Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Earthborn Holistic product line lists five kibbles. But because of its unique higher quality formula, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is reviewed here in its own special report.

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is a dry dog food claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 42% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredients: Turkey meal, chicken meal, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whitefish meal, dried egg product, tomato pomace, peas, blueberry fiber, cranberry fiber, apples, blueberries, carrots, spinach, cranberries, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, taurine, beta-carotene, 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) = 2.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis38%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis42%22%28%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%44%22%

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

The second ingredient includes chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

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

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

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

Thankfully, unlike most fish meals, this particular item appears to be ethoxyquin-free.1

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

The eighth 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.

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

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 42%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

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

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

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

For those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural at least begins to approach this noble goal.

Bottom line?

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of turkey and chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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

A Final Word

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

04/18/2010 Original review
11/18/2010 Review updated
01/07/2012 Review updated
07/09/2013 Review updated
07/09/2013 Last Update

  1. Per Cindy Montgomery, Earthborn Holistic Pet Food, email dated 4/19/2010
  • 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?

  • Dori

    Me Too!

  • sharron

    hi dori and thanks – i have to learn to stop fine tuning this food issue that i think i have created – it’s part of my nature to put a lot of detail into things
    will do as you suggest – thanks again

  • Crazy4cats

    It’s good to see they are selling the smaller bags on Amazon now. Hope it works out for you!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Dori, I use Gf Ultra Pro 42, and Yukon. :)

  • Dori

    Hi Sharron. As you know my dogs are really small (5, 6 and 7 lbs) and they each get on average 1/4 cup twice a day. My feeling is that you can’t always go by calories and strictly adhere to that. It all depends on the feel of your dog and the level of activity. I’m typically tweaking the amount of food I give my girls on a daily and sometimes by meal basis. I feel their bodies and feel with my hands around their ribs. You should be able to feel your dogs ribs but your fingers should not be able to go in-between each rib. As I said, don’t worry as much about the calorie count, worry about how your dog feels under your hands. If you feel ribs too much feed a little more at other times you may feel your dog has a bit too much meat on his ribs…feed a little less. I check out my girls everyday. It only takes a second or you can tell when you’re playing or massaging your dog.

  • sharron

    i was told, i think it was last year, that lexee should get 200 cals/day, so with this food i’ve been giving her 3/8 cup/day which works out to 165 cals/day – i don’t think it’s enough, she she is hungry – if i feed her a 1/2 cup/day that’s 222.5 cals – do you think it’s ok to feed her a 1/2 cup – i’m not sure why the vet said 200 cals – maybe because of weight gain – but 200 isn’t cutting it – thanks

  • sharron

    great to know thanks a bunch
    will keep her on this

  • Dori

    Is he on Victor’s GF Yukon? I just placed an order with Amazon for the 5 lb. bag.

  • LabsRawesome

    Yes, Earthborn is definitely a good quality food. My dogs and Cats all do well on EB. My cats don’t like the fish based one, but LOVE Primitive Naturals. :)

  • LabsRawesome

    It looks like he doesn’t have any ears, in that pic. lol

  • LabsRawesome

    He loves that. His fur is sooo soft. :)

  • Dori

    I can’t comment on the food itself because I’ve never fed it. Just wanted you to know that all fats are not the same.

  • Cyndi

    Awww, I want to rub that belly!!!

  • sharron

    hi dori and thanks!!! – i’m going to stay with the earthborn – it seems to be a good quality food i think – what’s your opinion on it?

  • Dori

    Hi Sharron. It’s not always the amount of fat in a food but the quality of the fat in the food. I feed all three of my little girls (5, 6, and 7 lb dogs) much higher fat that what this food contains and they have never had an issue with it nor have they ever had pancreatitis from high amounts of fat. If a food has a high fat content I make sure that it is a high quality food with no grains or other crap in it and it is a trusted company.

  • Dori

    Aww Labs. What a cutie pie. Love that face.

  • sharron

    thanks so much – she’s doing well on the earthborn primitive – it seems that every time i find a food she likes (which isn’t very often) there seems to be so many opinions why i shouldn’t be feeding it – either it’s too high in something or not enough etc. etc.
    great pic!!!

