Merrick Classic Dog Food (Canned)


Rating: ★★★★★

Merrick Classic canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Merrick Classic product line includes 19 canned 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.

  • Merrick Classic Turducken All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Puppy Plate All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Brauts-N-Tots All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Senior Medley All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Cowboy Cookout All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Grammy’s Pot Pie All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Working Dog Stew All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Smothered Comfort All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Wingaling All Breeds (4.5 stars)
  • Merrick Classic Turducken Toy and Small Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Mediterranean Banquet All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Thanksgiving Day Dinner All Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Wild Buffalo Grill All Breeds (4.5 stars)
  • Merrick Classic Wilderness Blend All Breeds (4.5 stars)
  • Merrick Classic Cowboy Cookout Toy and Small Breeds
  • Merrick Classic Venison Holiday Stew All Breeds (4 stars)
  • Merrick Classic Grammy’s Pot Pie Toy and Small Breeds
  • Merrick Classic French Country Cafe All Breeds (4.5 stars)
  • Merrick Classic Thanksgiving Day Dinner Toy/Small Breeds

Merrick Classic Cowboy Cookout was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Merrick Classic Cowboy Cookout

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 47% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 29%

Ingredients: Deboned beef, beef broth, sweet potato, carrots, green beans, apples, peas, dried egg product, natural pork flavor, potato starch modified, blueberries, canola oil, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, sodium phosphate, vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, niacin, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, thiamine mononitrate), carrageenan, cassia gum, olive oil, flax oil, minerals (zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt glucoheptonate, sodium selenite), natural caramel color, Yucca schidigera extract, lecithin

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis9%3%NA
Dry Matter Basis47%16%29%
Calorie Weighted Basis41%34%25%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The fourth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

The sixth ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The seventh 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 eighth 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 four notable exceptions

First, we find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

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

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

Next, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

In addition, olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

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.

Merrick Classic Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Merrick Classic canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 47%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 29%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Merrick Classic is a grain-free meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of various named species 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Merrick Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

07/15/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Just me

    My concern is, for every whole seed we find, how many ground up seeds are in the can? I have also found what appears to be apple stems in the can. I am starting to wonder if they even bother to core the apples… And if they do, how poor is quality control if this seed issue continues to exist for sooo long?

  • sharron

    i bought a few cans of this food today – took lexee off the royal canin wet food – i am assuming this is a decent food – thanks

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’ve found apple seeds intermittently, but only in formulas that contained apples in the ingredient list. It seems to be a batch issue as I don’t see it on a regular basis.

  • Janice Hooper

    Yes apples are in the ingredients.

  • Debbie

    Are the apple seeds just in the Senior formula? I am thinking of switching my dog to Merrick canned from another brand and wouldn’t even think to look in the ingredients or food itself for apple seeds. Is apple listed on the ingredients? If so I will make sure there’s no apples in the formula I choose.

  • Pam Derrickson Etheridge

    My Havanese Lola is almost 16, and I needed a wet food to mix with dry so she’d continue to eat well. Once I tried Merrick canned, that was it! She loves it all and licks her bowl. I need the dry to keep her stools firm. She gobbles up the dry when it’s mixed with Merrick canned. I feed her twice a day, and so far she is thriving and quite lively for 16!

  • Janice Hooper

    Could be these are from the same lot or time frame? Either way I’ll just continue to check it before I feed him. The food itself is so light it really stuck out. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find the 100% perfect food and I really like the ingredients in this one, except the seeds of course.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks for posting that site Labs! I knew I had read that somewhere because my daughter was giving her dog the apple cores after she was done eating them. I just couldn’t remember where the link was.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yep! That’s what they did for me. Of course the coupons are nice, but since I reported it last fall and you are finding it again, I hope QC is paying attention!

  • Janice Hooper

    I think that’s what I’ll do. Small dog so not that hard to sift through that tiny amount. I read that it’s more toxic if they chew it should one slip through. He’s like a big dog in that he just swallows food without really chewing lol.

  • Janice Hooper

    I understand because machinery is doing the work that stands to reason this would happen. He really likes it. Small dog, small amount, small inconvenience to pick them out.

  • Janice Hooper

    I did and they are sending coupons for free cans and letting QC know.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Janice I have found a seed or two in Turducken cans. My dogs love it so much that I didn’t mind just picking them out.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Janice, I use Merrick cans often in my rotation. Coincidentally, I just bought a lot of the Senior Medley on sale. I haven’t had the issue with any of the cans I’ve opened but this has happened to me when I was using another flavor. I think it was one of the seasonals, but I buy so many varieties and it happened last fall. There were actually several seeds in many of the cans of the same variety.
    I called Merrick and gave them the lot number. They did send me coupons. I did end up using the cans and just sifted through and pulled out the seeds, but that is a pain. It’s too bad that they can’t seem to correct this problem.

  • Crazy4cats

    That is very disappointing. Have you contacted Merrick about this problem?

  • Janice Hooper

    Well I answered my own question, opened the can this morning and there was a seed in the first 3rd of the can. Will check the rest tonight. So disappointing since he loves it so much.

  • Janice Hooper

    We recently started feeding our dog the senior medley, do we have an update on the apple seed issue? I haven’t looked at the 2 cans I have fed him that closely but will when I open can number 3 in the am. We were just feeding him this while he recovered from the cleaning and extraction he just had.

  • April Forrest

    I have a one year old 10 lb Yorkie. It is recommended that he have 345 Kcal per day. In the morning I give him 1/2 small can of Merrick and mix it with 1/4 cup dry Merrick which adds up to approx 162.75 Kcal. That plus the same thing for dinner equals 325.5 Kcal which means I have about 25 Kcal remaining for treats. He also loves carrots so I cut up a couple of tiny 2″ carrots and mix it in his food.

  • Dori

    If you go to you can see the different dog food products, dry and canned. Pick out the one you want to start with and then click on their feeding guidelines for that particular food. It will tell you how many calories are in the food and how much of the can or part of a cup you should feed. Keep in mind that that is a guideline and not an absolute. If you’re dog starts to lose weight, feed a little more. If your dog starts to gain weight, feed a little less. Also remember that the feeding guideline is for the entire day, whether you feed once of twice a day. It’s not a measurement for each meal if you feed twice. It’s for the entire day. Glad you’re switching from Royal Canin. I’m not thrilled with Merrick foods either but it’s much better than Royal Canin. Hope I’ve helped.

  • Mariella

    I have a year old maltese/shitzu mix. He has just recently been diagnosed with a unidentified food allergy. The vet put him on Royal Canin but he has terrible dry mouth and was very lethargic. I am looking into switching to Merrick small cans but I don’t know if he should be eating one whole can at every meal. He is 11 pounds and refuses dry food. Any advice would be great. Thanks!

  • PrivacyInA9M80

    I love this food for the quality, the variety, and the fact my dogs will always eat it, no questions asked. Hell, I licked some of the gravy off my finger, and I couldn’t complain. Great brand.

  • inspirednature

    We recently tried turducken and my dachsies liked it. A lot. But I notice now that it contains canola oil. Our house is GMO-free. I hope they take that ingredient out. Wake me when they do…

  • theBCnut

    It probably has slightly lower protein than some of the others.

  • jay

    why is wingaling a 4.5 star?, this food is awesome there was a big piece of chicken in it with bones but the bones were really soft so dogs wont choke my dog loved it. never seen dog food like this before

  • Jennifer L

    That was Natural Balance that was acquired by Del Monte.

  • Victoria

    I have a four month old Maltese who is the pickiest eater in the world! I’ve tried brand after brand, only to have her refuse to eat it…and then have a hypoglycemic attack from low blood sugar (she’s only 2 lbs.). I was desperate…and then I found Merrick. The first time I put the small can of Pot Pie in her bowl, she scarfed down every bite and licked the bowl! She likes the chicken and turkey more than the beef. I just wish it wasn’t so expensive…but it’s worth it to finally find something she will eat! LOVE it!!!

  • Michelle

    I LOVE this line of dog food….give my rottie both the wet and dry until we hit a financial bump. Hopefully, though, next payday will put us back on track. My husband will read the ingredients and say, “This dumb dog eats better than we do!” To which I reply.. “When I can feed us for two weeks on $100, we’ll talk.”
    Brutus, our rottie was a skinny, underweight shop dog when we rescued him. Shy, nervous, and sluggish…until we started feeding him Merrick and other quality foods. Now he’s he11 on wheels…as our poor backyard can attest. I don’t know how much is food, and how much is attention…but we have a happy, healthier than when we got him, dog. Still have some issues we need to address–heartworm positive and the eyelid issues common with rotties…but one step at a time.

  • Jackie B

    I just tried the Wingaling with Prince. The bones are very soft, you can crush them into bits with the edge of a spoon. I think Prince will benefit from the bones since he has some joint issues.

  • Norma P

    I feed the Merick grain free line (I have a dog who is sensitive to grains) we rotate btw the duck, chicken, turkey , beef, and pork. I switched from another food to Merick when the other food became too expensive for is to afford and I have been very satisfied with it. My dogs look wonderful, have tons of energy, their weight is perfect and their eyes are bright and their coats are shiny and soft. I also like how they use local ingredients.

  • InkedMarie

    I read that as Southern Comfort. Carry on!

  • sandy

    The bones are really soft in Smothered Comfort. First time I’ve bought the recipe with whole chicken pieces. I have some Wingaling to try also.

  • sandy

    Thanks Merrick for donating to rescue groups!

  • Pingback: Best Canned Dog Food: A Few Extra Years For Your Dog | Best Dog Treats For Your Happy & Healthy Dog !!()

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Ysabella,

    I read an article recently published by Susan Thixton that Hounds & Gatos dog food is packaged in BPA free cans.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Cans that have seams can be assumed to have PBA. In other words, the small cans are the ones that are PBA free, the big ones are not. They are starting to replace PBA with PBB because of the outcry against PBA, however there is no proof that PBB is any better, but the cans will be able to say “PBA Free.”

  • Ysabella

    I have a 2 year old Golden Retriever who gets a rotation of different foods. For breakfast she gets Orijen red mixed with Acana fish & Merrick canned food and for dinner she gets a Stella & Chewy’s raw patty. She is very healthy and doing well, however I am recently concerned about feeding her any canned food due to bpa and other chemical causing cancers.. There is nothing on the can that says it is bpa free and I haven’t been able to find much information online.. Any advice?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Feed Me Healthy –

    The easiest way to make your own food and ensure that you’re feeding a balanced diet would be to add 800 – 1,000 mg. calcium per pound of meat fed (use a calcium only supplement or ground eggshells – one shell equals approx. 1,000 mg. calcium). Add a human multivitamin/mineral – adjust the dose for the weight of your dog (25 lbs. = 1/4 human dose, 50 lbs. = 1/2 human dose, 75 lbs. = 3/4 human dose, 100+ lbs. = human dose). Add fish oil or a fatty fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel, etc.) – enough to provide 100 mg. combined EPA and DHA per 10 lbs. of your dog’s weight. Then add about 20% pureed veggies or a fiber supplement. Also add a very small pinch of salt to each batch. Alternate between red meat and poultry to ensure the fatty acid profile is balanced.

