Chef Michael’s Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product Has Been Discontinued
Confirmed by the Company1

Chef Michael’s Dog Food gets the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Chef Michael’s product line includes two dry dog foods, both meeting AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

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

  • Chef Michael’s Grilled Sirloin Steak Flavor
  • Chef Michael’s Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor

Chef Michael’s Grilled Sirloin Steak Flavor was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Chef Michael's Grilled Sirloin Steak Flavor

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 32% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Beef, soybean meal, soy flour, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of vitamin E), brewers rice, soy protein concentrate, corn gluten meal, ground yellow corn, glycerin, poultry by-product meal, ground wheat, animal digest, pearled barley, calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate, salt, grilled sirloin steak flavor, dried green beans, dried potatoes, sulfur, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, added color (red 40, blue 2, yellow 5, yellow 6), niacin, wheat flour, potassium chloride, l-lysine monohydrochloride, manganese sulfate, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, calcium iodate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), biotin, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis28%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%18%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%38%36%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 38% | Carbs = 36%

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

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

The second ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

The third ingredient is soy flour, a high-protein by-product of soybean processing.

Although soy flour contains about 51% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

The fourth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is soy protein concentrate, what remains of soybeans after removing the water soluble carbohydrates from the beans.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat and can notably boost the total protein reported on the label.

The seventh ingredient is corn gluten meal, yet another plant-based protein booster. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it. Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

The eighth ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain which — aside from its energy content — is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

After glycerin, we find poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

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 seven notable exceptions

First, this recipe includes wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

Next, we find animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

In addition, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any dog food. Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you, not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2

So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.

We also note this recipe contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Additionally, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Chef Michael’s Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Chef Michael’s looks like a below-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 32%, a fat level of 18% 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 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soy products and corn gluten meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Chef Michael’s is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of beef and chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not 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.

Chef Michael’s Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

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

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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

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

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

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

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

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

06/24/2015 Last Update

  1. As of 12/29/2016
  2. Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005)
  • Babslynne
  • River Dawson

    This makes me happy to know, because I have changed my nine year old Maltese and 5 year old lab mix’s food about four times. First we started out with science diet, which we heard got poor reviews so switched to Halo. That got too expensive, so switched to Costco brand dog food and now are finally sticking to blue buffalo. Neither of my dogs had ever gotten sick from switching their foods, now I know why.

  • Sarah

    This food has finally been discontinued

  • mahoraner niall

    lol, ikr, Before they discontinued this crap, At my local store it was $9 for a 4lb bag!! (on clearance, and it was 14 DOLLARS FOR A 4 LB BAG REGULARLY)
    I can think of hundreds of foods that are better than this crap for WAY less than that!!
    wait a second, let me do some math,
    Chef crappy was $3.50 a lb at my grocery store
    and, oh my god,
    ORIJEN IS $2.94 A lb!!!!

    You can get the BEST kibble out there, for 56c LESS than purina crap!!
    Thats ridiculous,

    and even if the chef crappy was sold for $9 a bag, it still would only be 69c more a lb than orijen!
    and thats the most expensive food,

    Taste of the wild is $1.87 CHEAPER than the regular price of chef crappy, and $0.63 cheaper than the clearance price!!

    I think i know why purina will never make a high quality food,

    because if they did, the price without profit would probably be about $30, But in order for them to make their huge profit, the final price of the food would have to be $90, and they know that no one would pay that much when you can get orijen for the same price

    “purina, your pet, our profit”

  • Amateria

    Purina were super defensive with this food, always saying it was made with meat as the #1 ingredient as if it hasn’t been done with any other food lol.

    Their comments to people who didn’t like the food always sounded like “we added meat as the #1st ingredient like everyone wanted, now feed the food! and stop bad mouthing it! 😛

  • mahoraner niall

    The only food i have ever seen that has meat as the first ingredient, and dyes a few ingredients later

  • mahoraner niall

    anything that says “(food) flavor” is not real food

  • woodmeister

    Have you had your dog checked out at your vet? That doesn’t sound normal.

  • LabsRawesome

    I wouldn’t brag about feeding Chef Michael’s. It’s a one star food. Did you read the review? I wouldn’t feed this food if I could get it for free.

  • Katrina

    Not sure about another brand. Lol my four dogs love chef Micheal. Every other brand I have chosen for them has given them bad gas, so I always go back to this.brand and they love it. bags at Target and United Grocery

  • danceswithwoofs

    You would be better off feeding canned food if your dog likes meat.

  • dchassett

    It’s not the price of the food you should be concerned about. There are plenty of inexpensive good quality dog foods. What qualifies as a good food are the ingredients. One only has to read the ingredient list to know that this is really a very low quality food. The stars for Dr. Mike’s reviews do not and have never had anything to do with the price of the food. It’s all about the ingredients. This food has one star because of its ingredients not it’s price.

  • theBCnut

    If I had to choose between a UTI from Blue Buffalo and cancer from all the food dyes, I’d choose the UTI. Good thing that those aren’t the only options. This is horrible food.

  • theBCnut

    Dogs get sick when you change their food because their gut is already sick. Feeding the same food for long periods of time limits the number of different strains of probiotics that can thrive in the gut, thus weakening the gut and the immune system. If you change foods regularly then the gut is strengthened and the dog no longer gets sick from simple food changes and the immune system gets a nice boost.

  • neezerfan

    If you notice, it’s sirloin steak FLAVOR. It has no actual sirloin steak in it. This is a very low quality food.

  • Supreme

    & most dogs get sick when you change their foods, whether through vomiting and stool.

  • Supreme

    My dog loves The sirloin flavor! Yes he picks out the sirloin first but he knows if he doesn’t finish his vegetables he won’t get any more sirloin! He’s happy and his poop is healthy looking when he eats chef micheals! I definitely would not feed my pet Blue Buffalo, because it can cause urine infections, etc! Remember just because the food is more expensive does not mean it is better quality for your pet!

  • Jasper

    I’ve tried so many different foods with my (now 2 years old) lab/chow and Chef Michael’s is the only food he does not either immediately vomit back up or get explosive diarrhea the next day after eating. I really don’t want to give it to him, but I feel like it’s my only solution. But now the PetSmarts and PetCos nearby don’t even carry the big bags anymore. I have always done slow transition when trying something new but I immediately go back to Chef Michael’s after the vomiting starts. Most recently was today, I started trying to transition to another food yesterday and, while everything was fine last night, today after dinner he vomited up everything he ate… I’ve gone from Science Diet to Purina to Blue Buffalo to Pedigree. I’m starting to feel it’s maybe a texture thing? Please, is there anything out there that I can try??

  • George

    Stop stalking everyone. Remember this is against the rules.I hope you get flagged,deleted and bocked like other stalkers(:

  • Susie

    I buy Merrick dog food look it up great ratings no by products in at all only by at Petco

  • Bob K

    Cathy – How about selecting a 4 or 5 star rated food for your loved one and remember to transition slowly to a new dog food.

  • Cathy

    I’ve been feeding my dog chef michaels chicken dry …she has developed a skin problem and loss of hair, I’m going back to aims weight control!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I wonder if all the vitamins and minerals are evenly dispersed throughout the food or if your dogs strong preferences make it a very unbalanced diet.

  • DZ

    My little Bichpoo is a very picky eater. The only food he likes is the bigger meaty chunks in Chef Michael’s Sirloin Beef dry food. But that’s it. He’ll pick out all the other little bits and spit them out all over the place making a huge mess then bangs his bowls around until we give him more the meaty chunks. We end up throwing most of the food away which is a waste. If we could buy a bag of just the meaty chunks we’d all be happy.

  • Arclight

    Canines bodies typically require high quality protein in the form of raw meat or poultry. The average stuff on the shelf will slowly kill them…

  • Nellie Andino

    my morkie also will not eat anything else~she is 4yrs old,ive been givin it to her for the last 3yrs.i hope its ok..worried pet parent:/

  • Pattyvaughn

    It might be the addictive ingredients, or it might be similar to how dogs love grapes, chocolate, and anti freeze. Definitely doesn’t make it healthy.

  • cwebs

    it’s the only dog food our dog loves! turns her nose up at everything else

  • Pattyvaughn

    This food does have a lot of allergens in it. It really is not a good food in any way.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Look at the main ingredients in her food and find something that does not have them.

  • rebecca

    i have a yorkie/bichon mix too! i have her on chef michael’s and she looooooves it but i’m concerned she may be allergic because she is scratching so much. you’re right, they are an expensive dog and it is killing me to see her not comfortable :(.

  • rebecca

    did a new kind of dog food help with the allergy? i feed my dog chef michael’s and she loves it and doesn’t get sick off of it but she has been scratching like crazy and i’m wondering if her food is causing it?

  • Fiery Red Biscuit

    Over & above ANY substantive discussion here, when you improperly insult someone (“You’re a clown” not “your a clown”) for no other reason than to be a troll it just makes you sound like – well, an ignorant clown.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Just read the ingredient list for yourself. How many artificial colors do you think your dog actually needs in its food? How many sources of plant protein instead of animal protein does it need? How many sources of addictive MSG does it need? How many sources of sugar? There is very little good about this food. I like to eat junk food too, but it is up to me to make sure that I don’t make it my primary diet.

  • judy kaufman

    My goldendoodle and maltese love it. I hope it is not as bad as the review says it is. When I try more expensive food, they won’t eat or wait till they are very hungry and barely eat. Eating should be enjoyable for them as well as us.

  • Tracy Mangus

    I have tried Chef Michaels 2 times. the first time my Itillian greyhound feet became red and lost fur, changed to Iams and problem went away. just to be sure, I tried it again a year later and same thing happened.

    some kind of allergic reaction to the contents

  • Ty

    George, any vet worth a hoot would tell you they are physicians, not dietitians. There is no way they can keep up with all the foods today, and any vet that would recommend this food as good…..well lets just say he isn’t worthy of clipping my dogs nails, let alone performing a medical procedure on him.

  • Ty

    Look at whole earth Farms. made by Merrick, 4 star food, rates up there with blue buffalo and the best part…….8 lb bag is 11 bucks.