  • LabsRawesome

    Source- Little Big Cat. Recent research suggests a link between vaccination for feline distemper
    and immune-mediated inflammation of the kidneys, which is thought to be
    the cause of CKD. Annual boosters for distemper are completely
    unnecessary. Be sure to discuss all recommended vaccines with your
    veterinarian. A cat with kidney disease should not be vaccinated at all.
    (See our article on vaccination for more information.) http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/kidney-disease-in-older-cats/

  • LabsRawesome

    I feed a food with a similar profile, 42% 22% 17% carbs. Fat should be half the % of protein. This little guy thrives on it. He is a Dachshund.

  • sharron

    i’ve been told that this food has too much fat for a little dog but when you look at the acana small breed it has 19% fat – what’s the difference besides being 1%

  • sharron

    i have lexee eating this food, since yesterday, so far so good, she’s eating it without any fussiness – i’m wondering though if the fat is too high 20%? – i don’t know what’s too high when it comes to the fat content
    thanks

  • Cathy Beasley

    I feed Earthborn Ocean Catch for the omegas They like fishy taste….is it as good as Primitive?

  • Crazy4cats

    Not Shawna, but I have a suggestion. Try checking out http://www.catinfo.org. Dr. Lisa Pierson has a whole chapter on how to transition “crunchy” addicts to wet food. I wish you luck as it is much healthier for them. They actually love the cheaper stuff such as Fancy Feast and Friskies better than the healthier stuff typically. Maybe you could get her interested with one of these at first. Thank you for caring for this stray!

  • Shawna

    What is your budget?

  • Wineaux

    My cat HATES canned cat food! She will not eat it. We’ve tried all sorts of quality canned cat food and her response is to try and bury it like she does her feces in her litter box by scratching her paws on the floor all around the dish. She’ll then leave it there to rot and just won’t eat until we put down a quality grain free dry food.

    She was a stray that showed up on our front porch and adopted us, so maybe she’s had her fill of “wet” types of food from her having to forage for it in the wild. In any event, since dry is the ONLY thing she’ll eat, other than the occasional insect treat that she finds, catches, and devours inside the house, what are your suggestions that won’t put me in the poor house?

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Shawna,

    Thank you do sharing that. Will definitely read it. My cats eat mostly canned but I do have to give them a little dry each day. Would love to get to a place where I can give mostly canned.

  • Shawna

    Thanks USA

  • USA Dog Treats

    I am sorry for the troubles you and your aunt are experiencing!

    I admire your determination.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Correct!

    Sorry for the delay. When there are communication issues between people of the same basic time and place in the world it always makes me think about people who translate or interpret writings from differing languages, places in history, cultures etc.

    I wonder how much they can possibly get right when we have a problem understanding each other!!!

    A food that passes a feeding trial does not have to pass a nutrient analysis for the same life stage it passed in the feeding trial.

    The 3 ways to make a life stage claim are:

    Pass a feed trial
    OR
    Meet the Family rule guidelines for a food that has passed a feed trial
    OR
    Pass a nutrient analysis for the life stage you are claiming

  • Shawna

    Sorry your question was missed.

    I am torn between the two grain free products. Both are 44% protein but one has fish and one uses pea protein.

    Since cats have such an issue later in life with kidney disease and dry food is suspected to be a cause, I think it would be wise to stick with mostly or completely canned if you are able. If not, I would go with the Primitive Feline.

    I never had a concern with fish until I recently read an article by Dr. Jean Hofve on her website little big cat that discussed a toxin in fish that is harmful to the kidneys. Here’s a quote from the article (italicized emphasis Dr. Hofve’s) “Based on this new research, we must recommend avoiding fish and seafood as major ingredients in your cat’s diet at any age.” The information can be found here http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/kidney-disease-in-older-cats/

  • Shawna

    That part I did know. I didn’t present my question well.. Sorry The lead food, if labeled all life stages, must undergo both gestation and growth feed trials but does not have to pass nutrient analysis guidelines in addition to the feed trials.? Correct?

  • theBCnut

    That is interesting. I wonder if that is acutally based on someones research or if it is an assumption.

  • theBCnut

    Yeah. I finally got that on the second read through. I spent 5 hours yesterday with my aunt with dementia and trying to figure out what she is saying when she has forgetten half the words turns my brain to mush. My aunt is quite the chatterer.

  • USA Dog Treats

    There are only two categories for nutrient minimums. One category is Gestation/Lactation (reproduction) combined with Growth. The other category is Adult Maintenance.

    There is only one category for maximums and it is the same for all 4 designations.

