Iams Grain Free Naturals (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Iams Grain Free Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Iams Grain Free Naturals product line includes two 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.

  • Iams Grain Free Naturals Chicken and Garden Pea [U]
  • Iams Grain Free Naturals with Salmon and Red Lentils [U]

Iams Grain Free Naturals Chicken and Garden Pea was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Iams Grain Free Naturals Chicken and Garden Pea

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Chicken, peas, pea starch, chicken meal, menhaden meal, beet pulp, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols a source of vitamin E), dried egg product, natural flavors, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, monosodium phosphate, carrots, tomatoes, choline chloride, spinach, blueberries, 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), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide), dl-methionine, apple pomace, calcium carbonate, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis24%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%13%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%29%47%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 47%

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

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

The second ingredient 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 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 fourth ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

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.

The eighth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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

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

With four notable exceptions

First, flaxseed is 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.

Next, apple pomace includes the pulpy solids that remain after pressing apples to extract the juice. It is most likely used here for its fiber content.

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

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

Iams Grain Free Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Iams Grain Free Naturals looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Iams Grain Free Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources 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.

Iams 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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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".

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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

02/25/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Susan

    Hi, Chicken is the first ingredient then peas then Chicken meal & Menhaden meal, chicken fat, better then chickpeas & lentils as 2nd & 3rd ingredient, like the newer grain free kibbles have…this formula isn’t too bad, pretty good for Iams, I’ve seen worse ….

  • Louise Dean

    How is this considered a 4 star food? The first 2 ingredients are Peas! Plus there are several salt ingredients and the vitamins and minerals aren’t even chelated??? Come on DFA you can do better than this. People are going to start thinking you are getting paid to boost ratings.

  • Crazy4cats

    I read it thinking she meant just chicken meal, not any meal at all.

  • Susan

    Hi, why don’t you want any meals in your kibble?? a good kibble will use a few meat meals, it should say Lamb, Lamb Meal Salmon meal etc , also a good kibble will have 3-5 proteins as the 1st 2nd 3rd 4th & 5th ingredients then a carb…. When you read the ingredient list they write the ingredient list when the ingredients are raw ingredients, not cooked, so if it just say’s Lamb & no meal following the protein you’ll only be getting 30% of that meat cause when you cook any meat they’re 70% water & they shrink where the meat meals have been cooked & grounded into a meal when written on the ingredient list, so you get heaps more meat with a meal…
    Do you follow Rodney Habib” ? he’s got excellent short videos one of his video’s shows us how these kibble companies trick us, Rodney shows you how to read a kibble ingredient list & you’ll be surprised especially when the ingredient list says chicken, rice, oats potatoes, peas then Rodney puts these foods in a row after being cooked & the heavy potatoes become the first ingredient then the rice then oats then the chicken is the 4th ingredient instead of being the first ingredient, so your dog is eating a heap of potatoes & rice, hardly any chicken meat, I’ll try & find the video he also runs Planet Paws on f/b where these videos are posted as well. https://www.facebook.com/rodneyhabib

  • sandy

    Look at RAWZ Meal Free and Petcurean Now Fresh kibbles. I believe they do not contain meat meals. There are also several brands that have recipes that are chicken-free. Search in the Forum for “No chicken ” or “chicken free”. I know that topic has been discussed.

  • Crazy4cats

    My dogs do well on Whole Earth Farms Pork, Beef and Lamb grain free formula. There is no poultry in it. It is Merrick’s value line of dry food. Good luck!

  • Deborah Stav Brinks

    Is there a dog food out there that does not have chicken by-product or meal in it if so please let me know.

  • Pitlove

    If your dog does well on this food (solid stool, no gas, no vomitting, nice coat and skin etc), enjoys eating it and gets a clean bill of health from the vet during yearly check ups, then it is a good food for your dog.

  • Maria amaya

    Is this a good dog food to give my dog what do you guys think

  • BoxerBliss

    The beet pulp in this food might be problematic for a dog with yeast problems. Here is a list of food recommended for dogs with yeast overgrowth. http://www.nzymes.com/pethealth/Pet-foods-recommended_For-healthy-skin_Or-where-Allergies-are-indicated , I also use a probiotic called Geneflora.

  • Sharon Noe

    Can anyone tell me if the Iams grain free naturals will help with our dogs paw licking (yeast)?

  • Mark E Rogers

    Actually MOST pet food companies are not credible. Wysong has a larger nutrition section with peer reviewed scientific literature cited then any other pet food company. They are also willing to post comments on their foods that are not all favorable, not all all positive testimonials. I don’t know any other company that does this. I have represented many manufacturers but I know of no other that makes foods in their own plant that has been around as long as Wysong, that has not just followed the current market trends to sell as much food as possible, but has actually dared to be different and manufacture foods that are suitable for both cats and dogs and do not use the one ingredient they don’t need – starch! See Epigen™. Probably the most innovative pet products on the market. Check out the ingredients in pet food and what companies are pumping into your animals. Most pet foods are more carbs then any other ingredient. The one ingredient they don’t need is the most abundant.

  • Mark E Rogers

    I don’t know any humans that eat the exact same food at every meal for years. Rotational feeding is simply natural feeding. It is not healthy to feed the exact same food at every meal in perpetuity. You should not necessarily switch at every meal but variety is healthier and far more humane! No food is 100% complete and balanced. This is a very dangerous myth. Check out the link below


  • Mark E Rogers

    Unfortunately Virginia, most pet foods are very misleading. It is primarily a self regulated industry that is worth over $25 billion in this country alone. Most pet food companies are owned by very large companies where profit is the number one motive NOT your animals health. I recommend you go to wysong.net check out there learn section at the top of the page. Read about Dr. Wysong’s philosophy and the company history. See how much information is on their website. Then check out their foods and see what you think of what they put in their foods and why. They put their label on the FRONT of their bags and every diet has its own web page that tells you why they include every ingredient! They were started by a vet, still family owned, and I believe you will find they make very quality food. They also make all their own food. The foods are low in carbs, loaded with probiotics (guaranteed by organism) and guaranteed digestive enzymes. No other company I know of does any of that. Check them out. Hope your pup feels better soon!

