Pinnacle Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Pinnacle Grain Free (Dry)

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

The Pinnacle dog food product line includes three kibbles, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Pinnacle Duck and Potato Recipe
  • Pinnacle Chicken and Oatmeal Recipe
  • Pinnacle Trout and Sweet Potato Recipe (3.5 stars)

Pinnacle Duck and Potato Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Pinnacle Holistic Duck and Potato Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Duck meal, duck, oatmeal, oat flour, potatoes, tomato pomace (source of lycopene), canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), alfalfa meal, natural flavor, flax seed (source of omega-3 fatty acid), potassium chloride, salt, kelp meal, organic quinoa seed meal, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, iron amino acid chelate, manganous sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), lecithin, rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis23%13%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%14%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%31%46%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 31% | Carbs = 46%

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

The second ingredient is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 third ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.

The fourth ingredient is oat flour. Since oat flour is nothing more than finely ground oats, it provides about the same gluten-free nutritional content as raw oats.

The fifth ingredient includes potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

The seventh ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.

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 eighth ingredient is 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.

After the natural flavor, we find 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 three notable exceptions

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

Next, this food includes quinoa seed meal. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

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

And lastly, this food also 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.

Pinnacle Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Pinnacle Dog Food looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal, flaxseed and quinoa seed meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Pinnacle Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry meal and fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

02/15/2010 Original review
09/21/2010 Review updated
06/15/2012 Review updated
12/28/2013 Review updated

06/25/2015 Last Update

  • Peggy Young Tucker

    No, I didn’t. We switched to Prairie no grain, and haven’t had any more problems.

  • Rachel Frederick

    we’ve had the same issue with our dog. We give her the white fish/sweet potato. Bad gas AND slimey poops. We switched her over to Honest Kitchen zeal and both the gas and slimey poop went away immediately. I thought MAYBE it was because she had been to the beach a few times that previous week. So we gave her a mix of zeal and pinnacle, and her next poop the gas and slime was back. :< What gives!?

    have you contacted Pinnacle directly?

  • Peggy Young Tucker

    I’ve fed Pinnacle for years, but lately my dogs have been having horrendous gas. Any changes in the formula?

  • Patti

    Kris, one of my pups has had the struvite bladder stones you’ve described. And, she has, since, been diagnosised with the bladder infection that can cause the stones. She was put on the Royal Canin SO (I lost a pet, years ago, due to Hill’s C/D and S/D lack of a balanced diet, so I did not want to use the Hill’s bladder stone formula). So far, one year three months later, the Royal Canin has done it’s job and she is free of stones! Now, I must be vigilent to check her for infection periodically. 🙂

  • Patti

    My pups developed body odor which smelled exactly like Natural Balance’s Fish hard and soft food! They loved the food, acted happy and healthy, coats were shine, thick and wonderful … but, I am smell sensitive and couldn’t live with the smell. When I changed to one of the other Natural Balance L.I.D. foods, the smell was gone and all was still happy and healthy.

  • Linda Greenwald

    Duck and potato: My dog has small intestinal disease and this food is great for him. However, he cannot eat the canned variety.

  • Newfy Owner

    This is the only food that I have found that my Newfy will eat. Unbelievable! I’ve tried everything, Pinnacle is it.

  • try the turkey and potato that should help


  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Bella, the Pinnacle Trout food does have grains in it, as I recall.  Perhaps you could try Pinnacle Grain free Salmon or Duck.  I don’t know what you were feeding before the Pinnacle, though, but remember not all food work for all dogs.

  • Gail T.

    I have been using Pinnacle Trout and Sweet Potato for my now 11 yr old dog since he was 4 yrs old and was showing signs of allergy to previous food. Unfortunately I do not remember what he was on previously, but was was not some grocery store brand. It was one of the well rated dry meals back in 2005.  I feed it to him with an equal amount 

    of water by volume after the water has been absorbed.  He is a crisis response dog and often I have to use water that in not from home, and to date he tolerates well the “unfamiliar” water well.

  • Bella

    I purchased the trout and my dog is still showing signs of an allergic reaction to this food, so I’m going to return it.