    I find this interesting that AAFCO will vary the nutrient minimums between different life stages but will have the same maximums for ALL the life stages!

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi Shawna

    Sadly the Family Rule still applies! Only the “LEAD” product in a “FAMILY” must pass the feeding trial for the designation it uses.

    The rest of the products in a “Family” can be formulated similar to the lead product and use the lead products designation without having to pass a feeding trial.

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi theBCnut

    A food that passes the protocol for;

    Adult Maintenance, can be sold as only Adult Maintenance.

    Growth, can be sold as Growth OR Adult Maintenance.

    Gestation/Lactation, can be sold as Gestation/Lactation OR Adult Maintenance.

    A food that uses the term All Life Stages has passed first a Gestation/Lactation protocol. Then using the litter from the G/S protocol passes a Growth Protocol.

    A food that has passed the Protocols for All Life Stages can be sold as:

    All Life Stages
    or
    Gestation/Lactation
    or
    Growth
    or
    Adult Maintenance

  • theBCnut

    Shouldn’t that last line read
    Any food that passes either the growth OR the gestation/lactation protocols can automatically use the All Life Stages designation?

  • Shawna

    Interesting!! I did not know that. Thanks for the clarification..

  • USA Dog Treats

    Hi theBCnut

    This is from the 2014 AAFCO Official Publication

    “All Life Stages” means gestation/lactation, growth, and adult maintenance life stages.

    To get this designation a dog or cat food is supposed to:

    “use the litters obtained from performing the gestation/lactation protocol for the growth period.”

    So they first do the gestation/lactation protocol then they use the pups that were born and as soon as they are off mothers milk they do the growth protocol and if they pass both they can call a food “All Life Stages”

    Any food that passes either the growth OR the gestation/lactation protocols can automatically use the Adult Maintenance designation.

  • theBCnut

    Sweet potatoes work too, but I think they are higher in sugars than pumpkin.

  • theBCnut

    All Life Stages is puppy food. Consider trying a few different foods for your pup. Variety is healthy for dogs just as it is for people.

  • Shawna

    I have dairy allergies and I react to kefir :(.. Often though if one is allergic to cow dairy they can tolerate goat. My local healthy food store has goat kefir too. (I react to goat too —- UGHHH). For those that can’t have either there is also coconut kefir!! :)

  • Shawna

    Some companies market their foods as “all life stage” which at least meets, and usually exceeds, the minimum AAFCO requirements for a puppy food.

    Primitive Naturals is marketed as an all life stage food.

  • Shawna

    After he’s settled in I’d try the Primitive again and if the same thing happens I would assume that it is a specific ingredient in the food that is causing the problem. My Pom gets diarrhea from chicken. I have a friend whose dog gets diarrhea from green beans. They both can eat the problem food for several days but if fed for more than 4(ish) days they get symptoms.

    I foster for Boston Terrier and Papillon rescue. I mainly foster puppies (from weaning on). Not one of them has had a problem with too much protein. But high protein too fast can be an issue. Probiotics and canned pumpkin always took care of it.

    There are some dogs that have issue with higher protein but it seems to be fairly rare and often associated with specific diseases (like liver shunts).

  • Dori

    No sweet potatoes. Canned pumpkin, not the pie type, for fiber to aid in diarrhea and constipation.

  • Jessica

    I dont know about sweet potatoes but pumpkin is great for Diarrhea.

  • Jessica

    Maybe im wrong but isn’t it best to buy Puppy food not Adult food for any dog under 1 year of age. Wouldnt EB Puppy Vantage be Better since its for puppies and then switch to Primitive when she turns a year old. Im debating on which to buy for my dog. Shes 5 months old.

  • Cayce H. Cronk

    Gonna add earthborn as a third food for my rotation with my cats food! Which one should I go with? They eat canned as well!

  • Barbara

    Thank you for the info. I will put it on my list to try…I also want to try Castor and Pollux because they have one with Duck. For now I need to keep my Husky/sheppard (11 yrs) and my lab on TOTW Wetlands,because they had real problems with both Earthborn Holistic and Nutrisca grain and potato free even with a very slow transition. My Husky could not make it to the back door a couple of times…
    My Border Collie mix (13) loves the Nutrisca but pushes aside the Earthborn. He is a finicky eater and only eats when he want to. Sometimes I need to add real meat and not just a good canned food to his food. He has only weighted between 48 to 49 lbs since I adopted him when he was 4 and sometimes runs around the dog park like he is 3!

