I’ve been on here,but I felt it necessary to come back and post on some very concerning issues I’ve recently had with my dogs on this food.I’ve been feeding the Meadow Feast for a little over a year now with no problems,but something has definitely changed recently.I purchased a few bags at the beginning of last week and started feeding my dogs out of the new bags on Thursday,everything seemed fine with the food(smell, appearance etc.). 2 of my dogs started declining by Friday,they both started vomiting bile,refused to eat anything,guzzling water,lethargic,weak,they had a hunched appearance.Saturday my one dog got a little bit of her energy back and was able to run around/play a little,in a split second she went from running to hunched up and laying down,when she did stand up she was wobbly/swaying,it lasted for just a few minutes and then she went right back to the way she was before(so weird and frightening).I spent the whole weekend updating my vet on what was going on,worried and on the edge of my seat wondering if I was going to have to drive them the 50+ miles to the emergency vet.After refusing any food since Friday,they finally ate Saturday night,I made them rice,with boiled hamburger and added in some canned pumpkin,they gobbled it right down.They are now,thankfully,back to normal and happy as ever. I contacted Chewy (where I purchased the food from)and let them know about it,they said they would make a note of it and offered me a refund(thank you Chewy!). I checked Earthborn’s FB page and saw a few recent complaints from others saying their dogs had gotten sick as well. I should also note that prior to my dogs getting sick,nothing changed in their routine(I.E. they weren’t stressed),they didnt get into anything that they shouldn’t have,I don’t feed them treats or give them anything other then their dog food,since they improved after I stopped feeding them Earthborn,I am convinced it was the food that made them ill.So I will be chucking the bags of Earthborn I bought and moving on to another food again,ugh.

  • DogFoodie

    You should always keep dry food in the original packaging. You should roll down the top of the bag and seal it and put the bag in the container. The animal fats begin to oxidize as soon as the bag is opened. Rancid fats are dangerous and unhealthy.

  • dhenry

    Unfortunately I didn’t keep the bag as I keep his food in a large plastic container. And had thrown out the bag when I ran out of the old and filled the container with the new. So I can’t tell you the batch number. My email address is debkhenry@
    I will be glad to help you in any way I can. I really do think the death of your beloved GS is the result of this food. There definitely was something wrong with the batch I had gotten, as Smokey would turn his head away when I would put a couple of pieces under his nose, when in the past he would eat them from my hand as if they were treats.
    I feel for you with the loss of your dog. German Shepherds are beautiful dogs. We had them as kids and now my son breeds them. That had to be so traumatic for you to lose your beloved dog in such a manner! Please let me know what you hear from Earthborn.
    Prayers to you.
    Debbie Henry

    Sent from my iPad

  • Debbie

    Concita, I hope that your dog is ok! Did you see my post about about what happened with my dog? His eyes also got very red and he ended up dying from liver failure. I pray your dog if fine now, I’m not sure if it’s the food that caused my dog to get so sick but all I know is it started with my 2 dogs refusing the food when I opened 2 new bags.

  • Debbie

    It is my understanding that chewy won’t take the food back but will give you your $$$ back. They ask that you donate it to a shelter. I would suggest you don’t even donate it just in case. I returned my bag to my local store but am now buying from and have changed foods. I haven’t contacted Earthborn yet because I wanted to see if anyone else had a similar issue. I will be contacting them now though. I had saved all my bags and have just documented all my batch #’s along with collecting any food that was left at the bottom of the bags. I do have a fair amount of the food in question left and I believe altho some of it might’ve been mixed in with another batche, I believe most of it is from the bag mine wouldn’t eat. Also kept a good amount of the last bag that my surviving dog wouldn’t eat. I plan on having as much of it independently tested as I can. Would you be willing to share the batch # and flavor of that bag # with me? I just can’t imagine that 2 dogs would not eat for a month altho very hungry and then when they would finally eat, there was vomitting….now you’re experiencing the same thing. I had actually been giving my cat that same food as I had run out of cat food and she liked it so she was on it for about a few wks. Now that you mentioned your dog eating the grass, I remember that my cat was also eating grass quite a bit during that time and now has stopped since going back to her cat food. If you’d be willing to share your food info, you can do it here or I can give you my email address. I hope your baby is ok now, I would hate to see anyone go thru what I just experienced. It’s been a month today since I had to put my boy down and I’m still questioning every single thing trying to figure this out!