  • Virginia Schweninger

    · Share

    Virginia Schweninger Isn’t this false and misleading advertising? My dog has serious allergies to beef and chicken. Snow
    was coming and we couldn’t drive to town for his special food. We went
    to the grocery store and carefully checked out ingredients trying to find him something
    safe to get us by. IAMS grain free Naturals WITH
    SALMON + RED LENTIL AND has pretty pictures of veggies and salmon and printed in large type is “NO grains or CHICKEN by-product meal.* I couldn’t find the
    ingredient list till after his first few meals when we tore the bag
    apart. He’d already begun to break out in hives, had an ear infection and sores.
    Buried in the fold on the top right corner of the bag (in about 4
    point type) is hidden the list of ingredients. The main source of
    protein, 1st on the list is CHICKEN. CHICKEN MEAL IS 4TH; Salmon & lentils 5th-6th; CHICKEN FAT 8TH. This is so
    misleading and false advertising . . . even dangerous! Our dog is still
    suffering. No picture of a chicken, but 30% of the plate pictured is salmon. Do we have to walk around the grocery store with a
    magnifying glass practically opening bags to get the truth?!!! They could have endangered
    my dogs life. I will NEVER purchase IAMS again if this is how they
    choose to sell their product!

  • SandyandMila

    The tripe in Merrick Working Dog Stew doesn’t smell as foul. I’m not sure if your dog is allergic/intolerant of the other ingredients but it’s worth a shot, it’s has a 5 rating, and your husband probably won’t ban it from the kitchen. lol

  • aimee

    I’m cautious about information when I’m not familiar with the field. What little skimming I was able to do I did find there are inconsistencies between studies, effects seen initally that are not maintained long term, and/or only seen when 50% total caloric intake was from MCT, which isn’t practical.

    Additionally, it is interesting how the American Oil Chemists phrased this ” In fact, the lean dogs were losing so much weight on the MCT diet that the study had to be stopped early.”

    This is true but they left out some very important information! The lean dogs in the control group also were removed from the study because they had lost so much weight. From the graph, weight loss in the lean control group looks to be ~ 8.5% and in the MCT supplemented group was ~7%, less than the control group, significance unknown.

    In regards to CLA in dogs, the study that comes to mind is the high protein, low fat, mod carb diet study in which CLA did not have any effect. But that is only 1 study.

    I’m happy though to see this type of research being done as there is so much to learn. The MCT cognition studies referred to were done by Purina, the study that looked at CLA was funded by Royal Canin and of course the MCT weight loss information you referred to was done by Hill’s.

    Thank goodness for these companies that invest in and expand nutritional knowledge as opposed to most pet food companies whose profits they solely keep for themselves.

  • Shawna

    What they are learning (and some have known for quite some time) is that certain fats can cause weight gain (mainly through inflammation) and others can contribute to weight loss. I don’t think dogs are much, if any. I’m sure it won’t be long before there’s ample research regarding dogs as well. Especially with data as is suggested by the below site.

    American Oil Chemists’ Society — “Specialty lipids offer many of the same health benefits to pets as to humans.”

    “Conjugated linoleic acids and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) both contribute to weight management; MCT can benefit cognition.” ”

    “Another feature of MCT is their ability to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation compared to consumption of LCT. This can lead to decreased body fat. In 1982, Baba and colleagues fed rats 150% of their daily caloric requirements, with 50% of calories coming from either MCT or LCT. While both groups gained weight, the MCT-fed group gained significantly less weight than the group receiving LCT.

    A similar effect has been shown with dogs. In a study conducted by Miller and coworkers (2004), two sets of dogs, one obese and the other lean, were fed either a diet containing MCT or a control diet with LCT. Both groups were fed fewer calories than maintenance to ensure weight loss. Both lean and obese dogs receiving the diet lost significantly more weight than dogs on the control diet (Fig. 3). In fact, the lean dogs were losing so much weight on the MCT diet that the study had to be stopped early.”

    “Conjugated linoleic acids
    While humans respond quite well to CLA supplementation for body fat loss, some animals, especially mice, dogs, and pigs, respond even better, resulting in dramatic effects. Research conducted by Hargrave and coworkers (2002) showed that a 1:1 mixture of the two CLA isomers caused a significant decrease in abdominal fat in mice. This work also helped to establish that it is the trans-10, cis-12 CLA isomer that is responsible for body fat reduction (Fig. 4).” http://www.aocs.org/Membership/FreeCover.cfm?ItemNumber=19251

    I refer back to my earlier comment – they TYPE of fat plays a big factor as to whether it will cause an increase or decrease in body weight. I’m not aware of data on dogs yet but we know that certain fats, in humans, are pro-inflammatory and that inflammation can result in an increase in body fat. Soy and corn oils have been shown, at least in part due to their high omega 6 content I believe, to be pro-inflammatory. We also know, in humans, that lectins can bind with insulin receptors eventually causing weight gain. I would be surprised if they do not act the same way in dogs and cats.

  • aimee

    No what was is it about ? Dogs? I’ve really only read about fat being more efficiently stored as fat in dogs.

  • aimee

    Next time you see Dr Wynn ask her what she thinks. I never got the impression she thinks carbs contribute to obesity (independent of just too many calories in general). from reading her blog. Maybe her view has changed since then??

    There are a lot of opinion that’s why I like to see data.

  • aimee

    Are they talking about dog or people? When I read a comparative review I read humans handle fats differently than canines and what is seen in dogs is not what is seen in people in regards to dietary fat influencing body fat. So if you are referring to what Dr’s are saying about people that doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  • aimee

    I’m having difficulty following you.

    Only so much protein is used by the dog and then the rest is shuttled off into FA and glucose production and stored as fat or glycogen.

    If feeding 25% protein in your first example was to meet protein needs then in your second example protein is being fed above needs and will be deaminated and used for energy. I was simply asking where you accounted for where this energy went.

    I don’t see myself as having any “strong points in my knowledge”.. I’m more of a generalist.LOL The way you said it though made it seem insulting, but I’m sure you didn’t mean it as an insult.

    Honestly, yes it has been about 5 years since I read the literature on nutrition/exercise physiology. I had read quite a lot about it at the time I was doing agility with Brooke.

    The researchers that I read that come to mind ( I may get some of the names misspelled here) were Hill, Reynolds, Young, Wakshlag (sp??) Downey, Kronfeld.

    I don’t think any of those were supported by Purina or Hills and even if they were the important thing is to evaluate each study on its own merits. They all have flaws. This is the whole purpose or peer review. Once published everyone gets to judge the quality of your work. Some studies float and others sink when put to this type of test.

