Gentle Giants Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★☆☆

Gentle Giants Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.

The Gentle Giant product line includes one dry dog food claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Gentle Giants Canine Cuisine (Dry)

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 10% | Carbs = 58%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, oatmeal, beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, poultry liver flavors, menhaden fish meal, dried egg product, brewers yeast, salt, potassium chloride, dried kelp, vegetable pomace (dried carrots, dried celery, dried beets, dried parsley, dried lettuce, dried watercress, dried spinach), dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation solubles, oligosaccharides, choline chloride, dried sweet potatoes, dried peas, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apples, taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, dried seaweed meal, mixed tocopherols and rosemary extract, ascorbic acid (a source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, beta carotene, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, niacinamide, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, manganous oxide, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), ethylenediamine dihydriodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, cobalt carbonate, Enterococcus faecium

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis22%9%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%10%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%23%54%

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

The second ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.

The fifth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The sixth 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 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.

After poultry liver flavors, we find fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

The tenth 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.

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 five notable exceptions

First, we find dried fermentation solubles, a by-product of commercial fermentation operations. This ingredient is most likely included in this recipe as a digestive enzyme.

Next brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Thirdly, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

Next, we also note the inclusion in this product of menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

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

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

Gentle Giants Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Gentle Giants Canine Cuisine appears to be 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 24%, a fat level of 10% and estimated carbohydrates of about 58%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 41%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Gentle Giants Canine Cuisine is a plant-based kibble using a modest amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.

Recommended.

A Final Word

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

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

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

06/06/2012 Original review
12/21/2013 Review updated
12/21/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Gentle Giants Website confirmed via Customer Service email, 6/6/2012
  • Judy Eastham

    My Mastiff was and also our Boxers all three of them.

  • Misty Clark

    My crew are rescues.

  • Judy Eastham

    Sorry to hear about the puppy mills, some of the dogs they advertise are beautiful older dogs. Let’s hope they are okay.

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    Please read the comments here. The food is overall terrible, and the people that make it are running a puppy mill.

  • Judy Eastham

    I have had two Great Danes and an English Mastiff and you can feed a puppy food until 1 yr but make sure it is a large breed food you don’t want them growing too fast. People make a mistake by not feeding LARGE breed. It effects their bones and organs. Your giant breeds are not like smaller ones. Be careful, both my Danes lived to 10 yrs old. Sadly cancer took them away from us. I am reading most posts and it seems like people are switching dog food at will and not doing a gradual switch over time, also add a probiotic. That will cause terrible GI issues.

  • Judy Eastham

    Give them a probiotic to get them through the transition.

  • Judy Eastham

    Did you know that Diamond makes a lot of dry dog food and they have many brands. Even the very expensive ones. They all come from the same company. And Costco brands are made by Diamond so is Taste of the Wild as an example.

  • Judy Eastham

    You switched without blending. Always ask your Vet how to do it. You caused your dogs unnecessary GI pain.

  • Judy Eastham

    My question is did you just switch one for the other without a blend over time? Because that will upset any dogs stomach and GI tract. Some people think they can just start right off with the new food, and it’s a no no.

  • Judy Eastham

    I have been feeding Taste of the Wild for the last year and a half. How does this Gentle Giants brand compare with it? Taste of the Wild is more expensive that is all I know for now, and it is grain free.

  • Firstfall

    My in-laws had us using Simply Right Exceed they got at Costco. Dogs seemed ok, but I noticed the one day some dog food dropped on the floor as I was measuring dinner and none of my dogs went for it.
    So I switched them to Gentle Giant. The older dog is having softer BM’s than with Exceed (which is a good thing – he was having constipation before) and both my lab mix dogs have shinier coats.
    I think it really can depend on the dog. When it comes to puppies I am a believer of puppy formulated food though.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Lauren –

    That’s definitely not a stupid question! The ingredients highlighted in red aren’t necessarily “bad” – they’re just controversial. Vegetable pomace is a by-product of the vegetable processing industry (basically analogous to meat by-products in the meat industry). For this reason, some people feel that it’s a low quality filler. Others, feel that it’s a functional ingredient due to it’s high levels of fiber and antioxidant content.

  • Lauren

    why is vegetable pomace bad? Sorry if thats a stupid question >.<

  • Carol Moyer

    Well the lifespan for larger dogs is much less than smaller dogs. I have 8 small dogs and my one little boy passed away at 21 years. I feed a lot of homemade food: cooked chicken (thighs as it it easy to remove the bones) and beef occasionally when on sale. I give some beef raw but lightly cook most of it. I use Merrick and Wellness Dry food

  • Carol Moyer

    I would not use Kirkland, you have no idea where the ingredients come from. Anything that cheap is suspect. i use Merrick, Origen or Arcana..
    I don’t remember everything I learned about Kirkland but I have never used it as a result of checking.
    Many Vets recommend very bad food and some sell it, such as Hills
    I also buy chicken on sale and add some to there food several times a week..i cook it in a crock pot first. Thighs are easiest because the bone is so easy to remove. Good Luck and health to your dogs

  • Carol Moyer

    Thank You so much for the extremely useful information.

