Native Performance Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Native Performance Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Native Performance product line includes five 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.

  • Native Performance Level III [A]
  • Native Performance Level IV [A]
  • Native Performance Level III Puppy [A]
  • Native Performance Level II (4 stars) [A]
  • Native Performance Level I (3.5 stars) [A]

Native Performance Level III was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Native Performance Level III

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 37%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground rice, ground barley, chicken fat (mixed tocopherols preservative), fish meal, dried beet pulp, dried egg, ground flaxseed, natural flavor, yeast culture, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, biotin, read-sedge peat, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, l-lysine monohydrochloride, zinc proteinate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, dl-methionine, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, mixed tocopherols (preservative), citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis30%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%22%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%44%30%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 30%

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

The second ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

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

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

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

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

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The sixth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With two notable exceptions

First, we note the use of an ingredient called reed-sedge peat. Peat is a product of partially decayed vegetation.

Although we can’t be certain as to why this ingredient has been included here, some reports suggest peat can aid in digestion, growth and immune function of certain animals.2

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.

Native Performance Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Native Performance Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 36%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.

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

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

Bottom line?

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

Enthusiastically recommended.

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

Native Performance Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

03/07/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Trckova et al (2005), “Peat as a feed supplement for animals: a review”, Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, Czech Republic, Vet. Med. – Czech, 50, 2005 (8): 361–377
  • Cindy Grover

    ok, dogs can eat cat food with in general no nutrition issues, but cats MUST HAVE TAURINE in their diet. Taurine is an essential amino acid that is CRITICAL for feline health . please check any feline web site to understand why you are actually hurting your cats. Even if a dog food has taurine it may not be in the correct percentage for cats.

  • rickie

    I move over to Wisconsin about 2 years ago and native 3 is the only food that keeps his weight, no loose stools great food for all my dogs, OEB, 2 Chihuahuas, poodle x

  • Wayne

    I don’t know how this food received 5 stars. In fact all of the feed stores near me are no longer carrying the product. It literally sucks. The food was 24/bag when it first came out. Within months it was up to $50+. My dogs lost muscle / weight feeding this food and I never seen such horrible stools

  • Wayne

    I hate Native. I hv had nothing but issues with this food. Runny stools, dogs loosing hair. Not just 1 dog but all 3. I also notice a few time I got level 4 but inside the bag was level 3. I called Native and the said they had an issue at the plant. Then why not recall the food or notify consumers. This food is horrible. I highly do not recommend this food

  • Fardale Labradors

    I continue to hear this food is sold mostly by Labrador puppy mills or commercial breeders. 🙁 Especially used by those breeding a color that is NOT acceptable as Labs come in 3 colors only (check the AKC standard!). The color is ” SILVERS ” which are not full bred Labs, they are mixed with Weimaraners to get the Dilute gene causing off coloration, “silver, charcoal or a funky yellow called champagne”. Those are NOT full bred Labradors. I would be cautious with this food no matter how high it’s rated. Puppy mills and Silver “breeders” look for the best price or something they can make money off of, food or supplements besides obscene prices for their not full bred puppies.

  • LabsRawesome

    Fromm and Dr. Tim’s are both great companies. But 26% protein is way too low imo. With protein and fat levels that low, the foods are going to be too high in carbs.

  • Nancy Calloway

    Also Fromm’s has a salmon recipe that is 26% protein. Some people swear by Fromm’s. IT’s an old company. I think I am going to try it soon. Anyone else have a good result from it?

  • Nancy Calloway

    Dr Tim’s Kenesis All Life Stages is 16% Fat, 26% protein and low ash. Might give this a try. I think Dr. Tim knows what he’s doing. Good Luck.

  • theBCnut

    At the same time, yes. I just wanted to point out that this could turn out to be a food intolerance issue, so watch out for signs of ear, skin, and coat issues.

  • Crazy4cats

    Yes’m you. An give at the same time. They are two diff things. Just start slow with the enzymes and work up to recommended amount for initial dosages. Hope it helps!

