Performatrin Ultra Grain Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Performatrin Ultra Grain Free product line includes eight 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.

  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Small Bite [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Puppy Recipe [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Ocean Recipe [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Prairie Recipe [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Adult Large Breed [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Foothills Small Bite (4.5 stars) [U]
  • Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Puppy Large Breed (4.5 stars) [U]

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Prairie Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Prairie Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 40%

Ingredients: Lamb, duck meal, lentils, green peas, lamb meal, chickpeas, tapioca starch, dried peas, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), herring meal, suncured alfalfa meal, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), natural flavor, flaxseed, pea fiber, salt, dried carrots, dried sweet potato, dried apples, chicory root extract, dried blueberries, dried cranberries, rosemary extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium bifidum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, lemon balm, ground ginger, dried chamomile, dried peppermint, ground fennel seed, basil, sage, dandelion, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, carotene, inositol, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis32%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%17%40%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%35%34%
Protein = 31% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 34%

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

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

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

The third ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

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

The fifth ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The sixth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The eighth ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The tenth ingredient is herring 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

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 six notable exceptions

First, 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.

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

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

In addition, this recipe includes pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

We also note 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.

And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Performatrin Ultra Grain Free 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 36%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 40%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 45%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is a meat-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.

Performatrin 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

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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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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

12/30/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • vader1013

    I would say that all you need to do is check recall history on Blue Buffalo (multiple) and compare it to Ultra (none).

  • vader1013

    it is Pet Valu’s private label brand food. Pet Valu and Pet Supermarket have for decades operated independently but under the same company umbrella as sister companies. Only within the last year did Pet Valu merge with Pet Supermarket. Pet Valu is introducing their Performatrin and Performatrin Ultra foods into Pet Supermarket, so while it is new to Pet Supermarket, it is indeed ALL of these things: it is now “their” food, It has been around for a good number of years, AND it is “new” to Pet Supermarket. Hope that helps!

  • cara

    I am confused. My local Pet Supermarket told me this food is “their” brand, and is new. Clearly it’s not new. Is there a relationship between this brand and that retail chain?

  • Dayna Bonnie Shugar

    Just started a 5 lb bag to see if this would help my Maltese/Shih Tzu with his loose bm he’s had lately. So far, so good.

  • Susan

    Hi Lynn,
    yes stay with limited ingredient kibbles that have potato, sweet potatoes & 1 single meat protein… Stay around the same amount of fat%-10-13% Protein-23-25% & fiber-2-3max% that she is getting in the Purina EN formula… I have a boy with IBD who came off a vet diet onto a few premium kibbles, I answered your post twice over at Purina Pro Plan section. Avoid any ingredients that can cause gas/wind pain & sloppy poo’s like Chickpeas & Lentils for now, slow & steady wins with stomach/bowel problems…the formula she ate before did they have Chickpeas & Lentils?? alot of dogs with sensitive stomachs can’t eat them…

  • anon101

    I responded to you in the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary thread, I also wanted to share this article with you. Hope this helps

  • haleycookie

    Yes switch from the en. You’re paying a ton of money for what is essentially a bag of corn and rice. What I would do is start an elemination diet. Purchase a small bag of this food and slowly introduce it over the course of a couple weeks. Starting by adding just a small amount to the en and gradually adding more each day. And watch his bowel movements closely. If you see any signs of runny poop I’d stop and return the bag of food. I know petvalu has a nice return policy and will let you have your money back just keep your receipt. Petco also has the same policy. I didn’t read your other post on the purina prescription diets closely but I believe you said he was on Canidae? Was it the life stages or the pure line? The Canidae pure line is good for allergies and sensitivities as it’s a limited ingredient diet. Merrick, wellness, blue buffalo, natures variety, natural balance, all have limited ingredient formulas. A brand named zignature even has a kangaroo based formula if you’re looking for an extremely novel protein source. But anything you try just inteoduce as slowly as possible keep you’re reciepts and stop feeding at any sign of diarrhea and go back to en until it has cleared up. It’s a long process but worth it. Also try adding pro and prebiotics as well to help the gut build good bacteria. Good luck.

  • Lynn Zwerling

    I have an almost 2 year old Standard poodle who had been having repeated bouts of very loose stool . The vet recommended Purina EN which did clear up her problems. However it is expensive and I’ve been wanting to move her to a good quality limited ingredient less expensive kibble. Did not think I would have to feed her the EN indefinately. An employee at a Value Pet recommended Performatrin ultra limited sweet potato and venIson dry food. Wondering if anyone has successfully transitioned to this or any other food. Know that EN is expensive plus not highly available and need some advice. Thanks

  • Bethany Kievit

    I rotate between Ultra and Canadae. My 5 year old Husky did have elevated liver enzymes recently in her bloodwork, but nothing major. i will keep an eye on mine and maybe go back to just Canadae..

  • Mary Kate Pignataro

    Both my dogs (A Yorkie named Lily 9 yrs, and a Morkie named Milky 8 yrs), have been on on Performatrin Ultra GF Ocean Recipe for over 2 years. Their fur is so shiny and silky and they don’t itch their skin anymore!! They love the taste, which was rare for them because they were such picky eaters!
    Also I’ve been feeding my tabby cat, Buster (15 yrs old) the Performatrin Ultra GF Senior Recipe for about 3 months, and he LOVES it! He doesn’t shove the food out of his bowl anymore, he gobbles it right up! I would definitely recommend this food!!

  • Aimee

    Can I ask which type you bought? Maybe you stated it above and I missed it.

  • Susan

    Hi it’s best to rotate between a few different brands with different meat proteins just in case 1 formula your feeding isn’t balanced properly or lacking something etc this way they are not eating the same food 24/7 for too long to cause any long term health problems….Have a look at “Canidae” Pure Formula’s, Canidae Pure Meadow Senior is really good plus your dog will love the change of food….
    I rotate with Taste Of The Wild, Sierra Mountain Roasted Lamb & Canidae Pure Wild Boar & Pure Meadow Senior & Hills D/D Venison & Potatoes…

  • sharron

    i’m trying out the performatrin ultra limited ingredient sweet potato and venison, was going to try the acana singles to see if lexee would have a reaction to them but decided not to just in case she did, so i’m going to give this line of food a try and see how it goes, she needs a variety of different meat rather than chicken all the time

  • Charmaine Lavalley

    I have had my 11 year old female husky/collie mix on Performatrin since she was a puppy. She is on the grain free for the last 5 years or so. I had routine blood work done due to her age just to make sure things are okay. It happens that her liver enzymes are 10x higher than normal. They thought cushings but ruled it out. Xrays come back fine. Wondering if any others have had high liver counts being on this food?

  • Olivia

    As a fellow PetValu Employee I do indeed feed my animals performatrin ultra. Even my cat is on it and I can see the difference in his stools and his teeth. his breath is less stinky and he loves the original turkey duck and salmon flavor…They never push us to sell anything especially since we are a pet store for the pets and the people we listen ask questions and after awhile we find the right food for your furever babies whether it be performatrin merrick blue buffalo or even stella and chewys which is very popular at our store by the way. If you ever want an honest opinion I would suggest going to visit a local Petvalu near you.

  • Bobby dog

    Absolutely adorable, love her name, and love your comment!!! ;-p

  • baduch

    BEST STUFF ON THE MARKET. Luna gobles it up. but she is a lab, she also eat wood.

