Merrick Classic Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★½

Merrick Classic Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Merrick Classic product line includes 5 dry dog foods.

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

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

  • Merrick Classic Puppy Recipe (4 stars) [G]
  • Merrick Classic Small Breed Recipe (5 stars) [M]
  • Merrick Classic Real Beef, Peas with Ancient Grains [M]
  • Merrick Classic Real Lamb, Peas with Ancient Grains (4 stars) [M]
  • Merrick Classic Real Chicken, Peas with Ancient Grains (5 stars) [M]

Merrick Classic Real Beef, Peas with Ancient Grains was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Merrick Classic Beef, Peas with Ancient Grains

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 34% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Deboned beef, pork meal, peas, brown rice, barley, pork fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lamb meal, natural flavor, pea protein, quinoa, oatmeal, beef liver, salmon meal, carrots, apples, flaxseed oil (source of omega-3 fatty acids), blueberries, chia seed, organic alfalfa meal, potassium chloride, salt, dicalcium phosphate, Yucca schidigera extract, minerals (zinc sulfate, iron amino acid complex, zinc amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, cobalt proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt carbonate), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A acetate, vitamin B12 supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate), dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis30%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis34%17%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%35%36%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 36%

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

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

The second ingredient is pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork.

The third 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is pork fat, a product from rendering pig meat.

Commonly known as lard, pork fat can add significant flavor to any dog food. And it can be high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, pork fat (in moderate amounts) is actually an acceptable pet food ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is lamb meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

After the natural flavor, we find pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

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

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

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

With five notable exceptions

First, we find quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

Next, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, chia seed is an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.

However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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

And lastly, 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.

Merrick Classic Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Merrick Classic 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 34%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, pea protein, quinoa, alfalfa and chia seed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Merrick Classic is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.

Merrick 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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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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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.

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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

09/24/2017 Last Update

  • aimee

    “we find that the acidity level of the stomach begins to decrease
    (gastric acidity relates to meat protein), and the stomach becomes
    progressively more alkaline (PH 4 and above)”


    Please supply the links to the publication in peer reviewed journals that support this claim . Certainly stomach pH is variable but I’ve never read anything linking a kibble diet to high gastric pH I’d be interested in reading it.

  • Karen Mitchell

    So that does;t tell you nothing. Telling you where they get their resources form has nothing to do with the products nutritional value. lol

  • Karen Mitchell

    Have you tried a natural diet with no preservatives or processed foods?

  • Karen Mitchell

    They will be fine until they reach the second half of their life, then you will start to see changes. Good luck!!

  • Karen Mitchell

    I am happy to give friendly constructive and helpful advice, just not in here. I believe in giving personal one on one help where I can and it cannot be done in here. My post wasn’t meant for you and I am no way bullying anyone

  • Crazy4dogs

    It seems she’s trying to promote her FB page again. 🙁

  • DogFoodie

    For a variety of reasons, raw isn’t for everyone,, Karen. Browbeating and shaming aren’t helpful. Friendly, constructive and helpful advice is.

  • Karen Mitchell

    You need to understand how their stomach reacts to different food and how their gastric acidity and PH level works. This is why your puppy vomited!

  • Karen Mitchell

    For the life of me, I will NEVER get it! HOW, can these be good for any pet??!!
    With all those ingredients and it ends up looking like that?? It’s processed in a way that 99% of those nutrients are lost. I mean really!? It amazes my how they suck people into these barbaric foods! Come on people, feed your pet REAL food for a change, but careful, their poor little stomaches will go into shock!!!!

  • Karen Mitchell

    Yeah, I’m confused too. He was acquired at 6 months. The way I read it, he was on raw for 6 months, then once he got the dog, he changed to kibble. OMG why!!??

  • Karen Mitchell

    Why oh why???
    Your German Shepherd even tried TELLING YOU and asking you, WHY???!

  • Karen Mitchell

    The best thing you can feed your pet as an all natural RAW diet. It’s doesn’t have to “break the bank”.

    If you would like some help in making the transition, my Facebook group As Nature Intended can help you.

    I am no means a vet. I have been researching the all natural balanced raw diet (and commercial pet food) for the past 6 years. I now share what i have learnt through my Facebook page, As Nature Intended.

    If you would like some advice from people, from all walks of life, professionals, pet carers, cancer researchers and people you have taken on the challenge of researching the raw diet themselves. People who have made the transition successfully or have been feeding their pet on raw for years, my Facebook group is there to help. Great tips, hinds and advice.

  • Karen Mitchell

    Sue them!! Better still, you get what you pay for, crap!!!

  • Chad Paquin

    Thanks alot

  • Crazy4dogs

    Turducken doesn’t have bones. It should be safe, they pressure cook it. I feed these a lot. See if it crushes with a spoon. You can contact Merrick. I just call the number on the can if I have an issue.

  • Chad Paquin

    Turducken. Don’t see anything it saying there’s a bone didn’t know it was supposed to have it

  • Crazy4dogs

    Which flavor? Several have bones in them, they’re SUPPOSED TO! If it’s wingaling or smothered comfort it says so right on the can. Several Seasonals have them as well. They crush in you fingers.

  • Chad Paquin

    There’s a picture attached also

  • Chad Paquin

    I found a bone in my turkey wet food.. Anyone else find this?

  • Crazy4cats

    I don’t blame you! Good luck.

  • griffs

    I did wonder if it could be that specific formula that she couldn’t handle. But her reaction was so extreme that I haven’t had the courage to try other Merrick formulas – and at the moment the grain free variety is simply too pricey for me. I’ll check the Victor’s store locator right now. Thanks again. Much appreciated!

  • Crazy4cats

    BTW, my dogs did fine on the Merrick grain free rather than classic formula, but it is too expensive for me to feed regularly. Here is Victor’s find a store link:
    If you find a dealer, maker sure to call them first because most of them do not carry all recipes. I have to special order the grain free joint health kibble to make sure they actually have it before I drive 20 miles to pick it up!

  • griffs

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve not noticed Victor in my area, but I’ll take another look around & check it out if possible : )

  • Crazy4cats

    Do you have a dealer that sells Victor in your area? My dogs did not do very well on one of the Merrick Classic recipes either, but they do great on the grain free Victor kibble. It’s about the same price or cheaper depending on where you live. They also sell kibble with grain. Check them out!

  • griffs

    I tried switching my dog to this brand. I had high hopes for the quality of Merrick – and did a lot of research here before selecting. I value the wealth of information provided on this website/forum. Unfortunately, my dog had a terrible reaction to the Beef Barley & Carrot. I transitioned her VERY SLOWLY, gradually mixing with her previous food over many weeks. She began to have loose stools. Then diarrhea and a ton of gas. Then severe diarrhea and severe gas. So severe that I took her to the vet to be sure she didn’t have an infection or parasites, etc. After everything I went back to her original food and she was fine within days. Still searching for a good quality food that won’t break the bank!

  • Dori

    Just wondering why you switched him from his raw diet to a kibble? Also, you mention that he’d been on a raw diet all his life but you didn’t mention how old he is?

  • Chase Masters

    My 110lbs German Shepherd was raised on raw for most of its life. I acquired him 6 months ago and transitioned him to kibble very slowly. Over a period of several months I tried TOTW, Victors, Dr. Tim’s, and Wellness Core. He either didn’t like them or they produced a detrimental reaction of some kind. Wellness Core in particular caused a lot of licking of his elbows and random kicking of his rear legs while laying down. Well Merrick has finally worked the best. He likes it and the reactionary effects have all but disappeared.

  • Michelle Macera

    Excellent food, I have tried switching to what I thought was an even more premium brand, but my dog had reactions to the supposedly premium food, I now have her back on Merrick and will not change ever again.

  • Crazy4cats

    That is awesome that you found a food that works well for your dogs. Sometimes, that is not an easy task. Here is a link to a download that I find helpful to make kibble even more healthy for my dogs:
    It teaches how you can add some fresh foods such as eggs, sardines and more to kibble to enrich their meals. Thanks for the input on the Merrick!

  • Rochelle

    I have been feeding my two dogs merrick for years. One of my dogs (black mouth cur. 96 lbs. 2. 5 years old) has been on merrick since he was 6 months old. My other dog is a Heinz 57 about 38 lbs and is 1.5 years old. She has been on merrick since she was 8 weeks old of course the puppy version. They are both on merrick classic (the one for all breeds not large breeds) and have no had any problems. The food actually makes their breath smell a lot better than it used to on any other food we tried. My dogs absolutely hate blue no matter which one I tried. So I’m not going to change their food again. The price is perfect. I’m willing to spend $53-$59 on a bag of food if it means my dog won’t eat by-product and have a gross coat. My dogs are my best friend and I will feed them as good as I feed myself. They are my children.

  • Kay Os

    I have been using Merrick Classic chicken for about 6 months now and my dogs both smell now and have much more eye discharge. Just wanted to provide some feedback on results. I am switching back to Blue Buffalo which I had noticed decreased eye goobers with.

  • Abby

    Grains are actually bad for dogs, they do not need the grain all it is extra filler and not necessary to the diet at all.

  • Trish94903

    I have 4 dogs that have been eating Merrick for a couple of years without a problem. But we didn’t use the grain-free — dogs need grains, too, so maybe that triggered the problems?

  • Trish94903

    I didn’t see anything at the link you posted about animal testing except someone else claiming they did animal testing. Is there a direct link to evidence of this?

  • Wade Meyer

    I have read commentary on 3 of the foods I have fed my dogs that are rated at 5 stars. So I am impressed by the number of outlandish negative comments. Most of you write as if these good companies are adding drops of mercury to their kibble! Its crazy.

    There is probably a billion human beings out there that would see long life and fewer illness to just get a bag of Ole Roy every 2 weeks! Food snobs.

    Just once I would like to see an intellect say positive things about these 5 friggin Star foods. Our dogs are descendants of wild-ass dogs that thrived without Fromm, Merrick, Acana, and Canidae. Maybe they dragged down a beast once a week or every other day. Ours get two bowls of food a day !

  • Becky Marsh

    One of my concerns for not only feeding my dogs a healthy diet is: does the company do abusive and painful animal testing. I have found out that Merrick does. This is be my last bag of Merrick that I feed my 5 rescue dogs.