  • Nancy Calloway

    I transitioned my golden retriever and GSD 20 month pup OFF TOW High Prairie for the same reason. The golden had no trouble. She eats everything easily and from meal to meal I can switch. The German Shepherd is nothing like that. He’s the one who developed terrible diarrhea transitioning to Origen and Acana and it’s been a bad 8 weeks. I have thought that Dr. TIms looks a little like TOW and it is not expensive.. is listed in the Budget foods. While our GSD was on HILLS Rx WD formula for diarrhea from transitioning the golden ate up the Dr TIMS! She liked it. It is a good basic food.

  • LabsRawesome

    Earthborn is the best.

  • Betsy Greer

    Personally, I think Earthborn is far superior to the foods you mentioned.

  • Felipe

    hi guys, what you think about this food compared to Eukanuba, Proplan and Royal Canin ?

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Barbara-
    I have two lab mixes with sensitive stomachs. They have done really well on Victor Grain Free. I feed the joint health variety. It however has beef, chicken and sweet potatoes rather than the duck and chicken. It is a little closer to the same protein and fat levels as the TOTW Wetlands formula than the Earthborn you are feeding. The problem with Victor is that it is not available in all areas and it is a little more expensive if you have to order. Check out their website and look for their store locater. It is a budget friendly food if in your area. Otherwise you can order from Amazon, Sport Dog or RocketPetz. Good luck to you!

  • Barbara

    Hi, BCnut, My lab and Husky/sheppard mix have been having diarrhea problems over the last 2 weeks transitioning to Earthborn Holistic from TOTW wetlands. I have mixed in only a little up to 25% and I think they both have sensitive stomachs and can’t handle the higher protein and the change. I also have added yogurt and perfect form to the labs food in the evening. I never had a problem with TOTW wetlands, they liked it and they did well on. I wanted to change from TOTW because it is a Diamond product. My 13 yr old Border collie mix has no problem with the Earthborn Holistic. Is there any dry food that has similar ingredient mix to TOTW wetlands? Both TOTW and Earthborn are under $50 for 30# and 28# I love my 3 rescues dearly but can’t afford
    some of the other higher priced dog foods…
    Thanks!

  • Natalie Yu

    hello! my pup is doing fine now no diarrhea at all only slightly soft stools sometimes, and initial period dehydration due to stress from flight and new environment. i add yogurt to his food and apparently he is pick and doesnt like them mixed :) he likes raw dehydrated food so i hope maybe he will like raw in future though preparation is going to be a little more tedious to prevent bacteria.

    I havent had him try primitive natural (will next) after he is done with nature’s variety grainfree chicken kibbles now. I mix them with ziwipeak lamb too..

  • Barbara

    Thank you for the advise. All good info to have!

  • theBCnut

    Sorry, I understand not wanting to give Diamond even one more penny, but it’s hard to tell how long a transition will take with a dog with a sensitive stomach, so I wouldn’t risk rushing it. Upping protein level is one of the things that some sensitive dogs have problems with, that and changes in fat level. For the two that are easy to transition, I would give them half and half for a few days. For the lab, I would replace 1/4 of the old food with the new and feed that way for a minimum of three days. Keep an eye on stools and if they stay normal, then after three days I would go to half and half. Again, watch stools, if they go bad quickly, go back to 1/4 new food for a few more days, then try half and half again. If they get slightly soft, but not too bad, stay at that level until at least three days after they go back to normal. If they stay normal then feed for three days and moove to 3/4 new food. Watch stools, planning on the same routine. Bad stools, go back. So so stools, stay there for a while. Good stools, move ahead after three days.
    For a really sensitive dog, sometimes you have to switch foods 10% at a time. Probiotics and digestive enzymes, as well as pumpkin, can help smooth transitions. Good luck, pretty soon Diamond will be behind you forever.

  • Barbara

    I have a question about transitioning from one dog food to another. I have 3 dogs and 2 of them it should be no problem going straight to Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural from TOTW Wetlands but my lab has a sensitive stomach so I need to transition her. I have ordered Earthborn but it is going to take longer to get here than I expected. I would have enough TOTW to transition the lab but not the other 2…the ingredients in both are similar but this one has more protein and less carbs :) I wanted your opinion if I should just go out and buy another bag of TOTW in order to transition correctly? I really did not want to buy another product from Diamond. Thanks!

