Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction (Dry)


Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
Premium Edge Dog Food

Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction Formula Dog Food gets the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

Although the Premium Edge Dog Food product line currently lists 8 dry dog foods, this review is designed to cover the Healthy Weight Reduction Formula only.

Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction formula claims to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

Premium Edge Healthy Weight I Weight Reduction Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 49% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 30%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, fish meal, potatoes, salmon meal, egg product, potato protein, natural flavor, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), powdered cellulose, flaxseed, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, glucosamine hydrochloride, dried kelp, carrots, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, dried skim milk, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, chondroitin sulfate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis44%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis49%13%30%
Calorie Weighted Basis44%29%27%
Protein = 44% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 27%

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

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

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

The third ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The fourth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

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

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

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

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

The sixth ingredient lists potato protein, another plant-based protein booster.

The seventh ingredient is 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 eighth ingredient is ocean fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

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

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

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

The ninth ingredient is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 tenth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

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

The eleventh ingredient is flaxseed meal… one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.

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, chicory root is naturally 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.

Next, 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.

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.

Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction looks to be 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 49%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 30%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 27%.

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

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

Unlike most weight reduction dry dog foods (low on protein, high on carbs), this recipe is truly unique.

Bottom line?

Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction is a grain-free kibble using a significant amount of chicken and fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

03/07/2010 Original review
10/07/2010 Review updated
04/09/2012 Review updated
10/09/2013 Review merged

10/09/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Per Diamond Pet Food Customer Service via email dated 7/7/2010
  • InkedMarie

    C4C answered below but I wanted to say that a lot of us don’t use Diamond foods due to the amount of recalls and the reason for them. It’s a principal of the matter, for me.

  • Crazy4cats
  • Deborah Smith

    How long has it been that diamond has had a recall?

  • Angela Hartfelder

    I have used this with our overweight, 10 year old Borador. He’s gone from almost 90 pounds to 75 pounds over the last year and seems to genuinely like it. It doesn’t constipate him either. Overall, I couldn’t be happier.

  • Jamie

    If you had to choose between Premium Edge Healthy Weight and Orijen Senior, which would you choose? I am considering going with Premium Edge due to the lower fat and minimally lower carbs. Does anyone have any opinions or thoughts on the best choice if cost were not a problem? My dogs are currently on Dr. TIM’S Metabolite Weight Management formula, but it is becoming impossible to find on chewy and for some unknown reason, manufacturing problem, I’m assuming. Thanks in advance!

  • Bryan

    According to their official website there have been some ingredient changes to this formula. There seems to be more fish meal higher on the list and all changes seem to be positive. There are less vegetable-based proteins now.

  • 2many1254

    I also do not trust any Diamond product after all the recalls they have had.  I can’t believe you are rating them this high. Now I know not to beleive anything I read on the internet when it comes to recommendations for the best pet food.

  • Thanks Hound Mom. That was the perfect straight forward answer I wanted 🙂

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Bryan –

    This is my viewpoint. Diamond has very poor quality control, as evidenced by their numerous recalls. You can’t really compare dead roadkill to contaminated kibble because dogs, by nature, are both predators and scavengers. So dogs, like their close relatives the wolves, are equipped with a digestive system designed to handle the bacteria found in both fresh raw meat and rotten meat. It is possible for a dog to get sick from the bacteria in something like raw meat or a rotten carcass, but very unlikely for a healthy dog. Contaminated kibble on the other hand, can contain all kinds of nasties that are far more dangerous than a little salmonella. Deadly mold like aflatoxin, melamine, lethal levels of fat soluble vitamins – all of these things can kill even the healthiest dog. Diamond has had recalls due to salmonella contamination, aflatoxin contamination, and melamine. I would feed my dogs a rotten carcass of the side of the road long before I’d feed them something like melamine tainted kibble. It’s really up to your mom to decide. If she’s comfortable feeding Diamond despite their numerous recalls than that is her decision.

  • My mother uses this for her two very lazy outdoor husky mix dogs. She’s mentioned some concern over Diamond making it and asked me if I thought it was still safe to feed. I told her I didn’t think Diamond could come up with anything bad enough that it could harm her dogs considering their diet of Opossum, Raccoon, Groundhog, Crows, Rabbits and the occasional Timber Rattlesnake. But she wanted me to find out anyway so I’m asking you knowledgeable people. As I mentioned they are very lazy and it’s very unlikely any of these animals were “hunted” but more likely picked up on the side of the road. If they’ve survived two day old roadkill in rural NC for 13 years shouldn’t I just tell her to keep doing what she’s been doing? 

  • hounddogmom12

    Kimberly Nelson,

    You can have the RMBs ground, however I believe it’s best to feed whole because they provide great dental benefits. My dogs enjoy turkey necks, duck necks, chicken thighs, and beef necks. If you have smaller dogs you may want to try chicken wings or chicken necks. Personally I would feed the raw separate from the kibble as some dogs experience stomach upset when the two are mixed (although if you find your dogs don’t have an issue with mixing raw and kibble, it’s fine to do so). Remember, bones have to be raw! Never feed cooked bones, they are dangerous and can splinter. Poultry bones are safe when fed raw. Here are some sites with more info:

  • hounddogmom12

    Good question someperson! The answer is no. THK and Sojos contain high levels of calcium and low levels of phosphorus so that when the specified amount of meat is added the calcium to phosphorus ratio will balance (as meat is high in phosphorus and low in calcium). Organs are not needed either as the vitamins and minerals that dogs need from organ meat is added. All you need to add is muscle meat.

  • someperson11111

    great post, houndogmom,
    now, if one is using a mix like THK, or Sojo’s, and raw feeding, they’d still have to do the 80-10-10 balance of muscle meat/organ meat/bones,Or no? the mix balances that out?Could a raw feeder safely feed only muscle meat + mix you mentioned, and not worry about adding in bones/organ meats?(obviously chewing raw bones is great for dogs teeth, etc, but, the calcium would be all covered by using a mix is what i’m asking i guess)

  • You are the bomb and I am still so loving this site.  Thanks so much for the great info.  Help me out on this raw meaty bones.  We have a local butcher where we get our meat from…what do I need to ask for and do I have to grind this?  Is it a good idea to add raw meaty bones to regular kibble?

  • hounddogmom12

    Hi Kimberly Nelson,

    A few things about weight loss in dogs first of all, you did make a good choice by choosing this weight loss formula because it is one of the only weight loss formulas that maintains a high protein content, however generally you want to avoid weight loss formulas and low fat formulas (even if you dog is overweight) because they generally just replace the meat (fat, protein) with fillers (carbohydrates). All dogs, even dogs that are less active and/or overweight, should eat a diet high in protein, moderate in fat, and low in carbohydrates. And, unfortunately, reducing the amount they consume and increasing their exercise is the only successful way to help them lose weight. If your dogs are acting starved I suggest mixing some fresh veggies into their kibble to help bulk it up without adding too many calories. As far as a high quality cost effective food Merrick has a line called Whole Earth Farms that runs $38.99 for a 35 lb. bag of dry and $20.99 for a case of 12 cans. The dry food is rated 4 stars and the canned food is grain-free and rated 5 stars. You indicated that you wouldn’t mind utilizing fresh meat, if you are able to get good prices on meat another good option could be a premix in which all you need to add is meat. My two favorite premixes are The Honest Kitchen’s Preference and Sojo’s Grain-Free. Both premixes are dehydrated, to make the food you rehydrate with water and mix in fresh meat (preferably raw, but cooked is okay too). Sojos runs $48.99 for 8 lbs. and THK runs $54.49 for 7 lbs. (to give you an idea, each pound of premix generally equates to around 7 lbs. of fresh food). If you went the premix route another option to cut costs would be to feed about 1/3 of the dogs daily food intake in raw meaty bones (generally chicken parts and turkey parts run only around $1.50 a pound). I understand your frustration in trying to find a quality dog food at a reasonable price, but I hope this helps. p.s. all of the products I mentioned are available from and they have free shipping on all orders over $49 with no weight restrictions.

