Performatrin Ultra Grain Free (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Performatrin Ultra Grain Free product line includes three dry dog foods.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

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

  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Small Bites
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Puppy Recipe

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, peas, salmon meal, duck meal, potato, dried egg product, chicken fat stabilized with mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin E), potato protein, vegetable pomace (tomato, carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach), natural flavor, cultured yeast, whole fresh sweet potato, pumpkin, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, sea salt, chicory root extract, lecithin, dried kelp, choline chloride, alfalfa juice concentrate, fresh spinach, fresh whole blackberries, dried yeast, taurine, rosemary extract, marigold extract, Yucca schidigera extract, glucosamine hydrochloride, spirulina, green tea extract, ascorbyl polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Bifidobacterium bifidium, Streptococcus faecium, zinc proteinate (source of chelated zinc), iron proteinate (source of chelated iron), vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate (source of chelated manganese), copper proteinate (source of chelated copper), vitamin A supplement, niacin, thiamine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, inositol, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, calcium iodide, selenium yeast (source of organic selenium)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis37%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%18%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%37%28%

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

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

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

The third ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

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

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

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

The seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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

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

The ninth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The tenth ingredient is vegetable pomace, the solid by-product of vegetables after pressing for juice or oil. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.

Vegetable pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

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

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

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

Next, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

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

What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.

In addition, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

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

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, potato protein and dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of turkey and turkey meal as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

A Final Word

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

06/10/2012 Original review
12/28/2013 Review updated
12/28/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Performatrin Customer Service via email dated 9/28/2011
  • Tricia M Manns

    I have a Husky, Shepherd, Lab that’s 5 yrs old and a Beagle, Black-and-Tan Coonhound that’s 2 yrs old. I wanted to switch their dry food, after learning about the controversy over Blue Buffalo. I was in PetValu, noticed the brochure for Performatrin Ultra, and began reading it.

    Then, I spoke with an Employee about my concerns with what I was feeding my girls and what I should try. My exact words were, “I think I found what I should feed them, but I have some questions after reading this brochure.” She was very informed and knew Performatrin Ultra specifics, answering all my questions and taking me directly to the food.

    Both are allergic/sensitive to chicken, so the food could not contain ANY chicken whatsoever.

    I am EXTREMELY pleased with the results from switching their food. I have both pups on the same food, even though they are completely different sizes and breeds! I am giving Diamond and Daisy Lou Performatrin Ultra Grain-free recipe, Turkey Duck Salmon. I buy a big bag of the kibble size and a smaller bag of the small bite recipe and mix them.

    Not only am I happy with the change, but also Diamond and Daisy Lou seem happy, too! From the first time I offered the new food, they tried it immediately, which was strange but positive; they are picky eaters but LIKED this food and wanted it in their bowls. They are eating better than ever!! Their coats are soft and shiny, and I can see the food satisfies and agrees with their systems. I am so glad I tried and switched their food to Performatrin Ultra! THANKS, PETVALU!!!

  • sharron

    hi – opinions on feeding this food for weight loss – doesn’t need to lose a lot just a 1/2 lb – 1 lb — feeding her the small bites – thanks

  • Heather Almond Linklater

    I have 2 Jacks. They are both around 15/16 lbs. They get 1/2 cup twice a day and are both doing very well.

  • SB

    It’s is important to note that if you are storing your dogs dry food in a container — keep it in it’s original bag as well — the bags are meant to keep food fresh and preserved — storing in plastic bins is a big no no.

  • SB

    It is for all breeds sizes — I’m not sure I personally consider a Collie a large breed. Talk to your vet if you still have concerns, all dogs do differently on different foods – my dog has done wonderful on Peformatrin grain free.

  • featherbutt

    The food is for all breed sizes, but it may be in your best interest to look for a large breed puppy food as larger breed dogs have much faster growth and need a more specialized diet.

  • featherbutt

    If you change foods too quickly after having been on one particular food for a very long time, this is actually really common. You are supposed to mix the food over a period of 2-4 weeks.

  • featherbutt

    Hookworm would be picked up from ingesting feces or other contaminated substances, not from the food. If you think the food is contaminated you or your vet should see about having it tested or report it to the company to be test it. My dog has been on this food for a while now with absolutely no issues.