  • Mikeben999

    feeding trout based dog food brings out alleric reactions to a dog….this is considered a hot food……cooling inflamation you need to feed whitefish,duck,or rabbit these are cooling foods for a dog and will reduce the heat in the dog that makes the inflamation….  yin of dog foods

  • dcuellar

    Just returned a bag of Pinnacle Holistic dry dog food, Chicken & Oatmeal Formula to Petco. It was full of webby, white cocoon like material throughout the 30 lbs bag. I’ve filed a report with FDA. ID on bag  from Petco: 08:31:44 Best used by 031613PV.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Jan……

    Your right, I agree with every thing your saying. I was having a little fun last night. it was a deliberate blanket statement. I know that different foods work for different dogs. 

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    “Not all foods work for all dogs”.  This seems to be my mantra.  Feeding dogs is a personal thing, but with a little research, i.e. finding a trustworthy (to you) company with a food that contains healthy, quality ingredients, you can find a food that your dog likes, does well on, i.e. normal stools, no constipation, no diarrhea, no dry skin or brittle hair and reduced shedding, no vomitting, no tear/mouth stains, no itching, etc.  It might mean going through lots of different brands….even the most popular and well-known….until you find a food or, even better, a couple of food brands that work.  I do like rotation and variety for my dogs and recommend rotating to others. When I recommend a food to someone I tell them my experiences (if any) with the food and then explain that it might not be the ideal food for their dog.  They’ll just have to try it for awhile (at least a month, imo).  With my dogs I can tell, though, when a food is definitely NOT gonna work almost right away.  But usually I give it at least a month.    

  • LA

    Very true what you feed your dog may not work for mine.   My dogs did not do well Orijen, they always had very soft runny stools and I know it is a great food but it did not agree with them,   I also tried Brothers Grain free food and it also gave two of my girls very soft stools.  All of them did not have a problem with Eagle Pak Holistic Select Lamb – they have sensitive stomachs and allergies and that work for them, meanwhile it may not work for someone else’s dog.  Also with the RAW – they love it – but two of my girls had severe constipation from the grinded bone in the meat – so I had to change thing but they do really well with it.  Meanwhile your dog may never have a problem with the bone.   I think we just need to find a dog that works well for them and is healthy.

  • LabsRawesome

    True, not all foods will work for all dogs. But I can honestly say that my dogs have never had a problem with any dog food that I have tried. I started my Lab on Purina lbp moved on to Nature’s recipe, started researching dog foods, moved on to, Merrick, Whole Earth Farms, a few bags of Orijen, Kirkland chicken & rice, 4health, TOTW, Nature’s Domain, canned foods- Kirkland cuts in gravy, 4health, Merrick. Right now Back 2 Basics, canned & various fresh meats/eggs. Most people do recommend their dogs current fav or what their dog does well on, but that doesn’t mean it will work for every dog.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Again, John….another blanket statement.  While I like and respect Richard (and Brothers), Brothers did not work at all well for my dogs!  Sorry, but like I said below, at times not all dogs respond the same.  I’m glad Brothers has worked so well for you.  I have found other foods (Pinnacle, Fromm) to work better for my dogs.

  • Johnandchristo

    TRy brothers complete, it will help, with all your problems.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    It isn’t always good to make blanket statements like this…..I have 2 dogs that have sensitive stomachs and they’ve done quite well on Pinnacle.  All dogs are different.  Pinnacle is actually marketed and considered to be a food for sensitive stomachs.

  • Sampson96

    food to high for what you get dont buy if dog has sentive stomach

  • Ppetite1

    What about Pinnacle Holistic Dry Dog Food with Turkey, Quinoa, and Pumpkin? It is 4.5% fiber.

  • Katieuw2011

    This list isn’t accurate…

    Duck Meal, Duck, Oatmeal, Oat Flour, Potatoes, Tomato Pomace (Source Of Lycopene), Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Flax Seed (Source Of Omega-3 Fatty Acid), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Kelp Meal, Organic Quinoa Seed Meal, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, a-Tocopherol Acetate (Source Of Vitamin E), Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Source Of Vitamin C), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source Of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (Source Of Vitamin B1), Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Pineapple Stem (Source Of Bromelain), Papain, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product. 

