Fromm Four Star Nutritionals Grain-Free (Dry)


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
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, thereโ€™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.

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Notes and Updates

10/16/2015 Last Update

  • Shea

    I’m not going to feed Merrick now since she didn’t like it anyway. She’s on Acana now and is doing good with it stomach wise. Still having trouble with her skin but she’s only been on it for 2 1/2 weeks. I’ve heard that Zignature is very high in sodium. Not quite sure about feeding it. Sadie tried a sample of the Fromm Lamb and Lentil and didn’t like it. She has liked some of Fromm’s other flavors but they contain potato as well.

  • Stephen

    Anyone out there tried ‘small batch’ raw?

  • Stephen

    Merrick got bought out. Potatoe/chicken personally do no care for with an itchy dog. Am currently debating on fromm grainfree lamb/lentil or have also heard goo things about Zignature dogfood. Grain free regardless.

  • Shea

    Thanks so much Susan. I will give this sample to her then this week and see how it goes. I do use a medicated shampoo for her. It’s an antifungal, antimicrobial shampoo. Thanks for the advice. I will look into Holistic Select. She has been on so many foods and keep having problems with her skin.

  • Susan

    Hi when you first try something new just do 1 thing at a time over 1 week period….. I’d give her a bath in a medicated shampoo that moisturizes her skin & kills any bacteria on the skin, I use “Malasab” Medicated shampoo for Patches Allergies, I bath him weekly in the warmer months & fortnightly in the colder months…. It’s winter in America your girl might have dry itchy skin from the heating, it can dry out their skin, find a shampoo that moisturizes her skin…. I’ve been feeding the “Holistic Select” Adult/Puppy Salmon, Anchovy, Sardines grain free, the Omega 3 is nice & high, the Omega 3 should be balanced properly & 1/2 of what the Omega 6% is or a bit more then 1/2 of what the Omega 6% is.,.. Start again & slowly introduce 1 thing at a time…I was also feeding the Holistic Select Senior kibble its guaranteed so if there’s a health problems you can take it back & change or get a refund..

  • Shea

    Hello, I just received a Fromm Lamb and Lentils sample from a pet store yesterday as well as purchasing a sample of Acana Ranchlands. I gave her some of the Acana mixed in with her current food Merrick chicken and sweet potato last night. She seemed to like it. But her rash got worse and I don’t know if this food caused it. I also gave her a sample of an omega 3, 6, 9 oil that was given to me too. She has had a rash off and on the last few days and I was looking for something that she would do better on besides Merrick. She also has yeast issues occasionally. I just want some opinions on what would be the best option for her.

  • Krista


    For the people that feed a rotational diet, how many brands do you use in your rotation? I’m thinking like 2-4 would be good. What’s your thoughts on this? So far I’m thinking of rotating between Acana and Fromm grain free. My dog is doing really well on these brands.

  • Spencer Martin

    I was feeding the surf & turf, but my dog started getting hot spots. I’d recommend checking out Muenster’s new grain free. Dehydrated Chicken and Coconut Meal, family owned company as well. Liked Fromm, but had to move on.

  • Nancy

    Yes, then def take her off that. you can introduce it again when she is grown.
    I have had great luck with Now Fresh ( it is pricey but chewy. com is the cheapest I have found it ) My 8 mo old pup is on the lg breed puppy food ( nice size kibble ) And I have my 2 year old on the lg breed adult. Great results all around ๐Ÿ™‚ is their site.

  • Marie Abate

    Thank you for responding. She is large breed. A German shepherd.

  • Nancy

    Not sure what size your puppy is, but if it’s a large breed, Zignature has too high of calcium for them to properly grow.
    When I had my girls on Fromm, they pooped…alot!
    I have My girls on Now Fresh and are doing fab, firm stool, a few poos a day. They also make a Go! line as well.
    I’ve also rotated in Zignature Turkey recently ( every other feeding) My adult doesn’t seem to be having a problem ( just a bit of gas ) but it’s not every feeding, so that could change lol But she sure loves it!

  • Marie Abate

    i want to start my dog on fromm lamb and lentils. how is her stool? right now we are feeding her Zignature Turkey and she is pooping 4-5 times a day i been reading that is to much and i need to switch foods so i been reading up on fromm

  • Marie Abate

    I been feeding my puppy Zignature Turkey Formula. I have been reading some not so great stuff about it. Such as her going #2 (poop) 4-5 X’S a day so so great and that its very high in sodium. Any recommendations on what kind of food i should switch her too

  • Diane

    Thank you!!!

  • theBCnut

    I don’t believe that peas are any more allergenic than any other single protein. My dog with multiple food allergies has no issue with peas. As far as starch goes, any kibble is going to have quite a bit of starch because starch is what helps kibble hold its shape. Good luck finding a kibble that works for your dog.

  • Diane

    Oh thank you! That helps me to feel better!! I will give it a try. Getting the Lamb and Lentils!

  • Crazy4cats

    Luckily, my dogs do fine with peas. It seems that most grain free kibble includes them. I guess the only way to find out is to give it a try! Transition to the new food very slowly if it helps make you and the dog feel better. In the past three or so years that I have been participating on this site, only a couple have reported having a problem with peas. Best of luck to you!

  • Diane

    I was going to try Fromm’s Lamb and Lentil but am concerned about the peas as a starch and an allergen? Any thoughts. Thanks

  • Diane

    Thank you so much! I did read about the one recall and they took the canned food off the shelves that were affected with possibly too much Vitamin D. No biggie compared to other recalls with other companies.

  • Pitlove

    Hi Diane-

    Fromm has been manufacturing dog food for roughly 65 years. As of March 2016 they went through their first recall. You can find info on it on this website under the recall list. A recall should not automatically mean the food is bad and should not be used. It is important, regardless of why the recall happened, to evaluate how the company handled the recall. Fromm is a great company with a long standing reputation.

    No they do not use ingredients from China.

    Best of luck! If you do decide to use Fromm, I hope it works for your boy.

  • Diane

    My yorkie boy is suffering terrible from allergies. I was going to try the Lamb and Lentil just want to make sure this company has no recalls and they do not have any ingredients from China or Asia. Good luck with your baby too

  • Diane

    My baby has those now I have tried so many different foods I am at my wits end

  • Diane

    I have read and heard that Hills Science Diet is really not a good food at all

  • Diane

    Yes I do and am having a problem finding a grainfree food he will eat that is a good quality food with no poultry. I am going to try the Fromm Lamb and Lentil
    and pray it helps him

  • theBCnut

    Usually, they mean TOTW, Taste of the Wild.

  • Jill Laurich Malison

    What is ‘TOW”?

  • 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


    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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 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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