Carna4 Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★½

Carna4 Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Carna4 product line includes 2 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.

  • Carna4 Grain Free Duck [A]
  • Carna4 Chicken [A]

Carna4 Chicken recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Carna4 Chicken

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Fresh chicken, chicken liver, eggs, organic sprouted barley seed, salmon, sweet potato, whole brown rice, organic sprouted flaxseed, organic sprouted lentils, organic sprouted peas, potato starch, apples, carrots, sea salt, kelp

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis28%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%19%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%39%35%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. However, raw liver contains about 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

The third ingredient includes eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The fourth ingredient includes sprouted barley seed. Unlike whole seeds, sprouted seeds are rich in digestible energy, vitamins, amino acids, proteins, and phytochemicals. And many of the minerals they contain can be naturally chelated.

What’s more, sprouted seeds can be expected to have a lower glycemic index than their refined grain counterparts.

The fifth ingredient is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

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

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 two notable exceptions

First, the company claims their sprouted seed ingredients, barley, flaxseed, green lentils and peas, contain “high levels of naturally-occurring, live probiotics”.

Probiotics are known to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

And lastly, although we find no mention of added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list, we’re reassured to find a detailed list of naturally present nutrients on the company’s website.

Carna4 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Carna4 Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.

In addition, we commend Carna4 for its unique use of sprouted seeds as opposed to the standard cereal grains found in most commercial kibbles.

As previously mentioned, these types of ingredients have the potential to provide additional nutritional benefits not found in their ground grain counterparts.

Bottom line?

Carna4 is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly 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.

Carna4 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

11/12/2017 Last Update

  • Renee

    I agree Mary L . Please update review.

  • kat

    My Corgi continues to thrive on this food, the new formula seems even more digestible. We add a splash of Answer’s raw goat milk to every meal. She loves it and looks great.

  • sandy

    For a little vitamin boost, I’ve sprouted seeds myself for the pups. I was buying seeds in bulk for my chickens anyway and sprouting for them. I started with sproutpeople dot org and used the 4 Legs of Love mix.

  • Pat

    I just read that Dr.Becker who is a holistic veterinarian that if you are going to feed dry kibble, this is the only one she would reccomend . That is why I was checking out the food, but I agree it is quite expensive.

  • Mary L.

    Carna4 has changed their formula, raising chicken and salmon protein and removing potato and rosemary. Replaced whole peas with organic sprouted peas. Review needs to be updated

  • kat

    I’ve been feeding the duck formula to my 13 year old Airedale for months now without any issues. All of the food is being digested, small firm poops as long as I don’t feed him any extra cookies. I always add plenty of warm water to the food, which helps break the food down. He is shiney and at a healthy weight. He throws up any other kibble or gets diarrhea… can’t handle raw food, either. Carna4 or Honest Kitchen are the only two foods he can handle, but the Honest Kitchen has him pooping 4-5 times a day. I prefer the Carna4 for that convenience alone. He poops 2, maybe 3 times per day if we go for a long walk on Carna4 duck.

    I also fed it to my corgi for several months and had no issues. Fat and shiney, firm small poops. She eats raw food (vital essentials), but when I was in a pinch for money I had her on Carna4 duck for about 3 months and she did beautifully on it. I can switch her back and forth between raw and Carna4 duck with no transition and no digestive issues.

    I do add a splash of Answer’s goat’s milk to their food as well, which adds probiotics to help with digestion.

    I did notice with my corgi was a very young puppy, when I first gave her Carna4 that sometimes a few kibbles would pass undigested. That stopped with some time. It could be a sign that the dog needs to boost their gut health. Young puppies should probably have the kibbles broken with a hammer, they are quite hard and their digestion is not the most robust. Especially with the amount of food they need to eat, food tends to pass through quite quickly.

    Not every food works for every dog, though! Thankfully we have many wonderful options nowadays!

  • DB

    I had high hopes for this food, but was a huge dissappointment. Because I added other ingredients to this food it took 3 months to figure out why my dog began to look malnourished. None of this kibble was being digested. Recently I found out that the same thing was happening to other dogs. I switched my dog to another kibble, checked to see if it was being digested and now she is beginning the road to recovery. I don’t know why this is happening, but just want to advise to keep checking if this food is being throughly digested, Just looking was not enough. I hope all of your dogs are doing well on it.