  • Haylee Wright

    i would reccomed the ultra dog if expecally if your dog is allergic to any kind of chicken becaue bbw uses chicken in all of ther dog food even the red meat formula has chicken in it just like the bison boar, alligator , denali all the that brand uses it and the ultra does not use chicken in it unless its the limited chicken and sweet potato im a current employee with Petvalu and i have seen customers that used BB for years and there dog liked itand then tried the ultra and they will not switch backto the BB

  • Terri H.

    We just bought Performatrin Ocean for our Whippet because we wanted a Canadian-made dry salmon/fish based dry food. The Canadians seem to be really particular about their dog foods and suppliers. Whippets get gassy on some proteins but we’ve had great luck with salmon. Our previous dry food brand used to be made in Canada but changed to Kentucky & interestingly, quite a few comments indicated that lower quality coincided with that change. So fingerscrossed on Performatrin as it is about half the price of our old brand and has probiotics in it too!

  • Ashley Kenealy

    Since you worked at Pet Valu, I would just like to know how you would compare Performatrin Ultra (which I have been using) and Blue Buffalo Wilderness. Thank you!

  • Melissa Arbuckle

    I fed my dog this food for a year she has a lot of allergys so this seemed like the right food. After doing a lot of research and many ear infections later I found out this food is just as bad as any other kibble. I switched to all raw food and she is lime a whole new dog! No ear infections, coat is super soft and a honey, small poops that break down in 3 days in the yard because she is actually consuming all the nutrients that she needs and best of all even after swimming she no longer has the wet dog smell. I do not work for raw food company’s. I just wish I would have know how much better by dogs health could be a long time ago .

  • sharp

    When you had brought your concern to our attention, we looked through our files to see if other customers have reported a similar issue, based off the lot number you have provided us. When our foods are packaged, they are packaged thousands at a time, with the food all being from the same “run”. We did not release an entire lot that was burnt or turn a blind-eye to it. You had reported it to us, and we investigated accordingly. Seeing no other reports for this product of that lot code is a good indication to us that it was not a wide-spread issue. We are glad that the current bag you have does not present with these issues. It was also noted by the manufactures that this food is not designed with small-breeds in mind, and is not recommended for small breeds or puppies.  


    Given the quality of the ingredients we use in this formula, we do expect to see some variances between batches. With the sample kibble you had provided us, our manufactures were able to confirm that although the food may have been harder and darker than usual, it is still safe and nutritionally sound.


    We are sorry to hear that you are upset with our previous response. The intention was just to follow up with you on the concern you had presented us with, as we had received the report from our manufacturer. The samples you provided us were immediately couriered to our manufacturing facilities. They compared your sample, along with two additional samples they keep and ran them through the same tests, looking for inconsistencies in texture, protein levels, fat content, and density. Neither sample tested outside the normal range for this formula.


    The kibble you had provided us does appear dark in colour, although this is not unusual for this formula.




    Pet Valu Customer Service

    225 Royal Crest Court | Markham, Ontario, L3R9X6

    T. 1-800-738-8258 ext. 3609

  • sharp

    My email is [email protected] is you would like me to forward the acuall email

  • Lauren B. McMullen

    Our 6 dogs have been eating Performatrin Ultra Grain Free for 8 mos. A couple months ago I bought a bag of Foothills, and discovered that my 2 older dogs bad breath was drastically reduced, but most of the dogs didnt seem as ethusiastic about flavor. Next bag was Ultra again with the much higher protein count, and we were back to the bad breath. Made me suspect kidney stress, although the vet was stumped. I have now switched over to the Ocean Grain free, the dogs LOVE the flavor, and breath issues are gone again, so everyone is happy. I do suspect the super high protein count in Ultra grain free wasn’t good for the littles, esp older ones.

  • Lauren B. McMullen

    I would be interested in email since 5 out of 6 dogs on it are highly active small dogs

  • sharp

    I suppose I have a much different opinion. I purchased this dog food with lot number
    BB/MA 2017 SE 23
    60923 2851103
    IN any case my pups would not eat this kibble which seemed odd. I normally give them simply nourish but the pet store was sold out, the sales person referred this brand to try. I acually tried to bite the kibble and it was hard. I emailed the company that even. and just started soaking the food to soften it. It worked the dogs ate it. They didn’t go nuts for it but they ate it just the same. I did get a response from the company asking for the bag and food. Eventually I did bring it back to the store with the automatic response, “we have concluded our investigation….the food was normal and fine yadda yadda yadda.” I did email them back as I was upset with the response but trust me the return response was quite informative. TO ALL OF YOU THAT FEED THIS FOOD TO THEIR DOGS. this company has informed me this food is not intended to be fed to smaller breed dogs or pups. If you would like the copy of the email I will more then share it in the event you would like proof of the statement. However my dogs are back on simply nourish which is acually cheaper by 10 bucks. Same idea, limited ingredients, not to mention my maltese eyes are doing great with this food.

  • Danielle Emond

    BEST DOG FOOD!! Our Golden Retriever, who is a very picky eater, loves this food!!!!

  • sharron

    what percentage of fat in a canned dog food is considered below average – what is the average percentage of fat – currently i am feeding Performatrin ultra can food with a fat percentage of 3.5% mixed with Zoe turkey small breed dry or Precise Complete dry which is going really well, also the clerk at Pet Valu told me that if there is a variety of meat proteins in the food the fat percentage will be higher, is she correct?…..thanks
    also i have tried the Zoe wet food – she doesn’t like them

  • Storm’s Mom

    The Limited formulas don’t interest me because there’s not enough protein from animal sources for my liking. Any food that has “Potato” or “Sweet Potato” as the first ingredient is a non-starter for me. Besides which, Storm’s poultry-intolerant, so the only ones he could have are the Salmon or Venison ones, and of those 2 the Salmon one is the only one with a total protein level I’m comfortable feeding..the Venison one is way too low. But, unfortunately, the Salmon one has “Potato” as its first ingredient. So, I’m sticking with the non-Limited Ingredient ones.

  • Emily Nicolette

    They have a really good line of Ultra now. Have you looked at any of the Limited formulas? They have a Venison and Sweet Potato flavor that I tried a sample of with Nemo. He really seemed to enjoy it! I decided against using the Limited long term since he doesn’t have any kind of issue with the holistic formula, and he would probably benefit from the “added bonuses” of a non-limited diet. Ask for a few samples next time you’re near the store. They’re usually pretty generous!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Didn’t realize there was a Foothills GF recipe now..thanks for the heads up! I’m pretty sure Storm has some sort of an alfalfa intolerance that mainly manifests itself in a kibble with “alfalfa meal”, which this one has, but I may give it a try for a bag here and there regardless. I did try the Ocean formula for one medium-sized bag recently and he was fine (didn’t itch or scoot) and tried several bags of the original GF recipe back when it first came out (before it moved the peas up higher in the ingredient list, and moved the meat protein lower and before Storm developed the alfalfa issue), and I really liked how Storm did on both recipes. I agree, the price is right!

  • Emily Nicolette

    I previously worked for Pet Valu in the US. I didn’t have a dog at the time, but about a year later, I adopted an 8 year old dog and started feeding him the regular Performatrin senior Lamb formula. I had to force him to eat it off a spoon every night. Finally, I decided to try the brand new Foothills grain free recipe. It’s beef, venison, and lamb flavor and he LOVES it! My previously picky dog is now a chowhound and I am very thankful for that. He also loses his mind for the canned stews in any flavor, but I stick to the same proteins. Performatrin is a great line that comes at a great price. If you live conveniently close to a Pet Valu store, I highly recommend trying any of their flavors for your dog. When I was an employee, I sold it because it was easy, and now as a dog owner, I feed it because it’s easy! About $35 for 15 lbs is a great deal for a grain free dog food, plus it’s buy 12 get the 13th free. Awesome stuff all around.