  • sue66b

    Also maybe try a kibble that is lower in fat% I found this helped with my boys sloppy poos,

  • MaineSusan

    I will try the digestive enz… would rather do that than change the food. Is there a particular one you would suggest? Oh and do I still give him the probiotics at the same time? THX

  • theBCnut

    Since you are already familiar with Swanson’s, I would suggest one of their digestive enzymes for a while, until the loose stools are straightened out.

  • MaineSusan

    Yes, probably. I did find Pro Pac in the 4 star group, with a note that the HP Pro Pac w/5 star… kinda confusing will have to read into that more… maybe see if the ingred. in HP adds probiotics or what to push just it to 5 star???
    Anyone that has any input on this please…. 🙂
    I am hoping to keep the cost near to $1/# if possible?

  • MaineSusan

    Yes, she did do a fecal test and it was negative. I suppose I could be over feeding him… I think he looks just right and am feeding him as suggested by breeder n food labeling. Guess I could try a little less food. The vet switched him to SD I/D, and probiotics to see if that got it under control. It did help but once the slow switch back to N3 he would go back to loose stools… I am still giving the probiotics Dr Langer 15 strain. It seems I probably need to change the food but to what… I was so liking that the approved breeder was feeding it w/great results to her pups n adults… sighs… she says the rest of the litter is not having these probs.

  • Crazy4cats

    So when you say your vet has checked for health problems, did that include a fecal test? Pups often get worms or parasites that can cause this issue. Over feeding is also a very common cause of soft stools. Have you tried feeding less? You could also try adding digestive enzymes and probiotics to the food. Or… You can try a different food that contains different ingredients than the one you are using. Have you checked out the list of approved large breed puppy foods on the forum? I hope you can get this under control. We feel so bad when our pups aren’t perfect!

  • Crazy4cats

    I’m going to guess high performance.

  • MaineSusan

    I am feeding my 5mth Lab Native Level 3 as recmd and feed to all her dogs, by my breeder. I am not a informed about foods as I would like to be and am trying to figure out why he often has loose stools (score/5)… sometimes (2) in same day. My vet has checked for any health probs but finds nothing. So… I am wondering if I should change foods or add (something) to the mix… or???? Or what makes stools loose? and quite smelly, he also seems a bit flatulent…

  • MaineSusan

    what is “HP” Pro Pac?

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Ken,

    One problem with feeding this food to your cats is that it has no added Taurine, which is an essential amino acids for cats, but not dogs. Are you giving your cats a vitamin / mineral supplement by chance?

  • Ken

    I’ve been feeding Native 4 to my Brittany for a couple of years now. He’s been doing great on it. My cats starting eating it as well and would no longer eat their cat food so now I’m feeding the dog and 5 cats the Native 4. It doesn’t seem to be a problem.

  • Dogs13

    I’ve been feeding Native 3 to the Newfs for a couple of years at least. We have had 2 torsions, otherwise dogs doing OK. Decreasing amount fed results in weight loss. But with correct amts the stool volume is immense!!! Not sure I can face another winter of clean-up! What does this signify?

  • Pattyvaughn

    I had always read that chelating a mineral was attaching a protein to it(which is what a proteinate is) so it would be easier for the animal to absorb. I recently read an article that stated that there has been no actual research proving that assumption, so it is only speculated that chelating the minerals makes them more absorbable.

  • clarification

    Just to clarify, the use proteinates. NOT chelates. There is a composition difference. Proteinates are not as absorbable as chelates.

  • We have been feeding Native level 1 for 3 years now and They are doing wonderful. We feed a wide variety of Dogs~ Mini Aussie, Shih Tzu, Jack Russell/Pug cross and a Mastiff. They have all excelled on this feed and I recommend it to everyone. We use alot less of it than many others.