  • Paul Tolaini

    You are a fool. You are killing your dog. Why dont you eat MCDonalds twice a day for the rest of your life. Im sure you will love it right up until they nail the coffin lid down on you young diseased body.

  • Paul Tolaini

    Your a clown.

  • beaglemom

    Gwendlyn, Purina Be Happy is *worse* than junk food for your dogs — it’s a mix of low quality corn, mystery meat, and carcinogens. Have you considered trying Purina One Beyond (also available at the grocery store)? It’s a big step up from this. People here will be more than happy to help you figure out some healthier, affordable alternatives if you’re open to it!!

  • I have 2 picky chihuahuas & they only eat Chef Micheal’s, Purina Happy Dog or expensively, I’ve tried cooked meats with vegi’s & rice but they would only eat the meat & leave the rest even with broth or gravy. No health issues from the Chef Micheal’s & eating something they love is better than them snubbing it & starving themselves til they throw up yellow foamy stomache bile. But I can’t find Chef Micheals any more so Happy Dog kibble is the choice now, with occasional real meat treats.

  • ken

    I have a pure breed one year old lab, I bought this food. after readin reading this page I will put the rest in the trash.

  • Dave Butcher

    I dont know what has changed with this food but the last bag we bought made both of our dogs sick within 10 minutes of eating it. They both threw up all over the house.

  • danielle

    I have an english bulldog and i have tried every HIGH QUALITY FOOD OUT THERE from holistic health extention, royal canin, solid gold, blue buffallo, and many more. MY DOG HAS HAD horrible skin infections from those foods VERY ODD finally feeding him chef michales his poop is solid, and NO MORE SORES!

  • Pattyvaughn

    With such a small dog, could you afford to feed raw?  Balanced raw is the best thing for a dog that is seizuring.  At the very least get her on a natural food. She needs to have no food colorings, artificial flavors, natural flavors, etc.  Also try to eliminate any chemicals in her environment, cleaning, fragrance, air fresheners, medications such as heartworm, flea treatments, yard chemicals, etc.  All of these things have negative effects on a seizure dog.  Good luck.

  • Hi Slaph20,

    So she has seizures and difficulty walking which you think could be attributed to the food. You’re saying this is the only brand of food she’ll eat, but you mention that she’s been eating this food exclusively for a minimum of six months. How do you know this is the ONLY brand of food she’ll eat when it’s the only brand of food you feed her? I guarantee you, she’ll eat something else. To not switch her today is inhumane.

  • Slaph2o

    After reading your post, I thought back to when I started feeding chef michaels food to my chihuahua, as she started having seizures, I realize now about 6 months afterwards. She now has diffulculty walking, I am going to get a better food but she is so picky, it is the only brand she will eat.

  • Ebishop1102

    That’s just as bad if not worse.  That’s also a 1 Star dog food.  Do your research and feed them only 5 or 6 star foods.  They are your children, and they trust, and love you.  Would you feed your real family slop that would affect their health? Be realistic.

  • I won some coupons for free bags of Chef Michael’s. The dogs loved it, but the results were horrid. It was worse than when I feed them Nutro Max! Near diarrhea like stools. Ick! Not good when feeding 27 dogs and cleaning their rooms!

  • Drvnlfawy

     I would Bitch to the company and maybe you could get a refund.. or most likely coupons for free food.
    when I first bought Michaels for my lil dog she loved it. then have had a few sacks that she doesnt care for. I finally went to a pet store and bought a better grade of dog food.. I think she has an allergy from some of the food she has had.. hopefully this new stuff will clear her up

  • Concerned

    Sorry, but that comment is just ignorant!! Not only are some of the foods found on “shelfs” not good for you or your pets, they are downright unfit for consumption. sad that people trust that these HUGE money making companies are actually concerned with your health, let alone our pets.
    : (. Look up Red 40 alone, (one ingredient in this food) and you may be extremely shocked that it is allowed in our food, and our dogs.

  • ann

    my dog used to love chef michael’s. they don’t sell it anymore in my grocery stores. He has had seizures every once in a while, but I am thinking it might be the trifexis. He is eating rachel ray’s dog food now, but I don’t know if it is any better.

  • Oneangelntrainin

    I have a Bichon, a poodle, and two Poms. I have bought two bags of the chicken rotisserie flavored dry food. They all got upset stomachs from the first bag so I thought perhaps it was just a bad bag and got another one. They got sick again. So now I have to say not to give it to your dogs. It is so bad they bleed from their bottoms. I wish I had my money back. BAD BAD BAD

  • Kgizo

    I used to feed my dog this and she had seizures and gall stones. Thanks to this site I’ve found a much, much better food for her. Seizures have stopped.

  • Can you order food online?

  • Cookie&Me

    Sadly after moving to a small town in the middle of the desert CM was the “best” food available. After switching to this food my poor 8 month old dog started getting asthma attacks (I dusted every day, kept her away from second hand smoke and perfumes, and was particular about where we went on walks). After switching back to Stella & Chewy’s (and traveling 120 miles out of town to get it) they stopped. I wouldn’t even rate this “food” half a star. This stuff is way too expensive for such poor quality.

  • Laurance Kenny

    While I do agree that hills and royal canin is below par dog food It is made for dogs with health issues. My boxer had colitis and the only food he can eat without causing diarrhea is the w/d and he formulas. I am not happy about this since I feel he does not get superior food but if it solves his health issues then that is what is best for the dog. They may not be great but they serve their purpose

  • Kip

    The coloring is from very dangerous food dyes that were proved dangerous back in the 60’s, next let me say that bone meal, chicken by products, and meat meal contains very little realy meat, most cheap dog foods have very little protein from real meat in them, that is why they are so unhealthy.

  • Jess

    Yummy,, This guy must be a dynamite chief, I wanna visit his restaurant.

  • Pingback: chef michael dog food review | All About Pets()

  • LabsRawesome

     Hi Rosanne, Check out the 12 red flag ingredients in this junk food. I wouldn’t doubt that this food contributed to your dogs bladder stones. It has over 5 added colors. Please look around on this site at the 4 and 5 star foods, grain free is the best option, because dogs don’t need grains in their diet.

  • Rosanne

    My little dog loves chicken and is a picky eater. I bought this 7 months
    ago to give it a try. She loves it. I brought her to the vet the other
    day thinking she might have a badder, or urinary track infection because
    I saw some blood in her pee. To my surprise she was LOADED with bladder
    stones and has to get an expensive operation. I asked the Doctor what
    can cause such a thing. He said diet has a lot to do with it, however
    they won’t know until they do the surgery and analyze the stones. I
    asked how long did he think it took for my dog to get so bad. He said 6
    to 7 months. My dog is 5 and never had a problem and it seems strange
    that this started when I started to feed her this dog food. Coincidence,
    maybe? All I know is if those stones come back with something related
    to the food I’ve been feeding her the last 7 months, Chief Michael will
    hear a fury they never experienced before. My dog means the world to me.

  • Geremydunbar

    vets push hills because they make money off of it. Look at the ratings Hills gets here, its crap dog food.


    So glad I read this!  I have 2 standard poodles and they’ve been eating Chef Michaels for almost three years.  They absolutely love this food.  They are 5 years old.  They both have been having seizures. The neurologist wasn’t sure without doing a brain scan.  I declined-not willing to sedate my girls.  My one has been very ill and vet ruled out pancreatitis but said to go low fat and put her on Hills i/d.  Both dogs are now on this and are tiring of it.  Going to try Newman’s Own.  Got a good rating.  Still had some Chef Michaels in my pantry, but now resides in my trash can!  Thank you sooo much for posting this.

  • Sweepydoodle679

     I am looking at the picture of your dog in your avi. Man o man, that is one fugly mutt. I like his little red shirt though.

  • OMG. This Page has saved my dog’s life. I was feeding my 1 year old Yorkie/Bichon Petsmart’s Simply Nourish for the past couple months after receiving him as a gift from a friend who told me he ate Kibbles and Bits until I learne d that,it was rated 1 star. After a while, he stopped eating I started topping it with some wet made by the same company. That worked for a minute then he stopped eating again so I started added some toppings that I knew were a no-no after doing research but I felt like at least he was eating. Long story short, I went to Petsmart  last night to get some Simply Nourish dry before the sale went off because I like to load up and save!

    However, I took a walk around just to see everything in the store and yes I was lured by the packaging (which I knew better because I have been in many Market research groups) then and I tried reading the ingredients but the writing was too small. I was also loving the 8.99 sale price!

    Long story short, my dog had not eaten in 2 days and I was not giving him any wet or treats until he ate all of his dry consistently. Tired of throwing money away. I opened the bag and and heck it looked so good I wanted to eat it! LOL. When I put that out, he ate, and ate, and ate. I was so happy, that before coming to this site I was prepared to go to the the store and get another bag and even a case of there wet (scared to see those reviews!) but something to get on-lne and do some research. Glad you ALL were here for me. This is no better than Kibbles and bits! My dog was not cheap, I’m not cheap and he is a part of my family. I can’t give him something that will make him sick, as I wouldn’t do that tome and my daughter. Chef Michael -please Quit!

  • You’re feeding your dog poison.  I hope you educate yourself.  Has nothing to do with being a better person. Has to do with health.

  • I prepare fresh food every evening for my dog. He has dinner with us! LOL.

    During the day I leave about a cup of Avoderm Naturals Lamb & brown rice.  Just to get him well-rounded.

  • LabsRawesome

    It’s a 1* food with like 20 red flag ingredients. That is way overpriced for the lack of quality that you are getting. Chef Michael should be fired!

  • Kelcasey

    I started giving my 2 year old Havanese this dog food because he too doesn’t like dry dog food and a girlfriend of mine told me her dog loved Chef Michael.  Sadly, within 2 months of eating it (he loved it) he started having seizures.  We took him to the vet and all tests came back fine.  They recommended putting him on anti seizure medication and I decided to try and change his food before we explored medication for the rest of his life!  Since I changed to an organic diet my dog hasn’t had anymore seizures.  Interestingly, my girlfriend who told me about the food, informed me that her dog also started having seizures!!!!  Something is seriously wrong with this dog food!  Don’t go near it!!!   

  • Toxed2loss

    Darn autocorrect! That was supposed to be “non-toxic”, Arrrghghghgh!