  • kat

    Been feeding this food (the duck formula) to my now 4 month old pembroke corgi puppy. I soak it in some Answers goat milk for moisture and additional digestive support and nutrition. She loves it, and after a short adjustment period, digested it very well. She was on TOTW puppy at the breeder.

    Her adult coat is starting to grow in, and it is soft, thick, and shiny. I like that the nutrient density means she doesn’t have to eat as much as some other foods, which also means less output, which obviously simplifies housebreaking. It smells like real food, I love that it’s not coated in grease like all other kibble, and the dogs seem to think its very palatable.

    My senior dog has had some teeth pulled and so I mix the Carna4 50/50 with Honest Kitchen to give him a softer diet. He also has a great looking coat and rich coloring. I also tried a small bag of the Chicken Carna4 and he did just as well on that as he does the duck. I just do the duck right now because I prefer the puppy be on the higher protein formula as she grows and its simpler to feed them the same thing. I also sometimes crumble in some freeze-dried raw food (stella’s, primal, k9 naturals etc) for variety and extra meat for the puppy.

    I think its a very nice food, and its the only dry “kibble” diet I feel comfortable feeding now, because of how minimally it appears to be processed.

    Someone asked to compare it to Orijen–its really no comparison. Orijen is a traditional extruded kibble–high quality ingredients, but they do use dehydrated meat meals and it’s extruded at high temperatures. Carna4 is all fresh ingredients, baked at low temps for a short period and then air-dried. Because of the use of fresh meat only, the protein content is going to be lower compared to Orijen, but it is very high quality and digestible protein. And the inclusion of sprouted seeds and grains is key and is part of how they are able to forgo synthetic vitamin/minerals.

    Carna4 is best compared to dehydrated or air-dried diets, rather than traditional kibble. I found their website to be a very helpful source of information for understanding the differences between Carna4 and “regular” kibble. I wont do traditional kibble diets anymore, regardless of how much “meat” is supposed to be in them–meat that has been cooked and processed to death!

  • Shawna

    I’m not a fan of “synthetic nutrients” as it is believed that they are not utilized as efficiently by the body. That said, it can be difficult to get all nutrients necessary using whole foods when formulating our own diets. This is where premixes come in. You use your meats (and sometimes veggies) along with the premix to balance the diet.

    Another good source of info is Dr. Karen Becker’s book And/or Steve Brown’s book

    I don’t remember where HDM’s diets are but one of the others will hopefully link to them.

    You can start today by adding some raw meat and veggies or raw eggs or whatever you have on hand to their evening meal. When not balancing the raw food, keep it to 20% or less of the total diet. Think outside the box too — cow heart is usually easy to find and affordable. It can be fed just like a muscle meat. When balancing a homemade diet you want about 65% (or more if feeding less veggies) muscle meat, 5% liver, 5% other organs (kidneys, lungs, pancreas etc) 20% (or less) veggies and 5% fruits. You will balance the phosphorus in these foods with either whole, edible raw meaty bones, bone meal or eggshell calcium. It’s a bit complicated but easy when you get it so start out by reading books or using recipes but don’t get stuck on using just one or two recipes as variety is too important.

    Again, while you are learning to balance the homemade diet, just start adding species appropriate foods to the kibble.

  • Brian Deppen

    Thank you for the fast reply! I would think we’d do the homemade and dry first as we aren’t feeding a 5 star dry food. I like the idea of homemade instead of commercial since we can control the the cost and ingredients. That said, we also need to be aware of budget…we have kids and while we want better for the dogs, food budget comes into play. If you could send a link for Hound Dog Mom’s recipes, we’d appreciate it….I did a search for Hound Dog Mom and 421 results came up…haha. Also, in reading various forums, it seems that supplements are important to make up what the commercial foods …any suggestions on this? Again, we’re newbies, so any advice is welcome! Thanks!

