Acana Regionals Dog Food | Canada (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Acana Regionals Dog Food (Canada) receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Acana Regionals product line includes 4 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Acana Regionals Pacifica [A]
  • Acana Regionals Grasslands [A]
  • Acana Regionals Wild Prairie [A]
  • Acana Regionals Ranchlands [A]

Acana Regionals Grasslands recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Acana Regionals Grasslands

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 40% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Raw grass-fed lamb (8%), fresh duck (8%), fresh whole eggs (8%), lamb meat meal (8%), whole herring meal (7%), turkey meal (7%), whole green peas, whole red lentils, whole chickpeas, fresh wild-caught northern pike (4%), raw lamb liver (4%), fresh duck giblets (liver, heart, kidney) (4%), fresh turkey meat (4%), lamb fat (4%), whole green lentils, whole pinto beans, whole yellow peas, sun-cured alfalfa, pollock oil (2%), lentil fiber, dried lamb cartilage (1%), raw lamb tripe (1%), dried brown kelp, fresh pumpkin, fresh butternut squash, fresh parsnips, fresh green kale, fresh spinach, fresh mustard greens, fresh turnip greens, fresh carrots, fresh red delicious apples, fresh bartlett pears, freeze-dried liver (lamb and duck) (0.1%), fresh cranberries, fresh blueberries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, Enterococcus faecium, supplements: vitamin E, zinc chelate, copper chelate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis35%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%19%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%39%28%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 28%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

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

The second ingredient is duck, another quality, raw item inclusive of moisture. 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 third ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The fourth ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The fifth ingredient is herring meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The sixth ingredient is turkey meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

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

The eighth ingredient lists lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The ninth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The next ingredient lists whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With five notable exceptions

First, it’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legumes:

  • Green peas
  • Red lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Green lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Yellow peas

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.

In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, we find lentil fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from lentils. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

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

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

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

Acana Regionals Dog Food (Canada)
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana Regionals (Canada) looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 40%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

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 various legumes and dried alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Acana Regionals (Canada) is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Acana Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

10/26/2017 Last Update

  • theBCnut

    Fish oils, for the omega 3s are an important part of the diet and there are some really nice properties in coconut oil too. I would only give one or the other each day and be careful of the amount.

  • Bill Calhoun

    Btw, would this also mean I’d need to reduce or cut-out salmon fish oil and/or cold pressed coconut oil?

  • tadbubs

    Hi Melissa, thanks for replying. That means so much to hear from another mini-parent.

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi Bill… I feed my minis a varied diet-some days/meals dry, some raw, dehydrated, freeze dried, canned etc etc. They all seem to do well on the variety. One thing about minis is to be careful with the fat content as they can be prone to pancreatitis issues.
    My crews main dry is Acana(though we rotate brands and varieties) and so far so good. I don’t know that I have a preference in one type(raw,dry,etc) and simply feel that by offering the mix, I can maximize all possibilities.
    Btw-My oldest mini is 16yrs old, and the youngest is 6mths.

  • Bill Calhoun

    Hi, I currently feed my mini shnauz Honest Kitchen (dehydrated) in the mornings and Acana (dry) in the evening.

    He is 5 years young; treadmills 2-hours (nice 5.8 rpm clip) 3x per week; swims 30-laps (without floatation) 2x per week; advanced obedience 3x per week and is a bundle of energy. Oh, and we do those walks but, I consider that a given

    Ive heard a lot of back and forth with deydrated (closer to raw) vs. kibbles (heat treated and whatnot)

    My questions:

    1. What are your thougts on the controversy?
    2. What are your thoughts on giving my mini coconut oil and salmon oil?
    3. Is there anything else I should keep in mind

  • Tinathetooth .

    I’m in the same boat with Orijen and Acana. The Origen 6 fish I believe gave him an ear infection (a sign of an allergy apparently). I’m crossing my fingers that it’s just an allergy to fish. I gave him Origen puppy for dinner and he was just a little itchy for a short period of time afterwards. I gave him Acana Lamb for breakfast and he was just a little itchy again. A lady at a pet store suggested trying Zignature. So I bought that in lamb the other day and he wasn’t itchy after. I suppose Acana and Orijen (same company) are the culprit. But yeah, he itches his paws and shakes his head and shakes like after they do when they’re wet.

  • jacobwrocketpetz

    Hi Donna! You may have had your question answered elsewhere, but the Puppy formula (yellow bag) will have the lowest carbs (using dogfoodadvisor’s formula for calculating carbs) at about 24%. The Adult is still only 26%. All of Orijen’s products are going to be super low carb. Can’t really go wrong with any of them.

    The Freeze-Dried Formulas have even fewer carbs.

  • theBCnut

    She has a sensitivity to one of the ingredients, maybe.

  • sharron

    hi – i’m have been feeding lexee the acana singles and wondering why she would be chewing on her paws and scratching more than usual – she doesn’t get anything else – thanks

  • sharron

    hi again – she’s only gets 1/2 cup/day
    and i have turned meal times into a game – it’s working for both of us – it doesn’t matter whether the bowl is on the floor, on the counter, in a cupboard(just kidding), if she’s not hungry she won’t eat, so i feed her when she is hungry – it works for her, it works for me – i don’t understand what the big deal is as to when she eats and how many times – she never gets more than 1/2 cup a day – isn’t it all about what works best for your dog – and this what works for us – so why are other people getting in a flap over it

  • sharron

    thanks for the encouragement – i’m feeding her my way and what works for lexee and everything is going well – i know i’m feeding her a food that 90% of the people on this site wouldn’t approve of……..too bad – it’s working for lexee and me

  • Lissa R Carre

    Would it work to do an “evening” or dinner feed, vs. a night feed?

    What about training games? Does your dog like the Acana enough to use it as training rewards, so that as part of playing/spending time together in the evening, you could do a partial feed as “dinner”, and then do some small training stuff, and get another 1/8 cup into her that way? Even just brushing up training she’s already got “down”, it’s always good to keep skills warned up and to take an opportunity to give positive reinforcement. If you use part of her feed, then it’s interactive for her, and she’s using her brain, and getting time with you.

    Might help?

    Make sure that at least part of both feeds each day are in dish, though. If you need to travel, or if your dog has to stay over at a kennel, at a vet’s or be fed by someone else, if she has gotten into the habit of being fed entire meals only by hand, she may refuse to eat if someone doesn’t do that, or may refuse to eat from someone else’s hand, if she’s really particular, or easily stressed by changes to her routine.

    Note: transitioning to ANY new routine or schedule may be difficult. It may be that there will be days when your dog doesn’t eat because that’s not what she’s used to.

    You need to keep your Hoooman Big Brain Pants on and stick to it. She will eat when she’s hungry, and if you take the food away after a certain amount of time, she will also learn that she must eat or of the food *poof* disappears.

    Don’t beat yourself up over things that don’t work, just keep learning as you go along. I have four – and I learn EVERY SINGLE DAY. I will certainly never, ever know it all!

  • Lissa R Carre

    Don’t beat yourself up. You had reasons for doing what you did. Now you know why that probably wasn’t working for your dog as well as you would have hoped.

    Dogs are living beings – not computer programs. They are also not human beings, and it takes pay attention in a different sort of way to do what’s best for them as members of a different species, rather than what seems best from our perspective as humans.

    After all, that’s part of what we love about them – they’re NOT humans — it’s part of what enriches our lives. It means we need to change up the lens when we think about what is best for them, though, vs. what might be best for humans.

  • Lissa R Carre

    When they talk about differences in activity, they could be talking about a significant amount of difference. i.e. a working dog that (for lack of a better term is “on duty” and thus on the move” much of the day, vs. a dog that is in the house most of the day, and whose main activity is finding a comfy position on their donut bed. Acana is nutrient dense food but carb light – a big difference in, say, cardio activity would mean a big difference in what the dog would need to stay energized for a lot of activity. Champion Pet Foods is hedging their bets a bit – ultimately it’s up to the ‘hooman’ to pay attention to the cues their dog is offering – dog cues about hunger, satiation, and weight gain vs. healthy weight – to determine where the sweet spot is for feeding depending on things like current activity level, time of year (for instance, my dogs are outside much of the winter in really cold temps… they have super furry coats, insulated, straw filled dog houses etc, but they get a bit more food in winter, and a bit more fish oil —- it doesn’t take much for them to put on a tiny big of extra weight, and with the winter being super dry, I work to make sure that support for their coats and skin are on the rich side).

  • Donna Pitre Melsness

    I’am looking for the Orijen dog food with the lowest carbs

  • Georgiapeach

    Try doing foot soaks with 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water a couple times a day. ACV is anti-fungal and antibacterial. I put the solution in a storage container that I can put a lid on big enough to cover the dog’s foot. Submerge each paw for about a minute, then pat (not rub) dry. I reuse the solution until it gets dirty (usually a day), then make a new batch.

  • Georgiapeach

    Make sure you feed the amount for what your dog SHOULD weigh, not what she weighs now.

  • ll

    Try Orijens. It is 80% protein where as Acana is 60%. Less carbs may help the weight.

  • Tari Anne

    My 5 year old golden must eat 3 meals a day or he throws up 🙁

  • Dori

    Thanks Bobby dog. I was wondering why I had missed her question to me and now I know why. Yesterday was a bit of a nutty day for me anyway so I probably would have missed it anyway. : )

  • Dori

    Thanks Storm’s Mom for answering Sharron’s question directed to me. I just now saw her question and was about to respond and saw that you had already done so. I would have told her exactly what you did. Thanks.

  • sharron

    ok thanks – i split up the amt served because she will only eat 1/8 cup at one time – i have given her 1/4 cup and she will only eat about 1/2 of it especially in the mornings – she gets the req’d daily intake and also there are days that she won’t eat until later in the afternoon

    and there is food in her dish and she is on a schedule even though she gets more than 2 meals in a day, she gets 3 – 1 in the morning,
    1 in the afternoon and 1 at night and i am not overloading her with food

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’m not Dori, but..if your dog is constantly eating small meals all the time, her system is always “on”, it’s always working. It’s important to give it time to rest. (note, this doesn’t apply to larger/giant breed dogs who may benefit from smaller more frequent meals) While some foods digest fairly quickly, others (particularly proteins) can take hours to digest fully. So, if you are feeding your dog every few hours, it’s likely that she hasn’t even digested all of her previous food before you pile on more (unless you don’t feed enough, of course, which we’ve already determined – through no fault of your own – you have been, at least when feeding the Acana). If you are constantly underfeeding your dog like that, though, her system is actually always working harder because it’s frequently in a depleted state.

    More important than any of this, though, is that when your dog is fed should be YOUR call, not your dogs.

  • Bobby dog

    If you are asking/replying to someone specific, use the reply option under a post from that person. This might help expedite the response process to you depending on their discus settings.

  • sharron

    dori – would you please explain to me, without throwing your hands up in the air, how i am hurting my dog by feeding her more than 2 meals a day

  • Dori

    Hi Storm’s Mom. Thanks for telling Sharron all that you have just posted. I did not respond to her on person because it is so foreign to anything that I believe in feeding dogs, regardless of what type of food you feed, that I basically through up my hands and said “I’m Out!” You’re on your own. I cannot help with any type of feeding program that so goes against my beliefs. You are absolutely correct in EVERYTHING that you said. The only one she is hurting is her dog. In my opinion dogs need to be fed twice a day on a schedule. Put the food down for approx. 20 minutes. They eat it. In the a.m. and the p.m. I believe it does the digestive system more harm than good these constant teeny tiny meals. To what end? Anyway, that’s why I stopped responded to her and glad you said what I was thinking.

