Eukanuba Life Stages Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Eukanuba Life Stages Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Eukanuba Life Stages product line includes 17 dry dog foods.

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

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

  • Eukanuba Puppy Growth [G]
  • Eukanuba Adult Small Bite [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Small Breed [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Maintenance [M]
  • Eukanuba Senior Large Breed [M]
  • Eukanuba Senior Small Breed [M]
  • Eukanuba Puppy Small Breed[A]
  • Eukanuba Puppy Large Breed [G]
  • Eukanuba Senior Maintenance [M]
  • Eukanuba Puppy Lamb and Rice [G]
  • Eukanuba Senior Lamb and Rice [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Large Breed (3.5 stars) [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Weight Control (2 stars) [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Lamb and Rice (3.5 stars) [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Large Breed Lamb and Rice [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Weight Control Large Breed (3 stars) [M]
  • Eukanuba Adult Weight Control Small Breed (3.5 stars) [M]

Eukanuba Adult Maintenance was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Eukanuba Adult Maintenance Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, brewers rice, dried beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), chicken flavor, ground whole grain barley, dried egg product, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), potassium chloride, salt, flax meal, sodium hexametaphosphate, fructooligosaccharides, choline chloride, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), dl-methionine, vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), calcium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, brewers dried yeast, beta-carotene, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%18%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%37%40%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 40%

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

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

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken 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 feathers.

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

In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The third ingredient is corn meal, a coarsely ground flour made from dried corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

The fourth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat 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 beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

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

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

After the chicken flavor, we find barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

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

With six notable exceptions

First, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, flaxseed meal is one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, we note the inclusion of sodium hexametaphosphate, a man-made industrial polymer with no known nutritive value.

HMP is used in making soap, detergents, water treatment, metal finishing and most likely here to decrease tartar build-up on the teeth.

Although some might disagree, we’re of the opinion that food is not the place for tartar control chemicals or any other non-nutritive substances.

Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

We also note the inclusion of brewers yeast, which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

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

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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.

Eukanuba Life Stages Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba Life Stages Dog Food looks like an average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flax meal and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Eukanuba Life Stages is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named by-product meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

Eukanuba Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

11/13/2017 Last Update

  • Luis Fabian Velasco

    I would just like to say from a loyal buyer of eukanuba “PUTANG [email protected] MO” thank you

  • Kae

    Lol this food is absolute crap, and wayyy overpriced. Why spend $50 on a bag of this when you could go for Earthborn, Acana, or raw food? This food should be a 2 star rating, no dog should have to eat it.

  • Cannoli

    Some parts of the world? heck even here. I eat meat tartar but then again on rare occasion since for some absurd reason it costs $18 for an appetizer.. Did human planet do a follow up to see how long these humans who ate raw meat lived too? Or did they eat it on occasion?

  • Alexandra Andreea

    If you watch Human Planet, you will be surprised to find out that in some parts of the world humans do eat raw meat 😉

  • Alexandra Andreea

    Hi Marea,

    Ask for some worming treatment from the vet. Give her the treatment for 3 days and for the next week or two feed the puppy raw minced chicken and boiled rice. That should settle its stomach and she will start eating dog food again. Had the same problems with mine and now she is all healthy and happy. I wish you all the best 🙂

  • angiefruitcake

    You have to take into account the impact humans have had on the evolution of dogs. They may have been decended from wild wolves, just as we have from our raw meat eating ancestors, but more often than not their bodies cannot combat the parasites found in raw foods.

    It’s a dog by dog basis, and if this food doesn’t yeild good results for a dog then move on.

  • LabsRawesome

    Have you ever tried giving her canned only? It’s easier to digest than kibble. If you have a Costco membership check out Nature’s Domain, it’s $20 for a case of 24 cans. It’s rated 5 stars on this site.

  • Liz Del Rio

    I have several recommendations for you, I understand how tough it is to see your fur baby suffer. The ones I recommend are Nutro Ultra, Nature’s Variety, Wellness, and Organix.

    From experience, I have seen people switch their dogs off the prescription food to Nutro Ultra and Nature’s Variety: they’r both very good with picky eaters. The Ultra is less expensive than the Nature’s Variety, so I suggest you try that out first 🙂

  • Crazy4cats

    I forgot to mention that in addition to Nutrisource Senior, Victor Healthy Weight and Whole Earth Farms grain free are low in fat and my dogs have done well on them as well. But again, I’d confirm with your vet that these would be OK for your dog in addition to the brands that were recommended by him/her. Best wishes!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Marea-
    I assume that your vet ruled out any worms or parasites, such as hook worm, round worm, giardia and coccidia? Sometimes these are hard to detect and can cause intermittent diarrhea and vomiting. Maybe another fecal test should be done.

    I have labs and they rarely turn down any type of food. Yes, you could continue with the probiotic if it helps. It is probably Forti Flora that the vet recommended. You can buy it online much cheaper than most vets charge at, and/or It also makes the food more appetizing to some dogs. I still use it about once a week when I feed my pups sardines. I also buy probiotic chews by Vetri-Science.

    My pups get canned mixed in their kibble every morning. I try to avoid any canned food with carrageenan in it as it can cause upset to dogs with sensitive tummies. I typically buy budget friendly stews that do not contain it. In the evening, they get an egg, raw meat, sardines and/or tripe added to their kibble. Tripe is very stinky and most dogs love it. It might be something to look into?
    Another vet visit might be in order for your pup if the upsets continue.

    Another site that has a lot of great information, in my opinion, is: There is a digestive disorders tab to click on that has been very helpful to me. I wish you the best!

  • Marea Duca

    Thank you for your response! It appears I need to look into Nutrisouce. I appreciate your advice!

  • Marea Duca

    Thank you so much for your response! When she went to the vet earlier this year they looked into her bowel movements as there was blood in them 🙁 however, they never diagnosed her with anything and recommended the food change. They also gave us a probiotic powder to sprinkle on her food – I think it was made by purina. She definitely did better after this but still has the occasional upset tummy. I stopped the probiotic powder and wonder if I should continue it. I do think the toppers are what’s causing her issues as I’ve tried different types and she does well on some and others she will get sick. The problem is she will get tired of the topper and won’t eat. So I try to mix it up but I think I’m causing more trouble. I’ve tried everything from canned (which she hates) and the refrigerated FreshPet soft food (she wasn’t a big fan of this either). She’s tried the My Perfect Pet lightly cooked food (mixed with kibble) and really enjoyed it, however it is really hard to find. I need to stick with something healthy and not stray away from it. It sounds like Nutrisource is a good thing to look into! If you know of any healthy toppers please let me know 🙂 I really appreciate your advice!

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Marea-
    Sorry about the troubles with your pup. Do you know what is causing the intestinal problems? Have there been any tests run, such as a blood panel or fecal tests? I wouldn’t worry about the ratings on this site for your dog. They are set for the average healthy dog. Maybe a 3 star is best for your dog’s condition. I think healthy toppers mixed in kibble are a great idea. Are they what you think is causing the upsets or the kibble itself? I try to stick to lower fat kibble as well and add a canned or fresh topper to my dogs’ meals. Many posters recommend Nutrisource as a brand that is easy on the tummy. I have fed their senior recipe to my dogs even though they are not seniors because it is lower in fat while still having a decent amount of protein and not a super high fiber content like some low fat foods.
    Again, I wouldn’t necessarily rule out the vet recommended foods if your pup does well on them just because they are not highly rated or regarded on this site. Good luck to you. I hope you find something that works for your dog.

  • theBCnut

    NutriSource is an easily tolerated food. Please consider that this may be a food sensitivity and you may need to try to find a food that has different main ingredients, like no grains and no chicken.

  • Marea Duca

    I have a 2 year old corgi, Penelope, with on going gastro-intestinal problems. When I got her as a puppy I put her on Blue Buffalo. She started having several cases of vomiting and diarrhea so a vet recommended that I change her dog food – specifying that the Blue Buffalo was probably too fatty for my girl’s stomach. The vet recommended a few brands; Purina, Royal Canine, and Eukanuba. I ended up choosing Eukanuba and Penelope has been on it since about March of this year. She really has never loved this food and I find myself putting some sort of “topper” on it to entice her to eat it. Well no surprise, she’s been having the same tummy problems. I’ve tried the I/d food brands that are special for dogs with GI problems and she won’t touch it. I’m not completely impressed with this brand but don’t know where to start looking for another dog food. Does anyone have any recommendations? We went to another vet last week and I asked about what dog food to transition her to and he recommended Science Diet or Royal Canine. However, I’m not seeing those brands as 4+ star on this website. Does anyone know of a good dog food that is easy on the tummy and complete and balanced to keep my love healthy 🙂 Any help is much appreciated!

  • Greg Maier

    Dogs have lived with man for thousands of years. The latest belief is about 16,000 years, so a hundred or so is pure nonsense. The largest clade of domestic dogs last shared a common ancestor 18,800 years ago, and collectively, they last shared a common ancestor with a wolf around 32,100 years ago.

  • George Speeden

    wolves eat anything,from meat to fruit,There bodies have adapted for thousands of years eating raw.Dogs are not wolfs they have adapted to other ways of eating.You can not compare a wolf to a dog.Feeding raw is dangerous to a dog.Would you eat raw meat since we humans are meat eaters?

  • DogFoodie

    She, like most people, would probably be interested in facts regarding the study.

  • Ania

    That was a real study done with real dogs. Good marketing doesn’t make 10-12 year lifespan dogs live to age 17.

  • Pitlove

    Canine nutritionists and vet’s who have nutrition training can tell you that in the 100 or so years that dogs have lived with man their digestive system has barely evolved at all, not to mention the fraction of a pecentage in the difference between their mitocondrial DNA and that of a grey wolf. Newer research actually shows that dogs GI tracts are more closely related to a cat (which is an obilgate carnivore) rather than a human, which is a TRUE omnivore.

    Dogs can very efficiently digest quality animal protein that is not cooked. However, just like humans if we ate the same thing for years and years our stomachs would adjust to it as well. Doesn’t mean that if I eat McDonald’s every day of my life and don’t throw up or have diaherra it’s good for me, just means I’ve eaten it so much my body is used to it. Same thing with dog foods.

    Dogs who are not fed different foods regularly can not handle dietary change. It usually takes more than the usual 7 days for transition, so if you just introduced raw food in a huge portion for the first time and didn’t try to slowly add it to their normal meals, that is probably why they threw up. I tried to give my dog a full meal of raw and he threw up, but when I mixed a small raw nugget of Primal Raw in with his canned and ribble he had no problem with it.

  • Shawna

    No, I don’t think that is true. Dogs guts are designed to digest raw. It’s how they work most efficiently. There may of course be a dog here and there that has issues due to a medical condition but they are certainly not the norm and not 100% healthy.

    Switching from kibble to raw too quickly, in the beginning, will almost always cause a few symptoms. I see this with most every foster dog. But it isn’t raw that is the problem, it is that raw was never introduced to the dog. If introduced properly, and the dog is not allergic or sensitive to the specific protein, a truly healthy dog will have no problem digesting it.

