Innova Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product Has Been Discontinued
Confirmed by the Manufacturer1

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

The Innova product line includes nine dry dog foods, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth, four for all life stages and four for adult maintenance.

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

  • Innova Senior Formula
  • Innova Adult Small Bites Formula
  • Innova Adult Large Bites Formula
  • Innova Puppy Formula (4.5 stars)
  • Innova Large Breed Adult Formula
  • Innova Large Breed Senior Formula
  • Innova Large Breed Puppy Formula
  • Innova Salmon and Herring Formula (4.5 stars)
  • Innova Weight Management Adult Formula (3 stars)

Innova Adult Small Bites Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Innova Adult Small Bites Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Turkey, chicken, chicken meal, whole grain barley, whole grain brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), flaxseed, natural flavors, peas, sunflower oil, eggs, potassium chloride, apples, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, pumpkin, herring, salt, pears, menhaden oil, cottage cheese, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate), green beans, parsnips, alfalfa sprouts, ascorbic acid, vitamin E supplement, vitamins (betaine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, beta carotene, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid), direct fed microbials (dried Enterococcus faecium, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, dried Lactobacillus casei), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 44%

The first two ingredients in this dog food are turkey and chicken. Although they are quality items, raw turkey and 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, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

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

The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

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

The sixth 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 seventh 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.

After the natural flavor, we find peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The ninth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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 three notable exceptions

First, we find menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.

What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deeper water species.

In addition, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Innova Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Innova 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 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-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 at least a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Innova Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry or fish 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.

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other spellings: Inova

Notes and Updates

07/13/2015 Last Update

  1. As of 7/13/2015
  • Dori

    I’m not sure why I can’t find the friend request on my FB either. Another internet FB mystery. Anyway I found you and have sent you a friend request. I’m also going to PM you and give you my email address.

  • Dori

    I’ll check my FB right now!

  • Oh wow…. thank you so much for all the info, and for sharing their stories. That’s so amazing how their health has turned around with diet, and you are really helping me immensely with this tough decision about best foods for Pixel and our mal-chi, Chip! I finally found you on FB but don’t see the button to send you a friend request, so be sure to check your secondary mail on there please? I am so glad to have met you and so grateful for your knowledge and experience!

  • Dori

    Hi everyone. Can anyone remind me how I add a photo to a reply here on the comments side? I’m on a mac and can’t get it to post. I’m so bad at this part. Thanks.

  • Dori

    Hi Kelly. I would imagine that everyone that sees your baby would want a picture.