  • sharron

    i’ve really screwed things up – i can’t even feed a dog properly

  • sharron

    ok will change the feeding “schedule” to one that’s a real schedule – i have to omit the night feeding – i’m sure that’s why she won’t eat in the mornings

  • Storm’s Mom

    I would strongly advise that you start to feed her at specific times. It sounds to me that by the time she tells you she’s “hungry” (how does she do this?) it’s actually far too late, and you’re actually doing her far more harm than good by waiting until she “signals” you, somehow. To what end would you make her have to do this, too? I’m also not entirely convinced you are reading her “signals” correctly at all…and you’re making this far too difficult/complicated for both of you than it should be.

  • sharron

    i feed her when she is hungry rather than what time it is – and i give her 1/8 cup at a time – doing it this way she eats 3-4 meals a day = 3/8 – 1/2 cup – it depends what time in the morning she eats as to how many meals she gets – i’ve never given more than 1/2 cup of a grain free food – the others that are carb filled about 3/4 cup – that didn’t happen very often because she wouldn’t eat it

  • Dori

    My apologies Sharron. You are absolutely correct. I’m sorry but in my opinion 1/4 cup of food for the entire day is ludicrous for a dog that weights 10.5 lbs. I don’t see how she wouldn’t be starving. I would definitely feed her 1/4 in the a.m. and 1/4 cup in the p.m. and see how she does from there. Truthfully I don’t really pay very much attention to any dog food companies recommendations for how much I should feed my dogs. I’ve often wondered if it isn’t part of their marketing ploy to get you to buy their food thinking that even though the food is expensive you won’t be feeding as much as you were the other food. It really is ridiculous for them to have 1/4 cup a day for an 11 lb. dog.

    With so little food per day your dogs stomach would be gurgling away and vomitting bile due to her empty stomach.

  • sharron

    it could be a typo – thanks – will feed her a 1/2 cup

  • Storm’s Mom

    I find the numbers listed by Acana a bit suspect. They say an “active” 11lbs dog should get 3/4 cup/day on Grasslands but a “less active” one should only get 1/4 cup/day. That’s a HUGE difference and none of their other serving suggestions for other weights have that much of a difference between “active” and “less active”. All of their other Regional formulae say 3/4 cup for active and 1/2 for less active, for the same weight, with basically the same amount of calories listed. My suggest would be to feed a minimum of 1/2 cup/day.

  • sharron

    hi dori – just checked again for the grasslands formula and it says for 11 lb dog, less active, 1/4/cup/day – i fed that amt when i giving lexee orijen, she loss weight, and was starving because i’ve always been told you have to cut back on acana and orijen which i did, well that didn’t work, i was starving the dog

  • Dori

    Sharron. Are you sure you read that right? Maybe it was 1/4 twice a day not just once a day. Which Acana formula are you looking at and I’ll try to help. Because I will tell you that there is no way that 1/4 cup a day is correct. My girls that way between 5 and 7 lbs. eat 1/2 cup a day and they are neither thin or fat.

  • sharron

    on the acana feeding guide under the less active column it says to feed a 1/4 cup for an 11 lb dog – what does active and less active represent – lexee is 10.5 lbs and i honestly don’t think that 1/4 cup a day is going to do keep her full

  • ll

    Just remember that this is a nutrient dense dog food, and truly believe that we are just accustomed to feeding our dogs so much kibble because the heavily advertised foods are so unhealthy and the dogs are literally starving. If your dog is a little heavy, weigh the food and give them less. Better not to rush the weight loss. The food guide says to give my dog 60 grams, but 50 grams works great. My shih tzus are super healthy, have beautiful coats and skin. Using a cup to measure may be misleading and inaccurate.

  • Dori

    How much is your sheltie suppose to weigh, how often do you feed her and how much per meal? Are you giving her treats? If so what treats and how often during the day? Does she get enough exercise? Unless she has an illness, the only reason she would be heavy is because she’s eating too much and not moving enough. Just like us. You may just be feeding her too much per day and those treats add up. You need to figure out how many calories a day she SHOULD be eating for whatever the correct weight is that she should be at. Those calories for the day have to also include the treats. A lot of people calculate for the actual food and forget that the treats are adding calories. Those have to be accounted in the calorie count for the day.

  • Sue Kurz

    I just can’t imagine feeding him less than 2 1/2 cups a day. The garbage like Science diet lite will take the weight off by starving him.

  • Donna Pitre Melsness

    I have tried the Acana lite but, she still weigh 30lbs.

  • Donna Pitre Melsness

    One of my Shelties is overweight and, I don’t know what to feed. I want a no grain formula which would you suggest I try?

  • Sue Kurz

    My golden has been eating Acana since the age of 6 months. Both Ranchland and Pacifica. He’s a big dog weighing in at 94lbs. The Vet said he should loose 5 lbs. We cut him back to 2 1/2 cups a day, very few treats and plenty of exersize. He’s lost one pound in six weeks. I’m thinking of switching him to the Acana lite food but don’t like the idea of a grain ie oats. Any thoughs here?

  • Comedyrules

    My border collie mix has been on Acana Pacifica for about 2 months now. She’s always eaten grain free Acana but had problems with ear infections while on Acana’s Ranchlands. Now her ear infection has cleared up (used coconut oil in her ear too) & her itching is gone. Her breath is great now too as it was pretty bad before. I always used to give her some fresh food with her kibble. After 2 months of only Pacifica, no fresh food other than carrot sticks & coconut oil (she loves it) added to her kibble half the feedings, the improvement is amazing. Pacifica is great for itching, sensitive skin & sensitive stomachs as it’s the most easily digested protein. People have to be aware that a small treat of an offending food is enough to trigger the allergies.
    I would add coconut oil to his diet as well.

  • tbird

    In regard to the alfalfa in this food; I have horses and feed them alfalfa pellets. I also have two dogs they steal bites of the pellets from the buckets if I set them down and always eat the dropped pellets. They love them and have suffered no I’ll effect from it.

  • Cathryn Bower

    I’ve read that coconut oil and turmeric are good for fungus. Put some in his food and also rub a mix of both on the fungus.

  • Qi Koh

    My dogs with sensitive skin love this food :
    Acana Pacifica

  • barbeeyorkielover

    How is the fungus now ?

  • Crazy4cats

    I wouldn’t blame it on the food just yet. It may take a while to rid him of this infection. Have you tried adding probiotics to his food? They will help balance his gut bacteria which in turn will help get rid of the infection. I’ve also read that diluted raw apple cider vinegar added to the food can help. How is he doing now?

  • Mary McCulley

    I’d take him back to the vet. He may need a systemic drug to treat the yeast, not just topical.

  • Chloe Lee Thong

    he already has fungus infection when i adopted him, but it seem to have gotten worst.

    i have been to the vet, and she has given me antifungal cream to treat the foot (2 days ago), but i have not seen any improvement.

  • Crazy4cats

    Did he already have the fungus infection when you adopted him? Do you think it may be an intolerance to the new food? I’ve never fed Acana, but hear mostly good things about it. Are you treating the foot? I think it’s great food as long as the dog does not have an allergy or an intolerance to an ingredient in the food. Good luck!

  • Chloe Lee Thong

    Hi there, i need your advice. I recently adopted a dog from a shelter, and this dog has fungus infection on his paws. I have been feeding him Acana since i adopted him a week ago, and i am wondering if Acana is ok for a dog with Fungus Infection. Please advise.

    I have been feeding my Corgi Acana since she is 1, and she is really well and healthy.

  • Shawna

    Per their website they have four grain free options (two of which Labs mentions in her post).

  • blazeaglory

    Thats good but they are not grain free. Does not contain many possible allergic ingredients but still contains some grain products.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Why don’t you try DR TIMS grain free Kinesis?

  • wendyholm

    It would be very helpful if you were to include a Senior Dog and Senior Cat category, and also if the product is available in recyclable packaging. The metal/plastic bags that are increasingly being used by pet food manufacturers are non-recyclable, and savvy land fills will soon be banning them as they do not deteriorate. Something healthy for my pets should also be healthy for my planet. thanks!

  • Nancy Hess Jocoy

    My dog is one of those who cannot work with Acana or Origen. Nature’s Logic has worked well but struggling with other foods to add to a rotation. I actually want to lower protein and increase fat for the summer.

  • emilioaponte

    Yes, my little wolf 12 years old, 3 pounds 2 ounces eats Acana for the last 6 or 7 years. So far so good.

  • JC77

    Love, love, LOVE Acana and would never switch to another brand. My sister has been feeding her lab/border collie mix (from a shelter) Acana for three years and her health improved considerably. Then when I got myself a pug last summer, I started her off on Wellness and then switched to Acana. No problems so far; she loves the food (I don’t give her big portions though because it’s so high in protein) and her fur is really soft (even more than when she was on Wellness).

    It’s one of the most expensive dog food out there, but personally it’s worth it.

  • Janis Jones

    I think that I would like to purchase this product. But one of the ingredients is rosemary. My dog has epilepsy, and I have read that rosemary in the oil or extract form can be a seizure trigger. Does that apply to just “rosemary”?

  • Antonio Fisher

    Hi Nancy, if it’s possible send me a email at [email protected], as I prefer not to recommend specific brands or otherwise via the forum as it may seem bias. But I’ll be more than happy to list the wormer and probiotic I used with my dogs. The good thing about natural wormers is that after the dog’s digestive system has been built up using the probiotic is that the natural wormer doesn’t kill the good bacteria.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Also interesting. Thank you. My dog is now 21 months old – GS with strong lineage from Czhechoslovakia. And beautiful. Was brought to us in Jan, in great health, 70 pounds, by the trainer who trained us for the weekend. Had been in NH with the trainer for about 9 mos. (Trainer goes to Europe to pick his dogs and he is very particular. Says it is easier to get into Harvard Univ than it is for a dog to get into his training. Calm peaceful nervous sys is his #1 trait). The trainer fed him TOW because I told the trainer I wanted to feed him that. Was giving it to my golden w good success. All was great until the transition to Origen got to 50-50 in Feb. Have considered that he was under stress even in Feb regarding his adjustment to us, to NC, everything different. Who Knows?
    My PHD research & dissertation is on lowering levels of Stress (anxiety and depression ) NON pharmacologically. The efficacy of the methods I used were statistically calculated at P<.001 which is amazing and FAR BETTER (and safer) than any chemicals produced by bigpharma. So I am suspect about ALL CHEMICALS.
    Please tell me the name of the natural wormers you refer to. Also I am studying Dr. Mercola's enzymes and probiotics. Gave my dog 1 TBS Organic Kefir at breakfast the last 4 days but YESTERDAY he started having a few loose poops after almost 2 weeks of "good" ones. so I left off the Kefir today. So far today his poops are "good" – my life seems to be around dog poops these days! They affect my own peace of mind!
    Thanks for your insights.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Great catch on the collar. I’ve found that treating the area/ yard helps keep keep the fleas and ticks in check at my home, and typically I use the topical drops from Walmart to assist w mosquito repellent. Out of curiosity how old is the dog in question? And while on the subject of chemicals I’ve found that using natural wormers help keep the intestinal flora in check for mine as well which allows better digestion of the feed therefore delivering a good among of nutrient absorption, and I also feed once daily typically in the evening or night increasing the time that the food has to digest instead of forcing it out earlier which typically happens with frequent feeding.