  • dhenry

    I have just had a similar issue with our Standard Poodle. He was doing great on Earthborn until last month when I started a new bag and he refused to eat it, so I mixed it with chicken and broth to encourage him and it worked. But he started eating grass and vomitting once in awhile. At the same time, we were traveling up north for a few weeks so I attributed it all to stress. But when we got home, he was still eating grass and had diarrhea, so took him to vet. He had hookworms, so I thought that was the problem. But after being free of the worms, he still had the diarrhea and refused to eat the food unless coaxed with chicken and broth. I changed his food to Taste of the Wild and even though he still has to be coaxed to eat, the diarrhea has stopped and he is acting like his old self again. Am now going to get in touch with to return what is left of
    Earthborn and get my money back. Won’t ever take a chance with that dog food again!

  • maria

    3 weeks ago I switched to eatrhborn holistic ocean fusion from royal canin. Everything seemed fine until this sunday that my dog began to vomit. I took him to the vet and the blood test showed damage to the he is on treatment. My vet said its poisoning from food (when he excluded cancer through more exams) and I did my research to find out why…i discovered lots of problems associated with liver toxicity and copper sulfate on dog foods. Im not saying eartborn is a bad brand but im saying that even if a brand is considered good it might not be good for your pet. With royal canin I ve never had problems I just thought I was doing the best for my dog with earthborn and the truth is it was a bad decision for me. I would like to hear your opinions about this! thank you!

  • Debbie

    Hi Judi, wondering if you are still a rep for Earthborn, I have some concerns I would like to discuss. My post is on the top of this list if you’d like to read

  • Debbie

    Unfortunately I fed them all of those 2 bags when I added the canned food in it. It’s not a problem with the store, I am actually returning the most recent purchase as all of a sudden my remaining dog stopped eating it again (different bag). While my older dog was sick in the hospital I stopped adding the canned to my other dog’s food and he was eating it no problem for over a week, then one day he just stopped again and won’t eat it at all. I have all my bags and batch #’s so will be looking into things as far as I can go with it. I haven’t heard one bad thing about this food so maybe it’s all coincidence but I owe to my deceased dog, my remaining dog and all other dogs to do as much research as possible. I’m really hoping it’s not the food!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I use Earthborn in my rotation and haven’t had a problem. You might have gotten a bad bag. It could be a storage issue. I would return it to the store and pick a different date code.