    The 9th ingredient is Natural Flavor which the company describes as:

    Chicken base or a Fish base – is hydrolyzed chicken or fish (hydrolyzed = process where the proteins are broken down) that goes through a cooking process to create Maillard reaction (creating browning notes) that is attractive to dogs and cats. 

  • Debbieann 13

    My Siberian huskies have very sensitive stomachs and when I switched to Trout and Sweet potato it helped them immediately.. The food smelled very strong of the trout…which was a good thing. The last two bags smelled only of grain…and I know what grain smells like because I live on a farm..I called the company and they denied changing the formula..and also told her that my dogs ow how the diarrhea…I am so upset that basically that we’re calling me a liar…I am going to have to change dog food to what I do not know

  • Tldusell

    if ur dog is licking her paws alot-i suggest she has starts in ears.household vinegar n water-50/50-afew drops in her ears for 2 weeks.teatree oil/aloe vera shampoo 2 times aweek and keep her on a good food-pinnacle duck is my fav.clean her bedding as well-hopefully u will see huge diff in 2-3 wks-tom @happy tails in redding,ca

  • sandy

    There are other foods that are grain free and only fish protein – Core Ocean, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, California Natural GF Salmon, Horizon Pulsar, dogswell Nutrisca Salmon, Canine Caviar Wild Ocean, Canidae GF Pure Sea, Honest Kitchen Zeal, Instinct Salmon.

  • Guest

    I’ve been feeding my dog Pinnacle Trout and Sweet Potato for a year now. I originally switched to this food because it was referred by a friend. My dog had severe skin allergies and  I think it was due to wheat/grains. He’s done wonderfully on Pinnacle with the exception of his paws and mouth are now stained brown. I believe it’s from the oil in the food from the trout. Also, it does make his breath smell horribly, which is strange because the food doesn’t affect my friend’s dog in that way. I am considering switching to a different flavor or trying Natural Balance. They seem to have the same ingredients and it’s much cheaper than Pinnacle. Overall, I would recommend Pinnacle if you can afford it!

  • tim

    just started using this site,to me is trustworthy. if your dog likes cheep commercial food it could be because its like feeding your children mcdonalds cheese burgers and fries,what kid would turn that down. same with dogs.i would try some how a little harder to get some nutrition in my dog for its sake.

  • Jan

    I have an 11 year old Sheltie/Collie cross breed (big for Sheltie/small for collie). She has had skin problems for several years now and 2 former vets only put her on Prednisone. She gained a lot of weight and it did nothing for her skin problem. My new traditional/holistic vet put Star on a temporary antibiotic and a holistic med to cool her down (summer only). Her skin has healed and her fur is coming back (my vet said she could make Star better, but possibly not heal her). She has lost weight on the starvation diet and now weighs about 60 lbs. with the goal being 55. Her arthritis is almost gone. Before I found the new vet I placed Star on Pinnacle Wild Duck holistic dry and canned because so many of your readers advised it was good. The vet has had me continue this food. That is all I give her, no treats.
    So, for all of you with dogs with skin problems, find a good vet. I can’t tell you if it is the Pinnacle or the vet, maybe both, but Star is better than she has been in about 3 years and many dollars later. Also, she doesn’t have diarrhea any more like she did on some other “good” brands.

  • sandy


    If your dog can eat fish, maybe you can try Nutrisca Salmon. It is grain free (which will help with allergies) and low glycemic.

  • Carolyn
    Have you considered that her skin allergies might be contact dermatitis? We all absorb stuff through our skin and react to substances on the skin, more than to what we consume. In our stomach hydrochloric acids and other enzymes breakdowns substantial amount of toxins. Our skin doesn’t have that kind of enhanced defense. The top contact dermatitis triggers in our dogs are: pesticides (flea and tick treatments, lawn products) laundry products and cleaning chemicals, and fragrance. Fragrances always contain pesticides, excitatory neurotoxins, petroleum solvents and skin sensitizers.
    Fragrance volatizes through the air and coats everything it comes in contact with.