  • Nancy Calloway

    This is crazy but I realized today that the exact same day the vet gave him a good check up (after one week of prescription food and NO diarrhea for a week) we bought a Seresto flea and tick collar at the vet on the way out. The secretary put it on him. Two days later, while transitioning to Science diet Sensitive Stomach, the diarrhea started again. He has worn that collar ever since March 27 and several times I have had an intuitive hunch that maybe he is reacting to it. I took the collar OFF tonight. I have read some reviews about dogs having diarrhea problems with this collar and there was an improvement after several days of removal. This will be interesting. Many love that collar but it is so toxic that the warning says NOT to let a dog on your bed if he is wearing it AND not to let children play around a dog wearing the collar. Wow. Apparently the chemicals in it are so strong they have made some dogs ill. ?? Geeez. Thank you again for your insights.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Glad we could be of help. All dogs are different and their energy/food requirements vary based on things like metabolism, activity level, age etc. Surprisingly my larger dogs do better on grain inclusive higher calorie diets while I prefer the lower cal GF diet for my pug. The best advice I can give regarding digestive issues are too feed less and slowly increase the amount until you find the amount necessary for your canine’s need. With that method I rarely have digestive issues or otherwise with the many feeds available and I own Dobermans and a pug (both sensitive stomach) breeds. So find the brand that’s easily available, your dogs will eat, and a price you don’t mind paying. Simple steps to a common issue among dog owners. Good luck

  • Nancy Calloway

    Thank you very much, Antonio. Your reasoning seems sound. I actually called Origen a few times to discuss Axel’s afternoon loose stools while trying to transition. They were very helpful and gave me ratios to follow which THEY thought would help him transition successfully. Just didn’t happen. I have learned on DFA that there are enough other excellent foods available and BCNut has cited several specific brands. (Thank you!) Several others like you have shared their experiences with Digestion challenges and shared specific foods their pups are doing well on. This is very helpful. I am in gratitude to Dr. Mike. He has created a great place for all of us to be better caretakers of our beloved furry friends.

  • Antonio Fisher

    Switching foods can be a good thing, and while Diamond does get a bad rep due to the recalls I think all recalls since 2007 have been voluntary, so at least they are trying (and I say that losely) no pun intended. One thing to keep in mind if your feeding some of the premium diets the foods are richer and If i’m not mistaken I believe Orijen has about 200 more kcals per cup than TOTW, so if your feeding the same amount of both feeds that is the reason your seeing the loose stools. My recommendation would be cut back on the feed a bit, or otherwise continue feeding the TOTW it’s a good feed.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Thank you BCNut. I will study those. Nancy C

  • Nancy Calloway

    Thank you Bridgette – this is what I have deduced. The vet has put him on HILLS Rx WD and this is driving me nuts. But the diarreah would not stop, even after I stopped the Acana Regional Red. Vet says keep him on the HILLS Rx for a month – that it will calm down his irritable gut. Then she suggests returning to TOW because his system accepted it in the first place. Q: Do you know of a particular food that actually is easy to digest for dogs with sensitivity? I bought some DR TIMS thinking it might be a good one.
    Also gave him 1 TBS organic plain Kefir at breakfast for the lst few days. His hard stools from HILLS Rx have softened quite a bit that now I am getting concerned. Will give 1/2 TBS tomorrow. Arrrrgh. I am open to any suggestions.
    Thanks again.
    Nancy C

  • theBCnut

    That doesn’t even make sense. Multiple sources don’t make something less rich, Orijen has a ridiculous number of different meats in their formulas. And lactobacillus isn’t an enzyme, though probiotics do help the gut to cope with food changes.

  • theBCnut

    Try Earthborn, Victor’s, Nature’s Logic, Dr Tim’s, or Annamaet. Orijen and Acana don’t work for a lot of dogs. I don’t think “richness” has anything to do with it, but too many legumes might.

  • Bridgette Hocke-Hendry

    While TOW is a high protein food, it also has multiple sources to help counter the richness of the food. There is a high chance the the orijen and acana are too rich for his tummy. TOW has more lactobacillus and other such enzymes to help break down the richness of the food.

  • theBCnut

    If you include the water content of some of the ingredients as meat then you are definitely right, but Dr Mike likes to take into account the difference that is made when the water is removed since that gives a clearer picture of what the dog is actually getting. A pound of meat that is 80% water is not equivalent to a pound of a dry ingredient.

  • Nancy Calloway

    I just talked to FROMM yesterday and if you have proof of purchase they will refund your money. That’s what they said.

  • Jule Schweighoefer

    acana regionals contain 60% meat, so it is actually meat based, not plant based

  • Jule Schweighoefer

    my dog has many allergies, and the lentils in acana and orijen seems to be one of them. I have also heard from other people whose dogs have issues with lentils as well. acana singles worked well for my dogs but unfortunately they are now adding lentils to that food as well

  • Nick Tutino

    i would try boiled chicken and rice for a week or until the stools are consistently solid. Then gradually add acana to the chicken and rice. sometimes putting them on a bland diet and starting over helps.
    good luck!

  • Audie Dewey

    Fellow dog owner – If you’d cry if your dog died, then you need to see this. Discover the deadly secret the dog food industry spends millions to make sure you never find out.Check it out…

  • Nancy Calloway

    I need some help from you experts. Got a 16 mo old GSD male in Jan. Was on TOW High Prairie and doing well. Because of DIAMOND’s record I decided to change him to Origen. Went slowly. When I hit a 50/50 ratio he started having unformed stools in the PM. Morning stools always formed. Continued the bag at 1/3 Origen 2/3 TOW. Did okay. Moved to ACANA REGIONALS. Same thing. Did fine until 50/50. Very loose stools. Any thoughts? Acana & TOW have similar protein amt. Origen could have been too rich. He is healthy, vibrant, happy, active but I want all formed stools. Thinking about Dr. Tim’s next. Thank you for any suggestions!

  • Nancy Calloway


  • theBCnut

    Because from the ingredient list and the guaranteed analysis, it looks like it has more plant matter in it than animal matter. Most 5 star foods are plant based. Though I haven’t tried a search to see if Dr. Mike has tagged the meat based foods so that they can be found easier.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Why is this a plant based food and not a meat based food?

  • Jenna

    Oh wow. Thanks.

  • Both rice for human consumption as well as rice for pet food CAN contain arsenic. Please visit the following link for details. Hope this helps.

  • Jenna

    arsenic in it? wtf

  • Renee

    I have a German Shepard that has EPI and he thrived on Acana Grasslands. I tried many kibbles since the disease started. But he gained his weight back and stayed stable on Acana. Love the fact his itching and shedding stopped as well and that there never been a recall.

  • Erika

    Oh cool! That’s perfect because I’ve bought whole bags of food before that my dog refused to eat. It was a no go with Fromm and Honest Kitchen. Thankfully, the HK was a sample, but the Fromm was a full bag. As it turns out my friends dog LOVED the Fromm, so at least it didn’t go to waste. Thanks for the info. Will order some samples tonight.

  • saya2

    Curious is the field beans the fava beans? Are they good for dogs? Some sites says it isn’t and some say it is fine..

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Ericka, you can get 3 free samples of Victor dog food here. After you choose your 3 go to shopping bag at the right top of the page. You don’t need a credit card, and there is no charge for shipping. My 3 love Ultra Professional, and Yukon River.

  • Erika

    I tend to give my something that is fish or turkey based. Right now she is on Go Sensitivity and Shine Grain Free, Potato Free Turkey. I believe that NutriSource has a fish based food that looks good. My dog did really well on Holistic Blend, but they are hard find in my area. Victor has some that look promising too. I’m thinking of giving their Yukon Salmon a try.

  • LukaTisus

    I would definitely agree with the raw diet option. Where abouts are you from? If you’re from Western Canada, look into Pets-Go-Raw. It’s a raw-form diet, simplified for raw-feeders who would rather not watch their dog gnaw on a chicken carcass, it has veggies and fruits added and mixed into it.

    There’s also SMACK freeze-dried raw diet as well, but Pets-Go-Raw, or a whole-prey raw diet could be something to look into and helps a lot of dogs with various complains from stomach problems, to severe allergies.

  • LukaTisus

    You could try one by Go! Natural. They’re more expensive than Acana, but have higher quality ingredients as well.

  • Bob3rd

    I’ve been feeding Acana Pacifica for several months now. I tried to switch to this from Kirkland Salmon and Sweet Potato which is OK but made by Diamond. But the Acana is so rich that it makes one of my dogs literally stink. I think it’s mainly his breath, but it’s pretty bad. The Kirkland is more bland—it doesn’t smell fishy like the Acana does–so I have to feed a mixture of that and the Pacifica to make him not stink. He won’t eat the Kirkland by itself. I tried to mix it with another Acana flavor instead but I think it made him scratch/itch. Does anyone know of another limited ingredient food that’s not too rich that I could substitute for the Kirkland?

  • Charles

    I wonder why I did not lie

  • Charles

    Edditor Mike is a scam who put me in spam

  • Charles

    Miikkee I dont know how you sleep at night too much protein isnt right

  • Charlie z

    Shawma time to down vote and flag me so you can take over

  • Charlie

    Betsy wetsy did you learn dog nutrition at the court house?

  • Charlie r

    Patty do you have your diploma yet?

  • Charlie v

    Hounddog did you finish high school annd you still have your purina dog food from 2years ago?

  • losul

    low grade meals can also have very high ash content.

  • annab

    Can’t find the article, but read that meals contain more preservatives … I’d rather have regular meat in addition to or in place of meal as Acana does.

  • annab

    I agree that if your dog has medical issues, feeding a raw diet can be very helpful. Meaty bones and veges, plus eggs and other additions – lots of good info on the web. You can also buy a meat grinder and grind meat and veges together. We have a great local supplier in northern california … you may find one in your area as well or just find a butcher.

  • Chris

    Thanks Pattu for your down votes

  • Pam E.

    just remember meat and meal is great because the chicken meal, lamb meal, most of the meat meal has so much more protein than just plain meat.

  • schnauzer

    Please give actual reviews don’t hijack the reviews with your problem

  • Pattyvaughn

    LOL!! Wherever it was, if you ever find out, let me know, because my head goes there too.

  • Frank

    Your right, not sure where my head was at the time.LOL

  • Pattyvaughn

    Australia? They are in Canada.

  • Frank

    If you look at the pacific currents you will see that they are two separate currents, the north and the south separated by the equatorial counter. The likelihood of radiation affecting Australia is low.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I love feeding raw, but a dogs diet should have a bit more to it than this if you want it to be balanced. There is a lot of info out there about how to balance a raw diet, if you’re interested.

  • Dog lady

    Don’t feed any Dry foods Just meats and bones Raw vegis Cut or sliced. Tins of tuna in oil and Natural foods.
    If your dog is a gulper of food feed bigger Bones so they can not swallow them. Don’t feed necks as the joint bone will be swallowed and then usually gets vomited up if they gulp and not chew. Feed wings Cut all the joints apart and then with a big knife hit the bones to break up so that if they swallow them they will be digested I have a shiatsu who has a lot of issues and this Natural feeding has solved all these issues. Your dog may get a bit of diarea as his her diet has changed but will settle down in time.