    As to what I feed my three baby girls and they truly fit the description “all my children have paws”, is a commercial raw frozen diet. I rotate proteins and brands on a constant basis. I rotate each meal of theirs every day. I will tell you that it took a while to get to that point, I didn’t just jump in. What lead me into the world of raw feeding was our Maltipoo, Katie. She came into our family at the age of 9 weeks with a whole host of health issues not the least of which were her food sensitivities, intolerances and a couple of actual allergies. She also had/has seasonal allergies. I went through a lot of different dry foods as that was what I had always fed in the past. Nothing helped her so then I started reading about grain free foods so I switched to those. That helped some. Then I started eliminating different ingredients trying to help my poor little baby girl out. When the list got too long I then started looking into raw feeding because I realized that it was the easiest way to eliminate a ton of ingredients that Katie was dealing with. That was over 4 1/2 years ago and Katie is fabulous and happy in her own skin and body. All her issues regarding food disappeared. Her seasonal allergies are also not what they once were either. Anyway, none of that story has to do with Hannah, but in a way it does. Hannah was probably about 11 1/2 going on 12 (?) when I made the switch to raw and I switched all the girls to the same food that Katie ate because, yuck, Katie was also a poop eater so I had to eliminate all that Katie couldn’t deal with. Thankfully that issue is also gone. So at the time Hannah used to lay around a lot, sleep a lot, no pep really and no energy. I had attributed all that to what I had assumed was the on set of old age. Almost immediately switching her to raw she sort of came back to life if you know what I mean. She started playing with toys again, back to acting like the guard dog she’s always thought she was, plays with the other two, runs around the house like a bat out of hell. She runs up and down the stairs quicker than her two six year old sisters. Loves to eat. She’s enjoying her life and it was not old age after all. It was the lousy stuff in dry and canned that was making her sluggish. I’ll say that I was never into feeding canned food because of the colossal mess it makes on a Maltese’s long white beard. She was in full coat at the time. Again, you asked if she’s healthy. She does have nuclear sclerosis (cloudiness of the eyes) but not cataracts so her night vision is not always too great. Some loss of hearing. At times I think it’s more selective on her part because regardless of where she is in our huge home the moment I very very quietly attempt to open the fridge I look down and there she is waiting for something to come out of the fridge for her. At the age of 14 she was diagnosed with a tumor in her bladder and a mass on the lobe of one of her lungs. We never considered chemo or radiation because we felt that whatever time she had left was going to be was going to be the best I could give her. I wasn’t going to let her last time here on earth to be miserable. Too what end, at 14 how much longer did she have anyway. A whole host of vet visits, specialists, oncologist, x-rays, ultrasounds, MRI’s and blood work gave us lots of look of pity and we were told that she might have a couple of months. I’m not one to be negative. I’m a very positive person. I wasn’t in denial but I wasn’t going to sit around and watch her die either without at least attempting to help or do something. Maybe I needed to read and research for me and my sense of fear at the thought of losing her, I don’t know. Anyway I’m a voracious reader and always research everything to death anyway so that’s what I did. I kept her on their raw diet. I made no changes to her food. I did add a number of whole food supplements by a particular company that I like and trust very much. I added essential oils to our home. Got rid of anything offensive or toxic from our home. Oh, by the way, aside from being fed commercial raw frozen, they treats that they get are organic fruits and veggies. Not a lot. I don’t bother much with pureeing, cooking or any of that as I’m only using them as treats because I don’t buy any type of commercial treats. A couple of things that I have kept in treat jars are Primal Beef Freeze Dried Food and Vital Essential Freeze Dried Tripe Treats. They love them and they’re good for them. Hannah is still with us being her happy healthy self two years later. They can no longer find the tumor in her bladder and, trust me, a number of vet visits later, they have been searching for it. The mass on the lobe of her lung has all but calcified. Nothing has metastasized anywhere in her body. As a matter of fact, her vet has told me that Hannah’s blood work is better than it has ever been. This particular vet has been seeing Hannah for the entire 14 years that we have lived in the state we presently live. If you are on FB please feel free to PM me and I’ll happily give you my email address so that we can either continue the discussion or I can help in anyway you’d like including any and all questions you may have. Just for your info as it pertains to an earlier conversation that you were having with someone else I thought I should mention that I feed a very high protein, moderate to high fat, and as low a carb diet that I can find. These percentages do not bother me in the least because I rotate with every meal rotating brands and proteins. If I were feeding kibble only or any food only, including raw, I would not feed the percentages that I do. Here’s a picture of Hannah that I just took about an hour ago. She’s also my profile picture.. Shoot! Sorry, let me figure out how to add the picture. I always have problems with adding photos to this site for some reason.

  • Thank you!!! She is definitely my little doll baby, and we love her so very much! I understand what you mean about finally giving Hannah a puppy cut. I gave one to Pixel for the first time this summer. (She’s already long again, but it was nice for both of us to have a little break from the weekly bath and blow dry routine!) I used to take her to a groomer, but one of them cut her pretty bad and she required 6 stitches under general anesthesia, so I vowed to do it myself from then on. I just don’t trust anyone else to treat her right and take their time with her. It takes me 2-3 hours to bathe and dry her, since we take frequent cuddle breaks to reduce any stress.

    Can I ask how you came up with the diet you feed, and what it includes? With Hannah being 16 already, you are obviously doing something right! Is she still in good health? She’s a very lucky girl to have you and such great care! I would greatly appreciate any tips and suggestions you might have. Maltesies are definitely the BEST! Pixel goes with us to our office every day and our clients just absolutely love her. (and she loves all the attention!) She gets her picture taken often, and with many different visitors.