  • salukimom

    My Saluki pup had similar issues regarding liquid stools. We got her at 9 weeks. Through months of trial and error and many vet prescription medications / treatments. Bland diet. We finally settled on Royal canine. Both of my dogs tolerate this well. Thank goodness.

  • ButtercupKelley

    My GSD also got the runs and HORRIBLE gas… I’m switching him back to his Eukenuba premium.

  • ButtercupKelley

    I fed mine Eukenuba Puppy, and he did fantastic. Been feeding him their Premium food as an adult, because he was so active he burned off a lot of calories. Solid stools, and tremendous growth. He’s now almost 6, and a friend told me about Gentle Giants, so I bought a bag last week and switched him over. OMG… Horrible gas and soft/loose stools!! I’m switching him back to Eukenuba starting today! Never again will I use GG.

  • clayton3120 clayton3120

    My GSD had stomach rashes after I fed him Nature’s Bounty. I read online where many dogs have had similar reactions. It was recommended that i try Origen and/ or Arcana ( same company) . It is expensive, but about the highest quality , human grade dog food you can buy. And yes, the stomach rash disappeared after about 5-6 days.

  • Shari Duvall Akers

    GG and the Wards have NEVER claimed to have been feeding this brand of food “for 17 years.” What an educated person knows about large breed animals is that, typically, the larger the breed, the shorter the life span.
    What the Wards are saying is that, these breeds, whose “normal” life expectancy was 7-10 years, has been extended. ~ They believe it has a lot to do with the primarily plant-based food they feed, and the socialization/human-dog integration they practice with their dogs.
    The poster, Michael V. has NOT been to the facility, in fact, all of his information is from a third-party — he says so on his “Facebook” page. He is new to the town of Norco and is known to be a typical 29 year old “Know-it-all.”

  • Jazzy

    Thanks you guys, yeah I’m going to the store today to get him new food. Those were the 2 brands I was looking at! Thanks again

  • InkedMarie

    Patty said what I would have but I wanted to say to get your dog off Gentle Giants.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Try Earthborn or Nature’s Variety

  • Sharon
  • Jazzy

    Hello, I recently purchased a GSD pup he is about 9 weeks old now. The breeder informed me that they had been feeding the liter Gentle Giants, I’ve never heard about this food prior however I didn’t want to switch his food right off the bat so I went out and bought a bag. I’m looking to see if anyone can help me out with some info. Since bringing him home his stool was a little soft, then over night turned into diarrhea. I took him to the vet to get checked out, they did all the test and everyone came back OK. He’s now on antibiotics for the diarrhea but it’s still not working. Now I’m almost positive it’s his food since everything is completely fine.

    Can someone please help me with a new food suggestion. I just want his stool to be normal, I feel bad for the little guy :(

  • Pattyvaughn

    NutriSource

  • tracy d.

    Hi I’m new just found you all and talking about the exact problem I have been dealing with. Gentle Giants Food and bad tummies. I have 5 dogs my 2 small dogs are fine but my other 3 WOW the gas is horrible. And the sludge that’s what I call the poop because that’s what it is sludge and the stench is is beyond the worse. I’ve been feeding GGs for the last few months hoping things would change some days its better but then back to Gas and sludge. The concept of the feedings helped the dogs be more calm through the day it seems they weren’t as stressed waiting for food nor were they begging either. So now if I have to change to a new food what would be a good choice keeping in mind I have 5 dogs and can’t afford an expensive dog food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Nobody. You could try a different lamb and rice food. There are several out there.

  • Jessica Goette

    I have a giant alaskan malamute who had a similar response. Every bowel movement he had for the first month was diarrhea. However, his symptoms varied with each bag of food I purchased (due to the huge amt. of food he eats, I REALLY wanted this food to work out bc of how much you get for the price). First bag= horrible stomach issues. Second bag= no issues. 3rd bag= stomach issues again–I don’t get it!! We are going to be switching.

  • Jessica Goette

    I bought this for my dogs (5 yr old choc. lab and 2 yr old giant alaskan malamute) and it really upset their stomachs. At first I thought it was just because of the sudden switch (I did not wean them off their previous food). My chocolate’s stomach settled down within the first week. However, my mal continued to have diarrhea and the worst gas known to man. I really wanted this food to work out because you get a lot of nag for your buck, so I decided that if his tummy settled down by the end of the first bag, we would stick with the gentle Giants brand. It took almost a month, but his tummy got much better. We had no problems to speak of. Then, about a month later, he got hit hard with diarrhea and gas again AND my chocolate started eating grass like no tomorrow. My dogs have always received compliments on how gorgeous their coats are, but since switching to this brand they both have dandruff, dull coats, and my chocolate has actually started losing large amounts of fur on her chest. he only thing I have changed is their dog food. I brought them to the vet because my dogs have allergies and he suggested I switch back to their old food. He actually spoke highly of the Kirkland brand. Looks like I have to get another Costco membership because I have had the most luck using their Kirkland lamb and rice formula dry food.Honestly, I don’t recommend Gentle Giants–it almost seemed like their symptoms varied (ebbed and flowed) with each new bag of dog food I bought which makes me wonder who is regulating their product.

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    As far as I know, she still has her dog.

  • Melissaandcrew

    My understanding is no and she won both lawsuits. Click the rescue link at the top for info.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Not an ethical bone in their bodies.