  • nikkiJ

    The limited formulas are made for dogs with allergies or sensitivities, if your dog does not have either it’s best if you find a food that is more of a complete diet that includes fruit and veg and multiple types of protein. Keep in mind that most dog foods split up their carbohydrates which bumps them farther down the list, if you added them together they would exceed the meat and be first on the list, seeing as the limited foods are really only 2 ingredients you see the potato first, and as other folks have mentioned, once the moisture is removed it will be less than the meat. As far as petvalu pushing the performatrin, yeah it’s true, it’s their brand, only found in their stores, which gives them 100% customer loyalty and slightly better margins, but that doesn’t mean it is not a good food, in fact it is an excellent food formulated by Dr. Dave Summers who is a veterinary nutritionist.

  • Denae Smith

    As a manager of a petvalu store, i can tell you there are no perks to selling this brand. (Yes we recieve discounts on all brands like any retail position) I personally feed this brand to my pets due to the quality and i can tell you the difference from their previous brand is amazing. Some people use personal experience to sell products, which in my view that it is the best opinion.

  • theBCnut

    Your dog may be suffering from a food intolerance to specific ingredients in his diet. Getting him off of chicken or rice or both may have been exactly what he needed. This food does have chicken eggs in it, but some dogs that can’t handle chicken can handle eggs, but it’s something to be aware of if problems crop back up in the future.

  • Missy

    I’ve been to an emergency vet twice for my dogs digestive issues. It was so extreme that he constantly had gas and bloody diarrhea. I fed him chicken and rice for 2 weeks and had him on antibiotics. Afterwards I tried multiple different brands of dog food that my vet recommended but nothing worked. After months of trying and failing someone at petvalu recommend this brand. It’s the only thing that has worked for him so far. He’s had the healthiest bowel movements he’s ever had and my dog loves it!

  • Smach

    PS this is in no way a bad thing it’s great for dogs with allergies and great for dogs all together.

  • Smach

    The Performatrin ultra limited lines have a single source complex carbohydrate being the potato. Which is common in lots of LID foods same with Natural Balance. Most of the time dog foods have 2 or more complex carbs using parts of these puts the protien at the top of the list and the carbs lower. In short LID whole potato…other Dog foods multiple parts of carbs. If u want fewest ingredients using a whole carb will most likely always be first in ingredients list.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I know I’m replying to a post from 3 months ago.. missed it at the time. I realize that potatoes would fall down the list after processing, but that’s true of a lot of dog foods with “potato” in them, and the vast majority of them do not list potato as the first ingredient (the other one I can think of that does list potato first is FirstMate). I would feed one of them (Wellness Core, for example) before I ever fed Performatrin’s Limited Ingredient foods (or FirstMate). In other words, there’s still a ton more potato in this food than I’m comfortable feeding ..evidence of that is the relatively low protein percentage.

  • Anne Clark

    I live in BC and have recently changed my Afghans over to the Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free Ocean Recipe. The dogs just love it and they will eat it dry although I give a small amount of wet with it – just for taste. There were absolutely no gastrointestinal problems while switching over. AS a matter of fact, the resulting coat growth is amazing – no doubt due to the salmon in the food. I highly recommend it!!

  • Stephanie Murphy

    Try merrick! It’s great with recipes of raw infused and recipes with 96% meat proteins!

  • Stephanie Murphy

    Remember ingredients are placed on lists by weight of uncooked product and potatoes weigh more due to 80 percent water before being cooked that’s why it has to be first

  • Stephanie Murphy

    As a petvalu employee I absolutely agree that I want every pet including my own on the best food for their individual needs! My owners do not convince us to push performatrin recipes. The only brands I would never suggest are any grocery store brands!!!!

  • Stephanie Murphy

    Hey! My name is Stephanie and I work for petvalu. I just want to let you know that I don’t get much of a discount on performatrin , performatrin ultra and ultra limited. We get only a 10percent discount on this and every other brands we sell. If our brand is on sale we get no discount. However I still use performatrin ultra grain free. But definitely the low discount doesn’t influence this decision. What does is the fact that the recipe ” copies ” high selling , well rated foods such as natural balance limited ingredients. I use it because it is a good quality food.

  • Kimberly Crowe

    was wondering the same thing myself

  • SB

    It shouldn’t be stored in a plastic bin unless it’s still in it’s original packaging which kind of defeats the purpose of the bin anyway — new studies show that once opened kibble dog food is only safe for 2 weeks — I buy my bags in the small kibble size which lasts the 2 weeks rather than save $ buying a xlarge bag.

  • Storm’s Mom

    If you don’t have higher protein, by definition you’d have higher fat or higher carbs. Take your pick on which one you feel is “better” to have higher of.. personally, I feel higher protein is better than the alternatives in most cases not involving a pre-existing medical condition. Therefore, my vote would go to the Grain Free (and, in fact, I had it in my rotation for a while until they changed the formula to include more protein from plant sources rather than meat sources).

  • Crazy4dogs

    You should always keep your food in the original bag tightly sealed.

  • Kelly

    Any concerns over the very high protein in the Ultra Grain Free? Another pet store manager today said he prefers 20-30% protein. Our small dog seems to be fine with the Performatrin Ultra Potato and Turkey or the Performatrin Grain Free. We have only had her since May 11th and her coat seems glossy, good stools. Pet store man did mention watching for extra discharge at the eyes and ears. I don’t notice much. She does tend to eat grass though.

  • Kelly

    I was not aware of this, thank you. How long can food be stored in a plastic bin?

  • Kelly

    I live in Ontario, Canada and recently adopted a 1.5 year old smaller dog (15lbs). I have been reading PetAdvisor recommendations and decided to try several of the Pet Valu foods that are available. Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is a 5-star food on this site. It also has a very high protein level (37-41%). A manager at another store told me today that he thinks this is too high for our household dog. Our dog has also had the Ultra Limited Potato & Turkey formula. She seems to like either of this foods. I would like to choose a food, whatever it may be, and get on with it. I do like the idea of grain free and I like the idea of limited ingredients. I wish this site would review the Performatrin Ultra Limited Potato & Turkey formula. This would really help me out. I also welcome suggestions for a mid-point food with very good reviews and perhaps turkey as main ingredient. Thank you.

  • JakeB19

    Potato is the uncooked product so therefore it has 80% water until cooked so it actually isn’t the first ingredien.

  • JakeB19

    May we all also remember that, before cooked unless it’s already cooked, the product is 80% water. So really for that Limited food potato moves down the list of ingredients.

  • RJ

    Sorry I worded that incorrectly, you’re right. I meant more along the lines that it’s not true for most stores. The 100% was more for dramatics, I admit 😉

    If there is a manager that only cares about their profits instead of their clients pets first – it would be a different story. But as someone who has worked along side many different store owners of pet valu – Most of their first priority is their clients pets and not just the profit. Which is why even though I am an ex employee I do still shop there.

    Also I definitely agree there should be a review, never did I say there shouldn’t be. I’m always down for more reviews because at the end of the day – we all want to be feeding our dogs good food and get the most bang from our buck!


  • Greyhound Mom

    This may have been your experience but you do contradict yourself a couple of times. If this is “100% not true” and you go on to state that this can be possible depending on the stores then your first statement is contradicted by the rest.