  • featherbutt

    Hi, I actually work for Pet Valu and we recently received an email from higher up about the problems with the zippers on the bags. Apparently this is a recent issue that will be resolved soon. I have actually been buying my dog Performatrin Ultra for almost two years and have never come across this issue until recently. You can use a bag clip to hold the bag shut if you don’t have a sealed container to keep it in, I actually found some hippo shaped ones at the Dollar Tree that are really cute :)

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Theresa, here’s a list of foods for Large Breed Puppies, The foods were researched and the list was put together by HDM, a regular on this site. I personally like Dr. Tim’s And Earthborn from this list. https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwApI_dhlbnFY183Q0NVRXlidWc/edit?pli=1 Here is more info from HDM

    These are a few of my favorite articles and studies on the topic:

    1. “Nutritional Risks to Large and Giant Breed Dogs: From Weaning to the Geriatric Years” by Susan D. Lauten, PhD

    http://portais.ufg.br/uploads/66/original_Racas_grandes.pdf

    2. “Growth and Skeletal Development of Great Dane Pups Fed Different Levels of Protein Intake” Nap, Hazewinkel, Voorhout, Van Den Brom, Goedegebuure and Van ‘T Klooster

    http://jn.nutrition.org/content/121/11_Suppl/S107.full.pdf

    3. “Dietary Mineral Levels Affect Bone Development in Great Dane Pups” by Henry J. Baker DVM

    http://www.bestfriendsvet.com/pdffiles/BoneDevArticleWa.pdf

    4. “Feeding Large Breed Puppies” by Jennifer Larsen DVM, PhD, DACVN

    http://mobile.vetlearn.com/Media/images/pdf/2010/PV/PV0510_Nutrition.pdf

    5. “Why Overgowing Your Large Breed Puppy is Dangerous” Dr. Karen Becker DVM

    http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/09/slow-growth-diets-for-giant-breed-puppy.aspx

  • Theresa Lafond

    I have a 11 week old collie puppy and was looking for the best grain free food for her. I have some sample bags of the Performatrin ultra grain free. But I have a concern it’s not for large breed puppies. Any input would be great. Thank you Theresa

  • Kim Maguire

    Just purchased our 2nd bag. Impressed with the review and LouLou seems to be enjoying it. Too soon to notice any changes but not impressed with the bag. Neither zip closure worked.

  • Shelley Boisvenue

    my dog was losing hair like crazy….switched to performatrim and wow…..hardly shedding at all, nice shiny coat, good firm stools.

  • stephspov

    After over 8 years of trying different types of high quality food for my boxer, I finally tried Performatrin Ultra Grain free. Finally, he doesn’t have explosive diarrhea and throwing up every few months (not what you want to find all over the house in the morning!) and his poop finally has form! For the first time in over 8 year years, we can actually pick up his waste with a shovel without having to scrap it from the ground! I believe part of the reason he does so well on this food, is due to the fact it has pro & prebiotics, and they are added after cooking. I just wish they made the small kibble in a bigger bag, so I could feed it to both of my dogs. My new puppy is a smaller breed and will need a smaller kibble.

  • andrew

    Im on the second bag of ultra he has thrown up a couple times with a regular stool for the past 2 days today I come home hes got a loose stool not really wanting to eat I think im takeing the food back

  • Peggy

    Kraft peanut butter has sugar and salt, neither good for dogs ( or people). Read labels to find healthier p.b.
    Peggy

  • Peggy

    Too much food for small dogs. I feed my 17 pound Sheltie a quarter cup in the morning or one third in winter and half cup for evening. She is 10, lean and active. I keep the bag in the freezer and refill small bin when empty.
    Peggy

  • Storm’s Mom

    Which Earthborn were you feeding prior to Performatrin Ultra Grain Free? Meadow Feast by chance? Or perhaps Coastal Catch?