    I never came across anything about changing the nutrient profile dependent on when a particular type of exercise was being engaged in in relation to the meal. As I recall you had alluded to something about that in the past. Where can I find the research on that?

    Personally I think there is likely a lot of genetic variation (which might explain why in the pic I posted dog 6 didn’t look to change too much but dog 2 really changed!) and that individual dogs may vary in what nutrient profile they do best on.

    My views on carbohydrates, and actually on most maybe all?? nutritional
    matters align pretty well with Dr. Wynn.

    Dr Wynn, who is a holistic vet, has this to say about carbs/grains. “Since grains, as compared to meats, contain lower fat contents, they
    can be used as a “place-holder” in a diet that fills a dog up while
    reducing the fat content. I’ve seen people feed pitifully small amounts
    of raw diets to dogs whose weights needed better control. Poor hungry

    Brooke requires few calories to maintain her weight, carbs allow me to feed more volume so that she isn’t a “Poor hungry dog” I
    feed about 30 % protein calories, 25% fat calories and 45% carb

    Dogs on weight loss programs or like mine that have low energy requirements benefit from the dilution of carbs bring to the diet. You could do the same with protein. But I haven’t found a commercial diet that does this.

  • Dori

    Shawna, it’s not even big name vets that are forward thinking. My dogs traditional vet believes that carbs cause obesity and is the cause of fat and obese dogs, not quality fats in diets. This particular vet is their traditional vet, not their holistic/homeopathic or nutritional vet. She’s a youngish traditional vet never schooled in nutrition (other than the little bit they get in veterinary education). She did do part of her internship under Dr. Susan Wynn who is Hannah’s nutritional vet.

  • Shawna

    This thought, fat causes fat, is coming under intense scrutiny right now. They are finding that “quality” fats do not make you fat.

    LOTS of forward thinking doctors and nutritionists are finding this to be true in their practices — Dr. Mercola, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt and SO MANY MORE…

  • Shawna

    Have you seen the documentary “Cereal Killers Movie”?

  • sharron

    ok thanks – she’s on the pork and squash

  • sharron

    thanks dori

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes. Storm’s “scooting” is what prompted me to go to my vet, which is how/where I discovered Storm’s chicken issue.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I didn’t say the dog only needed 25% protein in the 2nd example. And we’re not talking about “excess” anything. However, if we were, carbs become “excess” much quicker than protein does.

    Honestly, aimee, until you start talking about exercise in this equation ..which obviously isn’t a strong point in your knowledge.. there really isn’t much more for us to talk about. You are constantly trying to talk about the input part of the equation in order to justify supporting a high carb diet that the likes of Purina, Hills, etc produce.. ..but like their funded/supported studies, you totally ignore the exercise aspect of nutrition in order to do so. I refuse to do so.

  • Dori

    Not Storm’s Mom but yes, that is probably food related unless your dogs anal sacs are impacted or infected which is not as common as some people seem to think. Most of the time it is a food issue.

  • aimee

    I appreciate you trying to help me understand your reasoning but you lost me : (

    In your second example you fed 50% protein but your dog only needed 25% You didn’t explain where the calories from other 25% went. Won’t those calories also be shifted to energy and stored as fat?

    This is greatly simplified, but in regards to weight gain this is what I mean by efficiency. If I’m feeding 50 calories per day more than I need to ( energy excess) in the form of fat. It can be stored as 50 calories of fat.

    If the 50 calories was fed in the form of carb it costs the body energy to convert the carb to fat so say of that 50 carb calories 45 are stored as fat and the other 5 were used to convert it to fat.

    In the case of protein the conversion maybe even less efficient. So of the extra 50 calories 40 were stored as fat and 10 were used in the conversion.

    The dogs on the diet of 25 % protein calories 13 % fat calories and 62% carb calories consumed 71 kcals for each gram of weight gain and those that ate 24% protein calories, 0% carb calories and 76% fat calories only needed to consume 43 kcals for each gram of weight gain.

    The reason I feed a lower fat diet ~10-12% DM is that it allows me to feed more volume which can have a satiating effect.

    That and this pic really creeps me out. No doubt Brooke would be like dog number 2. The dogs were initially fed 26% protein calories 38% carb calories and 36% fat calories. The diet was changed to provide 23% protein calories 33% carb calories and 44% fat calories. They were fed the same number of calories and maintained weight. But look at the difference in their body fat stores!

  • sharron

    hi – well so far after being on the acana lexee isn’t licking her paws but i’ve noticed now she is scooting her bottom across the rug – she wasn’t doing this before – is this related to the food do you think

  • Storm’s Mom

    You’re a bit of a numbers person, so let’s talk numbers. Say you’re feeding a food with 25% protein, 25% fat, and 50% carbs, for example. So, the 25% fat is already sitting there as fat, we know that..waiting to be used. Unless you use up those 50% carbs in pretty short order, they’re going into the fat category, too. So, let’s say half of the carbs get used – so now you’re at 50% fat….

    Now let’s look at a high protein diet. Let’s say 50% protein, 25% fat, 25% carbs, to make it easy. That 25% fat is already sitting there again.. and let’s say you use half the carbs right away – 12.5%. So, now you’re at 37.5% fat.

    So, fat is less efficient to convert… and you’ve got 50% of it left to convert in the high carb diet.. and 37.5% in the high protein diet.

    Also, in the 1st example, 25% of dietary intake now remains to do everything the dog needs to do before its next meal (25% has been expended, and 50% is being stored as fat) ….the dog is functioning, literally, on 25% of its original dietary intake. In the 2nd example, 50% is left over for the dog’s fuel. Call me crazy, but I want my dog to have more in the tank that he can tape into so that he lasts longer.. he can play longer, run longer, do tricks longer, just generally hang out alertly longer, etc etc etc. That takes work..energy. Not only that, I want him to be able to repair his muscles and tissues from all that activity..so we can do it all over again tomorrow, and the next day, and… ! ..without injury.

    That, in a nutshell, is why I feed a high protein, moderate fat, moderate carb diet.

  • Storm’s Mom

    When carbs are ingested, they have to be used relatively soon afterwards or else their benefits are, essentially, lost and they begin to be converted to glycogen, which the body has a very limited storage capacity for (particularly when the dog doesn’t have great muscle tone..which protein helps to build and repair, carbs do not). When that capacity is maxed out (not hard to do in a sedentary dog) it becomes saturated fat in the body pretty darn quickly.