  • Shawna

    Hi Brian,

    There are many ways to incorporate raw into the diet depending on how devoted to raw you want to get. Adding fresh foods to the current kibble diet is often where people start. You can safely do this as long as the fresh food is kept to 20% or less of the total diet. Anything over that and you risk unbalancing the diet. If you chose a commercial, balanced raw diet you don’t have to worry about the 20% rule.

    If you want to jump right in, start transitioning from the current to the raw. If the current food is a high quality five star food you may not have to transition that slowly. I foster and I rarely get the old food that was fed so I just have to jump right in. I give canned pumpkin and a really good quality probiotic to help with the transition.

    Golden’s had a genetic predisposition to cancer (I’m guessing you know that) so foods like the spice turmeric, berries, lightly steamed cruciferous veggies, pineapple and some others would be good to incorporate as some of them (like garlic and turmeric) can help to prevent cancer and those plus others can help to cure cancer once it’s set in. Garlic, if using, should be fed raw and finely minced/grated, and in small amounts off and on to healthy pups. I can give you a list of cancer preventing/curing foods if interested.

    If you fully transition to raw, make sure to feed different protein/carb sources and different brands even. I use MANY different protein and about nine different brands along with premixes and grocery store meats.

    Some folks prefer home made and I think it can be the best food but if not balanced and not enough variety it can also be disastrous in the long run. Hound Dog Mom has some of her home made diets listed in the forum side of DFA. She does a fantastic job of balancing her diets. She’s got some great tips on keeping things affordable too — like buying ingredients from restaurant and grocery store suppliers instead of the store itself. Or go straight to the farm.

    Please let us know if you have an specific questions, would like clarification on something etc.

  • Julie

    Stella & Chewy’s in HPP raw, meaning it’s not “truly raw”, you’re better off making your own raw diet or going with a non-HPP commercial raw. Stella & Chewy’s is a “popular” food and certainly not at the top of the commercial raw list.

  • sharron

    i got a sample of this food and today gave it a try, she likes it but it’s high in calories. just wondering how it compares to orijen – does anybody feed it to their dog, if so, what are your thoughts on it. thanks

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I have a biosta sprouter. It’s really easy – all you do is soak the seeds then put them on the trays and rinse them once a day and in a few days – voila, sprouts! is a great resource, they also sell seeds and sprouters and this is a pretty good article explaining the basics – .

  • wow, thats awesome, how does one learn more about sprouting, i.e. is there a particular website to learn how to do this?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Allen –

    I actually feed my dogs a homemade raw diet. 🙂

    I do, however, enjoy “testing” new foods – kibble or otherwise. I’m intrigued by the use of sprouted ingredients in this food and I do like that there’s no meat meal. I eat predominantly sprouted grain products myself and while I don’t generally feed my dogs grains they get alfalfa sprouts, sprouted pumpkin seeds, sprouted sunflower seeds, sprouted flax, etc. I think sprouted foods offer superior nutrition to non-sprouted foods and I’m glad to see them being incorporated in a kibble. My dogs have tried Stella & Chewy’s, but it’s nothing I’d feed long term as it’s high pressure processed. My dogs have tried Earthborn as well – it’s a great kibble for the price.

  • Hound Dog Mom, don’t waste your money…if you want to spend the extra cash (equal to what you are paying for Carna4, but far better) go with Stella & Chewy’s, that’s real food dog. Carna4 is a dry kibble, it will fail every time to wet food. Anyways, another privately owned and mores successful dog food company called Earthborn makes dry kibble just as good and better than Carna4, plus it’s cheaper. Carna4 overprices there food, claiming your dog will be healthier, that’s not the case. Basically with Carna4, you are paying for really expensive rice and protein content, that’s infinitely cheaper than what they charge for it. Earthborn does not do that. I suggest asking a professional to verify everything I’ve said here, specifically a holistic veterinarian. Don’t get scammed by Carna4, they aren’t offering anything special, Stella and Chewy’s is at the top, while Earthborn is just as good if not better than Carna4 dry kibble.

  • I use a little extra almond milk with mine. There’s a bit of a texture to it. They have sample packs to try also.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I like the looks of that – I might have to try it out. I’ve been using the Amazing Grass Chocolate Green SuperFood shake mix – doesn’t have any sprouts.