  • Stephanie

    Our 16 (almost 17 year) old rat terrier switched from Earthborn Holistic to Performatrin Ultra grain free after he loved a sample bag we had received at a pet store opening and it didn’t have an effect on his chronic pancreatitis as he had been showing a declining interest in the taste of the Earthborn. After about 3-6 weeks we noticed an increase in the amount of water he was drinking. Given his age, we immediately thought the worst. Diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure. We took him to the vet and they ran a whole battery of tests and declared him the healthiest almost 17 year old dog they had ever seen. However during the tests they discovered that he had early onset of a very rare form of hook worm not native to North America. Upon closer inspection of the label we discovered that though the food was made in Canada it was made with imported products and it had a higher level of sodium than his previous food. We have since treated the worms and switched him back to his previous food and he has had no further issues.

  • JB

    None of the Performatrin foods are sourced from China. Lamb in their Ultra, non gf line, comes from australia I think? But mostly is NA based. If you go to a Pet Valu store and ask, they can get an email of where all the ingredients are sourced from. It’s about 3 pages long though.

  • Storm’s Mom

    High protein does not, in and of itself, cause loose stools. How much are you feeding her of the Performatrin Ultra? How long did you transition her from Natural Balance to Performatrin Ultra Grain Free? How long had she been on the Natural Balance?

  • deena

    I just switched my 8 year old cockapoo form Natural Balance to Permatrin Utra grain free since it had a higher percentage of protein. It’s been about 2 weeks & she has a very loose stool. Could that bee from the extra protein?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Bummer, sounds like he might be allergic to an ingredient in the food (potato?). You’d have to look at the ingredient lists of both products to see what Performatrin Ultra Grain Free has that Nutri Life does not. Unfortunately, not every food is going to work for every dog, no matter how good it looks :-( My guy does fantasticly on Performatrin Ultra Grain Free, it’s a regular part of our rotation. The very low protein levels of all of the Nutri Life formulae is a deal breaker for me.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I asked the company about Performatrin Ultra Grain Free when it first came out:

    The calcium level is 1.7%+/-0.2% and the phosphorus level is 1.3%+/-0.1%.

    That’s from Dr. D.J. Summers, Nutritionist, Pet Valu (parent company of Performatrin).

    Too high for a large breed puppy :-(

  • Jennifer c

    I have two labs who have exclusively eaten nutri life chicken grain free. It is very hard to find so when I found performatin grain free at pet valu I tried it . Three 28lb bags later And my dogs are LOSING HAIR . I have since switched back to nutri life and their coats are improved . Sorry I wanted to like performatin the ingredients list was what I thought great but losing hair is a deal breaker for me.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If it’s not on the list it was either too high in calcium or I couldn’t get in contact with the company. I contacted too many companies to remember specifics on any that didn’t make the list.

  • LilyH

    Is this food appropriate for large breed puppies? I didn’t see it on the great list HDM put together, so was wondering in what area it fell short (if it did). The PetValu store I go to offered to email any questions I had to the makers, so if there is a lack of information in some category, let me know and I will ask them… and hopefully report back.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes. Performatrin is PetValu’s “house brand”. The Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is SIGNIFICANTLY better than any of the other Performatrin Ultra formulas, though, so if you are going to feed Performatrin Ultra, make sure it’s the Grain Free. I’ve fed it several times (I change my dog’s food after every bag) and he’s always done really well on Performatrin Ultra Grain Free. I would highly recommend trying it. Great food for a great price! Hope this helps.

  • Angel’s mon

    The Performatrin that is mention is the one that is sells at PetValu???? Please answer me

  • bkblessed1

    Can we purchase this from NJ then? That does seem ridiculous that we are paying so much more for the exact same food.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Gracie’s Mom,

    It would be very comforting no know the source of every ingredient in the dog (and human) foods we buy. Unfortunately, there are no laws on the books to require food companies to disclose their ingredient sources.

    Your best chance to find out from where your dog food’s ingredients are sourced would be for you to contact the manufacturer and ask.

    Some are very transparent and will tell you while others avoid sharing this important information.

    Hope this helps.