    This is a real no-frills recipe. You can also balance recipes without added supplements using whole foods only (this is what I do) but it gets a bit more complicated. Or there is the option of “pre-mixes” – pre-mixes generally contain all the vitamins, minerals and vegetables that your dog needs – you just add fresh meat. The Honest Kitchen makes a human-grade pre-mix called Preference. See Spot Live Longer and Urban Wolf are two of my other favorites.

    If you’re interested in making homemade food I’d also recommend picking up a copy of “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown – it’s the best recipe book out there, imo.

  • Pattyvaughn

    My suggestion would be to order Dr Karen Becker’s book “Real Food for Healthy Dods and Cats” and Steve Brown’s book “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.” Both will give you recipes to follow and help you to understand what needs to go into a diet when you make your own recipes.


    In reference to making my own dog food aside from meat and vegetables, do I add vitamins? My black lab is 8 yrs and has hypothyroidism and has food allergies and my toy chihuahua is 1 year and no problems with her ,thus far. Thank you for your suggestions!

  • InkedMarie

    Type in best grain free fog food in the search bar above; you’ll see a link for dry and wet.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    There really aren’t many questionable ingredients in Merrick – it’s a very good food which is why it has earned a 5 star rating.

    I don’t believe there’s a food that meets your criteria. The only “human grade” canned food is Weruva’s Human-Style line and it’s made in Thailand. Maybe you should consider making your own food.


    and why in the heck is merrick canned getting 5 stars with questionable ingredients. makes no sense. need a affordable – no recalls – human grade – usa made – NO CHINA No starch,no grain, no carrots,peas, no oils. just wholesome meat-based dry and canned FOOD
    from a great company…are there any out there???


    I’M so freaking confused by all of these comments about what is good and what’s bad to feed dogs…wtf is the safest grain free dry and canned food to feed my dogs???

  • cattledoglover

    So sorry, you are correct. I just switched from NB back to Merrick because of the sale and the first recall of a NB product. But I am looking for another food for my dog because of the bones/seeds in the cans of Merrick. So confusing at times to find a safe palatable food for dogs. My dog is old and getting a bit picky. She always ate like a vacuum cleaner but that is changing. So the research continues . . . Thanks for correcting my earlier mistake.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Natural Balance merged with (was bought by) Del Monte in 2013, not Merrick. Merrick is not part of Del Monte at’s still its own company.

  • cattledoglover

    Merrick has been purchased by Del Monte in 2013

  • Cyndi

    The chicken bones in that food are perfectly fine for dogs to eat, or they wouldn’t put them in there. It says right on the front of the can “Whole chicken wings”

  • Max’s Mom

    Sorry, I didn’t get to finish my post – thank you for posting this information. I started buying Merrick canned food about 3 mos ago for my GSD who is a terrible eater. I supplement his Wellness kibble with chicken that I cook and if I run out, I’ve used the Merrick Wingaling and other Merrick canned foods to get him to eat. Last night I found 4 chicken bones in the Wingaling can – I’ve never found them before. To say the least, I was shocked & concerned until I started reading posts about how Merrick cooks them at a high temp to enable the dogs to eat the bones. HOWEVER, I will NEVER give my dogs ANY bones just for the very reason you encountered! What if those bones were NOT cooked enough and Max ate them & had the same issues that Bridget had? You are very lucky it was’t worse. I will never buy Merrick food again. I’m very disappointed and concerned that they don’t mention the bones on the ingredients list on the cans. Thank you!

  • Max’s Mom

    Hi, Thank you for

  • A

    We use this food as a topper for her dry food. My pup LOVES Wing-A-Ling! She goes nutso for it! She is usually a picky eater, and we try to rotate her food every few weeks, but I swear, she would eat Wing-A-Ling all day/every day if she could.

  • Just me

    Well, I am pretty ticked off now. It just happened again! Another apple seed. This is a newer lot with an exp date of 2015! Obviously the problem is not fixed. I wonder for every one that I catch, how many are ground up into the food? Is my dog slowly being poisoned by cyanide? Seriously, more gravy and less meat, powered cellulose, and questionable quality control with the apple seeds? While I love made in the USA, I still don’t want crap ingredients and poor quality even if it is from the USA. Did Merrick get a leadership change? Sadly, maybe it is time to start researching a new food company..or home made.

  • Desireé Ramirez

    I usually mix a couple tbsps of Merrick’s wet food with his dry food and some rice. He loves it! I love that it’s a stew not a pate (pate makes it harder to mix – not as juicy). What is even better is that he is normally horribly picky, but no matter what flavor I use, he always cleans his bowl if it has Merrick’s wet in it.

    Because I use it as a mix in I do my own quality control check. I never feed my dog something without looking at it first. So far there’s only been one bone that I wasn’t able to smush, and no seeds or foreign objects.

    It’s most definitely my dog and mine’s new favorite brand!

  • Crazy4dogs

    Sandy, I have no problem with fiber in dog food. I add a spoon of pumpkin to my dogs’ food on a daily basis. My point is Powdered Cellulose is a cheap fiber that Merrick has never used before. A lot of sites red flag this ingredient all the time, most equating it with sawdust and ground up pine tree. It is usually found in lower rated dog food. There are healthier sources of insoluble fiber, such as green beans, which Merrick has used in their formulas. I am seeing Merrick as cheapening their formulas, which I find very disappointing.

  • sandy

    I actually like some fiber in my canned foods. The dogs’ stools aren’t as solid when they eat canned. So I add in ground psyllium anyways. Aren’t they similar? Aren’t they both are from plant matter? I guess another question would be is this natural cellulose or chemically synthesized? I haven’t tried the new flavors yet but I regularly use some of the other ones.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Has anyone seen the NEW Merrick Fall Seasonals? They are Mama Merrick’s Meatballs & Christmas Day Dinner. They have now included POWDERED CELLULOSE in these 2 varieties!!! I’ve been using Merrick canned for a long time & was glad to see them go grain free but lately it seems like they’ve cheapened the ingredients, lowered the calorie count (I have large, lean dogs & use as a mixer so I want the extra calories) added more juice in place of meat and now POWDERED CELLULOSE???!!! I sure won’t be buying these!

    Mama Merrick’s Meatballs ingredient list:

    Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Deboned Turkey, Dried Potato, Dried Egg Product, Carrots, Sweet Potato, Powdered Cellulose, Natural Chicken Flavor, Sodium Alginate, Carrageenan, Salt, Canola Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Olive Oil, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Dried Yeast Extract, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Guar Gum, Cassia Gum, Caramel Color, Celery, Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

    Here’s the Christmas Day Dinner ingredient list:

    Ingredients: Deboned Chicken, Chicken Broth, Deboned Duck, Potato Starch, Deboned Turkey, Sweet Potato, Dried Potato, Dried Egg Product, Cranberry, Peas, Powdered Cellulose, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Pears, Dried Apricots, Natural Flavor, Canola Oil, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Cassia Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Thyme, Sage, Rosemary, Cinnamon, Yucca Schidigera Extract.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I actually love & buy Smothered (not Southern) Comfort because they add the bone and the meat is less processed. It’s safe for them to eat and provides extra calcium and nutrients. Wing a Ling has chicken wings with the bones too. The bones are very soft & you can test it yourself. Just take a spoon and watch the bones crumble. Dogs have the ability to digest the bones. If it bothers you that they are whole, just crush them. If you don’t want them, you can send them my way! :-)

  • LawofRaw

    A food that sounds like an alcoholic beverage. That’s got to be the first sign to stay away from this food. No, just kidding. It could be the fact that the processing of that batch didn’t ground the bone enough if Southern Comfort has bones in its ingredients?

  • Pattyvaughn

    They cook it in such a way that the bones are pretty soft and safe. You can break it up quite easily, so your dog shouldn’t have any trouble with it at all.

  • fendi

    I just opened a can of Merricks Southern Comfort wet food and found a large thigh bone, is this normal? Am concerned, as thid is my first experience with this food and I bought 12 cans…do I continue to use or take back? I have called company and left message with information off can and also took pictures. Hope they call me back.

  • InkedMarie

    Poor customer service is a deal breaker for me.

  • BLC

    I too am having issues with apple seeds in the Merrick Grammy’s Pot Pie can food. I have fed this for years and really noticed over the past 4-6 months, the number of seeds in the food has increased. I contacted Merrick a month ago and they were very quick to respond. They asked that I send pictures and I provided the lot numbers to the cans that contained seeds. I just picked up 5 new cases of food this past weekend and have found more seeds. I provided the information to Merrick again and expressed my concerns about the quality control that appears to NOT be happening. This time, I have had no response from Merrick and it is concerning. I really hate to switch foods, because my dogs do well on this formula, but apple seeds are toxic to dogs and there is NO EXCUSE for the amount of seeds I have found lately. There is obviously a problem with quality control.

  • just me

    The 96% Buffalo went from 96% buffalo, to a 96% buffalo mix, and finally ( listed in order) beef, lamb, then buffalo. The label change was subtle enough that I am bet many people never noticed. ( Unless their dog had an allergy issues to beef or lamb and is now scratching. ) They had an even more dramatic change in the Grain free dry line.

  • Betsy Greer

    Based on your description, if it were me who was using this product to feed my dogs, I wouldn’t be any longer. Questionable ingredients and manufacturing are deal breakers for me.

  • Just me

    Please let them know that several of us are concerned not only by the seeds we see, but the very real possibility of the seeds that we can not see. Between this, and the large chunks of blackish green goo, I am starting to reconsider whether I want to stay with Merrick. This apple seed thing has gone on for along time now, so it is making it appear to me that Merrick may not care.

  • CoCo

    I received an email from Merrick customer service regarding the apple seeds I’ve been finding in the Senior Medley canned food and they said they confirmed with a nutritionist that apple seeds are toxic but it would take a large quantity of seeds to make a dog ill….they also said they would notify their quality control people of this situation…and they offered to send me a coupon. — I replied providing the lot # and expiry date and also requested confirmation that they do in fact core their apples before processing as I am concerned about the food also containing crushed seeds that can’t be seen as that to me would indicate a large quantity of seed toxicity in each can. — Waiting for a reply from Merrick regarding this.

  • BridgetsDad

    We feed our latest Newfoundland rescue dog (Bridget, now 11-1/2, we adopted her at 10) a five-star dry food with something on top to keep life interesting. I keep canned dog food around for when we don’t have dog-wholesome table scraps. Among those canned foods was Merrick’s line of grain-free foods such as Turducken, Grammy’s Pot Pie, Wingaling, etc. This is a warning about our experiences with Wingaling.

