Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free product line lists 3 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.

  • Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Lamb Meal Recipe [A]
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Alaskan Fish Recipe [A]
  • Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Chicken Meal Recipe [A]

Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Chicken Meal Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Chicken Meal Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, peas, sweet potato, pork meal, pea starch, egg, chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), duck meal, ground flaxseed, coconut oil (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols), salt, tomato, blueberry, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin E supplement, biotin, choline chloride, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), riboflavin (source of vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B5), citric acid, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifido bacterium fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis32%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%18%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%37%33%
Protein = 30% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 33%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

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

The third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The fourth ingredient is pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The fifth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

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.

The eighth ingredient is duck meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

The ninth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also 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.

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 four notable exceptions

First, we find coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

Medium-chain triglycerides have been shown to improve cognitive function in older dogs.1

Because of its proven safety2 as well as its potential to help in the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (CDS) and chronic skin disorders, MCT can be considered a positive addition to this recipe.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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

Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Dog Food appears to be an above-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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

Hi-Tek Naturals Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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

Dog Food Coupons
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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

07/31/2017 Last Update

  1. Pan Y et al, Dietary supplementation with medium-chain TAG has long-lasting cognition-enhancing effects in aged dogs, British Journal of Nutrition, Volume 103, Issue 12, June 2010, pp 1746-1754
  2. Matulka RA et al, Lack of toxicity by medium chain triglycerides (MCT) in canines during a 90-day feeding study,Food Chem Toxicol, Jan 2009, 47(1) 35-9.
  • mark walker

    I notice that many of the dog foods you recommend due to their addition of Selenium Yeast vs. Sodium Selenite have started using sodium selenite. I ordered several cases of wet dog food from Hound and Gatos and over time, they’ve started substituting sodium selenite and removing the safer selenium yeast. This is a huge disappointment since I’m paying top dollar to ensure the best ingredients, only to have them switch ingredients without notification. This is also true for the highly touted Hy-Tek Grain Free dry dog food. Very disappointing!!!!

  • aVet

    I switched my 3 goldens to HiTek Naturals about a year ago…..they love it and have maintained a constant weight…my 3 yr olf female 62 lbs….3 yr old male….82 lbs and miraculously my 14 year old female at 82 lbs, down from 106!

  • Mr. Pug

    Can you be more specific please? What do you mean by “the ingredients are awful”? What do you know about the sources?

  • Sydney

    Stay away from this food. I toured their plant in Dublin, Ga and it was a disaster. The owners are awful, the ingredients are awful and the sources are more than questionable. It is beyond me how this food made it to the 5 start list. You couldn’t pay me to feed this to my dogs.

  • Bethany Burke

    Sadly nowhere near you! We are up in the FL Panhandle in the Destin area!

  • Kasey Ryann

    Where South are you? We sell this product at Seminole Feed in Ocala, Florida!

  • jonz

    Tried a lot and this food is a God send!

    German Shepherd has very delicate stomach at 2 in a half. This product besides natural instinct raw (80 plus a bag) makes his poops perfect otherwise everything else including Mericks, blue etc makes his poops bad and gives him bloating or constipation.

    Hi tek lamb formula is a God send. If I feed him something outside this food, sometimes it can make his poops bad, hi tek clears that right up.

  • Shana

    Does anyone know the company’s e-mail? And or what percentage of the protein is coming from meat vs. peas?

  • Amateria

    It seems like quiet a few things were moved around and the salmon appears to have vanished, it still sounds like a good food though.
    Would it change the rating? Not very likely.

    If your feeding it, I would still in my own opinion continue to feed it, most of everything is the same and at least flaxseed and coconut oil were added in turn for the removal of the fish.

  • haleycookie

    The ingredient list has changed on this. They added pea starch in the first five ingredients. Would that change this rating?

  • Bethany Burke

    I use it in my rotation for my 2 collies. They love it. I live in the south, too, and I like that it is somewhat “local” to me. I can’t find it anywhere near me so I get it online. But my guys are happy with it so far and I’ve been feeding it for close to 2 years now.

  • Shea

    I was curious about this food. It’s made in Dublin which is nearby. Has anyone tried this for their dogs lately? My local pet store carries it and might get some samples of it and Leonard Powell kibble if its

  • Knot2Day

    From what I have learned from animal nutritionists at MSU, sweet potatoes provide important fiber (as do peas) while still being a very nutritious ingredient, unlike other fiber fillers such as beet pulp and dehydrated alfalfa often found in dog foods, even some of the “higher end” labels. Sweet potatoes provide beta carotene and other vitamins essential to healthy skin, eyes and mucus membranes, plus they have a good amount of vital minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and potassium that are very essential for enzyme, protein, and carbohydrate metabolism. In addition, sweet potatoes have higher amylose to the amylopectin ratio than that in potato, which raises the blood sugar levels rather slowly in comparison. Prior to finding the Hi-Tek GF foods, I often added a tablespoon of baked sweet potato to my fur kids diets.

