Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods


The following is a list of our best dog food brands — each known to include at least one dry grain free dog food.

Bowl of Grain Free Dog FoodTo qualify, each dry kibble must have been rated 4 or 5 stars by the Advisor.

And of course, it must be grain free.

For more information about grain free dog food, be sure to visit the following links:

Best Dry Grain Free Dog Foods

The following is a list of our top-rated dry dog food brands. Each line has been shown to contain at least one grain free dog food.

  • Fdcc

    Beetssyy is a jerk who bloggs from work

  • Fdcc

    Liar liar pants on fire

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Tasha, Victor dog food has tiny pieces. It is very reasonably priced as well. Here is a link to their site, and they have a dealer locator.

  • For little bites, there’s Amicus, Nature’s Logic, Simply Nourish Small Breed, Nurisource grain free Lamb and Nutrisource Small/Med Breed Puppy which is tiny! All these foods are at major retailers or feed stores and online. Nutrisource Sm/M breed puppy and Simply Nourish small breed would be the least costly of the group I think.

  • Nutrisource is $49 for their large bag of grain free food from Petflow. Some other budget friendly foods would be Simply Nourish and Victor, I believe. Whole Earth Farms is new and is Merrick’s budget food.

  • tasha

    I have a 3.8 pound yorkie, and ive noticed that for about 2 months now she gets a really greasy coat even as short as 2 days after a bath ive read some discussions below and have learned that the greasy-ness could be related to her diet. So im asking if anyone could suggest a not too expensive dog food that I could try to see if the chsnge of diet works. And also where i would be able to purchase the dog food. Please keep in mind that she is only 3 1/2 pounds, so I would need a dog food that comes in “little bites”.

  • Has she eaten Beneful long? I would go with something “better” but not maybe “best” first and just take it in steps. It could take her a while to adjust. It would also be beneficial to start her on a multistrain probiotic. I find that my fosters do well on 3.5 to 4 star foods to begin with and then I mix in some 5 star foods.

  • Mable

    Can you recommend a toy breed, dry, grain free dog food. I have a 7 year old maltese/shihtzu mix who has been healthy but I feel I need to step it up. She ususally eats Beneful.

  • Charlie

    Betsy wetsy with her charm causing harm

  • Charlie

    Patty is a racist

  • Charlie

    Patty is a stalker we need to block her

  • Charlie

    Shawna is a liar liar with protein higher and higher and pants on fire

  • Hounddog

    Shawna your post on wellness complete was misleading and also reg the amount. You said only 48-52% protein for 1 dog but on blue wild 40-54% protein for 8 dogs

    When confronted you downplayd the issue bc accord. to science that is too much

  • Shawna

    Thought I should clarify since I’m being accused of being dishonest. I have often stated that my kd dog is not medicated at all. I also have noted in MANY places that I do give her “nutraceuticals” and supplements (enzymes, probiotics/prebiotics, spirulina, food grade activated charcoal etc.

    Above I state I give my kd dog “Standard Process Renal Support”. This is what I’m being accused of being dishonest about “first I say I don’t medicate but I also say I give SP Renal Support. Here’s a list of the ingredients in SP Renal Support —–

    “Bovine kidney, kidney bean extract, buckwheat leaf juice and seed, oat flour, bovine liver, ribonucleic acid, nutritional yeast, veal bone PMG™ extract, bovine orchic Cytosol™ extract, pea vine juice, beet root, bovine and ovine spleen, alfalfa juice, bovine kidney PMG™ extract, mushroom, rice bran, bovine thyroid PMG™ extract, carrot, wheat germ oil, black currant seed oil, black currant juice, kelp, bovine adrenal, allantoin, bovine pituitary PMG™ extract, chlorophyll extract, manganese glycerophosphate, beet leaf juice, and extract of Rhizopus oryzae grown on Tillandsia usneoides and beet root.”

    I suppose some of you might consider this a “medicine”, albeit alternative. Some of you might consider it a concentrated source of FOOD. While others, myself included, consider it a nutraceutical.

    Meriam-Webster Dictionary defines a nutraceutical as “a foodstuff (as a fortified food or dietary supplement) that provides health benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value”

    You decide for yourselves… 🙂

  • Cavalier mom on welness is bac

    this post Will be deleted again. now that you gonna be mean-spirited and flag me again for no reason other than your own agenda but I caught you being intellectually dishonest many times.

    On the wellness compl health thread you claimed that 50%protein is good and your kidney dog has survived without medication. Now you admit that she is on canine renal support
    Your own studies have shown that that much protein create glomeric leasons in the kidneys, my posts were deleted because you accused me of knowing Titi but I do no know people won’t see my side where I have proven you wrong with your high protein high phosphorus diets, how convenient for you

    You have no training in this field and are not qualified to say vets are mostly wrong how dare you you are so wrong medically often and how convenient to delete Tiki’s post on nature’s

    logic and mine on wellness complete. Now people won’t get the entire story. It it is between you and all your karma now..

  • Shawna

    Standard Process is the manufacturer and they do have a Canine Enteric Support as well.. Standard Process products are fantastic. I use many of them for the dogs and the humans in the family. My pup with kidney disease has been on Canine Renal Support since her diagnosis and I am very sure it has been a big part of her success with the disease. 🙂

  • gil bear

    our cat had the same thing and we took him for test and spent over $1000 on just test alone..the vet gave him antibiotics for 12 days and then a digestive supplement….called Feline Enteric Support, they must have the equivalent for dogs….

  • Bodedog

    Jenny I just put my 20 month old Goldendoodle on 4 Health White Fish and Potato to try. It got 3.5 stars but the regular 4Health food got 4 stars. I have been doing a lot of reading about grain free vs regular and I am beginning to think I too have been sucked into the grain free craze. I only tried this because I felt like he was having too many poops! He was a rescue (I have had him 3 months) so I will finish this bag and see if I notice any change in his poop frequency 🙂 then I will go back to Lamb and Rice or Turkey and Rice. I tried Blue Buffalo and saw no changes. The 4 Health at Tractor Supply is so much cheaper! Good luck.

  • Angela

    TimberWolf Organics Platinum rotational diet. All grain free. Six different protein sources, to be rotated. We feed this to our 3 pit bulls. One is 14 years old and going strong. One is a muscle bound athlete. One is diabetic, requiring insulin injections. This food works well for her glucose control. All three eat the same food.

  • Bob K

    Jenny – With the list above, its time to go shopping at stores near you, Fleet Farm, Petsmart, Petco and smaller independent pet shops. Taste of the Wild, Canidae, Wellness Core, Natual Balance, Evo are popular brands.

  • Jenny

    I am looking for an affordable grain-free dog food for my 1 year old Goldendoodle. Any recommendations?

  • nvanputt

    Our other girl, Blue, is an Australian Shepherd, and she does not like to eat. It’s a daily battle. She refuses THK, which I love and miss, so we moved to Fromm Four Star, which we both tolerate, but I’m thinking about another switch to Blue Buffalo Wilderness to see if that helps. When our parents’ wolf mix, Frankenstein, is visiting (another fabulous eater) Blue stares at him in wonder while he inhales his kibble. *sigh*

  • InkedMarie

    I’ve had Shelties; I know what “lives to eat” is like. I’ve fed every THK except Verve, Force & Preference

  • nvanputt

    InkedMarie our Madeline liked THK’s Keen the best. At the very end of her life (2 or so months) we started feeding her almost double to keep on weight and would add brown rice, carrots, or applesauce. We used to joke that Madeline lived to eat.

  • InkedMarie

    I’m sorry for your loss. Which THK did she eat?

  • nvanputt

    Jessica we had a lab/pit mix who had cancer and we switched her to The Honest Kitchen. She did wonderfully. With no other treatment she lived for nearly one full year past what the vet stated. She was happy and active until the very end. THK was like a miracle for her body.

  • Abolishedshark

    My wife and I just had a major wake up call with 4Health. We have two Staffordshire’s that we had on Blue buffalo for about a year. Then we saw the 4Health brand, and decided to switch after some research. We slowly made the switch and thought all was well. After a couple of months we noticed their breathe was starting to become putrid. Never thinking it was the food, we started an aggressive oral health battery, chew sticks, mints, water treatment, and the vet. After 2 months I was ready to evict my babies for their foul breath. I finally thought about the food switch, and decided to go back to Blue buffalo. We even made the switch cold turkey……low and behold almost two weeks later…..breath is going back to normal. My wife and I couldn’t believe it!

  • Caroline Capobianco

    I had a rottweiler that lived 10 months after diagnosis with lymphoma. We did chemo treatments and I switched his food to The Honest Kitchen (Embark, Love, and Thrive). Good luck!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    4Health is about as affordable as it’s going to get for a grain-free food. NutriSource is marginally better but if you’re on that tight of a budget I don’t think there’s a big enough difference in quality to justify a 60% increase in price.