  • Debbie

    Wondering if anyone has had issues in the last 3 mos with Coastal Catch or Great Plains? About 2-1/2 mos or so ago I wanted to transition my 2 German Shepherds from Coastal Catch to Great Plains Bison. They seemed to have allergies that cause itching so before the snow melted here in MA I wanted to do the switch to see if it was the food or seasonal allergies. They had been on Pacific Coast for at least 6 mos and doing well but didn’t want them to get bored with it either. I didn’t have enough of the Fish to do the full transition with both dogs so bought a new bag of Fish and a new bag of Bison. Both dogs had been eating up to 6 cups/day, thriving well. As soon as I opened the 2 new bags, neither dog would eat it. Cold turkey, one day eating great, next day wouldn’t eat the food at all. I tried putting water in it, raw egg, then yogurt. Usually that would kick start them but not this time. They were still very hungry they would eat the egg off the bottom of their dish, around the food, but not the dog food. When I put yogurt in with it, they were licking the yogurt off the food but again, not eating the food. They would eat a little here and there after at least a day of no food and being starving. A few times they vomited shortly after eating. I thought they were just being picky. I so regret making them eat it. My oldest GS just turned 8 and never sick a day in his life, lost a significant amount of weight. Took him to the vet and got a different vet than our own and she ran xrays, but no blood work contrary to what I thought she should do. Xrays were fine, she told me if it continued to come back in a few weeks. Still losing weight and occasional vomiting, I added canned food (another brand) to the Earthborn dry. They started eating again and my older dog started gaining again so I didn’t take him back to the vet. During this time of them eating those 2 new bags, I noticed that both my dogs had very runny eyes. I just thought it was maybe allergies and didn’t think much of it. After 1 wk of adding the canned food, my older dog was gaining and seemed to be doing good. The younger one never lost much weight. At about 2 wks I noticed my dog had stopped gaining weight. Each day I noticed he was losing weight again despite eating plenty. 2 wks after that he was so thin again! I noticed on a Wed morning (4/29) that he seemed a little off balance and disoriented. Wed afternoon I came home and he was staggering, head was tilted, eye lid drooping and not able to focus and falling. I took him to the vet 1st thing Thurs morn and his blood was yellow so they did rush testing and all his levels were off the charts! I rushed him to Boston’s Angell Memorial Hospital (one of the best in the country) and spent over $5000 over 4 days. His liver was so badly damaged that they couldn’t save him. Neither vet thought it was the food but they didn’t experience what I did for those 2 mos. While my older dog was in the hospital my younger one went back to eating the Earthborn without the canned. He ate good for about a week and now all of a sudden he won’t touch the Earthborn again. I am not making him eat it. After a few days of him turning down the food I have put down 2 dry foods each feeding, the Earthborn and another brand and let him pick. He chose the other brand hands down. I am not here to bad mouth Earthborn, I have praised and recommended this food to many until this happened. I just want to know what killed my very healthy dog and see if anyone has had similar experiences? If not, then I have to accept it wasn’t food related but I just can’t go back to that day they stopped eating it. I have had my younger dog tested and his levels are all excellent.

  • Greyhound Mom

    I have been through a few foods trying to find the perfect dry food for my Greyhounds and Earthborn Holistics Grain Free seems to work really well for them. We rotated through the different flavors that don’t include chicken as one of my dogs is chicken allergic and the other allergic to grains. We just tried the new Performatrin Ultra Limited but there is far too much potato in it so we are transitioning back to Earthborn. I have learned that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! LOL
    Outside of the decent ingredient list, I really also like the way the Earthborn feels; very clean feeling palatant and nice sized kibbles. The zipper bag it comes in is also handy as well. Also, they have one flavor (Primitive Natural) that has it’s own listing here at DogFoodAdvisor because it is just THAT good.

  • Carrie

    I did not see it on the Facebook page either. You can go here

  • Debora Anderson Hinkle

    Just curious, I liked Earthborn page a while ago and don’t get coupons, what an I doing wrong?

  • abdpac

    My GSD’s have multiple allergies, one of them is allergic to chicken, poultry and grains. EH has made a huge difference. I can easily rotate between the Great Plains Feast, Coastal Catch and Meadow Feast. I highly recommend it!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Royal Canin is a horrible food. Not to mention they charge a very premium price for it. Earthborne is a much better food!

  • Ray Korbyl

    I think its a better choice than royal canin.

  • Cheryl Marie Robbins

    Just bought a small bag to try it on my two German Shepherds as one has a very sensitive stomach and I was feeding them as per our vet the Special German Shepherd formula of Royal Canin and and I think it’s the grain ingredients that’s making my pups belly upset?? This is worth a try. They so far liked it better than their regular kibble I mixed in.

  • Concita Rossi

    Hi, I feed my dogs (bobtails) from 2011 with Ocean food and they and I were in love with it, than from april 2014 I feed they with Grain Free Meadow Feast and something was not ok, the male has very red eyes and i made urinary test at both and same results… protein – ph very high – oxolate crystal…. vet told me it is food… has somebody same problem than me?

  • CDub

    Try, they box their products and ship ups. Receive in 2 days, orders over $50. get free shipping. Flat rate shipping is only $4.95 or so.

  • Brigitte Friel

    I have switched both of my Dogs and no Issues what so ever !