  • Dori

    At the time I made the switch two of my dogs were two years old but my older girl was 12 years old at the time. She had no trouble transitioning or digesting her food. She had been on different kibbles for the first 12 years of her life. She’ll be 16 years old in September.

  • samrat

    Truely it depends on dogs eating habit and on what food they are fed upon

  • samrat

    Naturally it depends on how they are grown up .my dogs are never fed raw food so they cant digest .

  • samrat

    Every dogs eating habits are different my dog cannot digest anything raw they are grown up tenderly with care they are only fed upon royal canin and farmina natural and their healt is very good .i may be wrong in saying that no dogs can digest raw food but some can some are unable it depends onther habit and how they are grown up isn’t?

  • Shawna

    Well that is one of the oddest posts I’ve ever read. LOTS of dogs, including the 30+ small and toy breed dogs (ranging in age from 5 weeks to 19 years) in my home over the last 10 plus years have eaten raw without vomiting it all up (I foster Boston Terriers and Papillons by the way).
    Rice, unless properly prepared by fermenting, long soaking or sprouting, is not exactly healthful for humans let alone dogs. The phytic acid as well as enzyme inhibitors in the food can make it problematic.

    For what it’s worth, I can off the top of my head name at least 30 vets that suggest feeding raw food diets – vets like Dr. Karen Becker, Dr. Will Falconer, Dr. Martin Goldstein and many more. All verifiable online.

  • Dori

    I have been feeding my three dogs (different breeds) raw diets in rotation for a little over 4 years. None of them throw up their food or have any ill effects from eating raw. Quite the contrary.

  • Crazy4dogs

    While raw may not work for your dogs, it has worked and does work for many dogs. I’m sure that there are many dogs that have been fed kibble so long that a transition to raw may be difficult, but I think there are a lot of raw feeders that would disagree with you.

  • samrat

    Wait wait wait if I feed my pug ,pom, Lhasa apso raw meat sure they will vomit out the all. Once I feed my Pomeranian raw fish and she vomited for the whole day .sure they are from canine family but after years they are adapted to be omnivores and now their stomach cannot digest raw meat . It must be cooked. They are notwild animals they are domestic animals.they can digest rice actually otherwise my petstreet dog will die as I always give her rice and she had adapted to it.survival to the fittest man…

  • Pitlove

    They are scavenging carnivores.

  • Pitlove

    They like many low quality brands are good at marketing and knowing what to say to hook the average dog owner. This is not a good food.

  • amylu

    Right now – July 1, 2015, my bag of Large Breed Puppy formula lists Chicken as the first ingredient.

  • Cyndie

    I just saw the aeukanuba dog food commercial talking about a study and their dog food prolonging dogs lives longer!!! I would love to know your thoughts on this. Thanks

  • aimee

    Hi Crazy4dogs,

    I’m moving the conversation to the off topic discussion thread as that seems the most appropriate place to continue this discussion.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m still trying to figure out how THK sample offer is “contingent on the vet getting the client to engage in a particular behavior” and that Purina’s partner programme the clinic rewards program is not. The “doodad or a geegaw” they are offering in the Susan Thixton article on the 2013 promotion include blue ray players and flat screen TVs. I know you are aware of the article since I read through the comments and saw your comment. The program was for increased SALES of the Veterinary GI Diet. Who would be purchasing the GI Diet? (This is a rhetorical question) I don’t see how you don’t see this as “no end consumer contingencies attached”. Of course there are consumer contingencies, They would have to increase sales of the GI diet to get the perks!

    The UK Purina Partners Programme cut and paste directly from the vetsonline link I included earlier:


    Maximising food sales at a practice is a proven way to increase turnover and profitability. Ways to boost sales range from providing product samples and brochures, to kitten and puppy packs, and displaying point-of-sale materials. A Purina representative will guide practice owners through the best solutions for an individual clinic. Taking on board the Food+ advice could mean a practice can experience:

    increased sales of diets – both maintenance and veterinary – boosting clinic profits;

    improved patient well-being through high quality nutrition;

    access to special promotions and offers from Purina; and

    partnership with a leading nutritional expert.

    Mr Nickson adds: “Purina Veterinary Diets are backed by decades of scientific research, providing vets with the confidence to recommend a specific formula to clients. Through the Purina Partners Programme we will pass on our comprehensive consumer understanding and sales and marketing expertise to help a practice boost client numbers, gain happy pet owners and, as a result, increase word-of-mouth recommendations.””

    Increased SALES of diets to boost clinic profits and access to special offers and promotions is involving consumer purchase not a discount for clinic employees.

    I’m sure THK offers some incentives as well, but to flatly deny that Purina doesn’t engage in this activity is just baffling to me.

  • Shawna

    Two BIG thumbs up!! TOTALLY agree!!!

  • aquariangt

    Piggy backing on what you said here-not all carbs are created equal. It’s funny that certain things have become a staple within diets because of supply and demand which in turn became marketing. You mentioned potatoes which ill use as the example here. Potatoes, while technically an energy source, don’t provide that much nutritional benefit. If you look historically at how potatoes are used, they weren’t a staple in diets until necessity (read: poverty, lower food availability) called. Root vegetables have been, and if you look at the diets of the rich 400-500 years ago, potatoes weren’t that commonly consumed-turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, and the like.
    Fast forward to a time like world war 1. Potatoes became the main source of filler for a large portion of the world because…they were cheap. Nutrition didn’t particularly matter because people were hungry.
    What does this tell us? That potatoes were a cheap item that wasn’t considered to be a nutritional supplement. In this case, paying more for an item that isn’t a potato, absolutely makes it better.

  • Shawna

    I never said carbohydrates “in and of themselves” are filler but when, what many consider, inappropriate amounts of leptin and insulin raising carbs fed in excess of energy needs are fed, many feel there will be consequences. Consequences such as weight gain, high triglycerides, insulin resistance and so on.

    I don’t feel diets high in potato’s and wheat, as two examples, are optimal for humans let alone dogs. I don’t think humans should consume their protein from highly processed peas, corn or potato and I don’t think pets should either.

    If we’re considering the environment as part of the equation here then we need to also consider the impact all the chemicals used to grow those plants has on our Earth. We need to factor in the energy and emissions from the planting, harvesting, transport and processing of those plants. Not to mention the production and transport of the chemicals used. There are monocultures all over this country that are wiping out the health of the very soil they are raised on. I’ve always heard that soybeans weren’t planted for use as a food but rather to add back in nutrients to the ground pulled up from the plant grown there before. Now the nutrients that provide sustenance to the foods we consume come from a factory or science lab. On that note, I better sign off. I’m getting myself worked up. 🙂

  • aimee

    I never said that companies didn’t engage in marketing programs geared to vets.

    In fact I said “In vet discounted buying programs the money flows from the vet to the company. Same with buy x amount and get a free doodad.”

    The vet gives the company x dollars and in exchange gets food and a doodad or a geegaw. It is a bidirectional program vet gives money to company and company gives something back.

    In this particular Purina Program the amount of food sold to the vet was what was monitored not what the vet did with the product after he/she bought it.

    Hill’s Purina etc do not engage in a unidirectional program that is contingent on the vet getting the client to engage in a particular behavior.

    Companies do engage in unidirectional marketing programs that have no end consumer contingencies attached, and that is the difference.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hey Aimee,

    Purina does/did have special vet incentive programs. Here are some links:

    Susan Thixton link:

    This is a UK link:

  • aimee

    Oops forgot to post screen shot

  • aimee


    I don’t know if the vet’s client has to give THK money or not. I don’t see how you would know either. You’d have to have a coupon and enter it and see what happens.

    Using the link you posted if I order a sample bundle and use the TRYTHK code I have to pay THK $1 for the bundle and $2.50 for shipping and tax on top of that. I’ll attach the screenshot for you.

    It says it is free but when I go to get it it certainly appears that it will cost me money! This is why I said the only was to know is to have a Ambassador coupon code and enter it

    Frankly, as I said in a different post, it is immaterial if the person redeeming the coupon gives THK money or not.

    The “Ambassador” gets paid in free product which in and of itself has a stand alone value. Being paid is contingent upon convincing someone to go to THK and enter a code. The Ambassador has to influence someone else to engage in a behavior and when successful gets paid.

    The flow of goods is unidirectional. no limits placed upon it.

    With the other programs you linked to, none of which are geared towards vets, the flow of goods is bidirectional.
    The member gets a coupon that they can use towards purchase of goods. The coupon doesn’t have any stand alone value. The coupon only becomes of value when the person redeeming it gives the company who issued it money via purchasing product.

    Unidirectional vs bidirectional I can’t think of any other way to explain this to you. .

  • Crazy4dogs

    But Aimee, there is no one sending money to the company. THK has sent me sample packs for free. You just send your info, they send you product sample bundles based on what food you are interested in. That’s exactly what they are offering in the Ambassador package.


    A TON of companies do that! I get free samples from everyone I’m interested in trying.

    Purina pays PurinaProClub member with all kinds of perks and gave up to $25 in coupons to members and retailers (probably a different perk to retailers) who got people to take the 60 day challenge and those who took the challenge had to buy and feed it the entire time.

  • aimee

    Here is why i see the difference.

    By contract I mean the veterinarian’s client has to go to THK site, give THK information and give THK money (It states product is free not the shipping, I’m assuming the client still pays shipping) There is an agreement, another way of saying contract, between THK and the veterinarian’s client. The client is getting product in exchange for giving THK either information or information and money.

    The veterinarian does not give THK anything but gets product from THK. It is all unidirectional and has no limit.

    The vet doesn’t “gets points towards the purchase of product.” the vet gets free product.

    To me that is a big difference!

    Note the Ambassador program is not open to anyone only people of “authority” in THK’s mind.

    THK runs a referral program which is similar to the breeder programs you linked to and is open to anyone. The person doing the referral is sending money to the company via food purchases. From what I can tell these programs are not unidirectional they are bidirectional.

    None of the programs you linked to developed for veterinarians.

  • aimee

    I wouldn’t see that as the same because you getting free product is not contingent upon you getting someone else to send money to THK

  • aquariangt

    I assume the vet one would be similar to the one we had at the shop-You take a little online class (it was a nice idea, but rather uninformative imo) then they send you three cards that you have a year to use. They can be redeemed through your supplier (you have to give them that information) and can be used for any of their foods. I believe you can then do it again after a year-but unsure. I still have a ton of the three 10 lb boxes I got since I only use it as a topper

  • Crazy4dogs

    I think I just answered this, but again, I didn’t see anything on THK site or link that required any contract whatsoever. Again, anyone can use the referral program. The code is entered, the new customer gets a free sample and the referring person gets points towards the purchase of product.

    Purina & RC does this for sure for breeders and anyone else. Hill’s has it in some countries, I’m not sure about the US, but here’s a link for South Africa:

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aimee, I’ve read the whole THK Amabassador program. I think you’re reading it wrong. Customers don’t have to enter a contract. Anyone can do this. It’s a referral program. You have a code & if someone enters that code, they get a free sample package and you get points towards purchasing product.