  • We have 4 dogs, all overweight.  We’ve had them on Premium Edge Weight Management I.  No weight gain, maybe a few pounds lost but they also now have a big fenced in yard to run which might be the reason for the small loss.  The big dogs (90 lbs) get a cup and half in the am and pm and they act starved all the time.  The small dogs get 3/4c am and pm and also act starved.  I am tired of Diamonds recalls and am really worried about feeding this to my furry children.  We are on a tight tight budget with 4 dogs and 3 kids and one income.  We go thru almost two 40lb bags a month at $42 a pop.  I don’t think I’m going to find anything else decent for this price.  Of course the vet is all about Iams, Hills or Nutromax.  I just don’t know what to think anymore.  Any suggestions for an alternative to PE I?  I would even be willing to start adding my own protein via ground chicken or turkey?   Thanks for any thoughts!!

  • Grains are considered “inflammatory foods” and would not help with the arthritis. As Addie said, a low carb food, preferrably grain free will help your dog to lose weight. The more protein and fat a food has, the less carbs. My obese dogs lost weight on regular foods like Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Nature’s Variety Instinct, Core Ocean. They’ve maintained their weights eating similar foods and raw foods. Be sure to transition slowly and give probiotics/enzymes and feed less.

  • Addie

    Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight, Wellness Core Reduced Fat and Evo Weight Management are good low fat foods. Low fat isn’t even necessary to lose weight though. Any food that’s high protein with low carbs will help shed weight. Decreasing portion size is also very important. I would steer away from adding anymore veggies to her diet, since she doesn’t need more carbs. 

  • I found your site by luck and accident. I have a doberman that is 20 pounds over weight and has severe arthritis. She has been prescribed Royal Canine weight control but I don’t think this is a very good food to lose weight or for her back arthritis. Does anyone else have a diet dog food that is better? Or should I mix with raw veggies and chicken?

  • Chrissy

    Hello all:
    I know some know me on the raw food thread trying to learn the ropes there, however, I came across this food as well and was interested. It is a dry kibble and weight management. We currently feed a dry weight management food (when not feeding raw) to our little girl who is in need of dropping 2 pounds. I am curious about this product….is this a good product for the weight loss and management, high quality, grain free, etc?
    If she were losing weight that would be one thing, but she is not. The good news though is she is not going up anymore, she is just stuck at 17lbs. The vet would like her at 15lbs due to her severe orthopedic needs. If she were down to 15lbs, we would have her on the Fromm dry kibble for a meal, while giving raw at the other…problem is she is not losing the last necessary weight. Just getting an opinion of this food vs her holistic select weight management.
    Thanks so much…again : ) Pug Hugs!

  • weshowdogs4

    Try Dogwell’s Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea dry dog food.  I have a beagle with diabetes (who is on insulin as well) and his glucose numbers have dropped once I started using this Dogwell’s Nutrisca as opposed to other brands of food.  It has a low glycemic index which doesn’t spike up his glucose levels.

  • PoochDad

    Hi Mike Sagman, 

    No problem with the tip. I love this site and any feedback or input I receive here is useful. I noticed that ‘powdered cellulose’ has returned to this products ingredient list over the past few weeks. I keep a close eye on Premium Edge because we feed our cat the feline version of this formula. I make it a point to check their site once a month or so. I’m not sure if the cellulose being left off was a typo or if it has been added back in such a short period of time. Our cat seems to do okay on it either way and it’s one of the only low cal and low fat kibbles we can find for our indoor city slicker kitty.

  • Hi PoochDad,

    When I just now went to the Premium Edge website, it does look like there’s been a formula change. So, I’ve added this product to my update list.

    Thanks for the tip.

  • PoochDad

    Sorry for misspelling or misuse of words. Stupid auto correct! 😉

  • PoochDad

    That formula is available but my jrt is more for the Wellness reduced fat out Orijen senior. She loves this food as well…the formula change here seems to be an improvement. They seemed to have dropped the powder cellulose as well as increasing the amount of ocean fish meal.

  • melissa


    can you get  blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight reasonable where you are? only 10 percent fat-My cancer girl seems to do really well on it.

  • PoochDad

    Just checked their website. Looks like there has been a formula change for this one. 

  • Bryanledford0

    Curious about this kibble. Our budget just got very tight and I’m worried about the fiber source here. We have been on Orijen senior for a while but its almost 100 a bag here in Wisconsin. I can purchase this for about 50. Our lab is old with a bum ccl and lymphoma. This makes her require two things. Low carbs and low calories because her walk is limited to only about a mile these days. I would, of course, like to have her around a few more years and I know her diet is now the most important aspect of her life I still have complete control over. Would you consider the cellulose here a risk? I’ve read multiple opinions about this ingredient.

  • Bryanledford0

    I too feel concerned about the cellulose in this formula. I’ve always associated it with lower quality foods. Diamond claims it is sourced from celery and not cotton or wood. Fiber isn’t digested either way so I’m not sure if it makes a difference if it comes from powered
    cellulose or peas. I’d like to hear what others feel about this. I trust Mikes ranking so it must be okay in this case.

  • Seesa70

    FYI – According to the Premium Edge website, the Healthy Weight II formula does not contain powdered cellulose, but the Healthy Weight I formula does.   

  • sandy
  • sandy
  • sandy
  • Toxed2loss

    The research is saying that dogs who eat grain based diets are prone to diabetis I and everything that goes along with it. Check out these two books… “Real Food for Heathy Dogs and Cats” by veterinarian Karen Becker, and Bet Taylor, and “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet” by Steve Brown. One or both will give you the appropriate animal protein, fat and non-grain carb ratios. 🙂

  • Lcd

    Help!!!   I have a 63lb  9yr old coon hound that has been diagnosed with diabetes.  Vet wants to put him on Hill’s w/d but i think a more natural diet (high Protein, low carb)would be better.  vet says high fiber is the key in dogs. But w/d main ingredient is corn-high sugar, low digestable fiber. This doesn’t make sense to me.    Any suggestions?

  • Room4rrainers

    Natural Weight Loss diets of many kinds that will encourage
    weight loss in combination with exercise and a healthy diet. Some substances
    used in such natural weight loss diets can potentially increase your metabolic
    activity, while others can reduce stress induced eating or cravings for certain
    types of food. Natural Weight Loss encompasses mind, body and spirit. It
    involves more than a diet or exercise and often involves getting to the root of
    the eating behavior.

    Athletic tape

  • Well, maybe I misunderstood! Is it a situation of co-ownership Bear the Sick Lab?