  • theBCnut

    I feed a huge variety. Right now they are on Canine Caviar, next is Annamaet, then Nature’s Variety Instinct LID. I just got 6 new kibbles to try. I also feed Nature’s Logic and B******* C*******, but my allergy dog can’t eat them. I also feed 1/2 raw. I used to feed Darwin’s, but most of their formulas have flax, and my allergy dog can’t have flax.

    I live where it is hot nearly all year round, so if I forget to thaw, I feed it frozen.

  • doglover

    I don’t complain to him about his hunting, racing, and bowfishing expenses. Not sure why he feels the need to comment on what I feed our dogs. ūüôā May I ask what food you feed? My BC mix eats Fromm Four star grain free formulas and half Darwin when I remember to thaw it.

  • theBCnut

    That’s a conversation I refuse to engage in with my poor husband. I think I spend about $200 a month feeding my dogs. I live where there is very little selection outside of Walmart, which is no kind of choice at all. But I am very happy with how all of mine are doing, including two with food issues. I tell my husband that expensive food is still cheaper than vet bills. Besides, it costs a whole lot more than that to feed the horses…

  • doglover

    That is what it seems to be. I was feeding Farmina, but after listening to my husband complain about ordering food online I stopped. I’m able to get Hi-Tek at the vet clinic I work at. Buy 10 get the 11th bag free. Plus it’s a lot cheaper than Farmina. Which is clearly starting to show with my Lab I believe.

  • theBCnut

    She may be developing a food issue. That’s the first thing I notice with my dog that reacts to chicken, many grains, tomato, and flax. His skin starts producing oil faster, so he gets this slightly greasy feeling, and when I pet him, I get a coating of gunk on my hands. He get a dirty dog smell too, like old grease.

  • doglover

    I have my Lab and Foxhounds on the Chicken formula. Rotating to Lamb formula soon. I notice my LB has quite a bit of gas on this food. She also seems to get a “dirty” coat easier. When I pet her she doesn’t feel clean even though she was bathed a week ago for rolling in cow crap.

  • I find this helpful.

  • Mark

    Well, hate to say I switched to another brand, my dogs did well on Hi-Tek GF for years until a few months ago.
    They both got colitis, developed rusty red yeast buildup around their mouths, reddish buildup in their ears and had eye discharge.
    Their soft belly flesh was also pink and the male developed weakness/soreness symptoms that my vet thought might be Addison’s disease.
    I switched to Fromm 4 Star a month ago, the Fromm GF is not in my budget. Even though the Fromm 4 Star is not a GF my dogs responded well.
    The male is active again. Both dogs mouth, eye and ear conditions have reversed and their belly skin color is white again.
    I hope Hi-Tek addresses whatever change they made to the GF recipe; they should comply with the Editors Choice standard and I would consider buying it again.

  • Mark

    Five months ago I asked about a formula change? My dogs have
    done well with Hi-Tek Grain Free for several years. I finally decided to
    change to another brand. My dogs have developed reddish yeast buildup around their
    mouths, the same reason I switched to Hi-Tek in the first place. It’s a shame,
    I was pleased with H-Tek, my dogs seemed to do well feeding it and
    they had no yeast problem in the beginning. I hope Hi-Tek addresses this, I
    have to question ingredient change and possibly source? Contacting Hi-Tek is a
    waste of time, no response to emails.

  • Melissaandcrew

    I don’t think it is however. When it first came to my area and I tried it, the bags clearly stated “all lifestage”. Several months ago, they came out with new packaging, and lo and behold, the name changed and its now adult maintenance for the chicken/rice. I called and the rep tried to convince me that it had always been maintenance only, lol.

  • Crazy4cats

    I just looked at their website. The formula looks the same to me?

  • Brian

    I would like to know what this recent formula change includes, aside from the size of the kibble… With the recent negative reviews of this product, I would think it would be critical to address. “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

  • Ann

    The info I just posted is on the Hi-Tek Rations website under nutrition.

  • Ann

    The section about 4D/rendering is under the Nutrition Section quite a ways down under Chicken meal. It does state that 4D animals are allowable chicken meal ingredients.

  • Canola oil will not change a rating.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Cjrjn, the Alaskan Fish and the Lamb both have Canola oil per Hi-Teks website. Chicken formula uses chicken fat. http://www.hitekrations.com/products/htn_grainfree_lamb_meal_sweet_potato.html

  • Cjrjn

    I do not find Canola Oil on the package or the website. Nor do I see the section about rendering diseased animals. Here is the ingredient list for the chicken grain free:
    Chicken Meal, Sweet Potato, Peas, Pork Meal, Egg, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Duck Meal, Salmon Meal, Ground Sage, Ground Basil, Flaxseed, Sea Salt, Tomato, Blueberry, Raspberry, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifido Bacterium Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Source of Vitamin B2), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B5), Citric Acid, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Oxide, Selenium Yeast, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.
    Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free Chicken Meal & Sweet Potato Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.

  • Mark

    Mike! I’ve been feeding Hi-Tek grain free to my springers for years and they seemed to do well on it. Read the ingredients listed on a new bag just purchased and there is now “canola oil” included on the bag (and on Hi-Tek website) not included on the above ingredient list. Is this now a “Red” item? Will it change the rating?