    Purina has similar programs, a lot of them. I think you would have to count those in as “kickback programs” if you’re calling it that for THK. They have breeder referral, offer gift cards and coupons for food. They had a 60 day challenge a couple of years ago where people actually had to sign up and use the product for 60 days. Of course, I’m including links:

    THK Ambassador program(this was the click here from your link):

    Purina 60 day challenge, this was all over the internet:

    Breeder referral program (Canada):

    Australia Club:

    Royal Canin Breeders Program:

  • aimee

    I’d disagree that carbohydrates are “filler” as they serve as an energy source. And from a carbon footprint aspect, plant based carbs as an energy source leave a smaller footprint than does using fat or wasting animal protein for energy.

    I’m ok with inexpensive. Just because you pay more for something doesn’t mean it is better

    I think of filler as something that takes up space without providing a lot of nutrients, for example insoluble fiber in the case of weight loss diets

  • Shawna

    I do agree with you on that. The raw diets I feed all have added vegetables and fruits. In my opinion there is a significant difference however between use for benefits provided versus used in excess as an inexpensive filler.

  • aimee

    The THK program is still in existence. It is just that now the vet earns product instead of cash.

    Chewy also had, may still have a kickback program. The vet registers with Chewy, (just like the vet has to register with THK) and when the client buys therapeutic diet from Chewy ( client enter into contract with third party just like the THK program whereby client has to enter into contract with THK ) the vet got/gets? $5 ( THK used to give cash, now gives food)

    They are both kickback programs in my mind as the money flow is from Chewy or THK to the vet for sending business to Chewy or THK.

  • aimee

    Did you miss that THK gives free product contingent on the vet getting the client to enter into contract with THK?. This is a separate program from their discounted program

    From the website “Want to earn free Honest Kitchen products?” The money
    flow is from THK to the vet and is a payoff to the vet for getting their client to follow through on a recommendation they made. . Purina, RC, Hills does not do this.

    Hill’s, Purina etc may give vet’s free product but it isn’t contingent on the client entering into contract with a Hill’s or Purina

    In the current Ambassador program the vet “earns” free product if and only if the client follows through and enters into a contract with THK. The company tracks a particular vet’s “earnings” through a code that the vet gives the client.

    THK also offers a discounted feeding program which would be similar to what Purina Hills etc offer. I do not see this as a kickback.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Thanks BD!

  • Bobby dog

    No. The above quoted information is what I copied from THK’s website on January 7 of this year regarding their Ambassador Program. The link remains the same, the information about their Ambassador Program has since been revised.

  • Crazy4dogs

    But THK kickback program doesn’t appear to be in existence, at least not now, am I correct? So, THK is offering what Purina, Hills, Iams and Royal Canin are offering.

    Purina feeds the shelter dogs and provides plenty of FB pictures of the dogs sitting on top of the huge bags of food, or near the pallets of food. “Oh, isn’t that wonderful, Let’s buy Purina!” says the public. Pedigree does the same thing with their shelter dog commercials. I think it’s great that they are donating food, but it’s just really a fantastic marketing ploy. I would even be willing to buy the food if it wasn’t so crappy. I wish they would put some of the marketing money into a better quality product.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Bobby Dog, Am I missing something on the link? It is only offering discounts on food products. Which is exactly what Purina, Royal Canin, Iams, Hills does.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, I agree. Employee discounts and company “kickbacks” are very different.
    Edit: Kickbacks to me are more like commission on sales. Discounts are just that…discounts.
    I really do not have much knowledge on whether they happen or not, but can definitely see the difference between the two.

  • aimee

    I see these as very very very different. Follow the direction of money flow and the contingencies that exist.

    In vet discounted buying programs the money flows from the vet to the company. Same with buy x amount and get a free doodad.

    In THK program the money flows from the company to the vet and is contingent on a third party engaging in a contract with the company.

    I don’t see what shelter feeding programs have to do with vet kickbacks

  • aimee

    Thanks Bobby dog!!

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Aimee:
    You are remembering correctly they have changed the page describing the program sometime after the beginning of this year. I copied and pasted this from their site on January 7 to a forum discussion when a poster inquired about earlier this year, here’s what used to be posted describing the program:

    “Ambassador Program

    The ambassador program gives advocates of The Honest Kitchen the ability to get rewarded for their referrals. We provide each ambassador with printed referral coupons that have a unique code. When a customer visits The Honest Kitchen’s website and orders the complimentary bundle of samples and references the ambassador’s code, the ambassador will receive credit. Payment to the ambassadors will be paid out quarterly.

    Please contact us if your clinic is interested in participating in our ambassador program.

    Veterinary Feed Program

    We offer veterinarians and vet students a free box of our dog or cat diets to try on their own pet. If there is a veterinarian that would like to purchase our product to feed their pets, we also offer a discount. Please contact [email protected]
    for more information.”

  • Crazy4dogs

    I couldn’t find anything archived regarding THK cash back program. I did read THK incentive program link. I don’t see this program as any different than all the links I sent from the Big 3. THK is offering points towards purchasing food and a free sample box. Purina has free food programs for shelters, like pallets of food. What do you think those people that are adopting are going to feed? They have a press release for cat shelters giving out prize money and donations of cat chow. Doesn’t that sway people in the direction of Purina?

    Purina link:

    How about Purina’s Rally to Rescue? It’s awesome that they are donating food to shelters, but isn’t that just as helpful to Purina?

    Purina shelter cat donations:

  • aimee

    Buying food at a wholesale rate doesn’t constitute a kickback. The Honest kitchen also sells at a reduced rate to vets

    But it is their “ambassador” program I’m referring to. I’ve never seen anything else like it. THK gives vets coupons with a code number on them. The Vet recommends the product and gives the client a “coupon” When the client redeems the coupon the vet gets a kickback.

    It used to say that the vet was sent a check quarterly if I’m remembering right. Now they get product

  • aimee

    They aren’t necessary but I do see that there can be benefits.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Absolutely! Everyone has a vested interest. I think that’s why I tend to pick the small family companies. They don’t usually have the resources that the big ones do. But regardless, I do diligent homework and am never “brand loyal”.

  • Bobby dog

    I always feel it boils down to buyer beware on goods and services and of course do your homework on most things in life, unfortunately. 😉

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, it’s just too bad that the game is often based on the winner is how much is spent on who. 🙁

  • Bobby dog

    I have found in my experience many industries offer perks to the professionals within the field. It’s nothing new.

  • DogFoodie

    Right?! Me too. Taking a freebie or gift from anyone in my field would get you fired, post haste.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Oh for goodness sakes Aimee! The programs run by Purina, Iams, Royal Canin and Hills are beyond pathetic!!!
    Just because you are against all natural products, don’t single them out. I’m sure they all have perks of some type, but they’ve learned from the best and Purina and the other big companies started the whole thing and they taught them well!

  • Crazy4dogs

    It definitely happens in the drug industry. I’ve also worked in the restaurant idustry. They have doctors in for whatever they want to eat and bring home as many fine dinners and wines that they can bring home. Everyone wants those parties, it’s BIG MONEY!!!
    The dog food companies offer similar perks with free or reduced food to breeders that start their puppies’ owners on a particular food (Royal Canin) free food to vet students and recuded priced dog food to vet staff (the big 3). It’s just pathetic. 🙁

  • Shawna

    I am clearly in the wrong industry or company!!! 🙂

  • Bobby dog

    When I worked in the hospitality industry food and liquor companies often dropped by with free stuff, new food, the companies I worked for gave us our meals while on duty, discounts were offered at other facilities they owned for food and lodging, and most places gave employee discounts even when off duty. Same thing for my current career, same thing with a family member who sold industrial tools for 40 years. He had quite the tool shed! It’s another way to get the word out about products or services. If I liked a product/service/accommodations I would certainly recommend it to clients as well.

  • Shawna

    It may not be financial gain but sales people are known for giving perks. You usually hear about it with pharmaceuticals but I googled and the first link was this…

    “My daughter has worked at a vet clinic for eight years. It is amazing to me what she shares that salespeople drop off. It may be pharmaceutical reps that are in the veterinary business, dog food reps, or something else entirely.

    She used to work at a vet clinic in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, Stillwater is kind of a hub for veterinary medicine, because that’s where the only vet school is in the state.

    In an average month, twenty or so work days, they would have lunch bought for them 17 times by sales reps.

    I asked her, “How many of those products did the vets actually bring in?”

    She responded, “Of the seventeen lunches, only one of them do we actually carry the product line.”

    It’s likely to be the larger clinics that get “wined and dined” but it apparently does happen. That said, it could just as easily happen with sales folks selling natural products and “high end” kibbles.

  • Shawna

    That’s why it makes no sense that they are pushed so heavily. I’ve heard some people say that their vets suggest grains are “necessary” in the canine diet just like in humans… Whaaattt?

  • Bobby dog

    Yes, I also like that one as well! I read that one a while ago, it made me laugh.

    I forgot about THK’s program for Vet’s:

  • aimee

    Thanks for posting. Most companies do not run any type of kickback program. The only one I came across is “The Honest kitchen” Vets do mark up diets just as any merchant would.

    I like this one as well : )

  • aimee

    From the National Academies Press Dietary Reference Intake “The lower limit of dietary carbohydrate compatible with life is apparently zero…”

    From the same source ” It has been shown that rats and chickens grow and mature successfully on a carbohydrate free diet.”

    It really isn’t odd at all that dogs don’t have a carbohydrate requirement. Do any omnivores have a carb requirement??

  • Bobby dog

    Hi Aimee:
    This is one of my favorite comments from Dr. Wynn on her blog concerning Vet kickbacks:

  • aimee

    Hi Jamie,

    This statement isn’t really true in most cases. “The nutrition training they do receive is presented to them by the kibble companies that sponsor them”

    I asked the vets at the multi doctor where i take my dogs and none of the 7 had any nutrition classes taught to them by anyone associated with kibble company. One of the seven said that Hill’s would have a “lunch and learn” occasionally, but it wasn’t part of there formal classes and was voluntary if you wanted to attend.

    From Dr. Remillard’s site she said about 25% of vet schools still use the commercial company nutritional service.. “About 25% of them have Veterinary Nutritionist
    on faculty so in these schools, that faculty member covers the
    nutritional training. And contrary to another popular misstatement,
    veterinary nutritionists training are not funded by a pet food company
    as that would be in no one’s best interest (the student or the company).

    schools hire veterinary nutritionist such as myself to do the nutrition
    course at their school and ~25% still use the free service provide
    by some of the major pet food companies to save money. This number is
    falling because of the negative backlash as you have described ….”
    search term “education”

    More from that site:

    “As for the “one nutrition class” in part true
    because if you look at the curriculum will see one or 2 courses named as
    such in the first or second yrs. Yes the 1 and 2 yrs nutrition courses
    are not optional regardless who teaches them.

    However, nutrition
    training is not taught as a standalone in the 3 and 4 yrs but
    integrated into the medicine, surgery and specialty courses, so not
    named as such….”

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Kibble is kibble is kibble. It is still dead food devoid of living enzymes and not suited for our carnivore pets. If you think otherwise it’s just not fair to our pets.

  • Shawna

    “The classification of dogs, or any other animal as omnivore or carnivore is not that important to me when deciding what is their appropriate diet.” Absolutely agree with all points made.