    About two weeks ago Bridget started bleeding pretty heavily profusely from the mouth – bad enough to turn her water bowl red when she drank. Of course we rushed her to our vet but by then the bleeding had stopped and our vet couldn’t find a cause. It happened again the next morning and this time we noted it was almost immediately after Bridget ate her morning meal. Back to the vet for another exam and this she included a rectal exam. Almost immediately our vet felt something hard and sharp. To our embarrassment she removed what appeared to be a sharp-ended chicken bone about an inch long.

    We don’t feed our dogs chicken because I’m afraid we’ll miss small bones so how it got there was a mystery… until I remembered we had recently fed her several cans of Merrick’s Wingaling canned food. I went home and opened our one remaining can and right on top was an entire wing, all in one piece. I broke up the meat with my spoon and found a whole “arm” bone inside. The ends weren’t sharp but the fact that it was there concerned me so I went out to Merrick’s site to read what they say about Wingaling. Here’s what I found:

    “A NOTE FROM OUR CHEF: Our slow cooked whole chicken wings offer marinated tender chicken cooked on a softened bone. This special cooking process makes the bone mushy and safe for your dog to enjoy. Feel free to serve whole or to break apart the chicken and soft bones for ease of pet consumption. ”

    The two bones I saw, one from inside my dog and one from a Merrick can, were hard, anything but “mushy and safe.” Also, the presence of these words in a dog food description made me wonder why they are there at all. Did a Merrick lawyer write them to mitigate Merrick’s responsibility for a known problem?

    The good news: Our vet did a full x-ray study to be sure there were no chicken bones or other objects stuck inside our dog and the results were negative. Because both are anti-coagulants we took Bridget off a cox-2 NSAID and the fish oil pills we’d been giving her. At first we fed her cooked oatmeal. After a few days the bleeding stopped and we went back to Bridget’s regular dry food/beef broth mix but we ran it through our Cuisinart first. That was more than a week ago and Bridget is back on “un-mushed” dry food again, still with no blood seen. WooHoo! We’re cautiously optimistic that we’ve avoided the need for surgery. However, so far we’ve spent more than $1000 on vet bills and I can’t help but feel our wonderful dog narrowly escaped problems that could have ben very serious – for an 11-1/2 year old Newfy, perhaps even deadly.

    We’ve thrown away our remaining Merrick foods and will not buy that brand ever again. But that leaves me wondering and worrying about other dog owners who, like we, believed Merrick is a company that can be trusted, one that makes quality products. If our experience is at all typical, there may be thousands of dog owners unknowingly feeding their dogs chicken bones. We’re not the kind of people who sue and I can’t think of another way to get this story out. Hopefully, this post will reach at least some dog owners who may choose to pass our story along.

    Admittedly, I’ve over-compensated by throwing away all Merrick products and vowing to avoid the brand entirely in the future. OTOH, we love Bridget, she trusts us to keep her safe and I already know that what Merrick says in print about their Wingaling product is untrue. So why would I take a chance?

  • Just me

    CoCo, Call Merrick and tell them. They will want the lot number of the cans if you have it. They will also most likely replace the cans that had apple seeds. They need to know this is still happening!!!!

  • CoCo

    I just recently switched my 16yr old Beagle to MERRICK SENIOR MEDLEY CANNED FOOD and I have found at least 2 APPLE SEEDS in every single can so far. I’m concerned about this as I thought APPLE SEEDS are TOXIC to dogs….
    Has anybody else had this problem????

  • chiapink

    Too bad that all of these canned products from Merrick contain the cancer causing ingredient- careegenan

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I agree with HDM. When I fed any Merrick cans with chicken bones they were always soft, so soft I could mash them up with a spoon. I still feed Merrick, just not the flavors with chicken anymore. I’m staying away from poultry, as per Laverne’s breeder.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If a cooked bone is brittle I wouldn’t feed it. A cooked brittle bone (especially a poultry bone) would be very likely to splinter and potentially cause a perforation. The bones in Merrick’s food are supposed to be mushy.

  • Lolly

    The chicken bone was in smothered comfort, right? That’s perfectly safe. It’s slow roasted and very brittle. Source: Sister in law is a vet and this freaked me out, too.

  • Just me

    Unfortunately I found apple seeds in the Wild Buffalo Grill pretty recently.

  • Shawna

    I think canola oil was more hybridized then genetically modified (as I think of the term at least — genes/cells/dna or whatever from other species etc spliced in).

    Don’t get me wrong I’m not fond of canola (it is not without issues), I just don’t view it in the same class as I do GM corn.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Dr. Mike cites all of the sources he gets his information from – there is a citation for the canola oil information. I don’t believe he was in any way implying canola oil is a “beneficial ingredient” – it is red flagged, if you didn’t notice. There are differing opinions on many ingredients (including canola oil), however, and being that this is an unbiased review site Dr. Mike generally attempts to highlight both the pros and cons of controversial ingredients so pet parents can decide for themselves.

  • Bella

    Knowing all that I do about genetically modified foods I must say Mr. Sagman’s comment stating canola oil concerns being ‘more urban legend than science’ are alarming enough to cause me to question his entire article. If someone can be so far off on one element then I must wonder what science is used to back up the rest of his ‘facts’.

  • Carol

    Yes I have found seeds and I called Merrick about it. They sent me coupons for new cans. Please call them if you find seeds so that they can fix the problem!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    They are old reports and there haven’t been any new ones, so I would believe that they must have found the problem and fixed it. That being said, it is always a good idea to visually inspect the food you are feeding your dog.

  • Joanie K

    Does anyone know if Merrick has fixed the problems with these objects being found in their canned food. We were thinking about starting our two dogs on this product and reading the comments below have us concerned? Thank you

  • Laryl

    Get a book on natural health for pets. You can easily make food for them without added ingredients. Pitcairn has recipes in his book. I found that our greyhounds don’t tolerate dry kibble with grains, but they love home made oatmeal as well as brown rice. In a pinch, I include a slice of organic whole grain bread. So I use half and half: dry kibble and veggies and beef, etc.

  • Jaime S

    This website is amazing. Thank you for all the information. I had been feeding our fur babies Natural Choice Lamb and Rice but noticed our newest addition started having serious allergy problems. We then switched to Nutro Ultra (kibble) and Nutro Max (canned). One enjoyed the flavor, the other eats small portions and dislikes the product. I’ve just ordered the grain-free Merrick kibble and Wingaling canned. I’m crossing my fingers. All the discussion and ratings seem to be positive in regards to the brand. Although I will be on the look out when I open the canned food.

  • Robbie Hankins

    My dogs like Merrick, but I am starting to worry about the quality control. I wonder if they have employees that think it is funny to put stuff in the food? Also, I have found apple seeds in the Wild Buffalo Grill on several occasions so I feel that their coring process needs improvement. It stopped for a while and I am seeing them again.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I wonder how many seeds a dog would have to eat to have any effect. My dogs snatch apple cores often and I’ve never had a problem. Mind you, I try to avoid such as that. The apple cores are supposed to go to the horses.
    I imagine that when apple is an ingredient in the food, they throw whole apples in an industrial blender, cook or squeeze out the excess water, and use it. Might just be my imagination though.

  • Sharon Kirker Daniell

    I have found an appleseed in one of our cans also. I guess I should have called them. It was a couple of months ago.

  • BryanV21

    Normally you wouldn’t want to feed your dog chicken wing bones. However, the ones in the Merrick canned foods are processed in such a way to make them safe for dogs to eat. If you touch one you’ll find that they are soft.

  • Jill

    Lololololololllolololol that’s gross but at least you know that’s its “all natural” chicken this way and not some “chicken by-product”

  • Lily Pet’s Choice Grooming

    Yes I am with you we opened up a can and there was a sharp chicken bone! I won’t feed my dog chicken bones

  • Bobby

    Anyone know what the ash content of the food is? I am concerned about ash content that is too high. Thanks!

  • Bobby

    Check the label of your Merrick food. The ingredients listed are NO LONGER the same on some of their foods, so in actuality this rating might not be accurate.

  • Teresa Gallant

    Rufus LOVES all the varieties of Merrick canned food but I am concerned with the Wingaling flavor as it does contain an entire chicken wing with the bone still in it.

  • InkedMarie

    Yep, reminds me of the cardboard and duct tape the FDA found at the Diamond plant. 

  • Pattyvaughn

    You would think that if their machinery was falling apart, they would notice.  And any remodeling/construction should not be taking place in food processing areas while food is being made.  To my way of thinking, that means that their “ingredients” are contaminated with this stuff or someone is deliberately putting it in there.

  • InkedMarie

    I hear you there. If I fed Merrick, I’d be stopping. This kind of quality control isn’t for me.

  • doggonefedup

    This is the fourth  such incedent I’ve heard from Merrick in so many years. First it was metal I.D. tags in the Wingaling. Then there was blue plastic in a couple different varieties of canned. Then there was the wire brads found in one of the dry foods and now this. I’ve got five can of 96% grain free pork left. When thats gone there will be no more Merrick in my house again……Brothers and Abady. Then I know what I’m getting!

  • InkedMarie

    I really hope Merrick takes this seriously. So glad your dog is ok

  • Heatheragratton

     We contacted them a month ago. A rep came by the house here (sent out by the pet store that we purchased the food from), and saw the plastic. Merrick has asked us to forward them the plastic down to the states (we are in canada) so that it will help them in investigating the situation. They have offered to send us coupons – haven’t seen those yet, but the big concern for us is that they hopefully will take this seriously when looking into it. The way I see it, it has to be the result of some renovation work or someone planted it. There is no other way a two inch piece of plastic would land in a can. We believe that Merrick will look into it – we HOPE – as we are still feeding the six cases of cans we have on hand to our big St Bernard. However, I was hoping to get the word out – I saw a post about another consumer who discovered an identical plastic piece…seems way too weird that her and I are the only ones who will/have seen this? Just hoping no animals ingest it…it was knife sharp at the tip. Really, really weird and really a close call for us and our dog.

  • InkedMarie

    Yikes!  What did Merrick say/do?

  • Heatheragratton

    We found a large chunk of sharp thick plastic in the bottom of a can of Merrick last month. Merrick is aware, as well as the customer rep who came to our house to examine the can. I see that another consumer found an identical – although much smaller piece in her Merrick a few weeks earlier than our discovery. Please check the can contents carefully. Our st bernard could have wolfed this down if we hadn’t heard it strike the steel bowl. Merrick is stating that they are investigating this. I wonder if a renovation is contributing to the plastic pieces – also saw a man found nails in the dry food? Anyway, we still feed our dog Merrick as she loves it and we like that there are no ingredients from overseas, but this was a bit of a shocker. Dog lovers keep your eyes open!

  • blanket__jackson

    brownie points? you are a first class jerk. really! excuse me for inadvertenly posting to your response. you are arrogant. rather than let it slide, you feel the need to be belicose. whatever. it is people like you that sour help sites. no bother responding to this. it won’t be read. just trashed. but, i’m sure you will as you are surely the type which will need to let everyone on the site know that you WON’T be dealt with. speaking of growing up….