    As you have said, it is up to the store owners and the ones I have spoken to (who are personal friends of mine) have particular deals in place for their employees which differ from corporate stores (which you already know as you have stated this in your reply and as an “ex employee”) . This does not change the fact that if associates are told by owners of a particular brand to upsell, if they value their jobs, they will do just that. Sort of like at McDonalds or any other franchise, upselling is a way of life.

    Regardless, Performatrin Ultra Limited still needs to be reviewed. I don’t feel that it is a terrible food, just too much filler in the way of potato. It certainly is far better than many grocery store brands.

  • RJ

    At our store those were our favourites. Personal preference I suppose!

    I like others as well of course, but I found earthborn/TOTW were good for dogs with allergies. Instincts too – but most people didn’t want to shell out $90.

    Merrick was great for picky eaters. Especially the wet food.

    Performatrin is a great overall food as well – as you can see from the review.

    If someone didn’t want grain fee or they had a lower price in mind, I’d help them find something suitable. I never pushed people into buying certain brands – though I did push them away from beneful, pedigree and such 🙂

  • DogFoodie

    Why did you only recommend the four brands you listed? Interesting…

  • RJ

    As a past pet Valu employee this is 100% not true.

    We do not get more of a discount on performatrin products. We get % anything regular priced items. Depending on the store owners. We got 20% off at my store.

    We actually recommended taste of the wild, earth born, performatrin ultra or merrick. It all depended on the individual needs. We didn’t have to push performatrin.

    The only thing you do need is to stock every performatrin product. Yes it was cheaper for the owners to buy as well, so if an owner is indeed pushing their associates to sell performatrin look at the store owners (not pet Valu or the associates).

    Half the time we wouldn’t recommend performatrin since it’s very rich and many of our clients are allergy prone – so a food with multiple meat sources wouldn’t be recommended.

  • Greyhound Mom

    This is flying off the shelves at the PetValu stores around here but I too am concerned about the high volume of potato. It seems to me that the ingredient list is not bad but that potato as a first ingredient makes up a large part of the meal and feels like just filler. I know most brands have fillers/potato etc but not to the extent I am seeing here. I have requested Dog Food Advisor to review this for us and hope they do so soon.

    I also just spoke to a very close friend who manages a PetValu and they have said they push what Corporate tells them to and right now, that is the Performatrin Ultra Limited. Most of the associates feed Performatrin since they get an incredible deal on it as a perk of being an employee so if you go by asking them “Would/Do you feed it to your pets”, the answer 9 out of 10 times is “Yes”.

    I purchased the Turkey and Potato have been feeding it to my Greyhounds for around 6-8 weeks now but will be transitioning them back to Earthborn Holistics Grain Free as their poop on the Performatrin Ultra Limited has been much yellower and looser even after proper gradual transitioning.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Performatrin Ultra Grain Free has always had (and still has) salmon in it.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes, you should be concerned that potato is the 1st ingredient. I’d never feed a food that had potato as the 1st ingredient fact, I’d only feed a food with potato in it at all as part of a rotation (and a minor part at that), never as a main option unless I absolutely had to. Which begs the following questions:

    Have you tried giving Duke probiotics and digestive enzymes over a prolonged period of time to deal with the “sensitive tummy”/”can’t handle high protein” issue? Which ingredient(s) do you suspect an allergy to and why?

  • Marcie

    First of all, Duke was 11 weeks old, he didn’t like any kibble.. Duke is now 6 months old.. He now eats anything we put in front of him. Also stated this is a differnt formula, Duke has never And also Duke can’t handle a high protein.. We are looking for as mentioned a single source protein and carb, recommended by the vet. But thanks for the just saying bit.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m playing the devil’s advocate here and have nothing to do with reviews, but it looks like you posted on this food 4 months earlier. If he didn’t like the previous version, why do you think he would like a lower protein, carbohydrate first version of this formula? Just sayin…

  • Marcie

    I see performatrin has a new line.. Performatrin ultra limited… Potato and salmon or potato and turkey… I see I was the last to post… We are revisiting this brand… But should i be concerned that potato is listed as the first ingredient…? Would love to see you do a review on their new line.. My dog needs very limited ingredients.. Everything else in these bags look ideal to me.. I have a boxer with a sensitive tummy..

  • Bob K

    The article you reference is from 2009 is about EPI and a one liner mentions generalities of heat. Some detailed articles about Microwaves nutriients and Enzymes or another source or another

  • DogFoodie


    A very important factor about enzymes — whether using raw pancreas, powdered pancreatic enzymes, or pills — is that all digestive enzymes work best at body temperature. Cold inhibits the enzymatic action while heat destroys it. Never cook, mix with very hot water, or microwave either raw pancreas or supplemental enzymes.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I did research quite some time ago and im not spreading false science! I did Google it so don’t assume i didn’t. Remember Bob you aren’t Mr. Perfect even though you seem to come across that way in your posts!

    Check that out! There are other many links but im not going to post them all.

  • Bob K

    Not true – Do a little research and quit spreading false science. Check out Google is your friend

  • Marcie

    I have been mixing it in slowly with his previous food, and adding a small tablespoon of soft dog food, AND adding warm water. He doesn’t like it.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    My senior girl can eat anything. She doesn’t need to be transitioned. She loved this food but it didn’t love her. Way too much grass eating and vomiting. I was talking to one of the clerks at PetValu and they told me if it doesn’t come out one end it comes out of the other. Not the first time he has heard it. I still think it’s a good food, it just didn’t work for my girl.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Microwaving can destroy the nutrients and enzymes in the food. Just two seconds can do that.

  • Bob K

    Marcie – Mix in the new food with the food he was previously eating and slowly transition to the new food. Its not that hard to get a dog to eat. Perhaps some rice mixed in or egg. Drizzle a little beef gravy on the top. Mix in a little yogurt or pumpkin. Mix in a little soft dog food and mush it all up Perhaps add a little water and microwave a few seconds and get the juices mixed in.

  • Marcie

    11 week old boxer doesn’t like this at all, i liked the ingredients and the ratings.. but i guess if he doesn’t eat it, what i like doesn’t matter.

  • Marcie

    I just switched my boxer pup on to this food, and i too have noticed a dull coat! the puppy kibble is huge, and he just doesn’t like it… back to square one i go.

  • Laura

    Not a fan. The ingredients check out and I wouldn’t say it’s a bad food, but I’ve had my Italian greyhound puppy on it for about two months and I can’t say he’s anything special. He has a dull coat, and doesn’t *love* the food. He takes all day to eat it.

  • Tricia M Manns

    I have a Husky, Shepherd, Lab that’s 5 yrs old and a Beagle, Black-and-Tan Coonhound that’s 2 yrs old. I wanted to switch their dry food, after learning about the controversy over Blue Buffalo. I was in PetValu, noticed the brochure for Performatrin Ultra, and began reading it.

    Then, I spoke with an Employee about my concerns with what I was feeding my girls and what I should try. My exact words were, “I think I found what I should feed them, but I have some questions after reading this brochure.” She was very informed and knew Performatrin Ultra specifics, answering all my questions and taking me directly to the food.

    Both are allergic/sensitive to chicken, so the food could not contain ANY chicken whatsoever.

    I am EXTREMELY pleased with the results from switching their food. I have both pups on the same food, even though they are completely different sizes and breeds! I am giving Diamond and Daisy Lou Performatrin Ultra Grain-free recipe, Turkey Duck Salmon. I buy a big bag of the kibble size and a smaller bag of the small bite recipe and mix them.