  • Abby

    I used to feed my dog Merrick brand dog food. He was on the Regular Chicken flavor and then we switched him to the Grain Free Chicken flavor. He was eating this brand food for over one year (from February 2013 – June 2014). It was in Febuary 2014 we changed to the grain free food (we weaned him with a mix of the old food and new), and for 2 months our dog was okay (he is at least 11-12 years old). Then beginning in April he began to get sick with some diarrhea and he began to eat a lot of grass. By the time May rolled around his diarrhea was becoming more frequent and he had occasional vomiting. In June, his diarrhea became almost constant and there was a couple bloody stools. I took him to the vet, and they ran tests for worms and other things like that as well as a stool sample. The test results came back and they said there was nothing wrong when it came to worms, but one of his white blood cell counts was high – that was probably due to an allergic reaction. The vet told us to keep him on a bland diet (chicken and rice) and to slowly ween him back onto his old food. We did that, and once he was back to his old food his sickness began to get even worse! Desperately we tried the grain free food again, and he was still sick but not as bad. Finally, we just stopped feeding him Merrick brand food in July and he has not been sick at all since we have stitched him to Blue Wilderness food. I contacted Merrick about this, because I was concerned because to us the only cause of his illness had to be the food. We monitor him very much, and he is very rarely left alone one of us is almost always home with him. There is nothing left out for him to get into continually and if he gets into something its a once in a blue moon thing. I wrote to the pet food company asking for reimbursement for the vet bill and the last bag of dog food that we could not return. They are refunding me for the 1 bag of dog food, but will not refund me for the vet bill – they basically told me there wasn’t enough proof that it was their food. So basically they wanted me to pay for more tests just to get refunded. I would stay away from the food – I saw what it did to my dog and wouldn’t wish that on any dog or owner. My dog has been extremely healthy, happy and playful since we have switched him to a new food.

  • I would say the large breed adult formula should be ok once he is a year old. A large breed dog is considered “large” if they are 50+ pounds as an adult. And even though he’s a mix, Dobermans tend to get pretty big. However, it’s also entirely up to you. I have a pit bull mix who I don’t really consider a large breed, even though she is over the 50+ pound mark. She’s just shorter and stocky like a pit bull would be.

  • Michal


    I would appreciate your advice. I have a new puppy, 13-week old Doberman mix that Im thinking of switching to Merrick Classic from Regal for puppies. Any thoughts?
    Is there another dog food you recommend for him?
    As he is mixed, I am not really sure how big he will be and whether I should go for the large breed formula.


  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Kristyn –

    It’s certainly possible that your dog’s skin reaction was food related. He could be sensitive to an ingredient in this food. If I were you I would suggest comparing the ingredients in this food to ingredients in foods he’s eaten previously and trying to figure out which ingredient or ingredients are in this food that are new to him – this would likely be the cause of the sensitivity if it is indeed food related. It would also be a good idea to keep a notepad where you can list any events (food-related or environmental) that the reaction could be attributed to and record the ingredient “suspects.” This will be a good tool for figuring out what’s going on. If you switch him back to his old food and his skin clears up that would be another indicator that it’s the food.

  • Kristyn Karpinchick

    Has anyone else had their dog have a skin reaction from the food? My dog is has little scabs all over him right now, and I just gradually switched him onto this food. That’s the only thing I’ve changed in his diet and anything else.

  • theBCnut

    Good, lean is best. If he wasn’t actually roly poly then it probably didn’t hurt him, especially since he was probably just a little overweight for a short time. Sometimes that’s how puppies grow. They put on a bit of leg then the body catches up, they they put on a bit of leg. It’s like for a short time they put all their energy into growing bone, then everything else has to play catch up.

  • Shar24

    he was never fat, just not super lean either. He is a lot more lean now but he is a lot taller too. His build is sort of stocky though I will have to get a picture.

  • theBCnut

    It could definitely hurt him to let him be fat while he is growing. Don’t feed according to the bag, feed according to the pup. There is no breed that is better off as a fat puppy, just like it isn’t healthy to have fat children. Lean and muscular is always best. I’m glad you are starting to see the weight come off.

  • Shar24

    So I have a question about that…. Schnauzers are predisposed to hip displacement, so have been feeding him Wellness Core Puppy which is on HDM’s list of foods for large breed puppies just incase, but I have been having a hard time keeping him lean. He looks a lot leaner than he was a few weeks ago. Do you think it is a good idea to feed him like a large breed puppy, since his father is 45lbs so I expect he will be that. Do you think it hurt him that he put on too much weight when we were feeding him according to the instructions on the bag, and what about when he is full grown?

  • theBCnut

    Large breed mixes may still be predisposed to joint issues, so feeding for a large breed and slow growth may still be a good idea.

  • Shar24

    35-40lbs full grown isn’t a large breed. I have a Standard Schnauzer puppy and he should be about 45lbs full grown and he falls just under that category, usually Large Breed is 50lbs +

  • theBCnut

    Read here to learn about the issues when feeding large breed puppies

    Here is Hound Dog Mom’s latest list of appropriate foods

  • Chris Antoine

    I’m looking to transition my 12 week old mini goldendoodle (35-40 lbs full grown) to a new puppy food. When he arrived at 8 weeks, breeder had him on Nulo, but also diagnosed with giardia. So, it was diarrhea for 2 weeks, even after the 2nd dose of meds. So, we slowly transitioned him to Call of the Wild Puppy (breeder rec.) for a few days, which made his symptoms even worse. Both these foods are grain free, which is confusing to me, since the breeder says these large breed pups (? is he really) should have grain at puppy stage to slow the growth. So, Vet put him on probiotics and immediate switch over Royal Canin gastrointestinal. This helped ALOT right away. But, it’s not our “forever” food for him (contains chicken by products) once his tummy is stabilized. So, looking at Merrick puppy as viable option. But, unsure if he’s “large breed”, and whether grain/grain free makes a difference. Based on previous foods, seems like the high protein / no grain stuff was too much for his tummy. Any comments or recommendations about which one?

  • HappyTails

    Oh how I love and miss Monterey,my family used to spend the summers there when my dad had work there.Such a beautiful place,with so much to see and do!

  • Frank Wolf

    Absolutely, Betsy!

    With no exceptions I do not eat salmon from restaurants either.
    Don’t get me wrong…I love salmon, fresh caught from here in Monterey Bay, by friends with their own boat, or by me on their boat!

    Rowdy gets fresh cooked fresh salmon whenever we go fishing and that’s often enough to keep lots of omegas in his diet.

    I think…no, I know!, Rowdy on a regular basis eats better than I do. But back to your comment/good advise. Farm raised fish sounded like a great idea, especially after mankind depleted just about every edible fish species in the ocean, but as so often with our plans we never think about the details only our bottom line…sadly.
    Farm raised fish are a horrible blight in the ocean. I think you know what I mean.

    We’ve been so “successful” in our breeding program there’s now more and more of us and less and less of every other living thing on Earth, except perhaps landfill rats, cockroaches in our kitchens, and fleas on our dogs…hmmm.

  • qtbigwatts

    Nothing from China is in this food! Home made here in Texas

  • Betsy Greer

    You should also be concerned if the salmon in your dog’s food was farm raised.

  • Frank Wolf

    My only concern, and I hope not misplaced either, is the source country for the salmon meal, how it was processed there, and what chemicals were used to preserve it before shipping it to Merrick.

    Typically, Ethoxyquin is the chemical of choice used to preserve salmon meal. Our government says that when used correctly it poses no harm to our dogs…the operant word here is correctly.

    If the salmon is from Korea, or China I’m not going to buy that brand. Or, I’ll buy the brand but not the variety that contains salmon. I love my Alaskan Malamute, family-member-companion way too much to risk it.

  • Jewelz Gemini Patterson

    Hi Bobby,

    I raise pit bulls and they eat puppy food until they’re 2 in my opinion. Pits have a tendency to have skin problems so it’s good you have her on a quality food. I’m just trying this food. Mine usually eat Nutro large breed puppy food. I also cook chicken and rice for them and throw in some veggies and cheese. I usually do a big pot and just give them a couple nice scoops in the evening through the week. My boy is 2 and 85 pounds and my girl is 4 and 65 pounds. Just make sure she gets lots of protein and cals. They don’t really thicken up til they’re around a year.

  • sue66b

    There must be an ingredient in this kibble that she doesnt like, try to read all the kibbles ingredients that she likes & see whats the different ingredient, could even be a vitamin & she can smell it…. I Love staffys….

  • Tobias C

    I have a Staffy. Almost two years old. She is extremely food motivated and not a picky eater. She eats everything even tissue papers. I rotate 30lb bags. I have fed her Purina Pro Plan (breeder had her on it), TOTW Pacific Puppy, Diamond lamb puppy, Fromm Puppy Gold, Fromm 4 star Duck, Dr Tim’s ALS, DR Tim’s Pursuit. She ate all of those extremely enthusiastically. But this is the first food she hates. She eventually eats it when she gets too hungry. She’s been eating this for almost 3 weeks and always the same. I went and got some Tuffy’s Gold Puppy and filled half of the bowl with it and the other half with Merrick Beef Classic. Sure enough she enthusiastically ate the Tuffy’s first and hesitantly ate the Merrick last

  • Bobby

    Thank You Dave….

  • dchassett

    Please transition your puppy when her stomach has had a good time to settle and she has acclimated to her new surroundings very very slowly. Minimum transition for a puppy should be 10 days, some will take up to a month. Puppies, especially at 9 weeks old have very delicate digestive systems. I’m very surprised that you weren’t sent home with some of the food from the Humane Society. You should seek out other pet stores in your area and find the food she was eating at the Humane Society. Keep her on that for a while. Poor puppy. I doubt very much it’s food poisoning. It was the sudden transition.

  • Dave Jones

    Royal canine is high priced Purina imo.

  • Dave Jones

    You can but what’s the point? You feed grain free to stay away from grain. Classic has some grain. Just remember grain=carbs. If she has good muscle tone don’t worry about it don’t want a fat puppy do you?

  • Dave Jones

    Hands down much better than blue buffalo. I can’t believe blue buffalo gets the ratings it does. Better yet stay away from anything diamond foods makes.

  • theBCnut

    Some dogs can’t handle sudden food changes and that was about as sudden as you can get. Going to a new home is upsetting enough without having food changes thrown in on top of everything else. Is there any chance you can get what this pup was eating before and then do a slow transition to the new food?

    The vet will probably give you a very bland diet to put your pup on for a few days and you can use it to transition too, but make sure you go sloooowly.

  • Sick Puppy Dog

    I got on here searching to see if anyone else has experienced what we are going through because of this food. We adopted a 9 week old puppy from our local Humane Society yesterday. Because Petco did not have the same type of dog food we were advised by Petco employees to try your Whole Earth Puppy food. So we put back another brand and bought the giant puppy food bag (big mistake I know). She ate some of the puppy food for the first time last tonight. She started vomiting uncontrollably within 5 hours after eating only the puppy food. She has not stopped and we are having to take her to an emergency vet. Praying it is not poison.

  • junkytrunk

    The responded with an emphatic NO. I suppose their ‘rendering’ businss could just be to recover hides (for leather products) and other material for cosmetics (you’d be surprised at how animal products can be used in general cosmetics but just show up as ‘ingredients’.

  • theBCnut

    Sometimes when a dog has been on the same food long term, they have a harder time switching foods and actually need to do it in more stages, like maybe try a 4 star food like NutriSource first. Also, staying on the same food long term may limit the number of different strains of probiotics that thrive in the gut, and probiotics help with the digestive process, so your dog may not have a good population of the probiotics that are needed to digest a food that has that much more protein in it. Finally, your dog may be producing the enzymes that its body is used to needing for the old food and is having a hard time adjusting to the different nutrients in the new food.