  • Thank you! We own an elective, prenatal ultrasound practice (3D/4D) and she goes into the office with me most days. Sleeps on a little pillow on my desk, and all the clients really love her. She gets her picture taken many times a day 🙂

    So can I ask what you feed Hannah and your other furbabies, and how you came up with the diet you have them on? 16 is very good for a malt! You must definitely be doing something right. Would you say she is in good health? I’d really love to get 20 or more out of Pixel. One son and 6 m/c’s later, she’s my only “daughter, Lol! If / when anything happens to her, I will be completely devastated.

  • Dori

    Oh my goodness! She’s just so darn cute. I think I’m in love. What a little doll. I kept my Maltese in long coat until just a couple of years ago when I put her in a puppy cut in order not to have to upset her in anyway. As I mentioned somewhere, Hannah is 16 years old. Congratulations, your baby is really a little beauty. I love her big eyes and sweet sweet face. Maltese are my favorite breed.

  • What kind of raw diet do you feed? Is it a formulated one, or do you cook your own? I have a feeling the veterinary nutritionist will suggest things that I will need to cook / prepare myself, which is just fine. I’m just so afraid that if I come up with something on my own, it may be lacking in something. The nutritionist is actually much cheaper than I had thought (less than $200 for her to eval and formulate!) Until I get her analysis and suggestions back, I just found out today that Pixel will eat the Fromm Salmon and veggie grain free kibble, so at least she’s giving me one alternative. It’s the same protein level and very similar content to Innova, and seems to be a very reputable company. (There are so many different diets and opinions out there… it’s very overwhelming! I have spent at least 5-6 hrs over the last 2 days, just reading up and trying to come up with the best for her!)

  • Hi Dori,
    I’m not sure where you got the idea that I am insisting on feeding kibble. If you read my response to “theBCnut”, I specifically said that I am currently working with my vet and a Veterinary Nutritional Consultant (Dr. Kathy Michel from U Penn Vet School) to formulate a custom, perfectly balanced diet that will the best possible for my dog. I am not at all opposed to cooking for her… I just want to make sure that whatever we switch to, it’s the very best for her!

    As far as her teeth, I take her every 6-8 months for a full dental py, scaling, root planing and digital x-rays with the top Veterinary Dental Specialist in the state of PA… Dr Stanley Blazejewski at Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern… also a U Penn grad with about 4 extra years of dental residency after he had been a general vet for quite a while. So he’s the best around! (I have done human cosmetic dentistry for almost 30 yrs, so am well aware of the correlation between periodontal disease and overall health.) I brush her teeth every day and she is on a very low daily dose of Doxycycline to keep the perio at bay as best we can. So far, she has only needed 1 extraction, and is 6 yrs old. According to Dr. B, most tiny dogs like her will have lost most, if not all of their teeth by the age of 4, so i think we are doing really well with her teeth.

    Her name is “Pixel” (our male is “Chip”… so it’s MegaPixel and MicroChip. My DH is a comp/elect/biomed engineer, so that fits them well 🙂

    I’ll attach her pic here for you…. it’s not the best one I have, but it gives you a better idea of her size. She’s quite a sweetie! If you put your thumb and middle finger tips together, that’s about how big around her belly is. I keep her in long coat and she is very spoiled!

  • aimee


    I recall the data from Dr Dodds and Wynn as showing that raw fed dogs had higher BUN ( kidney)levels but nothing about higher liver values.

    Could it be that you mixed the two up?

  • Dori

    I’m sorry you’re determined to stick with kibble and also at such a protein % but I just wanted to comment that I hope you post a picture of your little cutie. You said she weighs 2 lbs but I think I may have missed her age. She is really tiny. Mine is 7 lbs. and she’s 16 years old last September. I’ve got a 6 lb. Maltipoo and my tiny one if our Yorkipoo (Morkipoo?) at 5 lbs. I can’t imagine holding a 2 lb. dog but I sure would love to. What’s her name?

  • Dori

    Another point to keep in mind is that raw fed dogs liver levels will always show higher than a dog fed kibble and/or canned. My three are all raw fed dogs. Maltese, Yorkipoo and Morkipoo (Yorkipoo?). Their liver levels all test higher than they did and would if still fed dry or canned foods. That has been very consistent. I brought info in to their vet to keep on file once I changed them to raw over 4 1/2 years ago. She completely agrees with the information.