  • lory

    That’s the one i was looking for but it’s sold out so my next option is primitive formula, since it’s the only grain free available

  • Randy Moore

    I would go with meadow feast

  • lory

    My three years old chi eats Taste of the wild bison formula but it turned out he’s not only allergic to grains but he’s also allergic to red meat. I’m thinking on changing to Earthborn primitive but this one is higher in protein and fat, that shouldn’t be a problem right? I mean, after all it’s not red meat. Any advice?

  • theBCnut

    I actually have multiple bags of food open at any given time and change dry foods weekly, but it took a while to get my dogs to that point.

  • Boxer mom

    How often do you change?

  • theBCnut

    Personally, I believe in diet rotation. No one food is perfect, so I like to try a variety of foods. As soon as I find one food that works for my dog with issues I start trying to find the next one.

  • Boxer mom

    I just got Fromm duck n sweet potato to try they told me was better because they use meats and no meat meals? I also got bag of wellness 5star complete mix. Both small bags because I have to find something they will eat. They are on heart meds and need to eat :( now I wish I would have gotten the earthborn!

  • Zanes mom

    I saw the mention of Lifeway Kefir and have a question. I have been rotating powder probiotics and putting them on my boy’s food daily but also recently started using kefir on his food. He loves it so that will continue. Should I discontinue the powder or use It less often?

  • Crazy4cats

    I just bought Helios Organic Greek Kefir at Fred Meyer (Kroger in other parts) It only has 7 strains, however, and can be found in the health food section. I take a swig and then put a dollop in the dog’s food. They don’t seem to mind it so far. It reminds me of butter milk.

  • theBCnut

    My dog with chicken issues does really well on Great Plains Feast.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Lifeway (which most of us here use I believe) has 12 strains. I just mix it with my dogs’ food. Those that are sensitive to lactose tend to be able to tolerate kefir. The reason why lactose intolerant individuals tend to be able to tolerate kefir (and often yogurt as well) is because the probiotics present in the food help to digest the lactose.

    There was a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association that examined the effects of kefir consumption by lactose intolerant individuals. The study monitored breath hydrogen excretion (an indicator of levels of gas in the digestive tract) and lactose intolerance symptoms. The study concluded that kefir improved lactose digestion and intolerance.

    http://www.journals.elsevierhealth.com/periodicals/yjada/article/S0002-8223%2803%2900207-4/abstract

  • dchassett

    I always forget about kefir. How many strains does kefir have, do you know? Do you just add it to their foods? Should a dog with allergies (dairy) stay away from it?

  • Boxer mom

    Joanne, my youngest has had repeated ear/skin infections. Was at vet yesterday and she said he has build up of yeast. Said she believes it’s environmental. I think it was previous food royal canin boxer26. She also said could be from chicken but thinks it’s environmental. Would the formula you suggested still be my best option? 2 of the 3 have heart issues so I don’t want anything than could possibly affect that. Thank you

  • theBCnut

    Even better than yogurt is kefir. It is a yogurt like drink than has a better range of probiotics than yogurt. If you can find it, it will be by the milk or yogurt in the store.

  • dchassett

    I’m sure he’ll be just fine. You seem to be very conscientious and will be a good mom. If you can’t find plain Greek yogurt than try using plain unsweetened yogurt. It will be better than nothing, just that Greek yogurt has more beneficial strains than regular. Good luck and feel free to ask me any questions, I’ll be glad to help. I hope you’ll keep me posted when you get him and how he’s doing.

  • Natalie Yu

    I will go look at a specialty store. Here in Singapore we have sweetened and commercialized yogurt and I cant trust the labels! :) Thanks for all the help.. I just hope he will be ok with primitive natural til its finished and time for him to try raw :)

  • dchassett

    Plain greek yogurt is available in all grocery stores. It’s very common now, not like before where it was sort of a specialty item. Very common and easy to find.

    Not sweet potatoes for fiber. Pumpkin is what you need to give your dog. Not the pumpkin pie filling type, just plain canned pumpkin. I’m glad I asked why the sweet potatoes.