  • Nick

    I switched my 14 y.o. beagle mix to this after many years on IAMS Naturals. I took the transition slowly starting with 25% the first week, 50% the second, 75% the third. She has noticeably softer stools and a significant increase in gas after the switch. She’s also had a very rare accident in the house about three weeks after the switch. I’m going to move her to a different food.

  • LabsRawesome

    I doubt it. I buy Merrick canned. Their canned foods look and smell so good, you’d want to eat it. Definitely NOT made from some rotting carcass. All Merrick’s meats are USDA inspected. And Merrick has NO ingredients from China.

  • Guest

    Did they respond and answer if there is carcasses in the dog food? Please tell me?

  • Rhonda Melton

    Sorry hit that button too fast. I also read the article on rendering. I was thinking of placing an order for our 2 stores but now have second thoughts. Maybe Mike can help everyone out on this one.

  • Rhonda Melton


  • theBCnut

    Email them and ask if there are 3D or 4D carcasses in their food. If they answer you without hesitation, I would consider the possibility that they aren’t lying. If they hedge, I would assume the worst.

    Some places that retrieve carcasses supple scavengers at zoos, so you can’t assume just because they do a particular job, that that ends up in the food. By law they aren’t supposed to lie to you, but that’s why I said email them, they are less likely to put something false in writing.

  • junkytrunk

    I switched my dog to Merrick after reading on this site and others…but now I discover Merrick is a subsidiary of Tejas industries which is a cattle rendering plant – and recovers carcasses from cattle ranches. Please tell me my dog is not eating decayed cattle flesh…

  • mark

    I have been feeding my 8lb mix the merrick toy and small breed dry for several months. I recently opened a fresh bag only to find the size of the kibble has more than doubled. It is also a lighter color,and she does not seem to like it as much. I called Merrick and they said it was a re-tooling issue. Told me to contact the online store and have them send me more from a diff. lot. The new bags arrived today and it is still the same large kibble. Has anyone else noticed this? They are charging 3 times the price for the same size that my big dogs eat.Now I will have to look for another. Now I have 6 bags of food I can not use. Will be asking for my money back.

  • Shawna

    Hi Bobby,

    Dogs should have nice muscle tone even as older puppies. Those in the Pitty breeds are muscular dogs anyway so they definitely should.

    Betsy is right that extra “weight”, at least in the form of fat, can be detrimental. However extra weight (on the scale) due to nice muscle tone is ideal for all dogs. Foods with adequate protein are going to provide the nutrients necessary for that ideal muscle tone. However, your pup has to be able to properly digest that protein to get the benefits.

    If the diet is a bit high in carbs you can either change it to higher protein OR you can add eggs, sardines, high protein canned etc to the existing diet. This is actually ideal to do with any kibble. Adding digestive enzymes and apple cider vinegar will help with protein digestion (ACV is pretty cheap too). Make sure to dilute it OR use in very small amounts if you use it. Adding probiotics is great for digestion as well as the immune system and overall health.

    I personally don’t like grains in the diet but a diet high in potato, peas or legumes really isn’t any better.

    Also, many of us regulars don’t feel there is any one ideal food. Instead of picking one we rotate through many different proteins/carbs within a brand as well as different brands. As an example — I feed three of my toy breed dogs (who all have fantastic muscle tone) kibbles like Orijen (all flavors), Earthborn Primitive Naturals, Nature’s Variety, Nature’s Logic, Merrick Pork (grain free) etc. To this I add a heaping teaspoon of raw and a heaping teaspoon of high protein canned food. The other five get primarily raw food.

    If he’s interested in pulling, tugging etc you can get him a pulling harness or cart and let him do what some pitties apparently love to do.. Personally, I’d get my dog checked by a chiropractor before starting this type of exercise though..

    As far as height, if that is a concern, the age at which he was neutered as well as other factors can play a role. As far as girth, if a concern, the protein will help but I don’t know of anything that will help any more than a “species appropriate diet”, and time to add desirable girth beyond adding muscle.

    Edit — Oops, originally thought you pup was a boy but a quick reread and I see she is a girl. Sorry about that!!!

  • Jen

    Some dogs are sensitive, or have allergies to the grains found in the typical dry dog foods. Therefore many dog food producers make a grain free formula. If you dog isn’t sensitive, I’d say just feed the standard formula. Its less expensive. I don’t think one is any “better” than the other. Just whatever works best for your dog.

  • Michelle

    Hi, we have a 10 week old American Stafforshire Bull Terrier and I currently have her on Blue Buffalo Wilderness but am thinking about switching her to Merrick’s Grain Free Real Pork + Sweet Potato. Can you please tell if this is a good choice for her or if I should be using another one instead? We also have a 3 yr old Chow/Sherpard mix and I want to put them on the same food for convience.

  • Dar LeGrand Normand

    Hi, we picked up our collie pup Saturday. The breeder had him on science diet and want to change him. Our last collie, passed away last year, was on Blue Buffalo Wilderness for years.. I’ve been researching to make sure I switch the puppy to a quality food and see a lot of comments about blue. Now, I’m not so sure. I have purchased a bag of Merrick Classic to slowly move him off of Science… Thoughts? Also I want to add a wet, should I wait to do that till he is completely over or wait?

  • Bobby

    The only reason I was asking if she should gain a little more weight is because she is an American Bully Pitbull… And her parents are pretty big and muscular but maybe she is still to young and has a lot more to grow…

  • Bobby

    She is 6 months old and no she is not under weight I just think she should probably be a little bigger…. But my real question is what’sthe ddifference between merrick grain free and merrick classic? Like I had said she’s been real good with the grain free but is the classic better?

  • Betsy Greer

    How old is your puppy?

    Putting weight unnecessarily on a puppy is not a good idea. It’s very unhealthy, can create a myriad of skeletal and health issues and can shorten his life.

    Is he underweight? What is his body condition?

  • Bobby

    Hi just a quick question.. My puppy has been on Merrick grain free since we got her a 8 weeks old.. Can we mix the grain free with the classic together? Or which one is the better one? My pup is doing good on grain free but I would like to put more weight on her..

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Cheryl, large breed puppies have special dietary requirements, you have to watch calcium %. Here is a list of dry foods for large breed pups, it was put together by Hound Dog Mom, one of the regulars on the site. My dogs do really well on the Earthborn formulas on that list.

  • Cheryl

    I am picking up a 9 week old Blue Weimie pup Saturday. This is my second rodeo. I have been researching quality foods as my first dog (same breed) had MULTIPLE health problems and only lived to be 10 and sad to say mildly suffered most of her life. She was fed Innova (have no idea if this was related to health problems) until put on a low fat gastrointestinal food by Royal Canin. I want to be very careful with this one and feed her the best quality food I can. I seem to have settled on Merrick for now. Any experiences, comments, advice to share? Thanks!

  • Amanda

    Thank you! I have no idea what they are eating now as they are in a shelter. I am picking them up as soon as their required 10 day hold is up (tomorrow). I know my girl is eating a dog food (can’t remember the name) that has meat as the first 2 or 3 ingredients. I am usually very consistent about reading the ingredients and making sure that I don’t give her something with too many fillers (not good for them plus she gets TERRIBLE gas when we do lol.) so I will do a slow transition for her, but I have no idea about the new pups.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes, Merrick is a popular food for sure. I just checked out their website. The Classic Chicken recipe has 440 calories a cup. That is a little above average. I think this food would be fine for all your dogs. Sounds like you will just have to feed the newbies a little more. What are they eating now. If it is a low quality food, you may have to transition very slow as Merrick most likely is a higher quality food than what they are currently eating. Adding egg to their food sounds like a very healthy way to put weight on the dogs also. Losing and gaining weight for dogs is just like people. You eat less calories and excercise more to lose weight and you consume more to gain. It seems so simple, but I can’t seem to accomplish this myself! Good luck and congratulations!

  • Amanda

    I’ve got a question. I am picking up two new fur babies to add to my pack, we’ve already got a lab mix (think she’s got some collie in her), one is a husky and the other is a corgi mix (looks like he’s got some lab in him) the husky and corgi look really underweight and underfed. I am looking for something that will help put some weight on them as well as being safe for my girl. I will probably be adding some egg to each of their foods, one for the protein and two so they know they are getting some special treatment lol. But I don’t know what kind of food would be good for them. From some previous reviews, I see that Marrick is a fan favorite, do yall think it would help put some weight on them?

  • Crazy4dogs

    I use probiotics & digestive enzymes too. I do rotate my food on a regular basis. I agree with Crazy4cats. You might want to change to a better food. There are several that wouldn’t be as drastic a change as Merrick from Iams, but find one that has a similar protein/fat profile to what you are feeding. Then the change isn’t as drastic. You can move up after they are adjusted to a more meat based food than Iam’s is. Also, when transitioning, pure pumpkin is your best friend. Just add a bit with each meal.

  • Crazy4cats

    I have found that when I add digestive enzymes to my dogs’ meals, it really curbs the gas. If that doesn’t work, you may want to try and change foods. It’s a good idea to rotate anyway. If you have been feeding the same thing for a long time, take the transition very slowly. I would still use the enzymes though. I think they work very well when feeding kibble. Good luck.

  • I’mright

    Question: I have 3 older dogs on Iams Senior 11+ and they have been on it for about a year but in the last month or so they have had the most TOXIC gas!! I mean it is open the windows and turn on the fans toxic silent but deadly odors which tells me that they must have some gastric distress going on to be having that kind of gas….ANY suggestions would be great!

  • G Lea

    I just received a new bag of Merrick puppy chicken, brown rice and peas. The kibble is about twice the size as that of previous bags we’ve had. There’s no problem with him eating it, just find it odd the size is so much different.. Anybody else notice this? Any suggestions?

  • InkedMarie

    Another good place is as well

  • Ali1231

    You can actually order the food online, which is definitely a lot more convenient. I heard about this website called so I tried it out. I was very impressed with how quickly my dog food arrived. I ordered on a Monday and by Wednesday afternoon the food had been delivered to my door. If you are considering switching your dogs to a new food try out the website

  • If they are not puppies, then you should give it a try. Large breed puppies have special calcium/phosporus requirements. I have Merrick in my rotation along with some others. Although I will say that 2 of 8 dogs needed a slow transition to it (Classic and grain-free). They had some vomiting/loose stool since I usually don’t transition foods slowly. Nutrisource grain free straightened them out,

  • shannoncookie

    My dog def prefers merrick over blue buffalo but weve only tried the grain free merrick and canned not classics. I had to return the bb cause my dog wouldn’t really touch it but om pretty sure the merrick grain free is her fave food dry and canned!! The merrick dry kibble is on the smaller side though…

  • t

    I have 2 Rhodesian Ridgebacks and am thinking of switching from Blue Buffalo to Merrick any input?