  • doggymom

    I have been selling and feeding this food for several years now and over the past several months (6) I have seen drastic changes to the point that I have had to stop feeding it in my boarding facility and to my personal dogs. It was causing severe gastric upset. I am in the process of phasing their line out of my shop and going with a different line. I hated doing this since this is such an affordable product, but when you spend more in vet bills than it is worth, then you have to make that decision. I also had numerous complaints from my clients. I gave them the opportunity to make this right and all I got was the runaround from the higher-to-be’s. I will have to say, not all dogs have been impacted in a negative way by the food, but when I see more than 2 or 3 dogs having adverse reactions to a food after a formula change, then I am suspect of a problem with the food. AND yes, the company did do a kibble change earlier this year and made the kibble smaller and more palatable per the R & D office at Hi Tek.

  • marla

    They state on their website that all their dog foods are Ethoxyquin free

  • Jamie

    One of our dogs has had skin and other allergy issues for about as long as we’ve had her (over two years). She was always picking at herself and rubbing her eyes and mouth on the floor, and those spots were often pink and irritated. We kept she and her sister on Beneful, which is what they were eating when we adopted them. After reading some reviews a few months back about Purina/Beneful and then reading about how grain free food seemed to help some dogs with allergy issues. This was the first grain-free food that we tried (because, like another user posted below, Amazon carries it for such a great price and the Amazon reviews were very positive). My husband was a huge skeptic about the idea that changing their food would help with the allergy issues. However, after seeing the change in her, he is now a believer. This food really seemed to alleviate Penny’s allergy problems. We have tried several since, and none seem to do as well for her (including Taste of the Wild and the Costco Nature’s Domain turkey), and this one seemed to help the most by far. Our dogs love it!

  • maggy6577

    maggy6577 I posted before on this dog food, but my comment was deleted for some reason. I was agreeing with the person below.

  • somebodysme

    That is awesome! My lab mix was around 15 when he went over the rainbow bridge but we didn’t know good dog foods back then. I bet he would have lived much longer on a good quality food!

  • Pattyvaughn

    For a lot of dogs, grains are inflamatory, so going grain free can produce some big improvements.

  • Lauren Gerlinski

    After close to 9 years of feeding our Black Lab all of the so-called ‘premium’ dog foods that you find in the big stores (like Eukanuba, Nutro, etc), he started to show the first signs of joint issues. People told me that that was to be expected for a 9 year old Lab, and I should be happy that he’s lived so long… but I refused to accept that there wasn’t more that I can do. I decided to start looking more closely at what was in his foods to make sure that he was getting the very best nutrition possible, and in doing that I decided to switch him to Hi-Tek. He’s now turning 13 and my husband and I joke that he’s the Benjamin Button of doggies because he seems to be aging backwards! At 13 he’s got his joint supplements (like Fish Oil and Glucosamine) and he’s also on a pain medication, but after switching his food we saw an immediate difference in his energy level, the look and feel of his fur, the brightness in his eyes, and his BM’s (NEVER ONCE a loose stool!) And the best part, Amazon consistantly has this fod for about $43-$48, and ships 2-day with Prime. In my opinion, this is the best bang for you buck out there!

  • sandy

    Also ask them about what kind of preservatives are used in the meat meals, not just the fish meal, as these don’t have to be labelled.


  • Melissaandcrew

    Email them and ask…let us know what they say..

  • DoggyDad

    I have been considering trying this food for a while because it’s ingredient list seems pretty good for the cost per pound. After reading their website I got a bit confused. The site explains about meat and poultry quality found in pet foods. Their exact statement….

    “Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, ‚Äú4D‚ÄĚ animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients.”

    Are hi-tek saying they practice this method? It doesn’t go on to say they don’t. It seems a strange thing to bring to a consumers attention without further addressing the subject.

  • Tiffany Smallwood

    I know this is an older post but I’d like to know if your dogs calmed down with their pooping? I am on our second bag (2 months) and my 40lb staffordshire is pooping up to 4 times per day. I am feeding her 1-2 cups per day.

  • Lorenzo23

    i have been looking for a puppy food that is natural but im not sure witch one to go to my puppy is on hi tek so now that i no its not for puppies do u have any reccomendations on a puppy food with the same high standards as hi tek.

  • Pattyvaughn

    No it isn’t recommended for puppies.¬† Puppy rated food is the highest standard.¬† All Life Stages food is formulated to the puppy standard.¬† This food is Adult Maintenance which is allowed to have lower protein and the minerals don’t have to be balanced as carefully.¬† I’d feed an adult dog puppy food but I wouldn’t feed a puppy adult dog food.

  • Lorenzo23

    Hello, I would greatly appreciate if some one could asnwer a question for me….i wanted to no if hi tek dog food is recommened for puppies of is better than a puppy dog food

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Sandy, you’re welcome! ūüôā

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Melissa, thanks for letting me know about the frequent buyer program, I did not realize they offered it. This is my first time trying Hi-Tek. Yes, the Chicken formula is the only one that removed the white potato. Hopefully they remove it from the rest of the formulas. I would like to rotate thru them. ūüôā

  • Melissaandcrew

    Ps-Keep your receipts and the UPC-they have a frequent buyer program-just ask the store for the card!