    Yes, I did see that you agreed with me! And in your inimitable fashion would be making,’mince meat outta those mice!!” LOL I truly believe you could deftly make your point, snatch the rug out from under them, and snatch them bald-headed at the same time, while they thanked you mightily all the while, only later to wonder how they ended up on the floor with all those owies!! But that’s just you. You have “skills!” 😀

  • Shawna

    I was actually agreeing with you Toxed!! 🙂

    My (personal) motives would be proving my point (cause I’m a Scorpio) but I would be “tactful” and “kill them with kindness” while planting the seed.

    And I did misunderstand the situation.. I thought this was a situation of “co-ownership”. Oops

  • Yes Shawna, 🙂 I know where you’re coming from. And much of the time i agree with you. But not in this kind of a situation.

    I was referring to this specific instance where Bear the sick lab needs an operation, and the past owner and the vet are putting pressure on Bear’s owner to feed a high carb/low quality food. Bear’s owner feels pressured because the past owner is ‘supposedly’ going to pay for the operation, (which Bear’s owner can’t afford) but there appears to be an implied threat that Bear’s owner must continue to feed the food choice of the past owner and the vet… Did I get that right, Bear the sick lab?

    So in this instance, I advocate for a conciliatory demeanor, plant the seeds, get the past owner to pay for the surgery as promised, and then change vets and feed what you want. Don’t tell them you will or won’t feed what they want. Let them say what ever they want. They are entitled to their opinion. They have no more power over your choice than you give them. And it is your choice. Healthy boundaries. 🙂

    Now if it were an instance were they couldn’t hold something like this over my dogs head, I’m with Shawna. Go in loaded for bear. GFETE.

  • Shawna

    Toxed is right — you have to kill em with kindness as you pull the rug out from under their feet… Maybe the first thing to do is work on the co-owner. Send him/her the FDA and US Fish and Wildlife articles along with the list of ingredients in Purina Fit and Trim.. Try to be as concise as possible with the first interaction — a one or two liner from both websites and then the ingredients… Once you have planted the seed of doubt about Purina you can take it to the next step (with the high protein study).

    Also, don’t give them anything to discredit you on.. Example — it can be an easy leap to make assuming dog and cat are in the animal fat etc. However, nowhere on the FDA site does it say that. AND, in fact, on anther page it says DNA tests were done and no cat, dog or horse DNA was found. Stick with just the verifiable facts..

    For me 🙂 — it’s always about being right (when I have undeniable info from undeniable sources). Ya just have to be tactful about it :O)

  • Bear the sick lab,
    I hear your anger and frustration. But it’s time to step up and ‘play the game.’ You can’t force your vet to watch anything. You can’t force her to read anything. The link that I gave you and the links that Shawna gave you can be printed out and handed to her. The fact that they are from the FDA, and Purina will at least get her attention.

    It’s rather like being a door to door salesman. You have to “hook” your audience… That’s why we provided the links that we did. Both Shawna and I are experienced at this kind of thing. You have a nano second to “hook” a belligerent audience. Two things are imperative: the right research, that they’ll respect, and NOT a hostile attitude. If you attack, they WILL defend and refuse to be convinced. It’s hard when you care so much. But, you have to do it, for your dog.

    So, breathe deep, and put aside your (justifiable) anger. It will get in the way and do more harm than good. Do whatever you have to to calm down and reread the responses you got on this site. Mine them for everything that you can use to benefit your dog. Remember, if you persevere, logically and calmly you can yet salvage this situation. It’s not about being right, not this time, it’s about getting through it, intact. Rather like rafting class 5 whitewater rapids. Experienced rafters know that they may not get through still in the boat, but if they get through and nobodies dies, they win. Hope this is helpful!

  • Bear the Sick Lab

    How bad is it to bring my laptop to the vet’s office and FORCE her to watch the videos?!? I would, of I wasn’t afraid of getting Bear taken away from me. This sucks.

  • Shawna! Did I hear, ” Whooosh, snap! Whhachooow!”?? LMAO

  • Shawna

    I too wish for an editing feature 🙂 Cited not sited, etc

  • Shawna

    I want to point something out in the petmd article I sited… Dogs WITH renal failure are not placed on a low protein diet… If dogs that HAVE kidney failure can’t benefit from a lower protein diet then dogs without kd certainly aren’t going to benefit.. By the way — my puppy was born with kidney disease. We noticed symptoms before she was even weaned but her “official” diagnosis didn’t happen til her one year blood work.. She turned 5 years old last June and is in excellent health. She isn’t on any medications (takes extra vitamins and nutritional products (like prebiotics and probiotics etc). She has never had to see the vet for her kd EVER. AND, she has been on a HIGH protein raw diet since she was weaned.

    Also, by the way — low quality proteins, like corn gluten meal, CAN contribute to kidney disease.

  • Shawna

    Bear the sick Lab,

    I feel for you!! Vets (and other medical professionals) can be very condescending to us as patients and the guardians of patients. When one is condescending with me, I get GREAT satisfaction by rubbing it in the face — in the nicest way I can however :)..

    If I were you and in this situation I would do this —

    Print out this page from PURINA’s website
    “Dietary Protein and Renal Function Results of multiple studies indicated that there were no adverse effects of the high protein diets.”

    A vet writes on the website PetMD
    “Overweight dogs, dogs with itchy, flaky skin, dogs with coarse and brittle coats, dogs with poor energy levels and resistance to infection — 95 percent of the time these dogs will be consuming diets low in animal origin tissues and high in grain-based products. Inexpensive, corn-based diets are some of the worst.

    Extra carbohydrate intake, above the immediate needs of the dog (which occurs often with grain-based diets) prompts internal enzyme factors to store that extra carbohydrate (sugar) as fat.

    Give that same dog extra protein and it is excreted through the kidneys and NOT stored as fat. Knowing this, what do you think would make a better “weight loss diet” for a dog … one with grain as the main ingredient or one with a protein-rich meat source as the main ingredient?

    Ahhhhhh … I know what you’re thinking! Too much protein! Kidney damage! Well, guess what? The very early research that pointed a finger at protein as being a cause of kidney failure in dogs wasn’t even done on dogs! It was done on rats fed unnatural diets for a rodent — diets high in protein. (Were we tinkering with Nature during these “tests”?) Rats have difficulty excreting excess protein in their diets because they are essentially plant eaters, not meat eaters.

    Dogs are quite able to tolerate diets with protein levels higher than 30 percent on a dry weight basis. Dogs are meat eaters; that’s how Nature made them! Rats are not. So some of the early research on rats was assumed to be true for dogs … and the myth of “too much protein in a dog’s diet causes kidney damage” was started. And just like any seemingly valid rumor or assertion, it derived a life of its own and is only recently being accepted as untrue.

    Here is just one of many references that recently have appeared asserting the lack of data indicating that reducing the protein level in a food helps to protect the kidneys:

    “…restriction of protein intake does not alter the development of renal lesions nor does it preserve renal function. Considering these (research) findings, the authors do not recommend reduction of dietary protein in dogs with renal disease or reduced renal function in order to achieve renoprotective effects.”
    -Kirk’s Veterinary Therapy XIII, Small Animal Practice, page 861, written by Finco, Brown, Barsanti and Bartges

    From Iams website
    “Do your foods have too much protein?
    No. Some people believe that protein in dog foods beyond a certain level can cause kidney damage. No scientific research conducted to date indicates that protein is in any way involved in the development of kidney disease.”

    Purina Fit and Trim has “meat and bone meal” and “animal fat” in it. Why not print out the below FDA article (it doesn’t say there are dead cats and dogs but it does say there is traces of pentobarbitol (the euthanasia drug) in these two ingredients.