  • Betsy Greer

    Very interesting reading, Michael. Thanks for sharing the link to Barbara Laird’s site. I wouldn’t touch this food with a 10 foot pole after what I’ve read.

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    Help do something about this place. I live in the city this shelter is based in. He’s not liked here. We are Horsetown USA and major animal lovers. We are doing what we can to shut him down ASAP.
    http://www.gentlegiantnews.com/

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten
  • InkedMarie

    Anyone know if Barbara Laird had her dog repossessed? (The lady in the article)

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten
  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    http://www.gentlegiantnews.com/food.html

    MUST READ!!! The shelter is a VERY scary place.

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    Because they are about to go under after being exposed as the horrible place they are!
    http://www.gentlegiantnews.com/food.html

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    The food has been made since 2005, how can it ALREADY have proven the DAY it came out to make dogs live twice as long? Hmmmm….. I hope you stop that feed asap.

  • Michael Vern Van Veghten

    You should hop on the computer and do some research on the rescue. I’ve walked in that place. You’d be smart to stop feeding them this food immediately. Burt Ward is a disgusting human using these dogs as a money machine.
    http://www.gentlegiantnews.com/food.html

  • lasv

    I read all these negative comments and I am surprised. I don’t know about the larger dogs, but my 2 Chihuahuas have just about finished off their first bag of Gentle Giants.
    Right away, I noticed that both have so much more energy than before. I also how shiny their coats have become. My one overweight one has slimmed down a bit. She also had a lot of discharge that would crust under her eyes. I was told that it is usually due to allergies, many times caused by their food. Her eyes are clean now, so I would have to attribute that to whatever is in the food (or not) found in other high quality foods (as I’ve tried most).

  • Pattyvaughn

    Read this so you will know what the feeding issues are with giant breeds. Pay special attention to the posts by Hound Dog Mom. She has also put a couple of lists of foods that are appropriate for giant breed dogs.

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

  • Yana

    anyone out there who has Great pyreneese?I am tr6ying to find out what people feed 14 weeks-20 weekd old puppies.

  • Sammy

    I think Gentle Giants Rescue feed their dogs this food several times a day 4-7 and this seems to be the reason for the longevity and health of the larger breed dogs. They allow them to eat as much as they want for around 15 minutes at each feeding. I am starting my Mastiff on it now.

  • InkedMarie

    Ok, gotcha. I agree about the very quick miraculous transformations. They say to allow 4-6 weeks to see how a dog food will work.

    Glad you got your name fixed!

  • GSDsForever

    Yes, you are right. And I thank you very much for your help with that.

  • GSDsForever

    Hi InkedMarie. Patty’s right; I had been trying to change it on this side of the website (vs forums) and asking for help for a long time. Just got it changed/matched up with my forums name with the help of great people here.

    To answer your Q, I’m not at all doubtful that a dog can have a different reaction to a food from mine or someone else’s. I do not believe that ANY dog food is right for every dog. What I said is that I am often skeptical when people post very extreme results and strange happenings that they automatically attribute to a given dog food, often after a very brief introduction to it. I am skeptical too of extreme positive results that can be attributed to other things too. I am skeptical generally.

    That’s all. I don’t believe everything someone says on the internet or at the dog park or in a pet store. I hear people make a lot of claims that I believe are more likely than not, false or mistaken and based on ignorance of other factors.
    And specific to that poster, I do not believe that Royal Canin is some amazing superior food — and apparently neither does this site, per its ranking.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Got it.

  • InkedMarie

    ah. Hey, read your email, sent you two.

  • Pattyvaughn

    One of them is GSDsforever and she does want to change her name here but can’t figure out how.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m assuming you two Cindys are two different Cindys. I suggest, if one of you is going to stay here, that you contact Dr Mike and ask if one of you can change your name. Two people with the same spelling of your name makes it look like you’re talking to yourselves.
    Anyway, regarding the above post, why are you doubtful that someone’s dog had a different reaction to a food than you may have? All dogs are different. I DO know people who’s dogs have had negative reactions to foods my dogs did fine on. They transition slowly but it just doesnt’ work for their dogs. Vice versa. A couple past dogs did not do well on certain foods but others have good luck.

  • Shawna

    Oh my goodness, I completely missed this post.. I’m very sorry for not responding..

    There’s A LOT of very knowledgeable people on here. I hope one of them was able help you!!

  • Cindy

    I totally agree with you;
    On the ‘Urban Wolf’ website which is a premix, basically you mix the meat with their mix to have it balanced; they say that they have not found a difference when people feed their premix with cooked vs. raw meat.
    My older dog has sometimes issues digesting the raw. But it depends how often I give it, what kind of meat, and how food is combined, and if I give probiotics/enzymes.
    I also don’t think it is that healthy to feed the commercial meat while these animals were fed a commercial diet vs. grass and natural foods. It is not the same, also you are having environmental issues, toxins and so on to deal with in food, so I don’t think the solution is commercial meat and some premix.
    I think a better approach is a wholesome meal with fresh vegetables, fruit etc. so you provide antioxidants, as well give herbs and other healthy things. I do believe most should be meat, or at least 50%, but I also believe you can add some plant protein, but other people are against that.
    to me it is all theories, if you try it out you will see for yourself if it works for you or not and you will see how long your dog will live and be healthy. Mine are very healthy and as long as I had them I never had to go to the vet (8 years so far).
    I don’t believe the dog will live longer just on a 90% raw meat diet, I think there are other factors that prolong life.