    Carbs are also not a required part of the canine diet, as you know.

    When you say that “this conversion comes at an energy cost and so is less efficient” – YES, that’s the point!!! Efficency is only good if you are efficient at doing something about/with it ..if not, the efficiency is for naught. This is why feeding a ton of carbs to a sedentary dog (or human, for that matter) is not such a hot idea, imho.

    Proteins and fat have a different purpose than supplying a “quick fix” energy burst, and it’s important that they have that time to do their thing. They’re working hard without you/the dog having to physically work hard in the moment to burn them off, but they’ll be there when you need them (and if you’re exercising (your dog) correctly, you’ll be needing them! ..this is part of the equation that you so frequently ignore, I’ve noticed. This is not to say that if you’re not exercising properly that carbs are better..for reasons stated above). In the meantime, they are not doing any harm.

    Carbs? Use them right away or lose their benefits and start paying the price at the same time. Bottom line.

  • aimee

    I agree that weight gain results from ingesting more calories than expended. The primary storage form is as fat. Excess calories in the form of dietary fat is already in the form of fat and so is efficiently stored. Excess calories in the form of carbohydrate or protein have to be converted to fat before being stored. This conversion comes at an energy cost and so is less efficient. It is the least efficient to convert protein to fat except possibly for cats who apparently do so very well.The cats on high protein low carb diet gained at a greater efficiency than the cats on high carb low protein diet.

    I don’t know what you mean by this “you have more time to use them before they start to use their good for harm.”

  • sharron

    thanks – i bought the trial size bags of acana singles so will use those up while waiting for the coupon from petkind

  • Storm’s Mom

    They have 6lbs bags, which is what I bought at first to try it (I wanted to wait for Dr Mike’s rating before diving into it too far) ..so you don’t have to buy a big bag to start. I don’t remember the exact cost, but it was very reasonable. On their site they show a 0.5lb bag option, so I’m presuming that’s their sample size, but I’ve never seen it in the store. If you sign up for their loyalty program on their site you get a coupon for 25% off your first/next bag, too.

  • sharron

    i emailed petkind to see if they could send me samples before i bolt out the door and buy a big bag and then find out that she doesn’t like it

  • sharron

    you’re right! – i keep forgetting about that food – i saw it at global pets – will have to give that shot and see how that goes – thanks again!!!!

  • sharron

    thanks!!! and i want to make it clear to everyone that i’m not switching foods because a): she doesn’t like it or b): because i feel like switching for something to do – she definitely has a sensitivity to something and the only thing i can think of is grain related – she does it on royal canin, canisource, acana and orijen (the formulas with alfalfa) – i thought that if it’s seasonal it would be in the summer not winter

  • Storm’s Mom

    There’s also a new food out called PetKind Tripe Dry that doesn’t have alfalfa. Also Canadian. Storm’s currently on the Salmon one and he loves it. The Buffalo one would be the one I’d suggest if Lexee isn’t allergic to chicken. Not sure why I didn’t think of this before, but when I bought the last 2 bags (fed the Lamb before the Salmon), I got 2 cans of tripe for free with purchase..so that might be a great way to get your hands on some tripe AND try a new food that doesn’t have alfalfa?

  • Storm’s Mom

    I didn’t realize about the alfafa either..so in that case, forget Performatrin Ultra and try the Wild Calling, too.. neither line has alfalfa (though the Stampede Beef doesn’t have much, well, beef ..or meat generally, so I’d go with the Whitefish or Turkey in that line ..although I much prefer the Rocky Mountain line)

  • sharron

    i am assuming it’s the alfalfa – she doesn’t do it on foods that don’t have it – it’s not meat protein, she doesn’t have a problem with that except for rabbit – she can’t have that for sure but is fine with chicken, lamb, pork, and beef – so i thought would try the singles and if the licking and chewing continues then obviously it;s something else – the vet clinic says it’s seasonal and not food related but i have my doubts about that

  • DogFoodie

    Sorry if I missed this previously, but did you figure out that alfalfa was the ingredient/s that Lexee was reacting to?

  • sharron

    just spent the last hr checking out different foods and i have got it down to acana singles – none of them have alflalfa – will rotate between the 3 formulas and see how that goes – lexee just finished, after 10 min, licking and chewing, i timed her – thanks for all your help

  • Storm’s Mom

    As others have mentioned, higher fat just means that it doesn’t take as much kibble for her to feel full. In your case, it’s probably actually not a bad thing at all. Don’t forget about trying the tripe too! 😉

  • sharron

    thanks so much – in regards to the 20% fat i was told that it could cause weight gain and not being an overly active dog she doesn’t need fat that high – this was from the vet clinic, they did however suggest to try the other earthborn fomulas rather than the primitive natural because the other formulas are around 16 to 17% fat – i know many calories she should be getting a day and i feed her according to that so i never overfeed her

  • Storm’s Mom

    Try the Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Small Bites would be my suggestion. You could also look for Holistic Blend Grain Free (NOT Holistic Select..totally different brand). It’s got 20% fat (why is that “too high”?) and potatoes (which means I don’t use it often) but it definitely ticks all the other boxes as far as high protein and low carbs are concerned. And it’s Canadian 🙂

  • sharron

    what foods are high in protein and low in carbs – have tried acana and orijen and she ends up licking her paws and chewing on a leg, same with royal canin, tried earthborn but was told that 20% fat is too high, she will not eat dehydrated or raw

  • Storm’s Mom

    Weight gain comes from too many calories not being used. It’s not about what is “more efficiently stored as fat”, it’s about when a nutrient is used. Carbs have to be used relatively soon after ingestion, so if you don’t use them they turn into other, not so helpful things, and you’ll need more of them sooner (think pasta or chocolate bars for humans.. they’re great if you’re carbo loading before an athletic event, but if not, they’re nothing but trouble from a weight gain perspective). Proteins and fats will remain accessible as energy for longer.. for very good (muscle build/repair, etc) reasons. In other words, you have more time to use them before they start to use their good for harm.

    You’d be hard-pressed to find more people..or dogs..obese from eating too much protein than too many carbs.

  • aimee

    I’d see a nutritionists goals to be to meet the nutritional needs of the patient, taking into consideration any specific medical needs that patient may have, the dog’s preferences and the owners preferences.