  • Melissaandcrew

    Actually, the potato has only been removed from the chicken variety(grain free) The lamb and whitefish remain unchanged with potato being after the sweet potato in the lamb, and a little further down on the alaskan fish formula. Hopefully they will remove it in all!

  • I put it on the List, thanks!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hey Dr. Mike, Hi Tek has removed the white potato & the sodium selenite has been replaced by selenium yeast . I picked up a 15lb bag for $24.99 A great buy for a 5 star gf food! http://www.hitekrations.com/products/htn_grainfree_chicken_meal_sweet_potato.html

  • Puckhead70

    ¬†Yes, ALL of Hi tek’s grain free formulas…including the Alaskan Fish Formula is and will be Ethoxyquin Free! This is a great formula with chelates and proteinates for bio-availability for a GREAT Price!

  • Melissaandcrew


    I fed this as part of my rotation for a bit, and the dogs seemed to do fine on it. Unfortunately, right after adding this, I added the grain inclusive and ended up with a bunch of ear infections. I stopped both and have  not tried them again, but might try the GF one more time, assuming the grain inclusive was the infection cause : )

    My largest dog that ate it was 100lbs, the smallest 5-6. The kibble size is very small.

  • tenar41146

    1) Is this food suitable for a large (37 kg) adult dog? I’m asking because I see that this kibble does not contain Glucosamine Hydrochloride and Chondroitin Sulfate.

    2) What is the size of the biscuit in the chicken formula?

    3) What are the nutritional/health benefits of Ground Sage and Ground Basil?
    They are both included in the new formula of this kibble.

  • Johnandchristo


    Just read DR MIke’s¬†review. It states that it is ethoxyquin free.

  • Drewandteri

    Is there any info as to whether the Hi Tek Alaskan fish resipe is 
    Ethoxyquin  free???

  • Uri


  • Aside from the mixed tocopherols for the chicken fat and the citric acid after the vit B6, I don’t see any other preservative in this food like green tea extract or rosemary extract.¬† Does anyone else see another preservative?

  • Brag641

    I just posted on the Hi-Tek not-grain-free site.  But realized this is where I should have posted. 
    I bought this 2 weeks ago and the food is now moldy!!!! Yuck!! I am returning it to the store.

  • Sorry Mike. I mean’t for that comment to be a direct reply to Alexandra’s post. I’m familiar with the 25% pea fact ūüėČ

  • Sorry Mike. I mean’t for my statement to be a comment on the 8% Alexandra spoke of just before me. I didn’t mean to imply you had stated anything otherwise.

  • Caz701

    My dog at that time was about 10 months old – Orijen made her sick to her stomach, she wouldn’t eat,¬† her liver enzymes went way out of whack. Took her off and she eventually got better.¬† Started homecooking and 6 months later she was normal again.¬† That was a year ago, and she has had no issues since.
    I would just really like to get her (and her siblings) onto kibble.  This particular Legacy is made in Canada.
    Does anyone have any experience with it??

  • Wow! ¬†That’s great Bchbumm0625! ¬†What did you switch from? ¬†How was the transition over to Orijen? ¬†

  • Hound Dog Mom

    C Penrose:

    Why did Orijen almost kill your dog? Does the dog have a health condition where it can’t tolerate high protein?

  • C Penrose

    I’d love a rating on Legacy ¬† http://www.legacypetfood.com. ¬† SOmeone posted that chicken meal listed as the meat before the first fat is not good.¬† This food looks good but I’m switching from homecooked to maybe this.¬† I’m just so on the fence about commercial foods.¬† And have to keep the protein somewhat low as I have in the past fed Orijen that almost killed my chihuahua.¬† Any advise appreciated.

  • Bchbumm0625

    I put my dog’s on this food 3 months ago and the change is amazing. My dogs hair was almost all gone and they were simply put looked horrible we spent a mint at the vets and nothing was helping and then we found this dog food and my dogs are happy and healthy, and all there skin is clear and their hair is grown back. I give this dog food a rating of a 10 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Alexandra

    No problem Dr. Mike.

    Thanks for clarifying that.

  • melissa

    ¬†I don’t think its a bad thing Marie-From my understanding, they have never had a recall.

  • InkedMarie

    I don’t know anything about Hi Tek, is the fact they are now making CC a good thing or bad thing?

  • HealthyDogs

    Melissa yes it is true. I spoke with CC this week after several weeks of shortages.

  • Hi Monkey,

    Oops. My apologies to Bryan and Alexandra. I didn’t notice that comment.

    In any case, the overwhelming majority (~90%) of the protein in this formula appears to come from animal sources.

    With 36% protein (minimum on a dry matter basis), the 5-star rating is still justified.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  • Alexandra

    I’ll clarify, 8% of the protein comes from peas. I’ll look to see if I still have the email.