  • Dogsr4me

     We tried this food for a good 4-5 months, using Level 3 & Puppy. The dogs seemed to like it but we did notice excess thirst although we contributed it to the hot summer weather. We then noticed more signs that this was not going to work for our dogs. The biggest was our white standard poodle had a distinct pink color coming thru her coat. Not sure what in this food she could have reacted to but it does contain several ingrediants that we have never fed before. Overall the coats were ruined on all of our dogs, they were very dry, dull and matted quickly. Coats were cut short and the pink color basically covered her head to tail, she displayed a lot of face rubbing also. They also seemed to eat a lot of grass when taken outside. Since stopping using this brand we are seeing a big improvement overall.
     It was recommended to us by another poodle owner but I would not suggest it to anyone. Just did not work for our dogs.

  • Pingback: Dog food are SOOOOO expensive, what do you do? - Page 2 - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums()

  • Hi Seth… Unfortunately, I cannot provide customized reviews and product recommendations for each reader. For more information, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • seth

    i have a female coondog that runs a little warm while she is hunting. when it gets really hot out i cant hardly take her. she is just a three yr old. i have had some people tell me to switch to native. problem is i dont know anything about your feed and wouldnt know what feed to put her on. i have always been told a high protein feed in the winter and low protein in the summer. i am not sure what to do on this one and need your help. thanks seth

  • Hi Rob L (and Jonathan)… Oops. You’re right. When we first went to our new WordPress query system on April 3, Native Performance had inadvertently not been tagged as “dry”. So, our dynamically generated list never picked up the review for the list. I’ve now corrected the problem. Thanks for the tip, guys. 🙂

  • Jonathan

    Hey Mike, Rob L is right… this food does not show up under “4-star dry foods”. It is only found under “by Brand” or by searching the name directly.

  • ed

    I like the 30/20 HP Pro Pac the best. One of the best foods on the market.

  • melissa


    I would agree that the dogs are doing well, and its reasonable priced. I do find that the dogs do better with more than one food(dry) and with toppings. I am still using it, but even once its out of the rotation, I would have no problem rotating back.

  • ed

    Melissa, stick with Pro Pac, nothing is better for the money, nothing…it just works and works well. Adult Chunk is available in 44lb bags for like $25-$28.

  • I noticed that Native is not listed in the Four Star Dry Dog Foods list ( I found it by searching for “Native.” Was this intentional?

  • melissa

    Just a “side note” since I posted that I switched to Native..The dogs have all been switched OFF the Native as I was having to feed very high quantities to maintain weight, even at the Level 4. Coats were great though! Two of the dogs that were eating the Level 2 had horrible coat issues develop. Now everyone is eating the Pro Pac for the most part with great luck. It is true that you don’t see the results for 4-6 weeks good or bad!

  • Blake

    I’m considering feeding Native 4 to our team of long distance racing sled dogs. The ingredient list for Native 3+4 is mostly the same. Does it concern you that Chicken Meal is the only named meat source in the first five ingredients? Is Fish meal at the #7 ingredient too far down to be considered as contributing much to the over all meat content? Native 4 is very high in protein at 35%, where is that coming from in the ingredient list?

  • Thank you so much for all the work you have put into this site. I have been using Native 2 for about 2 years and my dogs are doing great on it. My only problem is the price so I started looking for a quality dog food that was somewhat cheaper. This site has been so helpful. I have decided to stay with native and possibly mix it with another quality dog food that is cheaper to make the Native last longer.

  • Hi Whitney… Unfortunately, I don’t maintain serving size recommendations for each of the more than 2,500 products on our website. You’ll have to look on the package or contact the company’s customer service department for this information. Wish I could be more help.

  • Whitney

    What is the suggested feeding amounts on the Native Level 3 and Level 4??

  • Melissa

    I’ve now switched all the dogs over to the Native(from the 4health) and all the issues have resolved for the most part. The dobes that lost weight on the 4health, had to be put on level 3, and are gaining nicely. The others are on the Level 2 for the most part and doing great. One thing to note, I had a few dogs vomitting from the Native after I switched them, on and off. This stopped the minute I cut their twice daily portions by 1/3 of a cup-being “richer” I was obviously over feeding/over loading their stomachs.