  • Pam E.

    v-dog may not have rosemary but it has dl-methionine. synthetic form of methionine naturally found in meat and fish. FYI

    How is the supplement DL-methionine made? More from Dr. Aldrich…“There
    are numerous companies and locations around the world that produce
    DL-methionine commercially; and there are hundreds of patents that
    describe the subtle nuances regarding DL-methionine synthesis and
    purification. The starting materials for production of DL-methionine
    are acrolein (a 3-carbon aldehyde) derived from propylene (a petroleum
    derivative), methyl mercaptan derived from methanol and various sulfur
    sources and hydrocyanic acid (HCN). Acrolein and methyl mercaptan are
    reacted to form a relatively stable intermediate,
    3-methylmercaptopropionaldehyde, known as MMP. The MMP is then reacted
    with HCN to form a rudimentary mix of DL-methionine and contaminants
    which is further refined through clean-up steps.”

    Is this supplement needed? Well, since methionine (the natural amino
    acid not the supplement) is found in meats and fish, you’ll have to
    decide if a supplement in your pet’s food is better than meat and/or

  • Pattyvaughn

    Google Dogtor J

  • Pattyvaughn

    Your dogs are probably just dumb animals to you, but my dogs do a lot for me every day, and I owe it to them to at least attempt to figure out what makes a healthy diet. I put a lot of time and energy into training my dogs and I want each one of them to live as long and productively as possible. I don’t want to shave years off their life because of feeding cr**py food. There are certainly plenty of people who think like you do or else the cr**py food companies would be out of business, but then you would think that people like you wouldn’t be looking up dog food on the internet.

  • sharon

    Be careful with anything with gluten in it. I have found that to be a problem with seizures. Not saying that is the only reason but one of the main things.

  • Betsy Greer

    I can only imagine the delicacies you must be serving up for your dog.

  • Ken Goldenberg

    Ok you people are just nuts! Epileptic dog? Worried about radiation? Going to feed your dog grass- fed beef? I’m thinking I may be gullible here and you folks are just pulling everyone’s leg with these comments because no one could be that obsessive over an animal that would eat its own poop if you let it!

  • Essa Adams

    without rosemary, to me that is important to do right now. good to know what you just shared. i use Acana, but due to the Fukashima radiation spill for the last two years and the location of the Acana plant on the Pacific coast I will still use this some, but mostly I am switching to V-Dog and will add some meat that is grassfed, local and i know what conditions. V-Dog does not contain rosemary, i just checked, but still ask them.

  • Guest

    I have a Lhasa ahpso and she loves orijen made by same company as acana the adult formula along with the freeze dried to top it. and her coat is so beautiful too she is blonde with ears tipped black . the only problem that I have had with my girl her temper from 4 months… she doesn’t care for others but me(mom) and her dad but never tries to bite just doesn’t care for other’s. other than that she healthy on this food and I do home cook twice a week for her and she still loves this kibble but I do soak it for her as well as her topper of the freeze dried by orijen and only treats are the freeze dried by orijen that she get’s. her weight is perfect for her she is small sized and 7 years old so do not want extra pounds her this food keeps her weight the same. and she is very active so the high protein is great for her and blood test are perfect. but have read some the protein is too much. even same breed different acana is orijens sister food same compamy makes this food orijen is more pricey and kibble is softer in orijen than acana. hoped this helps,sportsmedicine

  • Stefani

    After hearing many good reviews, i decided to switch to Acana today as my silky terrier has skin problem. and because i read somewhere that some people switch to grain free food and their epileptic dog is seizure free for a while.

    Then i saw Rosemary in the ingredient list. I just read that rosemary in dog food will increase the severity of seizures.

    my dog is epileptic, and just had 2 seizures yesterday (he used to have it once every few months, previously we fed him food that contain grain).

    so i wonder if this brand can help reduce the seizures or must i switch to other grain free brands without rosemary? any recommendations?

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    Sounds good….I have green beans in my freezer! I’ll pick up some Honest Kitchen, too.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Anything that dogs don’t digest well can bulk up the stool. I know a number of people that just add a handful of whole frozen green beans to the meal to provide bulk. A meal of THK would do the trick too, and be a nice addition to almost any rotation.

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    I’ll pick up some dehydrated food. They have THC and Grandma Lucy’s.

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    What should I use to bulk up his meals a couple times a week? Does bulk=fiber? Thanks for the suggestions 🙂

  • A couple meals a week of dehydrated food or Nutrisource GF should help express the glands! LOL!

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    Thanks for the advice, Patty. I am going to give Darwin’s raw a try. I like that it is low carb(which I think will help his AG’s), and no potatoes. I’m just finishing up his bag of Acana and a bag of Steve’s Turducken Raw. I like that the Darwin’s is shipped straight from the manufacturer within a few weeks of being made. I’m going to get coconut oil to add to his meals(or maybe herring oil). We’re all itchy and dry in this new climate! I have to check again, but I think it has yams, but still low carbs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    This may be a food issue. Look at ingredient labels and see if they have something in common. If she is sensitive to one of the ingredients, that can cause the anal glands to overproduce and it would definitely cause the itchiness. Try switching to a limited ingredient diet that is very different than what you have been feeding, different protein, different starch. Also some dogs don’t naturally release their anal glands when they poop if there isn’t enough bulk in the diet. This is especially true for small breeds. I don’t like Natural Balance long term, but their LIDs may help you get a handle on what she is reacting to.

  • Polar Bear’s mom

    My dog had been eating Earthborn Grain Free for a year, and we just transitioned him to Acana Grasslands with a few of Steve’s raw frozen nuggets thrown in. He has always been an itchy dog, and the vet says he has seasonal allergies. We just moved from NY to UT. He has to have his anal glands expressed every two to three months, and he is so itchy and scratches all over. I give him pumpkin and apples for extra fiber and the vet recommended coconut or flax oil for his skin and coat. Has anyone had a dog with AG issues that were helped with food? The vet also suggested allergy testing. Acana seems like a good food, and I do see that they have a single protein formula. I have to mention that UT is a very dry state and with the central heat on, Polar’s fur is ultra staticky (spelling?)….and so are the human’s! Any input on AG issues would be so appreciated!
    Polar Bear’s Mom

  • Shawna

    Oops, I totally missed that Rich!! Sorry about that!!!

  • Rich


    Orijen and Acana are excellent dog foods. Right now, my dogs are eating a dry Orijen kibble mixed with Earthborn Holistics wet food.

    The high protein comment was based on what Melissa’s vet told her about her dog’s dietary needs. Since her dog needs to have a lower-protein kibble, I recommended Horizon’s Pulsar for that reason.

  • Shawna

    Hi Rich,

    Why do you say Orijen and Acana are too high in protein?

  • Rich


    It Orijen and Acana brand foods are too high protein, I’d look at Horizon Pet Nutrition. They have a similar philosophy as Champion (the maker of Acana), make their dog food using low-temperature dehydrating process, and only use quality ingredients.

    I think their Pulsar line might be for you. It’s grain free and potato free (potatoes have a high glycemic index). The carbohydrates are red lentil and split peas, which are low glycemic. The protein level of Pulsar Chicken and Fish formulas are both 28%. Pulsar is also loaded with pre- and probiotics.

    Their website is:

  • B

    Don’t cut out your dog’s activity due to the poop amount, quality. That is certainly not the answer!! Add a high quality human grade probiotic to the mix.

  • Joe

    Try switching your dogs food to another Acana protein within their line of Acana Regionals. It may solve your problems with boredom. I personally would not leave this brand unless my dog had specific needs (allergies or other issues of which this brand could not be beneficial).

  • Joe

    Get her off the Royal Canin. Do some research on it. You won’t be happy with what you find. I lost a dog 4yrs ago and truly believe it was because of the Royal Canin food (no proof). Unfortunately it’s not just Royal Canin. it’s the regulatory industry here in the U.S. that allows the pet food industry to put out inferior products across the board. Nutrition is not the focus, rather capital gain. Just my opinion so take it for what it’s worth. If your interested I will send you links to articles upon request.

  • Joe

    Like many on this site, I was disillusioned by the pet food industry in this country. I was looking for a “solid” well nutritioned pet food for our dog. Acana is at this point “The One”. Champion pet foods has done a fantastic job in making this product. My current Jack Russell is vibrant and living again after being on a very inferior product for 16months of his 24month life. I would urge anyone who has lost a pet or has a pet that is sick to please do some research on the pet food industry here in the United States. It’s appalling and through no one else’s ignorance but my own I lost a family pet to what I believe is in direct cause of what the pet food industry in the United States is allowing. My current Jack Russell was headed in the same direction until a lightbulb went off in my head. I have no interest in Champion Petfoods and no need to hype their product other than it is the only pet food at this time I will feed my dog. We switch between the Acana regionals on a regular basis to give our little friend a variety and it’s been nothing short of amazing to see the difference in his skin, wellness, energy and over all health. Love Acana and Champion Petfoods!

  • annab

    Really impressed with Acana Regionals. I switched from Nature’s Variety Instinct because they use only meal for their meat products. I know Acana uses some meal, but they also use regular meat which I like. Seems like a great quality dog food and my picky boy even likes it! Very impressed!

  • PugMom

    Try Go Salmon and Oatmeal formula. 22% protein and 12% fat.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Hi Melissa, you could try The Honest Kitchen. It’s not a traditional kibble but dehydrated whole foods. You rehydrate it before feeding. They have some lower protein varieties that are affordable (Keen, Force, and Verve).

  • CanadianAnimalLover

    Ive had my malamute mix on this food for a few years, I used to prepare her meals according to much research I did into the Bones And Raw food diet (*aka-BARF). Notwithstanding its unfortunate acronym name- it was & is the best thing I could possibly do for her, she had a gorgeous coat, zero dog odours ie- breath, coat etc and she loved it. The problem was the 2 to 3 hours of prep time twice per week -not including the clean up time in my kitchen. So I went in search of a dry food that was as close to all those whole food and natural ingredients as I could find. She is an impressive looking large breed so small changes in her coat quality are very apparent and her energy level and demeanor as well as her willingness to eat it was what I let inform me as to the quality of each product I tried her on after switching to dry food. The first success i had was with Innova EVO- amazing product as well but curiously her innitial enthusiasm for it diminished greatly after a few months, so i searched ingredient lists of many high qualty producers until we found this Acana Ranchland Regional Formula – a fantastic product that I feel very good about feeding this important member of our family. A few years later shes still happy- we do switch between the flavours offered just to keep her from getting tired of any one flavour, and she is still happy to eat it all up and she still looks and behaves and even smells pretty great for an 11 year old LARGE BREED girl. I would recomend this food to anyone not put off by a slightly higher pricetag per bag. Bon appetite, kids.

  • Riley

    I have two rescue dogs… 4 and 8 years old… They’ve been on blue buffalo and wellness and I’ve ALWAYS had to mix wet food in for my younger boy because he hates dry food.. And even then he’d still leave half the bowl to rot. I work at a feed store, decided to bring a bag of Acana Wild Prairie home in October and I can proudly say that my boy Peeps has not eaten canned food in weeks. I mix both my dog’s food with Primal Raw pronto.. But NO CANNED FOOD! Not anymore. I cannot be more pleased with the results.

    I’ve also got a cat with the same issue… I used to have him on Feline Caviar.. Would go on a hunger strike… I switched him to Orijen and he’s in love with it. I wish I could afford Orijen for my dogs but I’m In college and trying to save lol. Either way, I am ecstatic. I’m so glad I got them switched.

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Melissa,
    I can’t help with the brand of food to feed but want to tell you that getting moisture/water into your dog is very very important. Dry food would be the least favorable but she’s a big dog so feeding wet exclusively is probably not possible. Cutting back on the kibble and replacing with canned, then adding warm water would be very helpful. Make sure she has ample opportunity to urinate during wake time.