  • Pattyvaughn

    You’re very welcome! If you will look at your first post, you will see that you replied to me not the OP, so I gave you my response. I replied to the question that was asked, politely. If you’re hoping for brownie points by acting like an 8 yr old, OK, but if you hope people will take your advice seriously, you need to answer like a grown up.

  • blanket__jackson

    thank you Patty Police.

  • Pattyvaughn

    She wasn’t asking how to convince her dog to eat W/D. She was asking about the best food for her dog.

  • blanket__jackson

    WD can be quite pasty. so, dogs find it hard to palate. i know it can be time consuming but cutting the food into small cubes is easier for them to eat. (the wet food). add a few tablespoons of the dog’s favorite food, such as Merrick Thanksgiving Feast of Turducken. microwave it for a few seconds and feed it to the doggie. it works for mine.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you’re really considering raw, get on the Darwin’s thread and check it out.  It is very low carb., with no filler ingredients.  You can make homemade raw, but there is a lot to learn to do it right, so starting out with a premade balanced raw gives you time to research.  There are a lot of great people here that can answer any questions you may come up with.  Good luck!

  • Debbie Kay Schartz

    I have a Pit I rescued 3 yrs ago well actually she rescued me when I had to put my beloved Boxer Miss Abbigail to sleep from a brain tumor I had 11 priceless years with her and MISS her terrible. I found Miss Ginger 4 months later she was 6 at the time and she is my Guardian Angel and last week she is now diabetic and I’m giving her insulin injections 2 x’s dly she’s just starting to eat again and I’m looking for the Best food to give her whether it be raw or other. She’s my baby and I’m needing some help. The Vet put her on Hill W/D and she hates it. I’m hoping someone can give me some ideas
    Thanks Kindly,
    Debbie and Miss Ginger

  • Carol


    They have changed the ingredients!  Sadly I do not think they are single protien foods, anymore, at least not the types I have fed. 

    Other changes I have noticed is the 96% bufflao now is buffalo plus turkey. 

    The Wild buffalo used to have barley and fish meal, both have been removed and it now has Yukon potato instead. It was once Low glycemic certified by The Glycemic Research Institute but that is no longer shown on the can so I suspect that the potato has caused it to no longer be low glycemic?

    I think Olive oil has been dropped and now canola oil is being used.

    I am not convinced the changes are for the better. I would really like to see  Dog Food Advisor do new analysis, I don’t think the old ones are valid anymore.

  • Kelleyking54

    My dog ate the old Grammys Pot Pie and Thanksgiving formula for years.  Now, gave him them the other day and he got very sick.
    I’m going back to making his food. 
    I don’t like these new formulas.  We’ve been OK with the dry, though.

  • sandy

    Some of Merrick’s canned foods before reformulation were certified low glycemic.  I’m not sure about now. The dates and foods are listed at  They haven’t certified any new ones yet.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I’m pretty sure Merrick’s canned foods are certified low-glycemic – meaning that yes, they would be a great option for a diabetic dog.

  • Jandsgates

    I have a 9 year old miniature daschund who is diabetic is this food ok for him? He is currently on the W/D and is turning his nose up at it.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Tripe is kind of liquid/finely shredded and the rest are somewhere between finely ground and pâté. This texture just happens to work best for me because by adding a little water I have a thick gravy that my picky dog can’t lick off and then not eat his Brothers Complete.

  • sandy

    I haven’t used the new Merrick 96% ones yet. Hound & Gatos also has single proteins but you’d have to ask them what kind of liver they use.  ZiwiPeak is chicken free as well. Taste of the Wild has chicken free cans also. Wellness has 95% meats as well as the Stews which some don’t contain chicken.  I use the Wellness stews right now. Thick and chunky.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I used some when it was still “Before Grain” and it was basically a liquid. Not sure if it’s changed since they changed the name to “96%”.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I haven’t tried those yet.  Are they loaf/pate form or chunks?

  • sandy

    merrick 96% canned foods are single protein.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Has anyone else noticed that the ingredients in this Merrick line have changed?  I’ve been using this for years mixed with kibble for my dogs.  I prefer using single proteins at a time rather than a mix (which is why I don’t fee Merrick’s dry as they add chicken meal or salmon meal to every formula).  I rotate my dogs but one had a particular reaction to chicken and another to beef.  The Mediterranean Banquet lists lamb on the label but now has beef in it as well.  When I talked to the Merrick customer service rep months ago she said they were changing to fresher and more local ingredients.  I’m so disappointed that they have changed the formulas as well.  The ingredients changed and the price went up.  I liked the fact that Merrick was not a pate, but I may have to search for a different brand. :-(

  • Rkadlec1

    I just switched over to Merrick; I adopted a full grown puppy mill dog. I initially had her on Little Ceasars which now looking back I never should have. After some serious vomitting and diarehha I moved her to boiled chicken and brown rice which I add about tablespoon of Grammys Pot Pie which she loves. Really happy with the food!

  • Suzanne

    Thank you, Melissa!   They did great on the duck, and all the dry and canned Merrick.  I feel good about it.

    The only bad thing is that they are so crazy about the Merrick dog food that NOW they are running around wanting to have another meal, like right now, haha, and are following me to the kitchen every time I go in there because they want more Merrick food, lol.

  • Hannahanna

    I think I’ll try the duck for my babies. Your crew loves it so Ill give it a try!

  • melissa


    I would not worry about the pancreatitis-all dogs are different and what one can handle for fat etc(or may have genetic predisposition) may not be the same as another.

     My crew loves duck-duck anything- canned, fresh, raw, dry-they love the duckie! One will not eat the canned buffalo, but he is a picky little freak so I am not surprised : )

  • Suzanne

    Kelly, I’m sorry about your dog’s lymphoma.  I adopted a sweet Dobbie from a horrible dog pound.  She was then found to have cancer and heartworms.   She had chemo for the cancer and was healed, and then had the treatment for the heart worms.  It was rough, but she is well and happy now.  The veterinarian used a milder type chemo for her cancer treatment, which had little side effects.  She remained with a happy demeanor and spirit through the treatment, a truly wonderful dog after all she had been already through.

    I’m a little concerned that someone said one of their dogs did well on Merrick, but two of her dogs got pancreatitis – did she mean from Merrick dog food?

    You and your sweet Bulldog are in my prayers.


  • Suzanne

    Thanks, Kelly.  I’m staying with the Merrick, because I think it is excellent food.  I’m glad you mentioned that about the Buffalo.  I will watch mine for any upset stomach, and they really liked the chicken based dry food and did well with that.  I fed the canned duck today, something they have never had before.  I never particularly thought of duck as a food dogs would be crazy about, haha, but if they like it and it’s healthy I’ll  feed it unless I hear otherwise.   If the canned buffalo is a problem I will be disappointed, since I have several cases of that :(

  • KellyLight

    Thank you Suzanne! I like Merrick too and use the canned as a topper a lot. Right now using the BG chicken, but mine liked the 96% beef and buffalo too (my other two dogs). The buffalo seemed to give my Sheltie a little bit of diarrhea, but it agreed with my Rottie just fine. 

  • Suzanne

    Dear Anne and Kelly,

    I really admire and appreciate you as such great and loving caretakers of your wonderful dogs.  I wish there were more like you in the world.

    All my dogs are rescued, and some are very old and some are young.  I have tried the best dog food for years for them.  Some were near death when I got them.

    They are on Merrick at this time, and I plan to stay with this food so long as they are doing so well and like it so much.  They have had no problems at all with this food.  I have to watch them closely for what they get into OUTSIDE when they go out for their bathroom trips.   They can get into mischief with acorns, and I even saw two mushrooms today that can be dangerous.   If they started having problems with Merrick I would start looking for something else.  I have tried all the best, and rely a lot on the grades of the food here, and stay only with the best of the level 5 food.   I’m not real fond of food with heavy vegetables and berries, though, so I watch that.  Right now I am using the dry Merrick , mixed with canned Merrick, and am watching to see which ones they like of that, and just ordered new canned and am this time staying with the old school nutrician with 96% Buffalo meat in the canned, and am trying the 96% Duck in the canned, too, and I feel good about this.   Don’t know how they will like the Duck, but they love the Buffalo meat, and I mix it with the dry food.

    God bless you and your furry children!

  • Annejmurphy

    Thank you Kelly for the response. I will go on the website and order some enzymes.  Good luck with your bulldog’s lymphoma. I will do some research and see what I can come up with. I did a lot of research for my dog Forbes and found a vet who had come up with a supplement formula for his dog. I used it and my dog lived longer than anyone had expected.

  • KellyLight

    Hi Anne,

    I don’t know the first thing about pancreatitis, but my American Bulldog is fighting lymphoma and has struggled with his appetite and digestive issues. He too only wanted to eat plain chicken or turkey. I have found that if I blend (or food process) a mix of cooked meat (majority), eggs (cooked or raw, shell and all for calcium/phosphorous), raw goats milk (Answers brand), pumpkin/sweet potato, green beans/broccoli, blueberries, fish oil supplement, and water, that he will lap it up. For a probiotic, I have been giving him MegaFood brand MegaFlora, which is a human grade probiotic and he seems to be responding well. There is also a mix called Complete Probiotics for Pets, as well as one called Digestive Enzymes for Pets, on the Healthy Pets website that I believe a lot of people on here use. Here’s a link:
    There are many folks on here with a lot of knowledge, so I’m sure someone else will chime in with more info. :-) Good luck to you and your babies! Sounds like you have fought very hard for them! 

  • Annejmurphy

    About three years ago my Rhodesian Ridgeback mix was diagnosed with spinal degeneration at approx. age 11…his age was really unknown since he was a rescue.  I had read about certain vitamins and minerals to offset some of his symptoms. I followed a regimen of vitamins and minerals and he was doing quite well.  As the disease progressed I switched from his regular dog food which was Science Diet for seniors to Merricks.  He was like a puppy again. He lived to be 15 and I had to put him to sleep when he lost the use of his legs one morning.  I also have two other dogs an IG and a rat terrier.  While Forbes did magnificently well on the Merricks my other two developed pancreatitis. I had them on the Hills prescription diet after their first bout with the pancreatitis until I read the ingredients.   I tried all different kinds of dog food to no avail. Both dogs Pea and Halo would intermittently develop pancreatits constantly. I ended up feeding them both cooked chicken breasts for three years and stopped with the supplements because they were so sick I was afraid to give them anything else. Recently, I had to take Halo to the vet because she was vomiting profusely and had a fever. There were so many times I thought they would die. Now, Halo refuses to eat the chicken so I cook her plain rice she can’t handle that and I mix the hamburger with plain yogurt. Halo has recovered and I am thinking about the digestive enzymes to help her intestines recover. I do not know what type to give her because she is so very sensitive. I don’t add salt or it is just plain hamburger.  Pea is 13 now and Halo is 12. My dogs eat better than I do. Pea can handle a lot more than Halo and she likes vegetables. Halo does not. For three plus years I have been nursing my dogs back from severe pancreatits so much that my wonderful caring vet didn’t even charge me for some of the office visits because it was getting ridiculous. When Halo recently came down with the severe vomiting I had to take her to another vet and they felt that she was not getting proper nutrition with just the chicken..and now the hamburger. Their food is prepared ever two days and they are fed twice a day in small amounts. I think they want more food but the chicken alone if it isn’t on sale can cost $ 17 for a package. It gets expensive.  Do you have any suggestions on the enzymes. I really would appreciate it.
    Thanks, Anne Murphy Cape Cod

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  • Suzanne

    I have been reading and writing in this review of dog food for a while, trying to find the best food for my dogs.  I have tried all the best brands, canned and dry.  I have had food shipped and have bought food at PetSmart.   My dogs would eat, but didn’t really like the food that much, and left a lot of food in their bowls.  I ordered Merrick, canned and dry, and had it shipped. 