  • Storm’s Mom

    you’ll be hard pressed to find a food that is higher in fat than carbs (or protein for that matter), so it’s a bit of a moot point.

  • Storm’s Mom

    what are they basing that on?

  • Shawna

    I would agree with you aimee but we know that “nutritionists” are often not given all the pertinent information during their formal training – like the benefits of whole foods (even human nutritionists).

  • Shawna

    Research with highly saturated coconut oil shows it helps with weight loss and metabolism. I would however agree that certain types of fat could be problematic.

  • aimee

    I find that nutritionists advocate for what is in the best interest of their patients.

  • aimee

    Weight gain comes from too many calories.Dietary fat is more efficiently stored as fat than is carbohydrate or protein.

  • aimee

    It is a limited ingredient diet therapeutic diet that I get from a vet office.

  • sharron

    where do you find venison and potato – didn’t know RC made it

  • Storm’s Mom

    aimee, we’ve been over this before, and I know you’ve been over this before with others – it’s not in the best interests of most people who’d write in peer reviewed papers (well, they really wouldn’t be “peers” would they? so what would be the point of that?!) or board certified vet nutritionists to say otherwise.

  • aimee

    You’ll find veterinary nutritionists in both camps. There isn’t a “right ” answer. But i do like for my guys to have some variety in the form of fresh veggies and small amounts of fruits

  • aimee

    Actually the research has shown just the opposite.

  • aimee

    Hi Sharron,
    He is on venison and potato. I feel very comfortable using RC for my dog.

  • aimee

    My guy is on a lower fat and what some would say lower protein diet. I haven’t found any peer reviewed papers or any board certified veterinary nutritionists saying that this is a problem. I find this is what works best for him.

  • sharron

    thanks aimee – which rc formula are you feeding – lexee is eating the rc adult small breed from the vet clinic

  • aimee

    Hi Sharron,
    My little guy is on a base of RC kibble. I add small amounts of other things into his diet for some variety, primarily fresh vegetables of all colors and fruits, but I do not rotate his kibble.

    Though some feel strongly about rotation it is perfectly fine not to do so. Do what works best for your dog just as i do what works best for mine.

  • sharron

    thanks for your comment – i’ve been told by the vet clinic that the reason she gains weight (which i don’t believe is true she’s maintained her weight for the past 5 yrs) is that i don’t keep her on the same food – i don’t change foods as often as i have in the past – she stays on one food s lot longer now

  • Shawna

    You apparently eat “real” and, it sounds like, healthy foods too. Eating highly processed, fortified foods is a completely different beast.

    I love homemade yogurt. It is SO much different than store bought. Unfortunately, I am sensitive to the casein protein in dairy (even raw, healthy dairy) and it makes me extremely ill with continued consumption. I ferment veggies instead.

  • Shawna

    Veterinarian and Nutritionist Dr. Meg Smart states on her blog
    “Variety is the Key (My conclusions after over 30 years of teaching veterinary
    clinical nutrition)

    Do not be afraid to add variety to your pet’s diet. Variety in the diet can include healthy table scraps (not leftovers often laden with salt and fat), homemade diets, kibble, canned, freeze-dried and dehydrated foods.” http://petnutritionbysmart.blogspot.com/2012/07/practical-advise-on-feeding-your-dog.html

  • Shawna

    Dogs should be able to switch cold turkey and often. If they can’t, their digestive tracts are ill and need variety more than ever. Once at this stage though they will need to wean in to variety. I foster and most of the fosters require canned pumpkin and probiotics until their guts are healthy enough to tolerate the dietary changes. I introduce a new food (kibble, canned or raw) about every two to three days.

    I have yet to meet or hear of a person eating the same food for a year straight?

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’m in Canada, but regardless I’ve never tried Canisource. In looking at their website, their products are at the very low end of the protein % range that I would feed, so I probably wouldn’t touch it. The Pork and Beef one, in particular, has a lot of “fillers” – rice, barley, AND oats.

  • sharron

    hi again – your opinion on canisource dehydrated beef and pork formula please- don’t know if you can get it in the US – i bought a trial size this pm. – thanks

  • Storm’s Mom

    just as an FYI, I looked up your weather for the next week, and it looks like you’re getting a chinook, as temps will be up around 8C by Thurs and then cool off a bit to about 4-5C for the next couple of weeks. Maybe a good time to try feeding the tripe and kibble outside? It’s not going to kill her to go outside…

  • Storm’s Mom

    I’ve fed both – the Rocky Mountain line of Wild Calling and the Performatrin Ultra Grain free (small and regular bites). Storm loves both and has always done great on both of them. Wild Calling Rocky Mountain is going to be a regular part of my rotation (probably the Elk one, in particular), but while the Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free used to be a regular part of my rotation, I’m not sure about it anymore since they changed the formula (replaced a lot of animal protein with peas (plant protein), which I’m mad about and am not keen to support by buying it).

  • sharron

    i’ve checked out the 4 and 5 star list of dry foods – what your thoughts please on wild calling and performatrin – thanks

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Yes-that is the confusing thing. Dogs are actually more likely to gain weight from carbs than fat.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    High protein is good for most dogs, and high fat won’t hurt them unless they have pancreatitis. High-calorie just means you need to feed less of it, which is more cost-effective anyway.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Well then, there ya go! Find a way to make it work?!

  • sharron

    is she more apt to gain weight from a food that is higher in carbs than a food that is higher in fat – this is where i get confused

  • sharron

    oh yes she liked it and ate it with the kibble too – she’s not an outside dog (yorkie/chihuahua) and it’s too cold
    (calgary alberta)

  • Storm’s Mom

    when a kibble “isn’t sky high in protein and fat”, you realize that that means it’s sky high in carbs, yes? ..and the potential implications of that for her?

  • Storm’s Mom

    did she eat the kibble with it mixed in? if so, what about feeding her outside? (or when your husband isn’t around)

  • sharron

    oh yes – i could handle it but my husband couldn’t – been banned from bringing that in to the house

  • Storm’s Mom

    have you tried tripe yet?

  • sharron

    yes royal canin – i’m trying to find a food that isn’t sky high in protein and fat and is loaded with calories – i don’t believe she needs a food like that, besides that she doesn’t like them

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Adding wet food can be a good strategy for picky dogs. It is also more species appropriate due to the higher moisture content. By RC dog food, do you mean Royal Canin? If so, I would suggest finding something slightly higher quality that she will eat.