    By the way, bad teeth and gums will cause both liver and kidney issues. Bad teeth and gums is one of the leading killers of dogs in this country second only to cancer. The infection goes into the blood stream.

  • theBCnut

    I was a CVT. If she was my dog, I would assume that there is some permanent liver and kidney damage. As I’m sure you know, only one quarter of one kidney functioning well is all that is needed to do the job of filtering the blood, so if bloodwork showed kidney issues, there was already a lot of damage done. The liver is likewise, it can handle a lot of damage and still do the job. With that in mind, I would feed as close to a natural diet as possible, which means homemade and absolutely no kibble. I would want to be as sure as possible that there were no toxins in the diet that would tax the liver, and you really can’t be sure with kibble and the normal operating procedures of kibble manufacturers, not to mention current farming practices. Real foods are easier to digest and eliminate. And it’s easier to control protein levels in homemade as well as making sure that the protein sources are quality.

  • Thank you for your kind words, and my apologies… I didn’t mean to sound harsh when I said that you are wrong. I was just upset with your statement, based on our very bad experience with a diet change with no other factors.

    Can I ask what you background / qualifications are? I am currently in the process of working with a Veterinary Nutrition Specialist at U Penn Veterinary Hospital to try and figure out the best diet for our tiny dog, in hopes of preventing the issues we had previously, and to avoid any issues down the road.

    Our veterinary dental specialist is one of only two or three in the entire state of PA that has gone through vet school, practiced for many years as a general vet, and then returned to U Penn Veterinary School for 4 yrs additional just for dental. I myself am a dental EFDA and have been doing cosmetic dentistry for 30 years, so I definitely understand the correlation b/t periodontal disease and overall health. Pixel had an impacted cuspid brought down surgically, as well as a few extractions of deciduous teeth and some bone grafting when I first got her (she was 8 mos old). I brush her teeth daily and she goes for full scaling, root planning and prophy w/digital x-rays every 6 mos with Dr. Stanley Blazejewski at Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern, PA (he’s her VDS – you can look him up on line and see that he has tons of experience, definitely stays up to date and treats the WHOLE patient, instead of just being stuck in his specialty).

    I also give her a daily prophylactic dosage of Doxycycline to help with the perio-progression, but it is so little that it should not cause any organ damage in itself. Her teeth are in great shape, and Dr. B is always impressed that she continues to do so well, despite her tiny size and predisposition for perio.

    Both Dr. B and our regular vet are convinced that the ONLY thing that could have caused he labs to be thrown off was the protein content. Since then, her labs have come back perfect every time. I do have them drawn every 3-4 months now, just to stay on top of things.

    If you have any thoughts on a good replacement for the Innova Small Bites, please let me know. I am down to my last 20 lb bag, and so far, I haven’t found anything else with a 24% or less protein content. Hopefully the nutritionist, Dr. Michel, can figure something out, as I will be devastated if a new diet causes her health to decline again!

  • theBCnut

    Guess what, dental issues can cause kidney disease. Protein is only a problem to kidneys that are already damaged. That’s a fact. Don’t be surprised if somewhere down the road, she starts showing kidney problems again. I really can’t help it if your dental specialists don’t read the latest research on diet and kidney disease, and you shouldn’t be surprised, since it is OUTSIDE of their specialty. Good luck, my JRT’s sister died of kidney issues because of bad teeth.

    Just a thought, since you mention she also had liver levels that were off, btw protein can certainly affect that, I have to wonder if the liver issues could have been affecting her kidneys. The liver filters out toxins in the blood that can get to levels that harm the kidneys. I really hope you don’t have further issues in the future.

  • You are so wrong! I have a 2 lb maltese that has been on Innova for her whole life and done very well with it’s 24% protein. When I tried to switch her over to a very high quality raw diet dog food, because it was supposed to be so much better for her and Innova had the recalls, her veterinary dental specialist told me that her pre-anesthesia blood work came back awful and he could not clean her teeth with her liver and kidneys the way they were because it would kill her. They thought for sure they would find a liver shunt on u/s, but fortunately, she did not have anything major. After spending $3,000 on testing and u/s and meds, we finally got her levels all back to normal… and the verdict from all of her dental specialists was the higher protein levels in the raw diet. Protein levels ABSOLUTELY do play a big part, and all of the specialists at U Penn will vouch for that!