  • Melissa

    Sorry she’s 13 months old.

  • Melissa

    My dog is 11 months old golden retriever and I’ve been through 2 different bags of this food in the last 3 months. I decided to try this food out after doing thorough research and thought this was the best. Before this she was on Royal Canin and TLC. I noticed a couple days ago that she had UTI symptoms so we got a Urine analysis done and turns out she has high levels of crystals (tyrosine), which is really rare. I should also note that she’s very prone to UTI’s. First question my vet asked was what are we feeding her. She said that the protein levels in this food may be way too high for her which could have caused the crystals. I’m bummed because she loved this food. I liked the idea of rotating the 4 kinds. My vet suggested royal Canin or Science Diet but I don’t feel comfortable feeding her this food. I bought a bag of Royal Canin today because I needed something quick with lower protein levels to try to get the crystals down. But I need to find something of better quality. Does anyone have any suggestions??

  • Kayla

    This product is a lifesaver. I know someone who has a geriatric dog and instead of putting him down because he would only lie around all day, they gave him this. The very next day when they returned home, this boy jumped on them like he was still a puppy. Miracle product and I’ll sing it’s praises high and low.

  • Pingback: Top 4 Grain Free Kibble Dog Food Brands for Those Not Ready for Raw | Keep the Tail Wagging | Random Thoughts of a Dog Mom()

  • Lexi

    Love love love this dog food!!
    Our wheaten terrier is doing fabulously on it! We’ve tried a few other kinds and this is definitely the best. She has solid stools, a glossy coat, and less eye ‘gunk’. It is worth every penny!

  • MadAtAcana

    The Acana website shows the Pacifica whiteish meal as only containing wild caught flounder, halibut and Alaskan cod. However the ingredients on the bag itself also include Haddock and Pollock, the latter of which my dog was designated on a test as having an intolerance for.

    He was itching for months, and because I had to take him off of it when I realized pollock was a part of the problem, his colitis took off! THis last bout of colitis has been the worst and I am now forced to pay thousands in vet fees to diagnose him so we can go forward with proper treatments.

    Would I have had to pay this money eventually if something else brought up an issue? Maybe, but maybe not. Hard to know. All I DO know is, I trusted the site because the people who make Acana and Orijen supposedly run this trustworthy company with a glowing reputation.

    Let this be a lesson. Always read the label no matter what other information you get, and, never trust a company 100% to track their ingredients, know their ingredients or to inform you fully. Sad but true.

    These little things don’t mean much to some people, but for other dogs, it makes a huge difference to health and even suffering.

  • Caroline Capobianco

    Wow! That’s $128 USD for the 28 lb bag. Over here it’s $78 USD for the 28lb bag of grasslands. Crazy! Is all dog food that expensive in NZ or just brands imported from Canada?

  • Jimjam

    Swapped my 3 dogs over from Royal Canin zEnergy 4800 to ACANA Grasslands about 1 month ago, have an older boy with a sensative gut & 2 high energy shepherds, one which seemed to have quite a dry coat. yearly medical for 1 shepherd this week and the vet commented on how healthy is, and how beautiful his coat is – also noted he now has a lovely heart rhythm (it used to be quite fast). not sure if the food has anything to do with this but obviously lots of noticable improvements in just over 1 month with a change to ACANA. it is VERY expensive here though – $154NZD for 13kgs!!!

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  • DaisynDash’s food guru

    I have been told by my vet that pet food high in proteing content is ok for dogs who get a lot of exercise and are high energy dogs. She did not recommend Acana or Orijen for my two yorkie/bichon x’s because they are pretty calm, and not too interested in tearing up the yard. She felt that the protein content would be too much for them.

  • DaisynDash’s food guru

    I live within throwing distance of the company that makes Acana, and it’s just as expensive here! But, you can’t beat the guarantee that it’s all good North American quality food – no worries about asian bird diseases. That being said, I switched to Simply Nourish Grain Free, the pups seem to be doing well on it, and the cost is not as prohibitive – it has a decent 4-star rating on this site.

  • Jon

    I can not say enough good things about this food, it has made a night and day differance in our terrier, more energy, skin issues gone, firm stool !!! I feed Acana grassland, worth every penny. Dog is 4yrs old and was on california naturial since a pup which I would NOT ever ever ever feed my dog again even if it was FREE !!!!!!
    (Switched from cali due to its recall, $400 in vet bills later, all they offeredwas free vouchers for more of their food – ya just what I want, not)
    However that experiance brought me to find this food Acana and my terrier is like a new dog – THANK YOU Acana for making a quality pet food.

  • John

    My dog switched from california natual to ACana and it is like night and day BETTER
    I will never go back.!!!!!
    Thank you for making a Great product.
    MY DOG IS 110% BETTER..

  • kendyll

    I add a little bit of Grandma Lucy’s freeze-dried and they devour it every time. First I put in the freeze-dried, mix with water and let sit then add Acana at end right before I feed them so it stays hard and crunchy for their teeth. Grandma’s is very high quality you can see it’s rating here on the site under freeze-dried. : )
    I also change Acana flavors often.

  • You have to go to and check out the thread called “share your pug slump” and “slump off!”.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Soooooo cute!!!!!!!!!

  • Mary McCulley

    I love Acana Grain-Free. My dog seems to really like it a lot..we switched from Blue Buffalo a few months ago. Her coat is shiny and I can rotate between the different proteins. I feed her 1/3 cup 2x day (she’s about 10.5 lbs) and it seems perfect. Super happy with this brand.

  • J. McNeely

    Orijen dog food is also made by the same company. I move easily between Acana and Orijen flavors over the last couple years.

  • Ashes

    I feed my (rescued) Pug Acana’s Pacifica grain-free food and she LOVES it. She loves the fishy flavour profile, and it gives her a gorgeous coat. We’ve found the “sweet spot” for the amount to feed her to maintain her weight (1/3 cup twice daily) although she would be happy to eat the whole bag, I’m sure.

    The only thing I would ever change about this product is to have a smaller kibble! 🙂
    She has had some bad teeth removed (previous owners didn’t take good care of her) so I have to soak her kibble a bit so she can chew it. Those are some big kibbles for such a tiny mouth and few teeth! 🙂

  • Pattyvaughn

    Look at Nature’s Variety Instinct and Nature’s Logic. Feeding a rotation of different foods is better for your dog anyway, so instead of letting his boredom catch you off guard, be proactive and near the end of each bag find the next food you are going to try.

  • sportsmedicine

    I started out feeding my Lhasa Ahpso with Blue buffalo puppy. He did very well on it. from 8 weeks old. After about 6 months he started getting bored with it and only ate in grudgingly. I switched him over to Acana Wild Prairie and Grasslands, and he loved it. His stools are very firm, and his coat is wildly shiny and healthy. My groomer said he’s one of the best looking dogs she has, and wondered if we were going to “show” him, which we are not.

    Admittedly, after 6 months of being on Acana now, he is getting bored, and will only eat it when he knows we arent going to feed him from the table (which we never do).

    I wish there was a dry dog food he would devour on sight. I want to give him something he loves, but am afraid to sacrifice the quality of Acana.

    Im going to try switching to different Acana foods, but was just wondering if anyone out there has tried another brand thats as healthy as Acana?

  • Ashley

    Wow – how many dogs do you have? I at one point fed 4 big dogs Acana for almost half that. If you are buying at a store you might see if’s price is lower. That is who I order from.

  • Golden Mama

    I have a Golden Retriever girl who is 5 years old and just had her 5th knee surgery on the same knee since April due to multiple complications. The year before she had 3 knee surgeries on the other knee. I began researching joint supplements and found one that was initially created for use in horses with clinical studies to support its effectiveness. They began to make the same supplement for dogs and began studies for canines as well. My vet did a lot of research on it after I brought it to him and he has recommending it to all of his ortho patients. Emmie has been on this supplement and I will tell you that I believe 300% that it has made a significant difference in her joint mobility and post op periods. You can go to to read the info. I buy mine either on Amazon or Ebay. I hope this helps and I can tell you that it has worked for us!!

  • truestory

    I’m not an expert on any of this stuff, but I will tell you that my dog (a French Bulldog) struggled with loose stool for ages — he had a sensitive stomach, strained to poop at times, in the evenings had a little blood in his loose stool, etc. He had no parasites or polyps, he responded well to a couple of days of antibiotic but, after a while, his loose stool returned.

    Like your Helios, he has had some luck with a single-source protein (Venison) grain-free food. This seems to work best for him and reduced his runny/bloody stool but it did persist. I was given a sample of probiotic powder to add to his meals and he immediately responded — I add a teaspoon of Dr Goodpets Digestive Enzymes for Dogs to his dinner each night and, no joke, the day after feeding him the probiotic he had perfect stool. No strain, firm, only poops twice per day, no blood. He has more energy than ever, is excited for meal time and has put on a bit more weight (which he needed). Perhaps a probiotic will help and, from what I understand, it can’t hurt. Maybe your favorite pet store can given you a sample?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Then why not feed raw? It costs me just under $200 a month to feed two large (68 lbs. and 75 lbs.) and active dogs raw.

  • CJW

    I love the way my dogs look on Acana. They are so healthy, and shine as bright as raw fed dogs.
    That said, it costs us just shy of $400 a month to feed our four dogs.
    It’s too much.
    It would be crazy cheaper to feed raw

  • Murphs mom

    I’m in New York. I understand the food is brought in from Canada but as I said it’s getting a little hard to handle! I will check out the other suggestions. Thanks!

  • Storm’s Mom

    in addition to Hound Dog Mom’s recommendations, also check out Nutrisource Grain Free..particularly the Lamb Meal and Chicken formulae. Are you in Canada, by chance? If so, I have a couple other recommendations that are widely available here but not really, if at all, in the US, so I’ll only mention them if you’re in Canada. Let me know…

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Check out Earthborn, Dr. Tim’s or Victor. All have 5 star grain-free formulas for under $55 for the largest bag. I’ve always been a big fan of Champion’s products (Orijen/Acana) but I’m beginning to think they’re charging more than the product is worth. I saw Regional Red retailing for nearly $100 for the large bag – no kibble is worth that much. If someone has that much money to spend on dog food they should be feeding canned, dehydrated or raw – imo.

  • Murphs mom

    I love the Acana and so does Murphy . I just purchased the large bag of Grasslands and it’s gone up to $83.00. I really getting out of hand.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Ysabella –

    I’d recommend using a joint supplement designed for humans – they tend to contain the same ingredients as supplements made for dogs however they generally cost much less per dose and are likely to be of higher quality. If you have younger dogs without joint issues and are just looking for a maintenance/preventative supplement a basic glucosamine/chondroitin supplement or something such as green lipped mussel or shark cartilage would be fine. For a senior dog or a dog with pre-existing orthopedic issues I’d recommend a combination of joint maintenance and anti-inflammatory supplements. Some supplements, in addition to those previously mentioned, that are beneficial for joint maintenance are MSM, hyaluronic acid, sea cucumber, velvet elk antler, esterified fatty acids and eggshell membrane. Supplements with anti-inflammatory effects include high doses of omega 3’s, boswellia, turmeric (curcumin), bromelain, tart cherry, white willow, yucca or microlactin. Glucosamine/chondroitin type supplements are very safe and I’d suggest starting at the rate of about 500 mg. glucosamine per 25 – 35 lbs., after improvement is seen the dose can be cut usually be cut to about 250 mg. glucosamine per 25 – 35 lbs. As a general rule, human supplements can be given in the following doses: 1/4 recommended human dose for small dogs, 1/2 recommended human dose for medium dogs, 3/4 recommended human dose for large dogs and the full human dose for giant dogs. As always, if there’s a supplement you’re not sure about consult your veterinarian.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Too bad this can’t be made into a sticky, so that there is a place to send everyone that brings this up again. I don’t suppose you cound start a new topic over on the forum and post this, could you?