  • sharron

    thanks for the suggestion – i do mix a bit of wet with the dry and i think rather than changing the dry, i will change the wet food – if she doesn’t like the dry at all she won’t eat it even with wet mixed in – she will just lick the wet off of it and leave the dry behind – at least with the RC dry she does eat it plain or mixed with wet

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Many dog food companies will offer samples if you email or call them. It’s a good way to see if your dog likes a certain food.

  • Gin

    The only rotation in our diet has been changes of seasonal veggies and fruits from farmers market o r grown at home. At 81 my mother is still on no meds and in better health than some 35 yo. I have no reason to lie about our dogs, none had joint issues or meds as seniors. One adoptee got a lymphoma and doc gave him about 2 mos. Lived on food and juicing for another 7-8 mos. The day he died was running and playing during the day. At 15 choked because lymphoma had gotten big on neck.

  • sharron

    i can switch foods for her cold turkey without any digestive issues – the problem i have had in the past is that she doesn’t like a lot of the dry foods that are on the market and i got tired of fighting with her to eat them – if she doesn’t like a food she will go 2-3 days without eating and that’s when i run into stomach issues with her

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Really it’s a matter of opinion, I’d say. I hold firm in the belief that you should rotate a dog’s food, and if done with slow transitions then there isn’t any harm in it for most dogs. Some dogs will always need to transition slowly, over a week or longer, but others need less transition time as they adapt to having their food changed. Adding probiotics or digestive enzymes can also help.

  • DogFoodie

    Humans can’t eat the same thing every day! Nutritional deficiency diseases like rickets, scurvy, goiter, berberi are almost unheard of as a result of humans in civilized countries eating a wide variety of foods.

    I feed my dogs a variety of foods for a complete amino acid profile, among other reasons. Dogs need fresh, whole foods, just like humans do. My dogs don’t have a problem switching quickly between varieties of foods, but dogs with a poor quality and insufficient variety of healthy bacteria colonies in their gut from lack of exposure to a variety of healthful foods do have a hard time switching.

  • Gin

    Actually I have eaten pretty much the same for at leas. Since a teen breakfast always starts with homemade yogurt which I have also used to clear yeast problems on adoption dogs or customers. Lunch always same. Maybe that’s why I haven’t had health issues, not even a cold in over 23 yrs

  • Gin

    Thanks, I am familiar. The only reason I said to her is that she’s had issues with her dog in the past and keeps switching. If this food the dog is on is working,, why change? All my dogs have lived to be 15-18 yes old with some eating the same food for 15 yrs. I realize companies change hands and ingredients change. One of my kennel dogs turned 9 in December and is still on same food as when we adopted at 9 mos. He runs and plays like he’s still a pup with my 15 yr old Olde English Bulldogge….he doesn’t know his age either. None ever had wet, since wet is predominantly water.

  • sharron

    this is where it gets confusing – some say not to switch, others say to rotate foods – so which is it?

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Read the link about rotational feeding I gave you up above. Would you want to eat the same thing every day year after year? Do you think you would stay healthy if you did?

  • Gin

    So if no problems, why switch? Dogs like humans can eat the same thing for years. You can upset stomach by switching all the time. When some our customers switch, we will see you the effect of the change. Even 1 treat can make a difference.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Personally, I like to change food as much as possible without upsetting my dog’s stomach. I try to change the dry food once a month, (that’s how long a bag lasts) and I change canned food toppers every week or so. I think this is good because no food is going to be absolutely perfect. It’s called rotational feeding, here’s some more info: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/diet-rotation-for-dogs/

  • sharron

    i haven’t changed foods for quite a while now – i’ve had her on RC – thought she might like a change – haven’t changed her food yet – i did have her on acana and she licked her paws excessively – the alfalfa? so i switched to RC and have had no problems with it

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Not really. I mean, it’s better than some really low-quality foods, like Purina and Pedigree, but you could do much better for the same price.

  • Gin

    Just curious why you change food so often?

  • sharron

    hi – would like opinions on this food – need to go and get another bag of food – have never bought iams – is it decent – thanks

  • MJfromGA

    We have tried the PH diets and everything else cheaper that we can find. Nothing works like grain free cat food does. Again, I am under vet advice and I’m doing what works best for her.

    We are currently on Authority grain free and she enjoys it a ton and it’s been added to our LIKE list.

  • Bob K

    With this website as your guide look at 3.5 – 5 star rated dog foods and do a little shopping at Fleet Farm, Farm & Fleet, Tractor Supply, Menards. You should be able to find kibbles at less than $1.00/lb. Pure Balance is also at Walmart I hear. Remember to transition slowly to a new kibble.

  • Sean

    Authority grain free is $20 for 15lbs at PetSmart.

  • Cyndi

    Happy beautiful dogs! 🙂 Love Blue with that big old smile on his face!

  • RM

    Awesome! Thanks so much for your reply. The concept of rotating foods is new for me. Perhaps the selective use of table scraps helps… hat way she gets Salmon, peas, brown rice occasionally mixed in as a treat.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi RM, Walmart has Rachael Ray Zero grain Around $23 for 15lbs. I would
    not use any of the other Rachael Ray foods, just Zero Grain. Walmart
    also has Pure Balance at a similar price point. They also have Evolve
    dog food there. Tractor Supply has 4health in that price point as well. I
    believe all these foods are rated 4 stars. I use all of these foods,
    and all 3 of my dogs do well on them. Recently at Big Lots, I have found
    Nutro Natural Ultra Grain Free 12lb bags for $12 dollars. The reason
    it’s so cheap is the expiration date is March 2015. So only about 6
    months till the food expires. I use the rotational feeding method. Find 3
    or 4 foods that your dog likes, with different meats, and then switch
    them up every bag.For example, do a chicken based food, then a fish,
    then turkey.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi RM, Walmart has Rachael Ray Zero grain Around $23 for 15lbs. I would not use any of the other Rachael Ray foods, just Zero Grain. Walmart also has Pure Balance at a similar price point. They also have Evolve dog food there. Tractor Supply has 4health in that price point as well.

  • RM

    Hi, We have always fed our 6 yo Cocker whatever food we can find at a good price, typically looking for meat as the first ingredients (mixed in with daily table scraps). She has always been healthy, and fills her mornings chasing rabbits and birds etc..