  • Gracie’s Mom

    Dog Food Advisor, et al., does anyone know what the “imported ingredients” are for this Canadian-manufactured food? Any way to find out whether any ingredients from China (potentially unsafe, of course, due to past recalls of products manufactured by other dog food companies) are being used? Thanks.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yeah, I am really looking forward to trying Storm on it!!! I mean, it does have a lot of fillers (non-animal protein sources), so I will probably add toppers to it after I try it once on its own to see how Storm does on just the kibble.. but it’s chicken-free (well, it has “egg” but Storm seems to do fine with that), grain-free and potato-free..can’t pass up the opportunity to try it!!! :-)

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I noticed the new Petcurean formulas last time I was on their site – I like the looks of the new potato free GO! formula. I used to use GO! in my rotation occasionally when I fed kibble to my oldest dog, he did well on it.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yeah, but I probably should’ve said above that in addition to switching out his kibble to see if that changed things, at the same time I also had an “ah ha!” moment when I realized that I was feeding him right before I went to work, which perhaps he was trying to stall me doing by eating so freaking slowly (he’s a smart little guy, wouldn’t put it past him …sigh..lol). So, I also moved his feeding time to right after we got up, instead (didn’t matter much to me!)…and what do you know, he ate his food in 10 seconds flat from then on! ;-) Not sure what was going on with his dinner feeding, because he was doing the same thing with that meal, one kibble at a time, but as soon as I changed the morning routine he stopped the one kibble at a time thing in th evening, too *shrug* So, trying this food again was more for confirmation that it wasn’t really the food that was the issue.. figured it wasn’t, but I also wasn’t 100% sure, of course, until I tried it again :-)

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dogs are so funny…

  • Storm’s Mom

    Just thought I’d mention that Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is also available in a “Small Bites” version, which has been out for a few months now I think. GA percentages and ingredients are exactly the same, just a smaller sized kibble (about 1/4 the size of the original (Fromm/NV Instinct-sized now), but in the shape of a triangle). I fed the original version to Storm quite a while ago now, and he literally would eat it one piece of kibble at a time for some reason (with a walk to the living room and back in between each piece….siiiiiiigh……) …but he’s gobbling up the Small Bites this time! *shrug* (I really wanted to try the new Go! Grain Free/Potato Free variety, but it’s not available in stores yet, so thought I’d try this one (again…sort of..) in the meantime, was curious to see if Storm would do the one kibble at a time thing again on it, too)

  • Dee

    I have been using this food for 7 months now and my GSD still loves it! We recently got a malamute and she is also eating this food. The only problem I have with this food is the price!! It’s $80(tax incl) and my dogs are eating a bag every 12 days! It’s made in Canada but recently stores are branching off in the USA. I went online and seen that in NJ the same Canadian food is sold for 39.99 for the same food!! Why am I paying 72.99 for food that is made and sold in Canada yet after its shipped across the border is 32.99 cheaper!! This makes no sense to me!! And then Canadian companies wonder why we cross borders to go spend our Canadian dollars in another country. Thanks Pet Valu for appreciating your Canadian customers who made you who you are, way to stick it to us just like our government!

  • InkedMarie

    Sorry but I still don’t understand why you’d even finish the first bag, if it gave your dogs diarrhea and/or caused them to vomit.

  • tleigh

    for inkedmarie….(iF you did a gradual transition why in heavens name would you buy bags 2
    & 3 when the first of the last three bags caused diarrhea and
    vomiting?)

    I had been feeding them this with no problems for the past 7mo, so i just thought the food went stale or something. the second bag was fine,so thats why i got a 3rd bag. obviously the first bag had something wrong. now the 3rd bag, after a couple feedings, had issues so i am returning it and will not feed them this brand anymore. since this is a five star food, i wanted to give it a chance that it was just a bad batch.

  • InkedMarie

    IF you did a gradual transition why in heavens name would you buy bags 2 & 3 when the first of the last three bags caused diarrhea and vomiting?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi tleigh –

    Performatrin Ultra is a 5 star grain-free food, so if I were you I would just pick out another 5 star grain-free food to try. Whatever formula that is within your budget and available to you. I would also recommend finding at least 2 or 3 other comparable foods that your dogs do well on and rotating between the different foods. This will not only provide your dogs with variety but it will also give you some options if you experience another issue like this in the future.