  • GSDsForever

    Yeah, it’s sad. But at least these days there are a lot more natural & health food options for dogs.

    And just like Natura had been a small trustworthy family company for many years making a quality product, there are other companies out there now carrying the torch.

    Heck, small family owned Fromm’s been making high quality foods for over a hundred years, at every price point (budget & up), without ANY recalls or problems.

  • BIG AL

    We used to buy Innova Dry. But, since they sold out to P&G we no longer do. They’ve had several recalls since. PETCO won’t even sell it anymore. At least or dog was raised on it before it went downhill.

  • John

    We used Innova for years. When they stopped shipping during the recall we moved to Fromm and feel our dog is doing better. Use the Fromm Gold. I’ll have to try the pumpkin.

  • Marilyn

    I adore mine aged she went swimming in a lake and got a bacteria in her ear…after a year vet visits and over $3K, I started reading on my own about yeast infections and itching etc…what I have come to learn is that our dogs eat all this food with grain and they aren’t intended to do so and their body is imbalanced. My vet wanted her to be on a freaky allergy-free food with no flavor, instead I found this site sent me on a journey to heal her body instead of exclude her nutrition. I put her on the products from which I found through reading like 40 websites…it totally healed her ears and skin and no more itching. It was a long road. If I get another puppy I am starting her out on the Nzymes from Day One! 🙂

  • Marilyn

    You totally have to switch. Can you imagine itching like that. Pick a grain free food! It’s most likely an allergy to ingredients. Also it is good to be aware that itching can be because of yeast infections – usually caused from too much grains (sugars) in diet -which is unnatural for a dog. I found this ladys website that helped me tremendously - -maybe it will help another itchy dog out there.

  • Marilyn

    My lab with hip dysplasia finally landed on Fromm as her favorite food, the kibbles are small and you can switch around the flavors within the line of food. You have to just keep trying different foods and analyzing the ingredients to see if they are dog has always been sensitive to her foods and as she is older it is become worse. If it’s not an allergy add pumpkin, plain in the can. It helps digestion.

  • Dori

    Switch his food. Obviously something in the food ingredient list is not agreeing with him. Also someone mentioned to bath him in an oatmeal shampoo. Do not do that. If he happens to have allergies or intolerances to grains then oatmeal is not advised. I learned that the hard way with my allergy prone dog.

  • jbopinion

    Try bathing in an oatmeal shampoo.

  • Francis Mingora

    try adalt natural choice lamb and rice its good for nice shinny soft coat its good for alegiezs and sentive stomick my dog is on it has no truble her coat is verry soft to the tuch

  • Francis Mingora

    try natural choice lamb and rice its good food or try the natural choice chicken its good food

  • Francis Mingora

    my dog is on natural choice lamb and rice she use to scratch like crazey when i put her on nautrul choice her itching let up its for dogs with algeezs and sentive stomicks

  • Destiny Rose

    My current miniature schnauzer puppy is a very itchy puppy. My last one was too. I think there’s just something itchy about growing up. However, try switching him off the food and see if the scratching reduces. It might be making it worse or he might jut be a scratchy puppy too.

  • sarah

    My dogs won’t eat it. They refuse to. Their bowls are literally full after they “eat.” We have a dog with thyroid issues and one that has hip dysplaysia and we have been trying different foods to help. I don’t know if it’s because they are getting full faster or what but they refuse to eat it all.

  • janroc67

    I worked for P & G as a merchandiser, and I can you that they turned down chicken from suppliers that McDonald’s accepted…..

  • theBCnut

    I have seen many dogs that do get incredibly itchy with coat changes, though not this young, so I certainly don’t disagree with you, but Micah’s food issues started well before this age, so I certainly wouldn’t rule it out.

  • aimee

    Hi Milesmommy,

    I have such a soft spot in my heart for Labs. I’ve had four Labs and I can say that every single one was been an itchy puppy. My current Lab was crazy crazy itchy and I was sure she must have had a parasite that the vet couldn’t find. But after several through vet checks, including skin scrapings, when a cause wasn’t found I used frequent bathing and skin conditioners and she “outgrew” it as all my previous ones did.