    The other thing to consider is what she consumes unintentionally, like chlorine and flouride if you’re on treated water, or your personal care products that she would ingest when she licks you. Food for thought.

  • Carolyn

    I use the Trout and Sweet Potato with my dog, who has food allergies and diabetes. Frankly, it’s not the diabetes that keeps me with the food because she would probably do better on a different food for the diabetes, but she had terrible skin allergies, so I’ve been feeding limited ingredient food for a while. I used to use California Natural, and really liked it, but something changed (denied by the company) and her allergies roared back, so I switched. This food is above average in combating her allergies, but she has stopped liking the flavor, and I’ve had to amend it to make her eat. I use a Wellness Salmon topper and I add rice because of her diabetes she needs just a bit more carbs. Anyway, I called the company to tell them that the flavor doesn’t seem to be enough to entice my dog anymore, and they were very interested and very responsive. Not sure what they can do about my problem, but I still appreciated how they reacted. So, it gets a thumbs up from me. Wish it were cheaper, but I’ve gotten used to spending this sort of money on my dog’s food…unfortunately.

  • Kris

    I have a dog who had struvite bladder stones (she had a terrible bladder infection which we believe caused the stones) and the Hill’s Prescription food is so toxic, I simply refuse to use it. My vet told me the low magnesium and lower protein are the most important things to look for. My dog started out with homemade meals and now I am transitioning in Fromm Dry kibble which has helped with the mushy stools. She gets the dry kibble now with boiled chicken, white rice and canned Nature’s Variety. I am also liking Pinnacle Trout (the Chicken is a little too high in magnesium). I am monitoring her PH every morning, she has to have an occasional urine culture to make sure of no bacteria and I am really hoping I can keep her stone-free with this diet. Interested to know if anyone else out there has been battling the same problem. By the way, The Whole Dog Journal says you don’t need to worry so much about the diet if it is struvite stones caused by bladder infections; you need to be sure they don’t get anymore bladder infections. I had to research mineral contents in foods and Blue Buffalo is the only company who refused to give me this information. I fed my dogs BB for years so needless to say, it made me suspicious and my dogs are all going to Fromm and Pinnacle now. I won’t buy products from a company who refuses to divulge this information. They lost a good customer who has five dogs and was spending a fortune on their products. Pinnacle and Fromm are just great, Pinnacle will send you free samples and my dogs love both brands of foods.

  • Gordon

    lulu – Ahh OK, yeah cooking fresh produce is still better than kibble, but because your cooking the meat, you are effectively killing any possible flora and enzymes in which case is when I support the use of supplemental digestive enzymes. Contrary to some other here who sill think such supplements are still beneficial in feeding raw meats, I totally disagree!

    Also cooking fresh meats should not be done so beyond 160 degrees Celsius due to the fats becoming rendered useless as a nutrient and even somewhat toxic, according to (but I can’t recall the actual specifics) Dr. Billinghurst. And not that you need to cook the meat beyond 160 degrees C.

    This pinnacle seems alright although it has a lot of carbohydrate content and outweighs the protein level. This fact may not reduce your dogs’ stool amount and if anything may increase it. Depends on how well your dog metabolises it though. See how you go.

    But, perhaps you also are able to access Artemis or Earthborn range of kibbles. They have a greater amount of protein and are better quality kibbles in my opinion. I ask you this because, those brands are known to be imported into many international countries from America, including my country, Australia. Might be worth a look into, unless you already know that they’re not available in Indonesia.

  • lulu

    Gordon, I really appreciate your suggestion. I did try to feed my dogs raw diet but apparently only the mixed breed wanted it. My pugs, call them ‘alien mutant breed’..:)))) weren’t the least bit interested in anything raw meat. Usually I cooked in large quantities enough for 2 weeks and packed them in individual container stored in freezer. Each day I preheat one container for their daily diet and so on. But at the moment, that is quite impossible so I’m thinking of cooking daily but in smaller quantity with the ratio of 50:50 (pinnacle peak protein). I’ll see how that goes…hopefully their stools become its normal size
    Where I live, in Indonesia, no pet shops carry premade commercial raw formulas 🙁
    Choices are pretty limited

  • Gordon

    lulu – The experience with your pugs that have increased in their stool volume and size is exactly what you speculate, and is true that it is because of the change from real food to kibble.