  • I’ve been using off and on Garden Of Life Raw Meal vanilla. It has sprouted everything in it.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I tried a few bags of this food – my hounds loved it and their coats looked good. Unfortunately the protein is too low for my liking.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Yes….it sure is an expensive food! I will look into it if the dogs continue to do well with it. Lucy really likes it, but she also likes Mulligan Stew which is also a baked kibble with no synthetics added. They also have a food topper that looks interesting.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    That’s awesome! This food does look very interesting and I think they’ve got a great concept (I hope the use of sprouted foods in kibble catches on). I just wish they would up the protein content to at least 30% and use germinated brown rice instead of regular brown rice. I would like to try this food, but I can’t lose an arm and a leg at the moment. lol.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Hey, all! I recently won a facebook contest and netted a 6lb. bag and a package of Flora4 biscuits from Carna4. I’v been using the biscuits and also the kibble as treats and the dogs love them. So far, their “output” has not changed. I know how expensive this food is and it’s also hard for me to get, so I don’t know…..but it is intriguing.

  • losul

    strong possibilty. fish fats are particularly delicate

  • Pattyvaughn

    The fats have probably turned rancid.

  • I’d contact the manufacturer to ask them about the differences. It could be that they changed the formula, and didn’t tell anybody about it… happens all the time, unfortunately. What are the expiration dates on each bag? My store has been sent bags from our distributors that were about to expire, it may have happened to them.

    I’m not familiar with this brand, but it could also be the fresh chicken and chicken liver. A lot of fresh foods will be slightly different from one to another, which is totally natural. Probably not the case here, but I thought I’d toss that idea out there.

  • Hi,
    Ive been feeding my girls this and love it however I have one little concern/complaint. the first two bags had a significantly different scent then their third bag they are on now. I talk with the people at the store it is sold and I am told that I am the only one that buys the food (they now order it in for me) But these bags have been on the shelves there for a while because I am the only one that is buying it (they say cost is the main deterrant) I was wondering if it was possible for the food to go bad while being shelved – the initial bags had a aromatic herbal odor where as the current bag has a fishy odor and smells a bit ”off” Is there anything I should be concerned about?
    Thanks guys 🙂

  • Pattyvaughn

    Seniors have a harder time utilizing the protein in their diet and seniors still have the exact same need for protein that dogs of any age have. So they need more bioavailable protein just to get the same amount out of their diet. That means they need high levels of quality protein, meat protein. I wouldn’t feed this food to any dog, but especially not a senior.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi ChiGirlsPlusBIrd –

    It’s a myth that high protein levels tax the kidneys. When protein levels greater than what the body will utilize are fed to a healthy dog, the excess amino acids are catabolized and the waste nitrogen is excreted through the urine in a passive process that does not cause any stress to the kidneys. I have a senior, adult and puppy that all eat a homemade raw diet with protein levels greater than 50%. All are extremely healthy. Dogs are meant to eat a diet high in protein, moderate in fat and low in carbohydrates. I personally wouldn’t feed a kibble with less than 30% protein.

  • ChiGirlsPlusBird

    I am looking into changing my dogs dry kibble without raising the protein to levels unhealthy for their kidneys. Can’t continued high protein diet lead to kidney problems?? I think 24% is high enough for proper nutrition, why would anyone want a higher content unless it was a maybe a puppy formula. I wouldn’t think you would want it in a geriatric diet. Why in a maintenence diet unless you are trying to rebuild tissue?? I am confused by all these high protein diets for our beloved family members. Carna4 not being one of those. I am not trying to be confrontative I am just asking why would I need a higher protein content offered by many companies for my 7 year old Chigirl and 9 year old Chi-Imposter

  • Matt_C4

    Regarding Carna4: Thanks for you comments on Carna4. The sad truth is that the price of real food continues to rise and shows no signs of abating. For example, the price of eggs increased 23% in the U.S. in 2011. Many food companies have raised prices worldwide recently. 