  • tom

    This food is easy to get around here, yet I have never heard of it because you can’t buy it @ farm and fleet, or orshelns. The company Kent feeds is actually based 6 miles from me and the people who own it seem to be avid hunters who care about their dogs. I saw their ad in pheasants forever, and looked for retailers. Ironically, you get it @ feed stores around here.

  • Hi Steve… Thanks for sharing this interesting information. Although I’m sure the data is true, it’s easy to be mislead by manufacturer statements of this nature. When a company claims 89% of a product’s protein comes from an animal source, it can look (to the unsuspecting) like 89% of the product comes from meat.

    But that’s not true. Here’s why. Remember, the product may only contain 33% total protein. So, in reality, the manufacturer is claiming 89% of the product’s 33% protein comes from meat.

    Using simple math, if the product contains 33% protein and 89% of that 33% comes from meat, then only 29.37% (89% x 33%) of the total product actually comes from meat. Not 89% as the example would suggest. Thanks again for your comment.

  • Steve

    Hi Mike, first thanks for a very informative web site. After reading your review of Native Performance Dog Food I contacted the manufacturer because Protein from “meat/animal source” is information I’ve always looked for when buying or evaluating a dog food for my hunting dogs. Also having multiple dogs, price is an issue and I like the $1.00/lb price range. I called the manufacturer to find out how much of the protein is from animal product, this is what they told me:
    Level 1= 89%,
    Level 2= 90%,
    Level 3 (including Puppy)= 93%,
    Level 5= 96%.
    If these numbers are true this would imply a high meat content for the total protein level in the food.

  • Melissa

    Just wanted to mention that I switched my dogs over to this “cold turkey” since I was having so many problems with the 4health, and I am thrilled to say, that they did not have so much as an upset stomach, even with the cold switch. All the dogs cleaned their bowls, and even looked for more! A vast difference between the hesitancy they showed lately to eat the other brand! Hopefully, this proves to be a winner and will see how things look 2-3 mths out!

  • Hi Melissa… I would agree with your reasoning here. If your goal is to feed a low fat diet, concentrate on the reported macro-nutrient content (protein, fat and carbs) rather than the ingredients list. The average fat content of all the dry kibbles in our database is about 16% (and about 23% for the canned products). So, your 12% or less goal would seem appropriate to me. Hope this helps.

  • Melissa

    The stretched ligaments is not my reasoning -it was mentioned in one of the websites I read regarding the Purdue study. And, the only analogy that I can come up with for that reasoning would be that anything looses its ability to contract effectively after repeated use-ie the more a rubber band is stretched, the less able it is to hold the items required and ‘snap back”. I think for me, I will continue to be concerned over fat/oil as an “overall” rather than by content. Since I also have a dog that has pancreatitis issues, I have learned that the overall seems to be more concerning rather than the actual line up of the ingrediants when it comes to fat levels(ie no matter where the fat falls in the line up, she can only safely consume up to a 12 percent fat level before there are issues) Thanks for all you do and the patience to explain things!

  • Hi Melissa… I have very little confidence in the Purdue hypothesis. As I previously mentioned on December 14

    “There is a great deal of controversy about how much truth can be found in that study.

    “One of my favorite explanations calling attention to the the questionable value of that report was written by Linda Arndt (also known as The Great Dane Lady). She does a very good job of presenting the other side of this story… (in) her article, “My Comments on the Purdue Bloat Study“.

    Although it may seem logical, your reasoning that “the food is heavier, thereby stretching the stomach ligaments” is probably not a realistic explanation of the gas-related process behind gastric torsion (bloat).

    In addition, please keep in mind that although every ingredients list displays components in order of pre-cooking weight, the more reliable fat content is actually reflected by a product’s Guaranteed Analysis (as fed, after-cooking).