  • Cindy

    I feed pretty much identical supplements & add ins as you do every day . . . in addition to a few others that are specific for my dog, like his TCM.

    I used to feed exclusively homemade, combo of lightly cooked and raw depending on ingredient. It was tough to get the amount of calories into my dog that he needs without including grains . . . or get him to eat that volume of food when I did. He couldn’t digest whole grains like brown rice AT ALL, that I chose thinking it would be more beneficial than white rice, which he digested perfectly. White rice or potatoes or pasta I never thought could be healthful, for anyone or animal, since high glycemic & over processed/devoid of nutrients. But now high glycemic & simple sugars have been completely contraindicated for my senior dog anyway.

    GSDs are notoriously bad digesters compared to other breeds. EPI is present in a small minority, while generally TL/enzyme activity tested numbers for GSDs are FAR lower in even healthy, no symptoms/non-EPI diagnosed dogs. And plant materials — whether grains/seeds/pseudo grains/nuts/fruits & veggies — seems to bring that out in my current one dog.

    I don’t recall how he did with quinoa, because I can’t remember it vs amaranth, but I would be surprised if he could handle another tiny seed/pseudograin anymore than grains. Oatmeal seemed to work the best, iirc.

    Ziwipeak itself told me not to feed their food, as they could not provide the calories needed to sustain even my older dog. I like the Stella&Chewy formulations, but again very not affordable for a large dog. There was an affordable local raw mix here (~$1.65/lb), but only offering chicken (which my dog is allergic to).

    Again cost and volume of food to supply a lot of calories is the problem. 2000-3000 calories is what I’ve needed for an adult GSD on the smaller size . . . and that wasn’t even for doing heavy exercise & dog sports. I can only imagine the cost for mostly meat, premium quality sourced. I’m not in a position to be feeding at $300+/month per dog, on top of paid activities/training/vet care/insurance.

    I don’t particularly believe in the all raw meat diet vs some fresh lightly cooked & raw (depending on ingredient) — and my dog def prefers cooked — but I would love to feed all homemade. For now, he gets the best kibble I know and fresh foods added + whole food supplements. He also receives Stella & Chewy’s, as toppers or treats.

    Most owners with dogs fed raw that I’ve met feed cheap low quality things (and/or inhumanely sourced/farmed) I do not consider great OR the dogs cannot keep weight on (too few calories/too much bone vs food) OR they have fortunate access to sources I do not OR they have little dogs (lol) OR eat less expensive chicken (allergic) OR some combination of above. Some people cut corners elsewhere — training, vet care, insurance. Anyway, even without a chicken allergy, I would not want to feed most beef, chicken, pork from factory farms.

  • Cindy

    Sounds like most of it is sales pitch.
    Regarding reviews; yes not 100% reliable and objective, or there are false ones, but often it is true and there appears to be a certain tendency while most people do have similar experiences with the food.

  • Cindy

    I’m a little suspicious/doubtful whenever someone posts and extremely negative “I fed this & these were the results” type posts.
    I mean, one food I feed a poster w/my breed (GSD) claimed it made all the hair on her dog fall out & Royal Canin for GSDs was better. Please. Not buying any of that.

    Often, I don’t think it’s the food. Many people claim their dogs cannot eat whatever high protein/rich food, for example, because they improperly transitioned from extremes in diets & never gave it chance. I’m not sure I believe that most healthy dogs cannot digest high amounts of animal protein with normal stools, given the chance as canines.

    Anyway, not planning to feed this food — just something I stumbled across and found interesting. Followed a link on the rescue & it’s hot and cold extremes in claims. No idea what’s the truth. If this were my breed, I could find that out pretty quickly. . . lol.

  • Cindy

    Below you see a review from someone stating their dog did not very well on this food. The kibbles I feed you can go on this website and read reviews, you don’t usually read reviews like that. I don’t think this food is that great.

  • Cindy

    I know funny…did not know what to do for now..
    Did not know Great Danes only live 8 years, WOW..bummer…so when they say a Schnauzer (one of my dogs) lives to be 15 years old usually, I expect at least 20. We will see, we will know in 20 years or whenever we are old and hopefully not in a nursing home dying which diets are best…based on the dogs they live longest…some people swear by only raw, others swear by only home cooked, I give some cooked I give some raw, but mostly home made. Kibble brands I give only 3 x a week and the best brands are in my opinion Fromm, Horizon and Health extension/vet.
    But I’m sure there are others, but these also give great digestion.

    Well not all animals have the same types of diseases and in comparison to humans the same; but dogs can have heart issues too, and strokes as well, the others I would rather deny that they would be absent, not sure.

    When the dog has issues digesting the food, then I would give the dog DIGESTIVE ENZYMES as well as PROBIOTICS (or Yoghurt), it really makes a difference; could not imagine giving my dogs food without it.