  • SandyandMila

    I have no experience with joint supplements yet but found this link for you. It also has a list of supplements NOT to get due to being tested positive for lead. Hope this helps. 🙂

  • Tae

    Thank you for the info!

  • Ysabella

    Which high quality joint supplement which you recommend?

  • Ashley

    As someone who feeds Acana Regionals to three dogs, I wanted some clarifications on this. I emailed Champion. Here is their reply:

    Hi Ashley,

    Thank you for your email, I’m pleased to hear that the ACANA Regional diets work well for your 3 dogs! I’ll try to answer all of your questions below, I apologize for the length of the email. 🙂

    In over 27 years of making ACANA, we have never had a recall. When it comes to food safety, we follow the same protocols as any food processor making human foods. Our Quality Assurance protocols require all products must have a negative Salmonella lab result from a Government of Canada accredited laboratory before shipping-there is no exception to this policy.

    The FDA regularly examines and samples all food products entering into the USA, and on January 31, 2011 the FDA concluded that a sample of ACANA Grasslands Dog “appears to contain Salmonella”. The FDA refused the product for import and issued an Import Alert. This resulted in border crossing delays and subsequent shortages of ACANA Grasslands Dog.
    Although all of our previous lab results showed negative Salmonella results, the FDA required extensive additional sampling. Champion complied with all FDA requirements, sending samples of ACANA Grasslands Dog to a third party FDA certified lab. Without exception the test results from each sample tested negative for Salmonella.
    While these samples tested negative for Salmonella, the FDA maintained an Import Alert until they finalized their documentation process, this was a very lengthy process.The ACANA Grasslands product was never recalled, having never tested positive for Salmonella.

    Chicken Meal
    All of our fresh meat ingredients and many of our fruits and vegetables originate in Canada. There are some however that do not. While our focus is “fresh and regional”, our greatest objective is always to be ‘Biologically Appropriate’, which means matching our foods to the eating anatomy of dogs and cats. As high protein dry dog and cat foods cannot (yet) be produced using fresh meats alone, we use the highest quality dried meat ingredients that are available. For example, in the case of chicken meal, the highest North American quality is without question from the USA. It’s important to note that we do not source from any US producer, but from one of the 2 USA chicken processors that produces chicken meal exclusively from USDA chickens that are passed ‘fit for human consumption’ by the FDA, and that has the appropriate European Union quality designations (EU 1774).

    While there are producers of chicken meal in Canada, none are producing from chickens passed fit for human consumption and none attain the ingredient quality available from our US supplier (which is, by the way, also much more expensive than the Canadian suppliers). At present, Canadian chicken meal is made with spent hens (from egg laying operations) as well as chickens that have died, but are not processed in a federally inspected facility, or were not passed as ‘fit for human consumption’ by the Government of Canada.
    When faced with choices we are again guided by our Biologically Appropriate mandate and know that our consumers expect us to uphold the highest possible standards. In this case, chicken meal made from chickens passed fit for human consumption in a USDA certified facility is preferable to local chicken meal made from chickens not subjected to any standards and certainly not passed fit for human consumption.

    I think that the confusion with the article by Freshwater Fish Company comes down to terminology. The Freshwater Fish Company considered a “by-product” to be what is left of the fish after the fillet has been removed and sold into the human market. In the pet food industry a by-product refers to parts of the animal or fish that would not be classified as fit for human consumption.

    All ORIJEN and ACANA meat and fish ingredients are produced exclusively from animals and fish that have been passed as fit for human consumption, and all are produced in human grade facilities (no by-products, no 3-D animal parts). After the fish has had the fillets removed we put the fish rack through a process that allows us to pull the remaining meat off the carcass. It is the remaining meat and fat that we are using, a very high quality ingredient- the same fish that goes into human-grade “fish cakes”.

    Previous to Champion’s partnership with The Freshwater Fish Company of Canada, they only used the traditional cuts of fish. After fillets were removed, the rest of the fish was disposed of.

    In 2005, Champion approached Freshwater Fish Company and proposed that we provide them with the processing equipment necessary to remove the remaining meat from the fish rack — provided they sell the fish to us exclusively and that it be fresh. If we did not purchase this fish, and the Freshwater Fish Company owned their own processing equipment, this fish could be sold to the human food market for use in fish cakes. Did you know that most of our fish is Kosher too?

    On November 20, 2008, Champion Petfoods announced a voluntary recall of its ORIJEN Cat food brand sold in Australia. The recall was restricted to AUSTRALIA ONLY and was issued in response to reports from the Australian veterinary community of cats showing symptoms of a neurological syndrome after consuming ORIJEN CAT food.

    The recall was unique to Australia and did not affect any of the other 50 countries to which ORIJEN is exported. The Australian cases resulted from the high-level irradiation (exceeding 50kGY) applied to ORIJEN upon entering Australia. Champion Petfoods no longer exports or sells its ORIJEN pet foods in Australia.

    The Australian government has officially accepted that irradiation applied to ORIJEN was indeed the cause of the problem with the Australian cats, and has now banned the practice of irradiating cat foods entirely. Please see below for a link to the latest article in the Sydney Morning Herald.

  • jc

    I have a maltase too who has had gastro problems also. 7 years ago I switched to home made and she’s doing great and had good blood work. I make enough for a month and freeze . Whole breast and thigh chicken, frozen peas, blueberries, raspberries, sweet potatoes, carrots apples, kale. we check her blood about every 6 mos. to make sure she’s getting all the nutrients she needs. She will be 18 in October.

  • cha

    I’ve been feeding the Grasslands to my Dane for the last few months… and it’s worked wonders. My dane has a prettier, shinier coat and her flatulences have disapeared (either that or they no longer stink!)

  • jasont333

    Got the Wild Prairie for my shih-poo. It’s an upgrade from the Blue Buffalo Life Prot Formula. I’m slowly transitioning. It passed the taste test as she readily ate 1 piece.

  • Tae

    Is anyone aware of the Champions recalls in Australia?http://www.wherearethepetfoodc

    – Acana had an importation ban at least once for salmonella.
    – Documents produced after the Australian recall named Griffin Industries in Alabama as the source of Chicken Meal.
    – Their ‘fresh fish’ is basically just by-product. It states they recently signed an exclusive contract with Champion Petfoods has an exclusive contract with Freshwater Fish to sell them all their minced by-products. Prior to that Freshwater Fish “had been paying to have the waste trucked to a rendering facility”.The article says that after Champion tested some samples, “a product was developed”.

    What are your thoughts about this?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Tae –

    I have never seen a kibble with high enough levels of glucosamine or chondroitin to provide any therapeutic benefit. If your dog is in need of joint supplements I’d recommend purchasing a quality supplement to give in addition to the food.

    Protein does not cause weight gain. In fact, protein is one of the least calorie dense nutrients. Protein and carbohdyrates both provide 4 kcal. per gram while fat provides 9 kcal. per gram. Overfeeding (consumption of too many calories) causes weight gain – not any particular nutrient. You will need to compare the calorie content of your old food to the calorie content of Orijen and adjust accordingly.

  • Tae

    Hi, I have 3 months old Pomeranian currently fed Canidae. I’m convinced to switch the food to Acana because of the Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate in the kibble. Would the amount of Glucos and Chondroitin in the food help with his joints?

    Secondly, I do not want my puppy to gain weight. In fact, I was told it’s better for his joints to be little skinny. And I know Orijen is high in Protein and will make the puppy gain more weight. What are your thoughts on Acana about this? Could I just put food in the bowl like how I’m doing right now?(because he just eats good amount himself)

    Also, I’ve seen lots of articles that Orijen poop smells the worst. How about Acana’s?

    Finally, if i was to get Acana, which one do you recommend for this little guy?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Tere –

    I second Cyndi’s recommendation of “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” – it’s my all time favorite homemade food book. 🙂 I’d also recommend checking out – they have a great section about homemade diets (both raw and cooked). If you’re really concerned about balance you may also want to consider using a “pre-mix”. Pre-mixes vitamins, minerals, whole foods and, in many cases, fruits and vegetables – you add boneless fresh meat (cooked or raw) and, optionally, up to 20% fresh ingredients of your choosing (eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, nuts/seeds, tinned sardines, etc.) to create a balanced meal. has a list of the various pre-mixes available – my personal favorites are “See Spot Liver Longer Dinner Mix” and “Urban Wolf.”

  • denise0331

    Their prices have increased and their bag got smaller!

  • tokyoYR

    I’m feeling the price increase too, but it is true that if you want good food, you gotta pay good money.

    Cheap food comes with its costs (pun intended), and I’m glad Champion is maintaining their standards rather than cut corners and bank on their name.

  • Cathy

    Hi (I’m new) and need HELP.

    I really appreciate all the time
    and effort

    from all that participate in this forum. Very

    good information.
    I’ve been stalking the

    dog food isles at my pet store trying to

    come up with a feeding plan for my three dogs.

    I have a two-year-old Havanees (Helios)

    that has a VERY sensitive stomach. A month ago his

    stools became bloody/watery.

    The vet checked his blood and determined he doesn’t have

    Vet placed him on Royal Canin

    Veterinary Diet Gastro Intestinal (low fat) first three

    Ingredients: rice, chicken meal, wheat. Crude protein 20.5%,

    Fat 5.0%, fiber 3.6%. Stools are fine, no more blood or diarrhea.

    Helios gets diarrhea if he eats “any” human food. Before the

    bout with bloody stools/diarrhea he ate dry single protein

    source Wellness Super5Mix Complete

    Health Whitefish and Sweet
    Potato,(protein 22%

    fat 12% fiber 4.5%, grain source-barley & sweet potato)

    I can’t see keeping him on the
    Royal Canin

    Gastro intestinal low fat forever. What do you

    recommend? It
    doesn’t matter if its dry, canned or

    raw etc.

    I also have an 8-year-old Norwich Terrier (Max). He’s

    been eating the above mentioned Wellness Whitefish

    Sweet potato. I noticed this food is not on the

    best dog food list.
    Any suggestions on what to feed?

    I also have a 4-year-old Havanees (Tutupu) …very picky

    He’s been on the above mentions Wellness Whitefish and

    Sweet potato and doesn’t like it. I started him on dry Acana

    Burbank Potato Formula, (protein 28% , fat 17% and

    fiber 4%,
    single grain source -oats} a couple of weeks ago and

    he likes it. After reading all the posts regarding
    chicken, turkey,

    duck, eggs, beef, lamb, fish, fish oils, rice, grains, etc. etc. etc.

    I’m not sure what to feed to whom :>)

    Should I feed or can I feed the Acana to Max and Tutupu?

    Max will eat

  • Maybe their still recuperating financially from their kitchen fire!

  • sparky

    why have they increased their prices again!!!???? 2 major increases over a short period. it’s getting pretty expensive to feed my 2 dogs now. I love the food but come on.
    $75 for a 13kg now.