    My dogs started getting excited when I opened the cans, so I knew they could already smell the aroma of the food.  I feed dry mixed with canned, and my dogs are so happy, and every one of them has eaten every bite of this Merrick food, and they love it.  In other words, they “clean their bowls”, and they have not had any bad reaction to the food, no upset stomachs, they are just healthy, happy dogs. 

    My dogs are all rescued from horrible situations, and they deserve the best.  They are large dogs and small dogs. 
    In my opinion Merrick is the best!  

    I am happy with Merrick food and love that my dogs are so happy and thrilled with their food. 

  • Shesa411

    I loved merrick up until I have been finding apple seeds in the food! Has anyone else had this experience? I am very hestiate to buy more of their food after finding 3 seeds in 3 different cans! I am very disappointed considering seeds are toxic to dogs.

  • BryanV21

    I’m really looking forward to my store getting the new Merrick line of foods, as they are doing away with things like Turducken and Grandma’s-whatever. 
    Congrats on finding a good food that works for your dogs.

  • Eskie Mum

    My Mini American Eskimo’s love this food.  I was feeding them people food for the first year and when I finally had the guts to get them off people food we chose this one.
    It has hooked them.  When I travel with them I order it one line from Petfone…

  • Bryan Van Dusen

     Check out their website for the products they’ll be carrying ( The gimmicky named foods are all gone. Their Whole Earth line is the only one that has multiple meat sources in their foods, unlike thing like Turducken had.

  • doggonefedup

    good to hear that.  dogs won’t get bored with flavors…

  • Abbyml_87

    That is not true. As someone who works for a pet supply store I can assure you many of the flavors are staying. They are changing ALL canned flavors to grain free. The ones being discontinued are: New Zealand, Susie’s Shepherd Pie, Campfire Trout, Harvest Moon, Burger Pie & Sweety Fries. The rest are staying and they are adding Small Breed varieties to every flavor. 

  • doggonefedup

    From what I’ve been told by my pet food store Merrick is doing away with most of their varieties and will be make only four or five in the very near future. That was supposed to be for both the dry and wet foods. I’m curious to see what they are doing.  

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I have used Merrick cans over the years with success, but I’m kinda disappointed in the new changes.  The Grammy’s Pot Pie, Thanksgiving Day and Wilderness Blend didn’t have carageenan in them and now it seems all the cans do!  Not too sure about the new dry formulas yet, either.  Looks like I’ll be sticking to Weruva. 

  • doggonefedup


     try a little sea salt for flavor. Its not so bland that way :0)

  • melissa


    You burnt it ONCE? As in, you have cooked it stove top more than the one time? Yuck!

  • Blazeaglory

     Ive ate it…My dog wouldnt eat it one day so I warmed it on the stove top and I tried it (Thanksgiving Dinner)It was kinda gross but, in a pinch, I would eat it over a corpse. I accidentally burned it once and I couldnt stand the smell so I stopped buying Thanksgiving Dinner because it made me sick. Wingalings is cool but it seems like too much money for a couple o wings. I could mash the bones with my finger.

  • Kayac85

    I’ve been feeding Wellness Core Reduced Fat Dry to my little Chiweenie for 2 years along with Merrick 5-Star Canned Food as a topper…she is VERY healthy and everyone (including the vet) compliments her on her soft and shiny coat and bright eyes….she has no digestive or urinary problems whatsoever and her breath is so sweet, never stinky …I think this is the BEST food combination one can give their dogs. 

  • Smithac3

    This is one of the best wet foods for dogs. My very picky dog loves three of the flavors. she’s allergic to chicken and I really like that they are specific with the ingredients and that it is a very healthy dog food. I was told people can it it. I don’t think I would, but it doesn’t smell half bad. I use this as a topper with the Merrick Buffalo dry kibble. She actually eats twice a day now. Very happy with this.

  • Addie

    Smothered Comfort* Sorry. They do say though that  “THIS SPECIAL COOKING PROCESS MAKES THE BONE MUSHY AND SAFE FOR YOUR DOG TO ENJOY. Feel free to serve whole or to break apart the chicken and soft bones for ease of pet consumption.”

  • Addie

    Wingaling and Southern Comfort are supposed to contain bones. 

  • Skaake

    We add Merrick wet food to our dog’s dry food, which is Acana. Tonight while feeding my dog I found a sharp cooked chicken bone in the Merrick Southern Comfort can. I phone their customer service line and it closes at 5pm, so I will be phoning back tomorrow.

  • Nealdc

    What I meant to say was….

    Orijen is a DRY food and you fed your dog Merrick canned. Don’t see how you can really compare your dogs reaction to a dry versus canned.

  • Nealdc

    Orijen is a canned food and you fed your dog Merrick canned. Don’t see how you can really compare your dogs reaction to a dry versus canned.

  • SandyDuarte

    Thanks! :)

  • MM

     My dogs have been eating the Merrick for the past year and have loved it. Merrick’s variety and noticeably top-notch ingredients (you can see that it is real meat, veg etc) are also great. We haven’t tried Evo for the dogs, but did previously for the cat and have since moved on to a different brand. Give Merrick’s a try. Wingaling is our dogs’ favourite.

  • SandyDuarte

    I think this website is so helpful and amazing. I will be getting a puppy (blue/fawn pit) soon in the next week or two, I’m so excited!! I went to the pet store and asked about Evo (because that is what the mother eats) and it was suggested to me Canidae Single-Grain Protein Plus. I saw that on the 5 star list for dry food so I’m very pleased. I was told I wouldn’t need a wet food, but my question is what would you suggest for a canned food just to give the dog variety once in awhile so she’s not always eating the same thing and getting bored with it. Should I stick with Canidae for a alternative or try one of the other brands you have listed above. What should I look for? Merrick looks very good but I wasn’t sure if I should go with a stew-type or just like an Evo 95% Beef?? She’s been eating Iams puppy dry and i will be slowly transitioning her to the Canidae, would wet food help that process? I appreciate any help, thank you.

  • Bill

    I use the BG cans as toppers with the BG dry foods. But to mix things up I’m going to start using these as toppers since they have a larger variety of flavors. Although from a cost perspective at my local Petco theses cost the same at the BG cans.

  • Shawna

    They actually now know that it is not protein that causes problems in large and giant breeds but rather over feeding of any food as well as foods that are too high in calcium or not in correct proportion to phosphorus. 

    Aimee has posted several times here that Orijen (large breed puppy food) is higher in calcium then what is recommended by nutritionists..

  • Mswench

    The problem may be feeding your puppy, puppy foord.  proteins are much higher.  I switched mine to regular Orijen, and then to the Acane and his stool firmed right up.  Large breeds grow quickly and too much protein may be the issue.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey guys, I picked up a couple cans of Merrick for my two, for their special  Easter dinner. They absolutely loved it! But,  I new they would. Hope everyone had a nice Easter.  :)

  • Amanda

     I had the same problem with my puppy on Orijen Puppy. Turned out that he had an intolerance to chicken. He had exactly the same syptoms as your dog. I switched him to Acana pacifica and all the symptoms subsided (he loves his food). I would try switching him to a food that does not have chicken (or eggs) and see if the symptoms subside.

  • Rheseyj

    Right now I have been feeding merrick for a while . My dog is doing a thousand times better on it than on orijen ! We have been slowly mixing and she have stopped eating the orijen but she will find the pieces of meat in the orijen ! Does that mean the switch is done and she can completely be on merrick ?

  • Rheseyj

    Wow… I just opened my first can of merrick dog food . I got campers delight . I could not believe how quickly my dog ate it !! She was on orijen and wouldn’t eat it unless she was hand fed !! After I put it in her bowl and in a minute she licked the bowl clean :) i will never use another canned food !!!! :)

  • Bazuhi

    I agree with Melissa, try some others that are rated the same. Also stop hand feeding your only teaching her a bad habit. Mine was the same way so I tossed the kibble on the floor up to the plate and then he would grab it off the plate.. I didnt want a dog I would have to tell someone oh while your watching my dog you have to hand feed her. :)

  • Bazuhi

    I am currently using a puppy food that seems to be available online only anymore so I was looking for a food that I can get easliy enough in a store. I choose the Merrick brand.. my pups love it… problem…13oz can.. half the weight is liquid it is not a solid can of dog food as others are so it takes pretty much a whole can to feed 2 (8lb) puppies. This is the first food where I saw it said to shake before opening. Another thing I was a little worried about in the Wingalongs it actually has chicken wingz with the bones included. Of course the bones we very soft but I removed them since I was afraid my pups would have a hard time digesting this and have problems outside which we have already experienced with another brand of food(I think this was my error as I gave them other meat other then chicken which is all they have had since I got them) So back to the drawing board since the price of this food based on a high liquid content will not be cost affective. They loved eating it tho!   

  • melissa


    I would go to the pet store and get some samples of other dry foods that she likes. Would you eat something with gusto that was giving you gas, and loose stool? I can only imagine that those two things would cause the dog to feel ill after eating. Orijen is very rich and can cause upset for some dogs-I know it did mine, but they love the Acana(same company) and no stomach issues.

  • Rheseyj

    My 4 month old Siberian husky is on orijen large puppy. Unfortuneatly it is giving her gas , loose stool and she will only eat when it is hand fed to her ! Would a canned food be good choice for a finicky dog ? This is probably the best canned food I have available to me . Also because she is on a chicken based food, should I start with a chicken based can food ? Thank you for help and suggestions :)

  • Tina

    I just started feeding my 4 year old Chihuahua canned Merrick.  I took her off of dry Blue Buffalo because from the research I’ve been doing I felt like canned was better than dry.  I tried commercial raw, but she wouldn’t eat it.  The calorie calculator says for her weight of 5lbs 10ozs and relative inactivity she should have around 180 calories a day.  The can says for a 5lb dog around 1/2 can a day which, depending on the can, is 475-550 kcal for that 1/2 can, but she is losing weigh on this food.  I feed her 2 times a day.  I started just putting alot of food and letting her eat until she’s through, but she really can’t eat more than about 1/4 can.  Should I add some dry food or just keep feeding like I’m doing.  Not sure what to do. 