    Guaranteed as much as the sky is blue and pigs can’t fly! Have you considered raw meaty bones and carcasses, or at the least, the convenience of premade commercial raw formulas? Perhaps those can replace your time restrictions and provide the same convenience over that of unnatural food (kibble) with added nutritional benefits which carry better enzymatic digestive properties than kibble!

  • lulu

    Oh also, I finally chose to try pinnacle as the ingredients seem to be quite similar to my previous home-cooked diet (more meat protein with a few limited veggies). I hope Pinnacle won’t disappoint as where I live, the options for holistic dog food are scarce.

  • lulu

    For 3.5years I’ve always home-cooked for my dogs (a pug & a mixed breed) as I believe that fresh food is much less processed thus easier to digest. They’ve been always healthy aside for some rare innate skin problem to lotta (the pug). Then, a few weeks ago, due to super hectic work schedule & family necessity, I had to buy dry food. Which in the beginning I mixed with their fresh food and gradually goes entirely on dry food (occasional eggs + yoghurt added). What I noticed is that their stools were much less frequent (once per day), solid and small when eating home-cooked compared to when eating dry food. I tried several brands and the biggest stools they had was when eating oven-baked tradition. One pug I temporarily foster seems to urinate much more often and in small quantities since switching to oven-baked.
    Do any of you think that it might be due to diet change (she also ate home-cooked before) or is it related to her current heat cycle (I don’t see anymore blood trails other than occasionally in her urine) ? I’m hoping that it’s not anything serious as she was badly neglected by her previous owner and had terrible demodex when I rescued her at about -6mth old.
    I’m worried and thinking about mixing the dry & the home-cooked this time around.

  • Vicki Lynn

    I have recently switched to Pinnacle Chicken and Oatmeal formula for my 5 large breed dogs. I have an Australian Shepherd/Black Lab mix who licks his paws/allergy problems, a Chow Chow/Husky mix who has a sensitive stomach, a Pit Bull/Lab mix who can eat anything, a Boxer/Pit Bull mix who has a wheat sensitivity and a Shar pei mix that has a sensitive stomach. After spending almost an hour in our local feed store I came across this food. I am hoping with the eclectic bunch of dogs I have, this food will be good for all of them! I was forced to switch their food after what I used to feed them, Iams Weight Control, made my dogs sick! I bought a bad batch off food and it made 3 out of the 5 dogs vomit after each time I fed them! You never know the crap that these manufacturers are putting in their dog food! Honestly, what is “by-product”?! If I can’t understand the ingredients and/or wouldn’t eat the food then I WON’T be feeding it to my dogs! I know that maybe a couple of the ingredients of the Pinnacle food is questionable and it only received 4 stars but just from the ingredients alone, it sure is a heck of a lot better than Iams!

  • Jim… After reviewing this and similar comments posted by you here or on other articles on this website, it’s apparent you’re either working together with others (or as a fraudulent individual using multiple identities) from the same computer IP address. Any further postings by you designed to deliberately defraud our users will be deleted.

  • Lincoln… After reviewing this and similar comments posted by you here or on other articles on this website, it’s apparent you’re either working together with others (or as a fraudulent individual using multiple identities) from the same computer IP address. Any further postings by you designed to deliberately defraud our users will be deleted.

  • What an incredible food, it really works especially pinnacle sweet patato one. My dog loves it and I tried it myself it’s really good!! Just look at the label, I’m not buying purina no more!!

  • I make this food. I work for breeder’s choice and I can assure you that it really works. We have a golden retriever and she looked skinny I used to feed her with purina then one day I brought a bag of pinnacle trout sweet patato OMG she loved it and her cought got shinier, she doesn’t have upset stomach anymore. So if you want a healthy dog…Go PINNACLE!!!!