  • melissa

    Completely unrelated to the pea  conversation-

    But, I read that canine caviar is now made by Hi Tek Rations -Supposedly the former manufacturer could not keep up with the amount of production needed.

  • monkey

    Mike, look a couple comments down at Alexandras message about peas. Just to clear up the confusion ūüôā

  • Hi Bryan,

    Nowhere in this review do I state that “8% of the kibble is comprised of peas”.

    It says 25% of the peas is made up of protein. There’s a big difference between what you’re saying and what I wrote in my review.

  • 8% of the total protein comes from peas? 8% of the kibble is comprised of peas? Two very different things in my book. It seems like the peas would need to be weighted higher on the ingredient list in order to add 8% to the total protein considering the amount of meals this formula has.¬†

  • Alexandra

    Hi Monkey,

    I actually emailed them that very same question. They replied 8% was from the peas.

  • monkey

    Do you know the percentages of meat vs pea in horizon legacy? The peas in that food may be boosting the overall protein. 

    Bone in chicken meal doesnt contain protein, the meat does so there has to be a good amount of meat for the protein to be where it is in hi-tek. 

  • doggonefedup

    I think I have more of a problem with potato, sweet potato, and peas then I have with the chicken meal.¬† Sweet potato, potato, tomato, and peas do not belong in a dogs diet.¬† I believe that they are just today’s version of corn and wheat. As far as chicken meal Tyson does have several different “grades” of chicken based meal.¬†

  • Hound Dog Mom


    None of the 5 star foods are going to be low in protein. If you want a lower protein food you’ll have to go 3 or 4 star. Addiction makes some very high quality but low protein foods. They’re made with high quality ingredients but only rated 4 or 5 stars due to lower protein content. This company may be something you want to look into. Their foods are quite pricey, but it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for chihuahuas.

  • melissa


    ‘Since you have such a negative perspective of Mike and his hard work, why not just go away?

  • Caz701

    ¬†Jess, what, in your opinion is a 5 star dog food – with reasonable protein?¬† (Not high like Orijen).¬† What ingredients do you look for / don’t you look for?
    You seem to know alot about foods – and I need to learn much more to make an educated decision what to feed my pack of Chihuahua’s.

  • Caz701

     Thank you Valerie.  I try to be a good Momma to my pack.  Their health is of utmost importance to me.

  • Jess

    There is a huge problem with chicken meal (or for that matter all meal) and that is who supplies it?? Tyson’s chicken meal is loaded up with bone, heck their chicken wings for humans are no bigger than sparrow wings. Any dog food that only has chicken meal as the only meat before the first fat or oil has ABSOLUTELY NO BUSINESS BEING RATED AS A 5 STAR dog food. And if the meal comes from Tyson it is mainly bone. The person who rates these dog foods has little knowledge of what meal really is and his or her ratings are way off. Wow, this food should be rated as a 3 star at best. This food has little meat and tons of bone. The rater here needs to find out who supplies what meal and what the bone percent is in that meal. Who supplies the meal, NEEDS TO BE LISTED alond with % of bone in the meal, as it is the most important ingredient in any dog food, especially ones like this that have ZERO whole meat.
    To rate this food in the same league as Orjien, Acana and Horizon Legacy is criminal. This dog food isn’t even CLOSE, to being in their league. NOT EVEN CLOSE….. The protein in this dog food does NOT come from MEAT. Which means, the protein is not good protein for dogs….

  • Infinia ZenFood Salmon and Sweet Potato 22
    Canidae Grain Free Pure Land 25
    Simply Natural GF 25
    Nutrisource GF Heartland Select and Seafood Select 25
    Natural Balance Alpha 26
    Canine Caviar GF Wilderness 26
    Pinnacle Turkey and Potato 27
    Blue Buffalo Freedom 24
    The Honest Kitchen has some in the 20’s

  • BryanV21

    Some people are set in their ways. Hopefully they don’t learn the hard way.

  • Valerie Noyes

    Caz701, try not to go crazy!¬† The fact that you care so much and are researching the best foods for your dogs puts you head and shoulders above most people out there.¬† You’ll do great and your dogs will thank you for many, many years to come.

  • Caz701

    ¬†Thanks, didn’t know that (well, kinda did but not really)
    So much to learn / educate ones self about.

  • BryanV21

    Meal is indeed high in protein, but that doesn’t mean the food is high in protein.

    Meal is basically meat with the moisture removed, leaving something that has about 300% of the protein of meat.

    It’s often added to foods in order to get their protein levels up, but not necessarily to get them into that “high” category.