    Not only am I happy with the change, but also Diamond and Daisy Lou seem happy, too! From the first time I offered the new food, they tried it immediately, which was strange but positive; they are picky eaters but LIKED this food and wanted it in their bowls. They are eating better than ever!! Their coats are soft and shiny, and I can see the food satisfies and agrees with their systems. I am so glad I tried and switched their food to Performatrin Ultra! THANKS, PETVALU!!!

  • sharron

    hi – opinions on feeding this food for weight loss – doesn’t need to lose a lot just a 1/2 lb – 1 lb — feeding her the small bites – thanks

  • Heather Almond Linklater

    I have 2 Jacks. They are both around 15/16 lbs. They get 1/2 cup twice a day and are both doing very well.

  • SB

    It’s is important to note that if you are storing your dogs dry food in a container — keep it in it’s original bag as well — the bags are meant to keep food fresh and preserved — storing in plastic bins is a big no no.

  • SB

    It is for all breeds sizes — I’m not sure I personally consider a Collie a large breed. Talk to your vet if you still have concerns, all dogs do differently on different foods – my dog has done wonderful on Peformatrin grain free.

  • featherbutt

    The food is for all breed sizes, but it may be in your best interest to look for a large breed puppy food as larger breed dogs have much faster growth and need a more specialized diet.

  • featherbutt

    If you change foods too quickly after having been on one particular food for a very long time, this is actually really common. You are supposed to mix the food over a period of 2-4 weeks.

  • featherbutt

    Hookworm would be picked up from ingesting feces or other contaminated substances, not from the food. If you think the food is contaminated you or your vet should see about having it tested or report it to the company to be test it. My dog has been on this food for a while now with absolutely no issues.

  • featherbutt

    Hi, I actually work for Pet Valu and we recently received an email from higher up about the problems with the zippers on the bags. Apparently this is a recent issue that will be resolved soon. I have actually been buying my dog Performatrin Ultra for almost two years and have never come across this issue until recently. You can use a bag clip to hold the bag shut if you don’t have a sealed container to keep it in, I actually found some hippo shaped ones at the Dollar Tree that are really cute 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Theresa, here’s a list of foods for Large Breed Puppies, The foods were researched and the list was put together by HDM, a regular on this site. I personally like Dr. Tim’s And Earthborn from this list. Here is more info from HDM

    These are a few of my favorite articles and studies on the topic:

    1. “Nutritional Risks to Large and Giant Breed Dogs: From Weaning to the Geriatric Years” by Susan D. Lauten, PhD

    2. “Growth and Skeletal Development of Great Dane Pups Fed Different Levels of Protein Intake” Nap, Hazewinkel, Voorhout, Van Den Brom, Goedegebuure and Van ‘T Klooster

    3. “Dietary Mineral Levels Affect Bone Development in Great Dane Pups” by Henry J. Baker DVM

    4. “Feeding Large Breed Puppies” by Jennifer Larsen DVM, PhD, DACVN

    5. “Why Overgowing Your Large Breed Puppy is Dangerous” Dr. Karen Becker DVM

  • Theresa Lafond

    I have a 11 week old collie puppy and was looking for the best grain free food for her. I have some sample bags of the Performatrin ultra grain free. But I have a concern it’s not for large breed puppies. Any input would be great. Thank you Theresa

  • Kim Maguire

    Just purchased our 2nd bag. Impressed with the review and LouLou seems to be enjoying it. Too soon to notice any changes but not impressed with the bag. Neither zip closure worked.

  • Shelley Boisvenue

    my dog was losing hair like crazy….switched to performatrim and wow…..hardly shedding at all, nice shiny coat, good firm stools.

  • stephspov

    After over 8 years of trying different types of high quality food for my boxer, I finally tried Performatrin Ultra Grain free. Finally, he doesn’t have explosive diarrhea and throwing up every few months (not what you want to find all over the house in the morning!) and his poop finally has form! For the first time in over 8 year years, we can actually pick up his waste with a shovel without having to scrap it from the ground! I believe part of the reason he does so well on this food, is due to the fact it has pro & prebiotics, and they are added after cooking. I just wish they made the small kibble in a bigger bag, so I could feed it to both of my dogs. My new puppy is a smaller breed and will need a smaller kibble.

  • andrew

    Im on the second bag of ultra he has thrown up a couple times with a regular stool for the past 2 days today I come home hes got a loose stool not really wanting to eat I think im takeing the food back

  • Peggy

    Kraft peanut butter has sugar and salt, neither good for dogs ( or people). Read labels to find healthier p.b.

  • Peggy

    Too much food for small dogs. I feed my 17 pound Sheltie a quarter cup in the morning or one third in winter and half cup for evening. She is 10, lean and active. I keep the bag in the freezer and refill small bin when empty.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Which Earthborn were you feeding prior to Performatrin Ultra Grain Free? Meadow Feast by chance? Or perhaps Coastal Catch?

  • Stephanie

    Our 16 (almost 17 year) old rat terrier switched from Earthborn Holistic to Performatrin Ultra grain free after he loved a sample bag we had received at a pet store opening and it didn’t have an effect on his chronic pancreatitis as he had been showing a declining interest in the taste of the Earthborn. After about 3-6 weeks we noticed an increase in the amount of water he was drinking. Given his age, we immediately thought the worst. Diabetes, liver failure, kidney failure. We took him to the vet and they ran a whole battery of tests and declared him the healthiest almost 17 year old dog they had ever seen. However during the tests they discovered that he had early onset of a very rare form of hook worm not native to North America. Upon closer inspection of the label we discovered that though the food was made in Canada it was made with imported products and it had a higher level of sodium than his previous food. We have since treated the worms and switched him back to his previous food and he has had no further issues.

  • JB

    None of the Performatrin foods are sourced from China. Lamb in their Ultra, non gf line, comes from australia I think? But mostly is NA based. If you go to a Pet Valu store and ask, they can get an email of where all the ingredients are sourced from. It’s about 3 pages long though.

  • Storm’s Mom

    High protein does not, in and of itself, cause loose stools. How much are you feeding her of the Performatrin Ultra? How long did you transition her from Natural Balance to Performatrin Ultra Grain Free? How long had she been on the Natural Balance?

  • deena

    I just switched my 8 year old cockapoo form Natural Balance to Permatrin Utra grain free since it had a higher percentage of protein. It’s been about 2 weeks & she has a very loose stool. Could that bee from the extra protein?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Bummer, sounds like he might be allergic to an ingredient in the food (potato?). You’d have to look at the ingredient lists of both products to see what Performatrin Ultra Grain Free has that Nutri Life does not. Unfortunately, not every food is going to work for every dog, no matter how good it looks 🙁 My guy does fantasticly on Performatrin Ultra Grain Free, it’s a regular part of our rotation. The very low protein levels of all of the Nutri Life formulae is a deal breaker for me.

  • Storm’s Mom

    I asked the company about Performatrin Ultra Grain Free when it first came out:

    The calcium level is 1.7%+/-0.2% and the phosphorus level is 1.3%+/-0.1%.

    That’s from Dr. D.J. Summers, Nutritionist, Pet Valu (parent company of Performatrin).