  • Cyndi

    Hi Tere, 2 books that come to mind, that I know are often recommended on here are “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown & Real Food for Healthy Dogs & Cats” by Dr. Karen Becker.

  • Tere

    Dear Mike,
    I fed my 4yr old maltese Sojos (turkey) for a while, and she got tired of it after a couple of years. After trying other diets with higher pro tein content, she got a bit sick. Maybe it was her pancreas? The vet could not figure it out. Anyway, she’s always had gastrointestinal problems that come and go. I’m considering switching to a home cooked (or maybe, maybe raw) diet. With the raw, I fear her getting E.coli, etc….but I’m thinking that cooked at home will be better than the Acana Regionals Pacifica fish kibble she “agreed” to eat, after trying a bunch of other foods….including dehydrated brands such as Stella’s.Long introduction to my questionany suggestions for serious books on feeding a home diet, both cooked or raw…and making sure I feed her a balanced diet? Would love to know suggestions you might have!
    Thanks for all your help. Your website is amazing and a real generous act.

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  • Rob

    I would definitely switch him on Acana, due to the fact that your cocker spaniel doesn’t need that much protein in his diet. Origens is Acana, pretty much the difference is just the protein content and a few other things.

  • Shawna

    I’ve read on alternative blogs that bandaiding a cottonball, with ACV on it, on a mole will cause it to dry up and fall off too. You have to protect the skin apparently and the suggested product on the site was vaseline – ughhh.

  • Cindy

    Yes, I read all that about the ND. You know in India they use Ginger powder for pain. So when you have arthritis, you mix some powder with water and make a pack to put on the body part, it works wonders too. I also use vinegar for insect control, Lemongrass is very good too. So is Sage, Lavender, and Red cider bark oil, not sure if spelled correctly. It takes care of everything, and Orange oil as well as coffee for termites; not sure how we got off subject, but I thought I mention it. Vinegar works well for ants as well. I could go on of course…

  • Shawna

    Very interesting (about the vinegar and equilibrium)!!

    I too use white vinegar for cleaning.. Add a little lemon or lemongrass essential oil and I’m not offended by the vinegar smell :)..

    Sometimes you simply have to go with what works the best for the situation. Example — I’m not opposed to taking allopathic medicines if the situation warrants but I do try to stick with alternatives as much as possible.

    I use ACV in my pups food as well. It helps with digestion by creating a more acidic environment which stimulates more efficient protein digestion. There’s been about 4-ish times in Audrey’s life that she has had an upset tummy. I dilute the ACV 50/50 with water and syringe it in. Works every time…within minutes if not sooner..

    I’ve mentioned this before but not sure how long you’ve been reading the site—–did you ever see me mention that my dad is a naturopath and master herbalist? My mom is trained in several different modalities but never got her ND license. Dad used to experiment on me — mentioned I had some localized pain at one visit and he concocted a supplement for me. Main ingredient was hot pepper which has a chemical called Capsaicin that relieves pain.. I would have forgotten about the pain from the burning gut anyway but it did work :).. It actually wasn’t bad but my dad did laugh and said something like “you forgot about the pain didn’t you” :)…

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve poured it on a wash cloth, wiped down the area, and held it in place for a while and had swelling go down, redness disappear, and what looked like forming pustules dry up with in a couple hours of application.

  • Cindy

    Shawna, I agree with you on the alcohol issue. This is why I use Hydrogen Peroxide with a cotton ball to clean out his ears. Only if this doesn’t help I will use the product K9; however, Vinegar just did not help in my case for his ears. However VINEGAR esp. WHITE VINEGAR is the BEST!!!!I just bought a smoky house and everyone tells me to use the chemicals; not necessary, clean the smoke with vinegar, put a bowl of white vinegar in the room and smoke smell is GONE. Without vinegar it does not work! I’m a fan of white vinegar, it is awesome! Also for cleaning. I also put apple cider vinegar into my dogs food, just a little bit, like 3 drops for all 3 dogs, so they don’t smell it. It is a miracle!!!!
    I also read once online from a vet that the vinegar helps the equilibrium in their ear, I don’t remember the entire story, but I believe it is great, just not good enough in my ear case issue.

  • Shawna

    Thanks Cindy 🙂

    Like Betsy I’m a bit concerned about the alcohol.. There are very specific instructions to not consume isopropyl or rubbing alcohol. But when you apply something to the skin you can still absorb the product. So is rubbing alcohol only toxic if consumed due to possible damage to the oral cavity or is there other reasons that would make it dangerous for absorption through the skin too???

    I know it is damaging when inhaled so this alone makes me weary of it or any product with it as the main ingredient..

    Check page 28 of this center for disease control paper (I’d copy/paste but can’t)
    Granted, not as much would be used as was used in these 4 individuals but……..

  • Shawna

    Cool!!! Thanks for the first hand account.. I never really would have thought of using it for an environmental allergic reaction..

  • Cindy

    Shawna, my Springer is having these issues, I tried Apple cider, but it doesn’t work as well as the K9 Liquid Health product; Ingredients; Alcohol, Boric Acid, Gentian Violated Colloidal Silver. This K 9 solution works 100%.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’ve seen that in action and it is impressive.

  • Shawna

    In the Whole Dog Journal link I posted above in a reply to Betsy’s post 🙂

  • where is that?

  • Shawna

    Did you see Volhard’s use of it for the allergic reaction? That’s REALLY impressive IMO!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I only specify white vinegar because as a horse person the old adage is “ACV for the inside, white vinegar for the outside” I’ve never come across anyone who knew why. I use ACV if that is what I have on hand when I need it.

  • Betsy Greer

    Ah ha! I was wondering if that was OK when Patty was talking about reacidifying with vinegar. I have a fresh bottle on hand! : )

  • Shawna

    Apple Cider Vinegar popped into my head as I was reading through these posts so I googled it. 🙂

    Found a Whole Dog Journal article
    ” When applied to the ears, clears and prevents ear infections.”

    Plus A LOT of other benefits 🙂

  • Cindy

    Betsy, there is a product called K9 ear cleaning solution, it is amazing for these issues, the only product that works on my springer. Other people had amazing results as well. You get it on amazon and you can read the reviews it is a very good product, where superior to everything else I have tried.

  • Pattyvaughn

    She would.

  • Pattyvaughn

    That is a very good one!! If you have raw areas, you can make it up without the rubbing alcohol.

  • Betsy Greer

    I feel like Toxed would say to omit the rubbing alcohol.

  • Pattyvaughn

    If there are any scratches or raw spots, I would use that instead of the other until the rawness is cleared up. The swimmers ear solution does sting.

  • What do you think of this one? This is a pug wrinkle/ear solution.

    1/3 cup Rubbing Alcohol
    1/3 cup White Vinegar
    1/3 cup Witch Hazel
    10 drops (give or take) Tea Tree Oil

  • Betsy Greer

    Thank you so much, Patty! I’m going to start doing this with him today.

    Oh, and I just remembered that I have a bottle of ear oil (garlic, olive with mullein flowers & St. John’s Wort). I know this won’t reacidify, but could it or should it be used in a cleaning / ear health program?

  • Pattyvaughn

    A lot of the yeast and bacteria that like to grow in ears don’t like an acid environment. The GSD that I used to have, that had constant yeast infections and swimmers ear, was the reason I found out about this. After you clean the ears, you can use aswimmers ear solution to dry and reacidify. I have always made my own out of 1 part rubbing alcohol and 1 part white vinegar, but Toxed says to omit the alcohol. It still works without the alcohol, it just doesn’t dry as well. I keep it in a squirt bottle in a warm location and pour about 1ml into the ear canal then insert a cottonball and massage the base of the ear. Soak up as much as you can with the cottonball out of the ear canal and wipe down the inside of the earflap, then let your dog shake its head.
    I wouldn’t say it is crucial normally, but with a chronic problem the extra step may make a huge difference.
    On Ronny, I used the swimmers ear solution after he had been treated off and on for 4 or 5 years. I used it every time he swam or was bathed after that, but he never got another yeast infection or any other ear problem, and he lived to be 14 years old. This was before I knew about diet and probiotics, but I still think it would help knock down ear problems faster than diet and regular cleanings alone.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hey Patty,

    I just read what you wrote about “reacidifying” ears after cleaning with Zymox. Sam’s ears looked great, but last weekend, I cleaned them with Zymox (according to directions ~ massage into ear canal and wipe out the excess with a cotton ball). Ever since, he’s been flapping his ears and I just looked at them and their dirty!

    So, what’s the reacidifying step about? Is this a crucial step that I missed?

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Bebe, your dog may benefit from a grain & potato free food. Go over to our forum, go to the dog food ingredients subforum and look at my stickie for a list of those foods.

  • Cindy

    Hi Bebe,
    I don’t know if you read my post but I have the same issue with my Springer Spaniel, and believe me the K9 solution as mentioned below by Liquid Health and the Horizon Pulsar do wonders. Much superior to the vet products, antibiotics and all of that. You wash ear every day with Hydrogen peroxide on a cotton ball, then rinse with the K9 solution 2 times a day, it dries out the ear canal, and is amazing. You can read the reviews on amazon, other people had also amazing results! My Springer also gets the yeast infection on origin Horizon Pulsar is the only food he doesn’t get it on.

  • bebe tc

    Hi thanks so much for your help, hes been on Orijens red for about 4 months, and I clean hes ears every week with a solution from our vet, hes shaved right now because I like to keep him like that for the summer, but before orijens he was pretty much hes entire life on natural balance sweet potato and salmon diet grain free, I pretty much change his diet thinking that something else could better for him but nothing is helping I am going to try to add plain yogurt and other thinks to try to make a change for him, again if you know anything I am up for suggestions.

  • Pattyvaughn

    How long have you had him on Orijen and is it the new formula that just came out or the old one. Is your groomer cutting the ear hair for maximum air flow? Probiotics are a must, because the good bugs in the gut compete with the bad for food and having an imbalance anywhere affects yeast growth. Then you need something like zymox to clean his ears with, and finally, you need to reacidify his ears with a bit of vinegar on a cottonball. This will sting a bit if there is broken skin, so it might be wise to make sure the tissue looks intact first.

  • Cindy

    Hi Bebe, I don’t want to sound like a broken record on this forum as I said this many times today; Try Horizon Pulsar, I find it the best food for allergies and the quality of the food is excellent, provides great digestion
    . Health extension/Vet’s choice tastes for dogs similar like Origin/Acana, without the bad digestion; this is an excellent food which provides excellent digestion.
    However, when you have yeast infection, it is that the yeast feeds of starch for instance, such as potatoes. Horizon Pulsar is potato free. I would also add probiotics/yogurt, which may improve situation. My springer has the same issue. What really helps is cleaning out his ears regularly with Hydrogen peroxide and what does the trick is rinsing the ear with a product called K9 ear solutions by Liquid health.
    Between the K9 ear solution and the Horizon Pulsar I promise you will have success!

  • bebe tc

    So I don’t feed my 7 year old cocker spaniel acana, but instead I give him Origens which I think is make by acana or the other way around, anyways he suffers from yeast infections quite often and unfortunately he is not doing any better, the problem with him is that he’s stools are quite loose and I don’t know what is causing that maybe too much of protein, any recommendation with a better grain free diet??? anyone….

  • Jala Duta

    Just switched my 7.5 month old mini aussie puppy over to Acana Wild Prairie and he loves it. I thought the kibbles would be too big, but they aren’t. Even our cat eats his Acana kibbles! I guess it must be good, because usually that scenario is the other way around 😛

  • Hi Concerned,

    Because there appears to be so much controversy and misunderstanding surrounding canola oil, we do “red flag” this ingredient in every dog food review on our website.