  • tleigh

    i have been feeding this performatrin grain free for atleast 7 months and just recently my 3 dogs have been having issues. the 1st of the last 3 bags, gave my 9yr old diarrhea and my 5 and 1 yr old vomit shortly after eating. the 2nd bag was ok and the 3rd gave them the issues again. im confused what is going on. they have been on chicken and rice for the past few days. and i dont know what to feed them now. anyone have any ideas

  • quest

    i have been told by experts that commercial dog food is killing our pets

  • Mmeaton05

    Where are you located? New stores are opening weekly!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Sharron,

    The combined protein and fat total 53% of the food, which means that the carbs are still pretty high at 47%. My little dog tends to get a little “fluffy” on foods with carbs that high.

    The important thing is portion control. Feed your dog carefully and measure his food for his desired weight (as opposed to his current weight – assuming his carrying any extra weight right now).

  • sharron

    protein is 37% and fat is 16% – is this appropriate for a chihuahua that is prone to gaining weight

  • Dee

    Bought this for my GSD that is almost 6 months old and he LOVES it!!!! He can’t get enough.

  • Shawna

    SOME of the good stuff is killed but not all..

    With higher rated foods its also about what isn’t added as well — like inferior protein sources, dyes, chemical antioxidants, inferior sources of carbohydrates etc.

  • Deb

    Wondering…
    even if it has 5 stars or any of the other 5 star dog foods, aren’t the nutrional value of the ingredients killed in the processing part. Yes they throw in a bunch of vitamins in the end product but i don’t want to pay for a high quality product when everythings been killed in the process. Then I might as well feed them a 3 star food.
    Just not sure whats true and whats not and would like to know. Any opinions or advice?
    Is all the good quality stuff killed in the process?

  • Bernermum

    Oh never mind. I see it listed under the other Performatrin brand!

  • Bernermum

    I just stopped in at my local Pet Valu store and they gave me a pamphlet on this food. The ingredients as listed above are not in it…have they changed the formula since this review? Also, any chance of reviewing dog treats?? I find that this is a grey area for me. Thanks and I love this site!!

  • Kathy

    I have similar problems which dog food did you switch to I am going to try pet cure an go grain free have you heard of this dog food

  • Kathy

    I have similar problems what dog food did you switch to

  • Spanielgirl

    Hi Myster,  I have two cocker spaniels and wanted to try a grain free diet also. I tried this product and we had a similar experience to you. My girls developed gloopy eyes, one had terribly gooey smelly ears, the other girl who normally has pristene ears developed gooey, smelly ears. They were both chewing on their feet and scratching, scratching, scratching.  I took them off the grain free and switched cold turkey back to their regular kibble. I saw an almost immediate improvement. So, lessoned learned – not all dogs can tolerate the same ingredients. As much as I wanted to use this product, I couldn’t.  

  • Barbara Disotell

    Hi this Barbara from across the border in Cornwall,Ontario.I’m not able to get out not able to put pressure on right leg going for hip replacement Oct 9th in Ottawa Ontario.My husband went for dog food last Sunday ,I had my Jack Russells on Performatrimultra small pieces .He bought the larger pieces they are eating it ok .I just don’t give them as much.the 3 year old would eat a full dish 3x a day ,but I give her a cup in morning & a cup at night is this ok.I don’t want to give to much or not enough.She weighs 17 lbs. My other JR is 4 years old she eats when she feels like it. They are doing good on this food. I hate all the recalls. I use Kraft peanut butter ,They love it when I give them some not all the time ,Patches loves my toast & peanut butter I try not to have it often cause she wants it. Please let me know if you think I’m feeding them ok. Have a nice day& thanks.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Small world…I’m right across the border, Massena area. I’d leave it in the bag and store the bag in a storage bine in a cool area. If you had refrigerator space, storing it in the refrigerator would be ideal. Only buy as much as you’ll use within 3-4 weeks.