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Lisa, I hope the food change alleviates your dogs health problems. I agree with Melissa grain & soy free are a must! I’d also avoid potato, natural flavor and food additives. I’d add that dermatitis is frequently found to be caused by environmental toxis. The frontline itself is a toxic pesticide. It has been linked to itching, flaking, sebatious cysts, oily and bad smelling coat. It’s his body trying to get rid of the toxins. You might want to research some bob-toxic pest control methods. 🙂

  • Hi Cassidy,

    What you’ve been doing (mixing a wet food with a kibble) is called “topping”. And it’s a great way to improve the quality of an otherwise lifeless kibble.

    Topping is actually the way we feed Bailey.

    There’s really no need for your dogs to have to “suck it up” and tolerate a food they don’t like. Just choose a different wet food and gradually introduce it to their meals.

    The wet food can be a fresh meat, quality canned food or a raw product.

    You can also try diet rotation. To learn more, just visit our FAQ at the top of this page.

    In any case, your dogs will love you for it.

    Bon apetit!

  • cassidy

    I’ve been using this as a condiment, mixing it in with good-quality kibble because my dogs are just crazy about it.  Of course you can tell from looking at it that it’s junk food.  But I didn’t realize how many seriously dubious ingredients it contains  —  thanks for the review.   I think my guys are just going to have to suck it up and eat like grownups.

  • melissa


    If you dog ‘stinks” only two days after a bathe, I would see the vet sooner than later., Most dogs that “stink”, in my experience, is because they have a skin condition such as yeast overgrowth. Never have I owned a “normal” dog that smells in such a short time(we bathe our short coated dogs every 4-6 weeks, and long coated dogs once a month-and they never stink even at that time interval)

    As for how many times a day your dog poops, well each is an individual(like people) and that will vary by dog-not necessarily by what you are feeding-though sometimes the volume does decrease ; ) I would suggest something corn/wheat/soy free as a start-Bob has listed many suggestions as to places these foods can be found at a reasonable price.

    Many people have had good luck with limited ingredient diets from what I have heard, and guessing you can find a 30lb bag of something like that for a moderate price. You are paying approx $1.56 per lb of this food-I just bought a bag of California Natural(chicken/rice) for $39.99 or $1.33 per lb-

    4Health-Tractor supply(corn/wheat/soy free) is $29.99 for 30lbs or just about $1 a lb.

  • Bob K

    Lisa – You mention you have been looking at other brands. Which Ones? How do they rate on this website? Whats stopping you from changing to a new better food? What brands and formulas are available where you live? Look for 20lb or larger bags as they will save you money.

    Purina now makes a 3 star doog food as does Rachael Ray if you are stuck with the bib box stores. Other stores that have doog food at a reasonable price: Kirklands at Costco, Diamond Natural at Menards, Authority at Petco (3 Star), Tractor Supply (TSC), Farm and Fleet. Remember to transition to a new food slowly.

  • Lisa

    I have been feeding my dog this food for some time but, I have been looking for a better brand. I thought this was a decent choice due to beef or chicken being the first ingredient. My mistake was not reading the whole ingredient list & or not really knowing what all that stuff is. I’m really clueless to knowing what the ingredients mean as far as nutrition. I have a boxer mix & he constantly has dry skin problems. He scratches & chews himself even when he is on Frontline & I know that he is flea & tick free. It’s either dry skin all the time or allergies to what’s in his food. I will check with his vet more on that when I take him in but, for now I need to just find a better quality food & see if that helps. I use olive oil alternating it with fish oil poured on his food. This helps with his dry skin. However, I would love to find a better food that is roughly the same price as Chef Michael’s which for my area is an 11.5 pound bag for $18. If someone can recommend a better quality food for about the same price, I will gladly try it. I’m hoping once I do find a better food for him, that he will only poop once a day instead of two & he will smell better, as I bathe him once a month & two days later, he stinks again. Thanks for any help in this matter.

  • Michelle

    rdpchaps, The only reason that people bash this food is, the ingredient list. Have you taken a look at it? There is a review at the top of this page that says it all….. 🙁 But on the brighter side, when you are feeding the meat, your dogs are definitely eating well! 🙂

  • rdpchaps

    I feed my animals Chef Michaels, and they love it, however I use this as a supplement ( when I am out of town and family member and my neighbor takes care of my pets) I give my pets raw and cooked meats and vegetables daily as their food of choice. For everyone that is bashing the brand if you were truly concerned with your pets, instead of buying a different brand you would prepare food such as real chicken, beef, vegetables etc for your pets.

  • Shawna

    Oops, should read “American Acedemy of Pediatrics” not Pediatricians

  • Shawna

    Artificial colors are not benign either. The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends children with ADHD avoid food colorings — including yellow 5 and 6 and red 40. Not saying that dogs become hyper and can’t focus from eating foods with these but am saying there is possibly the potential for adverse reactions..

    “Dietary Sensitivities and ADHD Symptoms: Thirty-five Years
    of Research

    Artificial food colors (AFCs) have not been established as the main cause of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder
    (ADHD), but accumulated evidence suggests that a subgroup shows significant symptom improvement when
    consuming an AFC-free diet and reacts with ADHD-type symptoms on challenge with AFCs. Of children with
    suspected sensitivities, 65% to 89% reacted when challenged with at least 100 mg of AFC.”

    The American Academy of Pediatricians website (I can no longer get the original article I first read — it is now a paid for article). Abouth half way down the linked document (slides) it reads “Artifical colorants and preservatives were the commonest provoking substance”,31,ADHD and Food Allergy

  • Shawna


    It’s actually not a surprise, to me, that your dog loves this food.. The flavor enhancers added to the food make it taste wonderful and do an effective job at disguising the poor quality of the ingredients in the food.

    The negative side to those very same flavor enhancers — in humans they cause migraines, multiple sclerosis, seizures, brain damage among others.. Top that off with the euthanasia drug that might be contaminating the “animal fat” and “animal digest” along with the gentic modification of the corn and soy used and you have disease just waiting to happen…. It may not show up now or even in a month or year but I have no doubt it will show up — long after you have been feeding the food for however long and no longer suspect it as the cause…..

    I started having symptoms from these same (and similar) flavor enhancers when I was 12 years old. Not my doctors nor the neurologists I saw could explain my symptoms let alone determine the cause. It wasn’t til I was in my late 30’s (already diagnosed via MRI with brain damage) that the cause was determined. You may think that this food is wonderful, as might your dog enjoy the taste, but that does not mean it is healthful… Two very very different things…

  • Gordon

    Shameless – Maybe BJ did read it and is just sharing his or her experience with this dog food. People like BJ may not realise that just because a dog may love a dog food (for whatever ulterior ingredient makes it just that much more palatable), that it doesn’t mean that it is a healthy food. That analogy would mean that Burger King is great because I find its burgers, delicious. That doesn’t mean it is healthy. Now if I were to eat food from Burger King day in day out, how much of my life would one reasonably think that I would be cutting short in the long term?

    Maybe if you read this BJ, you might get the picture?

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Yeah Gordon, It would be nice if kathy carleton posted an update about the dog food testing.
    It seems BJ didn’t read the prior comments about this food, or maybe doesn’t care what others have to say?

  • Gordon

    I feel for you kathy carlton. Did you send the bag back to Chef Michaels for testing or an independent body? ‘Cause you’ll unlikely get the truth from Chef Michaels.

    Anyway, I guess there’s lessons learned the hard way sometimes.

  • BJ

    My Dog loves this food. Loves it. Only Dry Dog food he’ll it by itself. I give it a 5 star & my Dog would to.
    He doesn’t need wholesome oatmeal & duck meat to be healthy & happy.
    Sometimes people go to far with their Dogs thinking it makes THEM better people.
    It doesn’t.

  • kathy carlton

    I had two bichon frise, age 10 & 8 . They had to be put down within two weeks of each other. Both throwing up fluids coming from nose. They had both just been seen by vet healthy. We autopsy the second dog , its a mold that grows on grains. My babies were on chef Michel. Sending dog food to be tested . I’m heartbroken.

  • Jonathan

    Vicki, you note that dogs are not humans. That is correct. But as far as nutrition goes, humans aren’t even suppose to be eating the way we are told is healthful. Refined carbohydrates have no business in any human’s or dog’s diet because they are not part of the historical evolutionary diet of ours, theirs, or any animal for that matter. This is not food. It is concocted food-shaped product. What you are feeding your dog is a bag of refined carbohydrates made with artificial colors, cheap chemicals, and industrial waste.

  • Bob K

    vickie – Hello Hello – Did you read the detailed analysis of this product above? It’s a 1 star food. Is that the best you can provide for your 8lb. loved one? You are paying a premium for a marginal product. Do you feel ripped off a little? I have seen kids look great eating fast food and junk food. I have seen dogs eat their poop and look great.

    You say, “Dogs are not like humans..their systems are very different” great start – How are they different and what are their needs? Do you believe dogs should eat a food that is mostly soybean meal and soy flour? That’s what you have with this product. Sorry – Not my dog. I can get a 3 or 4 star food for the same money that provides much better nutrition for my loved one and leaves me more money in my pocket.

  • vickie

    Dogs are not like humans..their systems are very different…start out gradual with mixing new with old…then wean slowly to the new food…for my poodle, he went right on this food and has forever loved it…he is healthy, happy, energetic and licks his bowl clean…..maybe we are just lucky…I called the company and they are sending me coupons…as I agree it is a little pricey, but my 8lb dog doesn’t need much food…..

  • vickie

    Love the product

  • Jordan

    Do not feed your dog this!! I just bought a small bag for 15$ thinking it had good ingredients and was “Healthy” i fed this to my dog last night and now he has diarrhea and is vomiting every 30 min. I’ve heard good reviews on Acana Dog Food and is good price for good food.