    This article from the US Fish and Wildlife Service states that pentobarbitol does NOT break down in the rendering process and SHOULD NOT be fed to animals.

    Mike S and I both linked to a research paper proving that high protein diets create better weight loss — one of the diets fed was 54% protein..

    I’m not quite sure how your vet and co-owner could dispute these facts taken from legitimate websites???

    We here on DFA can help you with more factual and reliable informtion if you want it!! Your vet needs some serious educating and a bit of an attitude check!!! Just my opinion though 😉

  • Hi Bear the Sick Lab,
    Here’s the link:

    Notice that it’s an FDA DOCUMENT, complete with letter head. It’s states two things: there is phenobarbitol in the pet food, and phenobarbitol is used to euthanize dogs, cats, and horses.

    There are many YouTube videos, however they are very graphic. There also newsletters and blogs from vets and animal nutritionists all over the Internet. I also reviewed several news videos about it, on YouTube, so you are right. For what it’s worth.

    Now, I know you’re struggling with this decision, and the pressure. It’s hard to go against the mainstream. I have full blown lymphoma, oncologists would radiate and chemo the heck out of me! But I refuse to get the corresponding tests, to give them he license to force me. I have family members who refuse to talk to me if I “just want to die.” I don’t which is why I won’t do conventional treatment. But that’s a whole ‘mother story. I just shared so you’d know I understand.

    Here’s the bottom line. IT’S YOUR DOG NOW. It’s not the vets or the past owners. It’s yours. Thank them politely for their opinion. Tell Them you will take their opinion under advisement. Don’t tell them what you plan to feed. Get the surgery, find a holistic vet and one that supports you and works with you and get that dog recovered. 🙂

    You don’t have to ask their permission. It’s up to you. You’re obviously not stupid, or a sheep. You think and research. That’s wonderful. You like to arm yourself with knowledge so you can make an informed decision. Your dog can’t have a better human than that! There are some great books out there, that I’m sure many members on this site can recommend. Let us know if you want them. 😉

  • Bear the Sick Lab

    Thank you all for contributing! It saddened me that I was belittled by the pros on my recent research (much from this site) and told how wrong I am. I was told to stop this food and go back on Purina Fit & Trim, which in my opinion is just crap. The vet, on the other hand, basically did a “shame on you” lecture for believing anything I’ve learned from the Internet. I didn’t try to link the ACL tear with this food, I was merely stating that the vet is now 100% involved with the food he’s on. Here’s the difficult part of my situation… I am not the original owner of the dog and I would not be paying for the surgery, even though the dog has lived with my family and me for 3 yrs now. I am getting ganged up on by the other parties in this situation (other owner and the professionals) and made to feel foolish for believing things I’ve learned. Someone is just trying to sell me something they say. I don’t know what to do and it stinks. I have been told this food is highly inappropriate for my dog and that he should be on Fit and Trim, and that there have been studies regarding labs and the benefits of Purina. THERE ARE NO QUALITY INGREDIENTS IN THAT FOOD UNTIL YOU GET HALF WAY DOWN THE INGREDIENT LIST! I’m in a no win situation. I asked the vet about Purina being one of the companies that was found to have cat/dog in it years ago and she laughed at me insisting no way. I remember Purina being on the news about this!

    I’m such a frustrated dog-parent. I mean no offense to my, I mean the, vet. I think you’re wrong. You didn’t even hear me out.

  • melissa

    Mike P-

    Exercise is very important. Lack of it not only causes weight gain, but can result in emotional/behavioral issues for the dog-you are completely accurate.

    Unfortunately, even most of the food calculators leave it, without description, up to the owners to determine activity level. Without guidelines to go by, its often difficult for owners to determine “less active” “normal” or “highly active “resulting in over feeding.

  • Mike P

    Mike S- I’m so glad you mentioned “sedentary lifestyle” of some dogs. I know this is a nutrition site but exercise is so important.What a nice long walk does for a dog is so important. Not only physical but emotional well being as well.

  • Oops, lost a word. Should have said “just meat, fat,…etc.

    Mike, I don’t know about others, it I sure could use an edit option! Sorry all.

  • I guess I should add that I was over on the mercola site blogging under the paleo diet, (no starchy carbs, meats, fat, veggies, seeds,nuts, and fruits) where people were reporting 30-146 lb. weight loss, kept off, reduced cholesterol, healthy BUN & creatinin levels as well as improved blood work all around, more energy, feeling of well being, and even remediation of several other health conditions.

    If it works for people, imagine what it can do for dogs…

  • Wow! Tremendous dialog! Sorry I missed it! Great discussion. I have read Mary Enig, and several others on saturated fat, and am just reading Steve Brown’s book. I’m in agreement with Shawna’s summery. I also with what Aimee brought up about over feeding. Too many pet owners leave food out free choice, and even refill the bowl ‘on demand.’ My in-laws had a cat like that…. Wow! But it is prevalent. Love the discussions here!

  • Melissa… I would agree. The cause of canine obesity is (for whatever reason) primarily overfeeding. And that problem is at least compounded by feeding diets low in QUALITY meat-based protein, moderate in fat and low in carbs.

    And that combined with the (rarely mentioned) sedentary lifestyle of our companion animals.

  • Shawna

    🙂 — yes Mike, that is what I strive for and suggest to others.. And I do agree, it is harder to find..

    However, it’s pretty easy to purchase a higher protein diet and add small amounts of lean meats to increase the overall protein while lowering both the fat and carb content. One half of a raw chicken breast, as an example, per nutrition data has 27 grams of protein and only 1 gram of fat.

    I also think that if we as customers start demanding diet closer to ancestral we will get them. There’s only so much a kibble can do but there are many now that strive for the ideal. Evo Weight Mangement is one

  • aimee

    I didn’t mean to imply dogs need a low fat diet.. a more moderate fat is ok by me along with appropriate portion control. I do favor a higher protein to fat ratio for the average house dog. JMO but with todays couch potato dogs who are taking in only close to RER I wonder if we may be inadvertently shortchanging protein in these animals. For weight loss I want that ratio even higher.

    I’m pretty carb neutral. The higher carbs in commercial diets don’t bother me too much.

  • Oops, Shawna. Forgive me. My last comment posted before I read yours. As you’ve mentioned previously, you’re also a Steve Brown fan. I use his model of a dog’s natural ancestral diet as my personal gold standard.

    It’s hard to find many commercial products that mimic this historical design.

  • I’m hearing you, Aimee. And what you describe sounds like something closer to a dog’s natural ancestral diet — high protein, moderate (quality) fat and low carbs. Am I understanding this correctly?

  • Shawna

    I agree with Aimee on high fat.. Protein should account for the largest portion of calories. But I also disagree with the low fat theory. High protein, “moderate” amounts of high quality species appropriate fat, low carb.

  • aimee

    I think Melissa hit the head on the nail. The primary problems contributing to obesity are overfeeding, coupled with inactivity and improper body image.

    In one study the dogs whose owners watched them eat were more likely to be overweight. Some people get pleasure from seeing the dog eat and so they feed them and feed them and feed them: )

    The study you linked to Mike is the one we are discussing. But I think the disservice was in the title. These diets were all low fat and the test diets were only 8 and 9 percent fat. A better title in my opinion would have been “Feeding more calories as protein vs carbohydrates when feeding a low fat diet enhances weight loss in the dog”

    If someone only reads the title as it is written they may think a diet of say 47 percent protein, 43 percent fat is a great diet food because it is high protein and low carb. But on an energy basis it isn’t, the benefit of high protein has been lost. To borrow from Shawna, the protein has been misplaced by the fat.