    My personal thought on the issue is that it is related to the coat change over…. totally my opinion. No basis for that statement except that when I was showing I knew some one with Shar pei who said that whenever they shed and new coat came in they became very itchy as the stiff hair erupting form the hair follicle was irritating.

    Have a through vet check for parasites etc. I’d think a food issue unlikely at this age.

  • Milesmommy

    Yes, thank you! I had a feeling it was probably an intolerance to something, but just wanted to see if maybe it was common with this brand. Also yes I did find that list! Thank you, just saved the list so I can look into getting him a new food.

  • theBCnut

    Also, have you looked over on the forum side and read the thread on large and giant breed puppy nutrition?

  • theBCnut

    This is a food intolerance issue. There is some ingredient in the food that your dog can’t handle, like an allergy. You will need to find a new food. Look for something that has different protein and starch sources. Save ingredient lists on every food that you try so you can compare them and try to figure out what ingredient is causing the problem. Don’t forget to get the ingredient list for the food he was on before.

  • Milesmommy

    I have a new nine week old lab and I have him on the innova large breed puppy food, since being on this it seems he can’t stop scratching! I mean constantly scratching, not just sometimes, so much so that it distracts him even in the middle of having fun, training etc… has anyone else had an issue with this?

  • AngelD

    I was wondering what people think about Innova Adult Dog Food VS IAMS Iams® ProActive Health Large Breed Adult Dog Food.I have been supplementing the Iams with my own fruits and veggies(raw). I have a pitbull, shes going on 3 years old. Appreciate all comments…. Thank You

  • AngelD

    Hi Kevin, First THANK YOU for adopting from the pound. I found an answer for you about changing food over for your little boy. I found it online from Dr Foster Smith. I’m just c/p. Hope this helps……When feeding your pet a new food, introduce it slowly. If you feed too much too soon, your pet could suffer from stomach upset, vomiting, excess gas, constipation, or diarrhea.

    Intestinal Bacteria Play An Important Role

    Normal bacteria in the intestine help your dog or cat digest food. A sudden change in food can result in changes to the number and type of bacteria and their ability to help digest food. These changes can lead to intestinal upset. Therefore, your pet must be switched to a new food slowly.

    A Gradual Change is Best

    We recommend switching to a new food gradually over the course of 7-10 days. For example, make a mixture that contains 25% of the new food and 75% of the old food and feed that for three days. Then make it 50-50 for three more days, then 75% new food and 25% old food for three more days. If your pet seems comfortable with this progression, you can start feeding 100% new food.

    If at any time your dog or cat starts vomiting, has loose stools, or appears constipated, slow the rate at which you are switching the food. And as always, if problems continue to occur, consult your veterinarian.

  • cara myruski

    Purina one dog food killed my pit bull…it is dangerous garbage! My new dog started with Innova, then it was bought by purina so I trashed it. My dogs do very well now on the Wellness brand…

  • Michelle

    What dog food is similar to purinas nf canine formula? Her vet said she will eat that for life but my dog doesn’t want to eat those, so she’s loosing weight because she eats very little.

  • leslie

    I have been using Innova Large Puppy formula dog food and have really liked the results I am getting. Talking to a local expert, they told me they would never feed Innova because of all the recalls. Opinions on avoiding or using the food?

  • Kevin Henman

    How long will it take a dog to get used to this all natural very rich product? my dog is a puppy 5 month old and seems to be sensitive to this food. I have him on chicken and rice now to ease his stomach but i would like to give innova another try dunno how slow i should be adding it in to the dry food. Any ideas? He never had this rich of a food before i adopted him fromt he pound. He is a lab retriever.

  • Kim

    Wouldn’t feed this to my dog(s) after their 6 recalls in 6 months last year…say’s a lot about the companies idea about healthy pets…I wish it would have stayed off the shelves though…

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s defintely still there:

  • Akari_32

    The new website doesn’t have this any more, actually. Now its really “LOOK HOW AWESOME WE ARE!” and “BUY THIS BECAUSE WE SAY SO!” Theres no more sourcing info or anything like that. I really liked Innova, too…

  • Deedee

    I fed my 3 dogs innova for years and after all recalls switched to Acana and then Blue. Although my dogs ate it, their breathe was terrible with the ” better ” dog food. I did find Innova back on shelf , just recently, so I tried a few bags and the breathe is better. I don’t understand the breathe issue but I’m sticking with Innova.