  • Ronda

    I just bought this food and very suprise at the comments. My dogs do not eat can food makes them sick. I am glad that I stumble across this web site. I have three picky high energy dogs,a lhasa apso,a havense anf one of there puppy which looks like a poodle. They all spaded now. Trying to find the right fof is killing me as. Well as my pockets. I do have to go to work but I also want healty dogs. Oh well back to the begining. Yes my dogs loves this food but I am also readind most dry foods are making dogs sick. But they will not eat this anymore

  • Bob K

    amanda – Your dog will eat without feeding them marginal food, if you were a child and your parents fed you fast food, ice cream and donuts all day – what would you want to eat. Its not hard to get a dog to eat. #1 Exercise yourself and your dog that stimulates good health and hunger for the two of you 2.) Try adding a little water to kibble and microwave for 10 seconds to bring out the smells and juices. 3.) Add a little quality moist food to dry kibble and mix maybe microwave a little too to get the stuff smelling good and goopy. 4.) Mix a little gravy or brooth into the kibble. 5.) Mix in half a soft boiled egg to the kibble. There are many excellent 4 and 5 star foods listed on this website. What is easy for you to purchase and fits your budget? Where do you shop for dog food? Its not that hard and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Remember to transition to a new food slowly.

  • amanda

    can someone give me an alternative to this dog food i have tried all types my basset is very picky and this chef michaels chicken is the only food she will eat but she is not getting any nutrition from it and her bowels move two to three times a day when she eats it

  • Michelle

    My dogs ate this food last night and have been vomiting what looks like blood. It may be the dehydrated meat, but it really looks and smells bad. My dogs are both very ill. I would not recommend this dog food.

    I’m not looking for any advice. I took a chance with this food, which I do not normally do. I will stick to their regular food, no matter how pretty the packaging.

  • Jonathan

    Elizabeth, I agree with most of what you say, but I would caution readers on one thing, and that is the “inclusion” of glucosamine and condrotin in dry dog food. The highest amount I have ever seen in a dry food was 1250 mg/kg. That’s 1250 parts per million. The average is 300-400 ppm. This all means that an 80lb dog would need to eat 2.2 pounds of that dog food per day to receive what would be recognized as “therapeutic”. These amounts don’t hurt anything, mind you. But any dog food made with chicken meal has some g & C in it anyways. It’s just not a number to base your food purchase on. If your dog needs g & c, buy a supplement.

  • Elizabeth

    I used to work at Petco and while there I learned a lot about pet food. It is all in the ingredients. If you have a dog/cat with skin problems. There is a very good chance they are allergic to the food they are eating. If you are feeding your pet a low quality food chances are they are not going to get any better. Even if you feed them a good amazing quality food they might not get better. You would need a limited ingredient diet. Those are usually provided by natural food companies Like Natural Balance. Look for something that is grain free because believe it or not. Dogs & cats can be allergic to grains. Think about it-in the wild did they eat rice? nope. If it ends up being just a grain allergy then there are lots of grain free foods out there. Like Blue Buffalo’s wilderness diets. They even have them in weight control which believe it or not has less Kcal content then one’s with grains. So just remember just because you are spending less money doesn’t mean you are getting a great deal. The amount of money that can be saved on Vet cost just by feeding a healthy all natural diet is amazing. Not to mention the better quality foods may cost more per bag, but its a better deal long term. Also the more natural food companies include glucosamine and Condrotin in most of their foods. This helps even the smallest of dogs establish good healthy hips and joints. This is especially essential in Large Breed dogs. So really do your pet a favor and educate yourself and don’t be afraid to ask the staff at petco and petsmart because they really aren’t trying to sell you an expensive product. They just want to see you give your pet the best. So don’t spend a small fortune on your dogs stupid toys and then cut corners on their diet. Your dog will survive if he or she can’t rip a 10 dollar toy up in 3 seconds. Oh and Science Diet isn’t the greatest either. Its expensive and not nearly half as good a quality as Wellness, Blue Buffalo and other natural foods.

  • Hi Andrew… Food colorings can be a controversial ingredients and are completely unnecessary for the health of any dog. These colors are designed to make the food look more palatable to you… not your dog. My point of bringing attention to meat when it’s listed as the first ingredient in a kibble is to caution consumers not to place too much value on its position on the list.

    Meats contain 70-80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost… reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight. So, after processing, the named meat would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

  • andrew

    I was just wondering why all of these colors are bad for dogs? Aren’t they basically just food coloring? And does this mean that all other dog foods with some kind of meat as the first ingredient don’t really have all that much in them? I just got a new dog and I am looking for some information on what kind of foods would be the best and what ingredients are bad for them.

  • Jonathan

    Shawn, upon what basis do you claim these ingredients should merit a 2- or 3-star? You know, a fussy eater can usually be won over by topping a good kibble with a good canned food or some olive oil or salmon oil.

  • shawn cupp

    I have a small pug named maggie. She is a VERY picky eater and i have tried numerous brands of dry dog food. To name a few-Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Royal Canin Pug 25, Inoova and the list goes on. She absulutly hated Wellness-kinda smelled like cat food to me. The others she just would not eat. We had her on Royal Canin that she ate the most out of the rest. The cost of Pug food by Royal Canin was $34 for a ten pound bag-very pricey The ingredients seem to be the same as any other food. I tried the CM because i simply wanted her to eat. For the first time she ate an entire bowl of food the first try. I dont know if she will turn her nose up tomorrow when she eats it, but for now i will stick with it. Upon review of the ingriedients, should be a 2 or 3 star food.

  • george

    All I have to say is dogs have been living a long time and they didn’t always have these fancy expensive foods that are so good for them and they did just fine. I have a feeling that if chef michaels or all the grocery store brand dog foods were really that bad they would not be on the shelf anymore.

  • frank

    Horrible food

  • Jonathan

    George, remind us where your vet received his/her animal nutrition training? Oh, from Hill’s or Purina. Yeahhhh. You apparently know very little about the dog food industry and should really spend some time reading the various articles on this site. I mean, for crying out loud, man, just look at the ingredients.

  • george

    Jonathan I have spoken to my vet about it and she says it is perfectly fine remind us where you received your vet degree?

  • Jonathan

    George, if you have a child and all he wants to eat is McDonald’s, would you concede and simply buy him McDonald’s every day? Dogs do not control what they put into their body… you do. and right now you are feeding your dog a carb-heavy concoction of chemicals and industrial waste. If your dog “won’t eat” better foods because his taste buds are addicted to this trash, then you could try topping a better food with canned food or chicken broth or oils/fats. Saying that you dog eats it and is healthy means nothing. Most people will seem healthy for years eating processed trash and fast-foods.

  • george

    My dog loves chef michaels it is the only thing a can get him to eat. I take him to the vet regularly and he is perfectly healthy. Sometimes it is not so much about the food but the dog. As with most things no matter what dog food you try to get information about there will always be negative reviews.

  • Sammie

    Jonathan, That is a good idea. I have done this in the past but after I started using the Chef Michaels kind of forgot how well that did work before.

  • Jonathan

    Sammie, almost every “soft” food is kept soft with some scary chemical or other undesirable ingredient. You could try a better food and wet it with water or broth…

  • Sammie

    I have been feeding both of my dogs (A Pomeranian and a Rat Terrier) Chef Michaels dog food and am very sad to see this article, but glad I did at the same time! I would love to put my dogs on raw food diet, but unfortunately with my crazy schedule (full time work and school) I have no time to feed myself, let alone cook my dogs a home cooked meal. I started using Chef Michaels because my Pomeranian doesnt like anything crunchy. She only eats softer foods. I have tried canned food, but it gives her diarreah. Are there any better quality foods that you guys know of that still have the soft food pieces in it? Price is hardly a factor, I dont want INSANELY expensive dog food, but for the health and happiness of my dogs I can spare a few extra bucks a month.

  • Gordon

    Deborah Ross – Have you considered feeding your dogs cow’s manure? Actually, I beg my pardon…even cow’s manure is better than this disastrous food!!

    I don’t know about the pricing of dog foods compared with the average wage in the US is, but to convey what I’ve read many times from another regular commenter here named Bob K, of how he puts it….Have you considered a 4 or 5 star rated food that you could get for the same price or cheaper, than this trash?

    As Meagan suggests, try topping with canned food. But for the love of God, country, and your dog, stop feeding this cancer causing concoction!

  • Meagan

    Deborah- Try topping their dry food with a nice 4 or 5 star wet food. My dogs love when I do this! They only get 1 to 2 tbls on the evening feeding.

  • Deborah Ross

    I changed my chocolate labs food to Chef Michaels about 2 months ago. His hair is falling out in clumps. His hair has become very dull when it use to be very shiny. His skin has also become very dry and the dandruf is horrible. I have tossed the rest of the bag and am feeding him something new. I would not recommend this food to anyone. It also effected my other dogs coat so I kow it wasn’t an allergic reaction. The only drawback is it was the only food they would eat as soon as I put in down. Other food sits througout the day till they are hungry. SO I have to say they liked the flavor of the food but I can see that they are not geting the vitamins they need.

  • Jonathan

    Yeah, if your dog picks Chef Michael’s over raw food, then I will question either the reality that you live in, or the sanity of your dog. LOL

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Lesley – I’ll add my 2cents although I wonder if you are legit because an option would certainly not be to let your dog starve! In addition to inferior ingredients, Chef Michael’s is loaded with controversial, and unnecessary, chemical colors – red 40, blue 2, yellow 5, yellow 6. Quite bizarre that a dog food would have chemical colors added!
    Jonathan and Bob K’s suggestions should work for you, but if they don’t, try feeding your dog REAL FOOD. Species-appropriate whole foods is quickly gobbled up by most dogs.
    You can find alot of recipes online that you can cook or feed raw. Or you can buy ready-made raw food that comes frozen, freeze-dried or dehydrated. High-meat-protein, low-carb would be a typical optimal feeding for a dog. More information and suggestions at this link:

  • Bob K

    Lesley – If you fed your kids junk food, candy, ice cream etc… what do you think they would want to eat? Perhaps you can mix some of the junk food with more nutritious food with a little water and microwave it for a few seconds to get some of the flavors smelling good.. Perhaps you can sprinkle some grated cheese into the food or mush some peanut butter or liver sausage into the dry kibble. Get a little creative. Its not that hard to get a dog to eat. You bought food from the Vet? Why? I bet you paid a premium for that.

  • Jonathan


    haha, JK.