    The problem in my opinion with high fat diets is that they displace protein and make the food calorically dense. Since so many people feed by the “this amount looks right” method it is easy to overfeed the dog.

  • Shawna

    Calorie restriction without changing the diet leads to yoyo dieting. Once the weight is off — the calories have to be added back in to prevent further weight loss. If those same calories are causing insulin spikes — the weight goes right back on and sometimes, many people find, even more weight is gained.

  • Shawna

    Huffington post — watch the video

    “Insulin” makes you fat not fat.

    “Let me repeat that.

    Dietary fat is not a major determinant of body fat.”

  • Shawna

    Mary Enig one of the leading experts in fats and member of Weston Price Foundation says this about saturated fats.

    “How much total saturated do we need? During the 1970s, researchers from Canada found that animals fed rapeseed oil and canola oil developed heart lesions. This problem was corrected when they added saturated fat to the animals diets. On the basis of this and other research, they ultimately determined that the diet should contain at least 25 percent of fat as saturated fat. Among the food fats that they tested, the one found to have the best proportion of saturated fat was lard, the very fat we are told to avoid under all circumstances!” [Link removed by Moderator due to malware]

    Fats (food) is not as healthful now as it was in past years because we feed our food corn, M & Ms, soy etc. Not because of the food (meat/fat) itself.

    Grass finished beef, 1 ounce, has only 5 grams of fat and only 1 of those is saturated fat.

    Feedlot finished (raised on grass most its life) beef 85% lean, 1 ounce, has 4 grams of fat but 2 of those are saturated.

  • Shawna

    By increasing protein (animal protein) you automatically increase fat (to a certain degree). The calories have to come from somewhere. There is a change of thinking beginning to happen right now.

    From Harvard University
    “Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet” has been the mantra for healthful eating for decades. Touted as a way to lose weight and prevent or control heart disease and other chronic conditions, millions of people have followed (or, more likely, have tried to follow) this advice. Seeing a tremendous marketing opportunity, food companies re-engineered thousands of foods to be lower in fat or fat free. The low-fat approach to eating may have made a difference for the occasional individual, but as a nation it hasn’t helped us control weight or become healthier. In the 1960s, fats and oils supplied Americans with about 45 percent of their calories; (1) about 13 percent of us were obese and under 1 percent had type 2 diabetes, a serious weight-related condition. (2, 3) Today, Americans take in less fat, getting about 33 percent of calories from fats and oils; (1) yet 34 percent of us are obese and 8 percent have diabetes, most with type 2 diabetes. (4, 5)

    Why hasn’t cutting fat from the diet paid off as expected? Detailed research—much of it done at Harvard—shows that the total amount of fat in the diet isn’t really linked with weight or disease. (6-9) What really matters is the type of fat in the diet.”

    If this is true for humans imagine the implications for dogs — who evolved eating, if Steve Brown is correct, 44% of their diet from fats (including an ample amount of saturated fat).

  • melissa

    Mike S-

    All interesting points to ponder. In my opinion the number one cause is owners overfeeding their dogs coupled with an inaccurate “vision” of what a healthy dog looks like.

    Our society as a whole has gotten heavier and heavier over the years, and I tend to believe that as humans, we have distorted what a proper “body condition” should be for dogs. A dog should have a distinct “tuck up” or waist, without ribs/hip bones showing. Ribs should be able to be felt with slight pressure, but not seen. However, many people see a dog with a waist and think “Omg, that poor dog is skinny” As long as the owner’s vision is distorted, it is not going to make a difference WHAT the food composition is.

    I have fed all types of foods over the years, and with a few exceptions of certain dogs getting too thin on a particular type or brand, I have yet to have a dog become obese. This I believe is simply due to the uniqueness of each dog, and some foods just do not “agree” with them.

    Next time you see a person walking a watermelon with legs, stop and gush over them, telling the owner how cute and adorable the dog is..Then, ask what the dog eats and how much-be sure to comment how shiny the coat is, and ask if they feed any “special” treats-Next thing you know, you will be hearing he/she eats only one cup of x brand. Oh, and they credit the shiny coat to the 20 biscuits and leftover dinner scraps that they feed the dog. The point not being that treats or table scraps are inherently bad, but that the owner has no concept of exactly how many calories that dog is consuming-and certainly have no idea of how to properly categorize its activity level(what is high energy to me, may be lethargic to you!)

  • Aimee… I believe I found Shawna’s well-argued comment posted in the Dog Food Calculator article. The link is entitled, “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs”.

    Is that the one you’re talking about? (It’s certainly possible I’ve found the wrong one 😉 )

    If it is (and unless I’m misunderstanding its findings), the study appears to support not just high protein but also low carbohydrate content for canine weight loss.

    Yet the “moderate-fat” study you mentioned in your comment here also makes a good case that excessive dietary fat is the culprit.

    I’m puzzled. Which is it? Excessive fat? Excessive carbs? Or excessive calories?

    As you know, I’ve always suspected today’s carbohydrate heavy (low protein) kibbles to be an important “player” in canine obesity.

    It would just seem logical (to me, at least) that the primary cause for canine obesity would be excessive total dietary calories (overfeeding) exacerbated by a diet too low in protein.

    And thus, by scientific and mathematical certainty, excessive in either fat or carbs.

    So, which is it? Are today’s commercial dog foods too high in carbs? Too high in fats? Or are they simply too low in protein?

    Or have today’s devotees of nutritionism found the answer by “switching out” meat for corn meal and canola oil?

  • aimee


    When reading on insulin resistance I came across something called the “moderate fat fed dog model” in which body composistion is shifted to a higher proportion of fat through an isocaloric diet with a greater proportion of calories fed as fat. The overall dog’s weight didn’t change.

    In this study that model is explained. A mere 8 percent increase in the percentage of calories fed as fat ( no increase in total calories fed) resulted in a twofold increase in body fat.
    But I remembered the study incorrectly as those calories were substituted out from both carb and protein.

    I believe I also came across a reference to a weight loss study in which protein was held the same and fat was switched out for carb. I’ll try to find it for you. Maybe I’m not remembering that one right either… we’ll see ! : )

  • aimee


    As I read this study there was a fifteen percent caloric restriction done during the weight loss phase and the authors concluded that in the high protein group a further weight loss was realized without having to restrict to a greater degree.

    The findings suggest that the dog may lose weight via shifiting to a high protein diet even though calories remain the same. (Through increased thermogeneisis??) But I would think this effect would be too small for effective weight loss if the dog has significant weight to lose and caloric restriction would still be needed at some point.

    I also wonder what the effect would be if all the test diets were higher in fat. The diets ranged from 8 to 11 percent fat( all fairly low) with the lower fat diets being the higher protein test diets, just a wee bit of a confounding variable.

    Mike.. I do think caloric restriction is still needed for effective weight loss but do think this was a great research find on Shawna’s part to support the use of high protein in a weight loss food.

  • Shawna

    In the research paper it stated that calorie restriction was not required when lowering the carbs and uping the protein.

    However, I do agree that overfeeding of any food can cause weight gain…

  • Hi Aimee and Shawna… Would you not also agree that reduced caloric intake (calorie restriction) would be the primary dietary objective for weight loss. I’ve never met an overweight dog that wouldn’t benefit from being fed less.