    If you wanted to jump to a 5 star food some of the most affordable would be Dr. Tim’s or Victor. Off the top of my head, I believe these are probably around the same price as NutriSource but they’re much better foods.

  • Dan

    I have a GSD mix who is 7 months old and has a problem with corn starch or something. I’m looking for a grain free dog food that affordable as well, I’m currently feeding him 4health Beef+ Potato, but was wondering if there was a better alternative which was also cost effective?
    I was feeding him NutriSource which runs about $1.60 a lb. 4health is $1 a lb. Would that be worth the cost differential or no??
    If someone could help me, that would be much appreciated! I don’t know much about this grain free thing!

  • GS4Life

    Pray123. I have a GSD who just turned 1 on the 5th of this month. He has been eating Great Life Buffalo since he was a pup. Just recently he has been having bad loose stools. Just had blood work done on him Monday 01-20-14 and the results came in all Ok. Vet recommended Royal Canin for GS / Puppy. He’s been on it since Sunday 01-19-14. Stool is firm now and looking normal.

  • ali

    I agree with the list of absolutely do not buy ingredients as stated by Gwen

  • Shawna

    Have you looked at colitis, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease – which food can trigger. My Pom gets explosive diarrhea (colitis) if she eats chicken more than very infrequently.

    I’m a big fan of Dr. Karen Becker who writes articles for Mercola Healthy Pets website. She has some great info in this linked article if interested…

  • Crazy4cats

    My pups had a bad case of parasites when I got them. They have been treated several times and are (hopefully) finally gone. However, their digestive tract has taken a long time to heal. I have used a few supplements that have helped with the loose stools and also have helped to soothe and heal their insides. They are Gastriplex by Thorne, Perfect Form by The Honest Kitchen, and Vetri-Pro BD by Vetri-Science. You might want to research these and see what you think. If she has one of the above mentioned issues, though, they may not help. Again, good luck!

  • pray123

    Thanks for info. Just to clarify she did have a bad case of worms as a pup but that was treated and she thrived for a while. When the diarrhea started we were sure she had them again but was negative but treated her anyway to be safe. She is healthy and strong in all other respects and has grown well. I suspect that it is EPI or perhaps as you have mentioned this IgA deficiency. Waiting for my vet to get back to town next week to have her checked but need to buy food in the meantime and was hoping someone would have a great suggestion that would make it all better. Thanks

  • Shawna

    I agree with the others that parasites should be ruled out but I wanted to add on to that.

    German Shepherd’s are a breed known to have an IgA deficiency (immunoglobulin A). The Merck Vet Manual has this to say about it

    “IgA deficiencies have been described in Beagles, German Shepherds, and Chinese Shar-Peis. Dogs with IgA deficiency, like their human counterparts, are prone to chronic skin infections, chronic respiratory infections, and possibly allergies. IgA deficiency of Beagles appears to be due to a defect in the secretion of IgA, because IgA-positive cells are present in normal numbers. Some German Shepherds have lower IgA levels than other breeds and a higher incidence of intestinal infections. IgA deficiency in Shar-Peis is highly variable; some have negligible serum and secretory levels, and some have normal serum levels and low or negligible secretory levels. Like German Shepherds, affected Shar-Peis have more problems than expected with allergies. Patients with these immunodeficiency syndromes may have a higher than usual incidence of autoimmune diseases and autoantibodies, such as autoimmune hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Longterm treatment with broad-spectrum antibiotics is required and is often unsatisfactory.”

    GSD’s with an IgA deficiency are also going to have a harder time with food intolerances as IgA binds with the protein from the intolerant food and prevents it from doing damage to the gut wall. If there is not ample IgA then the protein (called a lectin) has more opportunity to bind and cause damage. Lectins can also cause autoimmune diseases. Lectins can be found in about 30% of all foods but the primary ones that seem to be problems in dogs are — grains (especially gluten grains), potato, peas, chicken, legumes/lentils, soy and possibly dairy. Eggs also have lectins but I don’t hear many complaining about eggs causing problems for their dogs.

    IF this is an IgA deficiency reaction due to lectins, I would guess that the culprits in the NB LTD Sweet Potato and Venison is either the “potato protein” or the “pea protein” in the food.

    I do believe there are tests that can be done to determine if there is an IgA deficiency or not. If other diagnostics etc don’t seem to permanently resolve the issue it might be worth checking out.

    Also, I’ve had friends with GSDs tell me that their breeder said if IgA deficiency was an issue the dog would be VERY sick.. This is absolutely not true. Here’s a research paper discussing it “Serum concentrations of IgA, but not IgM or IgG, were significantly lower in the clinically healthy German shepherd dogs than in other pure breed and mix breed dogs, indicating that production of IgA by gut-associated lymphoid tissue might be relatively low in this breed.”

    I hope it’s just something as treatable as parasites but it definitely is manageable if it is an IgA deficiency!!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Are you giving heartworm prevention? My epilepsy dog started having seizures 2 weeks after getting his heartworm meds. We knew it was that because it is the only thing he got on a regular schedule, and knew his exact schedule, which was every 45 days. His seizures were bad enough and he had other health problems that I knew heart worms were never going to be a problem for him, as far as mortality, so I quit giving him heartworm prevention and those seizures stopped. He was seizure free for over a year, then had a series of seizures, then stayed seizure free for another year. Un fortunately, any toxic exposures can increase the likelihood of an episode, including what your neighbor uses that blows over and what your city sprays, etc.

  • InkedMarie

    I had great success with Wellness Core reduced fat. Good luck!

  • Sharon

    I have a sheperd and at one time she had diarrhea and I had a F test done and it came back negative. It was worse the next week so I just took her in and he took his own for a test. After testing 3 times he found one whip worm egg. Treated her and she was fine. Symptons is light colored stool and really really stinky. Talked to a Vet later and he told me an old Vet told him once if a dog was having this problem and you could find nothing you could almost bet it was whip worms and he had found this to be true too.
    Sharon 304 472 6006

  • Darra VanAlstyne

    I’m looking for a grain-free food that is also low in calories. My dog needs to lose some weight!

  • Crazy4cats

    Have you had a fecal test done? Parasites and worms are very common for puppies and could be causing this. Also adding a little plain canned pumpkin may help. Check out dogaware dot com, there is a lot of information on digestive disorders on that site. Good luck!

  • pray123

    I have an 8 month old German Shepherd who has loose stools bordering on diarrhea. She has been on Natural Balance LTD Sweet Potato and Venison. Did good for about a month now with same symptoms. Can’t make it through the night without having a BM as she can’t hold it. Any advice?

  • Sharon

    I agree with you Kim with the holistic approach. I was told my dog had cancer and needed surgery. I had saved her eyesite a few years before with the Life Pak Vitamins I sell for people so I told the Vet I was going to try the vitamins. This was on Monday. Wed they called and said to have her back for surgery the next morning that she had a highly aggressive growing cancer. Talked it over with my friend and she said since I believed in the vitamins to at least give it 7 days. Well guess what the tumors were all gone in 7 days. If they were good enough for us i figured they were good enough for my dog.
    304 472 6006
    [email protected]

  • Sharon
  • Sharon

    Hi Brian
    I also have had dogs with no hair on meds and with a change of food get their hair back and go on with a good life. So if you would like to give it a try let me know. I would be glad to send you a sample to try.

  • Sharon

    Not saying this is the only thing that causes seizures but i have found it to be true with all of the dogs that has had seizures and changed to the food I sell. Still not saying Gluten is the main cause but after changing to the food I sell they have quit having seizures. I have had a one that still had one once in a while. I asked the lady what else she fed it and she said nothing then she happen to think she gives it a piece of toast. Bread had gluten. Several of these dogs were on Phenobartibal and before changing foods with the meds were still having them. The one lady even decided to cut back on the meds since the seizures stopped. Like any more information you can email me at [email protected] or call me 304 472 6006

  • Brian

    Hi. I have a dog that has 1 seizure every 30 days. Literally, it’s almost 30 days to the day when he has one. Usually lasts about a minute, so not long, and then he’s out of it for about the next 4 hours. Been going on for about 16 months now. He’s a 5 year old mx breed of greyhound, shepard, and lab we think.
    Anyway, the vet has checked his blood twice in the past year and it’s come back perfect. He wants to start him on medication twice a day, phenobartibal, but my wife and I don’t think we’re ready to do it.
    He’s been eating Nature’s Recipe for the last few years. He’s a very picky eater when it comes to dog food and we had to get him grain free because he’s had skin issues in the past.
    Any suggestions on a dog food that might help with seizures and be ok for a dog that’s had skin issues? We’d like to try to change his food first and see if it has any impact.
    Thanks in advance!

