Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain-Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free product line includes six dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Game Bird
  • Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Pork and Peas
  • Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Lamb and Lentil
  • Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Salmon Tunalini
  • Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Beef Frittata Veg
  • Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Surf and Turf (5 stars)

Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Game Bird was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free Game Bird

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 32% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Duck, duck meal, peas, turkey, potatoes, pea protein, dried tomato pomace, pea flour, dried whole egg, quail, chicken meal, chicken fat, salmon oil, sweet potatoes, chicken, pheasant, cheese, flaxseed, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, celery, parsley, lettuce, spinach, chicken cartilage, potassium chloride, blueberries, cranberries, salt, chicory root extract, Yucca schidigera extract, alfalfa sprouts, sodium selenite, folic acid, taurine, sorbic acid (preservative), vitamins, minerals, probiotics

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis29%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%19%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%39%34%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 34%

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

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

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

The third 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 fourth ingredient is turkey, another quality raw product.

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

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

The sixth 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 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 is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The tenth ingredient is quail, another quality raw item.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

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

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

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

Fromm Four Star Nutritionals
Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free 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 32%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, flaxseed and chickpeas (contained in other recipes), this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various named 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.

Fromm Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

10/16/2015 Last Update

  • Francesca G

    Stay away from Zignature kibble. The sodium level in their foods are VERY high. My dog was on Salmon & Trout and their sodium level is 2.00%. They do not include the sodium % on their label nor do they mention it on their web site. I called the company when my dog started to drink a lot of water. My vet said to get her off Zignature because high sodium is very bad for dogs hearts. I switched my dog to Acana Wild Atlantic and I rotate with Acana Fresh Water. Both are GREAT kibbles.

  • sandy

    The foster pugs around here all do well on Nutrisource grain free and Pro Pac Ultimates grain free. We switch flavors all the time. For higher protein foods, they’ve eaten Zignature, Weruva, Wellness Core/Trufood, Nature’s Logic and Fromm kibbles.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Lisa-
    I have fed TOW, but usually rotate between Whole Earth Farms, Nutrisource and Victor kibble. They are all priced about the same as TOW. Maybe one of them could work for your dogs. I also add toppers to every meal. Such as, eggs, tripe, canned food, sardines and commercial raw.

    I’ve heard mostly all good things about Fromm, but have not fed it yet. I hope you find something that works for your pups.

  • Lisa

    Our pug Oliver is having diarrhea on TOW and we’ve tried all their flavors, always slowing transitioning to avoid upset stomachs. We love TOW but unsure what to do at this point.

    Some history over the years. When we first started them on TOW was around 2012 and the dogs flourished, beautiful coats. We later read that Costco’s signature brand was equivalent to TOW and they didn’t seem to be loving TOW as much so we tried it and dogs loved it no problems.I took them off of it when I read people’s dogs were getting very sick, may have been isolated but we tried Canidae dry food. They didn’t care for it but ate it and poops were normal. I didn’t want to give them food that was obvious to me they didn’t love so we started them back on TOW.

    Boston terrier Oreo eats the dry formula pacific stream salmon but lately they stare at it a while and no longer clean their bowls. We reached out to TOW who sent us Diamond samples as well as other TOW samples to help but dogs pretty much looked at it and stared. We started to add TOW canned food (not much) to the dry and it helps them finish their food. Oliver is now on explosive diarrhea. The org we rescued Oliver from mentioned a few different brands and mentioned Fromms. Hoping to find some help and get them on the right food. Love TOW but it’s not working for Oliver any more.

  • Charles Bridgers

    Jesse,

    We feed our Golden/Aussie mix the Heartland LBP and she does great. We had to get her on the red meat diet do to a chicken meal intolerance. She’s always had a panting issue, which we noticed increased with certain meats so we are switching her, keeping her on Fromm, now that she’s a year old to food based off duck so that gives us one of the Fromm Four stars.

    People are often scared to try new food for the fear of wasting money. We’ve tried many foods from chewy (have 5 cats and 2 dogs) and they will refund you in a heartbeat if your dog doesnt like it. Stores will as well.

    Our 5month Golden Retreiver is on Blue WIlderness LBP, but Im going to switch him over to the Heartland LBP and hopefulyl he does well on it.

  • bojangles

    Hi Pitlove,

    You never posted the names of any of the foods you mentioned:

    “Many foods that look excellent on paper have low bioavailability and don’t digest well”

    I’m not really asking for myself because I feed my dogs a home made diet. I just thought that if someone were feeding their dogs one of the foods you were talking about that had low bio-availability and didn’t digest well, they would want to know

    Thanks Pitlove 🙂

  • theBCnut

    Some claim that there are good reasons to add alfalfa, like it’s a good source of chlorophyll, but dog’s really can’t get much out of it, so it’s good on paper, not so much in real life.

    A friend told me about a food I have never heard of that might work for him. I’m not unfamiliar with making homemade food, in fact that’s what the majority of his diet is, but I do like to keep him on some kibble so when I’m not home a family member can feed him.

  • Krystle Borelli

    Yikes that doesn’t even sound right… That doesn’t make sense why they would use hay. Some of the ingredients I like in the new Orijen and others I don’t. That’s why I was having a hard time deciding what I want to keep my shepherd on. I think I’m just going to stick with Fromm.

    I hope you can find something that will work for you’re pup!

  • Krystle Borelli

    Thank you 🙂

  • Crazy4cats

    Good or bad, depending on your opinion, all kibble has to contain some type of starch to hold all the ingredients together. My dogs do great on food that uses potatoes, (both sweet and white) as the binder. Good luck with the Fromm. Hope it works out for you!

  • theBCnut

    I can’t use the new formula at all. I was using the Pork and Butternut squash singles for my dog with food allergies. In fact, it was the only kibble I could find with none of his triggers. The new formula has one of his triggers in it. I don’t know why they thought adding hay to their food would be an improvement, but I emailed to ask about it and they sent me a canned response saying that all their fur mulls changes are meant to improve their product.

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