    Thrilled to hear you’re willing to try a raw diet. My three dogs are all on commercial raw diets, I also feed them fresh fruits and veggies. I also don’t feed store bought treats. I give them small pieces of fruits and vegetables as treats. I use Primal Pronto, Darwins, Answers, Stella & Chewy’s. All really good companies with a variety of proteins, common and exotics. Very happy to hear this.

    Forgot, you can feed both the yogurt and pumpkin, doesn’t have to be either or. With the pumpkin, just don’t give him too much at a time until you see how he deals with. Pumpkin is good for adjusting diarrhea as well as constipation.

  • Natalie Yu

    I hope I got my fact right in saying sweet potatoes are great fibre and nutrient source and can keep diarrhea under control more.. It isnt easy to get greek yogurt where i am (the difference from non greek is the milk source? greek yogurt is from goats milk?? otherwise what do i look for in non greek yogurt thats fine for them to have?)

    Thanks for all the tips and advice! Eventually after the kibble runs out I actually want to let him try going on raw diet – when he is about 4mths i hope to introduce him to raw for one of his meals, maybe the last meal of the day.

  • dchassett

    Typically a puppy is fed 4 meals a day for a while, eventually 3 meals a day and then lastly twice a day. You’re absolutely right about feeding more often but start off with 4 meals a day. If the probiotic you are going to use is yogurt please get a regular plain greek yogurt, that’s important. Why are you going to add sweet potatoes, just curious? The yogurt and any other supplements you give him you’ll mix in with his food. If you’re feeding him kibble also please add a little water and let the kibble soak it up then add supplements and mix together so he gets it all. The kibble soaked in water will expand before he eats it as opposed to in his stomach and, therefore, will be easier to digest.

  • Natalie Yu

    Ok! Ill add yogurt or sweet potatoes .. and yeah I would have asked her to just go back to maybe 50% and go slow from there again but she just switched the food with the shop so I didnt want to make her get it back. Hes weaned frm mum at end of 8weeks..

    When I feed probiotics, do I add to his kibble or in a separate meal or how? This can be any plain unsweetened yogurt, right? Can this be given on his first meal after his flight to me?

    He is on 2 meals daily now already. It is fine if I want to make it to 3 daily when he reaches me in another 10days? I figured their digestive system works faster so Id rather have more meals and less in each meal for better absorption. Thank you :)

  • dchassett

    In a puppy stopping the diarrhea from going on too long was a good thing but I wish she had checked with you first. All she had to do was back track. I think the transition was done much too quickly. Some dogs can take up to a month to get to the 100% transition especially the first time transitioning and especially a puppy. At what age was the puppy weaned from her mother, do you know? Unfortunately at this point you’ll have to keep him on what she’s feeding him for a while until he adjusts to his new home. Before you start transitioning his food you should purchase a good digestive enzyme and also a good probiotic to add to his meals. The dosing amount will be on the jars. Those two added to his meals will help his gut with the changing of foods. Eventually should give thought to rotating his diet by different proteins and different brands. Each time you do the transitioning you should add the supplements. If you rotate often enough you’ll get to the point where you can feed him any food for any meal and you will no longer need to add the supplements. The more you get his system accustomed to different ingredients, just as humans, he’s digestive system will just get healthier and healthier.

  • Natalie Yu

    breeder was feeding nutro (natural choice) puppy at first, and shes a very experienced breeder with many champion dogs of her own.. she took 7days to get to 75% and then when she did 100% on the 8th day, he couldnt. now shes changed the primitive to puppy vantage.. and hes doing fine. i wonder if i should get him puppy vantage then slowly transition him.here to primitive.. she got puppy vantage too quickly before i could have a say but thats ok, she just wanted to stop the diarrhea..

  • dchassett

    I would not have let the breeder go back completely to the old food. When you get the puppy home you are going to have to keep him on the food he’s eating for at least two weeks before starting a very very slow transition all over again from the very beginning. The puppy is going to be stressed initially from the move to a new home, away from breeder, mom, littler mates, everything. He’s going to need time to totally adjust to you, your family and his new surroundings. Then you start transitioning from the very beginning. I would also start at much less than 25% new and 75% old food. Just take it slowly.

  • dchassett

    I can only assume that the transition has been much too fast. Especially for a 10 week old puppy. If at 100% he is experiencing diarrhea then you have to back it up to the point that the combination (percentage) did not cause diarrhea and keep him at that percentage for a while. Transition has to be done very very slowly. What food was she eating before you started the transition and at what age? How long did the breeder take to transition? What were the steps that got her to the 100%? Let me know and I’ll try to help?