    I first learned about the Inuits from Weston Price website. Their bodies truly evolved (over thousands of years) to eat the diet (fat and protein) they had available. In all honesty, I’m not exactly sure how the different classifications (omnivore, carnivore etc) are established?

  • el doctor

    Hi Shawna

    The classification of dogs, or any other animal as omnivore or carnivore is not that important to me when deciding what is their appropriate diet. After all, some say that humans also have no need for dietary carbohydrates and we both agree that humans are true omnivores.

    What I look at is the natural history of the animal. If you look at the natural history of the dog you will find a carnivorous diet until very very recently in evolutionary terms.

    Therefore, you can classify a dog as whatever you’d like and not change the fact that a dog has evolved and adapted to eating a whole prey diet augmented by a small inclusion of plant matter.

  • Shawna

    You are right Garry, dogs have been officially classified as omnivores. They can survive on a plant based diet. Doesn’t mean it is the best diet for them but them can survive.

    What is so odd to many of us who consider them carnivores, despite the official classification, is that they have no nutritional need for carbohydrates at all — none, zilch nada. If you look at the AAFCO nutrient profiles, a food can be complete and balanced without having any added carbs. Waltham and Purina also have written that dogs have no nutritional need for carbs.

    It would seem to me that classifying an animal as an omnivore would mean that they required plant matter but apparently that is not the case. Seems to me it’s just a ploy to make pet owners think it is okay to feed foods with large amounts of carbohydrates.

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Garry, I would advise you against that. One thing most pet owners don’t know is that vets receive very little nutrition training. During school it’s own a few hours worth. The nutrition training they do receive is presented to them by the kibble companies that sponsor them (typically Hill’s, Eukanuba, or whatever brand is common to carry i clinics). The vets also get kick backs from the brands they carry, so of course that is the stuff they will recommend. Occasionally representatives of the kibble brands they carry will come into their clinic to educate the staff about their foods. This is the only education they get on nutrition, it is very narrow minded, and aimed only to sell their product and not with the goal to make our pets healthier.

    I urge you to do your own research, discover what ingredients actually are, and make an educated and informed decision for yourself. More pet owners need to do this, instead of just taking the word of a veterinarian, who knows very little about what a carnivore actually needs in their diet.

  • Garry

    Ok I am only going by what a vet said on the radio

  • Crazy4dogs

    Y/M! 🙂

  • Dori

    As always C4d. Thank you. She also mentioned it on Raw Roundup 2015 through Dogs Naturally Magazine. She was one of the speakers.

  • Crazy4dogs

    This might be the one your looking for, but it’s from 2011. She mentions scavening carnivore towards the end of this article under Appropriate Food for the Species. It was also posted by her on The Huffington Post:

    This was on her FB page in 2014:

  • Crazy4dogs
  • aimee

    They are carnivores in the sense that they are members of the order Carnivora. But their anatomy and physiology are such that scientists classify them as mesocarnivores/omnivores

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Yes, this is true. They are scavengers and some of what they find to eat may be vegetation. Still carnivores though, no matter how people want to look at it. When you actually look at the dog’s body and digestive system and how it works it is clear to see they are carnivores. Everything from their teeth, to the enzymes they secrete, to the length of their digestive tract. The only vegetable matter my dog gets is whatever is in the green tripe I feed – which is partially digested plant matter. 🙂

    The people who jump in to say they are not carnivores are making an uneducated statement.

    I can’t find the Dr Karen Becker article either, but I remember reading it. I follow her, her articles are pretty good!

  • Dori

    The latest term that I have heard and I believe it was said by Dr. Karen Becker was that they are “scavenger carnivores”. Cats are obligate carnivores, dogs are now thought of as “scavenger carnivores”. I’ll see if I can find the article and post back.

  • Jamie Schwartz

    This is a misconception. Dogs are carnivores. People believe they are not because they MAY eat a SMALL amount of vegetation. This does not make them omnivores. They may eat vegetation as a treat, typically in very small amounts, or may consume it from the innards of their prey. They have no nutritional requirement for vegetation of any sort. They can benefit from some vegetables, but ONLY if processed before hand, not a whole raw vegetable on it’s own. Their bodies cannot break through the cell wall to digest it and get any nutrients from it, so it would just be fiber. Dogs ARE carnivores. They can survive and thrive on a 100% animal diet. They are known as natural carnivores, meaning they do best on meat/bone/organ but can manage to survive on vegetation IF they must. Cats, on the other hand, are true carnivores, meaning they HAVE to have meat to survive.

  • Jamie Schwartz

    Yes they are carnivores. People believe they are not because they MAY eat a SMALL amount of vegetation. This does not make them omnivores. They may eat vegetation as a treat, typically in very small amounts, or may consume it from the innards of their prey. They have no nutritional requirement for vegetation of any sort. They can benefit from some vegetables, but ONLY if processed before hand, not a whole raw vegetable on it’s own. Their bodies cannot break through the cell wall to digest it and get any nutrients from it, so it would just be fiber. Dogs ARE carnivores. They can survive and thrive on a 100% animal diet. They are known as natural carnivores, meaning they do best on meat/bone/organ but can manage to survive on vegetation IF they must. Cats, on the other hand, are true carnivores, meaning they HAVE to have meat to survive.

  • Garry

    dogs are not carnivores

  • disqus user

    I wouldnt touch this stuff with a barge pole – let alone feed it to my dogs. Prey Model and never going back.

  • sue66b

    Hi Monica, if you read Dr Beckers book “Real Food for healthy Dogs & Cats”, she writes if you have a dog with GI problems to start with lean cooked meat then over 4 months you so slowly cook the meat less & less making sure that poo are firm along the way, if poos are sloppy cook meat more until you get to raw,

  • Monica

    Hi! I have an 8 month golden retriever and we have been struggling to find a diet that is good for him. He has a very sensitive stomach and often has diahrrea and vomit. We’ve taken him to the vet on several occasions and still are not helpful! At first they told me to feed him chicken and rice until his stool was better then back in his dry food which he doesn’t like. Then they prescribed ID can food and this made his stomach more upset. Now he is on royal canin can food for gastro intestinal high energy. And he seems to like it but it’s so expensive! He is slim and needs to gain weight. I would love to get him on a raw diet but am not sure how to go on about it without upsetting his sensitive stomach. Any suggestions? Thank you -Monica

  • Kim

    Actually canids are omnivores.

  • Stella

    Actually, at the time being, Eukanuba has no CHICKEN ingredient, neither the Large breed
    adult formula, nor the Large breed puppy one, and it has no brewers rice (at least the adult formula)

  • Shawna

    Disqus sometimes temporarily loses posts — they may be there though. If you click on your name, it will show you the posts you have made. I see two posts, one of which is about raw.

  • Claire Bee

    It still amazes me how people think that ANY processed food is good for dogs, dogs don’t need and do not digest cereals, they are carnivores, they come from wolves, their teeth are made for meat, no matter what size, what age, my dogs only eat raw, lamb, chicken, beef, duck, turkey, venison, they are lean, healthy, small hard stools, very small since most ingredients are absorbed by the body so no by- products, no kibble, no canned or any processed food for my dogs, one is 2 years old, the other is 6 and they eat the same food, all raw, all fresh, we eat fresh food in our home so why would I give any dry or canned food to my pets, Dr. Karen Becker has a facebook page and lots of videos, they are free to anyone that wants some real info.

  • Claire Bee

    Funny, can’t find my post about raw food, just posted a few minutes ago…wonder why.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Great idea to add canned and yes, you should reduce the dry just a little. You can even add a little water to it and make it into a gravy.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Sure any time! It’s much appreciated. I have learned so much from this site! I feel like im dog food obsessed now, lol! I’m always on this site reading. Thank you!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    It’s so hard! You don’t know how hard it was for me to switch from the Eukanuba! I want to try rotating their food. Should i try a different brand after this bag is gone or keep them on it for another bag and then switch? Thank you!

  • Betsy Greer

    That’s great progress! I really like Wellness Core products, too. I’ve used them with great success myself.

    Now, here’s the hard part. You found a food that you feel good about feeding and that your dogs like and do well on. Don’t stop there! Keep looking for more good foods to add into their rotation. I know it’s really hard to switch from something that works great, but variety is so good for them!

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m not Patty, so I hope you don’t mind me giving my 2 cents. I think it is a great idea to add some canned as it is a step healthier than dry, due to being less processed. It also helps make the dog feel a little fuller with the added moisture. And yes, you should definitely feed a little less dry if you are going to add it to keep your dog from gaining weight. Good luck!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I want to add maybe just a tablespoon of canned food to the dry. Molly is just a little on the pudgy side, as the vet said. She eats a half a cup in the am and a half a cup in the pm. Should i cut down just a little on the dry? I don’t want her gaining any more weight. Or should i not even add any canned? She was getting way too many treats before! Thank you!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    So far so good on the Wellness Core! It’s been two and a half weeks so far and my angels seem to love it.

  • susan

    Have u tried the Eukanuba ‘Intestinal’ its a vet diet or there’s the Eukanuba ‘Sensitive Digestion’ which is nilly the same as the vet diet kibble & u can buy it from any pet store. My boy has tummy & bowel problems & this is the only one that has worked for him, its a low residue kibble so it breaks up more easy so its easier on their digestion, it has probiotics too help with the bowel.. Being the same brand there should be no problems with the change over.. also its 110% money back if not happy.

  • InkedMarie

    Bouv’s are a gorgeous dog! I have heard that Nutri Source is a food that seems to be easy on sensitive stomachs, you may want to give that a try.

  • Del Hoium

    I have had Bouvier des Flandres for nearly 40 years and fed Eukanuba for perhaps the last twenty years. Bouviers have an
    average life expectancy of 10 – 12 years. I’ve had two live to thirteen years and one live to 14 years. My only other dog had to be put down at three due to temperament problems. Their vets generally commented on their good condition.

    I feel good about the general nutritional value, based on my experience; but my current 9 year old female, who seems to be in good condition, vomits 2 to 3 times per week, so I’m looking for something easier on her stomach.

  • shannoncookie

    Yay im so happy youre trying something different for your little ones!!! Hope you notice a good change! Keep us posted : D

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I sure will and thanks again!

  • shannoncookie

    Lol or you can just keep it simple with the dry food for now switch her to maybe a different type of wellness after youre done with the first bag. From there you may want to think about switching to a new bag with a new brand I know lots of info! Please let me know if anything didnt make sense or if you have questions and keep us posted! I think a lot of people would benefit from hearing how your transition goes!!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you! I will start out slow with the transition of the new food. I’m also going to try and top the dry with a little canned food once or twice a week.