    One hundred percent of Carna4’s ingredients are human-grade, many of them organic, and ALL are real food, nothing synthetic. Every single ingredient is sourced in North America, and all our products are made in Canada. This is a value for us – part of our mission to ensure strict quality control measures and purity in Carna4. The reality of using real food to supply nutrition instead of chemicals from overseas factories is that the final product will cost more. Our consumers know that organic foods are costly; fresh, raw foods are expensive. Yet it only costs approximately $20 a week to feed Carna4 to a 50lb dog. Compare this to other so-called “natural” foods, which, when analyzed ingredient per ingredient, would not pass USDA inspection and have often been the subject of dog food recalls. 

    Article from Forbes on the rising cost of food:

  • Schroeder Al

    It’s almost the same cost to buy pre-made raw patties from Stella and Chewy’s, which is the BARF diet, and blows this company out of the water.  $159 dollars for a 26 pound bag of dry dog food?  I think not Carna4

  • Pattyvaughn

    It’s too expensive, too low in protein, and too high in carbs for me.  And their website didn’t sell me at all.

  • I was really interested in Carna4 until I priced it today on The most “economical” bag was a whopping $6.15 per pound! That’s crazy!

  • Lorraine Dupuis

    I think this food is a good quality, and it is great for it’s natural ingredients, but I do think there could be more meats, and I don’t know why they would add rice to an otherwise fab ingredient list! My only beef is that the price is out of this world, especially because I can get Acana or Orijen for a better price and it is grain free. Also, I wouldn’t be so quick to lower protien levels, it can cause so many problems!

  • Shawna

    Cocaldsrt ~~ it really frustrates how wrong vets get things when it comes to kidneys..

    First though, some as innocent as mild dehydration can cause slightly elevated kidney values.  Or an infection that the body is fighting off.  A standard test to rule out kidney disease is a urinalysis..

    If a toxin is beleived to be the culprit (say tainted treats or grapes) then lowering protein during the emergency stage is standard and good practice.  However, with chronic kidney disease lowering protein and phosphorus too early in the disease does more harm then good.  AND, they have known this for many years..

    “Dietary Management of Chronic Polyuric Renal Failure from the SpeedyVet Clinical Nutrition Library —  Thus there is no evidence that moderate protein restriction slows the progression of renal failure in dogs, and it is not recommended in dogs which are not uraemic.

    Dietary Management for Clinical Disorders in Dogs from the Journal of Indian Veterinary Association, Kerala “Recent research on dietary protein and the kidney has shown that
    o dietary protein does not cause renal failure
     o dietary protein does not appear to be involved in the progression of chronic renal failure
    o inappropriate restriction of dietary protein may actually have an adverse effect on the normal or compromised kidney”

    More information like the above can be found here

    There’s a lot more of the same around the web like nutritionist Lew Olson’s website and Vets Drs Foster and Smith website.

    They also now know, as Bryan stated, that older dogs actually need more protein then adult dogs.  As much as 50% more.

    My puppy, the one in the picture above, was born with kidney disease.  She had symptoms (excessive drinking and urinating) as early as 6 weeks of age.  She has never had a rabies vaccine because she is exempt for life due to her kidney disease.  She has been on a raw diet her whole life with protein amounts ranging from 45 to 54%.  She is not ill, she is not on pharmaceuticals, she has never recieved sub-q fluid therapy etc.  She is actually VERY healthy.  She is also 6 and 1/2 years old..

    I don’t have a problem with Carna 4 except it is too low in protein and a significant amount of the protein **appears** to be from the sprouted grains/lentils.  You can easily add a high quality, high protein, balanced canned food to up the overall protein.  Ohh, it is inappropriate and does not help the kidneys at all to lower the phosphorus in a healthy dog. 

  • doggonefedup

    If you want lower protein, you might as well use Gentle Giants! Its under a dollar a pound and has an even lower protein level. I think the phosphorous level is lower also, but don’t quote me on that. 

  • BryanV21

    For medical reasons I can’t say otherwise, but for a healthy dog I don’t agree with lower protein. I don’t care if the dog is tiny like a Yorkie, or a workhorse sled-dog Husky. Dogs are carnivores, and need more protein… particularly animal-based. The idea that a dry food/kibble has too much protein for a dog is laughable to me, as most dry food is already too low in protein, and too high in carbs/grains.