  • Brigitte Friel

    I purchase mine at Blue seal !! they carry it

  • Dori

    High protein is not the cause. Could be the canola oil, tapioca or the large amounts of pea in this food. The amount of peas in this food is probably what’s accounting for part of the protein percentage. You can feed a food with much higher protein percentage and do very well. It’s the quality of the protein in a food not the random amount that is coming from various sources. You should consider researching other 4 and 5 star foods with less fillers as protein and more meat or fish as its main protein.

  • Tim Steinke

    Canola oil – restricts oxygen to cells – not healthy!

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    Hey, Judi, glad I found a rep on here !!!!! I haven’t been in the store to check out the ingredients on the dog foods yet but looks like none of the dog foods have yeast in them. Is that right, my Abbie just had allergy testing due to the itching, scratching and biting was so bad. She’s allergic to chicken, yeast, soybean, rabbit, white potatoes. I was checking out the Meadow Feast. Looks like it might be OK, is the yeast is not there. She also has Auto Immune Hemolytic Anemia. We almost lost her last year, had to have a transfusion and stay in the ER. For 1-wk. 4 different meds for over a year and is now in remission !!!!! So, I am very, very picky about what I feed her and the ingredients. She is also on 10mg Zyrtec daily, just like me !!!!!

  • Alex Meade

    If you’re insinuating he uses the bathroom more often yes… Thus can be a protein issue… If the body does not use all the protein it intakes it outputs the remainder… Also known as protein poops… If you don’t have a very active dogs I recommend one if the other choices like coastal catch 32% vs primitives 38-40%

  • 4FootedFoodie

    Hi Des,

    I agree with C4C, I don’t think the protein is the issue.

    When my dog with food intolerance issues is exposed to one of his triggers, his anal glads will starts to smell strongly. Some bulk in the stool might help, but I think I’d start looking for something else to feed him. Keep careful note of the ingredients in what you’re currently feeding him and try to find something different.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Des-
    I’ve never heard of high protein causing any type of anal gland issues. Maybe she needs a little more fiber in her diet to bulk up or harden her stools. Have you tried adding plain canned pumpkin to her meals? I actually use a product called “Firm Up” that is dehydrated pumpkin and apple that is in my opinion, more convenient than canned. For the dull coat, I add eggs to my dogs’ dinner twice a week. Their coats are noticeably shinier. Also, a rotational diet is often beneficial. Sounds like you are thinking of switching foods. Go for it! Just transition slowly if they have been on the same food for a while. I’ve heard that the Earthborn line is great. You can always come back to it later. Good luck!

  • Des

    I started feeding my 14-month old Ridgeback Earthborn Primitive Grain Free … and she LOVES it. BUT, she seems to be hungry most of the time, her coat has become dull, and she is now experiencing anal gland issues (releasing involuntarily), Could this be because of the high protein? Please help.

  • Betsy Greer

    I found an easy to read article with lots of information that you might find useful:

  • sandy

    You can add a methionine supplement to help acidy the urine. There are various products that contain this as an ingredient like the grass-saver type products, Wysong Biotic pH (-), and plain methionine in a capsule. You can also give cranberry and vitamin C. Check out various urinary/bladder health supplements. All dogs are different and some are just more alkaline, even eating high protein. I have 3 dogs, one has perfect pH, the other two a little alkaline. You can also purchase pH test strips to monitor your dogs urine pH at home if you decide to add supplements or make a food change.

  • Lauren

    Hi Everyone –
    I am in need of some advice. My dog just had a urinalysis done and has high alkaline urine. When the vet first told us this a few years ago, I switched him to a lower-protein grain-free diet based on the research I’d done. Fast forward a few years, and he still has the high alkaline. He’s currently eating Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast. I want to do everything for my little guy and I certainly don’t want him suffering from urinary issues. I’ve read that a low-carb, grain-free food is the best for high alkaline urine. I’ve also read that lower-protein is good, too. You can’t have low-carb and low-protein! I’m thoroughly confused. Does anyone know of a good dry food for dogs with high alkaline urine? I know if I ask they vet, he will prescribe Hill’s or Science Diet – I’m not willing to downgrade his food to those brands. Any help you can offer is much appreciated.