  • shannoncookie

    Sorry having a hard time writing in here… I was going to say organs can be rich so you probably wouldnt want to feed more than 1 or 2 pieces a day to start. For you I would recommend taking it pretty slow. As you incorporate more variety of food you will notice the dog will transition better and it can be economical cus you can just buy food on sale and put it in the diet without worrying

    I do know raw meat and cooked like canned /dry are digested by a dogs stomach in different ways. If youre going to feed raw meat at all you want to tread very carefully if youre going to put it with dry food. I personally only feed a scrap of raw meat here and there but if you want to do more than that probably best to get someone elses advice

  • shannoncookie

    I have no idea what the vets nutritional training is and im in canada so they may have completely different credentials. I guess the reason they say that is prob cus they get a million dogs in there day for an upset stomach and have really no exact idea of what caused ir so they say well could be cus you fed something different. For me personally I change food at every meal but my pup has been used to that since she was 4 months old… for now I would probably start her off slow and slowly incorporate the new food in with the old stuff. For now i would change after the bag, not at every meal. Maybe slowly if youre up for it you can try adding some fresh food or canned food as a topper once or twice a week in small amounts. (To get used to diferent types of meat)

    I throw in a scrambled egg pieces of leftover meat canned fish. sometimes I buy chicken organs liver hearts gizzards and boil them with a dash of tumeric and other dog friendly spices and give her a piece of organ with her dry food and top the dry food with the organ broth so the dry is more appetizing. Organs can be kind

    When I do canned as a topper to dry I only do a bit of canned. Raw and dry foods are digested by the dogs

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Our vet said the same thing. But he also said to feed either Science Diet, Eukanuba, Pro Plan or Royal Canin. From what i have read the vets only get a few hours training in nutrition. It now makes sense to rotate the food. Should i rotate once i go through a bag?

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you! I’m learning so much here for the health of my babies.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Oh, and questions are all good.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Here’s a spot you can read more about diet rotation and what it offers for your dog.
    Dog food companies want you to believe that you should pick a food and stay with it for life, because it grants them instant customer loyalty. Eating one food for life, no matter how healthy that particular food is, isn’t healthy. No food is perfect and by sticking with one imperfect food, you risk creating health problems. At the very least, you are setting a dog up for stomach issues if you ever have to switch foods, like in the case of a recall.

  • shannoncookie

    Patty should probably answer this too but I feel so bad feeding dogs the same food. I mean I would hate eating the same food all my life. One of the vets ive seen said that they should stay on the same food (because their stomach can get upset) another (my fave vet) said its ok to switch… personally my dog has been getting different food pretty much every meal since I got her. I switch her between wet dry home made different meat sources brands all the time… her stomach is fine she doesnt get sick and I don’t have to transition at all… I dont think it makes sense to keep them on the same food what animal ever eats the same food 24/7? Doesnt seem to make sense. The vets argument about the tummy troubles doesnt hold up cus my dog doesnt have them…

    I have used wellness before and its one of the foods my dog likes! hope that helps!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I always thought that dogs were supposed to stay on the same food their whole lives? Hope im not asking too many questions. This is all new to me.

  • losul

    If you like Wellness Core, and the price is right, then sure. I think it’s a good quality, balanced kibble. I’ve used it before and likely will use again.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Yes, change slowly. If your dog is used to switching foods, you don’t have to go slow, but that usually takes a few switches to get them used to it. Many of us here feed a rotational diet, so we are always looking for the next food that our dogs do great on.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you! So i should slowly change to the Wellness?

  • losul

    Excellent. Just take it very easy on any transition. sometimes just a new experience can bring on a temporary negative reaction in the body.

    Lucky Molly! Happy for you both!

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Molly is very active now. I want the best for our babies so im pretty sure im going to switch. I have read that Wellness Core is a great food.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you! We have a mixed, beagle and black lab who is 17 years old so maybe a switch would be good for her. More energy maybe. Molly is about 20 months old. My husband found her where he works just wandering around and no one claimed her. She stole my heart when he brought her home!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Protein has the same number of calories as carbs, but the thing to look at is fat levels and over all calorie count. You may have to feed less, or you may find that Molly exercises herself a bit more. My 12 year old JRT was slowing down a couple years ago when we switched to a higher protein dog food. It had more calories than what we were feeding, but she felt so much better than she started acting like her younger self and actually lost weight. She is now trim and muscular, eating more than she used to, and very happy.

  • losul

    could be alot of things, maybe just a fatty acid imbalance, a deficency, etc. those are things where variety could even things out.

    Edit: The wellness should not cause weight gain unless you feed excessive calories.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    The only thing i noticed on Molly, who is a beagle, is that is has just a little bit of dandruff. Could that be food related? Since Wellness Core has more protein does that cause excessive weight gain?

  • losul

    Maybe not neccesary, but would be very good to give them a break from a perpetual diet heavy on grains, IMO.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Iam currently feeding our two dogs Eukanuba Adult. They seem to be doing great on it, but after reading all the posts on grain free food im considering switching them over. If they are doing well on a grain food is it necessary to switch them over to a grain free? I’m considering switching them to Wellness Core. Thank you!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Iams is lower in protein and fat, too. While a puppy is growing it is important to give them the best nutrition you can, because you can’t fix whatever went wrong during growth. This is also when their joints are developing, so they need the things that nutritionally build joints. I don’t recommend either of these foods, but between the 2 of them and especially for a puppy, Eukanuba is the hands down winner.
    If it is a large breed puppy, they have very special needs and both of these foods are totally inadequate, IMO.

  • T.B. Downs

    I discussed differences between Iams and Eukanuba with a P&G rep. She stated that they are made from the same basic ingredients (so like Budweiser and Michelob, the grain for each comes in the same rail car), but that Eukanuba contains different additives, and is shaped differently.

    The additives she spoke of were glucosamine and chondroitin (in Eukanuba, not in Iams). She also noted that Eukanuba contained S-shaped bits that were designed to create an abrasive surface (my words not hers) to scour the teeth and clean them. My wife and I examined the listed ingredients on the side of each brand (large puppy), and they were close in reported main ingredients.

    I wonder if a puppy needs glucosamine or chondroitin. I also believe that if one can find suitable ways to cheaply administer tooth cleaning and dietary supplements, it’s possible to save considerable money while giving dogs the same tastes and nutrition as Eukanuba, by simply feeding Iams. Looking forward to other suggestions from readers and reviewer Sagman, as I can read them.

  • T.B. Downs

    We fed our last two golden retrievers Eukanuba large breed throughout their lives. Each of them died at age 11 (11 yr. 7 mo., and 11 yr. 1 month), of different forms of cancer. Our previous golden — fed on Science Diet — died at 12 yr. 6 mo. Not exactly PLUS 3 TO 5 YEARS, Troy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    We call it canine atopic dermatitis, and I know what it is. I was not trying to say that the itchy underarms were only a sign of food intolerance, I was trying to say they can be a sign of food intolerance. And since it is healthier for a dog’s digestive tract to switch foods, it’s a good first measure for trying to work out a problem. And Eukanuba isn’t a good food for dogs with histamine issues anyways. And there are many more reasons than that that a dog will itch.

  • sue66b

    Google ‘Canin Atopy’ I thought food then I thought grass with my boy, he gets itchy paws, back, around his neck, under arms only spring & summer, it turned out his immune system overeacts to airborne or inhaled allergens..

  • sue66b

    Not always..People always assume its the food,I thought food with my boy, it turned out to be Canin Atopy..there are 5 reasons a dog will itch.. the 1st is fleas 2nd inhalant {Canin Atopy} 3rd food 4th contact 5th Bacterial Hypersensitivity.. With Canin Atopy its seasonal summer & spring being the worst months.. With Canin Atopy the dogs immune system overreacts to airborne or inhaled allergen. Google Canin Atopy for more info..

  • Pattyvaughn

    Licking feet can be habitual, but it is not wise to assume that habit is the reason. And itchy patches under the arms are never habit, they are a sign of food intolerances.

  • sue66b

    Licking feet becomes a habit with some dogs when I got my rescue boy he was licking his feet every minute he had a chance, so everytime he’d start to lick his paws I say NO & throw him a ball or toy & play with him, Id get his mind of his feet.. over time he stopped his compulsive licking…

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  • Fay

    If you see this Shirley would appreciate more info. My dog is having liver problems.

  • Pattyvaughn

    It could be the food, but it could be the terrier too. My Jack won’t tolerate other female dogs and only tolerates the males because they get out of her way. Terrier were bred to spar, so a lot of them don’t get along with other dogs and especially other terriers.

  • Petro C

    I started feeding my 4 year old long legged Jack Russel bitch Eukanuba about six weeks ago, on advice from the Vet’s assistant.. She became aggressive and attacked my other short legged Jack Russel bitch of 3 years without any reason whatsoever. This happened after about a week on the food. I stopped the food for a week, then continued again. Once again there was an attack, this time very serious, and almost two days later another attack. I decided I must discontinue the Eukanuba and since then, she is her old self again. This was devastating to me because if these attacks were to continue, I would have to make a choice between the two dogs and even might have to consider to put one down. I love my dogs, they are still young, both spayed and very cute. The incidents caused the victim to be very scared and affected her personality to such an extent that she turned from an extrovert to an introvert. I hope that they will eventually get over the negative. I can not say if it was the food, but there was nothing wrong before I started feeding her on the Eukanuba, and her mood notably improved when I discontinued it. The short legged JR has a skin condition which I am successfully treating with Royal Canine.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Some dogs do just lick their feet because they wash like cats, but it is always time for a switch. Feeding a variety of foods is healthier.

  • Sake Matsui’s mom

    My dog licks his feet all of the time too and I feed him Eukanuba..maybe it is time for a switch

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  • Angie Hendrickson

    Quite aware of that. It just sounded like an advertisement so much it’s easy to raise an eyebrow.

  • aimee

    Hi Pattyvaughn,

    I’ve heard that, Eukanuba formulated as mink food, but have never been able to verify it.

    I found this history, I don’t know if it is accurate. http://www.fundinguniverse (dot) com/company-histories/iams-company-history/

    “Iams reproduced something like the minks’ diet in his dog food. .. Iams Plus, in 1961….And because of a process Paul Iams developed, the new food was both high
    in protein and low in harmful minerals, in stark contrast to other dog foods available at the time……. Eukanuba ( introduced 1969?) was a high-protein, high-fat dog food like Iams Plus, but was supposed to be more palatable.”

    I’ve always assumed this meant the original food Iam’s plus, was formulated for dogs and modeled on the concept of a high protein, high fat diet as was being fed to mink. And Eukanuba, also formulated for dogs was released at a later date.

    In regards to mineral content, the diets predated most of the pivotal research linking high Ca to growth abnormalities.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Just because someone feeds a specific food or supports a specific company does not mean that they are an employee of that company.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    This person must be an employee from Eukanuba, surely. Horrifying he would say “Dogs cannot get salmonella”.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    Whoa.. just Whoa. Patty, you are full of amazing information. Thank you one million times over for constantly improving this website…. I am also so very sorry about your Shepherds. I don’t understand why people continue to support these type of ingredients.. I guess it wouldn’t be a company if people didn’t, huh?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dogs can get salmonella. The young, the old, and the immune compromised can all get salmonella and die from it. People die from salmonella and they do find out that the dog food is what gave it to them. The big Diamond recall last year was just exactly that senario. That is why the FDA is cracking down on salmonella in pet food.