  • sandy

    The Merrick cans come in different consistencies.  Grammys Pot Pie, Thanksgiving Day Dinner are not big chunks.  I’ve also used Wilderness and Campire Trout as these have the chunks but are quite soft.  You would be able to smush them with a fork.  This site has some photos, but not sure how up to date they are.

  • Guest

    Since it sounds like Merrick canned food is very chunky, would it be okay to feed to a 2.5 lb puppy?  I wouldn’t want her to choke on any big bites of whatever is in the food.  She is 4 months old but tiny.

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  • Lucy

    I wanted to add that I do plan on trying some of the dehydrated raw food too as part of his rotation. I know there are cheaper routes to go, but when I got my dog I knew I was making him a financial priority for the length of his life. He doesn’t come above any human in my family, of course, but I made a commitment to his health and well-being.

  • Lucy

    My dog loves Merrick, especially the varieties that have whole chicken legs/chicken thighs in them. He gets very excited over the bone. At first my sister was nervous about it, but when he bit into it we didn’t hear any sort of crunch. It was mushy and safe as promised and he couldn’t possibly have enjoyed it more. In general, he eats like someone who has served time in prison, face over the dish, guarding his food, but when he finds a chunk of real meat with bone attached he’ll pick it up and run across the room with it to show us what he’s got before munching it up and going back to his dish. I plan on using diet rotation amongst five star wet foods, but I know I’ll always come back to Merrick.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Monika, these canned foods above are rated “all life stage” which means they are appropriate for puppies. Also, I’m not so sure calcium is a big concern with small-breed puppies. I wouldn’t hesitate to use this high protein/low carb product.

    Good luck!

  • Monika

    I just recently got a Bichon/Shih Tzu Mix puppy. She was born on August 30th. I have been going crazy looking for the best puppy food for her. Merrick has really good reviews but I hear that it has high calcium. Any comments?

    Thanks in Advnace!

  • Shawna

    Still haven’t been able to find the exact video I was looking for — however there are MANY others out there.. I was amused by this find and wanted to share it —

    A book on Amazon titled “The Little Cyanide Cookbook; Delicious Recipes Rich in Vitamin B17″

  • Shawna


    Mike answered the question about whether Merrick cores the apples or not but I wanted to address the cyanide concern..

    It is true that fruit seeds can cause cyanide poisoning BUT when consuming the whole apple it is not a concern (at least for humans). The seeds are actually an important source of vitamin b17 — which is relatively deficient in the diet (when the seeds are not eaten). Some believe that the deficiency of vitamin b17 in the diet is a contributing cause of cancer.

    Well respected author and journalist G. Edward Griffin has some excellent information on why seeds are not the conern that so many believe them to be — he gets a bit sciency but excellent data in my opinion. I watched a video interview about a year ago or so… In humans (not sure about pets) cyanide poisoning is only a concern if the seeds are over consumed. If eating seeds and fruit this would not happen. My grandmother always ate the core and all..

    A quick search and I wasn’t able to find the video but I’ll keep looking.

  • Heather

    I hope she does get back to you. Thanks so much for checking up on this, and for all the work you put into this site.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Heather — Just spoke with a customer service rep at Merrick and she claims the apples are indeed cored before processing. When I asked her to send me written confirmation of this policy, she informed me she’d have to check with her superior and will get back with me. But she failed to ask me for my email address. So, I can’t promise we’ll get a helpful response.

  • Heather

    One thing I have noticed, as I am going through the Merrick ingredients right now, is that most of their recipes contain “whole apples”. I’m assuming that whole means they just throw apples into the vat with the rest of the stuff, without coring or cutting them up. Apple seeds can be very dangerous as they contain cyanide. Look it up on, it’s listed on their poisonous plants pages.

  • Mike P

    Jennifer you are right this Dog Food stuff can drive one crazy. Every time you think you are doing the right thing you read it’s not. Now we are on Brothers Red Meat and my dog is doing great.Me myself, I am going to rotate 5 star grain free with can toppers.I also top with foods like sardines,eggs,chicken livers hearts and gizzards,and now am adding plain yogurt a couple times a week.My thoughts are the more good stuff you feed the better.As for water,I always carry a sports bottle (20 oz) and she drinks quite a bit on our walks.It’s been chilly here and she is still drinking 8 to 10 oz during our walks. I fill her water bowl 2 times morning and evening with RO water.My dog drinks more in the evening and before bedtime.I also add some water to her meals.

  • Jennifer

    Mike, I have heard lately from multiple resources that just feeding a dog dry kibble doesn’t give them enough moisture content and can lead eventually to kidney failure.

    We were originally feeding our 5 month old Retriever Taste of The Wild dry but because of her soft stool, and research, we have switched.

    I am now feeding her Acana Wild Prarie dry kibble, topped with Merrick canned food and Stella & Chewy’s patties… I feel like the variety is great and we know if she isn’t getting enough nutrients from one source, she will be getting it from another.

    Am I wrong? Is mixing these foods giving her too much nutrients or protein?

    We are debating switching her over to an all raw food diet when she is full grown. The Mercola Healthy Pets has been very informative but I have been making myself crazy trying to find the best commercial food to give my dog at this time.

  • Michelle

    DAWN, I thought Beagles are small breed dogs. Under 25lbs.

  • sandy

    Amicus is made by Horizon which makes non-small breed formula too.


    sandy September 2, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    I use Epigen Fish but I use it in a kibble mix. 1/3 Epigen, 1/3 Amicus, 1/3 something else. I rotate foods. If you’re worried about the 63% protein, maybe you could try a mix. That’s the reason I mix it actually. I’m hesitant on the 63%. Although I feed raw too which is high protein…go figure. My mix gives me around 40% protein.

    Unlike any product on the market today, amicus offers a superior grain free kibble diet manufactured for the unique requirements of mini and small breed dogs.

  • sandy

    Oh…more thing. Maybe adding digestive enzymes will help also so he doesn’t deplete his own enzyme stores trying to digest.

  • sandy

    I use Epigen Fish but I use it in a kibble mix. 1/3 Epigen, 1/3 Amicus, 1/3 something else. I rotate foods. If you’re worried about the 63% protein, maybe you could try a mix. That’s the reason I mix it actually. I’m hesitant on the 63%. Although I feed raw too which is high protein…go figure. My mix gives me around 40% protein.

    Epigen and Amicus Senior/Wt management or Nutrisca might be a good mix for you. That way you boost the protein content and reduce the carbs without being very high protein. The Amicus Senior is lower fat then Nutrisca.

    Also I ordered Weruva Human Style through Amazon and it was free shipping which made the cans only $2.74 each. This is the low fat can food and some of them are potato free. Some of the cans I buy at Petco are $2.69-$2.89 for Blue Buffalo Stews and Wellness Stews.
    I’ve never bought Hills cans but I’m guessing it may even be cheaper than Hills.

    There is a food called Honest Kitchen. The Zeal formula has 35% protein/ 8.4% fat. But click on “nutritional info” and you’ll see their spreadsheet.
    [Link to malware infected website removed by Moderator]

  • Brad Hamilton


    Thanks for straighting me out. I assumed that the protein/fat on the dashboard was pre moisture removal….what was i thinking, lol.

    I am leaning toward buying the Wysong Epigen which has 68% protein, 13% fat and 11% carbs. I want to keep Millies fat level intake at or below 15% for her pancreatitis issues and the super low carbs is an added bonus for her blood surgars, however, i have re-thought the very high protein content and now have a little concern because of the varying opinions. One thing to note is that Millie has never had kidney problems….. Your opinion on this food selection and the protein level would be greatly appreciated.

    Brad Hamilton

  • sandy


    Addiction New Zealand Brushtail and Veggies can food is 45/ pro/10 fat/30 carbs. This could be an alternative to Hills w/d. I buy mine online through The Whole Healthy Pet from Amazon.

  • sandy


    Dogswell Nutrisca is certified low glycemic along with several flavors of Merrick canned. Also Amicus boasts to be low glycemic as well. It uses lentils instead of potato as its main carbohydrate. Also, there’s Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight, and Core Reduced Fat. Wellness Small Breed Healthy Weight is low fat but grain inclusive as is Acana Light & Fit.

  • sandy

    Mike’s calculations in the dashboard does take out the moisture.

    It’s protein divided by dry matter times 100.
    Fat divided by dry matter times 100.

    100-protein-fat-ash (8)= carbs

    So Merrick Wilderness kibble states 24 protein and 14 fat and 10 moisture.

    24 / 90 X 100 = 26.6 dry matter protein
    14 /90 X 100 = 15.5 dry matter fat
    ash 8

    100 – 26.6 protein – 15.5 fat – ash 8 = 49.9 carbs which is what Mike’s dashboard shows on Merrick kibble.

    Maybe you’re not subtracting ash.

  • Brad Hamilton

    Thanks so much Sandy for your input. The website you provided was very helpfull which had a great article on pancreatitis and related diet information.

    I did consider the homemade food but the cost and the time constraints just wouldn’t work for my wife and i, however, we found three brands that we are considering….(dry) Origen, Evo and Wysong. These brands appear to have the lowest fat/carb numbers which are critical for Millies pancreatitis/ diabetes issues. The protein levels are moderate to high, but i did read the article on this website that is of the opinion that a high protein diet is not related to kidney issues…. but my vet doesn’t agree….oh well….i feel comfortable with the higher protein levels.

    I do have one question on the caculation of carbs for dry food. Is seems that the water content is not being deducted in the “Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content” chart. Am i missing something?

    Thanks again for your help.

    Brad Hamilton

  • sandy

    Have you considered a homemade low fat diet made with meat and veggies vs the heavy grain rx food?

    Weruva Human Style is very low fat. Only 9. And has real meat and is grain free. This might be an alternative for the W/D.
    This site has several links to recipes and supplements.

    I would say a raw diet is best for diabetes but with the 2 other problems…

    Best of luck.

  • Brad Hamilton

    Mike, My dog Millie (8 yr. old Dachshund), was recently diagnosed with diabetes after two severe bouts of pancreatitus and is receiving insulin shots daily to control her blood sugars. We are currently feeding her Royal Canin Veterinary Diet (Diabetic HF 18, dry kibble) and Hills Prescription Diet w/d (canned) in a half & half mixture twice a day. We are looking for a better quality of food for her and understand that low fat is essential for controling reoccurances of pancreatitus as well as moderate to low protein for kidney health. We would greatly appreciate your opinion on potential combos of wet/dry.

    Brad Hamilton

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Mel… As you can tell from my report, Merrick appears to be a very good dog food. Unfortunately, due to the biological uniqueness of each pet and the number of daily visitors, I cannot provide customized reviews and product comparisons for each reader. For more help, please be sure to check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Mel

    Mike, thank you for this website. I am having a toss up between the Merrick Smothered Comfort wet dog food for my white mini poodle or the Variety Pet Foods Southwestern Cookout wet dog food. I really love the Merrick food, but it comes in chunks with gravy, and my dog tends to lick the gravy and leave the chunks behind with all chunks in gravy type foods. The Southwestern Cookout is a canned dog food, but not chunks in gravy. Could you please give me your opinion on this food? Is there any item that you would consider a RED item? Would you rate it 5 stars? Here is the ingrediant list: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Poultry Liver, Cracked Barley, Ground Brown Rice, Whole Brown Rice, Carrots, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Peas, Egg Product, Guar Gum, Flaxseed Meal, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salt, Carrageenan Gum, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Choline Chloride, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid.