  • Caz701

    Just checked out the following:
    Acana – protein is 34%
    Eukanuba is a 3 star so I’ll avoid
    Avoderm Rotary Menu has Avocado in it so I’ll steer clear – not good for dogs
    Amicus has 30% protein (five star)
    Halo has 31% protein (five star)
    Now has 29% – lowest of them all
    Compared to Orijen which is supposed to be a fantastic food, with a protein of 42% (no wonder I almost killed my wee 6lb chi)
    I just really worry about the protein. 
    (My parents feed their Chi Science Diet – she’s 12, has a heart murmur and lumps all over her body, cataracts, and has been having mini strokes, but still full of life.¬† Can’t convince them otherwise either, they think I’m crazy and that I should just feed my pack whatever the vet says – HA!¬† –¬† NOT )

  • Caz701

    Thanks everyone!¬† I don’t feed raw, but I do homecook (Hilary’s Blend / Complete & Balanced).¬†
    I think I’m on information overload with all of the choices.
    Have written them all down and will compare.
    I, like all of you, want the best for my pack – but just what is “the best”.¬† One could go crazy.
    I do know that high protein is not easily tolerated by my little “orphan” who’s now 2.
    And I have a rescue girl who is chubby, and an male (also 2) who’s perfectly healthy.
    Have just heard / read that “meal” such as chicken meal, corn meal, etc., are high in protein.
    I just want them to do well on whatever I choose – I have quite the fussy patrons!

  • The Honest Kitchen?

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I’m gonna suggest Halo and Now!, since I read your latest post that suggests you want a kibble without a meal ingredient.

  • Lee H

    That all depends on how to define “doing well.” Your car might be “doing well” (getting you from point A to point B) while using crappy motor oil, crappy transmission fluid, crappy gasoline, crappy brake fluid, crappy tires, crappy everything, then suddenly you’re replacing an engine or transmission, or a tire blows out and sends you into a tree. Then suddenly your car isn’t doing so well.

    Science Diet is absolute junk. There is nothing good about that food, and any professional reviews and analyses will tell you that. I don’t care how many “vet recommended” badges they stick on the bag. It’s crap, end of story. My parents feed their lab that stuff and they’re convinced that he’s “doing fine,” just like you say. Well, the fact that their last three dogs have died before reaching age seven should tell them something, but it doesn’t.

    Anytime you switch brands of dog food, especially when a 1-star food is used, your dog will need time to adjust to it. However, if you gradually move it to a 5-star or 6-star food by mixing the food for 1-2 weeks, you’ll find that switching between brands of high quality food is fairly easy (on you and your dog).

    Seriously, would you eat KFC, McDonalds, Vienna sausages, and potato chips every meal, every day of the week? I would hope not, although this IS America, the #1 country for dying from being fat.

    Using Science Diet, Purina, Ol’ Roy, Iams, or any else of that stuff is virtually the same as eating fast food and junk treats all day every day.

    Orijen, Nature’s Variety Instinct RawBoost, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Innova EVO, Taste of the Wild, and Wellness Core are my top choices. Both of my dogs do extremely well on them, especially Bella (half APBT, half Belgian Malinois), who has a very sensitive stomach.

    I have no experience with Hi-Tek Naturals, but if you give any of the above a try, I guarantee you’ll never turn back. I apologize if my response seemed harsh, but gentling taking people by the hand and whispering to them that what they feed their dogs isn’t the best thing out there just doesn’t do the job. If you try to come into my home with anything rated less than 5 or 6 stars (dogfoodanalysis.com), you will be chased out with a frying pan (and not by me, by my fiancee, who jumped on my case for not giving the girls filtered water the other night).

  • BryanV21

    Sorry to hear about all those problems. I wouldn’t expect meal to be an issue, but either way you can’t beat a raw diet. But yeah… it is more expensive and time consuming.

  • Look through the 4-star food lists as these have a lower protein content than the 5-star ones.¬† Although Acana Classic Single Protein¬† and Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream and Sierra Mountain and Merrick Classic Lamb formula (all lower in protein than the others in the line) are lumped together¬†with their group.

    Have you looked at Avoderm Rotating Menu?  Amicus is also a toy breed kibble.

    Just remember the numbers in the dashboard here are higher than the actual numbers on the bag as these are converted to dry matter.

  • Caz701

     Thanks BryanV21.
    Want something that is as natural as possible – none of the “meal” stuff, healthy, good for them.
    I had a sickly wee chi that I have had since 4 weeks of age (her mother died one week after birthing).¬† She’s been through SO much – had to have the top of her femur removed, then had high bile acids, stomach issues, UTI’s (I blame Orijen on all of that – as soon as she went off – she was fine – took awhile tho’).
    Now I homecook using Complete & Balanced (Hilary’s blend) love it, but there’s only one fairly inexpensive recipe in the whole recipe book).

  • Hound Dog Mom

    yeah I’m pretty sure my boyfriend would eat cheeseburgers or chicken
    wings for every meal if he could…guys don’t count, they don’t know
    what’s good for them lol

  • melissa

     what living thing left to their own devices would eat the same thing every meal?

    My husband and it would be pizza and birthday cake-

  • melissa


    I have to agree with you on the switching of brands and varieties if the dog can tolerate it. The other day, hubby set down the bowl of 2 cups NV Instinct and 2 oz NV raw-and one of my schnauzers ate it. A few years ago, that would have been a trip to the ER to induce vomiting. Since they are used to eating a higher fat content now, and different brands, I waited. A bit of soft stool the next day, but that was it, and I am guessing that was from the high volume rather than the food itself. Had I not rotated, I have no doubt we would have had major problems.