  • Pattyvaughn

    This site also doesn’t mention that Eukanuba was formulated as mink food, not dog food, but some dope figured out that it gave his dog a nice shiney coat so they started selling it as dog food without checking to make sure that the mineral profile was actually OK for dogs and puppies. Loads of people fell for it , because isn’t a nice shiney coat how you tell if a food is healthy for your dog, then thousands ended up with hip dysplasia. Great food. I was one of the ones that thought Eukanuba was a great food and I lost several German Shepherds out of excellent import breeding to hip dysplasia at an early age.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    I chose to put my dog on a holistic diet. I myself would never eat corn meal, brewer’s rice (yet another by product) or by products day in and day out, and I would never subject my canine friend to that either. Some one once told me “it’s not about the by-products being bad, it’s how those by-products are prepared”. I will never go for that. All one needs to do is do a simple Internet search and you will find consistent results concerning the truth about by-products. It isn’t just dog food advisor websites that will report this, it’s science journals, research articles, and on and on. Being as well read and well researched as possible will help you make an informative choice. I don’t consider that being ‘well conditioned’ and find that term offensive. I consider myself a good researcher on the contrary. This is the first ‘dog food’ review website I’ve ever seen, and yet, I’ve known the truth about by-products long before that. So it’s not ‘these type of websites’ that will ‘have you believe’. I would prefer wholesome real ingredients (beat pulp alone doesn’t cut it), than supplements trying to make up the lack of nutrition in the food. What I will say is that it’s clear Eukanuba has the science down behind what’s necessary in those nutrients, hence why dogs will probably do just fine on this food if you’re on a budget. It appears most people are happy with it, so by all means, go for it. I have chosen to go with Timberwolf, and I encourage any one looking for wholesome ingredients to investigate it.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    Right, I did read that in the report shortly after I posted it. Thanks for clearing it up for those who buy the food.

  • Troy

    That recall only affected the east coast and it is not harmful to your dog. It was recalled due to one test testing possible for salmonella, and dogs can’t get salmonella. The recall was for human safety if you were to touch the food or get any in or around you mouth you would be at risk. This was one of those recalls that other brands may have just let slide because no one would blame their dogs food for a family member getting salmonella, but P&G is a responsible company for doing so.

  • Troy

    Eukanuba has been and still is the most nutritious dog food available. This sites analysis is average at best. They don’t mention the refining processes or ingredients like sodium HMP or L-Carnatine or DHA in puppy food, and all the firsts that have come from this brand. Eukanuba has a 110% money back guarantee that if for what ever reason your dog isn’t healthier, happier, better skin and coat, better teeth, more energy, healthier weigh… MAKE UP a reason that your dog isn’t better off and they will pay you additional money. All this online stuff is written by people who have no nutritional background and if they do it’s in people and not in animals. Its a shame to see bad information breeding more bad information. Eukanuba can’t legally say it but if you were to feed Euk through all life stages you dog will live on average 3-5 YEARS longer than any other food. You can tell people that and they will still feed some other organic, holistic stuff because they believe its better due to sites like this. You can’t argue with results but I bet a lot of you readers completely disregard this post because you are so conditioned to believe what these websites say.

    I digress, one thing that always was funny to me about chicken by product meal (other than it being one of the most nutritious things in you dogs food) is the comment about beaks and feet being in it. A vet/pet nutritionist was talking to me about it and said you will NEVER find chicken feet in by product meal because those have already been removed for human consumption!

    So in closing, please for your dogs sake learn what is actually good for them before believing stuff like this. An example would be their review of beet pulp. Beet pulp is a moderately fermentable fiber that is not just a cheap filler. It is much better than cellulose or other fibers that dont digest as well or digest too well causing diarrhea, yet they make it out to be something bad. I don’t get it and it drives me crazy.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    Canadae, really? Wow. My dad has our 14 year old dogs on Canadae and they’ve always done tremendous on it.

  • Angie Hendrickson

    I don’t buy Eukanuba and never would. I’ve never been too impressed with what they put in it. I was just searching the FDA website for recent recalls as I’m trying to switch my puppy from Solid Gold Wolf Cub to something more premium. I am considering going with Timberwolf. Thank you Besty. Hopefully that information helps out Eukanuba customers.

  • Betsy Greer
  • Angie Hendrickson

    A heads up to all Eukanuba Dog food buyers, there has been a massive recall in the last week. Here is the link for your education on the issue:

  • Ruza Miletic

    I had my GSD on the original large breed before they changed their formula and size. I figured I would give it a try and my dog kept getting sick and developed an allergy. I read the ingredient, sodium hexametaphosphate. That’s the same stuff crest uses in its toothpaste and then tells us to spit it out, and you want our dogs to ingest it??? I don’t care how little the amount it is, you don’t know what the long term effects are. I know you want cleaner teeth for the dogs, but just let the owners clean them. That is why you will stay a 3 star food. I switched from your brand and went to Fromm’s and my pup has never been healthier and happier.

  • Michael

    We’ve had all our dogs (2 of which are guide dogs) on Eukanuba since we’ve gotten them. Our Jack Russell and retired Guide Dog (Lab) are both 14 years old and going strong, having had virtually no nutrion-based illnesses their entire lives (and the JR has had Addison’s since he was 2yo which should in theory have reduced his lifespan).

    The dogs have always been energetic, with healthy coats and teeth with the guide-dogs never finding an 8+ hour work day any strain and the 14yo lab still happy to go for a 5KM walk with me of an evening.

    I can’t stress enough how pleased we’ve been with Eukanuba; we would never feed our dogs anything else.

  • Savvylady

    Eukanuba large breed has changed its shape and formula as of 12/12 because my dog has been on it for yrs. and is now coughing and passing gas which she never did before the change . The package states they just changed the shape of the kibble but I am sure the content changed as she is losing weight as well as unbearable passing gas.

  • Vwinn3

    I found Eukanuba dog food to be a good choice for my dog.  I had been using Canadae and it was making his stools very mushy.  After one day of Eukanuba, this condition was cleared up!





  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi BernerGal –

    High protein does not cause growth problems in large breed puppies. This is old thinking and several studies have proved no link. High calcium and overfeeding, however, does contribute to growth problems in large breed puppies and studies have proven this. Calcium levels should be 3.5 g. calcium per 1,000 kcal. or less and the pup should be kept lean while growing. I have bloodhounds, my current pup is eating a high protein (45%-55%) raw food diet with controlled calcium levels.

    This is a study done on high protein and large breed puppies:

    Here is an article by Dr. Mike with a video by Dr. Becker on Hip Dysplasia linked to Improper Diet:

  • BernerGal

    Puppy Chow is probably not the best choice, however, my vet said a lot of these foods are too high in protein especially for large breed puppies. If you push too much high protein food in them they could possibly have growth problems. Grow them too fast and you are asking for trouble in my opinion.

  • Andreahill2

    Stay away from the Kirklands… yes bad recalls and more than one… my dogs got terribly sick from it. Lost coat and coat condition and their weight plummeted. Changed food and they are slowly recovering. They had eaten it for over a year and then they just got sicker and sicker.

  • Zhai81

    Bought a pack for large breed puppy. Got the store to pack large bag into 4 smaller vacume sealed pack. After 2 months last remaining pack had worms in them. Checked with the store and they mentioned its a common thing which happens. So do take a 2nd look at the feed before feeding.

  • melissa

     Hound Dog Mom-

    It depends on the area. I just bought my last bag of Instinct Chicken two days ago- 25.3(I think that is the size) bag for $49.99. Acana grain free runs $49.75-$64.75 depending on the “flavor”. The nutrisource grain frees and Earthborns are under 46.99 a bag here.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Nature’s Variety is great, I like their Instinct line because it’s grain-free and includes freeze-dried raw. Innova is a quality food as well, their Prime line is better than their original line. These two brands are going to be a bit pricey though – I know Instinct is over $60 for a large bag, the Prairie is a bit more reasonable at around $50. Innova’s original line runs about $55 a bag, the Prime is the same price but the bags are 5 lbs. smaller.

  • Dianeonnet

    oh my goodness this website is amazing! thank you! 🙂 what would you say about nature’s variety? also have heard good things about innova.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Look into Whole Earth Farms. It’s made by Merrick. The kibble is rated 4 stars and runs about $40 for a 35 lb. bag and the canned is rated 5 stars and runs about $1.60 per can. Some other reasonably priced 4 and 5 star foods are: Nutrisource, Nature’s Recipe, By Nature, Healthwise, and Native. These foods are all available on with free shipping.

  • Dianeonnet

    thanks for the help 🙂 yep, looking into switching kibble at similar pricing. my fam definitely won’t allow splurging on orijen etc. kirkland nature’s domain (grain free) seems good but the recalls scared me off. any suggestions? :/

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It could be the corn. I’d try corn-free kibble and see if the itching and licking subsides.

  • Dianeonnet

    I feed my rescue dog Eukanuba (it’s what they feed all dogs at the shelter with). My dog has itchy patches under his arms and often licks his feet. I’m wondering if this has to do with the kibble?

  • Cchampj

    Well, when my dog was younger, I fed him Health Extensions. As he has gotten older, I switched his food to Eukanuba and he’s doing well. He’s a year and a half, and his muscles are of that of a miniature bodybuilder. Keep up the great foods guys!

  • Tiffanie2300

    My purebred blue Heeler reacted very poorly to the eukanuba brand dog food I got him one round while trying to figure out what was best for him. He actually got really sick and the only thing I can actually attribute it to is the food. He got the runs/shits and it hurt him badly to go, it was so sad. I brought him to the bet and everything and the only thing they could suggest that helped a bit was pepto bismal. Once I switched him to natural balance duck and potato (grain free), he has been doing phenomenally… Soft, shiny coat, boundless energy, healthy and regular bowel movements. The funniest part was the first time I gave it to him, he reacted like I was giving him a treat!

  • Paulmacs4005

    I am not sure but I believe ash is defined as the mineral content of the food. The concern would be with the levels of certain minerals in the diet and the ratios between some of them.

  • Pepe

    SO is the Large Breed puppy food good? I just got my mix german shepard that after 3 bags of Purina Puppy chow from walmart. 
    If this isn’t a good product i’ll try blue buffalo, tho i read here it makes them gassy and some dogs dislike it, but for now I’ll try 
    Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy

  • Akitadaddy

    I’ve tried 2 Kirkland foods, the chicken and the veal based adult foods.  I’ve also tried the Nature’s Domain at Costco.  My dog seemed to do just fine on all of them.  My dog usually  can eat almost anything and be fine.  That’s why I was so surprised to see such a drastic change switching off the Eukanuba.
    The kirkland brand food has impressed me because it has a lot of the things I want to see on the label.  My reading has taught me to look for the following:

    “animal feeding TESTS using AAFCO guidelines”, not just “meets AAFCO established levels”.  If it was tested on dogs they actually fed it to a few.  That’s how the big recall problem was discovered.

    “Complete and balanced”, it’s astounding how many foods don’t show this.

    “For all life stages”, that means it’s supposed to be adequate for growing puppies, as well as pregnant and nursing bitches.  I don’t think you could do better than that.

    And of coarse, the ingredients, particularly the first 5 or 6.
    as well as the calorie content (most foods don’t show it).

    The Kirkland foods show all these items on the label clearly, the first 3 items in the AAFCO statement.  On many foods you can’t even find the AAFCO statement.