  • Deb

    Thanks so much, so much information on everything these days it’s nice when people work together to help others make an informed decision(-:

  • Deb

    Thanks for the reply(-: That definitely helps me make a plan!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I think you are doing pretty good! And I wish I had found this site sooner too.

  • Ollie

    Oops sorry about, that I know from reading comments that its calcium that you have to watch with puppies but for some reason I was thinking protein and I should have put older dogs need more protein just from what I again have read on this site. Thanks for correcting me I don’t want to give someone the wrong information, it would have been great if I found this site when my large mix breed was a puppy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Protein is not an issue for large breed puppies. That is a myth that we take great pains to put to rest. It is excess calories and too much calcium that is a problem for large breed puppies. Also protein is not a problem for healthy seniors and, in fact, since they may have problems absorbing all the protein in their diet, they can need up to 50% more high quality than a younger dog.
    If you take the bones out of the canned food that is supposed to have it, you are changing the calcium/phosphorus ratio, which doesn’t matter for a meal or 2, but if you did that very much it could be bad.
    You might want to look at Earthborn too, if you can find it near you.

  • Ollie

    * merricks can food*

  • Ollie

    I don’t think protein is an issue other than for large breed puppies, senior dogs( which I learned on this site) or if the dog has medical issues. My jack russell is fine with the protein in it. If you want to feed food with grain it should be fine as long as they aren’t allergic to grains. With rotating the dog food people suggest through different brands each time because it’s better for their gut and if there is a recall you would know about what other food for your dogs to eat. But as a warning taste of the wild, candiae ( I probably spelled it wrong but there is a review for it on this site),and chicken soup for the soul are made by diamond which has had a lot of recalls and people are having problems with their dogs getting sick on blue buffalo lately. For my 2 dogs a 25 to 30 pound bag of food last me a month. With the feeding suggesting on bag a 15 pound bag could last between a month and half to 2 months for your 3 small dogs and a 25 to 30 pound bag of food could last you a month or month and half for your 2 big ones if that helps you better. If you get Merrick can some of them have whole bones in certain recipes but they are supposed to be safe because of how soft they are for dogs to eat but I’ve always taken the bones out. Nurisource and whole earth farms run between $40 and $50 for 25 or 30 pound bag of food.

  • Deb

    I’m just on my second shipment from and I love having the food delivered(-: Of course the big 35 lb. bag of the dry Merrick was discontinued after my first order but they did send my 5 of the small bags for the same price this time until I figure out where I’m going. Great customer service. So would switching between the grain free and say the Merrick Classic dry or does it have to be all either grain free (now I’m reading about that can the littles get too much protein?) or grained? LOL, I wish they hadn’t quit the VF, my life was simpler then.

  • Ollie

    There is wag. com petflow. com and petco. com.

  • Deb

    I’d like to stay in the $40 range for a 35 to 40 lb. bag(-: I work full time and care for an invalid husband so I just don’t have a lot of time to mess with the dog food)-: I do give them carrots with their dry food and they always get veggies when I’m cutting them up and scrambled eggs and brown rice if we’re having it as a treat. So if I could find something they all could share (I’m thinking maybe grain free) and I could get delivered that would be a great blessing to us all(-:

  • Shawna

    Hi Deb,

    First — Ollie did a GREAT job with the replies!!!

    A different food may help the two big dogs but if they are only having symptoms in the “summer” it is likely more an environmental issue — maybe flea bite allergy. Even if you don’t find fleas on them, it can take just one bite to trigger a reaction.

    Like Ollie, I think rotation is the way to go. I have eight toy and small breed dogs including a 4 pound 16 year old blind Chihuahua, a 5 pound 9 year old Pom, a 5 pound 14 (from memory) pound Pom and so on. All of mine eat a variety of foods including raw, dehydrated, puppy appropriate leftovers, canned and three of the dogs get kibble. I buy a different brand and protein source of kibble with each small bag I buy (so it changes about every other week). This is really a much healthier way to feed our fur babies than feeding the same food for life.

    Adding canned, appropriate leftovers, raw or lightly cooked eggs, canned sardines etc improves the nutritional value of the whole diet and keeps pup excited about mealtime.

    The kibbles I feed my pups are Nature’s Variety Instinct (all flavors), Earthborn Primitive Naturals (all grain free options), Nature’s Logic, Merrick grain free once in a while, Orijen (all varieties) and a few others off and on.

    All pups can be on a 5 star food but research has demonstrated that, like Ollie suggests, senior dogs actually need MORE protein than adult dogs as they are not as efficient at digesting their foods therefore increasing the protein needs may be necessary. The actual amount of protein a senior needs is debatable and obviously dependent on the individual dog but if you feed a 4 or 5 star food and add species appropriate “toppers” you are very likely meeting those needs. Being outdoor dogs could increase their protein needs as well depending on the climate in your area.

  • Ollie

    Since im only suggesting the foods I’ve used you could check out the 4 and 5 star reviews to see other food that would work for your dogs.

  • Ollie

    With your big dogs the one with flaky skin I had the same problem with my mix breed . when i switch to Merrick it got so much better,his coat is so soft but it took awhile for it to happen. With the other one it could be grains, an ingredient( it took me 3 different foods to find out my mix breed was allergic to chicken he would chew himself so bad and scratch like crazy)or an intolerance to being on one food for a long period of time or maybe something else. I haven’t heard of the food you were feeding them and didn’t see a review for it on this site so I’m not sure what ingredients it had. I’ve only been on this site since may so others will be able to help you better, and they might suggest putting the older dogs on certain puppy food because it’s supposed to be better for older dogs. A few days ago I got castor and pollox grain free ultramix duck and so far no problems and both dogs love it so that could be another option for you. Again hope this was helpful to you.

  • Ollie

    Are you looking in a certain price range for food?

  • Deb

    Thanks for the reply(-: I have 2 chihuahuas (big sisters, 11 lb), one rescue maybe long hair chi/pom mix(10 lb). The two outside big dogs are rescues one is a lab/chow mix, 55 lb. and some kind of shephard/collie mix 50 lb. The big dogs sometimes seem like they have allergies, in the summer the shephard/collie mix gets to licking between her toes and licks them raw and the lab/chow mix gets very flaky The big ones are 9 and 7 and the sisters are 4 1/2, the newest one chi/pom mix is anywhere between 1 and 3 years old. I’ve always fed them Veterinarians’ Formula Active Adult that I got at the Vet’s office and they’ve done very well but they stopped carrying it so I’m branching out. Oh the size of this Merrick Whole Earth Farms Dry adult seems fine for the little dogs(-:

  • Ollie

    I have a Jack Russell and German shepherd-newfie- lab mix and have fed Merrick to both.earthborn holistic primitive kibble is smaller than Merrick so that could work for your small dogs. What breeds do you have? Me and others could suggest more food depending on your breed of dogs. Doany them have food allergies? I’ve also fed whole earth farms and vets choice to both. Others swear by rotating different dog foods because it’s better for them and I also do it now. Hope this helps you out and good luck.

  • Deb

    I’ve started my two big dogs on this Merrick Classic food, they seem to be doing well on it. I have 3 littles (12 lbs) and when I ran out of the Merrick Chicken Small Breed dry food I started them on at the same time (very stinky stools LOL) I started feeding them the Merrick Classic Dry Adult Dog food same as the big ones. They seemed to do well on it but maybe a little constipated. I think I’ll just put them all this. But I’ve never heard of switching up food before, is that really better for them?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Tonya Cotton,

    Visit this thread in the forum area of this site:

    This is where you’ll find lots of information (including a list of approved foods) regarding the need for slow controlled growth and controlled Calcium levels in large breed puppies.

    Here’s the link to the list of foods with appropriate Calcium levels for LBP’s:

  • Tonya Cotton

    I’m really needing a food with low calcium for my shepherds . They are going to fast and was told it wasn’t the protein but the calcium ?? Nothing is really mentioned in these foods about calcium ??

  • Ollie

    I just got my order and thankfully no rips or tears on dogs went nuts over smelling it and the little bit I gave them for a taste test but they are also not picky eaters.

  • Betsy Greer

    I’ve had cans get damaged from just about everywhere I’ve ordered them from. I suspect they’re just not easy to ship and especially when they’re shifting around with other stuff inside of a cardboard box.

    I did have a bag of Earthborn arrived with the seal on the bag blown open and the contents spilled out into the carton. I let Wag know and they immediately replaced it. The replacement arrived the same way. I let Wag know and they offered to replace it as well, but I said it wasn’t necessary. I’ll stick to buying Earthborn locally.

    I did email Earthborn to let them know as I feel like maybe if the bags aren’t zipped shut, they blow open in shipping if the seal breaks. It seems like the paper bags take more of a beating in shipping than foil.

  • InkedMarie

    I must be lucky. I just got four cases of canned from Chewy last week and got the same a month before that, no damaged cans. Same for the two bags of dry that came at a different time.

  • Ollie

    Thanks it would only last me a month between my 2 dogs.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You should at least let them know that their packaging was inadequate to the task of standing up to UPS. The only issue with ripped bags, IMO, is how long it will take you to use the bag. If you use it pretty quickly the food should still be fresh, but if it takes you a couple months to use a bag, you want to be doing everything to minimize oxygen getting to the food.

  • Ollie

    If it does come ripped should I send it back if its not horribly ripped? I ordered castor and pollox grain free ultramix because im doing a rotating diet.

  • Ollie

    As an amendment to my earlier post I’m only recommending Merrick grain free because you are interested in Merrick. I’ve feed both classic and grain free and didn’t have problems with either one but personally don’t want dog food with rice in it. Others recommend feeding grain free food and could explain why better than I could.

  • Betsy Greer

    You didn’t word it wrong. I knew what you meant. I just took some liberties with what you wrote. : )

  • Pattyvaughn

    I just got the most beat up box I have ever seen in my life from Wag. I’m sure it wasn’t that way when it left them, but UPS must have played football with it the whole way to my house.

  • Betsy Greer

    I know! I never had any luck shipping cans from anywhere – half of them would always end up damaged it seemed.

    I hope Caroline sees your post – she feeds her Great Dane half kibble and half THK. I use just a little on top of our kibble add water to the whole bowl – it takes the place of canned. I have done the cost analysis, but would venture a guess it runs less than canned in the long run.

    Maybe visit their site and pick up some trial sizes to see what you think.

    No pressure! LOL!!

  • Jourdyn

    I’m sorry, I worded that wrong. I use to ship my dog’s food. I just got her off the canned food, but when she was on it, the cases were always damaged. I also looked into the dehydrated foods, but it takes A LOT to feed a 125# Great Dane.

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Jourdyn,

    You might want to take a look at The Honest Kitchen dehydrated foods. I love to use them alone and in place of canned toppers. Just a spoonful on top of kibble, add hot water, stir and wait a few minutes. Dehydrated foods ship a whole lot better than cans, too. There are other dehydrated foods to choose from, but THK is my favorite. They’re fresher and less processed even than canned foods.