  • Dog food advisor uses the guaranteed analysis which only gives the minimum amount of protein and fat so the food could indeed have more of those and less carbs.

  • Kate

    The Artemis Osopure range gets a lower rating. Dog Food Advisor review has the carb dry matter at 51%. Looking at the Artemis website, their Complete Nutritional Analysis has the carb dry matter unit as 43%. That seems a big difference. Does this mean Dog Food Advisor review is wrong or are Artemis doing something tricky with their figures. I have no affiliation with Artemis. My dogs seemed to do ok on it previously, so I’m just trying to understand how to interpret the different figures as I might go back to including Osopure as an option.

  • BluWolf

    I have heard liver is good for tear stains, and Apple Cider Vinegar,
    too. I use a small amount of ACV in my puppy’s water in her crate. It
    has not only stopped the tear stains from coming, but even the ones
    already there became very light very quickly. I hadn’t had any success
    with the products like Angel Eyes.

  • It has millet in it so it’s not grain-free.

  • Destiny

    Why isnt Natures Logic on the list? Its all grain free and natural with no synthetic ingredients

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is often caused by a sensitivity to a particular ingredient in the food. Try the different Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets and see if by comparing their ingredient labels you can figure out, by how he does on them, what he is reacting to. Feed one diet for 6-8 weeks and see if his symptoms start to go away. If he even seems even worse on one, you can pretty much assume it is a no go and switch off of it faster.

  • Candace

    Just got a rescue Westie; 4 year old male. They told us that he as a skin condition called elephant skin and a grain-free diet would be best. We’re on a limited budget, but do want to get a quality dog food for him that will help his condition. What food would you recommend? Also, are there any non-prescription things we could do to help with the elephant skin (we think it’s causing his hair to be very course)?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I finally had to put my seizure dog down, so I don;t have one anymore. What I recommend is keeping him on a food that has as few synthetic ingredients as possible. I like Earthborn Holistic Grain Free and I really like Nature’s Logic, but would not suggest feeding only it for a long period. It would be a great food for part of a rotational diet.
    Also, try to limit his exposure to chemicals as much as possible. This means air fresheners, scented candles, perfumes, cleaning agents, fertilizer, pesticides, everything you can think of.

  • Errin J

    Sorry, I should have said it wasnt part of the contaminated product. It was only pulled as a precaution because its manufactured in the same plant as Diamond

  • Errin J

    The Nzymes have to be ordered from their website. You can go on it and check it out there are a lot of other things it helps with. I buy the large tub just cause its way cheaper than the tablets and my dogs love it. Keppra comes from her vet. It just seems to help hold them off. The aloe I just grow and I honestly think it is what is helping the most. I buy a couple new plants off eBay every couple months or find them on Craigslist. Yes TOTW was recalled but not because any bags were contaminated. It was done as a precaution by the manufacturer because it is manufactured in the same plant as Diamond.

  • Maria Mendieta

    Thank you does your dog have seizures whst would you recommend?

  • Maria Mendieta

    Thank you I looked at the recalls taste of the wild was one but will look more into it , niw about nyzmes witch one? & what is keppra?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, Taste of the Wild was part of that recall. I was just starting my dogs on TOTW when the recall happened, and the food was definitely part of the recall.

  • Errin J

    My 4 year old Cattle Dog started having seizures about 2 years ago. I didnt want to put her on phenobarbital for obvious reasons so we went a more natural route. She gets taste of the wild roasted fowl with Nzymes sprinkled on dinner along with a chunk of pealed aloe vera. She also gets 2 kepra a day only because they have no known side effects. She has been seizue free since September. She was having 2 grand mal a month and lots of little ones. Taste of the wild was not part of the huge food recall that happened over the past few years so I totally trust this company now. They also dont put rosemary in the food which is something dogs with seizures should not have. Alot of other foods do add it.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Barbara,

    If I can translate “cost effective” into affordable, budget friendly, quality product… my choices off of the list above would be Dr. Tim’s, Earthborn Holistics, NutriSource and Victor.

  • Barbara Horton

    which of these are the most cost effective please?

  • Maria Mendieta

    Hii witch food would be perfect for my dog that has seizures

  • Pattyvaughn

    I don’t like systemic antibiotics unless the problem is quite severe, and I don’t like to use topical antibiotics without thought, but if this was a bacterial issue, I don’t think using a course of topical antibiotics would be a problem, depending of course on what is going with the dog. However, if it is a bacterial problem, since you don’t know where the bacteria came from, they often come back, and I wouldn’t want to continuously do these antibiotics.

  • Betsy Greer

    Are there any safe products that be used to remove tear stains; ie: Angel Eyes?

    I believe I’m playing the devil’s advocate here. ; )

  • Pattyvaughn

    Basically, every food that you have heard causes eye stains has also been proven to not cause them, so there’s more to it than just the individual ingredient. It may be a combination of issues. BTW, I know that some of the people that think beets cause eye staining think it’s because they are red, but the beet pulb that goes into dog food is not red in any way. Sorry I don’t have answers, only more questions.
    As an example, I feed the exact same food as another poster on here. My dogs don’t have tear staining, hers do. It has to be something other than just the food. The food may be contributing to whatever is going on, but it isn’t causing it.

  • Debbie Bruner Carroll

    Thanks. I had read about tomato pomace, beets as culprits and didnt know which foods might not have.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Tear and saliva stains are not caused by grain, even dogs on grain free diets get them. One known cause of tear staining is a bacterial infection in the tear ducts, but there are many other suspected causes. Everyone I know who has had this issue has had to do a bit of trial and error to find a food that works for their dog.

  • Debbie Bruner Carroll

    Any suggestions best grain free to help with tear and mouth stains (coton de tulear)? Currently feeding spring natural-lamb.

  • kim

    I had a boxer that was diagnosed with lymphoma and I went with bravo raw food. I also decided to go with the holistic approach instead of chemo and I was real surprised on his quality of life. He acted more like a puppy than he did when he was one. We did chinese herbs and biblical oils, fish oil, and antioxident support pills and transfer factor dietary supplements and oil massages. I couldnt begin to tell u how shocked I was. He was given 30 days and he made it 12 months without any bad sickness. He had no puking and jus seemed so happy. It was pricey but was worth every penny to me. I definately do not regret giving him the quality of life he deserved. Good luck

  • Jessica Armstrong

    My 5 year old chihuahua was just diagnosed with lymphoma. I am trying to switch her to a holistic food that will most benefit her while undergoing chemotherapy. Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • InkedMarie

    I would imagine if it qualified for the list, you’d see it listed above.

  • Pattyvaughn

    4Health grain free is a 3 1/2 star brand and this list is all of the 4 and 5 star grain frees, so it just barely missed the list.

  • rvs357

    What about 4health? Just found out about it today and wondering if it qualifies for this list?

  • InkedMarie

    I was close lol!

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s under Diet and Health Issues.

  • InkedMarie

    You don’t need a breeder, you need “the list”! Hound dog mom spent a lot of time researching and contact intrados food companies. She came up with a list of appropriate foods for large breed puppies. Up above, in the red link, click the forum link. I believe it’s in the dogs health forum there; it’s a stickie on top. Go to the last page, I think there’s a link. If not, look at page 13.

  • bart

    I’m looking for a Saint Bernard breeder that can help me find a good grain free dog food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Prices are different everywhere and change constantly. There is a list floating around from a couple years ago by price, but nothing more recent. If you go to the top left side of this page and click on dry dog foods, it will give you a choice of which star rating list you want.

  • Kathleen Brennan

    I have three dogs. The first two I’ve fed supermarket kibble. I have since been re-educated. I know have a little poodle who has dermatitis, so I’ve been feeding her one of the Nutro lines. It seems to be helping. I’d like to find a good quality food at a reasonable price, without having to click on each of the foods above. Do you have a list that’s organized by rating or by price? Thanks!

  • Bernita

    I have a Brussels Griffon mix that we rescued a year ago. Since then I have been working my way through your list of grain free and limited ingredient dry foods. She is the pickiest eater we have ever had in our 50 year marriage and there have been dozens of dogs. Last night we purchased the Zignature lamb. She walked away from it. She has been eating the grain free Evanger chicken…then before that the Amicus. At first she seems to like the food and then she refuses to eat it. That is true…she will eat the Evanger when she is starving but I do not want her to have to starve to eat. I want her to enjoy her food. We have purchased dozens of dry foods…the only brand she seems to enjoy is a three star that is from a celebrity and that brand has been recalled numerous times if I am correct. It happens to be the brand that our vet feeds her own dog…not the exact same food just the brand. She doesn’t like canned foods and she is the same way about freeze dried foods like Stella and Chewy. She has eaten both the beef and chicken. She likes them for a while then turns up her nose. My vet will not allow me to do a raw diet and I really do not think she would like it anyway. She enjoys kibble…just not the same one for long. Does anyone know of one particular food that many small dogs enjoy. In rescue they spoiled her…they fed her Purina Kibbles and Bits…she ate the Bits. Ever since she seems to hold ever dry food to that standard.I will not feed that junk to her. No offense to Purina. Thank you and I am sorry for the long read. I hope I didn’t put it in the wrong place.