  • Shawna


    Yes, absolutely — if you can easily find it I would like that.. In the mean time — switching carb to fat (calorie for calorie) caused and increase in fat? WOW.. I could see it if gram for gram since fats have over double the calories per gram — but calorie for calorie!!! In all honesty, that kinda surprises me.. Not the first time I’ve been surprised though 🙂

    I’m not a low fat follower but because of the higher calories in fat it does have to be watched.. Fat can displace protein just as easily as carbs!!! Most raw commercial diets are too high in fat!! A sneaky way to make their food cost less as fed…

    I’m a Steve Brown follower — 49% of calories from protein and 44% fat — still high in fat but not as high as protein. However in the numbers, fat would be less then half the protein due to the higher calorie count gram for gram. I feed lower fat meats like buffalo and venison but then add sardines and eggs..

    Thanks aimee 🙂 !!!

  • aimee


    I think I forgot to thank you for posting that great reference on the other thread. I added it to my collection!

    In a reference I cited previously (I can find it again if you want it) holding protein level and switching out carb calories for fat calories results in increased body fat.

    And so now to add to the data a good reference that with a low fat diet switching out carbs for protein is also advisable.

    I personally favor a high protein low fat diets for weight loss similar to the test diet in the reference you turned me on to.

  • Shawna

    Bear the sick lab,

    I’m soooo sorry for you and your poor boy. However, your vet is very very wrong!!! It disturbs me how wrong she really is in fact.

    Like Toxed herself, I have a dog that was born with kidney disease. She has been on a high protein diet (raw diet) since she was weaned. She just turned 5 this year in June. HOWEVER — chronic dehydration (from too little water on a kibble diet) and poor quality proteins can contribute to kd in a dog that is suseptible.. It is VERY well known now that protein does not cause kd.

    Dr. Foster and Smith (vets seen on Animal Planet)
    “Does high protein cause kidney disease?
    No. This myth probably started because, in the past, patients with kidney disease were commonly placed on low-protein (and thus low-nitrogen) diets.”

    I have a ton more reputable sites like Drs Foster and Smith that agree on protein not causing KD.

    Liver disease — protein doesn’t cause liver disease. Protein needs restricted in a dog with a severely compromised liver if encephalitis is resent (say a liver shunt). But it does not cause. Fructose (sugar) as found in rice DOES cause liver disease however. I have many reputable sites stating this too. Including human doctor – Dr. Oz.

    Carbs cause weight gain — protein causes muscle gain. I posted this on one of the weighloss articles here on DFA.
    “The paper is titled “High-Protein Low-Carbohydrate Diets Enhance Weight Loss in Dogs”

    A quote from the “Discussion” at the end of the paper. “Changing the macronutrient profile of a canine weight-loss diet from a high-carbohydrate level to one primarily based on protein can promote greater weight loss without further reductions in caloric intake. This weight loss is driven primarily from an increased loss of fat mass while maintaining lean muscle mass.”

    Maybe you should print these articles out and educate your vet..??

  • aimee

    To Bear the Sick Lab,

    My heart goes out for your guy. I’ve gone through my share of ACL repairs as unfortunately it is not uncommon in this breed.

    I did a quick search and therapeutic diets sold through veterinary offices specific for weight loss do have protein levels similar to this food: Purina OM canned and Royal Canin high protein calorie control canned.

  • P.S.S.

    Oops my mistake, forget Pitcairn…

  • P.S. I read your above post about the licking and itching. Sounds like detox to me. We, (mammals) detox through elimination: urine, feces, sweating. Itching skin, and licking paws is often a sign of detoxing through the skin… Dogs sweat mostly through their paws. Many times our bodies will store the toxins in tissue until they have the resources to get them eliminated with less damage. This food has a lot of beneficial nutrients. Sounds like it was helping your dog eliminate toxins. In the TI (toxically injured) world we call this Herksheimer’s Reactions.

  • Bear the Sick lab,

    I’m so sorry that happened to bear. It is horrible when our pets have to go through painful things that they can’t understand. However, I think your vet is incorrect.

    High protein diets don’t cause those kinds of injuries, not torn ligaments. And despite a lot of speculation to the contrary, I don’t think high protein causes kidney or liver disease either. Yes, we’ll see protenuria in the urine, but that is a symptom of something else going on… You see, I have kidney disease and a severely damaged liver… My EI doctor and I have me on an extremely high protein diet, as part of my treatment.

    Here’s a couple of other facts for you to mull over: many pharmaceuticals cause rupturing or tearing of major muscles and ligaments. My husband tore his ACL while playing Bball with the kids. He’d taken Cipro, the antibiotic. (flufloxiflourine, spelling?) within the previous 3 years. Later a recall came out saying that they were finding these side effects as much as 10 years later! So, I don’t think it’s your diet.

    Many very savvy vets feel a specie specific ancestral diet (high in animal protein) is the most beneficial diet for your dog. Check these guys out: Billinghurst, Lonsdale, Pitcairn. You can also check out Dr. Becker on

    Now Mike Sageman has done a lot of research into pet nutrition. Many vets don’t. Its not covered extensively in vet school. Mike wouldn’t have given it a 5 star rating if it was outside the healthy limit of protein for canines…( Canines thrive on protein.) It would also have to be optimally balanced for fats and nutrients. This really is a very well researched site!

    So, while you love Bear, and changing diet may have been the most recent recognizable change, other environmental factors most probably caused the ruptured ligament. You didn’t pick a poor quality food. It is in fact a very healthy one full of beneficial nutrients. That injury wasn’t your fault! It wasn’t caused by changing to this food.

  • Bear the Sick Lab

    I thought this food was great. Then my dog snapped his ACL and my vet yelled at me for switching to this food because all the protein can cause liver and kidney damage. She then stated that the ONLY dogs that should be eating this much protein are working dogs and rescue dogs that hike up and down the mountains. Suffice it to say, overweight dogs are most likely not rescue or working dogs. My overweight lab needs $3500 surgery with the ACL snap and he wasn’t losing weight on this food. She has asked me to switch it pronto.

    What she suggested to feed him is for another convo. Ugh.

  • sandy

    Just throwing it out there…the vet suggested 2-5% weight reduction per month.

  • sandy


    There are other numerous choices. You don’t necessarily need “weight reduction” food and there are foods that are not that high in protein. Just restrict the calories and exercise. He can also lose the weight on grain free moderate to high protein whether it’s “weight management” type food or non-weight management. The goal is to give him good quality proteins and try to reduce the carbs as much as you are comfortable with. For small breeds, I have used (and still use) Amicus (30%), Instinct, Brothers, Nutrisca (34%). There is also a Blue Buffalo Wilderness Healthy Weight and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Small Breed. I have had many dogs lose weight on non-diet grain free/moderate to high protein foods. I just measure their serving with a real measuring scoop and restrict treats and go walking.

  • pat langan

    i have a 2 year od chi he weighs 18 lbs but should be 6 lbs i thought about premium edge weight reduction however the high protein of 40 seems it would be hard on their kidneys.

  • Hi Bear the English Lab… I don’t see any grains in this product. So I have it tagged as a grain-free dog food.

  • Bear the English Lab

    Thanks for answering! I bought this food at the local farmer’s co-op and slowly switched over to it. I think it’s too soon to tell if he’s lost weight, but he surely gets happy enough when it’s meal time.