  • Jourdyn

    Ollie, I have used Chewy for my dog’s food. They have great prices, but they have a tendency to send me damaged cases of canned food and ripped bags of dry food.

  • InkedMarie

    Ollie already gave you the websites I would but I just want to say, you have the Internet so you have the ability to order ant food you’d like!

  • Ollie

    A lot of people on here order food online at, and Like other people I recommend a rotating diet of different foods. I just ordered food for the first time from chewy on Sunday and its going to be at my house tomorrow just to give you a time table for delivery. If you decide to order online try the Merrick grain free my dogs absolutely love it and i have the same problem as you, the nearest pet store to me is an hour away. Good luck.

  • RocketPossum

    I really wish we could have switched our dogs to this dog food but we live in a small town so it wasn’t easy for us to drive 2hrs every time we needed a new bag. We have them on natural balance which is good but our yorky and poodle loved merrik when we received free samples from a pet store where my parents live. The merrik would have been our first choice but our local pet store only carried the natural balance. Which is also good.

  • Pattyvaughn

    They are safe bones. They have been cooked in such a way as to make them soft and chewable. If you don’t feed the bones, you are throwing off the calcium balance in this food.

  • Donna Fox

    My husband brought home some of the Merrick canned food. I have had no problem with this food for the past 2 years, however, the “Wingaling” chicken canned food actually has chicken bones in the can. Beware. Don’t want any kids feeding them to their pets.

  • Penny’sMom

    Did you choose the grain free food? I was warned when I switched to grain free that my dog could start having loose stools or diarrhea.

  • Betsy Greer

    Excellent point Patty. I completely overlooked that!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Are you looking at the figures Dr Mike converted to dry matter? He has conversions for every food to dry matter so you can more easily and accurately compare foods. If you look at the yellow box where the dashboard display is, down at the bottom of the box is a small chart showing the guaranteed analysis(which should agree with the bag), the Dry Matter Basis(this is what it would be if moisture was 0% in the food and is used in the dashboard), and the calorie Weighted Basis(breakdown of what % of calories comes from what macronutrient).

    And I believe this was due for an update in December, so hopefully the update will appear any day

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Jim,

    It’s possible that the recipe changed since Dr. Mike’s most recent update. If you look back up toward the review, you’ll see a paragraph entitled “Notes and Updates,” and you’ll see the last date that the product review was updated.

    Dr. Mike keeps up with the reviews very well for doing this in his “spare time,” but products change pretty quickly at times.

  • jim

    We’re switching our schnauzer to another food. After perusing your site for several hours we focused on Merrick Classic All Breeds and Wellness Small Breed Complete Health Adult. When we got to the store the protein given on the package was less than your listing for both products. After checking the bag of our choice and finding it less than your listing we then checked the product listed as the one used for your evaluation — they were the same. Your listing says Merrick Classic All Breeds Beef, Barley and Carrot has 34% protein. The bag says 30%. For the Wellness Large Breed Complete Health Adult Formula, your listing says it has 28% protein. The bag says 22%.

    What accounts for these differences?

  • Fetchn

    she may have a problem with one of the other ingredients. Every dog is different. My dog couldn’t handle Salmon. Good luck.

  • InkedMarie

    Make sure you keep the UPC & ingredient panel from the *current* food bag; if your dog ever has an issue, you’ll need it.

    Everyone should do that!

  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s nice you hear that your dog is doing so well on Merrick, it’s a great food. However, she’s been eating the same food for three years? That’s a long time (it’s actually not very healthy for a dog to eat the same food for such a long period of time). I’d really urge you to consider trying some new foods. Maybe you could find some other comparable foods with zip top bags that you could rotate in on occasion – I know Annamaet, Pure Vita and Earthborn (probably more too) all have zipper bags.

  • Crazy4cats

    I also use clips on my bags, but I also then put them in a storage container with a lid. Good luck!

  • Matthew

    I’ve fed my dog nothing but Merrick from the day I brought her home from the hs. She is three years old this Christmas. About a year ago, I ran into someone with a dog that has to be a cousin or sister from another litter. Same look, similar markings and from the same hs shelter who had told me mine was from a family that has a litter or so each year they bring in after giving away the ones they can find homes for themselves. The interesting thing was that they feed theirs regular “quality” store brand like alpo…my girl’s coat was shiny, long and thick compared theirs….which is what brought up the discussion of food because they asked how I was able to get such a great look since they clearly were related.

    I do have one complaint with this food. When I began purchasing, they had a great ziploc feature that slid open and closed easily and provided a solid seal on the bag. Now there is no zipper and the seal on the bag NEVER holds together…it is as if it is the cheapest possible seal available and it just doesn’t work…they may as well not include one. I kept an old bag and transferred the food into it for awhile. Now I use clips like for potato chip bags to hold the top closed. If the food wasn’t what I want to keep feeding her, I would switch in a heartbeat because of this feature…and when I have to get another “best friend” I will look at other 5 star foods to see if any still use the zip type seal.

  • Pattyvaughn

    I can understand not wanting to use it, but maybe giving the coupon to a local shelter would help them out.

  • star

    YES! this recently happened to me, too. I contacted the company and they sent me a coupon for a free bag…though, I’m hesitant to cash it in. Not sure I want to stick with this company.

  • Kelly Shaffer

    I’ve recently tried Merrick brand dog food for my lab who was on Purina brand dog food. She chews and licks her paws and itches constantly so i did the switch to a grain free dog food. I love everything about Merrick brand. My issue is after slowly transitioning my dog over to this food..once she was completely on it she has violent bowel movements. Very loose stools and gas. 🙁 . I stopped giving her the food and gave her relief with a boiled chicken and rice diet to firm up her stools (going to try pureed pumpkin) and once she got better I reintroduced the Merrick chicken grain free. I did it gradually and she seemed fine. Once she was completely on the food she began to get the runs again. Same way. I now have begun to continue with chicken and rice/pumpkin for relief. I’m at a loss now. I’ve spend a lot of $$ on a brand new bag. I want her on this food but why does she have diarrhea with it?? Can you give me advice before I have to go to the vet?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Vomitting dark brown liquid on an empty stomach would have my panic button pushed! I don’t want to be alarmist, but bile should be yellow. Dark brown suggests blood to me. I would really want to get to the bottom of that one.

  • Lucy

    Nice site. I see one mention of vomiting associated(?) with Merrick Classic w/ lamb, so presume it’s not observed much. Our active heeler mix seems to vomit dark brown liquid a bit more than “usual” with Merrick Classic beef or lamb, typically middle of the night on a nearly empty stomach (~once per 7-10 days). She readily eats the food at mealtimes with no significant gas issues. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I wouldn’t leave it out any longer than a couple hours.

  • Angie Donohue

    how long can I keep the can dog food out
    in the bowl

  • April’sMama

    Yes Ollie, they are all from here. I just read this last night.

    I have been doing research on dog food for a little over a month & am still finding out new things about it everyday. I sat on my laptop one night trying to keep the tears out of my eyes so that I could see the screen while watching the rendering videos. My boyfriend does most of our shopping after work so he chose Ol’ Roy for them because it said “Complete Nutrition” on the label. I was unaware that they weren’t supposed to have soy, wheat or corn. And on “that” label, the 1st ingredient is corn. I felt so stupid that I have been so ignorant to the fact that I was more or less “abusing” my own animals this whole time, by feeding them that stuff. But, they are all still with me. I had to run out & get them something different today @ Walmart & I chose the best thing there, which was Natural Balance, but I just read on another thread of The Food Advisor that someone’s dog is now in the hosp. with liver problems now due to what her vet said was her feeding her dog NB. Her food expired in March 2013 & this bag doesn’t expire until Dec. 2014. So I am hoping they will be okay for a few days until I find something else or can transition it with something else. I am praying so. Before I buy anymore food @ Walmart, I will go to Walmart & get my dogs some meat, veggies & fruit & make them something myself.
    Here, I am signing petitions constantly to help stop animal abuser & still sign some for horse slaughter & am on the hunt for better food for my dogs, eventually for my cats also.
    But, I am wanting to see if there may be a good dog food that doesn’t contain the 5Ds that I can add to Merrick, if I start them on it, so that it lasts longer, so the expense isn’t so high. I have a German Shepard Mix, a Red Heeler Mix, who is a little bit chubby & a large Pom.
    I understand that cat food is a whole different ball game, as they have completely different needs & there is no Food Advisor for cats yet, which will make it alot harder.
    Thank goodness horses don’t eat meat.
    We have 3 dogs, 3 cats & 3 horses & need to feed them all, but am hoping I am able to make better decisions on my inside critters’ foods since I know more.
    It is hard to be a pet owner knowing that all of the kinds of animals that I have are being eaten by my dogs right now! But, when it comes to nutrition, theirs comes before mine.
    Any suggestions on dog or cat food would be helpful from anyone who cares to share their advice with me. I go through alot of paper towels, Nature’s Miracle & Odoban having to clean up “waterfalls”
    from about 4′ high (as I have to feed my one cat wet food from her “perch” on her cat tree due to the fact she had a bone disorder when she was young & I had to have all of her teeth removed) & hairballs from all 3, every few days!
    Thanks. And Ollie, I hope that PDF eases your mind. 🙂

  • InkedMarie

    Yay, lol!

  • Storm’s Mom

    A definite “yay”. One of my favourites!! ..and a staple in my rotation 🙂 My guy has had several NL formulae and has done great on each one. Hope your dog does well on it, too…good luck!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    Nature’s Logic does have millet, which is a pseudograin, not associated with all the problems with grain. I just ordered their venison and some day I’ll try the duck and salmon too. Let us know on the Nature’s Logic thread how your dog does on it.

  • Gina

    I think i have decided to try nature’s Logic Duck and Salmon. No grain, no peas, no beef. Any yays or nays?

  • Gina

    Not sure about the grain intolerance, so probably no. I see that the merrick Lamb also has peas. he was on this prior to the beef but has more gas now than ever. With the 4 Health performance, (no peas but does have barley) I don’t think gas was a huge problem but I wanted to go to a higher rated food so went to the merrick and he ate it around the 4health. So I think a high quality no grain (rice ok), no pea, no beef food might be worth a try? Looks like ALL the Merrick are full of peas! thank you

  • Pattyvaughn

    Has he ever shown any signs of grain intolerance? If not, then I would say it’s the peas, but if he has a grain intolerance then it is definitely the grain. I would have sworn my grain intolerant dog was going to launch to the moon before we figured out what to do to help him.

  • Gina

    I went to the beef version of Merrick from the lamb and my golden definitely has bad gas now. He was ok on the lamb but sometimes vomiting. He loves the Merrick over his previous 4health performance (no gas on that) – he will eat around the other kibble to get the Merrick. I wonder if the beef version which contains some grains and peas is causing gas – I hear peas can do that. it has barley and oats. so frustrating! I always switch over slowly. Thanks for any ideas.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If it was red yeast, the yeast wouldn’t be from the food it would just be from the dog’s skin. However if the the straining only began after switching from a grain-free to a grain-inclusive, I would be more apt to assume the issue is dietary. Going back to a grain-free diet would be worth a shot in my opinion.