    I am not necessarily recommending these foods.  I just feel pretty good about them and find them to be a great value as well.  Like most things, it’s a personal choice.  This is what’s working for me.  Sometimes I think you have to just experiment a little.  I would be suspicious of a vet recommending a single product only.
    I don’t feel confident enough to develop a complete diet for my dog on my own.  I’m not a nutritionist, so I use kibble.

    I found the following book to be quite helpful:
    “Feed Your Pet Right” by Nestle & Nesheim.
      No oppinions, just the facts by two acclaimed, PhD, food supply experts.
    My head was spinning while reading it, but I learned a lot.

  • Bob K

     Deangelisd – Can you provide a list of the dog foods available in your area?  Then crossmatch those to the ratings on this website.  What is your dog eating now?  Do you have a budget?  Your question is similar to asking, “Can anyone recommend a new car”?  Maybe Diamond Natural available at Menards and other stores.  Maybe Kirklands or Natures Domain at Costco.  Perhaps Taste of the Wild, Eagle Pack, Canidae Grain Free as a few to start with.  Or if you want one of the most expensive highly rated dog foods, Perhaps Brothers Complete is an option for $3.00 – $4.00lb.    Remember to transition slowly to a new dog food. 

  • Deangelisd

    So with all this quabbling, can anyone just name good quality foods to feed your pets? It seems everyone wants to talk about who knows what and what degrees everyone has but noone can point anyone in any direction as to what “THE” food to buy is! You all are just as annoying as trying to decipher the nutrition labels!

  • Aly

    Akitadaddy-Fed my Akita Iams for years and now she is dead fom liver cancer. I do NOT have direct proof but I believe in my heart that Iams is the CRAP food that killed her. BTW she vomited a lot and had loose stools but the Vets kept recommending Iams..BS!

    I have a Akita now and I fed her Blue, but with all the recall I am considering putting her on Pure Vita. I also make her pet food from chicken/beef livers, hearts, and turkey gizzards with veggies cooked up in a crock pot.

    My holoistic vet recommends less kibble more meat/veggies.

    Best of luck to you and your Akita…

    Got yo love them

  • Bob K

    Akitadaddy – So what are you feeding your dog currently?  

  • Akitadaddy

    I fed my dog Eukanuba and Iams food for many years.  I last used Euk. “Large Breed Senior” because that described my dog.  She had bouts of vomiting and loose stools about once every other month or so.  This went on for a couple of years, and we(the vets and I) could never figure it out.  They dismissed it as the old “sometimes dogs vomit” thing, and “she’s getting older”.  “No remarkable findings, healthy pet”.
      My latest vet suggested changing the food as a test for “food intolerance”.  The problem virtually disappeared!!!  I could not believe the change!  It was too easy!  I have experimented with several different foods with great success.  She just responded poorly to the Eukanuba, that’s all.
      I am done with that company.  I can’t point to a specific fault in their products, it just doesn’t work for my dog.
      I have had no trouble with several other common brands.  In all fairness I tried a bag of Iams and it was OK, but I cannot spend my money with that company any more.
      I cannot say my dog has never vomited since, but the frequency is 1/100th what it was, and her stools are nearly always normal.

  • Winfred W.

    Ed is correct By product does contain the same protein that meal does, the only part Ed fails to talk about is ash content. Ash in lame-man’s term is the filler, the no value volume in food that has 0 nutritional value or could potentially have negative value. The higher the ash content the lesser the quality of the food. Many people are instructed to stay away from by products because the ability to tell the % of ash used is almost impossible from reading the ingredient label on food. If you see by product as the #1 ingredient than I would stay away from it. Ed would probably not, he is welcome to feed his animals however he like. I would like to point out that Hillary Watson does sell her own products and has a stake in dog food distribution as does Aldrich. When reading articles or studies written by stake holders automatically should produce a red flag. Not to say their studies are inaccurate, but more often than not these studies will leave out important details.

    — Just because by product contains about the same protein level as meal does not mean it is just as good. in fact the Department Agricultural Food and the Marine ( State that
    A: Epidemiological studies carried out on BSE and animal diseases such as Foot and Mouth Disease and Classical Swine Fever have all identified ABP as the source.
    B: It is believed that the outbreaks in the UK in recent years of both Foot and Mouth and Classical Swine Fever were caused by contaminated catering waste.
    They always say you are what you eat.

    Ed when you have knowledge to share try not to be so harsh to people, on reading this thread it appears that people were ready and open to hear your argument , but instead of trying to inform people on what you know you attacked them. This makes me believe that you just read a few websites and dubbed yourself an expert so when people started asking you questions you just attacked instead of being calm and responding with facts.

    and FYI – I personally use Innova dog food for my dogs. this Eukanuba stuff is probably OK , but I want better than acceptable or just OK for my dogs.

  • melissa

    Bridget R-

    Please let us know how it works for your dog : ) I fed Euk many years ago, and my dogs did great on it. Some grains in food do not bother me, so I tend to use a large variety of products. If it doesn’t work, may I suggest looking into some of the products such as Pro Pac, or Hi Tek Naturals . The two listed above do not have the by products nor the sodium hexametaphosphate and are very reasonable in pricing-

  • Bridget R.

    This is my first time using this brand. We were on a really expensive dog food, I think it was Orijin. I’m hoping this will be good enough. Unfortunately, not all of us have money to afford the high quality dog food. The ingredients still sound reasonable and it was at a decent price. I agree with the rating. I will further update. 🙂

  • Ray G

    My boxer pup was pretty unhappy with Eukanuba Large Breed Puppy. The breeder had them on the Sam’s Club stuff and as I eased him over, his feed dropped WAY off. I finally surrendered, gave away the rest of the 40lb. bag to a shelter and cut him over to Blue Buffalo Chicken and Rice Large Breed Puppy. He woofed it down with gusto from the first feeding on and no need to soften it with water. I’ve always fed Eukenuba in the past with my dachshunds and my Weimaraner, but it’s time I leave the Iams company in the past and migrate to slightly more expensive holistic feed. Your mileage may vary.

  • mercedes hicks

    I am not satisfied with Eukanuba dry food for ROTTWEILERS it is awful and they hate it . I have two german rotties and I thought they would like the food ,but they don,t ,chunks are way to big and not enough protein. That was the first and last time I’ll buy that food and damn sure won’t recommend it. EUKANUBA YOUR DOG FOOD SUCKS. TAYLA AND BEAR HICKS.



  • Hillary Watson website says: PhD level courses, nothing about a PhD. I took a few graduate courses myself, still do not have a PhD.

  • melissa


    First, I would suggest that you google the term “poultry” where you will discover that the term is used to describe “any domestic fowl that is raised or caught for human consumption or of which the feathers are used for human “consumption”. Therefore “fowl” can be chicken, duck, pheasant, turkey etc etc. Its not proclaiming to be an expert, but I do proclaim to be able to use Google and a dictionary. You ask which fowl are produced in quanity..Why would the birds have to be produced in quantity” There is a dish called Squab-google it. It is considered a delicacy amongst certain groups, however, you would never find me eating pidgeon. But, by definition, it is classified as “fowl” when raised for this purpose and is prepared similiar to chicken.

    If a company is using a poultry by product of known contents, why not say “chicken/duck/turkey by product”?? Refusing to name the specific ingrediants tells me, as a consumer, they just are not sure what type of “poultry” it contains.
    Ms Watson clearly indicates on her own website that she has been involved in formulating dog foods. I have to assume, therefore, that she has been paid for her services, and probably by a dog food company.

    Not sure why you are trying to jam by products down our throats as a quality ingrediant, but I would say that you would not by other products without knowing exactly what was contained in it. Not all by product meals are of the same quality.

  • Ed… Since when does someone have to be an animal scientist or possess a PhD to understand the meaning of animal by-products? Are you a credentialed animal nutritionist yourself?

    In my articles, I’ve always made a distinction between named by-products (like “chicken” or “beef” by-products) and anonymous “meat” or “animal” by-products. And I can assure you that, by many US state laws, road kill and euthanized pets from animal shelters routinely make their way into rendered generic by-products.

    In the nearly 600 articles I’ve written here, show me where I’ve ever said by-products are “swept off the slaughterhouse floor” as you quote me in your comment. Your claim is a blatant lie… a self-serving fabrication intentionally designed by you to mislead my readers.

    You also erroneously assume in your “lecture” to our group that consumers should routinely trust the words “poultry by-products” on a pet food label to automatically mean (without question) that the manufacturer uses the “pet grade” version of that ingredient and not the ones classified as “feed grade”.

    Much of the information you reference here is either sourced from the pet food industry or is based upon a single article you read by a nutritional fundamentalist… someone who is strictly a scientist and surely not a conscientious canine caretaker.

    There are many more things you should know about meat by-products that are not addressed in that article. The fact that by-products can be stored in huge trailers outside the plant and not refrigerated for up to 24 hours after slaughter. The fact that they are (currently, this week) about 30-35% cheaper for the pet food manufacturer to buy than regular meat.

    At the very least, by-products (like corn and wheat) are always a tip-off to value-minded consumers that a dog food product is more cheaply made. And that is a fact.

    By the way, in this review, I clearly state, “Brewers rice represents the small grain fragments left over after milling whole rice. This is a cheap cereal grain by-product and not a quality ingredient.”

    And nowhere on this website do I ever describe brewers rice as being “waste from a brewery”. You are again intentionally attempting to misrepresent me and to deceitfully mislead my readers.

    Thankfully, most of our well-meaning readers (who you refer to here as “idiots”) are intelligent enough to see you and your angry, condescending attitude as rude and mean-spirited. And unwelcome in these discussions.

  • Bob K

    Ed – I did not see any of the Euk foods on this site rated 4 stars – Where did you see Euk as 4 stars?

    Like I said before Hillary does not appear to be a PhD. She has had PhD courses. “human grade” is fit for human consumption, you are correct, it might not be at your local grocery store but may be in some cheap factory produced chile, lasagna, cheap sausages, specialty food products or for 3rd. world countries. Euk does not use human grade from the label.

    What exactly is quality by-product meal and where is that writen on the label? You like to use talk about grades, what grade is “quality” grade?

    Mike only evaluates the ingredients on the label.

  • Mike P

    Ed with all due respect , why not ban yourself ? You seem to think most of us are idiots . Why bother yourself ? It must be painful for you to read all of our idiotic comments, because you are THE expert in animal nutrition . It’s not the info you put out to us , it’s the way you put it out . Always combative and talking down to the posters . Do yourself a favor and go bye bye unless you just like being an ass to the rest of us idiots . If that’s the case your doing it for all the wrong reasons . Melissa ,Jonathan,Bob K ,Doc Mike and a few others you attack have never proclaimed to being experts like you have . They are here to give opinions and life experience on dog food nutrition, and try to help one another in a polite decent matter . Sorry ED

  • ed

    You are all idiots and I really don’t care if you ban me.

  • ed

    Dr. Sagman is a human dentist not an animal scientist, and if you look this website as well, he assumes that “by-products” are all from road kills or “swept of the slaughterhouse floor”. He does not even mention the different grades of meal. He assumes that when some boutique pet food comapny says “human grade” its the same quality meat that is available at the supermarket.

    No fool would believe that.

    As for ratings, why would Pro Pac (which I like) be rated higher than Eukanuba, which has fresh chicken, quality by-product meal, fish oil & prebiotics that Pro Pac does not have?