    No, but what you could do is get a 3- 4- or 5-star dry food, and top it with a little canned food, low sodium broth, or a teaspoon of olive oil. Good luck.

  • Lesley

    If my 7 month old spaniel will ONLY eat Chef Michaels, what am I supposed to feed him? He refuses to eat all of the “recommended” dog foods that I have purchased for him from the vet’s office or from the pet stores. Should I allow him to starve?

  • Mr. H

    I used to feed the Filet Mignon Flavor dry food to my dog! Don’t get me wrong, my dog loved it. However, I didn’t want to feed my dog junk anymore. Also, this junk food is extremely overpriced! I changed to what you rate a 4-star brand a few months ago. Never turned back.

  • melissa


    Can you please provide a link or something re-“formulated to replace ALL the Rx diets”. I highly doubt that one food alone can replace all the rx diets which are formulated to assist with certain health issues. Some diets require restricted fat, restricted calories, restricted sodium etc. However, not all restricted/prescription diets can be fed to all I am leary of any ONE brand claiming that is what it is formulated to do.

  • Bob K

    Janie – While I understand your concern for a quality dog food. Can you provide the scientific facts to base up some of your statements: 1.) The food is alkaline based and not acidic like most dog food? 2.) Natural and biologically appropriate dog food you will end up saving thousands in medical bills. What exactly is “Natural and biologically appropriate”? That sounds like alot of marketing hype to me.

  • Janie

    Julie and Lorraine,
    My best suggestion to you both as a manager of a natural dog and cat food/supply store and a dog owner is to stop feeding Chef Michaels. Rule of thumb: if you can buy the dog food in a grocery store then don’t buy it. Do you guys go to pet stores and buy your food? Most grocery and big box pet stores sell food containing: soy, gluten, by products, and corn (corn isn’t terrible but the 3 previous mentioned are toxic to dogs being they are carnivores). If you have a picky eater and/or have any stomach issues I strongly suggest Canine Caviars Special Needs Diet. The food is alkaline based and not acidic like most dog food. Its balanced and gentle enough to feed directly without a transition. Canine Caviar dehydrates their meat thus making it one of the closest kibbles to raw. Special Needs is also formulated to replace all Hills Science Diet /d prescription foods due to the alkaline base and how its formulated. Another bonus is that it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag of RX science diet because its “over the counter”. I truly believe that if you pay a little bit more for good, natural and biologically appropriate dog food you will end up saving thousands in medical bills. Therefore. by splurging on good food your dog will not get numerous ailments throughout the years if feed better food, Its a win-win for you and your companion.

    Janie Hodges

  • Bob K

    Lorraine – Did you read the review of this food? What’s so good about it? What do you pay for this food? Its not chicken and Filet – If you truly love your pet, read the review above. Wouldn’t if be nice to save some money and get a better more nutritious dog food for your loved one? Please remember to transition to a new food slowly for over a week slowly increasing the new food percentage.

  • Lorraine

    My dog adores Chef Michael’s dry dog food. It is the only one she cares for out of several. The chicken is a little on the soft side and the filet migon is the same. I have a chihuahua. Do not every take this food away from my dog.

  • Jonathan

    Julie, why not try a good quality wet food? But if kibble is a must, have you tried any high protein foods? the higher the meat content, the more the dog tends to like the product. That’s been my experience, anyways.

  • Hi Julie… This whole website is loaded with suggestions. First decide what “type” you want (dry, wet or raw). Then select one of the “star ratings” lists offered here. For more help, please see our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Good luck on your new dog. Hope this helps.

  • Julie

    We have a fairly recently rescued mutt. We think he’s part collie and part Newfie but he’s about the size of the average lab. He is so pickie. He came to us about 15lbs underweight. We’ve tried lots of expensive, natural dog food (Science Diet, Wellness, Etc.) He simply will not eat them and will go for days without eating if offered them. He got a bought of diarrhea and while we were nursing him back to health we fed him chicken, rice and then added some veggies. He loved it! After he was better we started adding some CM kibble to the mixture just to give him something a bit harder to chew on as he does not chew at all and to provide additional vitamins not found in the chix/rice mixture. Now he is eating about half of the chix rice mix and half the CM. After reading this I am a bit concerned. I’m just not sure what else to feed him as I’m not sure what we are making is sufficient for him and he won’t eat other dry foods. Any suggestions?

  • Pallavi

    That there are dog owners who would rather spend money on sub-standard dog foods instead of a little time on finding a healthy one, is a very sad situation. Even when they have been told what the dangers are, they still don’t think it’s important. Why? Has all this information has been made up? For whose benefit?
    Feeding quality food can extend a dog’s life and their general wellbeing by many, many years. Their life and their happiness lies in what you decide to do for them. They rely on you to protect them. Simple.
    Regarding picky dogs, you can win that battle if you are stubborn enough. Don’t give your dog lots of choices, give them ONE healthy food at fixed times every day – not free feeding – and eventually they will eat the food when they realise they don’t have a choice. Whether it’s dry or wet food. Yorkies are very stubborn in this, ours was. It can take a long time to fix.
    I have a 2 yr old pure bred Yorkie too. He is in excellent health because he is still young but what I feed him now will impact on his health in 2/3 years time. He should be able to live to 15 if we feed him properly. If we don’t, he could be dead before he is 10.
    A 2 yrs old Yorkie can be the picture of health regardless of what they eat and it can seem that they will be that way forever but PLEASE understand that feeding them bad quality food now will almost definitely result in severe health problems when they are older, you just can’t see it yet.

  • sandy


    Nature’s Variety kibbles are very small – perfect for Yorkies.

  • sandy

    My picky eaters and the fosters I get from the vet (who have been feeding them canned food) take right to Nature’s Variety. I’m guessing it’s the ground freeze dried raw coating on the kibble. I use both Prairie and Instinct lines.

  • Jonathan

    an excellent point, Kayson. Blue buffalo in the 15lb bag is only 1.70 a pound.

  • Kayson

    I don’t understand why you would even want to feed Chef Michael’s, it’s $2 a pound for a one star dog food. You could easily get a three or four star dog food and be saving money.

  • Jonathan

    That was “lick” not “like” lol

  • Jonathan

    Rhonda, I’d rather like you dog’s ass than eat Chef Micheal’s. What does that tell you? Most animals lick themselves clean. It’s a function of nature. Dogs have very acidic digestive system that kills any bacteria that could otherwise be harmful. Plus, your dog is not EATING his rear. If you fill your dog’s tummy with this salty, by-product laden, artificially colored, chemical containing garbage, then you are playing Russian Roulette with cancer-genes, liver problems, and diabetes. Please re-read the review. This is not food. Good luck to your dog.

  • Hm-m-m. Guess you’re right. With that philosophy, think of all the new and interesting low quality dog foods you could now offer your pet.

  • Rhonda Bassett

    My dog licks his ass.. How healthy is that.? Guess Chef Michaels dog food cant be that bad.

  • erin c.

    Steve M.
    Your Yorkie probably likes CM dog food because it has “Chef” Michael’s name on it. All the other suff is just dog food. 😉

    Keep an eye on your Yorkie for anything that might show up after you have been feeding him this stuff for a while.

    Our dog did well on Beneful until she didn’t. It took a long time to get her to a point that I didn’t feel she was going to die. She has made it to 13 so far, but no thanks to Beneful.

  • Ryan… I’m sorry you feel the possibility generic animal fat could contain euthanized pets “ridiculous”. But unfortunately, it’s true.

    Euthanized cats and dogs around the country have been regularly disposed of using rendering facilities for many years. As recently as 2004, the Los Angeles County Government published a fact sheet entitled “Disposal (Rendering) of Deceased Animals from Los Angeles County Animal Shelters“. This document describes how euthanized animals from county shelters are regularly picked up and rendered by West Coast Rendering of Vernon, CA.

    Still think this isn’t possible? Be sure to watch the video interview in my article, “Do They Really Use Dead Dogs and Cats to Make Pet Food?“. This older interview (circa 1980?) involves none other than the then president of the Association of American Feed Control Officials… the regulatory arm of the pet food industry.

    Ryan. Nowhere in my review do I tell people “Purina puts euthanized pets in their dog food”. But the fact is, the company does use anonymous animal fat. And generic animal fat is one of the few ingredients that have in the past has been known to contain this kind of raw material. Products made with the cheapest unnamed meat and fat ingredients must always be called into question.

    Unfortunately, compared to hundreds of better quality products, Chef Michael’s Dog Food is made with some very questionable (and inadequately identified) materials.

  • Ryan

    You’re telling people Purina puts euthanized pets in their dog food… Ok, i get it, CM’s isn’t the healthiest choice, but euthanized pets? That’s ridiculous.

  • Jonathan

    Cathy is absolutely right. If you can afford 30-40 bucks a month, you can feed a small dog the best possible raw food out there. I wish I were so lucky… my 70lb lab/golden mix eats a 30lb bag of food a month. If I tried to feed her a fairly convenient freeze dried raw food (although still less convenient than conventional kibble) it would cost me well over $250 a month.

    It always bugs me (and this isn’t directed at you, Steve, this is a random vent) a little when some one is in my store buying an $8.99 8lb bag of Dog Chow for for their chihuahua and when I try to show them something like Earthborn they act all shocked and offended by the $14.99 price for the 6lb bag. And all I can think is… “reallly?”

    We are talking about a $6 difference for a much better food. Is your dog’s health not worth $6 a month to you?

    But anyways, back to you Steve… what Cathy suggested is a great idea if you really want to get your pooch to eat something not just better than CM, but better than any 5-star kibble on this entire web site… a raw diet would be the way to go. And I bet you your Yorkie would devour it! If you don’t want to hassle with finding/ordering that kind of food, it would still probably be fairly inexpensive (compared to bigger dogs) to feed her a high quality canned food.

  • Cathy

    Did you try feeding meat scraps, per your vet’s suggestion? REAL FOOD is what your dog needs, not industry waste. For your small dog, you might spend a dollar a day on REAL FOOD, and you’d be light years ahead on good health. Do some internet search on raw feeding for pets. It’s what nature intended. Even if, for convenience, you chose a pre-prepared raw food formula your cost is minimal for a small dog.
    In choosing cereal, soup, or a burger, I’m picky, too! I’ll take REAL FOOD unprocessed. I don’t want chemicals, dyes, synthetics, GM corn/soy, or un-named animal parts.