  • Lisa

    Hi Linda, I called Pinnacle and specifically asked about “why are there so many ingredients in a limited ingredient food”. I am starting the Salmon and potato grain free, and she said it is limited ingredient but they add a lot of nutrients, so it is less main ingredients but more nutrients. I have not tried any formula with Oatmeal, and I don’t use any grain free formulas with chicken fat because my beagle is allergic to chicken, along with many other things. The grain free Salmon Pinnacle does not use chicken fat. I am hoping I get as good of results with this as I have taste of the wild pacific stream. She also loves it.

  • Lisa

    Maddy, I had that same problem with my beagle. Every food I had her on, her stools were loose and mushy. It wasn’t until I put her on Taste of the Wild pacific stream that she had completely normal stools. She needs completely grain free and does better on fish formulas. I just started Pinnacle Grain free Salmon to see how she does on that as well. As long as I stay grain free and fish based, she does really well. She is allergic to chicken, pork, lamb, yeast, wheat, corn, and rabbit. Even if she has barley, her stools will get very loose. I do not know if she can have oatmeal yet, I rather just keep her grain free completely to avoid any stool issues.

  • sandy


    Addiction also makes hypoallergenic foods with unique proteins.

  • Linda

    Thanks Mike & Sandy for your quick responses.

    Sandy, I will definitely check out the Nature’s Variety if this Pinnacle we started doesn’t help cause I’m still thinking Limited Ingredients would be a good start for process of elimination.

    Mike, will definitely read more on the FAQ re: Allergies.

    Thx Again, Linda

  • sandy


    Nature’s Variety has 2 limited ingredient formulas with very short ingredient lists and more protein than Pinnacle. It is also grain and potato free, no chicken, beef, egg, gluten, fish and dairy.

  • Hi Linda… Even though there’s some variation between recipes, the 4-star rating applies to all the foods in the line. You can tell more about the meat content by what the company is willing to “guarantee” as minimum protein and fat.

    Allergies are more related to your dog’s immune system and are unique to each individual animal. You can read more about this topic on our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Dog Food Allergies”. Hope this helps.

  • Linda

    Hi All,

    I have been trying to find a new quality food for my dog who may have food allergies (at least that’s what the vet is suspecting based on symptoms). I tried Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Potato & Duck but her stools got large, smelly and most importantly very mushy and it didn’t seem to help her itching.

    So I just started her on Pinnacle Trout & Sweet Potato today. I noted that Pinnacle was rated a 4 star food, but would that apply to this formula (Trout & Sweet Potato) when the first four ingredients are: Trout, Oatmeal, Herring Meal, Oat Flour??? Since the first ingredient is trout vs. trout meal, the meat content from my understanding is lessened making Oatmeal a more prominent ingredient???

    My other concern is that Pinnacle calls this formula an allergen free food but I wonder if I’ve made the right choice since there are so many ingredients in this food. I was almost going to try the Grain-Free since it was more ingredient limited which I thought would be better for someone trying to find out what their dog is allergic to, but the Grain-Free had chicken fat and egg product, two things I wanted to stay away from since we thought she may have a chicken allergy and besides, chicken and eggs are both on the top ten list for allergies from what I read.

    So any thoughts are the quality of Pinnacle Trout & Sweet Potato would be greatly appreciated, especially regarding the meat content. Thanks to all who are reading:)

  • Richard J breard

    Would the chicken and oats be better than the peak protien for my little 13 pound Shih Tzu?
    Thank You

  • Traci

    DJ- my lab had the same problem- we eliminated chicken and grains and his itching subsided. He was eating Nutro chicken and rice which also gave him bad loose stools. He’s now eating Pinnacle Salmon and Potato. Your dog may be allergic to chicken. If you’re dealing with food allergies, try gamey type food like duck, turkey or fish like trout or salmon grain free. I had to go thru treats after food switch- a lot of treats with chicken (fat, by-products, meal).

  • Robin Fralick

    Hi Mike- I was reading through this thread and realized that this food has potatoes as one of the ingredients. I believe some dogs (not all) lack the necessary enzymes in their gut to break down the starch in the potatoes. So for some dogs, a food with potatoes may not be a good choice. While any of the ingredients could be an issue for dogs not tolerating this food, potatoes would be high on my list to eliminate if I felt I needed to change food due to GI upset.