    My concern is that he’s licking a lot every morning and I don’t know if something in the food is causing an allergy. If it did, wouldn’t he be biting his legs A LOT or licking at all times of the day? I really want to love this food. He’s had chicken and salmon and egg and kelp before, so I don’t know what it could be.

    And the bag doesn’t say grain-free. I don’t see any in the list, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t, right?

  • Hi Bear the English Lab… Premium Edge is made by Diamond. And according to the company, Diamond switched to ethoxyquin-free fish meals in May 2010. Besides, excluding this controversial preservative, fish meal is considered by most of about the same nutritional value as poultry meal. Hope this helps.

  • sandy


    Wellness Core Reduced Fat does not contain fish products. And you don’t necessarily have to have low fat for weight loss. Just control feeding portions. My dog and foster dogs lose weight eating regular grain free, above average to high protein. I use a measuring cup and don’t (or rarely) give treats.

  • Bear the English Lab

    Just read your article on how horrible “by-products” are. I stumbled upon this food today and it seems like a dream come true. I haven’t checked prices yet, but it’s the first review I’ve found on here that has high protein, low fat, and low carb. The AvoDerm recommended for weight loss didn’t qualify as a high protein, low fat, and low carb after your diagnosis.

    Anyway, is the “ocean meal” a big enough issue to be turned off of this food? I know it’s far down the list, but I keep picturing questionable fish being crushed in that metal pit with the auger! Ahh!!!

  • Hi Kevin… In many ways, the label of this product looks so good, it appears it could be used for any dog (irregardless of their age or weight). However, my only reservation here is the nutritional adequacy statement claiming the product meets the AAFCO profile for adult maintenance only. So, since we can’t be certain what might be missing, I’m not sure this product would be appropriate for puppies.

  • Kevin

    I think maybe my question wasn’t clear enough, so let me re-phrase: Would this blend of dog food be adequate for a senior dog or a dog without weight issues? I’m not asking specifically for my dog, but in general what your thoughts would be since this blend is rated highly. I’m not convinced yet of the “weight mgmt” and “senior” concepts, but do believe in appropriate diets. Any thoughts? Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Hi Mike, my dog has absolutely no weight issues, but I’m looking for a new food all the same. The price of this food is fantastic considering the quality, but I don’t want to go out on a limb to save 10 bucks a bag. I appreciate your input!

  • Teri

    My dog loves this food. I briefly changed to Bil Jac due to a very enthusiastic salesperson at PetSmart. My dog began “vurping” on a regular basis – I thought she was sick. Did a little experiment and found that the Bil Jac dog food quadruples in volume in minutes (equal portions of food to water in a glass). She was unknowingly gorging herself! Changed back to Premium Edge Weight Control.

  • Hi Jeanne… I’m not aware of any changes to these formulas. All the Premium Edge products are listed together in a separate review. And that report includes both of the “weight” products. Please note that one is called Weight Reduction and the other is referred to as Weight Control. When I prepared that overall product line review, I believed this Weight Reduction Formula was unique enough to merit its own review. Although I almost never make product comparisons for readers, these two recipes aren’t even close to each other by my standards.

    Considering its far more generous meat protein and low fat content, Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction certainly appears to be a superior product. Hope this helps.

  • Jeanne Kaiser

    Have the ingredients in this food changed since this review? Now there are both Weight Reduction I and II. Which one is better?

  • Hi Buddy’s Mom… I’m sorry to hear this particular food may not agree with your dog. As I say in the review itself (and every review on this website) , “our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific health benefit for your pet.”

    Due to the obvious biological differences unique to each animal, our reviews have nothing to do with results. We rate each food based on only 2 factors determined by the label: The apparent quality of the recipe’s ingredients and the estimated amount of meat-based protein in the food. And nothing else.

    And on that basis, this food’s current rating is appropriate.

    If you decide to choose another food, be sure to follow our transition advice carefully. And for a better idea about what to expect with any dog food, be sure to read the “Comments” section at the end of each review.

  • Buddy’s Mom

    (I should first mention that I love your website. Most informative.)
    I purchased the Premium Edge Healthy Weight Control on (based on the 5-star review for “Healthy Weight Dry Food”) for my 100lb Golden Retriever, age 8.
    About 3 days later started the explosive diarrhea… I mean EXPLOSIVE.
    Some of the things I considered were, 1. He played in a local stream a few days prior (drank some water), 2. I started giving him Daily Supplements (Pet-Tabs PLUS) and PlaqueOff at the same time I changed the dog food, and 3. Just a general reaction to new food.
    The diarrhea would come and go every few days. It starts off as soft yellowish stool in the morning, and quickly became pure liquid by the same evening (with lots of mucus). I would immediately reduce his food and he would start to improve… then once I up his intake, diarrhea starts again (He never had vomiting).
    After trying different combinations of these factors, I am 99% sure it’s this dog food.
    Just to see what others are saying, I did a word search for “diarrhea” and “vomit” on your “Premium Edge Dog Food (Dry)” page and got MULTIPLE hits in the reviews…
    Just my opinion, but you may want to consider taking a second look at its 5-star status.
    On a happier note, I used your site to pick a new dog food. This time I also read the user reviews for any negative experiences, and I’ve chosen Wellness Core Reduced Fat Formula. I’ll tell you how it goes!
    Thanks for your dedicated research!

  • sandy


    i started my 13 yr old pug on glycoflex 3 and saw a difference in her. Before she had a hard time going in and out the doggie door and waited for me to open the door for her and now she’s in and out in a flash without tripping or anything. I’ve started my younger ones on cetyl-m to keep their joints healthy.

  • kathy

    Steve i have a rottie that is 12 and been very healthy but now has artritis problems I have had her on the edge for a long time the VET WANTED ME TO Mix HILLS JD but im not to thrilled but she needs the oh i cant think starts with g but i give pro motion tabs fish oil she did not do well with.what can i add to the edge for the mobility problems.She use to walk every day with me not now.Shes just a little heavy not bad but getting flabby.The vet says heart excellent and kidneys she has had a good life.

  • Hi Karen… Unfortunately, I do not track the calories per cup information on each of the more than 2,000 products on our website. You should be able to find this information on the package. And if not, you may need to contact the manufacturer. Wish I could be more help.

  • ed

    You don’t need a high volume food. You need a food with 25% or slighty more protein and less than 15% fat.

    How old is this dog?

  • Karen O’Kain

    Mike, Can you tell me the Kcals/cup for Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction? My dog would eat 24 hours a day if I let him, so I need something lo-cal but high volume. I’ve had him on Whole Foods diet food supplemented with raw veggies. Now he’s getting bored with the raw veggies, and I end up with “salad” all over the floor and a still hungry dog. Thanks, Karen

  • Hi Erin… Unfortunately, I don’t immediately know of a dog food that meets your specific requirements. However, there are numerous good grain-free dog foods that aren’t chicken based. Why not look through our list of recommended grain-free dog foods. Since we review by “product line” rather than specific recipes, look through the lists of formulations near the beginning of each report on our website. Note the ones that contain other meats in the name. For example, “XXX Grain-Free Lamb and Rice”. Hope this helps.

  • erin arvin

    this looks like a great food. to bad it is chicken based. one of my dogs can not have chicken. she will scratch and chew herself raw. do you know of a grain free food no chicken thats around 36 protein and 15-18 fat? thanks erin

  • HI Gabby… Of course, any time you switch foods your pet can experience loose stools. Also, not every food is appropriate for every dog. What works for one may not work for another. Plus, like most all weight loss formulas, this product has slightly above-average fiber content. You can find more precise information about switching foods on our FAQ page and look for the topic, “How to Feed a Dog”. Hope this helps.