  • BryanV21

    For food lower in protein Fromm is one of my “go to” brands. But if that didn’t work, then why not try Acana? It’s actually made by the same company that makes Orijen, but it’s a lower protein food. Still grain-free as well.

  • Caz701

    With all the pet food recalls (many this year) I’m grateful that I homecook for my (small) pack.
    I have to admit that I’d really prefer to get them all on a kibble, but finding the right one is the hard part.
    I have 3 chihuahua’s – one a bit overweight.¬† Two are 2 yrs of age and one is 5 (puppy mill survivor, mom of about 10 litters).
    Homecooking is costly, but researching and trying a multitude of kibble is killing me.
    I have tried Orijen (too much protein – almost killed my wee chi), Wellness, Fromm, Home Baked Tradition (?), etc.
    Does anyone have any suggestions of a GOOD kibble, moderate in protein and not full of garbage?

  • Valerie Noyes

    I completely agree with Hound Dog Mom.¬† I rotate through a great variety of 5 star kibble, cans, raw…¬† The dogs love the variety.¬† They never get plain kibble.¬† It’s always topped with canned, raw or rolled. And it varies daily.¬† I switch kibble with every bag.¬† My Am Staff / Boxer gets so excited at dinner time he almost twists himself into a pretzel!¬† Once I got them used to constant rotation they had no problems whatsoever.¬† But I took it slowly at first to not cause digestive upset.¬† They are all rescues, mostly senior¬†and I seldom know where they came from or what they usually ate.¬† They do absolutely love lots of different flavors and textures..

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I strongly disagree that you shouldn’t change a dog’s food just because they’re doing well on it. No dog food is perfect, it’s important to rotate to make sure your dog is getting all the nutrients they need. You wouldn’t eat the same thing every day, so why should your dog? Many brands are now realizing the importance of rotational feeding so they are coming out with several different protein choices for the same food, however I don’t think rotational feeding within the same brand is the best option either. Most brands contain virtually the same ingredients in each variety with only changing the protein source, by switching brands your dogs gets new protein, new fruits and veggies, new carb sources, different fat sources, different %’s of protein/fat/carbs and a different vitamin/mineral pre-mix. I make my dogs’ food and they eat something different at every meal. Obviously this isn’t really possible for those who feed kibble, but I think at the very least 2-3 different brands should be fed every year (ideally a new brand would be fed at the end of each bag of food). Also, a healthy dog that is used to being fed a variety of foods will should not need to “transition” either. Do humans need to transition from eating cereal for breakfast then a sandwich for lunch? Do dogs in the wild need to transition from eating a rabbit one day and a pheasant the next? The idea of feeding your dog the same food or the same brand every meal for their entire life is rather ridiculous if you think about it – what living thing left to their own devices would eat the same thing every meal?

  • BryanV21

    There’s no conspiracy within the dog food industry to make your dog go to the bathroom less, or something like that.

    I agree that once you find a food you shouldn’t change it up. Although rotating between different meats is a good thing, due to each being different as far as nutrients. But to add to that, once you find a GOOD food you shouldn’t change it up. Science Diet, as you can see here, is not ideal.

    It does take a dog around 2 weeks to get used to a different food, so don’t let issues like you had discourage you.

    Keep in mind that vets do not get good nutrition training in school, so taking their advice on dog food is not necessarily what’s best. Not that there aren’t some that really know their stuff, but most of them hear what their Hill’s reps say and go with it. When it’s that rep that’s trying to simply sell stuff. Not to mention that a lot of the time people can get a better food for less than they spend on Science Diet anyway.

  • Uri Lalo

    I had 10 years giving my english bulldog sciense diet and my dog is perfectly well. Because a freind told me about this website I saw the low rating you gave to this food and I change for this Hi Tek food thinking Iam doing the best.
    Since the first day eating Hi Tek food he is having a very bad time trying to go pooping and he is making this dark, hard and small esses…¬†
    This make me think that the dog food industry is trying to make a food that make this results; the owner benefit of less cleanning, less walking the dog, with out realy think on the dog health.
    I have been talking to many vets and they all told me the same: “if your dog is doing well with one kind of food, DONT CHANGE IT”.
    And this is my advise for you all too.
    (sorry for my spelling, I’m not an english speaker, but I hope to make my point)

  • Hi Sculpt,

    Unfortunately, the company has not included this information on its website. Is there any way you could scan the brochure and send me a copy?

    If you can, simply go to the “Contact Us” link below located in the footer of any page on my website and send me a quick message. Then I can send you my email address.

    Thanks for your help.

  • Sculpt

    I also checked with the company and they sent me there disclosure brochure that stated no ethoxyquin 
    based products have been used.

  • LadyMcBeth

    @d33cb3efca858cfe3d76e52d1b38db5d:disqus :

    The above article states:

    “The ninth ingredient is salmon meal. Salmon meal is typically obtained from the ‚Äúclean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings‚ÄĚ of commercial fish operations.1
    Unfortunately, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.
    But because it‚Äôs usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.”