  • InkedMarie

    Aww, come on. Don’t spoil the story with the truth!

  • Pattyvaughn

    It is actually one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever heard. Do you know how expensive whale meat would be in a country where it is legal to harvest whales? It’s not legal in Canada.

  • LabsRawesome

    Probably Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

  • LabsRawesome

    None of them do.

  • Shawna

    If true, I would have to agree with you but like the others I have no reason to believe that Orijen has whale meat in it. Do you have any reliable sources?

  • LabsRawesome

    Of course it’s not true. Lol.

  • Eldee

    I am very skeptical if Origen contains whale meat. Their ingredients are all locally sourced, and I don’t think there are any whales in Canada’s prairie provinces.

  • Beth Knuth

    I looked all over Orijen site and did not see whale meat, I have not wrote them, but I bet it is not true.

  • InkedMarie

    Which OriJen has whale meat?

  • LabsRawesome

    ROTFLMAO. Good one.

  • Pam c

    Yeah…the only sites I could find about dog foods and whale meat were poorly written with typos or relating to Japanese dog treats. Do you mind posting a link for us?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Get real!! There is no whale meat in Orijen.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, even if you read it here.

  • pj

    Where do you get your information from? Orijen does not contain whale meat.

  • USA Jerky Treats

    Hi Gwen

    Which formulas have whale meat?

  • butchroy

    I did not know it had whale meat! I would not use either, no whale, horse or dolphin for me!

  • Gwen McClellan

    This is an excellent list. Just one ETHICAL question for myself . Origen has some formulas that include WHALE meat. For myself, there is a dealbreaker with animal food products. The dealbreaker includes no meat from dogs, horse, dolphin, AND Whales. Yup. Not sure if I have the energy to look into whether there are any boycotts of Origen or Dave’s pet store, or places that sell it. But I think it’s wrong. Deserves some attention. That’s just my opinion. I really like the Arcana line, but Lotus is excellent quality and less expensive, with 2 dogs (one young GSD ) and 4 cats.

  • SheSoulDeep

    I feed my 15month old labradoodle zigniture, limited ingredient, grain free amd gluten free and she does great on it. Every now and then i will give her a dab of plain, nonfat, greek yogurt with her food, to help with her urinary tract. she hasn’t had any problems and loves it.

  • Sorry, we inadvertently omitted the grain-free tag from this article. Because of your tip, I’ve now added this brand to our list. Thanks for your help.

  • SheSoulDeep

    Don’t forget Zigniture, it’s limited ingredient, grain free and gluten free!

  • Pattyvaughn

    If I had one that was uncomfortable and having skin issues because of it, then I would agree. At that point I think it becomes a quality of life issue. I’ve been fortunate and never had one that was that bad. Every dog that I’ve had that showed any signs at all was just mild hair loss, thinning of the eyebrows and around the lips, nothing more. And more than 90% of the cases we saw at the vet were the same, however that other 10% needed to be treated for their own comfort.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That could be a real clue for what food ingredient your dog is intolerant of.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Many will disagree, but when it comes to mange, I am a big believer in treating it directly with conventional treatments. Our last one was treated with Ivermectin for 30 days-this was after another rescue surrendered her to me due to not being able to “cure it” over the course of several months. With Ivermectin, she was healed with three consecutive skin scrapes with 30 days of oral treatment.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I sincerely hope you misunderstood what your vet was trying to tell you, instead of him being that bad at explaining things. Demodex mites naturally live in hair follicles, even people have them, all the time. The immune system usually keeps their numbers in check so you don’t see signs of them being present. When the immune system is challenged, their numbers increase and that causes hair loss and in severe cases skin sores. Most dogs get over the challenge to their immune system on their own, some need help. There are a few different treatments, all are a bit harsh on the system, so best avoided if that is an option. DE is great on the inside of a dog, and who knows, maybe it did help your dog’s immune system, but it didn’t kill the mites directly.

  • Belinda

    Dinovite made my dogs sicker. Got rid of that stuff REAL fast.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi doggylover,

    I hope you changed vets!

  • InkedMarie

    My pbgv eats that food but I don’t care much for it. It’s too low in protein & I prefer foods that start with the protein, not potato. That being said, it’s working for my dog & the ear infections he’s been having but I am looking for something else.

  • InkedMarie

    Most any four or five star food. I suggest feeding a variety of types of foods (dry, canned, dehydrated, raw). For kibble I like dr Tim’s & Annamaet, Natures Logic, for dehydrated I like The Honest Kitchen, for canned I like Weruva and Natures Logic.

    If, younclick on my picture, you can see my current sheltie, Gemma.

  • doggylover

    My vet told me I would have to put my dog down because there was no cure for demodectic mange. I put him on Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, about 1 tbsp daily added to his food and his condition is completely cleared up. He is a large dog, 90 pounds, so I would use less for a smaller dog. Also, it took about a month on DE before he was completely cleared. Hope this helps.

  • Jackie

    My sheltie has Demotectic Mange. It causes her to itchy and lose her fur. A skin scrapping will easily show it. Should not be expensive at all. I spent $110 last time I was at the vet. She had a skin scrapping done, her ears checked, antibiotics for her ear infections and ear cleaner. Changing her food is the first step. Eliminate chicken and wheat for sure! Then go from there.

  • Jackie

    Any skin issues or allergies? I have my sheltie on Natural Balance because of the limited ingredients and it is grain free. She’s on the Sweet Potato and Fish diet. Literally that is all that is in it other than your usual vitamins and minerals. My sheltie has demodectic mange really badly. I am still trying to treat it. But since I switched her to Natural Balance from the vet brand skin support food, she has not scratched much.

  • linda

    I have a ten month old sheltie what would you suggest he is a good eater and has no issues with food

  • Pattyvaughn

    It could very easily be a food intolerance issue. Try looking for a grain free food with a meat source that your dog has not had before. Contact dermatitis is on the contact areas like the feet and the hairless areas like the belly and short hair areas like the muzzle.

  • Sheria Petroskey

    You might want to ask your vet about allergy shots. There is a vet in Colorado that has created a allergy shot for dogs in every area of the country. The medicine is called respit. I give my chocolate lab a shot every week. He is really great about me givinig it to him also. My husband rubs and feeds him a treat while I pinch the back of his neck and give him the shot. The respit is about 140 dollars. This will last me about 3 months. I don’t know if it depends on your dogs weight or not how much you give him but my lab weighs 120 lbs.

  • Sheria Petroskey

    You might want to check out the dinovite website. They have a powder that you put over their food and this might help.

  • Sheria Petroskey

    My chocolate lab is almost 3 years old. He has had this problem for almost a year. I have taken him to the vet and the first thing they did was give a steroid shot and some to take home. This is not good for your dog. I changed all his food to grain free and also lamb and rice or venision. This is what the vet told me to do. I also changed his treats to salmon treats that are grain free. They are a little bit more expensive but it is worth it if they stop scratching. I also bought a shampoo and conditioner from pet smart that is by gnc and it is the anit-bacterial and ant- fungal . It is in a white bottle with purple writing I believe. When your dog starts scratching a lot the vet says to give him a bath every day for a about a week and this will help his skin. I have seen a big improvement in my dog. I have a friend of mine that I was talkiing to today that shows dogs and she told me about dinovite for dogs. It is a powder substance that you put on their food. My dog is over a hundred pounds so it is hundred dollars for 90 day supply. I am going to try it out. Put I would definelty switch your dogs dog food. It can’t hurt.

  • mason

    My white poodle terrier mix has chronic dermatitis. I’m wondering if she has a grain allergy. Her face and mouth are not affected, but she licks her rear (more than just anal gland area) and chews her back until it bleeds. Not much irritation on her feet or legs. Mostly back, belly and rear.
    She eats dry food only, no table scraps. Do I need to look for grain free food, or do you think it is contact dermatitis? It is winter, snow on the ground. I thought she had a grass allergy, but it has been worse lately. No change or food, bedding, or other allergens. The carpet is aging. I don’t know what to do if it is dust mites. She is not allowed on the furniture, except 1 couch which is covered with a sheet and washed regularly, and the bed, which she never gets under any bedding.