    But whatever works, go with it. I just wanted to share that info.

  • Socaldsrt


    3 weeks ago I took my female dog to the vet for her annual checkup (blood work, urinalysis etc). Two kidney tests came back slightly elevated (she is 3 yrs old). The vet said not to worry as they were at .2 and suggested to re-check her in-house in a couple of weeks. In the meantime I kind of panicked. I read, read and asked questions from my vet, to friends and even consulted a specialist… I went that weekend and bought Carna4 as it has 25% protein and 0.8% phosphorous. The other food I was feeding her (and my male as well which I switched him to Carna4 too) had protein 38% and 1.4/1.6 % phosphorous. I did it mainly to see if it would make a difference in her re-check… her re-check came back normal. Not sure if it was food related, the lab the blood was sent to, or whatever… I was also advised by my vet to switch my male (he is 6 yrs) as well and that 38% is a little too much for them… 

  • BryanV21

    I’m curious why you wanted lower protein.

  • Socaldsrt

    So far we are happy with this food…. we switched from another brand (5 star) because we were looking for lower protein and lower phosphorous. 

  • monkey

    I have seen it anywhere from 140-160 for a 26lb bag.

  • Anyone know how much a large bag costs?  The small was $7.50 a pound (6 lb bag) on Amazon.  Didn’t have a large bag. Just curious. 

  • Well Fed has 3 formulas, all chicken free.

  • Well Fed has 3 formulas, all chicken free.

  • Leslie

    Hi Dawn and Waterwings, Sorry for the slow response and thanks for your interest in Carna4. Our long-term plans are to expand the line with other products, including those with alternate protein sources. However we don’t have any firm time lines yet, as our focus has been on the all life stages chicken, which was launched less than a year ago.

  • Waterwings

    Dawn – I second that comment..mine’s allergic to chicken, so I’m always on the lookout for new high-quality chicken-free products!! ..especially one made by a Canadian company! (I’m in Canada)

  • DAWN


  • DAWN

    ha ha ziti peak!!

  • Hi Milly,

    Salt (sodium chloride) is a common ingredient in the majority of dog foods. That’s because salt is necessary for life by most animals (including humans).

    It’s not salt alone that can be unhealthy – it’s too much salt that can be a problem.

    Unfortunately, since most manufacturers don’t disclose the actual amount of salt added to a recipe, it’s impossible to judge this ingredient reliably.

    Hope this helps.

  • Milly

    Why is there any salt in this dog food?

  • Shawna

    DogLover ~~ if you have any questions about raw, as you research, do ask..  There are many of us here that have been feeding raw for a long time.  Different people here have different feeding styles too. Can acommodate whatever style you want to give a go (commercial, raw meaty bones etc).

    I think I just looked at the ingredients of this food for the first time..  Not bad.  If you are going to feed grains, sprouted grains are definitely the way to go 🙂  Changes them from seeds to living nutritious foods.  Nice

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I order my dogs monthly treatment from equine mega store – Trifexis is a monthly chew tablet rather than the topical and it is also heartworm preventative and many other worms.

  • DogLover

    Her fecal for round worm, tape worm etc. came back clean. The vet did have a separate test for Giadia and it was positive. She was treated and re-tested negative. This was when I first  adopted her. I do not know if the Coccidia and Crypto were tested or not. I will ask in her upcoming February physical. FROMM said their food is interchangeable and no transition is required. In the summer, she was on 6 months of Revolution. I am thinking if a combination of Advantage and an all inclusive de-wormer (if it exists) will be better. Now she is only on  Advantage for the Winter.
    I did use pumpkin with FROMM and there was improvement in the stool consistency. I have been using natural yogurt with Carna4 and has further improvement. I am also thinking may be she is getting older and so her system is becoming stronger both physically and mentally (she has separation anxiety).

  • Bob K

     DogLover – Parasite tests are not 100% accurate due to test procedures and parasite lifecycles.   The Fecal test should include: Worms, Giardia, Coccidia and Crypto which some vets do not include in the std. test.   Exactly what parasites did the Fecal include?  Is your dog on a monthly parasite preventative? 