  • Barbara Disotell

    Hi,I:m from Cornwall,Ontario Canada.We have a pet Valu her.I have 2 Jack Russells .One is 4 yrs old & the other is 3 yrs old.They are both eating performatrinultra  grain free & love it. They were on Chicken Soup till it was recalled. My girls are my babies & I love them both so much.I hate when I see all these recalls on dog food. Should I leave their food in the bags when I buy it. I have been keeping it in plastic pail.my email is  [email protected]       please tell me if I should leave it in the bag when I buy it. Thanks Barbara

  • Storm’s Mom

    Performatrin is the “house brand” of PetValu/Bosley’s/Paul Mac, so that is the only place you can get it. It’s a great kibble, I use it in my rotation. If you’re buying a medium or large size bag, though, I don’t see what the issue is with doing a little planning and buying the food while you’re in the location that has PetValu, before you head to the one that doesn’t? Since he’s got intestinal issues, and he LOVES Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free, might be best to just stick with it?  Otherwise, there are lots of options to try listed in the “Best Dry Grain Free Food” section that can be found by clicking on “Best Dog Food” in the top left of this page.  Might want to look for ones with limited ingredients? (Nature’s Variety Instinct, in particular ..they also have one with the same 3 meat proteins as Performatrin Ultra Grain free, but instead of using potato, they use tapioca)

  • S Elizabeth Searle

    My dog (1-year old rescue Havanese/terrier) LOVES the Performatrin Ultra Grain-free — a nice, small kibble.  Only problem is that PetValue seems to be the only place you can buy it.  We spend half our time weekly in another location — with no PetValue store.  Have tried to substitute Orijen — but no dice.  Because of his intestinal “issues,” I’ve been including a couple of dollops of Evanger’s chicken/rice as well.  Other ideas?

  • InkedMarie

    Let me also add Fromm or Annamaet to HoundDogMom’s list. 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Fourfootedangels –

    I now feed my dogs a homemade raw diet. However, if I were to feed a commercial food I would go with Orijen, Acana, Nature’s Variety Instinct, The Great Life or The Honest Kitchen (dehydrated). I’ve fed all in the past with great luck and I trust the companies. All offer 5 star grain-free foods. I try to avoid big companies, I think the small companies have better quality control.

  • Fourfootedangels

    Hi Hound Dog Mom,
    What are you feeding?  What dry grain free would you recommend?  I have a Saint Bernard.  I am very cautious since the Melamine recall in 2007.   Thanks

  • Dhall1006

    what kind of food did u switch to?

  • Myster E Flyer

    I started out feeding my chocolate lab Performatrin Large Breed Puppy formula – then switched to large breed formula when he was about a year…  About half a year into that we noticed itching, and moist paws, dull coat, etc… Vet suggested going to a grain free alternative in case of allergies, so we switched to grain-free ultra. 

    Since the switch we’ve had nothing but problems… My dogs skin irritation increased, and we also noticed fungal Yeast infections developing, open sores in between paw pads, bad breath, gooey eyes, red gooey smelly ears…  One of the biggest causes of this we now believe is due to the fact that this brand uses Cultured Yeast as one of its ingredients…  Also this has a lot of carb/starchy ingredients such as potato, peas, vegetable pomace (tomato, carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach), etc…

    When these break down in the dog’s system they produce sugar, sugar in turn feeds yeast bacteria over growth and makes things worse… they are unneeded fillers in this food.

    All in all it’s really not that great of a “Grain-Free” food.  Made my dog’s life hell while he was on it.

  • Toxed2loss

    On a lot of the threads I’ve checked you can fix it under the “Discussions” button, on the left, at the bottom of the review. Just above that you can report a problem. I reported the re-order feature is not working on this thread.

    Dairy: not homogenized, raw or low temp pasteurized, nothing added, nothing taken away. Makes a huge difference. A2 if you can get it! :-)

  • Mary Lou

    Haven’t bought any yet. I can do dairy. Just not a fan for some reason ~ unless it’s ice cream or frozen yogurt! ; )

    I don’t like how you have to search through the thread to reply. I like when the newest comment was at the top.

  • Toxed2loss

    Coconut milk might work…is it “clean?” You’ll have to tell me what’s in them… Shawna uses them. Maybe she’ll fess up. GFETE

  • Mary Lou

    Toxed was it you, or Shawna, or both, that I mentioned about drinking protein shakes with soy milk a few years ago. Then I found out about the bad side of soy.