    Too high for a large breed puppy 🙁

  • Jennifer c

    I have two labs who have exclusively eaten nutri life chicken grain free. It is very hard to find so when I found performatin grain free at pet valu I tried it . Three 28lb bags later And my dogs are LOSING HAIR . I have since switched back to nutri life and their coats are improved . Sorry I wanted to like performatin the ingredients list was what I thought great but losing hair is a deal breaker for me.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    If it’s not on the list it was either too high in calcium or I couldn’t get in contact with the company. I contacted too many companies to remember specifics on any that didn’t make the list.

  • LilyH

    Is this food appropriate for large breed puppies? I didn’t see it on the great list HDM put together, so was wondering in what area it fell short (if it did). The PetValu store I go to offered to email any questions I had to the makers, so if there is a lack of information in some category, let me know and I will ask them… and hopefully report back.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yes. Performatrin is PetValu’s “house brand”. The Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is SIGNIFICANTLY better than any of the other Performatrin Ultra formulas, though, so if you are going to feed Performatrin Ultra, make sure it’s the Grain Free. I’ve fed it several times (I change my dog’s food after every bag) and he’s always done really well on Performatrin Ultra Grain Free. I would highly recommend trying it. Great food for a great price! Hope this helps.

  • Angel’s mon

    The Performatrin that is mention is the one that is sells at PetValu???? Please answer me

  • bkblessed1

    Can we purchase this from NJ then? That does seem ridiculous that we are paying so much more for the exact same food.

  • Hi Gracie’s Mom,

    It would be very comforting no know the source of every ingredient in the dog (and human) foods we buy. Unfortunately, there are no laws on the books to require food companies to disclose their ingredient sources.

    Your best chance to find out from where your dog food’s ingredients are sourced would be for you to contact the manufacturer and ask.

    Some are very transparent and will tell you while others avoid sharing this important information.

    Hope this helps.

  • Gracie’s Mom

    Dog Food Advisor, et al., does anyone know what the “imported ingredients” are for this Canadian-manufactured food? Any way to find out whether any ingredients from China (potentially unsafe, of course, due to past recalls of products manufactured by other dog food companies) are being used? Thanks.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yeah, I am really looking forward to trying Storm on it!!! I mean, it does have a lot of fillers (non-animal protein sources), so I will probably add toppers to it after I try it once on its own to see how Storm does on just the kibble.. but it’s chicken-free (well, it has “egg” but Storm seems to do fine with that), grain-free and potato-free..can’t pass up the opportunity to try it!!! 🙂

  • Hound Dog Mom

    I noticed the new Petcurean formulas last time I was on their site – I like the looks of the new potato free GO! formula. I used to use GO! in my rotation occasionally when I fed kibble to my oldest dog, he did well on it.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Yeah, but I probably should’ve said above that in addition to switching out his kibble to see if that changed things, at the same time I also had an “ah ha!” moment when I realized that I was feeding him right before I went to work, which perhaps he was trying to stall me doing by eating so freaking slowly (he’s a smart little guy, wouldn’t put it past him … So, I also moved his feeding time to right after we got up, instead (didn’t matter much to me!)…and what do you know, he ate his food in 10 seconds flat from then on! 😉 Not sure what was going on with his dinner feeding, because he was doing the same thing with that meal, one kibble at a time, but as soon as I changed the morning routine he stopped the one kibble at a time thing in th evening, too *shrug* So, trying this food again was more for confirmation that it wasn’t really the food that was the issue.. figured it wasn’t, but I also wasn’t 100% sure, of course, until I tried it again 🙂

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dogs are so funny…

  • Storm’s Mom

    Just thought I’d mention that Performatrin Ultra Grain Free is also available in a “Small Bites” version, which has been out for a few months now I think. GA percentages and ingredients are exactly the same, just a smaller sized kibble (about 1/4 the size of the original (Fromm/NV Instinct-sized now), but in the shape of a triangle). I fed the original version to Storm quite a while ago now, and he literally would eat it one piece of kibble at a time for some reason (with a walk to the living room and back in between each piece….siiiiiiigh……) …but he’s gobbling up the Small Bites this time! *shrug* (I really wanted to try the new Go! Grain Free/Potato Free variety, but it’s not available in stores yet, so thought I’d try this one (again…sort of..) in the meantime, was curious to see if Storm would do the one kibble at a time thing again on it, too)

  • Dee

    I have been using this food for 7 months now and my GSD still loves it! We recently got a malamute and she is also eating this food. The only problem I have with this food is the price!! It’s $80(tax incl) and my dogs are eating a bag every 12 days! It’s made in Canada but recently stores are branching off in the USA. I went online and seen that in NJ the same Canadian food is sold for 39.99 for the same food!! Why am I paying 72.99 for food that is made and sold in Canada yet after its shipped across the border is 32.99 cheaper!! This makes no sense to me!! And then Canadian companies wonder why we cross borders to go spend our Canadian dollars in another country. Thanks Pet Valu for appreciating your Canadian customers who made you who you are, way to stick it to us just like our government!

  • InkedMarie

    Sorry but I still don’t understand why you’d even finish the first bag, if it gave your dogs diarrhea and/or caused them to vomit.

  • tleigh

    for inkedmarie….(iF you did a gradual transition why in heavens name would you buy bags 2
    & 3 when the first of the last three bags caused diarrhea and

    I had been feeding them this with no problems for the past 7mo, so i just thought the food went stale or something. the second bag was fine,so thats why i got a 3rd bag. obviously the first bag had something wrong. now the 3rd bag, after a couple feedings, had issues so i am returning it and will not feed them this brand anymore. since this is a five star food, i wanted to give it a chance that it was just a bad batch.

  • InkedMarie

    IF you did a gradual transition why in heavens name would you buy bags 2 & 3 when the first of the last three bags caused diarrhea and vomiting?

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi tleigh –

    Performatrin Ultra is a 5 star grain-free food, so if I were you I would just pick out another 5 star grain-free food to try. Whatever formula that is within your budget and available to you. I would also recommend finding at least 2 or 3 other comparable foods that your dogs do well on and rotating between the different foods. This will not only provide your dogs with variety but it will also give you some options if you experience another issue like this in the future.

  • tleigh

    i have been feeding this performatrin grain free for atleast 7 months and just recently my 3 dogs have been having issues. the 1st of the last 3 bags, gave my 9yr old diarrhea and my 5 and 1 yr old vomit shortly after eating. the 2nd bag was ok and the 3rd gave them the issues again. im confused what is going on. they have been on chicken and rice for the past few days. and i dont know what to feed them now. anyone have any ideas

  • quest

    i have been told by experts that commercial dog food is killing our pets

  • Mmeaton05

    Where are you located? New stores are opening weekly!

  • Sharron,

    The combined protein and fat total 53% of the food, which means that the carbs are still pretty high at 47%. My little dog tends to get a little “fluffy” on foods with carbs that high.

    The important thing is portion control. Feed your dog carefully and measure his food for his desired weight (as opposed to his current weight – assuming his carrying any extra weight right now).

  • sharron

    protein is 37% and fat is 16% – is this appropriate for a chihuahua that is prone to gaining weight

  • Dee

    Bought this for my GSD that is almost 6 months old and he LOVES it!!!! He can’t get enough.

  • Shawna

    SOME of the good stuff is killed but not all..

    With higher rated foods its also about what isn’t added as well — like inferior protein sources, dyes, chemical antioxidants, inferior sources of carbohydrates etc.