  • Pattyvaughn

    As dogs age, they sometimes produce less stomach acid than they did when they were younger. The sphincter muscle at the top of the stomach is dependant on that acid to know when to close, so if there isn’t enough acid it doesn’t close all the way and acid reflux occurs. Then vets prescribe acid blockers, which can make the issue even worse over time. Since you probably won’t get to the vet over the holidays, I suggest that you try a little safe experiment. Start feeding twice a day, but add 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to each cup of food that your dog gets. Dilute it with a little water so it doesn’t damage your dog’s tooth enamel. If that does the trick, great, if not, the vet will still be there on Monday.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, to both of your thoughts! If she is doing that regularly, something is definitely wrong.

  • sha

    my 6 year old cairn started throwing up yellow bile only in the early part of the day before noon. she has always been fine with eating once a day in the evening. Iam wondering if she is needing to eat twice a day or if I should take her to the vet and have her checked. Any suggestions?

  • Wanda Brandenburg

    It would not be expensive to have your Collie checked for a hypothyroid. Both our Boxers are on thyroid meds. Their symptoms were hair loss, dander on the back and scratching. I would go to a different vet for sure!

  • debir

    i am changing vets because mine is retiring. You are correct she is very honest. I will try omitting foods. My dog is ever more precious as she has made such a diffrence in my son’s life.

  • InkedMarie

    I agree about the vet…..too many of them are happy to do the testing. Every vet I’ve had said it’s not worth the money but I admit, if I had the money, I’d do it and send it to Dr Dodds

  • Pattyvaughn

    If your vet told you he could charge you $500 for tests but he couldn’t guarantee anything, then you might want to keep him, he is at least honest. The tests for allergies show false positives and false negatives, so they are a waste of money. Print up the list of hypoallergenic foods and try one of them that has adifferent protein than what you have used in the past. Keep ingredient lists of foods that you have used in the past and ones you try in the future and compare foods that didn’t work with foods that do to figure out which ingredients the reaction is from. Don’t give up! It can be a bit of work to find foods that your dog does well on, but when you find them, it is so worth it! When one doesn’t work, just move on to the next. If one works feed it for at least six weeks before trying something new.

  • debir

    I have a collie who is losing her fur and scratching. She is a therapy dog for my son. I have tried a number of things but, I am at a loss. Th vet near me said they could so a $500 battery of tests but they cannot guarantee anything. I am looking for a new vet but in the meantime any suggestions would be appreciated

  • polkadott

    She does get Plenty of water..and I only give her spring H2O. Goes out plenty, and I did get some suggestions from another member re food. Thanks!

  • InkedMarie

    I can’t help with the food but wanted to make sure your vet has stressed the importance of making sure your dog has enough liquid. A wet food (canned or dehydrated) is best. If you can’t do that, feed dry, add canned & water to the food. Make sure he gets ample opportunity to urinate.

  • polkadott

    HELP! I have a 14 yr old Jack Russell that cannot eat gluten(wheat), but is also having re-occuring UTI’s. My vet told me to find a high protein food without oxalates, much veggies or dairy. She was on Blue-Grain-free-vet said it’s bad stuff, (and actually, I had a bad experience with consistency-My dog became ill after starting a new bag…Had to return it. Then I tried Hill’s Grain Free Ideal Balance…Turkey flavor, and she’s also tried the salmon, but I’m not sure if it will be just as bad as the turkey re: UTI problems. Anyone tried Royal Canin Vet SO Dry food? It does have corn gluten in it. Any suggestions as my vet seems clueless. 🙁

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    If I’m not mistaken Wellness Whitefish & Swt. Pot. does have grains (barley), even though it is a limited diet. Their Simple line has Salmon and Potato, which is grain free.

  • Larry

    Or Canidae makes a good grain free food also. Best bet is to feed green veggies, kale, beans, etc., with supplements, but that can be a difficult thing to dial in.

  • Larry

    Try Wellness whitefish & sweet potato, a good limited ingredient food without grains.

  • Nancy Slawson

    I was told by my vet to sprinkle Metamucil on my dogs food It is the same ingredients as the medication the vet will give for anal gland problems. It is worth the try. Plus most groomers express anal glands alot cheaper then the vet.It is easy to do your self to if you learn how (you don’t have to stick your finger up the dogs but like the vet does.(lol) I learned it from grooming dogs. Good luck

  • jackie bossenberger

    I have done research and am liking Zignature grain free-potato free dry dog food. Why is this not on the list?

  • Pattyvaughn

    The whole world is shrinking.

  • Dr J

    that is why I had to come to the USA, Europe was too small for me…. 😉

  • Pattyvaughn

    It seems that in America bigger is better, except when smaller is better. We seem to always be going to one extreme or another. Remember when GSDs were medium sized dogs?

  • SB

    I think the Springer breed has just gotten bigger, Mine weigh in at 67 and 69, and they are by all means overwieght. The vet says they are doing great, and weight is good. My last two were 72 and 78, same there. 40# for a Springer is small, as the old standards for males were 55#, and I believe even a female was at least 45#.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yogurt only has 2 or 3 strains of probiotics in it, but kefir(which is found really close to the yogurt) has 10 different strains and is very low in lactose.

  • Kira’s mommy

    Yogurt has natural probiotics in it if your dog can tolerate dairy I suggest trying this and it’s very affordable. You can also find affordable probitics at an organic/healthfood store I used to work at one. I give my girl a liquid probiotic/acidophilus. If you need a stronger probiotic you should find a local healthfood store the employees should be able to point you in the right direction of a good affordable probiotic

  • LabsRawesome

    My Springer weighs 65lbs. He is normal size/weight.

  • flo64

    Hi Pattyvaughn ! I’m from France,and I would like give to my cockers “Simpsons Premium”,
    but I don’t find this brand of kibbles in your list, Do you know, and what do you think, please? Thanks a lot.

  • Love Pitbulls

    Look up Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. It will help you understand how damaging chemicals people use, are. I know, I have MCS.

  • Pattyvaughn

    As Betsy suggested, feeding him raw or even home prepared foods would be an excellent idea, because that way you have complete control over his diet and what goes into his food. Dr Karen Becker has a great book “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” that would help you get started if you think this is something you could do. I make big batched of raw food and portion it out into containers and freeze it for part of my dogs food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s a very good idea if Ruth is up to the challenge! Getting Dr Karen Beckers book “Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats” would be a great way to find out if home preparing food is doable.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Patty,

    Would you recommend a raw diet for Ruth’s pup?

  • Ruth van Tilburg-Obre

    Thank you for that advice–this is all so sudden I hadn’t thought of those items. It is absolutely terrorizing to witness.

  • Ruth van Tilburg-Obre

    Thank you Betsy. I’m American, but live on Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. I am able to import foods I can find online. Vet care here is very caring but very basic. The vet was at our house within 10 minutes of his first seizure.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Ruth van Tilburg-Obre,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your pup!

    You said you live on an island. Are you in the US?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sometimes anal gland issues are food intolerance issues. Take the ingredient list with you to the pet food store and try to find a food that is as different from the one you are feeding as you can and see if that helps. Depending on which BB you are feeding, some dogs with anal gland issues require more fiber in their diet. So a higher fiber food would be something else to try.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Try to remove as many toxic substances from his life as possible, flea treatments, cleaning chemicals, air fresheners, scented candles, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. Find a food that is as natural as you can, Nature’s Logic, Earthborn Holistic, etc. Best of luck to you. I know how hard this is.

  • Sandy Bradshaw

    I have a 3 year old beagle that is having major anal gland issues. I’m trying to find a good food to help alleviate this problem. He’s making a trip to the vet every two weeks to have his glands expressed. He currently eats Blue Buffalo…wonder if this is the best option or should I try something different?

  • Ruth van Tilburg-Obre

    To our horror, we found out that our 2.5 yo Cane Corso has epilepsy. 4 grand mal seizures in 2 days, today thankfully, none so far. We live on an island so have to import everything-is switching to grain-free a good idea? Any other suggestions appreciated. Thanks.

  • Helen

    What’s your opinion of Lukullus dry dog food by Zooplus?

  • Being Well

    I am hearing a lot about joint issues and arthritis. I am with USANA Health Sciences and we have several veterinarians who use our products for these issues with great success. I’d be happy to share information with you to help your dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    While I agree that 75# is huge for a Springer, most of the ones I have known are in the 45-50# range. They are quite a bit bigger than Britneys, which are bigger than Cockers.

  • Judi

    A 65# basset hound and a 75# Springer Spaniel???? My big (English) Cocker spaniel is a little over 25#. A Springer spaniel should be less than 40#.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    I have a senior Great Dane. I have used Dasuquin with MSM for large dogs with great success for joint issues. Other recommended products are Actiflex 4000 and Springtime Inc joint products (these have herbs that will help decrease inflammation associated with arthritis). I agree with LabsRawesome. Get them on the best grain free food you can afford. Victor Grain Free and Earthborn Holistic are pretty affordable too.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Meredith, dog foods do not contain enough glucosamine/chondroitin to really help. You will have to buy a joint supplement. Maybe Cosiquin would help. Or Hylauronic Acid. As far as foods go, I would not use either of the brands you mentioned. Get them on a decent grain free kibble, and add some gf canned to it. Since you’re on a budget, I would recommend Rachael Ray Zero Grain (Walmart $23 dollars 15lb bag) 4health grain free (Tractor Supply $20 18lb bag or $33 for a 30lb bag) Canned food- 4health TSC .99 cents per can. Walmart has Pure balance canned $1 or Pure Balance 95% meat $1.25/can.