    So when I make my home made food is is merly protein based. I don’t usually use grains, including rice, as it is hard to digest. I def. suggest at least 60% protein source, rather more, and the rest can be a premix or what I do is I usually cook Quinua, which is a seed, not a typical grain. It is very rare that I add a little tiny bit selective grains but I stay away from it for the most part. I give my dogs also as much raw as possible, though they don’t always eat it, for instance, they don’t like lamb or beef raw, so I have to cook it but they eat raw pork and chicken.

    In order to balance food properly can be difficult, that is why people buy premixes, for instance Grandma Lucy mix etc. as it can be convenient, all you have to do is add it to the meat.

    I also give my dogs herbs, fruit, vegetables, Anchovy oil from Iceland, Spirulina, Kelp, Bee pollen etc. but also here and there a canned food, but rarely, maybe once a month.
    I also give Ziwipeak dried and like North west natural the lamb version frozen; I’m also gonna try the Answer food frozen soon.

  • Cindy

    Funny & confusing . . . one CIndy responding to another Cindy, lol. Side note: I cannot figure out how to get my posting name changed on this site! (It’s GSDsForever on the forums side but won’t let me use that here.).

    I don’t know what breed(s) you are expecting to live to 20 vs 17, but 17 is rather shockingly good for a Great Dane as far as I know.

    If you are talking small to medium breed, then I really don’t think it’s a good comparison. I would be shocked even to learn of repeat GSDs living to 20. Think you can accomplish that?

    I don’t know anything about this food — that’s why I asked — or when it was created or how long it’s been what they feed or what they fed before. But I would venture to guess that they formulated to mimic what they were selectively feeding before.

    They’re pushing LOW protein, LOW fat, talking heart attacks, heart disease, and clogged arteries — all of which is in contrast to what’s promoted in the super premiums and hit diets now.

    I do believe that a fresh foods diet is best, but I don’t think it’s affordable and therefore practical if the style is high meat protein/whole prey with high quality/purest sourced variety pasture grazed game, wild fish, organic, non factory farmed domestic, and clean super foods from veggies/fruits.

    I still think any type of fresh whole healthful foods diet has got to be best — like that Bramble border collie mix fed hommade lentils & rice +veggies, which was probably a pretty “clean” diet. I’m sure the diet specifics, plus it being fresh homemade vs kibble/can/dehydrated, plus his medium breed mix all contributed to his longevity.

    I don’t have experience with giant breeds. Usually Dane people talk 7-9 averages. So for all I know these folks could be on to something & I find that interesting. As far as I know from their website, they’ve only fed dry kibble.

    Certainly, large prey animals/herbivores-omnivores live longer than domestic dogs, which live longer than wild canines (for a variety of factors we haven’t sorted out/can’t completely know). And humans eating healthful vegetarian to vegan diets tend to have dramatically reduced various diseases, including cancer that is now heavily affecting dogs & cats (for probably myriad reasons including food and vet care regimen & environmental) — which may correspond with their lower protein, lower fat & lower saturated fat thinking. Who knows?

    On the other hand, I’d heard clogged arteries and heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, and issues with saturated fat were not things that afflicted dogs. And I know my own dog has difficult digesting some whole food plant sourced ingredients homemade, with a system said not to be well designed for digesting various grains, fruits, veggies, etc.

  • Cindy

    Isn’t that this this actor Robin Batman who has also a different food from Uruguay I used to feed it too…Wenavea; while I liked their concept, their costumer service had no clue about was going on..and then there was no costumer service all the sudden anymore.

    Gentle Giant food, I thought just came out recently, how can they claim the dogs live very long on this food unless the food is that old? I don’t think it is possible that they can say their 17-year old dog was fed this food for 17 years as I would be surprised to hear the food has been around for that long…
    Don’t know why it would be so special as the ingredients are not that special. There are many 4-5 star foods which seem having better ingredients, I think.

    I would like to know a food that makes my dogs live the longest; unfortunately nobody knows, maybe in 20 years we know more as these companies have not been around for that long.

    17 years for a dog…I expect my dogs to live at least until 20.
    I don’t think you can expect a dog to live that long when you give it only dry food, I believe that they need fresh food too.

  • Cindy

    Just chanced upon the rescue website affiliated w/this food. Strange.

    What does anyone make of their many very long lived dogs (like 17 yr old Great Danes, etc.) and attributing it substantially to this food? Their nutritional claims vis a vis longevity in their dogs?

    Apparently they even require those adopting their rescues to feed it.

    I am always fascinated by achieved results of long lived healthy dogs, particularly outside the expected life span window for a given breed, such a large and giant breed.

    (I don’t know why so many people with very tiny or even small breeds proudly tell me how long a given dog they’ve had lived in relation to my GSDs. They really aren’t comparable, just as I wouldn’t presume to compare GSDs to really giant breeds or differently structured.)

  • Bluesmom

    Dog had diarrhea with this dog food

  • Megan Kimbrell

    This is the worst dog food we have ever come into contact with. We have a 60 lb 4 month old great dane male and a 120 lb 2 year old great dane female so were on a constant search for a food they both agree with, seeing how our vet has advised against feeding puppy food and we would like them on the same food if possible. We came across GG brand and thought it couldn’t hurt to try. Boy, were we ever wrong. We haven’t even finished switching their food over yet completely and we’ve already noticed some HUGE changes, for the worst.