  • steve miltimore

    I was shocked to find such a low rating. I, for the most part, understand the ingredients in CM are not quality and is not what “experts” in quality the dog food would recommend. However here is my situation and why we and our yorkie use CM and will continue until Rusty, the yorkie, decides otherwise.
    Rustie, is a pure breed yorkie, 2 years old and extremely finicky about what he eats. we have put at least 20 to 30 different dry dog foods out for him to nibble on throughout the day and at the end of the day we had to hand feed him to get him to eat. he would always turn away and would go days with out eating any of it. The vet suggested trying some meat scraps or continue to look for some food he likes. Then we discovered CM, and he loves it . We put a about a half a cup out a day and he nibbles it down through out the day.
    Now he has a lot of energy, is maintaining his weight, but most of all he actually eats it.

  • To keep things as equal as possible, I got as many prices as I could from one source: Pet Supplies Plus in Kalamazoo, MI. If the prices aren’t from PSP, its says where they’re from right in the spreadsheet or on the notes page. I understand that prices for other people in other areas will be different, but suspect that overall line-up in cheapest to most expensive would be unchanged.

  • Jonathan

    Great spreadsheet Kristin! The prices you are using… are they the “average” of the various prices you have found online?

  • Those feeding this, please take a look at this spreadsheet and notice that there are quite a few 4 star and even a couple of 5 star foods that are less expensive than Chef Michael’s. For less money, you can treat your dog to a much better food.

  • Rene

    I do not work for “their company” or have special interest. I did not say that CM was miracle cure for skin problems. Only that I have tried all the brands recommended by experts — those with initials behind their names and those who choose to post on forums like these. For my dog right now, CM seems to be suiting him and his special needs. I’m not saying it will help any other dog’s skin problem. His allergies are probably not food related, probably something environmental — although he’s been tested. I’m just glad that things have eased up in my household. Now I can go work on world peace 🙂

  • Jonathan

    Yeah, Henry, I tend to think you are right. Like, I can’t imagine a reason that CM would “clear up” a skin problem. There is nothing in it but low quality grains and potential allergens. This food is actually one of the more common responses I get to “what food is your dog eating?” when a customer is buying hot-spot spray. Then, I tell them about the problem with grain-heavy commercial dog food, get them to try something better, and, wouldn’t you know it… no more skin problems!

  • Henry

    I only went to this website and read these reviews because I love my new German Shepherd puppy, and want to feed them what is best. I already knew, from some other websites, about by-products, the generic term “meat” vs. chicken, beef, etc., and that corn & wheat were not good main ingredients. I have to assume that others come to this website for the same reason. Therefore, I conclude that ALL of the above comments that say anything positive about this product are lies, and that the persons who made such comments ONLY came to this site to do “damage control” for their companies product. I suggest that no one pay them any more attention.

  • Rene

    I have a westie with skin problems. I have been feeding him prescription diet (science diet) for the past several years as recommended by the vet. I never pictured myself spending so much on dog food but we had tried every other premium brand and this seemed to suit him best. Still his skin remained bright pink and he would have major flare ups 2 or 3 times a year that would require vet visits, shots, antibiotics, prescription shampoos, etc. Several months ago I ran out of prescription diet and the vet was closed for the weekend. In desperation, I fed him chef michaels. He loved it of course. Over that weekend his skin cleared up, he stopped itching. His coat is now filling in beautifully. I feel like I have my beautiful happy dog back.

    From reading these various posts and other reviews I can appreciate that CM may not be the best based on certain standards, but I am relieved to finally find true relief for my westie.

  • Cathy

    Miranda – Since your small town has only a Safeway and Walmart, another option is to buy a better-than-IAMS dog food online and have it delivered. Some websites offer free delivery or low-cost delivery. Even if the bag of better dog food cost a bit more and you paid a delivery fee, for 2 small dogs you’re probably at a calculation of paying an extra 50 cents per day (25 cents per day per dog) for better doggie nutrition.

  • Jonathan


    From the bag of Iams, 4th ingredient: chicken by-product meal

    No one assumed they use by-products. they say they do.

    And I’m not saying Iams isn’t better than Chef Michael’s. It indeed is. If that is the best food you can find, then godspeed.

    However, do they carry the Iams “Life Protection” variety? that one is Iams best product for sure.

    And please don’t confuse what I am saying with being mad or aggressive! I want you to learn as much as I have from this site and other resources. I certainly know that I am not a vet, but i also know that vets do not learn dog food nutrition in veterinary school.

    And I also know that the likes of Iams, Hill’s, and Purina spend MILLIONS of dollars “training” vets on dog food nutrition, aka “why our food is good”.

    They send them on all expense paid trips to their facilities and on weekend seminars, and they give them free pet food when they are in school.

    Some conscientious vets are aware of the scam and take it upon themselves to become truly educated about pet nutrition by real animal nutritionists.

    Most do not.

    Please, Miranda, continue to post! No one wants to chase you off. Your personal experiences with various products is invaluable.

    And all of us are not dog food Nazis 😉

  • Miranda

    Look I already explained 3 times why I bought the chef micheals. I DID NOT KNOW IT WAS BAD!! Ok Bob? Anyhow I live in a small town with just Safeway and walmart and these stores are small they are not the full size version. Trust me when I say Iams is the best they got. I have owned dogs my whole life and I do know how to take care of them. I do know that if you feed them canned and no dry food their teeth go bad I’ve experianced the difference first hand. The only reason I posted on this website was to warn others about Chef Micheals. I have read the review on Iams and it was a lot of assuming. Like you assume they use by products because it doesn’t say otherwise. Pandora is making a great recovery on the IAMS dog food. They are both happy and healthy pets, lol hell they get treated better than I do. So thanks for your non vet “expert” opinions but this will be my last post.

  • Jonathan

    Miranda, it is very unwise to think that the vet knows anything more about dog food than Iams teaches them. Besides, anyone selling a product is going to tell you it’s good. Please read the review of Iams and learn why it is not a good food. Why Science Diet is not a good food. Why 90% of dog foods in the grocery store are no good.

    And canned food being “bad for teeth”? Are you kidding me? Your vet really told you that? Read Mike’s article about the myth of dental hygiene through kibble.

  • Bob K

    Miranda – Maybe its time to find a vet who understands dog nutrition a little better. Why does your Vet sell Iams? Have you asked? Does your family Dr. sell you food? Hell No because thats that stores are for and hopefully your Dr. can make nutrition recommendations or refer you to someone who can.

    You can buy Iams at Target, Petco, Petsmart and many other places cheaper than you vet can. A few cheap 4 star dog foods include: Diamond Naturals which is cheaper than Iams and on sale now at Menards and TSC. How about 4 Health at TCS or Kirkland at Costco. I bet these three foods are cheaper than the IAMS you are getting from your vet and rated 4 Star. And why did you try Chef Michaels if you are so in love with IAMS?

  • Miranda

    I have went through the list of 4 & 5 star dog foods. Very few are sold in my area. Unfortunatly the ones that are are out of my price range or they are canned. Due to old age and dental issues it is not good for my dogs to eat canned. However I have a very good vet that truly cares about animals and she condems several brands of dog foods and says the Iams that I have my dogs on is just fine. Not to mention I have seen Iams sold in every vet office I have been in. I also like the fact that it’s all one type of dog food and my pug no longer picks through it leaving morsals on the floor for me to step on in bare feet. 🙂

  • Jonathan

    Miranda, thank goodness you found this site! 🙂 We are all glad your dog is back to healthy and welcome you to the crazy-huge world of dog food.

    Now that you have had some time to look at more of Mike’s site, are you considering transitioning your older pups to a 4 or 5 star food?

  • Miranda

    Bob I did not know it was 1 star I did not know Iams is 3 star ect. Today is the first time I have seen this review page. I get iams because it is what my dogs like the best and vet approved. We were at a store that didn’t have the Iams and we thought the Chef Micheals looked comparable. Like I said in my previous statement we didn’t realize it was the dog food making Pandora sick until we switched back to Iams and she got better. She is very old we thought her time had come. We were however very relieved that it was just the dog food that made her sick. I just thought I would leave a comment on here to warn others. I will however from now on look up reviews of the dog food if I ever choose to switch their diet again. Thank you

  • Bob K

    Miranda – What made you try Chef Micheals as its a 1 star food? Did you transition the change of dog food slowly? Why Iams? It’s at best a 3 star food? If you are so concerned about your dogs health why not move up to some 4 or 5 star foods that may even be cheaper than Iams and save you money?

  • Miranda

    I just want to warn others with older dogs. I have two older small dogs. We fed them Chef Micheals because it was a brand we have not tried yet and we are always looking for something they both will agree on. After awhile we noticed they both started drinking a lot more water. Pandora our older dog started losing control over her bladder and puddling all over the house, she has always been very good about going outside. We started to fear that we maybe losing Pandora. After getting her back on Iams for awhile and many bowls of water later she is finally back to normal to our emense relief. I don’t suggest this dog food to anybody. Please moniter your pets closely if you insist on feeding them this. We did not realize it was the food until after we put them back on Iams but I feel one more bag of Chef Micheals would have killed Pandora.

  • Jonathan

    Tiffany, I am “spreading this information” all over this place. Trust me.

  • Tiffany

    I usually don’t take the time to address the ignorant people on this site, but some of these comments I just cannot ignore. To those of you that claim your dog loves this food, and will eat nothing else…think about this….

    If every time your dog sniffs a food and decides not to eat it…you go buy a different brand for them to try…why wouldn’t they continue to do this until you put something in front of them that they can’t resist? I’m pretty sure if I place a row of plates full of healthy foods in front of my child, and then put a chocolate sundae at the end of the row…he would go for the sundae every time! Your dogs are playing you like fiddles!

    And the reason why most dogs find low grade kibbles to be delicious is simple:

    I’m sure you’ve noticed that very strong smell when you open a new bag of dog food…guess what? That strong smell is either rendered animal fat, restaurant grease, or other oils considered inedible for humans. These fats are sprayed directly onto cooked kibbles to make an otherwise bland or distasteful product taste great. The fat also acts as a binding agent for other flavor enhancers.