  • 4leggedride

    I have not spoken to the vet about it as yet, since it occurred simultaneously to the food change. In looking back over the foods we have fed her, I feel this is a result of the Merrick, most likely, as the classic includes grains. This would be the first time in a long time that she has gotten grains, although she was on Royal Canine urinary s/o for a short time during some of the uti’s (but oddly, that never affected the tearing or staining). I am going to switch over to either Brothers or Fromm, and see what happens. Or perhaps the Merrick grain free. Thank you so much for the info Hound Dog Mom!! I got more from you, than any website I could find (which is why I wrote)! Is the red yeast something that would show up in an ingredient list, perhaps under a different name?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The “rust” colored staining is a result of a reaction between the dog’s tears and a form of red yeast called Ptyrosporin. The excessive tearing is a condition called epiphora. There are many conditions that could result in epiphora – eye irritation, abnormal drainage, glaucoma, entropion, ectropion, KCS, a corneal injury, etc. etc. It can also be a result of diet – such as if the dog is sensitive to an ingredient in the food. Did this start soon after you switched to Merrick and Weruva? Have you spoken to your vet about this?

  • 4leggedride

    We recently switched our little poodle-mix over to Merrick Classic beef/barley/carrot dry, and Weruva variety canned pack. The Weruva variety includes the kobe beef and the organic turkey varieties (which, by the way, seem very high in fat). We are suddenly seeing major rusty tear stains, something we have never had a problem with before. Thoughts? We have to be pretty careful about what we feed our little girl, as she has had some pretty severe health problems (inflammatory brain syndrome, and multiple UTI’s, most likely from being on periodic immune suppressors).

  • mommadog1

    Never heard of it… But my dogs are doing wonderful on the Merrick and i will keep feeding it. I looked at the label and saw nothing about it being radiated. They really love the food and eat less, and poo less since I have had them on it. The last bag I bought is almost gone and I bought it a month ago. I have 5 dogs eating this too, so it goes a long way! 🙂 No more upset tummies with this food. As far as treats my dogs only get a treat at bed time. My cocker suzie runs to her crate when it’s bed time and waits for her treat 😉 The little dogs get a small bit of a treat, i break them up. They are small treats anyhow and very yummy smelling, all natural beef jerky (very soft). I smell it and it makes me hungry..LOL

  • Dorrie

    Being processed by applying radiation to it. It is done to some of our food too to preserve it.

  • Dorrie

    Why isn’t it legimate to post that information here? He/She has to post for all brands to meet your standards? Not so.

  • Dorrie

    Not with any dog or cat food.

  • Antonius Hans Ng

    you should slowly mix the dog food.
    dog do need some transition when u change the food!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    That is usually a warehouse/storage problem rather than a manufacturing problem. Take it back.

  • anon

    I recently got the Merrick Classic Small Breed Chicken, Brown Rice and Green Pea and I found some worms inside. Anyone else has the same problem?

  • Pingback: Dog Food? - Page 2()

  • Robert

    I changed my dog from blue wilderness to Merrick classic puppy chicken and brown rice and she is doing much better.

  • Nick

    this food cleared my hounds skin right up. He’s on the lamb. It seems to be a good dog food

  • JimO

    The majority of dog food companies out there put some kind of “natural flavoring” in their foods. Given this is common practice, I’m not sure why you are singling out Merrick in particular. You clearly have an agenda against them.

  • Storm’s Mom

    The issue is far more likely to be your dog than any dog food. Try adding digestive enzymes and probiotics to your dogs food, to help her digest ANY food properly.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Just because your dog didn’t do well on it doesn’t mean it’s a bad food. All dogs are different, just like people. Many dogs do well on this food.

  • Miss Cedarbridge

    my dog tried Merrick dog food and it just made her stool wet and watery this brand of dog food isn’t what people should feed they dogs

  • Read online

    Merrick dog food is yet another dog food that hides MSG (Monosodium Glutamate) under the words `natural’ on the ingredients label. “Natural Chicken Flavor” contains MSG, but neither Merrick–nor any other human or dog food company–has to admit it has MSG because: The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) only requires companies to admit MSG is there is 99% or more MSG in the additive. So, 98% MSG can be hidden under “natural flavors”. And remember: arsenic and human feces are `natural’ so the word `natural’ on any label should be a clue the manufacturer is hiding something. (A human food example is the word `broth’ on tuna fish cans: broth contains MSG).

    Everyone has heard about headaches as a result of ingesting MSG, but it turns out MSG is far more dangerous than just the occasional headache. Glutamate has a central role in obesity, heart disease, cancer, autism, neurodegenerative diseases, infertility, diabetes, depression and other mood & learning disorders–all of which have reached epidemic proportions. To see an interview with Dr Russell Blaylock, MD (neurosurgeon, retired) about the devastating effects of MSG, go to youtube and type ‘excitoxoins Blaylock’ in search window).

    Disguised names for MSG include: Flavors, natural flavors, seasonings, broth, amino acids, glutamic acid, yeast extract, gelatin, Anything `hydrolyzed’, hydrolyzed protein, `anything’ protein (ex. tomato/pea/etc protein), Calcium caseinate, Sodium caseinate, yeast food, yeast nutrient , autolyzed yeast, spices, gelatin, barley malt, maltodextrin, textured protein, soy sauce, soy protein, soy protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, whey protein, whey protein concentrate/isolate, stock, chicken flavoring, bouillon, broth, carageenan, tapioca starch extract, condensed milk, powdered milk, enzymes.

    Do you really want your dog eating something Merrick hides to trick your dog into eating more than they otherwise would (which is what MSG does), making your dog obese and sick? Write or call Merrick and tell them you are on to their tricks. And find another dog food brand to buy that doesn’t have any of the trick words above. Vote with your pocketbook. And protect yourself and your pets from this toxic stuff.

  • Akari_32

    Oh, duuuuh LOL Thanks!

  • Storm’s Mom

    The Whole Earth Farms review and discussion area is here:

  • Akari_32

    The Merrick Classic (found it after I posted) is extremely expensive here, I guess :/ twice as much for the same sized bags.

    Out of curiosity, I’d like to hear any thoughts on the Whole Earth Farms, and an approximate rating. I’ve not seen it before now.

  • Storm’s Mom

    No, Whole Earth Farms is a sub-brand of Merrick – it’s their “value” brand. It is of much lower quality than Merrick Classic. I would definitely go with Merrick Classic over Whole Earth Farms.

  • Akari_32

    Is Merrick Classic the same line Petco has labeled as Merrick Whole Earth Farms?

  • Corso love

    About 6-7 week I adopted a puppy and his stool has never been consistent. He’s roughly six months old and I have been feeding him chicken soup for puppy. I recently found they’ve had a lot of recalls regarding salmonella. I am looking to switch to merrick, any suggestions for which is good for a puppy?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Hi Betsy
    I’m not brave like Losul. I make my judgements based on how my picky dog responds. And he goobles it up.

  • InkedMarie

    I got a free can of that quite a few years ago, was very surprised to see bones!

  • mommadog1

    Their grain free smothered comfort also has bones, it is made with thighs. And I can’t remember, but pretty sure it says it has bones in it on the can, I know it did the first time I bought it.

  • mommadog1

    When I have bought it, it never had that much bones, so I am gonna guess that was more than one can those bones came from.

  • mommadog1

    I have fed it to my dogs before and as far as I know they have always made it with the bones. They were doing it at least 8 years ago (approx) because that is when I first fed it to my momma dogs when I was breeding. I always added it to their food, and they loved, loved loved it..hehe 😉

  • Betsy Greer

    After seeing all those yummy bones that were apparently in just one can, I’m excited for my guys to try it! : )

  • Betsy Greer

    Great to find something that’s working so well for so many dogs!

  • mommadog1

    what kind of digestive enzymes? I have some Probiotics in the fridge I have given them before that i can give them again. i don’t know much about digestive enzymes.. Thanks 🙂

  • Storm’s Mom

    Try adding probiotics and digestive enzymes to their food. They usually help to firm up stool and keep it that way!

  • This is not a surprise. They are putting bones in the recipe on purpose. It says so on the can, too, I think. And this is from their website:

    “A NOTE FROM OUR CHEF: Our slow cooked whole chicken wings offer marinated tender chicken cooked on a softened bone. This special cooking process makes the bone mushy and safe for your dog to enjoy. Feel free to serve whole or to break apart the chicken and soft bones for ease of pet consumption.”

    Bones are great!! Try giving a raw meaty bone (RMB) a couple times a week. It really helps to clean their teeth. I haven’t had a dental done on my dogs for 2 or 3 years.

  • mommadog1

    Thank you Merrick!!! Finally, after trying kibble after kibble we have finally found one that is working for all 7 of our dogs! None of my dogs are picky either.

    I have 3 cocker spaniels that from the day I brought them home from the breeder they had horrible soft, often runny, smelly poo and they pooped A LOT! They always acted hungry too. And always itching like mad.

    After months of research and trying new top quality foods I was about to pull my hair out. I kept coming back to Merrick in my search and finally decided to give it a try.

    They were doing “OK” on the Holistic Select Duck but I really wanted them to have more protein and their poo was still not consistent, better, but not good enough. And after a couple of months on that they started itching again.

    I got the Merrick Classic All Breeds Beef, Barley and Carrot formula. I personally want some grain and this has very little, but very good grains. Grain free we tried before made their poo super runny.

    We are still on our first 30lb bag of the Merrick because we are still mixing with their old stuff. I wanted to make the transition slow because my cockers are just to sensitive to changing their food. And I still have quite a bit of the Holistic select left and don’t want to waste it 😉

    They have been on it a couple of weeks now and are eating mostly the Merrick, about 90%. And I am already seeing a big difference. Within a few days they stools became formed and harder, more normal color, etc.. Their coats look and feel like silk (coats weren’t bad before on the holistic select) and this last week they are hardly itching at all.

    After this week we will be 100% Merrick. So crossing my fingers, but I am so glad I finally tried this one.

  • Betsy Greer

    OK, Patty, I know this post is old…, but I’m just reading this and noticed you said it was “very good.” Did you try it? ; )

  • Betsy Greer

    I’m still trying to figure out this picture. Was that all in one can? My dogs are salivating! I’m headed to pick up a couple of things tomorrow and am going to treat my two to a couple of cans of Wing a Ling.

    I’ve never bought a can of it, but it must say on the can that it contains bone. Here’s some information from their website about this specific product that says it specifically contains bone that is completely safe and digestible:

  • mommadog1

    LOL no kidding! And my cockers do not need any more energy, LOL but they have almost completely stopped itching and their poo is perfect finally!