    Our female is an extremely active great dane and has always been very healthy and friendly, however in the past 4 days that we have been switching the food over she has thrown up 9 times (that we know of), become exceedingly irritable, lethargic, lazy, and just all around not acting like herself at all. When we quit feeding it for a few days, per vet recommendation, and mixed just her old food with rice, she perked right up and went back to our baby girl. Today was her first day back on GG and its now 9am and I have spent since 5am cleaning up dog vomit.

    Our male is a typical giant puppy, he sleeps like it’s going out of style and is gaining an average of 5-6 lbs a week and has been for the past 2 months and always has had spotless health, however since we began switching him to this food as well he too has began vomiting numerous times, including projectile which is uncommon for dogs and has had a rapid decline in his weight gain (only a single pound in the last 5 days). He has quit playing as often when he is awake and more often than not now lays there and stares. He’s always visibly uncomfortable and has developed regular diarrhea in addition to the vomit.

    Neither dog will eat another scoop of this dog food, ever. This is the worst experience we have ever had with food of any brand and upon doing further research into it we have found many others with similar experiences. It’s certainly not a food I would ever recommend.

  • Thomas Daniel

    i been buying gentle giants but now i cannot contact them for love or money like the dropped off the radar

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi BCMom –

    There is no “best” dry dog food. If you want to feed your dog dry food the best thing to do would be to pick at least 2 or 3 different 4 or 5 star foods, rotate every so often and use species-appropriate toppers (high quailty canned food, raw, healthy leftovers, etc.).

  • BCMom

    Sounds like most of your are up on your research so what is the best dry dog food to feed…if there is one. Or what do you feed your dogs?

  • Edc0629

    Help I just bought a bag of the gentle giants dry food!!!! What is a good canned food I can add to it? I wish would have checked here first before I bought a 40 lbs bag of this uuuugggghhhh!!!!

  • Berner mum

    Hi Shawna;
    You seem to be the expert around here and I’m new to this website. I’m trying to find the best food for my 2 year old Berner and I’m confused about how much protein to give her. Some say lower protein, some say higher, etc. and as she’s a large breed I’m confused. Right now I’m feeding her the Kirkland Premium (when I can get to Cosco) and mixed with Taste of the Wild (but I’m leery about anything made by Diamond). Can you help? I’d love to do Orijen but I also have a rescue dog who’s about 55 lbs so am afraid it can be expensive…any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Shawna

    I found HUGE inaccuracies regarding nutrition on the site…  I wonder where on earth they got their original data from???  You aren’t the only one that found the rescue to be less then impressive..  The reviews are HORRIBLE… :(

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.a.trump Stephanie Anne Equality Trump

    If you read Burt Ward’s website, at least regarding greyhounds, he emphasizes low protein and low fat. Which is the complete opposite of what my greyhound rescue group told me when I adopted from them. He also doesn’t make clear if the greyhounds are rescued from tracks or if the available dogs are AKC or other greyhounds. Overall, I was not impressed with Gentle Giants rescue.

  • Shawna

    Hi Sandy ~~ I don’t think adult maintenance should even be that low in fat (for a healthy dog)..  The general rule which Becker, Taylor etc follow is that fat should be at or just below 50% of the protein (in a high protein diet). 

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Is 10% fat really for “all life stages”?  Any food with that low fat I’ve seen is for adult maintenance.

  • Toxed2loss

    LOVE YOU TOO, GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    LOL, Yeh, you complete me!!!!!!!!!! I suppose we should have gone into the excitotoxins induce hunger thing, for all the readers out there that aren’t aware of it yet… O wait, LOL, we just did! GFETE (if anyone wants it, we do have a citation and have posted it in past discussions. I think it was on the Brother’s thread.)

    I’m glad we have so many knowledgable foster moms and dads in our community. You guys are awesome!!!!!!

  • doggonefedup

     Thank you,
     That’s Max on the left and Baer on the right. Today max is 7yr 78lbs 26″ Baer is 3yr over 120lbs 32″ Shultz is next to me behind the camera 11yr 96lb 27″  they’re all still as playful as puppies :-)

  • Shawna

    LOL!!!!  LOVE YOU girl!!!

    Sometimes I think you read my mind :)..  First thing that popped in my head was —- all those incomplete proteins are going to cause kidney stress NOT the meat protein…

    Second thought was — FAT causing hunger OMG…  Look at all the excitotoxins!! 

    Kept those thoughts to myself though as I didn’t want to get too complex in the one post!!  Not to mention, I was wrapped up in the rescue side of things……..

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Doggonefedup……..

    Your dogs are awesome!!! I had a big German Shep, once named Boss. I love german sheps. 

  • Shawna

    They are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!  They look very healthy too!

    My folks had three GSDs when I was growing up (Bull, King and Samantha :)..  GSDs are AWESOME!!!

    No, I didn’t notice the bar and grill ;)..  Did notice the rock jacuzzi though..  Pretty lavish indeed..  After leaving my last post I thought to myself — if they let those dogs in there they would have constant filter maintenance issues??  I’m guessing…. 

    And, you are right — I thought the bed was a bit, shall we say, cozy for two people that can afford a water feature like that..  Didn’t even dawn on me til you said that (about staging) that there wasn’t any other furniture, wall hangings, drapery etc in the room except the bed???  However, not much of the room is shown so???