    Please forgive me for saying this… I want to find a good quality dog food, that I can buy just about anywhere, that will not break the bank. Every dog food that we have used seems to be rated here about the same as rat poisoning. Even the 4 star picks are followed by comments about the food causing explosive diarrhea, and ultimately some sort of painful untimely death (exaggeration admitted). Our last dog was a 60 lb Shepherd mut that lived to be 17… on a similar diet. That said I am fond of my silly little dog so would like to get a good quality food.

    That said, do you have any reasonable suggestions? I think we used Purina one for a long time, but my wife switched to Beneful Healthy weight (along with cutting down on the scraps) which she has enjoyed, and has gotten back down to about 25 lbs…

    Thanks for the help.

  • ImNotTheWalrus

    Back in 2011 I put down my 13 1/2 year old Saint Bernard when he couldn’t get up on his own and I had to wrap a strap or towel around him to help him walk outside.He never seemed to be in pain but after one evening when he cried to get up over and over I picked him up and carried him into the living room and realized I never could do that before.I told my wife he was all skin and bones and I was right he was down from 130 lbs in his prime to 89 lbs the day I put him down.
    Truth is I should have done that 6 -9 months earlier but you keep hanging on when you shouldn’t

  • ImNotTheWalrus

    I’m on my 2nd 9.3 lb bag of this and the redness and discharge in my 7 year old Lab has all but disapeared.She’s still getting some grains from the treats I have but I plan to buy grain free biscuits next.

  • theBCnut

    I’ve seen the same thing many times. The hardest thing vets have to do is to tell someone that it’s time for a family member to die. The vet should have told the man that the dogs pain was so great that the dose of medicine was harmful, but that he would prescribe it to give the man time to make a decision. What decision the man makes is up to him. Personally, I can’t live with myself if I know my beloved pet is suffering, but I’ve known many, many people that think death is worse and to be avoided at all costs, or were to selfish to make the hard decision.
    My heart goes out to people like your client, who probably feels like he has nothing and no one after this dog dies.
    Sent from my iPod

  • MJfromGA

    A bit ago, a man came into the vet with a 16+ year old GSD. The dog could no longer walk and was in severe pain, he was carrying the dog. His hips were gone 100% and likely had long gone. The man was crying and so upset.

    My vet didn’t have the heart to tell the man that the dog needed to be put down since the man only wanted him to “help him” and to “fix him” and the man LOVED his dog and called him his best friend, and his son, and he was elderly too (perhaps with a touch of mental illness) and just couldn’t see that it was time to let go.

    My vet prescribed extreme overdoses of medication for the dog. A whole aspirin every 4 hours along with other meds etc. The medication would destroy the dogs liver and whatnot within some time, but would relieve his pain a bit and the man would be happiest this way.

    I’m not sure that was the best move for the dog. I’d have advised to let the dog go, his pain is beyond relief now and he won’t recover, he can’t even walk anymore, and will die soon, anyway.

    But I guess it was just THAT hard for my vet to tell the man his dog needed to be put down. Very sad day 🙁

  • theBCnut

    I don’t like their latest “improvements” at all.

    Sent from my iPod

  • sue66b

    Thank-You, I have so much trouble with this Disqus, it was working 1 week ago now nothing…

  • theBCnut

    Ain’t that the truth!!!

    Sent from my iPod

  • Crazy4cats

    What a day! I’m sorry to tell you that your spare car will never be spare again!

  • theBCnut

    Very scary!! I choose my doctors based on whether or not I feel they are actually listening to me. My husband is perfectly happy with a doctor that I rejected within 5 minutes of entering the office. Go figure… Probably because he doesn’t want to change how he does things. He would rather just have another pill for it.

  • Crazy4cats

    Scary, huh? Well, I guess we’ll just have to keep on relying on you!

  • theBCnut

    That’s par for the course. A friend of mine got a cold a couple weeks ago. She’s completely over it, but she has asthma, so she was still having breathing problems. I should mention, she’s a nurse. She decided that she had stolen her daughters inhaler enough and went to the doctor. After she had told him what was going on, he wanted to prescribe a Z pack antibiotic. She asked him what he was seeing that waranted antibiotics. He’s seen a lot of cases lately with the Crud. She wasn’t buying it. He next tried to give her a cough suppressant, which is contraindicated when your problem is breathing and clearing your lungs. She called him on that. He then tried to prescribe a pain reliever. She finally told him she really just came for an Albuterol inhaler, so he gave her a prescription for one. On her way out, she received her “diagnostic” paperwork, he diagnosed her as having pharingitis. She is completely lacking the most basic symtom for pharingitis, which is a sore throat. Vets aren’t the only ones failing to do their best work.

  • Crazy4cats

    That is really too bad. Especially for us “laymen” that have to rely on our vets for the best advise.

  • theBCnut

    I still can’t get to replies the old way, so I click on my avatar beside the red button, then click on Edit Settings. That will take you to a Disqus page with your avatar at the top. Click on the dialog bubble beside your avatar and that will take you where you want to go. It’s a pain in the tushy, but you can see where people have upvoted you…

  • sue66b

    Hi BCnut, about 2 weeks you were having troubles when trying to see who reponded to a comment when you click on the number in red next to our photo on my right, Im having the same problem now, I’ll click on the number in red then my screen goes darker & nothing happens before when I’d click on the number it would tell me what comments someone responded to that I also I had reponded to, now I get nothing..Did you work out what the problem was…

  • theBCnut

    Don’t be surprised. Most of the vets that I have worked for over the years didn’t recommend best practices. They made recommendations based on managing symptoms, not preventing the problem in the first place. It really is rare that a vet tries to get to the bottom of an issue, instead of just managing it.
    Taking cats to a vet that specializes in cats really is a good idea. They are the ones that have the time and training to really look into what might be causing an issue.

  • Crazy4cats

    Your cat is beautiful and I’m glad she is doing well. However, I am shocked that your vet is not advising you to make a dietary change. I just googled your cat’s condition and every single veterinary site recommended changing diet to add more moisture. Hmmm? I totally believe you are looking out for their best interests, otherwise you wouldn’t be on this site. Good luck!

  • MJfromGA

    The cat is fine on her current diet and has not had a flare up for over a year now. Probably two years now.

    I am under vet advice and this works for her extremely well. Her condition is “idiopathic” this means the animals that have it have it for various different reasons and what works for some cats and their owners may not work for others.