  • Natalie Yu

    i switched my 10weeks old boston terrier puppy (he’s still with the breeder) to this from nutro, and at 25% old 75% new he was fine.. when it got to 100% new, he had diarrhea so the breeder now puts him on 100% puppy vantage, a much lower protein kibble.

    my concern is when I get him at 12 weeks, can I, on his first feed, give him primitive at 75% of total feed and 25% sweet potato? do you reckon he would still get diarrhea..

    or do you think he cannot take the stress of new home + change of diet.. or maybe he is really unable to take such high protein food..?

  • pitbulldad

    Thank u :) I try lol I really think feeding good food has a lot to do with it, they act like puppies sumtimes, and I gotta treat them like kids! Lol

  • Crazy4cats

    Well, they look like they are still puppies. Very well taken care of. Good job.

  • pitbulldad

    Thank you :) I hope they stay that way for a long time, they r pretty much my best friends lol I try to giv them the best I can, and all the food they get is good IMO, and its really not real expensive compared to others. I live on my own and dont really make that much to get stuff thats $80+ a bag

  • pitbulldad

    Nope, one was givin to me by a friend who couldnt take care of her and the other from a shelter, but they do look a lot alike and get along, one is 3 years and one is 6 years. They get the eb prim nat, victor Yukon river, and infinea bison, with pumpkin and yogurt mixed in, and they both seem to like it all, and believe it or not, they r picky lol

  • Crazy4cats

    Very cute. Are they sisters? My cats like the EB primitive natural and the vantage Earthborn foods.

  • Cyndi

    Awwww!! They look like very happy, healthy girls! & they are sooooooooo cute! <3

  • pitbulldad

    My 2 girls really like the primitive natural in their rotation, and all is normal with their health and poops. And ya never know, since they started gettin the dog food maybe the cat food will b next! :)

  • theBCnut

    Now if mine would just start carrying the cat food.

  • pitbulldad

    Its nice to c tractor supply carrying earthborn food now, ive been driving 45 mins each way and just noticed that tractor supply started carrying it, I just want to let others know if they were in my situation. Btw, its $49.99 in my area

  • Boxer mom

    Thank you so much

  • Joanne Wolff

    Avoid the Primitive. It is very high protein and my dachshunds had constant loose stool on it I switched to the Great Plains formula(bison)and they are doing just fine. I love the product and their support team is very good too,.

  • Boxer mom

    Our dogs (boxers) have always had Royal Canin for boxers their entire lives. They ate 11, 6, and 1and half years old. They recently have lost interest In eating. :( I though it could have been that bag of food. Well. We bought a new bag and same thing. We are searching for a good food for them. Being Boxers they are very sensitive to many things. We are thinking of switching to this brand. Any suggestions? Thanks so much.

  • huey

    Huey in Tunas Mo.
    I have a 9 mo old yellow lab I started feeding him Earthborn Hollistic Primative when he was 6 mo and he absolutely loves it . He also sheds very excessive so I purchased box of Dinavite online mix with 1 table spoon of Nuto Mak soft food and his Earthborn once a day terrific results , shedding almost stopped completely.

  • Charlie

    Patty does not know anatomy because she did not go to the academy

  • Ch

    Patty is a stalker we need to block her

  • Chcchhch

    Mike is a snake and a fake

  • charlie

    Mike is a scam he always puts me in spam

  • Charlie

    You are a stalker and a dumb talkerw

  • Charlie

    patty is a stupid bitch with her trick

  • Charlie

    Shawna’s 47% protein diet is proven wrong I could sing a song.there are studies but these people are buddies it is so dumb they are acing like scum
    The groupies mock around the clock and block

    ec

  • Lincoln_Mom

    Hi :) My 9 y/o Jack Mix has always been a bit gassy. I started giving him Simply Nourish probiotic/enzyme tabs from Petsmart and his gas has pretty much disappeared. Hope that helps!

  • Nancy Slawson

    sorry Patty I meant NOT A VET

  • Pattyvaughn

    The protein did not cause the kidney failure. It is a symptom of kidney failure. Dogs with normal healthy kidneys have no trouble concentrating their urine.