    But, if they had checked with the company, they would have been reassured (as I was) there is no ethoxyquin in the food. Daisy is doing well on it…good stools, great skin and coat. I am pleased with this food.

  • LarryTheK9

    Thank you for researching this and posting!

  • Larrythek9

    My dogs love it too. I thought the ingredients would have to say ethoxyquin if it were in the product. I would love to know who is mistaking here and fix the problem!

  • Larrythek9

    I started my two dogs and my daughters dog on this product about a month ago. They were all on Taste of the Wild grain free. We have not had this problem at all. They still poop small and once a day. Larry ( my dog) is also about 80 lbs. Hope this helps.

  • guest

    I switched my adult dogs to the Hi-Tek brand a few months ago and it’s been a tough transition. Both dogs are constantly farting and pooping so much more than before. I know dogs poop, but now they are going sometimes 4 times on a walk (and not all small, each are big poops), so 2 walks a day and being let our in between – the dogs are each about 75 lbs, both healthy and active, but that’s a lot of poop. I work from home so they are let out every few hours so it’s not a build up of being inside all day either.

    Anyone else have that with their dogs? I’ve tested it out for about 2 months, but I don’t know how much more I can handle…..I’m already giving them less than what the bag says for their size.

  • Valerie Noyes

    My vet recommended a grain free diet for our dogs and wanting to be sure I was feeding them high quality food I began to really look into ingredients.¬† This site is absolutely wonderful.¬† So many others have only a limited number of brands to compare and many are sponsored by the manufacturers.¬† Also given the situation with so many dog treats being made in China that have been sickening and killing our pets I’ve gone a little nuts in being certain about what I feed and where it came from.¬† I use Hi-Tek Naturals Grain Free as kibble and top with canned Addiction or Evanger’s.¬† I also use Fresh Pet Select rolls.¬† The dogs all love their food.¬† Their coats are soft and sleek, eyes are bright and shiny.¬† I buy only from a small specialty pet shop where the owners are fully versed in all of the products they carry and where they are made.¬† I’m now relieved to know that their food and treats are of the highest quality and absolutely nothing comes out of China.¬† Bravo to DogFoodAdvisor for fact-based unbiased reviews!!

  • LadyMcBeth3540

    I love this food! It’s reasonable, and a great alternative to Taste of the Wild, which I discontinued due to safety problems. I contacted Hi-Tek about the ethoxyquin content, and they sent me two documentations assuring me there was no ethoxyquin in their product. I belive it should have the highest rating.

    Plus my dog loves it!

  • My dog really likes Hi-Tek, it’s the only food she has ever finished a bag of and believe me I’ve tried A LOT of dry foods. She’s also finally gained back all of the muscle tone she apparently lost and her fur looks wonderful. Her skin allergies have also cut down some.¬†

  • Cassienoe

    I emailed them about the ethoxyquin statement, and this is the response I got. 
    The Hi-Tek RationsPosition on EthoxyquinEthoxyquin is a quinoline-based antioxidant used as a food preservative.  It is commonly used as a preservative in pet foods to prevent the rancidification of fats.  The U. S. Food and Drug Administration has found a verifiable connection between ethoxyquin and buildup of protoporphyrin IX in the liver, as well as elevations in liver-related enzymes in some animals. There are, to date, no known health consequences from these effects.  In 1997, the Center for Veterinary Medicine asked pet food manufacturers to voluntarily limit ethoxyquin levels to 75 ppm until further evidence is reported.Hi-Tek Rations does not use ethoxyquin in any application of its manufacturing or ingredient sourcing process and does not accept ingredient products that have been exposed to or treated with ethoxyquin.  Hi-Tek Rations uses only mixed tocopherols as antioxidants to retard oxidation of fats and to preserve our finished products.  Further, no BHT is used in our manufacturing or sourcing process due to the compound’s linkage to child hyperactivity and to cancer.

  • Probably, the most affordable grain-free dog food in the market today (amazon.com). AND my dog loves it. She enjoys eating it and it’s clearly good for your tummy due to her BMs she kindly leaves on our back yard lawn; they are stinky (anal glands are extracting well) and compact/firm. Hi-Tek has a non-grain free line as well that I’m gonna try soon; I have no doubt it will work for her, too.

  • hagelult

    Foods that specify that they meet nutrient profiles for growth and development or for all life stages are appropriate for puppies. This food is appropriate for all life stages so it would be fine for a puppy. You would just want to avoid foods that only meet nutrient profiles for adult maintenance when feeding a puppy.

  • Sandra

    Just want to make sure – this would be recommended for a puppy (14 weeks old right now)?

  • melissa

    Thanks for the review Mike-

    If this food works for ‘your” dog, then its a very reasonable price point for grain free. My dogs ate it up, & loved it-however I was feeding both the grain free and grain inclusive at the same time, and one caused my dogs to develop some ear infections. However, the pricing in the NY area is under $40-definetly in the “bargain” range for grain free-