    I have experimented over the years and I find that most grain free diets keep her problems VERY minimal to none. Just have to make sure she stays on it by switching flavors/brands.

    She is nearly 8 years old now, and she has a maximum of one flare up per year (so, so many when I first got her) and has gone a longggg time without one.

    She’s fine and I assure you that no changes need to be made to her diet at this current time. i will certainly speak to the vet about the proposed things the next time we go, though.

    Thank you for the advice, and I’ve read tons about her condition, but am always welcoming more, so thank you for the links, too.

    I love that little (15 lb) cat a ton (as does my big potato head) and am always looking out for her best interests. Her pics are below 🙂

  • Bobby dog

    All Sheba recipes and some if not all Fancy Feast Classics are GF for some other grocery store selections.

  • Shar24

    Definitely what Bobby Dog and C4C said. Feed predominantly wet food, preferably one that is ph balanced for cats with urinary issues. Wellness Grain Free canned is a good one. It comes in large cans at a good price from Chewy http://www.chewy.com/cat/wellness-complete-health-turkey/dp/30202

    Also, Friskies makes “Special Diet” varieties for urinary issues, more cost effective but not grain free.

  • ShepAussie

    I suggest you feed raw to your cat with this health issue, at least half of the time.

  • Bobby dog

    Hi MJ:
    In addition to the site C4c recommended, here are two more sites for more info on dietary needs for cats with FIC:



  • Crazy4cats

    FWIW, in my opinion, any cat with urinary issues should be fed mostly wet food. Either canned or raw. They need more moisture in their diets, clean litter boxes and a couple to choose from. I bought a water fountain a few weeks ago and my cats really like it and have increased their water intake. Check out http://www.catinfo.org for more information. Good luck!

  • MJfromGA

    Yes. Both Earthborn Holistic AND Merrick come only in grain free form. I have now also added Solid Gold Indigo Moon to her rotation. I have tried Blue Wilderness, Wellness Core, and Natural Instincts or whatever it’s called (WAY over priced) and that Simply kind from Petco (it’s cheaper than other grain free).

    My cat does not like these, and she likes the Wilderness, but the bloody pee came back on it and stayed so it was a no go. Strange. She does not get much wet food, but when she does, I get Merrick.

    My mother, who I live with, gives small amounts of random canned food to her cat (not grain free) each day, but very small amounts to ensure none is left for my cat to steal.

    Only my cat needs grain free. She has Feline Idiopathic Cystitis and grain free food keeps it from recurring a lot. (grains make her pee blood) but they both eat it since she’s always eaten from an auto feeder, which is fine.

    Know that I’d not feed her grain free if I didn’t absolutely HAVE to.

  • ShepAussie

    Do you buy and feed your cats a grain free kibble, MJ?

  • melanie fortier

    Bonjour, ma petite chienne River et allergique au poulet, sous produits de poulet.graisse de vollaile et farine de poulet Pouvez-vous me dire quelle sorte de nourriture ou gaterie peut-elle mangée dans la gamme de Iams. Mais sinon peut etre que la compagnie pourrais sortir une gamme hypoallergene merci Mélanie ([email protected])

  • Crazy4cats

    You are replying to a 10 day old reply to your 10 day old post. So it seems you are the one “starting it up again”

  • MJfromGA

    “You mentioned Pure Balance, so I’m assuming that’s what you feed.”

    Funny, you know that is what I feed because of our last “conversation” about the price of dog food, which it seems you wish to start up again. So be it. You can claim you forgot, but I know it isn’t true.

    I just checked, and there is a Tractor Supply about 26 miles from my home. That is FAR just to get some dog food. It will cost more in the end to buy it there, TBH.

    Inconvenient to boot as I don’t drive, and far trips such as this have to be pre-planned when we shop at Wal Mart weekly which is right around the corner.

    Also, ordering from the site costs WAY more with shipping. Not worth it. The price of the actual dog food isn’t the only thing people take into account.

  • LabsRawesome

    You mentioned Pure Balance, so I’m assuming that’s what you feed. 4health grain fee (Tractor Supply) costs less than Pure Balance grain inclusive.

  • MJfromGA

    This just got to my Wal Mart. I have been waiting on it to see how it was since they claimed it would cost less than normal grain free foods. It costs more than Pure Balance Chicken and Rice and not rated as high. If you want to feed your dog peas with a bit of chicken I suppose this might be good.

    Will NOT be buying. I can’t afford to feed a grain free food to my dog, but the cats LOVE Merrick and also EarthBorn Holistic, so if you’re looking for a good grain free food… perhaps try those.

  • Pupcat Nutrition consulting

    All I can say is not all Grain free is created equal! This food does bot have a good reputation, Two, it has more pea ingredient than anything! and it may say chicken, but is the chicken from china? Things to definitely think about. IAMS will always be a commercial food never a premium.. sorry

  • Sarah Nicholson

    Thanks will ck into it!

  • Deirdre Sturdivant

    We just switched to Whole Earth Farms chicken recipe. It isn’t very expensive, has great ratings, and my dog has stopped itching. The beef and lamb recipe smelled horrible, dog wouldn’t even try to eat it when I opened the bag. The grain free recipes are fairly new so hopefully they’ll work on that one. Either way the chicken recipe rated high in the grain free products, it’s affordable, and it smells pretty good (for dog food lol)

  • Annie

    This food is $19.99 for 9.3lbs at the petsmart closest to me.

  • Nina Kiser

    As far as this food. Avoid it. There is more peas in it than chicken. The proper way to count the chicken in this is to move it down 5-6 levels because of its moisture content. Let’s see how long Proctor and Gamble manage to keep this on the market before a recall is issued. Iams = gross.

  • Nina Kiser

    Professional or Diamond Naturals are of equal or similar quality, with a similar recall history as Nutro. Seriously, look into Fromm Classics if your dog can handle a chicken protein. On average 1.00 a pound, independent retailers often offer a feeder program (buy 12 get one free). The have never had a recall, which I wish I could say about any of the others.

  • Sarah Nicholson

    I have a boxer mix that is 10 months she is only about 37 lb. Almost full grown always have feed her nutro then went to nutro max for budget reasons but she doesn’t eat unless she is starving? Any suggestions on a good dry food for a reasonable price? Less than nitro which is $34 for the medium bag!!