    Eukanuba is superior food than Pro Pac and some grades of Eukanuba are 4 stars foods, the Performance grades.

    By the way, Brewer’s Rice is just broken pieces of rice not fermented waste from a brewery.

    There is nothing in Eukanuba that is low quality like gluten meals.

  • ed


    B.Sc. (AGR) with a major in Animal Science
    Graduate (PhD) level courses in comparative animal nutrition, protein and amino acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, nutrition and immune function, and veterinary pathology

    20+ years experience in veterinary nutrition, including

    new product development, recipe formulation, product evaluation, palatability enhancement
    quality assurance improvement for pet food ingredients and manufacturing
    technical support and training of pet food sales representatives (pet specialty and veterinary channels)
    copy writing of sales support materials, brochures, technical presentations
    marketing and business management, including new product launches, business planning, budgets, sales forecasting, management of distributors and sales team
    nutrition columnist for Dogs in Canada Magazine, the publication of the Canadian Kennel Club (more than 30 published articles)
    lecturer in pet nutrition – invited speaker in Eastern Europe (Latvia, Hungary, Czech Republic) in 2005, speaker at 10 Canadian veterinary conferences (1997-2005), lecturer at the Ontario Veterinary College, the Atlantic Veterinary College and many Animal Health Technology colleges in Canada

    You or Melissa know zero about dogs foods. Admit it. From what I can gather your read the Truth About Petfood website and believe that guy knows what he is talking about. Nutritionally pet grade by-product meal is virtually identical when it comes to amino acids and better when it comes to ash. You have this fantasy that the food you and I eat are put in pet foods. No dry meal is “fit for human consumption” and you would not eat any “human grade” chicken that goes into pet food. Trust me you wouldn’t eat spent egg layers that are technically “human grade”

    Euk is fine food.

  • Bob K

    Ed – Does Hillary really have a PhD? I don’t think so, please read her website. Please read the article from Hillary Watson both pages. Please note the wording about rendering, freshness, unavoidable in good processing practices, so some feathers and beaks are ok, oops a little slipped in and the mention of “grade”. This food is not exactly cheap. Also who says they get all their ingredients from the US? Its a 2 Star food and for the money you can get 4 Star foods.

  • Jonathan

    Ed, not every by-product meal is made as your links would suggest. I have no delusions about chicken meal. I know much of it is made with necks and backs. The point you are missing is that the three sources you have found do not speak for the ENTIRE INDUSTRY. They just don’t. If Eukanuba is using this high-tech perfectly blended intestine mixture you suggest is superior, and, apparently, the only “true” definition of chicken by-products, then why is it twice the price of Dog Chow? Dog Chow’s main protein source is Chicken By-Products. That’s the same “pet-grade” ingredient, is it not? I have not found anywhere, (outside of your link) anything that suggests that there are “pet grade” by-products versus non pet-grade by-products. Do you suggest there is no difference in by-product meals? You accuse others of “pretending” to be experts. Well who are you? I think we would all love to know who you are and what this vested interest you seem to have for “base” dog foods is that leads you to spend your time on a website telling people that they shouldn’t buy the foods that the website recommends. I, personally, have no monetary interest. My pet store makes money whether someone is buying Purina or Blue. I just care about people’s animals. And why do you think your internet research is any more valid than anyone else’s? Why do better, smaller food companies spend much more money on their ingredients and next to nothing on advertising? Do you think that McDonald’s has your best interest at heart because they are a big corporation that pays to throw a bunch of pseudo-science in the face of under-funded nutritionists that attack them? And has the money to mass advertise? A dog is an animal just like you and I. They evolved eating certain things, just like you and I. This is a fact. Corn was not a big part of canine diet until the kibble was created last century. Corn, in it’s current state, did not exist until we tampered with a barely viable food source during the agricultural revolution, just 8,000 years ago. My dog, when she was a puppy, would snatch birds out of the air and eat them. The entire bird… except the head and feet. Weird, huh? Not really. Any group of dogs left to their own devices will start to hunt game and eat dead animals. They will eat the entire animal when they can. They will not seek out a corn field. And they will not eat game animal’s intestines only at the expense of their muscle tissue. Please stop your absurd disinformation routine. Why do you care if people want to give their dogs healthier foods? Why does feeding a dog well seem to offend you so? The wealth of information available agrees with the stances of Dr. Sagman’s website, and with the beliefs of most of the other posters here. the only real detractors with “science” to back them are the industry monsters that have a monetary interest in convincing people of why they should continue to feed their dogs over-priced chicken-flavored corn pellets.

  • ed


    You don’t know what you are talking about. I say that with the utmost respect. You really don’t know one thing about dog food. Hillary Watson is a famous Phd & independent expert.

    Please stop parading around as an expert.

    What birds besides chickens are raised commercially in the United States in any quantity? Turkey & Ducks, right?

    Those links show you clearly there are several grades of by-products, and “pet grade” is what is used.

    Please stop acting like some kind of expert. You don’t have one stitch of evidence is this. You just read websites that say by-products are cleaned up from the floor.

    Have you ever seen what you believe is “chicken meat” or “chicken meal” for pet food? Well it is almost always frozen blocks of chicken backs or chicken frames from spent egg layers. It is not the breast meat from a young free range chicken.

    It is for dog food, right?

  • melissa

    Sorry Ed, I will have to disagree. Your three links provided are 1) A person who apparently worked formulating dog foods(and marketing according to her resume) 2) A dog food company with lots of by product meal in their foods and 3) a company that Makes and sells by product meal. It would seem to me that all three have or had some benefit from touting the wonders of by products.

    IF owners are paying a premium price, why would they want by product meal as a main ingrediant -which clearly can and does(at a best case scenario) contain heads(yes, the beak is part of the head) and feet, when they can pay the same price and get quality chicken meal? I have a problem when reading an article that says, clearly, that by product meal(when/if made from whole chicken) is from chicken rejected and marked as unfit for human consumption? I would not feed my dogs food that was rejected(for whatever reason) for humans to eat if I can avoid it.

    Now, if they want to be honest in the ingrediants and say “contains unfit for human consumption poultry by product meal-of which heads and feet may be a part of”, charge me $15 for a 50lb bag, at least I could give them “kudos” for being honest ; )(still wouldn;t feed it though! lol)

    The term “poultry” refers to ANY domestic or wild bird that is raised or harvested for human consumption. It is in way limited to turkey & chicken as you state. Did you find somethign somewhere that requires that the term “poultry” only be used to describe these two species? I may have missed that somewhere.

  • ed

    Bob K,

    The grade of chicken by-product meal used in Euk and other dog foods is called “pet grade” by-product meal. This grade is made from skin, organs, meat and bones. Also “poultry” just means it is a mix of turkey & chicken. Nothing to be concerned about. I know people like to think “by-product” meal is made of feathers & beaks but it is simply not the case.

    “By-Product” Meal is actually better because it has much lower ash than Meat Meal. Below are three links explaining it:

    My point about the goose is that dogs naturally crave “by-products” like organ meat.

  • Bob K

    Ed – You never answered my question. Where do you get your information on what “by-products” they actually use? What does attacking a wild goose and eating its intestines have to do with this dog food? Like I said before – just because a dog eats something doesn’t mean it’s healthy or nutritious.

  • Mike P

    Since I’m a dumb guy , I would not know how to feed raw correctly . Some raw feeders kinda creep me out because they sound so superior .

  • Antonio

    Although my dad did have a particular pack of deer dogs growing up that would start on the butt of a downed deer anytime there was a kill LOL

  • Antonio

    Ed actually has a valid point growing up in rural Arkansas you see many times growing up when a stray dog or coyote gets in the chicken house and dismember a few birds. Many times they eat the entire chicken, head, beak, feathers, and all, but you can also see many times they will eat the insides only.

  • Mike P

    My dog has killed rabbits and never ate anything . She gobbles her topped merricks before grain food . weird

  • ed

    Bob K,

    You don’t sound very well informed. Have you ever seen a dog attack a goose? I have. They eat the organ meat and chew the head up and then walk away. Coyotes disembowel animals, eat the liver, heart & lungs and walk away. The organs are way more nutritious than the muscle meat.

    Have you ever seen a nature show where the lions rip the body cavity open first? Most raw feeders don’t realize this but they feed almost exclusively “by products”.

  • Bob K

    Ed – Where do you get your information on what “by-products” they actually use? Do you work in their standards and purchasing departments? I am sure they would like you to believe that. Maybe its true, maybe it isn’t. What about, intestines, eyeballs, beaks, toenials, feathers, etc… they are all by-products. I had a dog that ate his crap and others including deer and coyote – that does not make it quality food. Just because a dog eats something does not mean its nutritional or healthy.

  • ed


    Listen, the grade of by-product in that food is organ, skin, back meat and bone. If your dog caught a chicken the first thing it would eat is the organ meat, not the breast meat.

  • Janet Hellebuyck

    We were always happy that Chicken was the number one ingredient. Never realized it was a by-product after the good stuff is gone. Sad!

    However, we had two Toy Poodles eating this 3/4 ‘s of their life one living 18 years and one 17 years.

    We currently have two Standard Poodles. One is 13.5 and thriving and the other 12 years old. So, the food must be doing something right! This is ALL our Standards ever eat besides Dog Bisquits made by them too.

  • Hi Andy… After reading your comment, I visited the Eukanuba website and found all the nutritional data and ingredient lists are all still there. But the link to that information is not so easy to find. On each product, look for the links inside the gray-shaded box just to the right of the “Nutrition Summary” below most of the marketing material. Hope this helps.

  • Andy

    Hi Mike,

    I was looking at the Eukanuba website but could not find the ingredients for their food?

    Did they stop publishing it?

  • The actual Wikipedia definition of brewers rice:

    “Brewers rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. [Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition, Ingredient Definition 75.4, p. 338]

    “Brewers rice is a processed rice product that is missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice thus reducing the quality [S Contreras, Animal Nutritionist]

    “Brewers rice and second heads are one of the many by-products that rice milling creates. Second heads are milled rice kernels that are one half to three quarters of the original kernel. Brewers rice is a milled rice kernel that is one quarter to half the size of a full kernel. Second heads, depending on their quality are used to make rice flour.

    “If the quality of the second heads are poor, they will be sold for pet food or dairy feed. Brewers rice is sold for pet food and dairy feed exclusively. [Pacifica Ag Commodities]”


  • Dr Hopkins

    Definition: Brewer’s Rice: The dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.
    Also Known As: “broken rice”

  • Hi Warren… I’d love to be able to review and rate Exceed Dog Food. But I’m unable to locate a company-maintained website dedicated to that product. Unfortunately, until the company makes available a publicly accessible web page, I won’t be able to review Exceed.

    Strangely enough, I’ve never been able to find any of the WalMart or Sam’s Club store brands described and detailed on a company-operated public website.

  • Warren Johnson

    Sam’s Club’s Exceed dry dog food claims to be equivalent to Eukanuba. What would be the review on the Exceed chicken dry food?

  • Carolyn Steed

    Looking for results of Euk. lamb & rice…

    Was shocked to see how LOW in general Eukanuba rated.