    I greatly appreciate your help and opinion!

  • Gordon

    No coincidence when it comes to raw! Raw is as nature intended and it doesn’t surprise me that this helped rid your dog of tear stains.

  • Mary Lou

    I use to use Angel Eyes on our Bichon. His eyes cleared up when I removed kibble with tomato pomace from his diet. Then, when I removed kibble and added commercial raw, they became gorgeous. No more Angel Eyes. May be coincidence, but he sure is handsome! : )

  • Michael Eanes

    In reguards to tear stains,there is a powder product called Angel Eyes and it works like a charm.Sprinkle a bit and mix it up in the food and in about a week or so they might be all gone.Distilled water will help some too.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Aimee… Thanks for sharing this tip. Because of your comment, I’ll be sure to mention it in future questions regarding tear stains.

  • Meagan

    Michelle- My dog I have now and my boy that recently passed, both white faced, have/had a brown stain around the edge of their bottom lips. I thought it was saliva stain like what you see on light colored dogs when they chew on themselves.

  • Michelle

    Hi Mike, My 1 yr old black and white Springer Spaniel sometimes gets these reddish – brown stains around his lower muzzle, when he has them he is always rubbing his jaw/mouth on the carpet like it’s itchy.He does not have this problem on all foods. It only occurs when he is fed a food that contains beet pulp.I realize that beet pulp is white,but maybe it causes an allergic reaction in some dogs?? I don’t really know for sure. I guess my question is, Has anyone had this problem or does anyone actually know what could be causing this? Maybe a Candida overgrowth??

  • aimee

    Hi Izzy,

    You wrote “Any tips on how to keep tear stains under control?”

    Not sure why this would work but I’ve heard that probiotics can decrease or eliminate tear staining.
    Here is a review copied from amazon: Iams Veterinary Formula Prostora Max (15 Tabs) (Misc.)
    “I actually got this for my husky’s tear stains and it worked great! I dont have to feed her one every day too. its One every 3 days for tear stains. So glad my vet introduced me to this! bye bye angel eyes”

    Hope this helps!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Bobby… As long as your dog can tolerate it, there’s no reason to avoid a treat that’s closer to real food than kibble. You may wish to try routinely “topping” your dog’s food. Topping is the feeding method that includes adding fresh or wet food to an otherwise dry, lifeless kibble to improve its meat content and its palatability. Hope this helps.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Izzie… It would seem to make sense that food coloring might cause the cosmetic problem you mention. After all, there are many pet owners who passionately believe that food is the primary cause of tear stains on light colored fur. However, I’ve never been able to find any scientific studies that prove this to be the case.

    For example, some blame these reddish-brown stains on beet pulp. But beet pulp isn’t even red. It’s actually white in color. So, this theory appears to be most likely a myth.

    Most professionals attribute these facial stains in light colored dogs to the overproduction of tears (or some functional problem with the tear ducts). To learn more, you may wish to consult this short but factual article about tear stains by Drs. Foster and Smith.

    Regarding your dog’s weight, most likely, you’re simply overfeeding your dog. Too many calories? Please see our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Weight Loss for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • Bobby

    My dog had a can of this food awhile back when he was a puppy and loved it. It had a whole chicken thigh in it.
    He scarfed it down in about a minute and now I see since I’ve discovered this site it receives a 5 star rating.
    He’s eating the Nutro Grain Free Dry dog food regularly now, he likes it and I don’t want to change that.
    Just wondering if it would be OK to occasionally give him a can of this now and then for a special treat?

  • Izzie

    Hello Mike, thanks for this site! My dogs have been eating a spoonful of Merrick mixed with California Natural for years. One of my dogs is a Maltese and I don’t give her anything with artificial colors because of tear stains, yet she still has them. Do you think the caramel color in Merrick is causing it? Any tips on how to keep tear stains under control? My overweight Yorkie eats low fat California Natural but I’m having a hard time getting him to lose the extra pounds. Any suggestions as far as food goes? We take them on daily walks and try to keep them active. My Yorkie is 7 years old, and his weight has been an issue for the past 3 years, but for the past year he hasn’t been responding to any changes in his diet. My vet said to reduce his food intake by 25%. Which brands are good for overweight dogs? Thank you.

  • Glenda

    Has anyone else noticed a difference in the texture of the Granny’s Pot Pie the last few months. It used to be chunky, full of vegetables and chicken. Most I buy now is soupy, grainy like it has sand in it, and a few chunks of chicken. My dog used to love it, now smells it and walks away. I just sent Merrick an e-mail to see if they are making it differently. Tired of dumping it in the garbage.

  • Warren

    This food is the bomb. I was in shock. Looks like people food. And smells great. We are hooked. We now ONLY feed this to our dogs. We can see how great it is for our dogs. We are constantly using different flavors. The price is not bad at all. I don’t think. We mix this with chicken soup for pet lovers soul dry food. I also am buying online. NOT that I save $ because of the shipping. I just like to try them on allot of the different Merrick wet food flavors . Great food.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Ronee… Since each dog responds to a particular food in its own way, it would be misleading for me to assure you feeding Merrick’s Wingaling (or any other product) would prevent your dog from suffering from future bouts of bladder stones. Most prescription dog foods have been intentionally designed to create specific results. However, many have also been manufactured with poor quality ingredients and exceedingly low meat content, too.

  • Ronee Holmes

    My dog just had a bladder stone removed. My vet wants me to serve her Science Diet dog food. I read the ingredients on the Urinary diet on line and thought “no way am I feeding my dog this food!”

    So I found your Wingaling dog food in my pet store and she loves it. My question is since she just had a bladder stone removed is this food ok for her to eat? Will it cause more stones? If so, do you recommend another flavor?

    Please advise. Thanks, Ronee

  • Christina

    The last several times I purchased Merrick canned food from the local Petco, I found MOLD growing inside the cans, notably mold on the chunks of many different varieties. I always check cans for possible dents; none of these cans were dented. Please be extremely careful and look at the “chunks” inside the dog food, check for dark blue/black spots.

  • Laura C

    Just fed my puppy the canned puppy food [turkey/duck] and she absolutely loved it! The canned food smelled and looked like real food (whole chunks of meet and veggies). Definitely impressed both owner and dog.

  • melissa


    It may just not agree with your dogs. I have been feeding the Merrick as a topper for a year, and have never had a problem with any of the dogs. Each dog responds differently, so who knows? I would return any that you have and buy from a different batch/lot number and see if that helps at all.

  • Sean

    I’m glad to have read Mariah’s response. I just started feeding two dogs, a springer and cairn, Merrick. The springer immediately got diarrhea. The cairn followed suit about two days later. After a day of not feeding the Merrick they were fine.

  • Nicole

    I have 2 small dogs, and a can of either merrick or weruva will last in the fridge for almost a week with a lid on top. They get mostly innova dry food with a spoonful of the wet. I’ve never had a can go bad. Don’t worry if you dog doesn’t finish it in 3 days.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Michelle… It would be impossible for an operation our size to actual trial test any dog foods. However, we concentrate on the product’s label and use it to jusde ingredient quality and estimate meat content. What’s more, we try to keep each review up to date as soon as we’re alerted by our readers that there’s been a recipe change.


    I ran across by accident and read the ingredients for the Eukanuba dog food I was feeding my dog. I was shocked. Since then I have switched him over to Merrick brand dog food and I’m hoping they continue to use quality ingredients in their dog food. So, far the food seems to be agreeing with him and he has a very sensitive stomach. Knock on wood! I have been purchasing different varities of their bones and treats for almost 2 years now and have been satisfied. Thanks for having a website like this to keep us consumers informed. How often do you test the food once it’s been tested already?

  • Christine

    The canned food FINALLY helped get my golden doodle to get on a schedule. I tried for five months with different kibble, but he just bored quickly and would wait until night when he realized he was getting nothing else. With a little Merrick canned mixed with the Merrick dry, he eats on schedule. He seems to like all of the canned. Lots of different choices.

  • Mariah

    My dogs were on Merrick for years. Several months ago they started with horrendous gas and then mucousy diarrhea–it was awful. Took a long time to narrow it down to the Merrick; they’d been on it so long I felt something else was the at fault. Merrick did tell me they changed the formula. I also asked about the rendering plant next to the manufacturing plant; the Merrick phone person said that was true but they didn’t use the rendered products in the dog food. Hello?????

    I’m on my second bag of California Natural grain free and the same problems just started; the gas was not so bad but the diarrhea is. Just discovered Proctor & Gamble bought the company in May, 2010, not a surprise given their testing and other immoral practices.

    Price is no guarantee that you’re not poisoning your dogs. It’s all about $$$ for these companies.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Dyana… Since each dog responds to a particular food in its own unique way, it would be impossible for me to assure you feeding Merrick (or any other specific product) would control your Bassets’ hair loss. Regarding the weight issue, please see our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Weight Loss for Dogs”. Hope this helps.

  • Dyana

    I have to say I am so glad I visited your site today! I have been wondering if the switch from the Nutro Ultra to Merrick was worth the extra $.20 cents and now I am thinking it is.

    I have two Basset Hounds ages 10 and 6 who always seem to be hungry eating the Nutro. One is a little overweight, so she eats the weight mgt. They each eat a can of wet with 2 cups of dry and that seems like a lot of food. They are also shedding quite a bit even with brushing…thinking this is food quality related?

    I am wondering if the switch to Merrick will help with them feeling a little more full? I would love some feedback and/or advice.

  • Heather

    We were enthusiastically using the Merrick puppy food (canned) for several months until recently when we opened up a can and found green/black mold actually INSIDE the food. The can had just been purchased and wasn’t anywhere close to expiration. Called the company and got kind of a “Ho hum, yeah that happens, we’ll send you some coupons” response. Opened up another can from the same lot # and it also had mold. Threw the rest away. Maybe it was a fluke and I do understand that these things can happen but it definitely turned us off to using this brand.

  • Mike P

    Mike or Jonathan or anyone else out there …A question …I used the dog food calculator on this site and look at the dog food bags for feeding quantities. I can’t find what the definition of what an ACTIVE dog is . My dog goes on daily 2 1/2 mile walks and up to 4 mile walks when the weather is good . Is that considered ACTIVE or is ACTIVE more for working or hunting dogs ? She is a 64 lb Boxer and has gained 5 lbs since we got her from rescue in October . She is by no means fat .