  • mommadog1

    AWESOME food! I have tried so many now I have lost count. I started my dogs on this 2 weeks ago and they are doing great, finally!!! I saw a difference within just a few days. Give it a try.

  • mommadog1

    Oh that is as safe as can be. The bones are so soft you can smash them with a fork or as togram said, your fingers 😉

    I see a lot of people freak out about finding bones in their canned. It is really safe, honest! And they love it, and it is very good for them. Even my dog who had 11 teeth pulled can eat it…

  • mommadog1

    What does radiated mean, and where did you get this information? Thanks

  • Joe

    My golden is the pickiest eater on the face of the earth. We’ve been trying different foods to see if we can get some sort of response. Gave him a bowl of the real texas beef and sweet patatoe recipe. HE LOVED IT! This is a huge deal for me because come hunting season which starts next week I need him to be full of energy. The food is $50 for a big bag, pretty expensive, but hey if he likes it and he’ll eat it, that’s $50 dollars well spent.

  • Adrienne

    Regarding the Merrick, dehydrated dog treats. Be sure to look at the label. Some of them have been radiated. I personally will not feed my dogs anything which has been radiated. Just an FYI. Not saying the food or treats are bad, but a lot of times people do not read the fine print.

  • ShibaGirl

    I love the Merrick food! When I got my Shiba at 3.5 years old, I was told she would eat just about anything, but I wanted her on a healthier diet than just anything. I was recommended to try Blue Buffalo, but she turned her nose at it and didn’t eat for two days, at which point I knew I had to get something different. I read the labels at my local Petco and saw all the good ingredients in the Merrick and she LOVES it! She ate all the food I put in her bowl the first time I got it for her. I got the Buffalo and Sweet Potato recipe, and it’s great, she is excited to eat, and is so much more regular with her movements than she was when I first got her. I would totally recommend it for anyone. It seems like a great food, and it’s not too terribly expensive, which is great.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are correct as far as I last heard. They are made in a human kitchen. As soon as you take the human grade ingredients to a dog food kitchen, it is no longer human grade because different rules for cleanliness and food handling apply.

  • InkedMarie

    Unless something has changed, it can’t be labeled human grade, can it? Far as I know, it’s just THK and Weruva.

  • Pattyvaughn

    No, the canned food is not rated for human consumption, but it is made out of human grade ingredients and is very good.

  • togram

    it was a little disconcerting when I first saw the bones, however, they have been prepared is such a way as too not be dangerous. If you squeeze the bones between your index finger and thumb they will crumble, not splinter. No worries.

  • togram

    Merrick is the best of the five star foods that you can feed your dog. I feed both dry and canned to my two Jack Russell’s. Their coats are beautiful and they have energy to burn. The canned dog food is so good it is rated for human consumption. I feed the grain free variety. It is so good, they will do the tricks that we have taught them for a kibble reward!

  • ollie

    oh forgot to add this food is high in protein so that should give your dog more energy.

  • ollie

    YES I have a newfie/shepherd/lab mix(with the newfie coat and when I switched to Merrick his coat improved immensely and its much softer now.

  • Pattyvaughn

    They are pressure cooked and are no harder than chalk. They are an excellent source of calcium and other bioavailable minerals.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    There are supposed to be chicken bones in it – they’re cooked in such a way that they’re soft and won’t splinter.

  • Nini Schouborg

    YIKES just found real chicken bones in the recipe WINGALING (see pic) will not be buying this brand anymore, very dangerous. I think others should know

  • castev

    This is a GREAT food for my Golden (5years old). She gets 1 can and 1.5 cups dry (total) a day. Good luck Claudia. I got the recommendation from a friend’s sister who is a vet tech. She feeds her dogs this.

  • Claudia

    Please advice me if this food is good for my golden retriever, some lady at Petco told me it was the best the had. My dog is not picky but he sheds a lot and eats little, doesn’t seem to have enough energy. I want him to be healthy, less shedding and more energy. Is this the right food for him?


    Totally agree. I found my dog looked amazing with Blue Buffalo….shiny coat, bright eyes, great muscle tone, but he would wait to eat it until he was really hungry and didn’t have a choice. I did some research and found Merrick was rated higher than Blue Buffalo and is comparably priced. I went and got some, put Blue on one side of his bowl and Merrick on the other and he dove into the Merrick, then
    ate the Blue. I then put a little more Blue in his bowl after he ate to see if he would eat it and he didn’t, dumped that out and gave him a little more Merrick and he scarfed it. I am so happy I found a food that is so good for him and that he really likes.

  • JT Kansas

    I started looking for a new dog food about a month ago because a Boxer who adopted us would vomit every day. I tried many different sensitive stomach dog foods and nothing helped. He then started shedding extremely bad (more so than normal). After some research, I learned that many other dog foods contain ingredients that he may be allergic to.

    After two hours in Petco reading each label and with the information in hand of what NOT to have in his dog food- I found Merrick. At first, he wouldn’t eat it so I mixed it with Merrick canned food and he ate it right up. That day, no more vomiting and within in two days the shedding completely stopped. He hasn’t vomited since and I no longer have to mix the canned food in- he loves it!

    It is a bit pricey but worth it if he is not sick everyday, I am not having to clean up vomit several times a day and I no longer have to vacuum my couch daily!

    I highly recommend!

  • Loralei

    My beagle absolutely loves this food. We inherited her from a family member that passed away and had previously only eaten human food and was about 10 lbs overweight with lots of dandruff and dull skin. She refused to eat any dry food at all until we tried this brand, and she actually loves it so much that we can give it to her as a treat. My dog has lost weight as a result of eating higher quality food, her coat is shiny, her skin is pink, and she’s happier and healthier overall. We feed her a days portion in two feedings, with a small topper of Merrick’s Wing-A-Ling (another of her favorites) once a day. This food has been amazing for her and our family.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I agree that it’s likely impossible to source all vitamin/minerals from the US. I think companies get around this by sourcing vitamins/minerals from suppliers based in the US but these suppliers have sourced the vitamins/minerals from elsewhere.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    When was Blue and NB recalled at the same time? Blue has not been recalled since 2010.

  • spidrmines

    I think it is virtually impossible to get all the vitamins and minerals from the US, but my understanding is that all their other ingredients are US with exception of New Zealand lamb (pretty standard). Their printed materials all say guaranteed no ingredients from China (including vitamins and minerals) – so yes, they are China Free.

  • spidrmines

    Working at a pet supply store, I will tell you that each time Natural Balance was recalled, so was Blue – they’re both co-packed by Diamond (Solid Gold, Taste of the Wild, Chicken Soup, Wellness, and a few others were part of those Diamond recalls as well). Merrick owns their own facilities and from what I’ve heard are actually the only manufacturer that operates both an Organic certified Dry plant and Organic certified Cannery.

  • Luckydog

    You can read my new post but I just wanted to tell you my dog LOVES the taste of Merrick over any of the Blue foods. Both seems fine for nutrition from what I’ve read but in taste, Merrick is tons better in my opinon. I feed one third BLue the lower protein one with turkey and two thirds Merrick Chicken rice and peas and she is happy about dinner time again. It is sold at Petco and not as expensive as Orijen but about the same price as Blue.

  • Luckydog

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this dog food!! My dogs used to eat Candidae but one dog had a seizure so just to be safe I wanted to switch dog foods. So then I tried Solid gold and unfortunately that evening my favorite dog had what’s called “stomach flip” and died. It was probably more related to her drinking too much water and the breed she is and it probably could have happened anyway but the Solid Gold tended also to seem to absorb lots of water and swell up more than the other kinds. So anyway to make a long story short I was VERY frustrated and picking a dog food became a big deal. So I tried BLUE but the higher protein content upset another one of my dogs stomachs and she had gas so then I tried Blue lower protein ones and she was fine but stopped being excited for dinner and actually seemed to hate the taste of it. So then I researched and found Merrick Chicken and rice and peas and she just LOVES this stuff. She barks at dinner time again and gets super excited to eat it. I still use the Blue lower protein one but give her about one third of that and two thirds of Merrick’s just so I feel I’m covering all her nutritional bases. I like that Merrick is made in small batches and in the U.S. also. I’m so happy I found it! Worth every penny to me after all I’ve been through with seizures and dogs dying, etc. I found Merrick right at Petco and think they should advertise comparing themselves to Blue and would get tons of people, especially on the taste test area! Thanks Merrick!

  • Sheila Ward

    You really need to curb your hostility towards people who obviously have good intentions. These people do not strike me as “know it alls”. They’re simply trying to share information they hope might be helpful to you.

  • Sheila Ward

    You have some valid points, but you needn’t be so harsh with people. After all, sometimes it really does have something to do with the food when dogs or cats suddenly refuse to eat a brand they’ve been fed for quite some time. Recalls often grow out of these very situations. Thanks!

  • Sheila Ward

    I’ve been trying Herrick Classic for about a month. But, I have six rescues and I don’t know how long I can afford this brand. I feed about 5 lb. a day. I have been using Kirkland, but they are now refusing to eat this brand. I worry about all the recalls I’m seeing, even with Blue Buffalo. If they’ve stopped liking Kirkland Dry, I feel they must know something I don’t know about this food (expiration 4/2013). They seem to enjoy Merrick and I can feed them a little less. I’ve decided to go with the “Sweet Potato” varieties because I am concerned about the arsenic issue with regard to rice. I have 2 SmArtass, 1 Pit, 1 Shar-Pie mix, 1 Rat Terrier Mix and 1 Corgi/Doxi mix. Ages vary from 2 almost 11. They all enjoy the Merrick. Latest news from the Health Ranger says there have now been 300 complaints about Pedigree Dog Food, including several deaths. Pedigree has still not posted recall. Also, I understand that if a product is made in America, it does not have to state this fact, however, if it’s made out of the U.S., this must be stated on the packaging. God bless!

  • Jesse Lemos

    My golden retriever will not eat this food. The Beef flavor is the one i am speaking of. Anybody else have this problem?

  • Eleanor’s Food Supplier

    I know this was posted awhile ago, but I just recently switched my greyhound to Blue Buffalo, recommended by her vet. It has mostly been good for her (she needed high protein because her science diet was not curbing her appetite at all). The problem? HORRIFIC gas. Her coat, energy, poops, etc is fine, but her gas can clear out rooms! I’m on my way to the pet store now to get some Merrick, hopefully this will solve her embarrassing little problem….

  • Ashley

    I love this dog food but more importantly my German Shepherd does too. We had her on Blue Buffalo (grain free) for about 6 months and she would vomit a few times a week. I kept giving her rice & beef/chicken until she felt better but then put her back on the Blue Buffalo and the vomiting would continue. She also never wanted to eat right away so I would add some wet food to it. Once we switched her to the Classic Merrick she eats right away and seems to enjoy it. She hasn’t thrown up once and has been on it for about a month now. We’re very pleased with this product!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m glad you found something that works for your boy!!