    As it is here. The product we chose to be an example for the entire product line stands in the middle of the range for protein and fat. Our dashboard represents the list for Level III only. Each recipe portrays a steadily increasing amount of meat (and hence, protein and fat, too).

  • Jonathan

    Thank You for bringing this up Melissa… that is exactly why that study makes NO SENSE.

    On a different (and less reputable) dog food rating site, they note in their wildly off base one star review of Pro Pac, that chicken fat being the third ingredient is a problem because of the Purdue study. But Pro Pac has 15% fat. That’s about normal for a dog food.

    If the chicken meal and corn in Pro Pac make up a substantial percent of the product (as they most certainly do), then the fact that chicken fat is the third ingredient has means nothing.

    Natural Balance has about the same (average) amount of fat as Pro Pac, but here is the ingredients up to the named fat in NB…

    “Chicken, brown rice, lamb meal, oatmeal, barley, salmon meal, potatoes, carrots, chicken fat”.

    So all that really means is that the first 8 ingredients in NB combined, weight about the same as the first TWO ingredients in Pro Pac.

    That Purdue study is hot air.

  • Melissa

    Just a secondary thought on what I was trying to say..Foods needed to be listed from greatest weight to smallest weight in the food. In theory, couldn’t a food list fat as the #1 ingrediant, and still be a lower fat food if it was loaded with a ton of protein and carb sources, all in smaller quantities..This is why I think of fat as an “overall content” verus order listing. I have to take the Purdue paper with a “grain of salt” when it comes to this..

  • Melissa

    Hi Mike-

    Thanks. I do know that they have to be listed by weight, but I guess I am having wrapping my brain this am around this.

    Native level 3 starts out chicken meal, chicken fat, while the DEA starts out chicken meal, chicken, brewers rice, chicken fat. The Native ends up being an overall of 30/20, whilst the Diamond a 35/25. Now, the way I am looking at it is this-I am assuming the chicken when cooked moves down the list leaving us with chicken meal, brewers rice and chicken fat. Again , I am assuming that the Brewers rice is not a big source of fat. However, when chicken is boiled or cooked, we know that a lot of fat is produced. Therefore, wouldn;t the overall content of “chicken fat” be moved up in most foods if its preceeded by fresh “chicken”?

    To be honest, I read the Purdue ‘study” and am questioning the logic behind the statement that foods with oil/fat in the first 4 ingrediants are more likely to cause bloat. If the thought process is that the food is heavier, thereby stretching the stomach ligaments, thereby affording them more opportunity to torse, then why would it not be the “total fat” content verus ingrediant listing? Afterall, an 8oz cup holds either 4 oz of Native or 4 oz of DEA, yet that 4 oz cup of DEA contains 5 percent more fat…

  • Hi Melissa… By FDA regulatory law, ingredients must always be listed in order of their pre-cooking weights. So, the higher the position on a list of ingredients, the greater its impact on the overall content of the finished product. Hope this helps.

  • Melissa


    I could be wrong, but I think Theresa is referring to the suspicion that has been cast via the Purdue study stating that fat should not appear in the first 4 ingrediants, or a dog eating it will be “more likely” to bloat What I do not understand about that however is why does the ingrediant position have an impact and not the overall fat content-For example, the level 3 has fat as the second ingrediant, giving it a 30/20 reading on the bag for protein and fat-However, Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete has 32/25 protein/fat, but the fat is 4th or 5 th on the ingrediant list. By virtue of the study, the Diamond should be “less likely” to cause bloat because of the position on the ingrediant list, although its clearlt 5 % higher fat overall… Someone please explain to me what the “ingrediant position” makes such a difference in this case, verus the overall fat content?!?!?!?


  • Jonathan

    How does this remind you of Science Diet? There’s no cereal by-products or generic animal fat or by-products. And there is a reasonable amount of meat.

    And what do you think is the problem with protein? Dogs would be eating raw dead animal (fat and protein) if left to their own devices.