    Please do your research before you post your ignorant remarks about how great a low grade kibble has worked for your pooch!!! And if they had health problems that magically cleared up after using this product…I really would hate to know what you were feeding your “beloved” pet before you began feeding this crap!

    Jonathon I would really appreciate it if you would spread this information to other threads on this site when it is needed.

    And, thank you Mike for your wonderful website…please continue your attempt to educate the mindless masses. Remember…it is sometimes dangerous to be right on matters where the majority or authority are wrong. (o:

  • Lucy

    I saw this food for the first time at the grocery store tonight. I picked it up and read the ingredients…and was disgusted. Bottom line is that the pretty packaging costs more than the ingredients! It’s a VERY low grade food parading around like it’s some kind of quality…

    For your dog’s sake folks, find something else. And if anyone is having weird issues with their dog after feeding this for a while, please know that soy is a goitrogen – that means that it can suppress the thyroid. And low thyroid can manifest in many ways from skin conditions, depression, muscle pain, and seizures to new fears, obsessive compulsive behaviors, and aggression.

  • Evan

    My mother-in-law was feeding this to her Yorkie/JRT mix for a long time. He was suffering through all kinds of skin allergies, hot spots, etc. In her countless vet visits, he never once mentioned that she might ought to make a change in his diet. She switched to Taste of the Wild and it didn’t completely eliminate the issues, but the itching is drastically reduced. He certainly isn’t miserable like he was before.

  • ashley

    I have been reading these reviews for hours and just have to say to those people who are PRAISING this dog food and foods like it…you really are a sad, sad group of people. I feel sorry for you actually. I see pets in my job eveyday and I know the problems pet owners face.. but just because you are not finding a way to cope with your pets’ eating issues does not mean this food is ok. Your pets may be eating and doing well now, but when they develop health probs, tumors, cancer, kidney probs, etc. you will eat your words. The bottom line is this food is ATROCIOUS and should not be endorsed in any way… it can be hard to deal with your pets’ problems when it comes to eating, but trust me, there are solutions. You just have to find them, even if it means a little hard work…. can you handle that? If not, then I feel sorry for the pets in your hands as well.

  • Hi Anna… I truly wish I could take the time to search the many dog foods on my website to help you find a product to meet your pet’s special needs. However, the Dog Food Advisor was never designed to provide custom services of this nature. Why not limit your search to the 3, 4 and 5-star brands I’ve already screened from the thousands of recipes currently available. And be sure to check the comments at the end of each review to see what our real experts have to say, too.

  • Anna

    I don’t know what dog food is best: Orijen, Halo, Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul, Azmira, Before Grain, Solid Gold or what. And I have a 2 year old niece, my dog is over 12.5 years old and I must say that sometimes he has fleas and that I should have one Frontline Plus packet left for him that seems to be missing. He throws up almost anything with beet pulp, corn gluten meal and more, so: it has to either be organic, substantiated (proven to help) or better and I’d like it if it wasn’t just a ‘maintenance’ food. 12.5 lbs he is and I can feel his muscular bones and such. His teeth are white and I’m looking for the best nutrition kind. Likewise, I found a treat I’m looking into buying called Alaskan Bear Cranberry Nuggets that are 50% protein, 10% fat, 5% fiber, 16% moisture. Now, I’d probably only go about those numbers for a treat and perhaps just in the Winter. Either way: can you tell me of a dog food that good or that would help non-set cataracts or fleas? Thanks.

  • Jonathan

    What else did you try, Janet? Did you even try anything that didn’t come from a grocery store? I’m sure he wouldn’t turn his nose up to a high meat content kibble like Blue Wilderness Salmon. And, he may live a few extra, healthy years rather than dying young with lumpy tumors all over his body.

  • Janet

    I discovered CM dry food a couple of months ago. My shih Tzu who is 5 yrs old really loves it. He is very picky and hasn’t got all his teeth so kibbles are difficult for him to eat. I’ve tried so many different brands of food and he just doesn’t like them. He now eats his meals with gusto and has even gained a little weight which is ok.
    I am going to continue feeding him CM. So far everything has been fine and he Loves it!

  • Kris

    Glad I found this website, too! Our 5 yr old 12 lb dog was sure getting bored with the Iams mini chunks. I started to replace about 1/4 of his regular food with what I call “croutons”. CM was on sale and he begs to be fed now. I’m going to reduce the ratio, however, after reading this review and several comments.

  • Jonathan

    Yes, David, please, for the sake of your dog, continue searching for a better product.

    You know, if a child won’t eat his healthful dinner, and instead, insists on McDonald’s every night, should we oblige him? Or should we let him go hungry one night and watch the next day as he chomps down the good quality foods?

    Dogs are like children. No dog will actually refuse to eat until dying from starvation. It goes against their most basic survival instincts. Sometimes, a dog is just seeing how much control he can assert over his owner, just as a child does to his parents.

    The bottom line is, you have the ability to decide what is healthful for him. He does not. Go buy some 4 or 5 star food and try topping it with olive oil or a good canned food. Betcha he’ll eat it up. And if he doesn’t the first night (or even the second) he will eventually devour it.

    If it goes no for more than two days of NO eating (and no people scraps either!) then you, sir, have a ridiculous exception to the Darwinian rules of survival, and I guess you’ll just have to feed him industrial waste.

    But I doubt it will come to that.

  • My dog Bambi has always been a very picky eater. Her whole life she has never wanted to eat any dog food i have bought her, and i have bought her many kinds. I was surprised when she ate Chef Michaels and she keeps eating it. From the review above, it may not be the best thing for her, but she keeps eating it and her weight has gone up and she looks healthier than before. I will keep her on Chef Michaels but also keep looking for a healthier choice as well. I would rather her eat like she is now than starve herself. Thanks for all your comments and for the review.

  • Jonathan

    Adam, He probably drank more water on this food because of the amount of added salt. If you are feeding Royal Canin, why not get some Bulldog 24 to mix in at a treat? This works great from my dog because the BD 24 are big crunchy pieces that are, apparently, delicious! She tends to take them out individually and eat them like a treat.

    Karen, you say “90% of the human beings in the world don’t eat as well as some of your dogs apparently do…” but what is funny is that even the “best” dry food is still like “chain restaurant” food for people. It’s processed to the point where it’s several steps from “real” and much of the best parts of fresh food is damaged or gone completely. Foods like Chef Michaels are made from ingredients that industries couldn’t send to poor countries if they wanted to, because they are so low quality and potential contaminated. I agree with the spirit of your argument, which is why I’m not entirely against using slaughter-house leftovers in dog and cat food. After all, we already are consuming meat at an unsustainable rate, and we aren’t even carnivores! But low quality grains and agriculture by-products are usually full of dangerous stuff. I’d rather a dog food was grain free and made from chicken heads, than chicken free and made from wet milling leftovers.

    Jody, it’s good you have found a food your dog will eat, but again, this is anecdotal evidence of nothing more than your dog’s preference. It also speaks to the fact that Nestle sprays this food with both “animal digest” (eww!) and salt. Just like for humans, salt is a necessary mineral, but it is also a flavor enhancer, and in larger than necessary amounts, it is harmful and addictive. Have you tried a quality food like Blue or Wellness with a spoonful of canned food or olive oil or chicken fat as a topper?

  • Jody

    My dog penny is 13 years old, and all her life we have tried, who knows how many dry dog foods, well at last, Chef Michael’s is the winner!!! Thanks Chef Michael for an amazing dog food.

  • Karen

    I’m neither a vet nor a Nestle mole, so I don’t know enough to be an expert in any dimension of this conversation. I do know that my 4yo Dalmatian mix had a horrible scaly rash on his belly, threatening to get infected, that only cleared up when I started feeding him the chicken version of this food. I thought it was a coincidence because it’s clear that this isn’t some fantastic whole-food gourmet diet, and we had tried 3 other “better” foods plus homemade, washed his bed repeatedly to remove soap residue, gave him benedryl, oatmeal baths, etc with only marginal improvement. So we went back to his old food and voila: new red sores within 24 hours. Perhaps soybeans and undeveloped eggs really are as evil as the reviewer claims, and perhaps I’m a bad dog parent for not worrying about this more than I do, but (a) it’s working for my dog and he loves to eat it (b) we all know most dogs would eat far less wholesome things than the worst ingredients in most dog foods if given the chance (hello?– cat box snacks?) and (c) 90% of the human beings in the world don’t eat as well as some of your dogs apparently do, so perhaps you should think about redirecting some of your bux from Mrs. Narcissist’s Emu Pooch Goulash to Unicef or something similar. Just a thought.

  • Adam

    Wow! So glad I found this site. The original review is interesting and the comments, excluding the two rude ones, are fair and balanced. It is true that my dog eats the entire bowl of CM immediately when I place it down. He seems to love it and thinks it’s a treat. Strange things: he drinks more water yet his poop is dry and hard, almost like a horse or other herbivores. It also does not smell as bad as normal, which albeit good for my nose, makes me think the review us correct as meat tends to make poo stink. Sorry for the gross….
    I think I will likely use this food as an occasional meal, like on weekends, or mix it with Iams or Royal Canin.

  • Jonathan

    I’m glad your doggy is better. That being said, the bashing of this food is a result of its disgusting ingredients list which is nothing more than an accumulation of industrial trash. There is no medical reason why this food would be good for diabetes, but if it’s all he will eat, then do what you must. But that doesn’t make this a good food.

  • This board of dog food bashing I find very offensive…My dog is a diabetic and because of the 3% fiber he can eat something he loves. I have tried all diets for diabetic dogs and he will starve himself for 5 days at a time before eating the food that is exposed to be good for a dog with his medical condition. Jack a sheltie was loosing weight and looking like his day of life had about come to a end when I decided to get him a treat of a bite of this wonderful dog food. Jack now has gained his weight back and his blood suger is in the normal range according to his vet…so people CM dog food saved this dogs life! Keep that in mind when you read all this negitive dog food bashing….bye the way if a dog starts drinking too much water he might be diabetic; just like jack.