  • Meredith Becker Upshaw

    Hi. I have an 11 year old English Springer Spaniel with a bum knee and a 6 year old Basset Hound with arthritis in his back and we believe (or our vet does) to have Cushing’s Disease. We need something with Glucosamine/Chondroitin in it for their joint/bone issues. My vet recommended Purina Pro Plan or Iams. Anyone have any recommendations because I truly do want to give my dogs the very best but don’t want to break my budget in the process feeding two rather large dogs (Basset weighs 65 lbs and Springer weighs 75 lbs). Thank you!!

  • CA Bulldog

    I will give that a shot. Thank you for replying.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You could try moistening the food or adding a little canned food to make it stick together a little bit. It also makes it slide down the hatch easier.

  • CA Bulldog

    I have a 12 yr. old English Bulldog. I am having trouble finding a grain-free that has large enough bits to not fly out of her mouth as she is eating (her teeth are not very close together and I think she get tired of standing there). Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  • Amy in CO

    Canine Caviar brand has a cancer research foundation and their food is specifically formulated in regards to cancer. Check out their foundation:

    Hope this helps! Good luck.

  • Shawna

    You are correct Mathilda, a lot do.. However there are a minority of holistic vets that use and recommend garlic for many different reasons/illnesses.

    And Patty is absolutely right, high doses is the problem. Small amounts of garlic can actually be extremely healthful. I give my dog born with kidney disease garlic to help with fleas/ticks and heartworm and have for over seven years with no problems thus far. The drugs for those however WOULD be extremely toxic for her…

  • Pattyvaughn

    Not highly toxic, toxic in high doses.

  • Mathilda

    I would be careful with the garlic, a lot of vets say it is highly toxic to dogs.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Our rottie has had lymphoma for 9 months. We’ve been treating with Chemo. He has been eating Honest Kitchen Thrive and Embark. HK Love would be good too but he couldn’t have beef. We added extra protein to the HK including cooked meats, eggs, and fish. Our vet told us that the cancer cells rob protein from the body so feeding high protein food is advised. We also made some homemade food (see under the cancer tab). We also used Dr. Dressler’s cancer diet recently too.

  • InkedMarie

    Please find the ingredients & guaranteed analysis online and post for us.

  • Carlyn

    I don’t see the brand Paramount anywhere on this website. I bought some at a liquidation store (5$ for 4lb). I was really hoping I could find it on this site…

  • My foster pugs have eaten Nutrisource grain free Lamb, Heartland Select and the grain-inclusive small/med breed puppy and they all do well on those as well as on Nature’s Logic (has millet), Brothers Complete, and Nutrisca lamb (although I’m not buying Nutrisca any more). I just ordered Merrick Classic, Merrick grain free, Canidae Pure Elements, Core Wild Game and more Nature’s Logic for them. But the Nutrisource is a staple for them. It’s always in there rotation.

  • Lindsey

    Can someone recommend a dog food for my 4 year old pug? I am thinking of switching his food to grain free, but have become overwhelmed with all of the options! Any suggestions will be helpful!

  • Shawna

    Most dogs LOVE canned tripe. I prefer Tripett brand but there are others. Some dogs like lightly cooked eggs with a little bit of garlic – garlic in small amounts seems to stimulate the appetite of some dogs. Berries, if she likes them, are a good option. And as Sue mentioned, Dr. Dressler’s diet is a good option as well.. He has some fantastic information on his site —

    Since you are wanting the best quality of life rather than to try to extend her life, I personally would give her exactly what she wants as long as it’s not harmful to her..

  • Sue

    A lot of food suggestions on line on what types of foods feed the cancer cells and make them grow faster ( stay away from these) and foods that fight the cancer cells, and slow down growth. Suggestions that may by you more time with her….they also love the food combos. My dog couldn’t wait for meal time. Do some research, there are many websites for advice on foods for dogs with cancer…choose what works for you. I truly believe what gets put in the body effects the out come. ( the dog cancer diet by Demian Dressler is the one I used) Hope this helps… bless your sweet baby.

  • cinci

    Your dog may have a yeast issue and you need to address that. See and email the problem to get good advice.

  • cinci

    Try NuPro – a great powdered supplement you ad to food. Also sontact Darlene Rudnick can lead you in the right direction with natural products.

  • Kira Hushion McLoughlin

    Please help! My 12 yr old Lab/Chow mix most likely has bladder cancer. I promised myself that we would not take extraordinary measures because I don’t want her in pain…but I would like to do everything I can for her and that includes switching to the absolute best dog food. Any suggestions? She has lost about 20 lbs in the last year and we’ve got her on an appetite stimulant and we feed her any/everything she wants (within reason). I just want her last months to be happy and pain free.

  • vivian

    I give my dog milk kefir that is high in probiotics.And it is easy to make my dogs love it. U can find it at Cultureforhealth.

  • Shitsu

    Which grain free dry dog food would be best for my Shitsu (7yrs). He scratches dry flacky skin hot spots. Thought it was outside allergies but it’s not. He is eating Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost, but it is too too expensive, $29 a small bag

  • Np GMO Mamma

    Wellness Core is a great grain free dog food. They are advertising now that their ingredients are Non GMO!

  • No GMO mamma

    We give ours Wet Noses. They are USDA certified organic. No corn, wheat, or, dairy or egg. No chemicals, no preservatives and no animal by products.

  • No GMO Mamma

    Wellness Dog food also is NOW advertising that their ingredients are non GMO! – Sorry for the typo.

  • NO GMO Mamma

    Wellness Dog food also is not advertising that their ingredients are non GMO!

  • Ah! It’s just important to keep in mind that a probiotic helps prevent a situation from arising in the first place that would require using canned pure pumpkin to fix. Probiotics treat the underlying problem (unhealthy gut), not just the symptoms. Canned pure pumpkin can be a “quick fix” but probiotics help to create a healthy gut in a dog over the long term far better than canned pure pumpkin can.

  • my2centshere

    I wasn’t saying not to use a probiotic. I’ve had my dogs with yeast issues on probiotics for years only to find they responded better to pumpkin. Cheaper easier to use and settles the tummy when have very loose stools.

  • A great probiotic will only cost you around $25 (a bottle generally lasts my 26lb guy a couple months) …check out Mercola for pets here (bottom of the page):

    It’s probably the best one on the market, if you’re willing to buy online.

  • Canned pumpkin is no substitute for probiotics!! They serve 2 very different purposes.

  • Crazy4cats

    What is the expensive probiotic they recommended? Can you just give it less often, or find a cheaper alternative? Pumpkin is a great idea, but not a probiotic. Maybe giving both would help tremendously.

  • my2centshere

    I saw you got a few answers but an old time hint is ti add canned pumpkin. I do this with kitten and dogs. It helps firm up the stool and is cheaper to use than probiotics. Food wise use a simple one like Origen and use it as a treat for a few days before you feed it as a diet. If that doesn’t work out I’ve found that senior diets work well less rich all the good stuff more fiber.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I dry liver in the oven for mine.

  • ibfrog

    Hello! We have a shar pei/chow/lab mix who incessantly licks his paws. Our vet. suggested that he might have food allergies and that we change our dry food. He suggested going grain-free and hypoallergenic. Can anyone suggest a good dog treat that would be appropriate? Thanks!

  • I’m not mary, but I can answer your question: it’s Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural. The only thing is that if you were feeding her a food with chicken before you switched to Diamond Lamb & Rice, it may be that your dog is intolerant/allergic to chicken, in which case Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural won’t work because it does have chicken… it’s also not appropropiate for a large breed puppy (Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast and Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch are, though) but otherwise, it’s worth a shot. Good luck!

  • Erin

    Cow patties is EXACTLY how I describe Lily’s poops. And she does itch, although I’ve kind of gotten that under control with a monthly grooming salon visit and 2 Benadryl a day. Can you please give me the exact name of the food you feed your Dobie? I will order today. Thanks for your reply. So glad you read my question!

  • mh

    also, I only give her 2 cups of food aday, alot less then the wellness so the extra cost is balances out.