    Going through 4 or 5 different foods without success is a little strange.  You don;t just switch dog foods, you transition slowly over a several week process.  What else is your dog eating?  People food?  Treats?  Lake, River water?  Any pesticides, Herbicides other animal poopies?  Does your dog eat sticks, twigs, acorns, leaves?  Something seems strange.

    You can also try Yogurt and Pumpkin, you can google for more details on use with dogs. 

  • Dave

    I rotate Carna4 and I have also been through Fromm and Orijen neither worked for my dogs. Carna4 was a big improvement but I prefer higher protein lower carbs. I found Natures Logic to work well. If they increase the protein in Carna4 I will go back to it. Ziti peak airdried is also excellent.

  • DogLover

    My dog from Toronto Animal Services is now approximately 15 months old and weighs 60 lbs.
    She was first on Hill’s Science Diet for 3.5 months. Stool was good but I did not like the ingredients.
    We then switched to Fromm which is a very good dog food.
    Her stool became a bit soft for pick up. Her check for parasites and other things that could cause loose stool came back clean.
    We had the Chicken formula and White Fish fomula and one of them gave her gas.
    We then tried the Origin (adult) but did not work because stool was way too soft.
    We swithced back to Fromm and tried the grain free Surf and Turf formula. Stool quality was better than when she was on Origin but the food gave her eye deposit.
    We swithced to Carna4 in September.
    Stool quality has since improved and pick up has become much easier. I cannot tell if it is because she is getting older and calmer or if it is the food.
    However, her coat is really nice and soft, will not make you itch after cuddling her, no doggy smell and I have not given her a bath since.
    I probably will stay on Carna4 for now until someting better comes up or until I finish researching on raw diet. At that point in time I will re-consider the options available.

  • David Stauble

    Thanks for all the comments. One thing that needs to be added, especially following yet another pet food recall (this time for aflatoxins) is that Carna4 has no synthetic additives, which greatly reduces the risk of contamination. Yet we guarantee effective levels of 64 key nutrients which are supplied by 100% real food ingredients. Aflatoxin testing is just one part of our thorough QC program that involves thorough food safety testing of ingredients and the finished product whenever we make Carna4.

  • Thank you all for your comments and interest, which I wanted to acknowledge. Certainly allergies are complex and not all owners go through the intensive testing. My messages were not claims but references to the feedback we have received from some owners; some of which are on our website, along with details of our quality control and third-party testing.

    As for raving, we believe in our product, which is made with real food and baked versus extruded (the extreme heat and pressure-laden process used to make most dry pet foods). Apologies if this enthusiasm offended anyone. Please check our website if you want more details or email me directly and I’ll be happy to respond. 

  • Bob K

    Imthemonkey- my point was the raving Leslie was doing about this food, the dogs have sush great results – that claim is pretty weak just as saying your kids are healthy eating junk food, the results speak for themselves. This site is about food analysis, not some – gee we get great results, sounds like Sharon our friendly FRR seller. This sounds like a food with a few changes can be great. High carbs.

  • Gordon

    [email protected] – It is true that not all carbs are created equal and I agree that sprouted seeds are a much healthier with more nutrients released than that of  non sprouted same. But while your dog food is OK and under average circumstances, a dog would probably do well on it (Too deficient for cats), it is a cheaper alternative in the manufacturer of this food, than that of a food more closely resembling the “evolutionary” or “ancestral wolf” diet. The latter being still, a supreme food choice, than any others, especially in the form of raw just as Mother Nature truly intended.

    But for those that don’t want to or even consider what their dog would actually more prefer, then kibbles such as yours is at least or appears at least better than the mainstream rubbish that the likes of Purina have to offer.

  • Anonymous

    Rskuhn, i don’t even know why you are bringing Ol’ Roy into this thread. They are in no way similar. Do you want Carna4 to throw some saw dust or wheat middlings into the food to make it less nutrient dense? I don’t understand what you’re getting at.