  • Deb

    even if it has 5 stars or any of the other 5 star dog foods, aren’t the nutrional value of the ingredients killed in the processing part. Yes they throw in a bunch of vitamins in the end product but i don’t want to pay for a high quality product when everythings been killed in the process. Then I might as well feed them a 3 star food.
    Just not sure whats true and whats not and would like to know. Any opinions or advice?
    Is all the good quality stuff killed in the process?

  • Bernermum

    Oh never mind. I see it listed under the other Performatrin brand!

  • Bernermum

    I just stopped in at my local Pet Valu store and they gave me a pamphlet on this food. The ingredients as listed above are not in it…have they changed the formula since this review? Also, any chance of reviewing dog treats?? I find that this is a grey area for me. Thanks and I love this site!!

  • Kathy

    I have similar problems which dog food did you switch to I am going to try pet cure an go grain free have you heard of this dog food

  • Kathy

    I have similar problems what dog food did you switch to

  • Spanielgirl

    Hi Myster,  I have two cocker spaniels and wanted to try a grain free diet also. I tried this product and we had a similar experience to you. My girls developed gloopy eyes, one had terribly gooey smelly ears, the other girl who normally has pristene ears developed gooey, smelly ears. They were both chewing on their feet and scratching, scratching, scratching.  I took them off the grain free and switched cold turkey back to their regular kibble. I saw an almost immediate improvement. So, lessoned learned – not all dogs can tolerate the same ingredients. As much as I wanted to use this product, I couldn’t.  

  • Barbara Disotell

    Hi this Barbara from across the border in Cornwall,Ontario.I’m not able to get out not able to put pressure on right leg going for hip replacement Oct 9th in Ottawa Ontario.My husband went for dog food last Sunday ,I had my Jack Russells on Performatrimultra small pieces .He bought the larger pieces they are eating it ok .I just don’t give them as much.the 3 year old would eat a full dish 3x a day ,but I give her a cup in morning & a cup at night is this ok.I don’t want to give to much or not enough.She weighs 17 lbs. My other JR is 4 years old she eats when she feels like it. They are doing good on this food. I hate all the recalls. I use Kraft peanut butter ,They love it when I give them some not all the time ,Patches loves my toast & peanut butter I try not to have it often cause she wants it. Please let me know if you think I’m feeding them ok. Have a nice day& thanks.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Small world…I’m right across the border, Massena area. I’d leave it in the bag and store the bag in a storage bine in a cool area. If you had refrigerator space, storing it in the refrigerator would be ideal. Only buy as much as you’ll use within 3-4 weeks.

  • Barbara Disotell

    Hi,I:m from Cornwall,Ontario Canada.We have a pet Valu her.I have 2 Jack Russells .One is 4 yrs old & the other is 3 yrs old.They are both eating performatrinultra  grain free & love it. They were on Chicken Soup till it was recalled. My girls are my babies & I love them both so much.I hate when I see all these recalls on dog food. Should I leave their food in the bags when I buy it. I have been keeping it in plastic email is  [email protected]       please tell me if I should leave it in the bag when I buy it. Thanks Barbara

  • Storm’s Mom

    Performatrin is the “house brand” of PetValu/Bosley’s/Paul Mac, so that is the only place you can get it. It’s a great kibble, I use it in my rotation. If you’re buying a medium or large size bag, though, I don’t see what the issue is with doing a little planning and buying the food while you’re in the location that has PetValu, before you head to the one that doesn’t? Since he’s got intestinal issues, and he LOVES Performatrin Ultra Grain-Free, might be best to just stick with it?  Otherwise, there are lots of options to try listed in the “Best Dry Grain Free Food” section that can be found by clicking on “Best Dog Food” in the top left of this page.  Might want to look for ones with limited ingredients? (Nature’s Variety Instinct, in particular ..they also have one with the same 3 meat proteins as Performatrin Ultra Grain free, but instead of using potato, they use tapioca)

  • S Elizabeth Searle

    My dog (1-year old rescue Havanese/terrier) LOVES the Performatrin Ultra Grain-free — a nice, small kibble.  Only problem is that PetValue seems to be the only place you can buy it.  We spend half our time weekly in another location — with no PetValue store.  Have tried to substitute Orijen — but no dice.  Because of his intestinal “issues,” I’ve been including a couple of dollops of Evanger’s chicken/rice as well.  Other ideas?

  • InkedMarie

    Let me also add Fromm or Annamaet to HoundDogMom’s list. 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Fourfootedangels –

    I now feed my dogs a homemade raw diet. However, if I were to feed a commercial food I would go with Orijen, Acana, Nature’s Variety Instinct, The Great Life or The Honest Kitchen (dehydrated). I’ve fed all in the past with great luck and I trust the companies. All offer 5 star grain-free foods. I try to avoid big companies, I think the small companies have better quality control.

  • Fourfootedangels

    Hi Hound Dog Mom,
    What are you feeding?  What dry grain free would you recommend?  I have a Saint Bernard.  I am very cautious since the Melamine recall in 2007.   Thanks

  • Dhall1006

    what kind of food did u switch to?

  • Myster E Flyer

    I started out feeding my chocolate lab Performatrin Large Breed Puppy formula – then switched to large breed formula when he was about a year…  About half a year into that we noticed itching, and moist paws, dull coat, etc… Vet suggested going to a grain free alternative in case of allergies, so we switched to grain-free ultra. 

    Since the switch we’ve had nothing but problems… My dogs skin irritation increased, and we also noticed fungal Yeast infections developing, open sores in between paw pads, bad breath, gooey eyes, red gooey smelly ears…  One of the biggest causes of this we now believe is due to the fact that this brand uses Cultured Yeast as one of its ingredients…  Also this has a lot of carb/starchy ingredients such as potato, peas, vegetable pomace (tomato, carrot, celery, beet, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach), etc…

    When these break down in the dog’s system they produce sugar, sugar in turn feeds yeast bacteria over growth and makes things worse… they are unneeded fillers in this food.

    All in all it’s really not that great of a “Grain-Free” food.  Made my dog’s life hell while he was on it.

  • Toxed2loss

    On a lot of the threads I’ve checked you can fix it under the “Discussions” button, on the left, at the bottom of the review. Just above that you can report a problem. I reported the re-order feature is not working on this thread.

    Dairy: not homogenized, raw or low temp pasteurized, nothing added, nothing taken away. Makes a huge difference. A2 if you can get it! 🙂

  • Mary Lou

    Haven’t bought any yet. I can do dairy. Just not a fan for some reason ~ unless it’s ice cream or frozen yogurt! ; )

    I don’t like how you have to search through the thread to reply. I like when the newest comment was at the top.

  • Toxed2loss

    Coconut milk might work…is it “clean?” You’ll have to tell me what’s in them… Shawna uses them. Maybe she’ll fess up. GFETE

  • Mary Lou

    Toxed was it you, or Shawna, or both, that I mentioned about drinking protein shakes with soy milk a few years ago. Then I found out about the bad side of soy.

    Question ~ I want to start the shakes again. What about almond or coconut milk? Thoughts?

  • Toxed2loss

    Me too!!

  • LabsRawesome

     I gag every time I see those commercials for Soy milk.  “Switch Silk for dairy milk in your cereal” BLAH.

  • Toxed2loss

    Good to know!!

  • Shawna

    Oops, forgot something.  You can tell if fruits and veggies are GM..  The bar code label will have 5 digits with the first number being an 8.  If it is a 5 digit label that begins with a 9 it is organic (or should be).  If it is a 4 digit number it is conventional. 🙂

  • Shawna

    I have brain damage diagnosed via MRI believed to be due to MSG and aspartic acid as well as reactive hypoglycemia..