  • Mark Boufawaz

    I have had both of my Huskies on earthborn grain free since day one. I constantly rotate the protein sources with every bag. They have no issues with digestion and NO issues with finding the bottom of the bowl. 5 stars in my book plus they email a coupon for $3 off everybag every month!

  • Daniel Faranight

    A late reply, but I feed my 2 dogs Earthborn Holistic and rotate amongst 4 of their grain-free formulas “cold-turkey.” They never have displayed stomach issues from doing so.

  • theBCnut

    I would go to the dog food calculator on this site and plug in your dogs info with 70 lbs for weight and active for activity level and use what it tells you as a starting point. Then adjust from there to keep your dog thin until he is full grown.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    You are right, I never measure how much I am feeding him or consider the calories. Any idea on how many calories a day a 22 lb 4month old labrador/pitbull should eat? Vet said he would grow to be from 70-90 lbs. I ended up buying whole earth farms grain free beef & lamb recipe since it was cheaper, but I hear that the feeding instructions on the bags are usually exaggerate the amounts. I am mixing it with the grain free beef recipe canned food for added nutrition. I apologize for all the questions, this is the first time I have a puppy and I want to make sure I do everything right in this early stages.

  • theBCnut

    What you are also missing is that it really matters how much calcium is in the food per unit of calories. That determines how much the dog is actually eating. HDM asked for “As Fed” calcium content, which IS within the acceptable range, and then did the math to figure out the grams of calcium per 1000 kcal. A food that has the right percentage but is low calorie so that the dog has to eat too much, is still providing too much calcium. A lot of foods did not make her list for this reason.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Natalie –

    I didn’t not “ask for the average calcium content.” I still have my email correspondence with Earthborn saved. I asked: “Could you tell me the actual calcium levels from product analyses found in each of the Grain-Free Earthborn formulas?” Their response: “Calcium for Primitive Natural is 1.5%, Calcium for Great Plains Feast
    is 1.5%, Calcium of Coastal Catch is 1.31% and calcium for Meadow Feast
    is 1.2%”

    The only information I can go off is what the company tells me. However, what I can tell you – based on the dozens of phone calls I made inquiring about calcium levels – is that many of the calcium levels in the foods (reported from product analyses) do tend to be at or close to the stated min. based on what the companies tell me.

  • Betsy Greer

    She means no, there isn’t time to avoid these issues. If diet was going to be an issue, the damage has been done by eight months.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I read that, that’s where I got this brand from. However, she called these companies and asked for the “average calcium content”. Earthborn told her it is 1.3% for this recipe yet their website says the MINIMUM is 1.3% so I have my doubts about the accuracy of the information they gave her.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    website says minimum 1.50% that’s on the high side for a large breed pup

  • Judi Jaymes

    Natalie if you go to the Earthborn page and like it on Facebook they will automatically send you a $3.00 off coupon once a month. Or if you find a store with an Earthborn rep they can give you a coupon.

  • theBCnut

    No, it isn’t.

  • theBCnut
  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I know this was 5 months ago, but I wouldn’t recommend meadow feast for a large breed puppy because it’s a bit high on the calcium scale. Large breed puppies have rapid growth issues that cause hip dysplasia amongst other issues with their bones. So feeding puppies food low on calcium is absolutely essential. Your dog is only 8 months old so there is still time to avoid these issues, consider switching to coastal catch ASAP.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    I came here for the same reason my half lab half pit puppy is growing rapidly and I fear I am feeding him the wrong food (whole earth farms puppy recipe), plus he practically has never had completely solid stool. Anyway, reading the ingredients on the website it says the calcium level of coastal catch is “no less than 1.30%”, so that’s only the absolute minimum. I don’t see how that helps us large breed dog owners much.

  • Natalie Marie Alvarez Padilla

    As a rep can you get me a discount? wink wink

  • Judi Jaymes

    As a rep for Earthborn Holistic I always suggest mixing the new formula with the current one you are feeding.Half and half for at least a few days as a change in protein can cause stomach upset in some dogs. I am currently feeding my dog CHEYENNE the Weight Control formula with great success and also mix in some high quality wet food.

  • Sp1int3r

    clip out the UPC and send them in and the company will plant a tree!