  • Jason

    I rescued a 11 month old malamute/artic wolf hybrid from a local shelter 9 months ago, was found in an evicted apartment that was recently fumigated, history of siezures- possibly idiopathic epilepsy and the shelter out of humane reason was going to put this pup down. I knew I was biting off a lot and I had a heck of a time with stomach irritations at first as he had a little gastritis in the mornings if he didn’t have alittle food right before bed. Let me tell you, after 5 different “above average” dog brands that kept him continue to vomit daily, I LUCKILY was referred to Merrick by a new Vet. Night and Day difference in behavior, coat, activity level, and companionship. I could NOT have any more gratitude like I do for a company like Merrick that actually is a good example of the old adage “You get what you pay for.” I will forever be in there debt for having such a well balanced formula dog food. With there help, I found my best friend. What more could you ask for.

  • Kathy

    I did not know about Merrick and had my sensitive stomach/IBD collie was having bad reactions to the new Nutro formula for sensitive stomachs. He’d been on Natural Balance for a couple of years, but it wasn’t helping much. Nutro really worked and I was loathe to let go. But Pat was throwing up every morning. The guy at Petco told me about Merrick, and I chose the chicken with rice and oatmeal — all three items seemed to have been important in my dog’s turnaround. He loves the food and can’t wait to dive in. One of my cats steals a piece every now and then! Merrick, you saved my sanity and my dog!

  • Synthetrix

    I feed both my dogs, (Frenchie mix & Chihuahua) the Classic Dry Beef, Carrot, Barley. The pieces are small enough for the little guy. They have consistent stools with it and seem to enjoy it.

  • Flossie

    “Like just about all the know it all on these sites you think I’m someone that knows nothing about dogs sorry to disappoint but I know a lot more than the fad followers or the poor people that get caught up in the drama.” “So Thanks but no thanks for your information I already knew all of it and didn’t ask for help.”

    Wow, why so rude? What made you so angry? What “drama” are you referring to?

  • Hanley Stephanie

    what type of dog do you have?????

  • Guest

    hi bully,
    what type of dog do u have?

  • Creekwalker

    Yes, you are right. I had found the whole chicken wings in a can too and called Merrick. They told me that they pressure cook them so that the bones are soft and do not cause problems.

  • Creekwalker

    One more thing though, you really have to watch how much you feed them as it’s easier for them to gain weight on it. But once you’ve adjusted it, they will do great!

  • Creekwalker

    My dogs LOVE Merrick! I switched them to it about 2 or 3 years ago. I have a Boxer age 8, a Lab mix age 11, and a Shar Pei/Boxer mix who is age 1. My Boxer has always has stomach issues and loose stools all her life and has always been picky about her food, not wanting it, etc. until I switched to Merrick. She absolutely loves the stuff and starts eating while I am still filling up her bowl. Her bowel and stomach issues are totally gone. All of them love their food and they all are doing great on it. They get the Chicken and Green Pea formula. My 11 year old lab mix can still run and play like a puppy. I wish I had found this food years ago. I still have to order it online as there are no stores close who sell it, but it’s worth it to me.

  • BullyLuv

    They haven’t been into any of that. My dogs all 5 are totally vetted no mites only common allergies that just about every bully breed has. They hate seafood dog food by the way, I’ve been down all those roads I’m no first timer not even second or third I’m far down the road from that. Like just about all the know it all on these sites you think I’m someone that knows nothing about dogs sorry to disappoint but I know a lot more than the fad followers or the poor people that get caught up in the drama when they just want real information on their dog. You see I refuse to use those things in their yard and don’t take them to places that do. I take their health and well being very seriously. I also live in Southern Arizona you don’t have fleas here on your dogs so no need to put poison on them or in them also no swamps. I’ve work at a groomers so I never over bathe my dogs and only use great shampoo when I do. I only use heartworm preventatives due to Katrina dogs bringing a very small amount of heartworm infections to my area just to be sure my dogs are safe even though they are inside at night. I also know how to switch foods I’m not a fool I have canned pumpkin (w/o spices) always on hand. I only wrote a comment due to all the bad information, Fads, and Drama I read on these sites. To all you new people looking for information just ignore the fads and drama. If you do there is some useful information out there you just have to wade through to find it. So Thanks but no thanks for your information I already knew all of it and didn’t ask for help. My dogs don’t have “health issues” they have allergies and I know how to care for them its not the end of the world. They will continue to be pampered family members just eating a different food is all. No worries I always do what is best for my dogs. I spend hours on research for anything to do with them you see, also why I commented about all the fads and drama I’ve read it all and its all BS.

  • Bob K

    BullyLuv – If I had 5 dogs with health issues, I would take a couple to my vet for a diagnosis it could be lots of things besides diet. Dogs can get into fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, swamp water to name a few. How often is the dog bathed with what? What about Flea and tick medications? Demodex, Skin Mites? I always like seafood diets for dogs with allergy issues, remember to transition slowly.

  • BullyLuv

    I’ve been feeding Merrick Classic Lamb to all 5 of my dogs for over a year, in the last 2-3 months I’ve noticed they have very flaky skin, dry, and itchy. They lick and chew their feet/legs. Does this mean Merrick changed the formula added something new? Took away something? no it doesn’t. Does this mean its a “bad” food for dogs? no it doesn’t. It means that it doesn’t work for my dogs anymore and that’s all. I see a lot of people complaining about this or that dog food makes my dog sick etc. When really all that has happened is your dogs biology has changed allergies get worse for many reasons. Spring pollen blooming can put them over the edge. Stop blaming the dog food for every little thing most of the time its your dog that has changed not the food. The small amount of chicken in this food is enough at this time to put my dogs allergies over the edge is all. I will be feeding a chicken free brand now. Stop falling for all the hype and fads. Feed whatever brand keeps your dog healthy and happy, high protein or lower, grain free or not grain free doesn’t matter the fact is dogs have lived with humans for thousands of years eating the same food as us. They are so far from what a wolf eats as the moon is from the Earth. Dogs are not wolves I know many like the idea of wild animals but domestic dogs are so far from “wild” its sad people fall for that crap. They are Dogs the closest wild animal with the same diet would be a bear not a wolf. Unless you have a hybrid wolf/dog or draft breed (husky, etc.) they don’t need an all meat diet even wild wolves don’t eat only meat they make a kill 1-2 times a week the rest of the time its plants and poop they live on. Yes its natural for wolves to eat their poop its a meat source for them when they can’t get a kill. So anyway yes I will stop using a 5 star brand of dog food because my dogs allergies have become more sensitive not because the food made them sick. What makes me sick is all of the people that follow one fad after another then attack other people for not joining the crowd. Do I research all brands of dog food yes and what do I find idiots following a fad and attacking other people for not following it. Get over yourselves what works for one may not work for another that’s life. I don’t feed grain free because it makes my dogs sick. Grain Free doesn’t work for my dogs it may be great for others but not mine. Mine need some healthy grain in their food its a fact. It doesn’t make me a bad person or pet owner. I tried all the top grain free foods and none agree with my dogs so I will feed some healthy grains to mine. They do have a chicken, corn, wheat, and soy allergies other grains are fine so I don’t feed any of those that’s all there is to it. Stop attacking people we want a review of the dog food brand not some fad following fool attacking one person after another because they don’t do it their way. Sorry but the majority of the “reviews” are not even about the brand of dog food. People want to read about that brand not about whatever YOU use for your dog(s). Unless its the brand being reviewed! I want facts not endless rants about this or that.

  • robinsreply

    Currently feeding my dogs (9 year old Great Dane and 2 Frenchie, 10 & 7) Precise Sensicare. The Frenchies love it but the Dane whines the whole time she eats. My dog don’t have any skin issues, I feed them this to avoid the problem! I won’t feed them grain free – too rich. I would prefer to feed them the same dog food. I tried California Natural which the Dane loved but I won’t buy it again because of recalls. Now I’m not sure what to do…..any suggestions?

  • Theresa G

    Thanks i think ill give merrick a shot as it had the best reviews for the most part, see how they do and go from there, thanks 🙂

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hmm, all of those options are pretty good quality ..I’ve only tried 1 Merrick – the Merrick Classic Real Beef with Barley & Carrot (wasn’t too thrilled with my guy’s “output”) – and a couple of the Nature’s Variety Instinct kibbles (not Prairie). My guy did great on Nature’s Variety Instinct. It’s part of my rotation now.

    To be honest, you’re working totally in the unknown right now as far as how your pug might do on anything, so you might has well just try him on the best grain-free food you can to start, and just see how he does. Grains are among the most inflammatory foods for a dog, and they don’t need them. I would try grain-free first, and go from there. You might be surprised! Although, it is important to keep in mind that, because he has been on the same kibble for so long, he might not do well immediately regardless of the food you choose. It might get worse before it gets better. This is normal, common, and expected.

  • Theresa G

    our local pet stores have Merrick, Natures Variety, solid gold, wellness, innova and avoderm ive been thinking about going to merrick because its supposed to be super palatable, i was thinking of grain free but i was told that the pug wouldnt be able to digest all of the proteins. so i was thinking maybe the normal merrick chicken but im still on the fence ive heard mixed reviews for NV Prairie which was my second choice

  • Storm’s Mom

    Since they’ve been eating the same food for 7 years, I have 3 thoughts:

    1. the world is now your oyster as far as what else to try them on! I would suggest taking a look at the “Best Dog Foods” list at the top left of this page, printing it out, and bringing it to your local store to see what’s available in your area and within budget. High protein, moderate fat, and low carbs are generally the best way to go (even..especially! …for “senior” dogs). Grain-free, too. You could pick several that you want to pick (maybe 1 chicken kibble, 1 fish kibble, 1 lamb kibble, 1 venison kibble, etc) and rotate through them.

    2. whatever you choose to feed next, transition slowly (start with 75% of their old food mixed with 25% of their new food, and gradually increase the % of new food (50%/50%, then 25% old/75% new, etc until you’re at 100% new) ….and I would suggest adding digestive enzymes and probiotics to their food at least until they’ve been on the new food 100% for a couple of weeks (or longer, if you want/need)

    3. feed the amount according to what the pug’s ideal weight is (what you want your pug to weight), not what it weighs now. You may already be doing this, but it seems to be a common mistake people make, so thought I’d mention it.

    Good luck!

  • Theresa G

    I have 2 dogs one is an over weight pug and the other is at a good weight Pit bull mix. the pug is 11 and the pit is 7 so both seniors both fixed, no allergies known. they ate canidae for 7 years but lately havnt been touching it. so i want to switch the food in hopes they like eating again, and that my pug will slim down…any suggestions… ??

  • Ken

    Just switched over to Merrick Classic All Breeds Beef, Barley and Carrot from C&P ORGANIX. After 3 years, my Jack Russell all but stopped eating it. I thought he might be sick or something but after $400 in vet fees I found he’s fine. No such problem with the Merrick. He loves it. During the switch over he would leave some C&P behind but not a kibble of Merrick. I like the list of ingredients and the fact that none of them are from China.