    The 20% is a guideline only..  Depending on the food being added to it could be more or less..  The calcium to phos ratio set by the AAFCO is anywhere from a 1 to 1 to a 2 to 1 ratio (that leaves a lot of wiggle room—ideal is considered to be 1.3 to 1 to 1.5 to 1).  I know you add organs and veggies (I think) too so the 30 to 40 may be just fine..??  Especially if a lot of variety is added.. :)

  • Toxed2loss

    GFETE, 2 thumbs up! Glad to hear it!

  • doggonefedup

     Shawna did you see the gas grill and wet bar by the waterfall? I’ve known some very smart dogs but not that smart. way to lavish just for dogs 
     You’re right I didn’t pay much attention to the photos at first but those dogs do look a little on the slim side. That whole bedroom looks like a prop for the photo shoot. 
     I wasn’t aware of the 20% thing I’ve been doing 30-40% meat for years. Plus a good sized handful of organ meats during the day. here’s a pic of my two younger dogs playing. The one on the right was 6 months old at the time.

  • doggonefedup

     hey Toxed,
    Changed my mind I ain’t touching this stuff

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi guys,
    Nice sleuthing!! I wouldn’t even consider this because the graIns are so high on the list that the majority of protein must be plant based, and then the multiple sources of of Excito-toxins…

    “Chicken meal, pearled barley, brown rice, oatmeal, beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flax seed, poultry liver flavors, fish meal, dried egg product, brewers yeast…”

    Barley, rice & oatmeal are 2nd, 3rd & 4th. The processing of those carbs could make them Hugh in free glutamic and Aspartic acids… Then look how high flaxseed is! Wow! Thats awful! Then we have flavors and yeast? Not liking it.

    Well, if we remember what we’ve learned from Shawna before about how plant based proteins are incomplete, and don’t have a complete amino acid panel for building healthy tissue and repair, then we certainly would be leery of this product. (thanks Shawna! I feel so smart now! LOL)

  • ImaPistol

     One would think that no one would post pictures of unfavorable
    conditions on their website, things can be cleaned up, pictures can be
    photoshopped. I do it myself, cutting kids or background people out of
    my own pictures.  Enhancing the color or even “cutting” a dog out of one
    photo and placing it in a completely different scene setting.  It is a
    hobby of mine, and while my photos are obviously amateur there are
    people out there that can professionally fix a picture to where no one
    would know the difference.  These people are multimillionaires, why
    couldn’t they pay someone to edit their photos and create an inviting
    website.  Even the picture of them in their bedroom with all the dogs,
    the dogs could have easily been placed in that photo (not saying there
    were or weren’t).   I have 7 dogs (3 of which are small breeds) and what a mess they are, could you
    imagine…..
     

     
     

  • Shawna

    That is GORGEOUS!!!

    I have very mixed emotions :(  The website looks great and the dogs shown don’t look to be in “grotesque condition”..  However there are so many negative reviews :(  I even saw negative reviews from other rescuers and a vet.

    The one thing I noticed in the video of them in the bedroom — some dogs were a bit under nourished and bony (but not horrible) and a few were a bit overweight — but I didn’t see one dog, not one, with good muscle tone..  My Chihuahua has more muscle then any of those dogs in that video.  If there is not enough protein in the diet to create muscle then there isn’t enough for cellular repair, manufacturing of enzymes etc :(

    Granted you can add additional protein to the food but in order to maintain balance you can only add up to 20%..  That is still too little meat based protein for “optimal” health..

    I’m sure others will voice there opinions and experiences soon…

  • doggonefedup

    Shawna,
     The possible red flags are why I requested the review. I’m also wondering about rodent feces.  did you also see the “lazy river” and the waterfall ? I was hoping to get more responses from more people.

  • InkedMarie

    ignore previous message

  • doggonefedup

    there’s more bad reports than just tribe net check this one out too   http://www.ripoffreport.com/non-profit-charities/gentle-giants-rescue/gentle-giants-rescue-and-adopt-cm7c9.htm
     I volunteer at 2 shelters when I can too. maybe your right. I’m just always trying to find a good and safe food so I was willing to look past all that, but, they if are that bad with the dogs in their care then maybe not supporting them by purchasing their food is the right thing to do. But that’s what these forums are all about… to get different perspectives.

  • Shawna

    If they are feeding the rescue dogs this food — that says it all for me :(

    “There is no “meet the herd”, they will bring out 5 or 6 dirty, sickly dogs one at a time to a fenced gravel are they have you sit in.”

    “The dogs are in nothing short of grotesque condition.”

    ” THE DOG ADOPTED FROM THERE WAS VERY SICK AND SHE TOLD IT LOOKED THE BEST OUT OF ALL OF THEM…”

    These three reviews by different people (and different years) are all from the link I posted in previous post..

  • Shawna

    Doggonefedup ~~ after reading the reviews about the rescue itself ——- I HIGHLY question the “quality” of the ingredients in the food???

    Not much is red flagged — because we don’t know the particulars.  The chicken meal could be of lower quality then meals in other foods?  The grains could be moldy?  The food is only 22% protien and A LOT of that protein is likely from the barley and oats (not the meat meal).  The “fish” meal could be preserved with ethoxyquin?