    However, based upon current science, we’re not so sure it would be fair to sweepingly condemn canola.

    That’s because (in the first place), not all canola has been genetically modified.

    What’s more, the actual oil produced from genetically modified canola is chemically identical to the oil produced from non-GMO seeds.

    It’s important to keep in mind that only the protein (DNA) in the GMO seed itself has been modified.

    In any case, here’s how we currently describe canola oil in of our reviews:

    Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

    Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.

    Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.[1. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)]

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

    Hope this helps.

  • Concerned

    I was always looking at your advice on dog food before I read that you accept canola oil. No one should consume canola oil, not even non-GMO. Because of the huge marketing ploy around it you have to look a little harder for the truth. But PLEASE, for the sake of the animals, do your homework on canola! THANK YOU

  • VanessaElizebeth

    Pretty good post.I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed in reading your

  • Pattyvaughn

    I don’t see a problem with doing that if your dog doesn’t have a problem with grains. Transition at a speed that keeps your dogs stool good.

  • Strey

    Is it okay to rotate my dog from grain free food to not grain free food.?

  • Pingback: Good Dog Food Each Day, Keeps the Vet Away! | And Foster Makes Five()

  • Guest

    Can I ask a question? Are the leafy plants young or old that she eats? And what does her stool look like? I have a reason for asking. 🙂

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Could it be bone? I believe Acana had some issues with bone in their kibble a few years back. I would contact the company – they have great customer service and I’m sure they’d like this issue brought to their attention.

    If your dog is a healthy weight according to the vet, keep her at that weight. Most people don’t know what a healthy weight looks like and when dogs are at a healthy weight will comment that they’re too skinny. My whole family tells me my dogs are too thin but I think they look great and my vet says they’re in perfect body condition. Being overweight is very unhealthy. If you wanted you could try a more calorie-dense food (although Acana is fairly calorie-dense) – the only problem is most higher calorie foods are also higher in fat and probably wouldn’t work for a dog prone to pancreatitis. I would say a better option would be to add a wet food or raw food to her kibble to entice her to eat on the days she’s not showing interest in her food (just watch the fat levels, as many wet and raw foods are high in fat).

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi khloepup –

    Grass fine, my dogs sometimes eat grass, but I wouldn’t let her eat leafy plants unless you know exactly what it is and that it’s safe to eat. Many plants are poisonous. Sometimes the consumption of grass is behavioral and sometimes it’s nutritional. Some things you could try would be adding a green supplement to your dog’s food (look for one with any combination of things like wheat grass, barley grass, alfalfa, sprouts, etc.) or there are kits to grow grass for pets, you can find them online or in pet stores.

  • Khloepup

    Or leaves. My vet also said this was normal unless she was vomiting which she isn’t I just find it concerning that she loves eating grass or leafy plants. Any help is much appreciated!!!

  • Khloepup

    Hi everyone,

    I may be over paranoid and have no idea what I’m talking about but have noticed some odd sharp looking pieces of some sort in the kibble of the acana ranch lands. They almost looked like sharp grains of rice, but they visibly stuck out of the kibble and were concerningly sharp. Has anyone ever looked at the kibble up close and noticed something Iike this???
    Also on a different note, my old English bulldog is at a healthy weight according to my vet but she is 44 lbs and you can noticeably see her ribs. People make comments all the time about her being too skinny but she has never been a big eater and has separation anxiety which I think definitely affects her appetite as well. I get excited when she eats, and she is a very active dog, any recommendations on supplements or possibly a different food? Her stomach is sensitive ( had pancreatitus when she was 1 ) and she is constantly wanting to graze on grass

  • sandy

    I called Acana in regards to this because I was also concerned with the canola in the ingredients list. They assured me the Canola they were sourcing is GMO free. Their ingredients are strictly regulated when they export to Europe, where GMO’s are not allowed.
    I am very strict with avoiding gmo’s and feel confident in buying their food.

  • aimee


    Based on the only study that I could find that evaluated this very issue I’d disagree that there is enough biotin in the egg yolk to offset the avidin in the egg white.

    Chicks grew poorly and had signs of biotin deficiency when raised on a diet with uncooked whole egg. The effect was worse when fed egg white without yolk and didn’t occur when fed egg yolk without white. This doesn’t mean I think the occasional raw egg will cause biotin deficiency in dogs though.

    As a side note, in several papers now I’ve read in humans the bioavailability of AA is quite poor in uncooked egg vs cooked egg. Haven’t found ileal digestibility studies in dog with raw egg so don’t know if same effect is seen. But I think it would be.

    I found small differences in vit and mineral in cooked vs uncooked egg but considering all the anti nutrients in uncooked egg and poor protein availability what are the real advantages of eating eggs uncooked?

  • Brinny

    I give my puppy a raw egg on top of his kibble every few days. I use eggs from a friend who has some hens. He loves it!

  • Shawna

    Hi crazy4cats 🙂

    There is a type of protein in egg whites called avidin that binds with the B vitamin Biotin. There is ample biotin in the yolk however to compensate for what is bound to avidin IF the whites and yolk are fed together. If feeding whites only (say to a dog that has pancreatitis and can’t handle the higher fat content of the yolk) it is best to lightly cook the whites til just opaque, which deactivates the avidin..

    As far as salmonella or bacterial contamination — that is generally believed to only be a concern in lower quality eggs. Lots of people including Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Josh Axe, body builders all across the world etc eat raw eggs regularly without issue. And dogs handle bacteria better than humans.

    Dr. Axe has a Berry Smoothie recipe on his website that calls for two raw eggs per cup of smoothie. That’s about the only way I could eat a raw egg — not fearful of contamination but the slime factor gets me :)..

  • crazy4cats

    Hi Shawna-
    So, you think it is fine to give dogs raw eggs? I’ve been giving my two a couple of eggs lightly cooked once a week. I’m nervous about giving them raw eggs. But, if it is more beneficial and not risky, I’ll try it out! Thanks.

  • Shawna

    Thought this info on Dr. Fosters and Smith website might be helpful in understanding omega 6/3 needs.

    Linoleic Acid is referred to as LA

    “LA is important because it optimizes water permeability in the skin. AA, on the
    other hand, in increased amounts, is the troublemaker among the fatty acids….

    Dull and Dry Hair Coats: Haircoats which are dull, brittle, and dry often respond to supplementation with essential fatty acids,
    especially LA. It has also been found that in some cases of seborrhea, there is a deficiency of LA in the skin. In these cases, supplements high in LA are useful. The addition of EPA and GLA is also beneficial in that it would help
    negate the release of AA from cells damaged because of this skin condition.”

    The article mentions the high LA amounts in sunflower and safflower oils. These are inexpensive oils but the kind we buy at the supermarket are HIGHLY processed and cause more harm than good — hydrogenated..

  • Shawna

    Hi Megan,

    Do you by chance poor the kibble out of the bag and into something else to store it? Or do you free feed? This exposes the omega fats in the food to air and light, both of which degrade the omega oils and make them rancid.

    I agree with Emilythevet. Poor coat and skin quality can helped by adding oils to the diet — organic/extra virgin coconut oil, omega 3 fish oil etc. But, it is linoleic fatty acids (a “good” omega 6) that is most beneficial for skin and coat. Most manufacturers use chicken fat, sunflower or safflower oil or canola oil for linoleic acid but depending on manufacturing, storage before you purchase it etc the fats can degrade. Linoleic acid is the only omega fatty acid required by AAFCO in dog foods however some manufacturers may use the minimum amount while others may use a little more.. It’s important not to add too much linoleic acid to the diet without the inclusion of omega 3 though so as not to create an imbalance.

    Protein is necessary for good skin and coat but TotW, at 36% protein, has enough for coat and skin health needs. Zinc is also important for skin/coat health. However TotW doesn’t have grains that bind with zinc and it must at least meet the minimum AAFCO requirements. Maybe it has the minimum but not as much as Acana?

    I like Patty’s suggestion to add probiotics and enzymes however quality counts with probiotics.. An easy way to make a very nutritious, inexpensive source of probiotics is to ferment (aka culture) vegetables (recipes online) or to add unsweetened kefir to the diet several times per week. Goat kefir is better than cow kefir but harder to find.

    Organic, free ranging eggs are a bit more expensive than regular eggs but adding one a few days per week to the kibble can greatly improve the overall nutrition by adding high quality protein and fats. The yolks are high in B vitamin biotin which is also good for the coat. DON’T cook the yolk or you damage the fats. Canned sardines can be added once a week too. I haven’t done the math but the eggs and sardines may be cheaper than the TotW canned and are definitely more nutritious.

    If you decide to add an omega 6 or 3 (or a combo) it is best not to skimp on price as the lower grade ones can be contaminated with mercury, can be rancid etc. Quality, and therefore usually price, counts with omegas.

    Nutrisource may resolve the coat issues you’re seeing but if not I hope I’ve given you some things to think about :)..

  • Megan

    How do you think that sounds? What would you change or modify? I am attempting to keep them all healthy, lean, satisfied with a special emphasis on GREAT skin/coat health as all 3 dogs’ coats quickly turn dull and rough on a poor diet.

  • Megan

    Thanks for all of the replies, guys! It was a pleasant surprise to log in and see how many people were offering their advice.

    I don’t believe I have ever seen nutrisource in my area, does anyone know of the common stores it is carried in? How much is the largest bag where you find it and do they have any grain free options? Also, how would you say it stacks up against taste of the wild? I noticed it got 1 star less here on advisor.

    Before I saw the nutrisource recommendation, here’s what I was thinking: taste of the wild wetlands with the occasional bag of high prairie and southwest canyon mixed in. Wet the kibble daily, but not letting it sit. Add fish oil daily. Allow then to have southwest canyon CANNED once a week.

  • Guest

    I wouldn’t waste your limited funds on pumpkin. Try the omega 6-9 oil which is the oil that canines can digest. You can pick some up at any natural health foods store (any brand will do). It won’t cost more than $10 for the bottle I assume.

  • EmilytheVet

    Add an omega 6-9 oil to her meal 1X/day. Prick the capsule and squeeze it over her food. You should see a definitive difference within 4 weeks. If no change, check her TSH and T4 levels at your DVM to rule out thyroid issues.

  • I agree with Patty on this. NutriSource is a great, budget friendly option. It does seem to be very well tolerated as well. I switched my new Golden pup to it without any transition (he was having lots of digestive issues and loose stool on the food the breeder had him on) and he did great on it.

  • Hi Megan,

    You’re hardly a bad pet parent. You’re, no doubt, making sacrifices to buy the highest quality food for your pet that you can. : )

    Lots of people, myself included, add supplements, either occasionally or regularly, to their dog’s food to help them derive maximum benefit from what they’re being fed.

    It’s definitely worthy of your concern that your pup seems to be in so much distress. I don’t want to be an alarmist, and I’d be curious as to what others who have far more experience than I would have to say about the possibility of bloat. Is your pup doing anything else unusual; ie: vomiting, salivating, lip-licking? Is her belly distended or is she passing gas in addition to the irregular bowel movements?

    After ruling out other, more serious, problems, I would definitely add probiotics and digestive enzymes. I use Mercola (… they’re expensive, but worth it. You might also try adding a spoonful of Greek yogurt or some kefir or the canned pumpkin Patty mentioned. My dogs don’t do great with dairy,but some people swear by it for their dogs.