  • dbdcpierce
  • LabsRawesome

    I agree. Earthborn is a very good food. I wouldn’t use Blue Buffalo if it was given to me for free.

  • dbdcpierce
  • dbdcpierce

    You will find out that EARTHBORN is better that Halo and The Blue… Chewy is the best and try the greenies also for PUPPYDOGGGG.

  • LabsRawesome

    You should be able to do a cold turkey switch within the same brand. You know your dogs better than anyone else tho, so do what you think is best. I can do cold turkey switches from brand to brand with my dogs, no problems. :)

  • HappyTails

    My dogs are currently on this food in the Meadow Feast formula,and are doing very well on it,I like the idea of diet rotation and would like to try it out with my dogs,but I am wondering,do I still need to do a gradual transition if Im just changing protein sources and not the actual brand,for instance they are eating Lamb now,if I wanted to switch them over to the Bison or Coastal Catch would I need to do it slowly or could it be a “cold turkey” switch?

  • HappyTails

    Chewy is awesome,I just received my very first shipment from them today,it did take a bit longer than I expected for it to arrive but I think that was due to Memorial Day.Their prices are very fair as well,normally Earthborn would cost me $49.99 at TSC but Chewy has it for $47.99 plus I bought 2 bags so I got free shipping.They packed the bags really well,no rips,tears or damage to the boxes they were shipped in or the bags themselves.

  • Erin

    I agree with them just from my own personal experience. my dosg stomach used to be much more sensitive especially after giving her different treats and chews. I have started rotating her food and it has gotten immensely better. every dog food cannot be perfect so rotating is good, imo for your dogs system.

  • Erin

    I always order from
    their customer service is exceptional and shipping is flat rate and very fast

  • dbdcpierce
    They deliver to your home, and there prices can not be beat.

  • Guest-1111

    Well feel free to call and chat with them about it then, I wasn’t so lucky. As for me, I’m perfectly happy with a new brand that does not cause digestive issues with each new bag.

  • Betsy Greer

    Are you referring to Earthborn when you say, “the vendor?” I’ve never had any trouble reachng them; in fact, when I had questions for them, I picked up the phone and was connected by a CAR to a nutritionist who openly answered all of my questions.

  • Guest-1111

    I tried to contact the vendor, but never got a returned call/email. So, I gave up and switched to a different brand, and my dogs have not had any trouble since. They even have more energy, and get way more excited at meal time.

  • Carolyn Lambert

    My guys have been having issues also ever since I opened a new bag. I had one that had severe digestive issues a couple of days after opening a new bag she is finally getting better but after reading your post wondering what will happen with the next bad.

  • Syl

    Go onto Earthborn Holistic’s website. There is a tab there called “Where to Buy.” You put in your zip code and retailers that carry it around you will pop up.

  • Crazy4cats

    I was very concerned about ordering online as well. However, I was more concerned about expiration dates and torn bags. I finally gave in and did it about 6 months ago and have done a few times since. I’m glad to report that I have not had any problems and it is actually quite convenient. I’ve ordered from Amazon, Wag and Petco with no problems. In fact, Petco was having a $15 off with no shipping charges offer if you spend $49. So, I ordered some Wellness for the cats and whole earth farms for the dogs and got $15 off and didn’t have to drive anywhere! Good luck, Maria, I hope they get the food you are looking for in your stores soon.

  • Maria

    Thanks! I get worried when ordering dog food online. Maybe I’m just a big chicken! But I’d never be able to forgive myself if my little guy got sick from it.

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh shoot. I think it’s pretty new in their line up. I saw they had it on if you get brave enough to order. Good luck!

  • Maria

    I have. I’ve clicked on most all of the stores and most don’t carry the Weight Control.

  • Maria

    I thought so, too. They said they can’t. Disappointing!

  • sandy

    If there are higher fat foods you’d like to feed, just transition them in like you would any kibble change. It might take several weeks. I feed alot of canned foods too, which have higher fat than 20. The fat content doesn’t seem to bother mine at all. They even eat tripe and some canned foods that have as much fat as protein.