  • Olivia

    Good grief! I just mixed Chef Michael’s food with Rachael Ray’s dog food (which has been A Rating for our puppy, Mini Poodle Gus, who is now 1 yr old, in excellent health) and already Gus is gulping water. I had a distinct feeling the soft, chewy morsels of CM were not a benefit! One should always go with their gut feelings! So the bag goes in the trash & hopefully Gus will not remember the delicious, savory scent of CM’s dogfood! Rachael Ray Dog Food, in our opinion, is a good choice! Happy Autumn! Olivia @ NHG

  • Jonathan

    Don, I would just change dog foods regardless of whether or not (it probably is) it’s causing the problem with the urination. It’s made from garbage. It is literally the stuff that is so nutritionally worthless that manufacturers would be throwing it in dumpsters had not some profit first number cruncher figured out that you can sort of keep a dog alive with the crap and turned it into “food” for dogs.

  • Don

    Of those of you that are feeding your dog Chef Michael, are any of you noticing that the dog is drinking more water, and urinating more frequently?

    We’ve excluded the likelyhood of a urinary or badder infection, and are moving one to further investigate, but I had felt that my dog starting increasing her water intake, in association with our increasingly feeding her Chef Michael, dry dog food.

    It’s too early to tell here but, was wondering if anyone had noticed similar symptoms?

    Thanks for any information,

  • Jonathan

    Hey Melissa, have you tried a high quality canned food? They are higher in meat content, less processed, and much more tasty than dry kibble… and they usualy have been formulated to contain the correct amount of each vitamin and mineral your dog needs to be healthy. Cooking is great, but it is harder to be sure your pup is getting the correct ratio of nutrients.

  • Melissa

    My 3 1/2 year old lhasa poo wants nothing to do with dog food. When we got her 3 years ago, she came with a huge bag of premium dog food that she supposedly loved. Funny thing, she wouldn’t eat it. We ended up with about 6 bags of very expensive premium dog food, at least our friends’ dogs ate well! We consulted with our vet, and he suggested trying a few more dry foods. We were done buying food she would not eat. At this point we turned to the internet for advice and came across an article that is completely opposed to feeding dogs dog food for exactly the same reasons listed in the reviews regarding Chef Michaels food. Slaughterhouse leftovers, diseased animals, euthanized animals conplete with flea collars and tags, and the list went on. Ive seen too many articles that warn against the same things, and that’s enough for me. We have been cooking for Riley for for almost as long as she’s been ours and she loves it. We brown ground turkey breast, add cooked brown rice (not instant, may as well use white rice!), steamed carrots, steamed brussel sprouts (HER FAVORITE FOOD!), and boiled pinto beans. The veggies are cut up and added to meat, rice and beans and she gets 3/4 of a cup twice a day. No salt, added fat, preservatives, dyes, or anything bad for her. She going to be with us for as long as possible, and our vet thinks its great. Best of all, Riley approves! Actually, we did just purchase a small bag of chef michaels for her and she did eat a serving, but my gut told me that dog food that sells for uneder $5 a bag could not be what she should be eating, which brought me to this website where my hunch was confirmed. The bag is now in the garbage, my friends dogs will not be eating it. I want them around, too. Consider cooking for your dogs. Seriously consider it.

  • Jonathan

    And by the way, instead of just coming up here and yelling, did you even read any of Mike’s articles? What do you base your knowledge of dog food on? certainly not science or research.

  • Jonathan

    To jay and Andrea: one or both of you are Nestle reps. That said, if you think feeding your pup colorful chemicals from a bag is a good thing, then you are a poor sort indeed. To the outlandish comment that your dog wouldn’t eat raw, that’s non sense. and someone that has researched dog nutrition enough to have tried a raw diet would never go backwards to garbage like this. I don’t buy that for a second. no dog will turn his nose up to real meat.

  • Jessica

    The whole Kids and candy and MCDonalds analogy is a very good one. So what if it will get them to eat it in the end. Any child services that saw a child being fed candy and McDonolds its entire life because “that is the only thing they will eat” would have the child removed due to the horrific health risks to the child. It isn’t just that it takes years off the dog if it eats foods like this, it is killing the dog slowly by preventing it from getting all the nutrients it NEEDS. I would never feed my animals such a low quality food. It is simply wrong.

  • Jay… Sorry you feel our review is biased. For that was never our intention. Contrary to what you believe we are saying here, we actually favor foods that are rich in meat. This Chef Michael’s product appears to be low in meat content and mostly manufactured with plant-based (soy and corn) meat substitutes and synthetic coloring and chemical agents. I love to eat, too. But this is certainly not a food I would ever feed my dog. To each his own.

  • Jay

    I find your analysis of Chef Michael’s to be completely biased. As a human you could certainly extend your life if you eliminated fat and red meat from your diet. This human loves to eat and I’ll trade a few years for food that tastes good and makes me feel good afterward. I treat my Golden Retriever the same way. He loves Chef Michael’s and thats what I feed him. Good luck to you and the crap you obviously eat. I feel sorry for your pooch, may he out live you.

  • sandy

    my dog buddy will only eat chef michaels hes very picky when it comes to his food

  • Ashley

    Yes but andrea your vet will say just about anything for you to buy it or make money. Maybe they want your dog to eat this food so in a few years you are back at his office to give him more money because you aren’t feeding him the right food!! Think about it! Amy you are totally right! Does anyone have any comments on Orijen dog food?

  • Amy

    Andrea, I consider your comments rude. If you don’t want the advice offered here then fine, don’t read it and don’t take it. I am glad your dog is eating, but your reasoning is the same as a kid who won’t eat anything but candy and McDonalds. Will it keep them alive – yes. Will they eventually have plenty of health problems a result – yes.

  • Andrea

    I have a ten year old Westie named Mackenzie. My dog is so picky that she will go for over a week without eating. You can hear her stomach growling from the other side of the room. Anyway, I have tried EVERY premium dog food there is. (I have also tried the special raw food, that she REFUSED to even try) She will eat some foods for a few days, gets bored & then refuses to eat at all. I have tried adding gravy etc, but she will just lick the gravy off & spit out the food! My vet and I have been trying for ten years to find a food and have not had any success. I did get her to actually finish a bag of Royal Canine Special 30, but then she wouldn’t look at the next bag I bought. I tried Chef Michaels, and she just gobbles it up. She has NEVER EVER eaten from her bowl the second I put the food down, until now. I am switching off between the chicken & the beef and I am now on my 4th straight bag! My vet does not have ANY problem with this food and I am VERY HAPPY! Since my vet actually has a degree, I think I will take his opinion! I think it is much healthier for a dog to eat than to try and starve themselves on a regular basis! I will not mix anything with this food, as I know she will then refuse to eat it. I am going to feed this food exclusively to my dog from now on! She is happy, healthy & has a beautiful coat on this food! Her skin issues are actually getting better (explain that one!)

  • Jonathan

    I doubt their is more than 1% of dogs that would actualy starve themselves to death because they don’t like thier food. If they go hungry for a few days, its not the end of the world. If you want to make the food tastier, just use the same trick the cheap dog food companies do: put fat on the food. But instead of the low quality crap they use, you can add olive oil, fish oil, chicken fat, beef fat; whatever you are cooking that has drippings. That way they will eat their healthful food and get some extra healthful fats, particularly the olive or fish oil. Take into account the added calories and adjust the amount of dry kibble. a tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories and 13 g of healthful fats that not only taste good but will shine your pups coat up too!

  • gregg

    2 of my dogs are very finicky and I have tried and thrown out many expensive dog foods such as taste of the wild and such because they would not eat it. The statement: they’ll eat when they are hungry is a bunch of crap. They won’t! I tried Chef Michael’s as a mix with other higher quality, expensive foods and they now eat it up. I wouldn’t feed it to them exclusively, but using it to get them to eat is like adding cheese sauce to broccoli to get your kids to eat! The dogs seem very happy with their diet and are healthy and energetic. Just FOOD for thought.

  • Kim

    I can sympathize with your frustration, however if your willing to buy this “very expensive dog food” (according to Nancy above), why not invest your money in a biologically appropriate diet for your dog that has countless benefits to his health, well being and best yet longevity? Research has shown that dogs who eat a biologically appropriate diet live 2-4 years longer. (See Spot Live Longer – Steve Brown & Beth Taylor – I highly recommend this book).
    Why not help him thrive and not just survive?
    The reason he probably “loves” the current food your feeding him is that lower quality pet food companies regularly spray fats, salt, sugar and flavor enhancers on the food after the manufacturing process to ensure that, not only will your dog eat it, but may even become addicted to it. Without these flavor enhancers, he probably wouldn’t touch it. If the food was actually good on it’s own merit and good for him, they wouldn’t have to do that .
    In the long run, his current diet is going to cause all sorts of health problems down the line. It’s almost a guarantee unless you are working with some incredible genetics. And even if you are, he’ll never be what he could have been.
    I recently switched my 3 dogs and 1 cat to a real/raw food diet and not only has their skin and coats improved along with their overall health, but I can see a difference in there presence/personalities. They’re more engaged and “alive”.
    I make their food and I won’t kid you, it takes time and commitment, but the rewards are worth it. There are good frozen real food diets out there too …i.e. Fresh is Best, Aunt Jeni’s, Darwins, B.A.R.F. just to name a few…
    If real food is out of the question, try Halo Pets. They don’t contain any by products, meat meals, artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. You can even get sampler packs fairly cheap and they have coupons on their website to try their products for free…you can’t loose with that deal?!
    Best of luck to you and your pet!

  • Doreen

    My 5 year old dog has been a finicky eater all his life up till now. I’ve read all the online dog food ratings and tried so many varieties from the best rated to (what I found out later to be) the worst! At this point it’s been a long 5 years of trying to get him to eat something consistantly and I’m tired of wasting money. He loves Chef Michael’s wet and dry foods, and I’m done searching. He’s been eating it for about 2 months straight now without turning up his nose from it once! I’m staying with it! 🙂

  • Nancy Donelson

    This is very very expensive considering its weight; my dog likes it but definitely picks out the meat looking pieces leaving the green and yellow. It is not his mainstay food, only used as his night time treat snack.