  • mary

    Hi Erin, I too have a dobie female, she just turned 1 year old. for the last 5 months it has been hell, between cow paddy poo’s, the good bad and ugly ones, her smelling horrible, itching and chewing and her hair falling out, I had her on wellness large breed adult, its a good food, at first we thought, laundry soap, house products, etc, nothing was working, took her to vet spent hundreds of dollars, checked for mites, allergies, everything was normal, she put her on some drugs, can’t remember now, that also did not work. The vet mentioned maybe it could be dog food mites, huh? never heard of that before, apparently dry dog food can have mites in the bags, so small we wouldn’t see them, it made sense to me, so I switched her to grain free earthborn primitive, (apparently mites only live in dog foods with grain…Now 2 months later, she has her coat back, doesn’t smell, itch nothing, I switched all my dogs to earthborn, no more tear stains either. Not sure if living in sw florida is more of a problem with dog food mites, but its worth changing foods for, I am going to try and change to wellness core another grain free food since I carry it at my grooming salon, but right now, sticking with what works. Good luck with your dobie, ours is a wonderful dog. Mary

  • Erin

    Can you recommend a food for my spayed 6 month old female doberman? She has chronic diarrhea. She has been to see my vet about it more than once. Her fecals always come back normal, never any worms. She’s a healthy girl except for the diarrhea. The diarrhea went away when the vet prescribed a very expensive probiotic which she took daily. She had great poops, but I can’t afford to do the probiotic on a reg basis. The vet said the next step will be expensive allergy tests, which I can’t afford either. I’d love to find a high quality food that will agree with her and solve this problem for good. Any suggestions? Right now I have her on Diamond Lamb & Rice, which I know isn’t a wonderful food, but the vet said not to change it while she was on the probiotic. Now it’s time to change. Thank you.

  • Probably an intolerance/allergy with venison and/or potato and/or sweet potato and/or peas, since all 4 ingredients are common between the Sweet Potato and Bison and Wild Prairie.

    In order to find out which one(s), you have 2 choices – you could either do an elimination diet..find 1 with venison with neither of the other 2 ingredients, or 1 with sweet potato with neither of the other 2 ingredients, etc….or make a wholesale switch to something with none of those ingredients.

    Option 1: You could try something like Orijen Six Fish, Horizon Legacy Fish or Pulsar Fish to see if it’s a pea issue, too. None of those 3 have any of the other ingredients, so it would be a good way to check to see if pea is a problem. If not, then I would suspect either venison or potato or sweet potato, and then try another product with 1 – and only 1 – of the other ingredients and see if he reacts to that one, etc etc.

    Or, 2nd option is that you change to something altogether different, like Nature’s Logic which has none of the potentially problematic ingredients (well, except the Venison formula, obviously ..if you want to see if it’s a venison issue, NL would be a good one to try because it doesn’t have any of the other ingredients).

    Hope that helps!

  • erin

    I am struggling to find a food that works for my 40lb rottweiller mix. I started with nutro ulta food that he get sick from. I then went to natural balance sweet potato and venison, then switched to sweet potato and bison when they had a recall on the venison. Both of those didn’t seem to cause any stomach issues but he didn’t seem to really care for the food. I then slowly transitioned to Taste of the Wild wild prairie which he seems to love but he gets terribly stinky gas. Any suggestions?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Of the brands you listed, definitely Fromm. Natural Balance, Canidae (and TOTW, mentioned below) all have formulas manufactured by Diamond – poor quality control, frequent recalls. Fromm is a very reputable company. But don’t feel obligated to pick one food and stick to it – you can rotate foods you know, in fact rotating is better.

  • Pattyvaughn

    There’s one of the differences between you and I. Since I didn’t mean to offend you with my stupidly obvious comment, I am sorry, because I didn’t mean to offend you. On the other hand, you offended me on purpose, and you aren’t sorry at all. Sucks to be me, I guess. I’m sure I’ll get over it.

  • Heather

    I’m sorry I did not mean you were being snarky. I do understand what you said and why you said it but I still don’t totally agree with it. If I chose to put myself in the position to admit that I am wrong that is my choice and TBH, I totally expected the OP to come back and clarify whether it was truly a new grain free formula or not.
    I also should have clarified that the specific food I posted the ingredients to is not a good food at all IMO and if the formulas they have listed are the only one’s I have to go by I don’t think it’s a good company. But again I would have been more than happy to have admitted I was wrong.

  • Heather

    How did I know you’d turn it around to make me be the bad guy, No surprise there!! There was no reason to make that comment. Anyone who knows anything knows the ingredients I posted (especially me being the one who posted them) would know that was not grain free. Did I say it was grain free? And anyone who knows anything about dog food or food in general would have taken offense to that.
    Did I say I was perfect? Nope, there you go assuming again (funny how you and others can do that but I can’t) That was absolutely not my “undoing’ but I am smart enough to know that I don’t need to waste my time with people like you.
    I also know this isn’t the first or likely the last time this same thing has happened with you and other posters so that does say a lot about you.
    Oh and no I’m not sorry about anything I have said to you. Atleast I will flat out say it unlike you.

  • Rereading it, she does say “And there is no reason for snarky comments patty.”…so it was probably both of us, in retrospect.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Funny that Heather assumed everyone’s thoughts while castigating us for supposedly assuming her thoughts. I’m pretty sure she is looking for something to be offended by. Well, I apologized for my inadvertent offense. We’ll see if Heather apologizes for her intentional offense.

  • Pretty sure it was my comment that she was offended by.

  • I wasn’t being snarky, I was just trying to say “let’s give a brand the benefit of the doubt before we judge”. This way, no one has to say “I was wrong”. You said “it’s not a very good food at all”, based on the grain-inclusive formula, before we even know if there’s a new grain-free one. Something similar happened recently with the “house brand” of PetSmart…I don’t recall its name. Turns out, the new grain-free food is actually really good, even though the grain-inclusive ones are mediocre. Same with a brand here in Canada, Nutrience. Ol Roy recently came out with a GF that’s infinitely better than its grain-inclusive formulae. I would just hate to see someone steered clear of a brand’s grain-free formula (and potentially pick up a worse one) because of its grain-inclusive formulae. That’s ALL my comment was about.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Heather
    I’m so sorry that you were offended by “That’s not grain free” There was no snarkiness, no attitude, just a statement of fact. Obviously the same can’t be said for you. I’m sorry I stated the obvious. It is a failing of mine. I didn’t realize I was in the presence of perfection(That is snarkiness). I’m also sorry you let the smallest thing be your total undoing. It was in no way my intention to insult you in anyway, but the fact that I have insulted you so badly by saying “That’s not grain free.” says more about you than it does me.

  • Andy1

    Check out Taste of the Wild. Excellent food, high protein good for a puppy, not terribly expensive. Free delivery on $25 order at You can also read customer reviews there.

  • Heather

    I have enough integrity to admit if I am wrong and I don’t need anyone saying I am unless that fact has been proven. And there is no reason for snarky comments patty. Funny you like to assume you know what I was thinking and what I know and don’t know.

    Should she have come back and said yes it’s a new formula and here are the ingredients and they were much better, I would have happily admitted that I was wrong about the company as a whole and given my opinion on that specific food.
    Which is also why I posted the ingredients I was going off of instead of just stating I didn’t think the food was any good.

    No wonder there aren’t more “regulars” on here. I still like this site as it has helped me find new brands of food that can possibly work with my dogs, but it’s obvious posting in the comments is more aggravation than it is worth and I will be avoiding the comments section from now on. Which in a way is too bad because I liked seeing the experiences other people have had with any particular food. Oh well. Live and Learn.

  • I would be careful about judging how good a brand’s grain-free food might be based on their grain-inclusive formula. A number of companies are coming up with SIGNIFICANTLY better grain-free options than any grain-inclusive food they’ve produced to date. I’m not saying that’s going on with this Exceed Grain-Free, but until we know the ingredients of the grain-free (or it’s clarified that it’s actually this Lamb & Rice that is being fed), it’s probably best to not jump to assumptions.

  • Heather

    Obviously it’s not grain free but it’s the only formula they have listed anywhere. And she asked about brand so I went off the only thing I could find.

  • Betsy Greer

    Are you sure it’s grain free? I can only find Simply Right Exceed Lamb & Rice on the Sam’s Club website. Heather listed the ingredients below and I would agree with Heather, it’s not a quality food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That’s not grain free.

  • Germansheppups

    Is the nasal discharge on one side or both? You might ask the vet to check for fungal infection – specifically, aspergillosis.

  • Storm’s Mom

    do you have a link to the grain-free formula’s ingredients? All I and others are finding is for the lamb & rice formula, which is not grain-free.

  • Heather

    I would say it’s not a very good food at all. These are the ingredients.

    “Ingredients: Lamb, brewers rice, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, corn gluten meal, ground whole grain sorghum, ground barley, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, source of Vitamin E), dried plain beet pulp, ground flaxseed, natural flavor, monocalcium phosphate, brewers dried yeast, dried egg product, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, zinc oxide, fructooligosaccarides, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganous oxide, Vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, Vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate.”