  • Hi DJ… Since (like humans) each dog is unique, it would be impossible for anyone to know the answer to this question. Food is only the third leading cause of allergies. You may wish to visit our FAQ page and look for the topic, “Dog Food Allergies”. Hope this helps.

  • DJ

    I’ve been feeding my lhasa/bichon & lhasa Pinn Chix & Oats for over a yr. now and my lhasa has on-going scratching, paw chewing, hot spot by her tail, & ear problems. Even though we all love this food I’m wondering what could be in the formula that’s causing the problem…..chicken, oatmeal(3), cottage cheese(8). Want to consider something different but not sure which ingrediant to eliminate. Any ideas? that would be great.

  • Janet

    One of my Shih Tzu was diagnosed with a mild case of Inflammatory Bowel Disease about 5 years ago and was put on Hills Potato and Duck prescription dog food. I wasn’t happy about the quality of that food, but didn’t want to upset his tum with something else. Then a new vet didn’t have the Hills dogfood and he was switched to Royal Canin’s prescription potato and duck food. I decided to try the Pinnacle Duck and Potato food and couldn’t be happier. He had a bit of flatulance for a couple of days, but his stools have never been more regular or better looking, plus he acts perkier and more playful. I’m really happy I changed to this dog food.

  • Allie

    My pit/boxer mix Brody has terrible allergies, soft stool, rashes, hot spots, foot licking, chewing- the list goes on. We had a slew of tests done to determine if he had internal parasites, dermatitis, mange, skin fungus, etc. and all came out clean- The vet suggested that he likely had food allergies- so we took him off his dog food and I made him very simple chicken, oat meal, and potato meals- his stool firmed up, he stopped itching- it was great! We figured that his food had been too poor quality (Kirkland brand) so we switched him to Blue Buffalo chicken and brown rice for puppies- unfortunately he began getting soft stool again, and has broken out in hives! We are now trying Pinnacle Trout and Sweet potato, and hoping for good results!!

  • Hi Toni… This food is not designed specifically for a dog with a sensitive stomach. But since it appears to be working for you, I would think it would be OK. You must be the best judge of that issue. Wish I could be more help.

  • Toni

    I had tried different dog foods for my minature schnauzer (she is 9 months). First Chicken Soup brand but she did not seem to like it so I switched her to Merrick Puppy Plate. She did okay on it for awhile but I found it was hard to find and when I did find it (at a feed store) it was expired so I had to find something else. Not to mention she seemed to regurgitate her food a lot. So i went to a specialty pet store and the guy recommended Pinnacle Chicken and Oats. She has done remarkably well on it. It has been over a month and she has not vomited once! She does not love the food but she likes it and will eat it when hungry. It is very good for her sensitive stomach.

  • Cosmo

    We love Pinnacle Duck and Potato for our mini and standard poodles , great hair and skin. We still get an occasional mushy stool and gas and through some investigating found out we still used treats for outside bathrooms and good behavior with biscuits and beggin strips. Sometimes my wife and I over treated and the ingredients in treats may be the culprit. Check the ingredients in your treats and WOW, corn, wheat gluten and other allergy causing things. All the care taken in choosing a food thrown down the drain in giving one treat. Just my thought.

  • Stephanie Hubbard

    I LOVE this dog food. My Saint Bernard has a very sensitive stomach and I have tried, Kirkland, Eukenuba, Adverderm, Wellness, Blue Buffalo, Castor & Pollux, etc… When I switched to a different food her symptoms still persisted. She had itchy paws, red skin, lots of loose stool, and constant ear infections. I was on the verge of switching her to a raw diet when I came across this food at Petco. I looked over the ingredients of the Trout & Sweet Potato and decided to try it. OMG! The Second day her stool was solid! She has never had solid stool! She also poops less, her coat is now a lot softer and shiny, and she has so much more energy! It is a bit pricey but my dog is worth it, I couldn’t be more happy with this product.