  • Gabby


    I just started my Husky on this food and she is very overweight but I have noticed since having her on this she has been having a lot of loose bowels and going in the house a lot? Can this be from the food? She has never done this before until we started her on this food? I am not sure if it is coincidence or not? Is it common for dogs to have watery stool when on a weight reduction food such as this? Thanks so much!! 🙂

  • Hi Kim… For me, the Premium Edge Healthy Weight I is a much better product than its sibling. HW I appears to contain significantly more meat (much more protein, slightly more fat and way less carbs). And only 42 more calories per cup.

  • Kim

    THANK YOU so much for this website!!! Okay, does the Premium Edge Weight Management II rate as good as PE Weight Management I?

  • Hi Jennifer… Dogs that consume fewer calories than they burn… lose weight. That’s why long term weight loss can be best accomplished accomplished for dogs like it is for humans. Plenty of exercise along with a high quality, balanced and complete diet. Not low in nutrition but low in calories.

    In our opinion, a dog should be able to maintain his current weight with virtually any dog food. Just choose a quality product and simply feed a calorie-neutral amount of it. Then simply adjust the serving size up or down as needed. To help eliminate the guesswork, you may wish to visit our dog food calculator. Hope this helps.

  • Jennifer Lynn

    I have a 5 year old Alaskan Malamute who is at a very healthy weight. Like many breeds, Mals seem to have a tendency to overeat and gain weight in their older years. I am impressed with the protein and fat content of this food. Plus, as Brenda mentioned, this food is very well priced. Would you recommend this food to someone who wants to maintain a current weight? Furthermore, would you recommend this food to someone who has very lean dogs (my mom has two 1.5 year old GSD’s)? Thank you for all of your time and advice! 🙂

  • Hi Maria… In many ways, dogs are a lot like us humans. Each responds to a particular food (or ingredient) in its own unique way. So, it would be impossible for me (or anyone) to assure you feeding a this specific product would “take over” the Hill’s Science Diet you’ve been using or provide the results you’re looking for. Unfortunately, choosing the right dog food still involves at least some trial and error.

    By the way, a dog can lose weight with just about any dog food. Just choose a quality dog food and simply feed less of it. If your dog still doesn’t lose weight, reduce the serving size. Hope this helps.

  • Maria D’Marco

    Hi Mike,
    I have 3 weiner dogs – brother & sister, plus the youngest from another litter- same parents. I need a dry and canned food for weight reduction for the young one, who is actually an adult (8 yrs I think). He is very active, but tends towards being blimpish – I feed them all chicken that I cook myself, then use the broth too, and add SDiet canned food. They also get a small amount of SDiet crunchies – what y’all call kibbles. -My query is: do you feel the food you’ve reviewed here could take over what I’m feeding my husky boy? His brother & sis are slim and trim. Sry to be so long – thank you!

  • Hi Carole… From a nutritional standpoint, most weight loss dog foods are an abomination. Almost all of them lower calories by lowering protein and fat content (a.k.a. “meat”) and increasing carbs. For humans, that would be like a weight loss diet that decreases healthy vegetables and lean meats and replaces the good stuff with bread, cereal and pasta.

    But the truth is, most weight loss foods are unnecessary. Almost any quality food can be used in a scientific weight loss program. As you’ve already found out, you simply lower caloric intake to below daily energy (caloric) needs.

    Since there’s much to know about a dog’s current weight, metabolism and activity levels. there are no serving instructions on any package (or even with our own dog food calculator) that can possibly be 100% accurate in setting the right serving size for slow and steady weight loss. The most likely reason your dog lost weight on the Hill’s Lite product is that the serving size was within the right range for your dog.

    My advice… use common sense and start by following instructions or our dog food calculator. Then adjust every few weeks as needed to achieve weight maintenance or loss at you desire. And don’t forget, use your dog’s ideal weight when determining the serving size (not her current weight). Hope this helps.

  • carole

    Hi Mike,

    My Sophie-dog is a 2 year old Pembroke Welsh Corgi. she is on a weight reduction program. She started out at 34 lbs, then went up to 36.5 pounds on Natural Balance following the portion suggestions on the bag. I have discovered for her anyway the portion suggestions are way to high. She is a young dog – but she has severe hip dysplasia and is not as active as a normal dog. She has to take doggie pain meds every other day in order to feel well enough to be active at all. They work very good. Anyway, 6 months ago I switched her to Science Diet Lite and once I got her down to 1C of food a day along with green beans and canned pumpkin she began loosing and has lost 5 lbs. She went from 36.5 to 31. She still needs to loose weight and I want to get her off the Science Diet Lite. (Especially after I read your rating of a 1 – how awful)! So, I have ordered some Premium Edge Healthy Weight Reduction online (no one sells it in my area). It looks like per cup, there is around 40-45 more calories in the Premium. I am assuming I will need to cut her food ration down to around 2/3 C of food and continue to add in green beans and pumpkin to give her some bulk! Does that sound right to you? Or is that too much?

  • Hi Brenda… No, in most cases, it’s not. Basically, ash what’s left of all the food once it has been burned by the cells in the body. It’s what’s left of all of us after we’re cremated. However, some minerals (like phosphorus) can burden the body (specifically, the kidney).

  • brenda

    Hi Mike,
    I have one more question if you don’t mind….
    I noticed in your comment to Cincy regarding your article on ash that “…ash is most frequently associated with high protein dog foods.” Is this something to be concerned about with Premium Edge?

  • brenda

    Just wanted to clarify that the weight loss occurred with the previous food that made them itch. They haven’t been eating Premium Edge long enough to find out if they will gain or loose yet. I’ll increase the amount until I see them back to their normal weight. Thanks for the advice!

  • Hi Brenda… Both Premium Edge and Taste of the Wild are made by Diamond Pet. And they happen to be very good products. Weight loss or weight gain are more a function of caloric content than the type of food.

    Although not exactly the same, calorie content of the two foods is for the most part fairly similar. If your dogs are losing weight, simply feed more. Increase the serving size a little. Hope this helps.

  • brenda

    I went into our local feed store looking for something grain free, and the cashier directed me to this product. She said it was comparable to Taste of the Wild (high protien, grain free), but this was much more cost effective for me. I looked at the ingredients in the store, but after I got home I read the name of the product and got a little confuse. My dogs are not overwieght. In fact, the opposite is our problem. The food I switched them from caused them to loose weight and itch so much, that I decided to look for something grain free. Can you help shed some light on comparing it to TOW? Also wondering if this will help them gain the 5 pounds they lost on the other kibble. GSDs are naturally lean, so this small weight loss has alarmingly brought some bones to the surface.

  • Hi Steve… Unfortunately, as protein and fat (a.k.a. “meat”) go down, carbs go up. It’s not protein that puts weight on your dog. It’s calories. For weight loss, just be sure you also count the calories and adjust the serving size accordingly. Hope this helps.

  • Hi Echo… I’d have to agree with you. Didn’t think anyone would ever develop a high protein, low fat and carb weight loss kibble. This “diet” food makes sense to me, too

  • Echo

    Wow Mike I didn’t know a weight control or reduction food on your 5 star rating existed! I just picked up a sample of this from the pet store