    Question ~ I want to start the shakes again. What about almond or coconut milk? Thoughts?

  • Toxed2loss

    Me too!!

  • LabsRawesome

     I gag every time I see those commercials for Soy milk.  “Switch Silk for dairy milk in your cereal” BLAH.

  • Toxed2loss

    Good to know!!

  • Shawna

    Oops, forgot something.  You can tell if fruits and veggies are GM..  The bar code label will have 5 digits with the first number being an 8.  If it is a 5 digit label that begins with a 9 it is organic (or should be).  If it is a 4 digit number it is conventional. :)

  • Shawna

    I have brain damage diagnosed via MRI believed to be due to MSG and aspartic acid as well as reactive hypoglycemia..

    I began having symptoms when I was 12 years old.  I was taken to M.D.s, neurologists etc and never a diagnosis……  No diagnoses until early 30′s (20 plus years)…

    MSG can cause multiple sclerosis, dementia, heart disease and a whole slew of diseases..  Proven via science — I’ve linked to the papers here on DFA in past posts :)..

    Like Toxed and DFA — I wouldn’t touch soy (unless small amounts of fermented) with a 10 foot pole..  Nah, I wouldn’t even have small amounts of feremented :)..  Actually I do use a few products with a small amount of soy lecithin in them but I generally try to avoid even lecithin..

    PS — the lectins in soy are one of four foods with lectins that can cause villous atrophy in some pets and people..  Diagnosis may not occur until malnutrition symtpoms are seen — and then only if a savvy health care provider is seen…  Most will just treat the malnutrition symptoms not the underlying cause.

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Eve’smom,
    Actually MSG doesn’t occur naturally in any foods. L-glutamate does. L-glutamate is bound to an amino acid that renders it non-toxic. During digestion of the whole unprocessed form, stomach acid plus time are able to unbind a very tiny amount. That amount is necessary for brain function. Too much is poison. The commercial processing of substances naturally high in L-glutamate frees massive amounts by enzymolysis, high heat and or pressure or lower heat and long time or chemical bath. Which produces “free glutamic acid” aka MSG. Then those substances are deliberately added to our processed food stuff for the express purpose of inciting appetite, & increasing sales. Free glutamic acid is a proven neurotoxin, addictive substance, & appetite stimulator. The health problems it’s linked to are legion. All scientific facts. :-}

  • Dog Food Ninja

    The Japanese haven’t been eating soy for very long. They have been fermenting soy to make meso, a process which damages much of the phytic acid that soy is full of, and the result is a condiment that the average Asian eats two tablespoons a day of, or about ten grams. Soy is a horror food. It is a huge source of phytoestrogens, it’s a thyroid killing goitrogenic, it’s loaded with phytates and trypsin inhibitors…. There’s really nothing nice to say about soy!! Lol. And as far as msg goes , yes it can be naturally found in some foods, but when foods are more refined, more glutamic acid is freed and that’s where it gets to problematic levels.

  • Eve’sHumanMom

    Actually, msg occurs naturally in many foods.  That is why they are so tasty and as an ingredient, make many dishes delicious.  Kelp, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, dried bonito flakes, and green tea.  Also potatoes, certain cheeses, like parmesan, cured meats, etc. 

    Also btw,  I’ve been seeing a lot of negative comments about soy for humans as well as dogs.  I am against GMO and wish they would label it as such in the US as well, but the real stuff is not such a villain.  Look at the Japanese.  Soy beans, tofu, natto, tempeh are really quite healthy.  I expect Japanese dogs have eaten soy products for generations, too.  Especially since only recently have people started feeding pet food and dogs and cats being considered “family” is a much more recent phenomenon than in the US.  They just got whatever was leftover from the family meal. 

    nothing scientific, but just my observation.

  • Shawna

    Actually Guest, many of us do agree with your statement..  I’m not fond of grains AT ALL for multiple reasons, however replacing the grains with potatoes or other starches doesn’t magically make the food more “species appropriate”.  That is why I too chose to raw feed :).