  • Luv doggies

    Please be aware of the numerous recalls for Innova products. My dogs kept getting sick from Innova. Since I switched to Oreign and Arcana dog food my dogs have been fine. One of my dogs had problems with her skin and coat when I fed her Innova. Since the switch her coat has grown in longer and softer than ever before and no more skin problems.

  • Annette

    The Innova Senior Dry and Weight Management Adult Dry dog foods are the ONLY commercially available (non-prescription) foods I have found that can be used for “Marked Sodium Restricted” Diets. Do your own research from the info found at “Feeding the Cardiac Patient” on the Vermont Veterinary Cardiology website. Available in petstores and online, not just at your vet’s.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Cheaper ingredients are definitely a possibility, although I do
    have to give Natura props for creating their “beyond the bag” site that
    shows where every ingredient is sourced. Not many companies do that.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Yeah – likely recall hysteria. I don’t understand placing the blame on P&G for the recall either. Natura products aren’t manufactured at P&G’s facilities and were recalled, the products manufactured by P&G (Iams, Eukanuba) weren’t recalled. I think the salmonella was likely present in the past (even pre-P&G) but the FDA just wasn’t as stringent about testing.

  • Pattyvaughn

    People weren’t complaining much until the recall, so I imagine it is a little recall hysteria and corporate giant bashing, but I also believe that P&G would be getting the cheapest possible ingredients.

  • It could be the sourcing of ingredients from different vendors and maybe a quality change in them as well. I would guess that some of the ingredients that Natura use to get is now sourced from wherever P&G gets there stuff. More volume, more discounts, right? More $$ saved for P&G. But that is just my theory but it does make business sense.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I don’t really understand why everyone keeps saying P&G ruined the Natura products. I don’t see where they’ve changed for the worse? Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the only change that took place in any of the Natura products was a very minor change in the Innova formulas that didn’t result in a rating change. (BTW – I’m not a P&G supporter).

  • mocha

    It seems every time P & G takes over they ruin a good product, before it was Eukenuba and Iams, now Innova.

  • Donna

    Since being taken over by P&G, the company has so many recalls I have lost count. The most recent was April 2013, then this week June 2013, another one. Both salmonella poisoning which is very dangerous to dogs and humans, it is highly contagious. My dog loved this food but I can’t take a chance anymore, this former wonderful privately owned company is now just a mess thanks to P&G. I did notice that since they took over, my dog had loose stool which is definitely due to their new formula. Ugh I am done with them.

  • Jack

    New Recall Woooooo 6/18/13

  • Judy r

    After 14 years on Innova, on the new formula my dog started to vomit DAILY. I will not let my dog be an ingredient guinea pig, Thank goodness I got a warning that was not fatal. He is now on Petcurean and I will never buy Innova again.

  • Mogs

    The ingredients have changed. Just looked at my label.

  • bricass

    Leave it to P&G. Innova has now had three recalls since early March 2013. SALMONELLA was found. Our pet store chain no longer will sell this product.

  • Happy Tags

    I loved Innova for my pup, the agency I adopted him from was feeding him this so I kept him on it, he was on it for 2 years, I went to the feed store and they told me Innova was bought by P & G and to just know that they promised not to change the formula and continue with making a safe product but that warned me. Worried about my pup I read labels & made a decision to switch, thinking I would ask in the future how things were going with Innova and maybe switch back! We switched to Hi-tec grain free dog food, my dog loves it! I asked yesterday about Innova and there was in fact a recall and one of the dogs that was getting it from at the feed store got very sick. I am very sad for Innova as I thought it was a great product. Unfortunately things have changed, i would just be warned P & G does not care about your dog like innova did they just care about the money, they bought Innova’s reputation and packaging but its definitely the quality it once was. I’m sorry 🙁

  • LabsRawesome

    P&G bought the company back in 2010. Any of the 4 or 5 star rated foods on this site.