    And just from looking at those I would not be feeding this food. A good food should have no by-products, corn or “animal fat”. It should be a named fat such as “chicken or beef” etc. I also would not feed a food with “menadione sodium bisulfite complex”.

    There’s more I don’t like about this food but with just what I mentioned it’s enough to not feed this food.

  • glenda J

    We are picking up our Cockapoo puppy next weekend, and I am trying to decide on a food, and my head is spinning a bit! Right now I think I am liking Fromm, Natural Balance or Canidae….Any advice???

  • Epicurus

    My son has been feeding his Australian blue heeler sams club
    Exceed dry lamb grain free formula. I couldn’t find where it was rated at all in your site. Any thoughts about the quality and safety of this brand of food. Thanks so much for having this site.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Make sure you use the plain pumpkin, not the spiced pie filling. If your dog is small and needs a smaller size treat then you can put parchment paper on a cookie sheet and freeze dollops instead. About a teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight is a good amount of this to give, up to twice a day.

  • Mel from NJ

    My vet just suggested making homemade canned pumpkin treats. Put in ice cube trays and freeze. Totally healthy and grain free.


    I kinda just wing it I don’t measure it after all these years I use a gallon jug, I put 16 ounces of the Dr Bronner’s castile peppermint soap in and then I probably put I’d say between the 4th and a half of a one ounce bottle of tea tree and same with the lavender and sometimes I put eucalyptus in to kind of what you like. then I put a couple squirts in plain regular Dawn dish soap into that cuts the grease and I add water to fill the gallon up and shake it really good and that’s what I do. it smells really good and it works and I will you will you get your own niche, enjoy figure out what amounts are good for you because everybodys nose is different and dogs are different so you going to play with it a little here and there you might end up adding more essential oils along the way but uh it’s easier to add more than to take out so that’s why I tell you to start with what I did. so just judge it and I tell you I love it and I haven’t had anybody complain about it so you can make a small batch just kind of diluted all what I told you and go from there good luck and enjoy it..

  • Aussie Rescue Mama

    Dear Poodlemama(Trish) what ratio do you mix for the oils and water? Thanks,Aussie,Rescue Mama

  • amandawetz

    Lots of natural peanut butter treats you can make, too! Easy to bake.

  • amandawetz

    I give my dog all natural nutria jerky from Marsh Dog. Google it, you can buy online. The only ingredient is nutria meat 🙂 Alternatively, we buy from our local pet store that sells all sorts of natural treats. I try to stay away from commercial treats because, as you said, lots of recalls!

  • InkedMarie

    I buy The Honest Kitchen’s fish jerky

  • butchroy

    Make your own chicken jerky treats, or as the vets recommend right now, with all the recalls do not give treats! I know a lot of people have listed the recipes for making jerky it is super simple. I have googled and found many safe recipes, you just bake at a low temp. the chicken you have cut up yourself. You can even eat it too!

  • Wolfspiritgirl

    I keep seeing dog treat recalls, but can you recommend a SAFE and GOOD dog treat? My dogs love chicken jerky treats, but they all seem to be on recall?! Thanks!!

  • anita a.

    Have you had your beagle’s thyroid hormones checked? At his age that would would explain both the weight gain and the nose bleeds. Just went through this with my 8-yo lab. Also check the calorie count on the new dog food vs. Old one. Just like people, a dog’s caloric requirements decrease with age, and unlike grained dog foods that generate big piles of poop filled with undigezted fillers, grain-free foods are generally more fully digested and the piles get smaller. One other thing to try is a blend of salmon pumpkin and sweet potato–as a foster for a lab rescue I have found that blend to be very well tolerated even in high strung and highly stressed dogs that otherwise might need plain rice and boiled chicken for a couple of days while they settle down.

  • InkedMarie

    You can’t tell who down votes, only up votes.

  • InkedMarie

    I second both of these choices!

  • Sugar

    Why do always the same 2 people give me down-votes no matter what I say? Is this not a friendly forum? Are you guys disagreeing about environmental allergies? It makes me not want to say anything anymore. Why don’t you disagree on Betsy since she says something similar? Because you are friends?

  • Betsy Greer

    I just looked at Dr. Cathy Alinovi’s website. She looks wonderful! I actually have goose bumps thinking about what a great find she could be for you. That’s one hard workin’ lady – hours M – F 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday 8:00 AM – 1:00 PM. And, yes, her site said that she’s the co-author of Dinnner of Pawsible! Best of all, she graduated from Purdue! OK, just kidding on that last part, as a Purdue alum myself, I’m partial to fellow beloved Boilers!

  • Betsy Greer

    Oh yes, you should! My guess is she makes house calls for the large animals. I use a vet who practices TCVM and he works frequently on horses and he makes house calls for those and sees the small animals in various clinics covering a large area. You can also try this locator for a vet who practices TCVM: It might be redundant with the other holistic / integrative practitioner locator, but you might also turn up some more interesting finds!

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Julie,

    Had to run off, but wasn’t finished with my thoughts for you… lol…

    I feel like a good choice of food for you might also be Nature’s Variety Instinct LID.

    It’s a very simple recipe, only a handful of ingredients. Or, another excellent choice would be The Honest Kitchen Embark. THK is a dehydrated food that you rehydrate with water. Embark is grain and gluten free and is a fantastic product that’s one of a couple that can actually call themselves “human grade.”

  • butchroy

    I just went to the site you list and I see Dr. Cathy Alinovi is near too. Isn’t she in with Susan Thixton on The Truth About Pet Foods? I would go to her practice. She even does large animals and I have horses and alpacas! I need to look into this.

  • Sugar

    You are right Betsy, allergies are sometimes environmental, pollen, toxins etc. Karen Becker talks in the video about that. She also says it is helpful to give the dog a bath to give it relief.

  • Sugar

    UPS some people on here the regulars gave me down votes. You guys should find your heart!

  • Sugar

    Oh no, poor thing, I have seen it so many times! You sound like a great dog lover who really cares for the dog!!!!I don’t go to Vets. I’m a nurse and also worked for vets for years! I got out of the medical field because there are so many herbal remedies and Vets pretend they don’t exist. Often times they don’t have a cure, while there is a cure, just something they have not learned in Vet school. I treat all of my animals with natural cures! These remedies I told you I’m confident they will help your dog! The internet is often a good source of information. If I don’t know something I usually google the information. I’m sure it will get better.

  • InkedMarie

    Betsy, I just emailed you!

  • Betsy Greer

    You know, I was thinking a couple of things, one of which is that the timing of the nasal issue could’ve been purely coincidental – maybe an environmental allergy; ie: cleaning products, lawn treatment products, new carpet, new dog bed, etc., at / around the same time you switched the food. And, maybe it’s an allergy to the new salmon protein source or an ingredient in the Nature’s Domain. And then also, it could be be some sort of a medical issue.

    If you recall, what exactly was he eating before you switched him to the Nature’s Domain?

  • Betsy Greer

    I’m not to far either, Butchroy. Wouldn’t that be awesome! Fortunately, one of my vets knows Dr. Becker and used to work in her clinic. My vet tells me the waiting list for new patients for Dr. Becker is months long.

    @ Julie K,

    I don’t think this is totally comprehensive, meaning that there may be more holistic vets out there, but here’s a tool to locate a holistic vet near you:

  • Julie K

    Oh thank you for researching this. Fortunately/ unfortunately we have gone through all of the procedures to rule all of these symptoms out. That is why I am so stumped. I do appreciate everyone’s help! I am looking at all of the food suggestions as we speak. Fingers crossed!

  • aimee

    I don’t have any advice but did find this article from a vet school on nasal problems.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Julie,
    I can’t help but wonder if his nose issues might be a yeast issue. IMO, the best way to find out is to go grain and white potato free, with a high protein, moderate to high fat food. Brothers Complete, Natures Variety Instinct, and Earthborn Holistic Grain Free, all have foods that fit the bill. If it is a yeast issue, it can take 8-9 months of feeding as low a sugar diet as you possibly can to starve the yeast back, that includes treats.

  • butchroy

    Another idea, are you near a Holistic Vet, like Dr. Karen Becker, she is near Chicago? She has a list of holistic vets too at her web site, just google her name and you will get her site. I do not live too far and it is my dream to take all my critters to her. She is amazing! Good luck to you!

  • Julie K

    And we are in the thousands of dollars between anxiety, skin allergies and now the nasal allergies. We will get there, I do appreciate the advice!

  • Julie K

    Thank you for the helpful advice! I am going to look into all of these options today! My little guy is long overdue for some relief!!!

  • Julie K

    Good to know! I don’t want yo go back to skin allergies! Thank you!

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Julie,
    Natures Logic isn’t technically grainfree but it only has millet in it. It’s a very good food