  • Rskuhn

    Leslie – People say their dogs thrive on Old Roy and many cheap dog foods. I wish I had a nickel every time some dog food company told me the BS about the food being so nutrient dense the dog eats a fraction compared to other dog foods. Yeah I feed my German Shorthair 1 cup of nutrient dense food a day and the dog is starving, not nutrient deficient, just hungry. You brag about the meats, who cares, it’s processed formed kibble, meal meals provide greater protein densities. Many dog food allergies are improperly or misdiagnosed without proper testing, it’s easier to keep playing musical dog foods rather than take the time and spend the money on proper allergy testing.

  • Thanks Waterwings for your interest. You might be  surprised to hear that we’ve been told about some dogs with perceived chicken allergies, who are eating Carna4 and thriving symptom-free. (The culprit may not be chicken but synthetics or something else in their previous food.) See Buffy’s story in our testimonials.  

    As for other protein formulas, we have some ideas but nothing we can speak about yet.

  • Thanks monkey for your input. Certainly we value having a good quantity of high quality protein in our food and will focus on what’s best for the dogs eating it.

  • Hi Dave, Glad to hear your dogs enjoy Carna4 and we expect you may also see benefits in their skin & coat, digestion and overall well being. 

    We respect your opinion on meat meal, as we agree its quality varies between types and manufacturers. However, there’s no question that nutrient levels are reduced when meat meal is processed, even when good quality meat is used. As such, we’re just pleased to make our food without it.

  • Hi Gordon, Thanks for your feedback, which is understandable if you consider any regular carb. However, not all carbs are created equal. Although we  have higher carb levels than some mostly-meat diets, our research has shown sprouted
    seeds are extremely digestible and nutritious, which eliminate the primary
    reasons for avoiding high-carb, grain-based diets. 

    Our third-party food science
    consultants have concluded that our mix of fresh meats, whole produce and
    sprouted seeds produce an effective nutrient balance that’s not found in
    conventional foods made with meat meals and ordinary carbohydrates.

  • Hi imthemonkey, As Carna4 is very concentrated, you need to feed less than other food. It works out to about $25/week to feed a 50 lb dog, $13/wk to  feed a 20 lb dog or $38/wk to feed a 100 lb dog. (This is about the same or less than raw or home cooked but more convenient.) 

  • Gordon

    [email protected] – Just stating my personal opinion…..This food is too high on the carbohydrate side…This level should be what the protein is, and the protein what the carb level is. Otherwise, it looks like a not too bad a dog food.

  • Anonymous

    What is the average cost for your bags of food?

  • Thanks Mike for reviewing Carna4. I’d like to add that Carna4 is made with no synthetic preservatives. Instead, it’s preserved by the high levels of antioxidants naturally produced by our
    sprouted seeds. I wanted to highlight this because having no added preservatives is rare for a commercial
    food (as you point out in some raw food reviews).

  • Dave’s Hounds

    My dogs love this food and the results after Orijen were fantastic. I rotate through this food. I would like to see higher protein and while I understand why you do not use meat meal, there are quality species specific meat meal avail. The higher protein would seal the deal for me. But I do use the food and my hounds love it – it is also a great treat.

  • monkey

    David Stauble, i see on your Up and Coming page you plan on making a weight management. If you really plan on doing this, PLEASE do not sacrifice meat protein in it. Carbs do not make a dog lose weight, feeding less does.

  • Waterwings

    David Stauble – I would love to try this food, it looks fab, but my Storm has a chicken allergy 🙁 So, I’m dyyyying to know if you’ve got future plans for different protein formulas?

  • monkey

    David Stauble, you really do have a truly unique food here. I wish you the best of luck and i hope your company takes off. It seems like so many dog food makers are just copying one another.

  • Thanks for reviewing Carna4. We appreciate how your ratings are set. However, we want to point out that unlike many high-protein foods we don’t use meat meal. Instead, we use fresh chicken and chicken liver, salmon and eggs, which is much more bioavailable than meat meal and as such, more value to dogs than many foods with higher protein levels. Also, the carbs come from sprouted seeds, which are extremely digestible, nutritious and full of live probiotics & enzymes. It’s quality of ingredients that counts!
    David Stauble
    President, Carna4 Inc.

  • Dave M

    Thanks I have been waiting for this review! Carbs are a bit higher and protein a bit lower than I would ideally prefer. Good food though my dogs
    loved it.