  • Isalwayswright

    Disappointed to hear P&G has bought Innova! I will be seeking a new dog food… any recommendations? My last dog died after eating P&G dog food that had a recall Shame on you Innova for selling out!!!

  • After years of trusting Innova I purchased dry large breed puppy chow for my new German Shepherd puppy. Innova issued a recall but my bag was not listed, so I kept feeding the pup. She developed horrible runny diarrhea and I spend a lot of money on vet bills, stopped feeding the dog food. Then a new recall notice came out and now the lot number of this bag was listed! I called Innova and they told me they were going to expedite my customer service because they considered this an emergency. That ended up being a joke. I was assigned to one of their “vet techs” named Heather who called me twice in the next week. Both times she left a generic call back number where I had to listen to over 30 minutes of muzak before getting an operator who informed that Heather was not in or busy. The second time I asked for a direct line call back. When I called back and waited a good 15 minutes before I got the general P&G customer service line. They were about to connect me to Innova when I just gave them my name and told them their customer service sucks. It’s bad enough they made my dog sick, but to treat me that way after the fact pretty much ruined my taste for P&G. Needless to say I switched off Innova!!!

  • There are many other choices of foods! If you like a food with grain like Innova look into Fromm, Earthborn Holistic, Nutrisource, Horizon, Merrick, Nature’s Select and Victor. Try different flavors.



  • Pattyvaughn

    What food would you be willing to feed to yourself exclusively for 7 years and not worry about your diet having everything you need in it? It’s the same way with dog food. Dog food manufacturers have done dogs a terrible disservice when they lied about dogs needing to stay on one food. No food is perfect. Just like humans need a variety of foods to stay healthy, dogs do too.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Jen – Click on the Best Dog Foods link at the top left of this page and pick a new one 🙂 ….better yet, pick several and rotate among them (every bag is the easiest way to go, imho) so you won’t find yourself in this predicament anymore! 🙂 If you rotate among several brands and proteins, if one gets recalled you can just move on to another one and/or add something else to the rotation.

  • Jen

    They just had a recall. Im lost ive been using this food for 7 yrs. now i dont know what to do.

  • I’d trust the person that doesn’t make any money, or anything at all, from their advice.

    Your vet makes money off of selling SD, and frankly the education that most vets get is not good. Yours could be different, but I’d trust somebody with no agenda at all first.

  • Kathee

    You say consult a vet. But although I take my dog to a very good vet and animal clinic all they sell is the Science Diet which has a poor rating for dog food. Who to trust?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Whoever told you that high protein taxes the kidneys lied to you too. The kidneys easily handle any extra protein in the diet. They are not taxed by doing exactly what they were made to do, it is a passive process that requires no extra work beyond simply being there. That is like saying your coffee filter has to do more work depending on the beans you use.

  • Sandy’s gang

    I too have fed Innova to my dogs since they were little. I used to do part EVO part Innova finally using all Innova…they have done well. We have used it for many years. When I heard P&G bought it I was so sorry. I watched and the formula they weren’t going to change…they did and now it is time to change. I smell a weird smell from the small bites. I don’t like I have to find something to feed them and want something with a protein level about what Innova is. I don’t like high protein as it taxes the kidneys. I am surely disappointed in P&G. They lied to us, what else have they not told the truth about. Time to move on from Innova…one past loyal fan for 7 years.

  • Pattyvaughn

    This isn’t Innova, it’s the Dog Food Advisor. Read more.

  • Charlene

    I have been buying my multipoo innova dry small bits but this last time when I bought it you changed the small bit size pieces to a smaller size piece, I don’t know if you did something to the recipe it gave her diarrhea. I read on your comments section that other peoples dogs had diarrhea to, from this dry food Took it back and got another dry food and she is ok with it.

  • km

    I was feeding my dog Innova regularly for about 2 years and then discovered after serving my dog about 4 meals that there was larva in the bag of food. This spooked me so much that I stopped feeding it to him but at the time did not know how to find out if this was a larger problem.

  • Shirley McGuire

    I bought the Natural Balance Duck & Potato canned meat and a small bag of the same in kibble form..and so far no gas and he ate with no problem…so strange…could it have been something in the Innova food that he didn’t like…