    Like ImaPistol, I highly question the ethics of this rescue and therefore this food…???

  • ImaPistol

    One of the things that I found interesting is (and correct me if I am wrong) this feed has only been on the market since 2007, so how could this contribute to a dog living to be 20 years old. Had it been on the market since 1997, then okay, there is a possibility. Some “other feed” had to contribute to a Dane living to be 15 LOL  There is a picture on their website of their daughter with 2 great dane pups as a child and then 2 adult danes pictured with her as an adult herself…but if you ask me they are not the same Danes.  The pup pictured on right should be the adult dog on left, however the markings do not match up. Same as the other pup. I guess you would have to examine them closely as I know markings change over the years….but I am very skeptical.  

  • Shawna

    Thanks ImaPistol :)  Made me laugh :)!!!

    I read a review site on the rescue too and I gotta tell you — I wouldn’t buy this food for anything in the world if simply for no other reason then not to support the so called “rescue”..  I foster for a legitimate rescue and the reviews I read (from just ONE site) leave me very ill at ease.. :(

    This is the site I read http://www.tribe.net/recommendation/DO-NOT-go-to-Gentle-Giants-Rescue-and-Adoptions-in-CA-See-this-site-for-details/bfc3316c-5619-4704-bd11-bf583c4219c9

  • doggonefedup

     Imapistol,
    I asked for this review also. And I’m not buying into the hype either but with all the recalls going on we just don’t know what  we are getting these days. So I am looking past all hype and looking at the food itself.

  • hounddogmom12

    Just checked out the website to see what the hype is all about, I honestly had never heard of this food. It seems to me the website is implying that this food is causing great danes to live to be 20 years old? Whaaat?! If a great dane lives that long on this food that’s strictly genetics. However although admittedly the protein and fat is wayyy to low, I looked at the price of this food and I think it would be a fairly decent bargain buy for people on a budget. The ingredients aren’t horrible for the price.

  • ImaPistol

     One of my pet peeves when looking at dog food is the way it is marketed and/or packaged.  I don’t know why some things bother me like they do. It seems to me some methods of advertising are redirecting the focus on other things which takes away from the actual quality of the food so companies are marking up the price of the food to cover their over the top packaging, marketing or advertising. For instance this food in particular using a NON-PROFIT rescue and the Creators role as robin 30 some years ago (A has been).  Well there is more, and I will leave the rest of you to decide for yourself how good this food is and how legitimate the business really is….now I am not one to believe “everything I read” and only 1/2 of what I see, but what I read on the link below when first researching the company left me sleepless and up all hours of the night online looking at more and more and more http://www.gentlegiantnews.com/index.php

  • doggonefedup

    Like I said a lot of hype!!! I don’t know how much they believe, and how much is there just to push their product. the web has a lot of bad reviews about their rescue operation but not so
    much about the food other than 1000’s of links to their website.
      The food it self if it is “all natural” like they claim should balance out nicely with fresh meats. I would never feed my dogs just kibble so by adding the fresh meats it will raise the % good proteins and good fats that you just can’t get in a kibble no matter how good it is because of the processing.
    As far as fat causing a dog to eat more, I don’t believe that at all. I have heard about “flavored fats” being put on some kibbles to make it taste good to dogs so they would eat it though. I not so sure of the “life extending” claims either, but the review on DFA looks good so I’m going get a bag and see for myself. I’ve got 3 GSD’s that just won’t touch it if it doesn’t smell right to them.
    I do use Evo, ZiwiPeak, TOTW, and a few others. I think it is a lot better than just feeding the exact same food 24/7/365! That in it self could cause a problem too.

  • ImaPistol

    Go get them Shawna!!! I knew I could count on you!!!!  There are some other things I am waiting to spring…I asked for this review to be posted.   There is SO MUCH MORE Gentle Giants don’t know the first thing about, let alone nutrition.  The first is ethics!!!!  Our dogs NEED good quality protein levels and less JUNK!!!

  • Shawna

    I am literally appalled at the number of inacurrate and downright harmful statements about food on their website!!!  Excess protein “cuases” kidney disease — that just makes me MAD!!!!!  Fat causes a dog to eat more??  It is VERY apparent that they don’t know the first thing about canine nutrition :(

  • Shawna

    No WAY???  SERIOUSLY????

  • melissa

     When I read the site, it was saying how one should NEVER feed more than 22 percent protein due to kidney damage : ) And, a dog should never have more than 9% fat…

  • doggonefedup

    I just checked Gentle Giants website and they are offering a 10% discount on orders.  There is a lot of hype on the website, I have to wonder how much is advertising and how much is sincere. Worth checking out.

  • doggonefedup

    I’ve been waiting for this review. I never feed straight kibble so this should prove to be a good choice when used with toppers like Evo’s 95% meat or fresh meats and homemade broth. I use several different kibbles in a rotation. I will be adding this one. My boys can be quite picky about what they eat, so this should be interesting.

  • melissa

    InkdMarie-

    When I googled it a week or so ago, I found that it seems to be sold in Walmart stores. Found alot of other stuff when I googled as well……

  • InkedMarie

    I’ve never even heard of this food!

  • ImaPistol

    Thank you for adding this to your review!  I can’t wait to hear what others have to say about it and see who has fed it.