  • Nancy Slawson

    Connie with a high protein food the dog should drink lots of water & be able to go to the bathroom when needed to flush out the kidneys or you will start having kidney problems. I learned that with my 4 year old girl. she kept getting UTI’s & the vet said her protein levels in her urine was to high that she was going through kidney failure, I tried a lower protein food & had no luck Someone said to try a high protein with no carbs in the food.Plus I add a supplement called Corn Silk to her food for her kidneys. The last time I had her @ the vet he said her levels looked great. I am a vet I just google things & try to do what is best for my dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It is always best to increase fiber slowly anyways.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, that makes sense. It happens to humans too. I might try to add a little fiber to their morning meal. Just a little afraid it might have opposite effect.

  • Pattyvaughn

    There is absolutely no doubt that a nervous tummy affects stools. The body all of a sudden dumps adrenaline and cortisol into the system. That speeds up the intestines and makes them less able to absorb everything. Added fiber helps many of these dogs.

  • Crazy4cats

    BTW, I posted a picture of one of them on the Off Topic thread yesterday. He is the more laid back of the two. They are very different even though they are brothers.

  • Crazy4cats

    No, they are only two. But we have had quite an adventure with Giardia and then Coccidia. I think they arrived with it and I didn’t know what the issue was for a long time. They have gone thru several treaments both prescribed by vet and a lot of recommendations from helpful people on this site. They both have had two clean tests so far. So, their tummies have been messed up due to parasites and antibiotics. They are doing great so far on the above mentioned combination. Only a little loose after exercise. They get so excited and wound up on their walks. Still very puppy-like. And on a side note… I would never ever, ever get two puppies at the same time again! Good luck.

  • tonia

    Thanks. Are your labs older? Mine is 9 and kind of a nervous nelly ( he used to run and hide when the door bell rang) some times I think that effects his stool. His tummy is definitely more sensitive than it used to be. I’m in the desert so we have synthetic grass no fun scooping runny off that /:

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Tonia-
    I use Total Zymes with my labs. Also, I’ve been adding a handful of the NW Naturals frozen raw beef nuggests to their Victor G/F food and seems to really help. I’ve been dealing with loose stools for some time now and with this combination and the addition of Gastriplex by Thorne, they have been doing great. I order these supplements from Amazon or Healthypets dot org. Not to mention, the freezing temps here have made pick up quite a joy!! :)

  • Pattyvaughn

    You can try ordering from Swanson’s or check out your local health food store. I’ve even seen them in the supplements aisle at Walmart, though I don’t think their brand is any good.

    The ones I got at Swanson’s have been my favorites so far as far as how well they work on my dog that needs them.

  • tonia

    How do you get digestive enzymes?? My lab is still having issues, good one day then not the next.. not sure what to do, earthborn might not work out for him, wanted to get him off eagle pack because off the corn. He didn’t seem to have issues then, it feel like trying to do better is back firing /:

  • Pattyvaughn

    Kefir has 10 strains of probiotics, but not much in the way of digestive enzymes.

  • tonia

    Found the kefir that day this food still seems to be causing terrible gas. My labs stool did get better, it seems that he has zero tolerance for canned food. All was good, yesterday decided to treat them only added 2-3 tbs for him today scooped yuck not puddles but very close. Seems I can’t play with his kibble at all other than some carrots /: horrid gas has me thinking not a good one for my rotation

  • Tanya

    I had the same issues with Earthborn. My dogs would not eat it either. Try Fromm Surf n’turf, they also have their own factory and all of their meats are medication free. It is also better since Earthborn told me that some of their vitamins are from China (for instance Vitamin B). Fromm’s vitamins are all from Europe, and NOTHING is from China. I find Fromm to be a higher grade than Earthborn. Fromm uses the highest quality.
    Dogs like the taste of the grain free versions esp.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve fed the Great Plains Feast with no issues. The stools are dark, but that is normal for a high protein food. My dog’s stool didn’t appear greenish though, that may be a matter of how your dogs handle peas and/or spinach. I have noticed that when I make homemade with spinach being their primary green that they do get a dark greenish stool for the first few feedings of that batch.

  • Shawna

    Three of my crew eat this in their rotation and never have any type of stool issue on it..

  • Jeff_in_Atlanta

    I tried Earthborn Holistic Dry with my two greyhounds, but they didn’t seem to like it plus it created very nasty black/green stool. It appears to contain some sort of food coloring or dye.

  • StaceyK

    It’s made in the USA in Evansville IN by Midwestern Pet Foods.