  • Hi Rose… Like humans, since every dog reacts to a different food in its own unique way. For that reasons, it’s impossible for me (or anyone) to assure you your dog will eventually adapt to any particular food. If things don’t get better in a reasonable amount of time, you may need to switch to another food.

  • Rose

    I tried the Pinnacle dry Duck and Potato, His stools are soft. Will it get better. This is the first week he has been on the food. I have a 3 year old Britney Spaniel

  • Rose

    I am just starting the Duck and Potao for our Britney Spaniel. I will let you know how that works out for him.

  • Kristin

    My 7-yr old Welsh Springer Spaniel spent several years on a grain free Pinnacle food. I think it was the duck and potato but I can’t remember. I loved the food for him and he loved it. BUT, it was a little rich and he would occasionally get gastric upset. I decided to try swapping to a less rich food (Natural Balance) and his GI has been perfect since.

    I do think some foods are too rich for some dogs but it’s always going to be a crapshoot to figure out what food out dogs do best on. In my experience, the more expensive food isn’t always the best one though it does seem that most people move towards more expensive foods as they try to find a “good” one for their pet.

    Pinnacle is a quality product, I really liked the food for Milo but the food didn’t always like him!

  • Hi Marty… That’s an excellent suggestion. However, for now, my budget won’t allow me to purchase thousands of bags of dog food and to measure their kibbles. What’s worse, the companies routinely change the shapes and sizes of the kibbles on a regular basis and without notice to the public. It’s like trying to hit a moving target. There are lots of features we’d eventually like to add. But probably not until our reviews have been fully covered. Thanks for the tip.

  • Marty

    I’ve been using Pinnacle Chicken & Oats for my 3 dogs, a 12-year old corgi, a 5-year old Belgian Sheepdog, and a 4-year old mostly Pomeranian rescue. What I really like is the shape of the kibble. My Pom doesn’t like the flat kibble bits, but loves the round kibble bits. I know I’m probably asking for the moon, but it would be nice if each dry dog food you rate you would give the kibble shape???? The only other one I’ve found so far that’s the same round shape was either Canidae or Canine Caviar — and now I can’t remember which one!

    I love your site, and sorry for asking for the moon!

  • Maddy

    Thank you Mike I appreciate your response. Since he is doing so well on the puppy chow, I will leave him on it until we switch to an adult formula. Hopefully by then his system will be more accepting to a better quality food. Thank you for a very well informed web site!

  • Hi Maddy… Since I’m not a veterinarian, I’m not licensed to advise you on a specific diet for your pet. Hey, Pinnacle Holistic may be a 4-star dog food to us… yet Purina Puppy Chow gets a “five” from your Maltipoo. Go figure 😉

  • Maddy

    I have a 6 month Maltipoo who does not do well on premium dog foods. I have tried several high quality dog foods and they all result in very mushy, frequent, loose stools. I most recently tried Pinnacle chicken and oat which resulted in vomiting. My vet suggested that the premium foods may be too rich for his system – he is approximately 8lbs. I had him tested for for diseases/bacteria and they came back negative. He suggested that we try basic purina puppy chow and to my surprise his system was normal for the first time. His stools firmed up and slowed down to twice a day. In your experience is it possible for a dog food to be too rich for a dog? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  • Pinnacle Dog Food

    I have a 2 1/2 year old boxer who has food allergies. The Duck and Potato formula seems to be working wonders for her. She has been on it for almost 6 months now and the allergies seem to have disappeared. Thanks for the great post! It was a very interesting read to say the least.

  • Hi Cindy… “mushy stools” are not always related to your pet’s diet but can be a sign of the presence of other diseases. If your vet has decided the problem is diet-related, you may want to read my article about dog food fiber to see if that might have anything to do with the problem. You may be surprised to discover the link between stool problems and a dog food’s fiber content.

    By the way, soft stools can be associated with almost any ingredient within the dog food itself.

  • Cindy

    I have a 6 month old Great Dane who eats Pinnacle duck and potatoe formula. When we got him, he was eating Kirkland brand puppy food. He would have normal stools then soft mushy stools. So I switched to Pinnacle and he still has the stool problem. Not as much mushy stools but they still happen. Still searching for a good food for him. Any suggestions?