    And what’s wrong with the fat content? You say fat is part of the first 4 ingredients. So? This food has 22% fat which is above average for a dry kibble, but that amount is about par for a canned food, and more closely representative of a wolves diet.

    Please expand upon your critique, because I don’t get any of it… this is a very good food.

  • Theresa

    The other problem with the food is that fat is part of the 1st 4 ingredients. Listed as #2 in the level 3. Plus beet pulp. Citric acids. Throws up a lot of red flags for me.

    Level 3 puppy is too high in protein.

    Reminds me a bit like Science diet.

  • Jonathan

    eachanacia was suppose to read ECHINACEA. my bad.

  • Melissa

    Thank you Mike and Jonathan! I try to stay on top of the foods I am feeding, and what is in them. I do understand that of course nothing is 100% perfect, but of course became concerned over these two changes-the other changes seem minimal, just a reshuffling of some of the “contents”. I always had good luck with the Native food, and was disappointed in having to switch. I chose 4Health by TSC and the dogs did great on the chicken & rice for the most part. Unfortuently, the Performance variety had quality control issues and several times the WRONG product was in the bag(TSC and Diamond are aware of this) Since I do have dogs with food sensitivities to wheat/corn, I could not continue to feed the product constantly wondering if the right food was in there!

    Thanks again


  • Jonathan

    Reed Sedge Peat is a source of fulvic acid. Fulvic acid has several unsubstantiated but interesting potential benefits. It is a powerful antioxidant, it aids in the bodies absorption of minerals, it can increase energy, and it can improve development of healthy hair and nails. None of this has been proved by the FDA. Then again, neither has the effects of eachanacia on the duration of colds, but I always feel better quicker when I take it. Either way, it can’t hurt.

  • Hi Melissa… Sounds like Native Performance may have changed its recipe. As far as I can tell, the whole citric acid debate appears to be related to an article about canine bloat which published a few years ago and originated from Purdue University. There is a great deal of controversy about how much truth can be found in that “study”.

    One of my favorite explanations calling attention to the the questionable value of that report was written by Linda Arndt (also known as The Great Dane Lady). She does a very good job of presenting the other side of this story. Click on the link here to read her article, “My Comments on the Purdue Bloat Study“.

    I know nothing about Reed Sedge Peat. But if this ingredient is found in this dog food, I’ll look into its definition when I get around to updating the product. Hope this helps.

  • Melissa

    Hi Mike-

    First ,I want to thank you for all the time you put into this website. Its a “must have” link for dog owners! Second, I wanted to comment on Native-I fed it for almost a year with wonderful results until (for some strange reason) the company was unable to provide shipping to the Northeast. Recently, I revisited Native and found that once again( last month) retailers would have it available! I bought a few bags. Going to their Native website today however, I noticed that my ingrediants are NOT what is listed on the website. My ingrediant label mimics what your report states-According to their website, the food now contains “Citric acid”(which is disappointing as it has been implicated in bloat in deep chested dogs especially if the food is premoistened, they have rearranged the ingrediants a touch, changed the yeast solubles to “hydrolized Brewer’s Dried Yeast” and added something called “Reed Sedge Peat”. Can you comment on what the latter is and why would one put Peat into a dog food? Good? Bad? or of no consequence? Thanks!


  • Hi John… Allergies are a direct function of your pet’s unique immune system and not usually a problem with the quality of the product itself. In other words, if your dog happens to be allergic to any of the ingredients in any particular food, he will likely develop an unfavorable reaction.

    And because food is only the third leading cause of canine allergies, the symptoms you see may not even be related to your pet’s diet in the first place.

    Since certain recipes have been intentionally designed to help you control or isolate these problems, you may wish to read my recent post, “Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods“. This article contains some of my best suggestions based upon information currently available.

    Unfortunately, choosing the right dog food still involves at least some trial and error. Hope this helps.

  • john petzkow