    I began having symptoms when I was 12 years old.  I was taken to M.D.s, neurologists etc and never a diagnosis……  No diagnoses until early 30’s (20 plus years)…

    MSG can cause multiple sclerosis, dementia, heart disease and a whole slew of diseases..  Proven via science — I’ve linked to the papers here on DFA in past posts :)..

    Like Toxed and DFA — I wouldn’t touch soy (unless small amounts of fermented) with a 10 foot pole..  Nah, I wouldn’t even have small amounts of feremented :)..  Actually I do use a few products with a small amount of soy lecithin in them but I generally try to avoid even lecithin..

    PS — the lectins in soy are one of four foods with lectins that can cause villous atrophy in some pets and people..  Diagnosis may not occur until malnutrition symtpoms are seen — and then only if a savvy health care provider is seen…  Most will just treat the malnutrition symptoms not the underlying cause.

  • Toxed2loss

    Hi Eve’smom,
    Actually MSG doesn’t occur naturally in any foods. L-glutamate does. L-glutamate is bound to an amino acid that renders it non-toxic. During digestion of the whole unprocessed form, stomach acid plus time are able to unbind a very tiny amount. That amount is necessary for brain function. Too much is poison. The commercial processing of substances naturally high in L-glutamate frees massive amounts by enzymolysis, high heat and or pressure or lower heat and long time or chemical bath. Which produces “free glutamic acid” aka MSG. Then those substances are deliberately added to our processed food stuff for the express purpose of inciting appetite, & increasing sales. Free glutamic acid is a proven neurotoxin, addictive substance, & appetite stimulator. The health problems it’s linked to are legion. All scientific facts. :-}

  • Dog Food Ninja

    The Japanese haven’t been eating soy for very long. They have been fermenting soy to make meso, a process which damages much of the phytic acid that soy is full of, and the result is a condiment that the average Asian eats two tablespoons a day of, or about ten grams. Soy is a horror food. It is a huge source of phytoestrogens, it’s a thyroid killing goitrogenic, it’s loaded with phytates and trypsin inhibitors…. There’s really nothing nice to say about soy!! Lol. And as far as msg goes , yes it can be naturally found in some foods, but when foods are more refined, more glutamic acid is freed and that’s where it gets to problematic levels.

  • Eve’sHumanMom

    Actually, msg occurs naturally in many foods.  That is why they are so tasty and as an ingredient, make many dishes delicious.  Kelp, tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms, dried bonito flakes, and green tea.  Also potatoes, certain cheeses, like parmesan, cured meats, etc. 

    Also btw,  I’ve been seeing a lot of negative comments about soy for humans as well as dogs.  I am against GMO and wish they would label it as such in the US as well, but the real stuff is not such a villain.  Look at the Japanese.  Soy beans, tofu, natto, tempeh are really quite healthy.  I expect Japanese dogs have eaten soy products for generations, too.  Especially since only recently have people started feeding pet food and dogs and cats being considered “family” is a much more recent phenomenon than in the US.  They just got whatever was leftover from the family meal. 

    nothing scientific, but just my observation.

  • Shawna

    Actually Guest, many of us do agree with your statement..  I’m not fond of grains AT ALL for multiple reasons, however replacing the grains with potatoes or other starches doesn’t magically make the food more “species appropriate”.  That is why I too chose to raw feed :).

  • Natural Balance, for example, says “grain free” on the front of the bag. However, they also have words like “potato” listed right next to the meat. They don’t just say “Fish”, and then only list “potato” in the list of ingredients on the back of the bag, the food will say “Sweat Potato and Fish”.

    NB is not the only food like that… not at all. So while people may be fooled by foods saying “grain free”, it’s not hard to see that it does have a carbohydrate in it still.

    If people aren’t willing to do a tiny bit of research, or *gasp* ask somebody about the food, then they are at fault, not the food manufacturer.

    BTW, while dogs don’t necessarily need carbs, they aren’t always bad for dogs either. Unlike cats, who can’t process carbs at all, most dogs actually CAN process carbs. Just make sure you’re dog is getting a balanced diet (ie, mixing raw with Honest Kitchen Preference).

  • hounddogmom12

    Guest, I agree with you! A lot of people are fooled by the term “grain-free” when in fact many “grain-free” foods contain the same amount, if not more carbs than grain-inclusive foods! This is why my dogs receive no grains or strarchy veggies (like potatoes). 🙂

  • Guest

    Another issue is the advent of many new no grain foods. A no grain pet food does not mean the food has no carbohydrates, it just means they are generally using potatoes and sweet potatoes for their carbohydrate component. These diets are GENERALLY not recommended for growth in large and giant breed, nor are they recommended for Systemic Yeast Overgrowth issues due to the potato component. They are best suited for adults that are moderately active. –
     (Before anyone freaks on me I got it from this site as a comment) – Mike can you check or something regarding this about the grain free?

  • Shawna

    I like to see chicory root which is not only fructooligosaccaride (FOS) but also inulin.  Garlic is a good source of both as well :).

    PS – Gum arabic (aka acacia fiber) as well as beet root and cellulose also have prebiotic properties.

    HOWEVER, these prebiotics will also feed bad bacteria so a supplemental source of probiotics may be in order as well.

  • Staff

    Dog owners should be looking for fructooligosaccharide in
    their dog foods it is a highly beneficial pre biotic for a dog’s digestive
    health.  The VitaHound research staff is studying varying mg levels that
    best suits the canine physiology, if it is not included in the dog food
    consider adding supplement, currently Blue Buffalo is adding the nutrient to
    many of their brands.

  • Toxed2loss

    You got the main ones. I’d add that lecithin can have excitotoxins contaminants, soy is high in glutamate & aspartate. So are potatoes and tomatoes, by the way. So how much is freed would depend on processing methods, times and temperatures. The tomatoe pomice is a processed vegetable slurry, so I’d suspect it.

    I’d also note the “marigold extract” and hop over and read the posts I made about it on the acana thread. Just in case it’s an issue. I’m suspecting the addition of these “herbals” is more trendy than informed or uniformly beneficial. So I’d approach them with caution. I.e. call the manufacturer and get the genus and concentrations to see if they have any efficacy.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Hey Toxie, you care to add anything to Waterwings question about MSG?  You know more than I do about it.  

  • Dog Food Ninja

     Hey there.  Yeah, the “natural flavor” has it, but also the yeasts… they always have free glutamic acid.  And, depending on the cooking time/temp, the meat meals will have a little.  This is certainly a decent food, don’t get me wrong!  I’d feed it in a rotation.  I just like to point out that sort of stuff because industry likes to hide it.  🙂   

  • Waterwings

    Hi Dog Food Ninja,  I’m using this in rotation as the only kibble with potato my guy gets.  Question, because I’ve seen this quite a bit on here in other threads: what in this kibble would provide (produce?) MSG? I think the “natural flavour” is a likely culprit, if memory serves..are there other ingredients? Thanks!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    It’s too bad there’s MSG and white potatoes in this.  I really like the macro-nutrient content.  

  • pet food

    The smell of the food is also not overpowering.  This is another good test of the quality of dog food, the smell.  Cheap, crummy dog food often has an overly pungent, ‘there is meat in here, we swear’ smell.  Or even no smell of meat at all, just a kind of cereal smell.  But “By Nature” smells like a meal, meaty and with veggies, while not being overly pungent, scaring away all traces of hunger in the human dwellers of the house.