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryanv21 Bryan Van Dusen

    Natural Balance, for example, says “grain free” on the front of the bag. However, they also have words like “potato” listed right next to the meat. They don’t just say “Fish”, and then only list “potato” in the list of ingredients on the back of the bag, the food will say “Sweat Potato and Fish”.

    NB is not the only food like that… not at all. So while people may be fooled by foods saying “grain free”, it’s not hard to see that it does have a carbohydrate in it still.

    If people aren’t willing to do a tiny bit of research, or *gasp* ask somebody about the food, then they are at fault, not the food manufacturer.

    BTW, while dogs don’t necessarily need carbs, they aren’t always bad for dogs either. Unlike cats, who can’t process carbs at all, most dogs actually CAN process carbs. Just make sure you’re dog is getting a balanced diet (ie, mixing raw with Honest Kitchen Preference).

  • hounddogmom12

    Guest, I agree with you! A lot of people are fooled by the term “grain-free” when in fact many “grain-free” foods contain the same amount, if not more carbs than grain-inclusive foods! This is why my dogs receive no grains or strarchy veggies (like potatoes). :)

  • Guest

    Another issue is the advent of many new no grain foods. A no grain pet food does not mean the food has no carbohydrates, it just means they are generally using potatoes and sweet potatoes for their carbohydrate component. These diets are GENERALLY not recommended for growth in large and giant breed, nor are they recommended for Systemic Yeast Overgrowth issues due to the potato component. They are best suited for adults that are moderately active. -
     (Before anyone freaks on me I got it from this site as a comment) – Mike can you check or something regarding this about the grain free?

  • Shawna

    I like to see chicory root which is not only fructooligosaccaride (FOS) but also inulin.  Garlic is a good source of both as well :).

    PS – Gum arabic (aka acacia fiber) as well as beet root and cellulose also have prebiotic properties.

    HOWEVER, these prebiotics will also feed bad bacteria so a supplemental source of probiotics may be in order as well.

  • Staff

    Dog owners should be looking for fructooligosaccharide in
    their dog foods it is a highly beneficial pre biotic for a dog’s digestive
    health.  The VitaHound research staff is studying varying mg levels that
    best suits the canine physiology, if it is not included in the dog food
    consider adding supplement, currently Blue Buffalo is adding the nutrient to
    many of their brands.

  • Toxed2loss

    You got the main ones. I’d add that lecithin can have excitotoxins contaminants, soy is high in glutamate & aspartate. So are potatoes and tomatoes, by the way. So how much is freed would depend on processing methods, times and temperatures. The tomatoe pomice is a processed vegetable slurry, so I’d suspect it.

    I’d also note the “marigold extract” and hop over and read the posts I made about it on the acana thread. Just in case it’s an issue. I’m suspecting the addition of these “herbals” is more trendy than informed or uniformly beneficial. So I’d approach them with caution. I.e. call the manufacturer and get the genus and concentrations to see if they have any efficacy.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Hey Toxie, you care to add anything to Waterwings question about MSG?  You know more than I do about it.  

  • Dog Food Ninja

     Hey there.  Yeah, the “natural flavor” has it, but also the yeasts… they always have free glutamic acid.  And, depending on the cooking time/temp, the meat meals will have a little.  This is certainly a decent food, don’t get me wrong!  I’d feed it in a rotation.  I just like to point out that sort of stuff because industry likes to hide it.  :-)   

  • Waterwings

    Hi Dog Food Ninja,  I’m using this in rotation as the only kibble with potato my guy gets.  Question, because I’ve seen this quite a bit on here in other threads: what in this kibble would provide (produce?) MSG? I think the “natural flavour” is a likely culprit, if memory serves..are there other ingredients? Thanks!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    It’s too bad there’s MSG and white potatoes in this.  I really like the macro-nutrient content.  

  • pet food

    The smell of the food is also not overpowering.  This is another good test of the quality of dog food, the smell.  Cheap, crummy dog food often has an overly pungent, ‘there is meat in here, we swear’ smell.  Or even no smell of meat at all, just a kind of cereal smell.  But “By Nature” smells like a meal, meaty and with veggies, while not being overly pungent, scaring away all traces of hunger in the human dwellers of the house.