  • Melissa


    I love the Merrick canned as well, and my dogs thrive on it-One thing though, is that feeding your dog “human foods” is not the taboo it was once thought to be, providing its quality foods and in proportion. Our dogs get all the leftovers of veggies, meats and occassional pastas and they are neither fat, beggers or in any way sickly as a result of it…

  • Peggy Wysk

    My 5 month old Golden Retriever absolutely loves all of the Merrick canned dog foods. I originally only gave him puppy plate, but after speaking with our vet, and the folks at Merrick, we have included all other varieties in his diet. All of the Merrick products are formulated to meet every stage of life. One side note on that is they don’t recommend feeding Senior Medley to a puppy, or puppy plate to a senior dog, as the fat contents are either too much or too little. My husband and I agreed that we would never feed “people” food to our dog, but feeding him Merrick is the closest you can get! Human grade ingredients and made in the USA!!! Brauts n Tots is his favorite and I will never feed him any other brand!!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Maria… Just because a broth is the first ingredient in a canned food doesn’t necessarily make it a lower quality product. Water and broths are the major components of any canned food. As a matter of fact, water makes up over 75% of a dog’s body (and yours, too).

  • Maria

    Hi…Some Merrick recipes list beef broth as their first ingredient.. Does this mean that not all their canned food is 5 stars?

  • Laine Berry

    thank you so much for this fabulous site! We are owned by three Pomeranians, one of whom suffered from almost chronic bladder stones. For sever years we were on Hills products, through our vet. She still occassionally dealt with her issue. After her second bladder surgery I decided to investigate food options myself. For a little over two years we have fed Taste of the Wild Pacific kibble, mixed with rotating varieties of these Merrick canned foods. I’m happy to report that not only do they LOVE the taste we have had no reoccurance of bladder stones. And I agree, the Merrick foods look absolutely yummy enough for MY dinner!

  • Ray

    I just opened the first can of Merrick I’ve ever purchased for my little Keisha and I swear this looks more appetizing than most prepackaged human foods available. I bought the “Turducken” and she loves it, although I admit there hasn’t been a canned food she didn’t love including Mighty Dog which she was on when we got her last October. But at least I know that this and the other 3, 4, and 5 star foods we give her are much healthier for her than the Mighty Dog. She remains a very active, lively, lovable ball of energy with a beautiful curly coat of hair. (We think she’s a maltese/poodle mix) Hope everyone has as much success with this site’s information as I’ve had.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Tom… Broths may be tasty to dogs (and humans), but they are (unfortunately) nutritionally deficient. The article you reference here addresses the potential content of a homemade broth (the recipe for which is at the bottom of the article). And not a legitimate analysis of the actual finished product.

    The article wrongly assumes the nutritional value of the bones and cartilage before being cooked is the same after cooking, too.

    The truth is, broths are more than 99% water containing only of trace of a few surviving micronutrients. The U.S. government-regulated Nutrition Facts panel for Swanson Chicken Broth (a human-grade food product) confirms about the only nutrients that survive the cooking process are indeed mostly minerals. And not all that much, at that.

  • Tom Reedy

    For another perspective on your “Broths are nutritionally worthless,” I refer you and your readers to Susan Thixton’s 10/29/10 article on broths on her web site “”

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Diane… It depend on how long you’ve been transitioning. If you just started in the last week or so, give your dog more time to adjust. If you’ve been doing this a while, you may need to switch again. I like mixing both kibble and wet food together.

  • Diane

    I had two goldens who have been on HALO brand dog food. On Sept.5-2010, the older of the two (8) became sick and within a couple of hours passed away. They said it was hemolytic anemia, he was a perfectly healthy dog. I do not know why this happened but since it did, I decided to do research for a new pet food. I switched my remaining golden to MERRICK. I am still weaning him off of halo. My concern is loose stool since I began the switch. I mix a little of the canned food with the dry. Is there something I should do different with the food, or is it just this type of food?

  • Melissa


    Its only a few of the varieties that have the bones-Wing Ding a Ling comes to mind. If your read the cans, these ones will say “whole chicken wings” or “whole chicken thighs” If one wishes to avoid the bones altogether, its easy enough to do since they have so many varieties/flavors!

  • Susannah

    So glad to revisit these comments and see the bone issue addressed. I was horrified when I found a bone in a can. I didn’t want to have to find a new food when she’s eating so well with this.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Kevin… Caramel color is a “natural” food extract used to create a pleasing color in many pet and human foods (like colas, breakfast cereal, soy sauce, etc.). Carmel color is generally recognized as safe by the United States FDA.

  • kevin

    Hi Mike , want to ask is “natural caramel color” harmful to dogs???? Is it real natural?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Kevin… Unfortunately, we do not review each recipe within a given product line. But you should be able to find the information you’re looking for on the Merrick website.

    As far as how long a canned food lasts once it’s opened? With refrigeration, probably about 2 to 3 days.

  • Melissa


    The bones are edible without issue. If want to see for youself, take one between your fingers and squeeze-you will end up with mush between them. I was concerned as well and once I saw that , fed it as found in the can-


    I have had canned food in the fridge(with cover) for three days without issue-since one dog eats a 1/3 can per day mixed with his dry. I have never left it unrefridgerated nor longer than that. I did forget and leave one out at room temp for several hours and immediately threw the entire contents out as I was concerned with bacteria growth etc

  • kevin

    For the Merrick puppy plate canned food. Is it free of corn,wheat,soy,by products and colors???? I am planning to buy it…How long can you give your dog canned food, once it has been opened?

  • Paniller

    I swear, this stuff almost looks edible to me. Doing the math, it only came to $8 more a month than canned food half the price for his size, so I decided not to cheap out. I waste more than that on a scratch off lottery ticket, so why not my dog?

    He loved it, despite being a picky eater. He used to only eat ground up stuff, but will eat these chunks/gravy mixes. Maybe it was a phase from him getting settled. He gained a bit of weight and I had to cut portion size. Not sure if these are more filling with protein, or it was winter weight.

    The ingredients are all recognizable. The wingaling actually had a few chicken wings in it. Another with chicken has 2 nearly full thighs. The little italy was mini meatballs in gravy. Most had little cuts of beef and a few veggies. There were named species for fish, no “byproducts,” etc. The turducken’s ingredients started with “turkey, duck, chicken.” then I believe a broth. That’s a relief.

    The only downside I’ve seen, is they include the bone on the chicken wings, drumstick, thigh, etc. It’s nice seeing that to confirm real edible meat, but it’s something I have to pick out. Unless it’s safe to give them? I know he’d love it, but I’d be afraid of choking.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Jim… Royal Canin is a worldwide pet food company. Here in North America, Royal Canin sells two lines of veterinary products. In the US, they’re called Royal Canin Veterinary Diets and in Canada they’re known as Royal Canin MediCal. Over time, we hope to cover a major part of these products. But for now, we offer reviews of a few of Royal Canin’s Veterinary Diets only. And we’ll eventually cover the canned form of Performatrin Ultra, too. Hope this helps.

  • Jim H

    Hi Mike. I’ve just switched to Performatrin Ultra canned and noticed that only the dry is reviewed. Any chance of a review of the canned product?
    Also, the product we switched from is the Royal Canin
    Medi-cal vet diet both canned and dry. Are you familiar with those?


  • Alyssa

    i switched my dog to this and he looks so much better he changed so much just by the food i greatly recommend this food

  • Whitney

    @Steve Huff – A good source I’ve found for less expensive, high quality dog food is my local feed store. My husband and I are living off one income for the time being, and I’m able to buy a four star kibble (Precise Formula) for as much as I’d pay for Purina at Wal-Mart. I like to change it up for them, and am a big fan of these Merrick 5-Star canned foods. And they LOOOOOVE them.

    A couple of times a week I’ll even scramble some eggs and add to their kibble. Mike is right, diet rotation seems to keep my pups very happy and healthy.

    Anyway, just thought I’d share some budget-friendly choices that have served my family well. :)

  • Steve Huff

    Thank you for your comprehensive and understandable dog food reviews. I have two dogs and was disappointed to learn rhat even though I fed them the most expensive “top of the line” dog foods from my grocer, that all 4 varities I used were rated either 1 or 2. Even more shocked that I could not find ANY 4 or 5 rated foods at my grocer. I have switched to a specialty pet store and although they carry 2 rated foods, I was able to find several 5 rated dry and canned foods. My dogs love them and I feel so much better feeding them these. Strange thing is that the wet foods are even cheaper than what I was using and the dry food only slightly more expensive. Thank you again and may your lives be blessed for the work you do and contributions you make.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Gavin… Oops! You’re right. Merrick is a great food. So, I’ve now included Merrcik canned puppy food (Puppy Plate) on our 5-star canned puppy foods list. Thanks for the tip.

    It’s a little difficult to answer your question about the 1/2 can of 4-5 star puppy food. I am a fan of diet rotation. As to whether your dog could tolerate so many different proteins, brands and products, it would be impossible for me (or anyone) to assure you your dog would be able to tolerate the changes. It may be better to limit the switching to a smaller number of products from a smaller sphere of brands. Hope this helps.

  • gavin

    hey mike,
    wondering why merrick puppy plate didnt make your 4-5 star reviews of canned puppy food? It was highly recommended to me at my local natural pet store over many of the 4 star brands. As i mentioned in another post earlier today, I am slowly transitioning my little 3 month old blue heeler to a better diet he has been on (Purina puppy), then eventually onto one of the 5 star raw diets that you have recommended. I like the idea of feeding 1/2 orijen/acana kibble and 1/2 “4-5 star” puppy canned food until we make the full switch to raw. In regards to the 1/2 serving of canned food – Do you think it is wise to pick one particular canned puppy food and stay consistent with it in conjunction with orjen/acana kibble OR give a nice variety of canned food (different meat proteins, companies, blends) in conjunction with the orijen/acana kibble?
    hope this question makes sense. thanks so much.

  • Susannah

    My finicky little eater absolutely loves the Merrick canned offerings. Grammy’s Chicken Pot Pie looks like ‘real’ pot pie filling, and I’ve never had trouble spotting the chunks o’ meat in any of the cans we’ve opened. So far Chloe has liked every flavor we’ve tried in the line, and my two cats adore the canned cat foods.
    6 thumbs up (if pets had thumbs, that is)

  • sandra

    My dogs do not like Merrick canned dog food except the brats and tots. We tried a couple of other Merrick dinners and they list meat as the main ingredient. I needed a magnifying glass to find the meat. Another can label listed chicken thighs as the main ingredient and i found 1- two inch piece of chicken that didn’t even cover the bone in the whole can. I call that false advertising. The FDA needs to make dog food mfgrs. label the products truthfully. If chicken is listed first, that should be the bulk of the contents in the can. One can of merrick we tried had one tablespoon of meat in the whole can but the meat was first on the list of ingredients. Other companies do the same thing. They also need to specify if the meat is original texture or the ground up and cubed meat.

  • Stephen

    Wow. My dog is a completely different dog since I switched him over to this food. I had the pickiest eater. Merrick has the most flavors and not only is it nutritionally outstanding it taste the best by far. Merrick dry deserves 5 stars as well. Simpily flawless