Retriever Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Retriever Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The Retriever product line includes 5 dry dog foods.

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

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

  • Retriever Hi Protein [U]
  • Retriever Mini Chunk [U]
  • Retriever Gravy Blend [U]
  • Retriever Puppy Blend [U]
  • Retriever Bites and Bones [U]

Retriever Hi Protein was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Retriever Hi Protein

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 44%

Ingredients: Meat and bone meal, ground yellow corn, wheat middlings, ground wheat, soybean meal, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), corn gluten meal, animal digest, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, color added (red #40, yellow #5, blue #2), l-lysine, zinc oxide, niacin, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, manganous oxide, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis27%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%17%44%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%36%38%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 38%

The first ingredient in this dog food is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this to be a quality item.

The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient includes wheat middlings, commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

Unfortunately, the variations in nutrient content found in wheat middlings can be a critical issue in determining their suitability for use in any dog food — or even livestock feeds.3

In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically associated with lower quality pet foods.

The fourth ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The fifth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 sixth ingredient includes animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: restaurant grease, slaughterhouse waste, diseased cattle — even (although unlikely) euthanized pets.

We do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The seventh ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 eighth ingredient is animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

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 four notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

In addition, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Retriever Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Retriever Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

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 soybean and corn gluten meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Retriever is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named and unnamed by-product meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

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

Retriever Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

06/29/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Wheat Middlings as defined in an article by Wikipedia
  • CokedIP

    Blah blah blah. We have a 9 year old and 8 year old lab. A 6 year old hound. A 3 year old American Bulldog and an Old English Bulldog. All 5 have eaten this for years and all are perfectly healthy.

  • Lisa

    Hi Pitlove

    Why no more fromm?

  • Lisa


  • Pitlove

    We aren’t using Fromm anymore, however I do not go by the feeding guidelines on the bag. I use the Dog Food Calculator on this website because it factors in activity level. For him being less active 2 cups a day on Fromm was fine. He maintained a very good weight.

  • GSDsForever

    There are plenty of nutrient dense, high calorie/cup foods that would easily allow feeding that amount. I’ve typically fed in the 550 cal/cup range.

    Regarding Fromm’s products and 2 cups/day for a 65 lb dog, check out the calorie calculator here for a rough idea of range. Calorie requirements depend so much on breed/type, activity level, age, temperament, spay/neuter status, body condition score vs ideal (target weight) — perhaps more than you might think. So, while Fromm’s may not be the highest calorie foods out there, yes, there are indeed 65 lb dogs where 2 cups of Fromm is the right amount. (In fact, I recently fostered one for a rescue, different breed than our/my specialty, with way different needs — and I think she could have held on to/gained weight just looking at a bag of food!)

    And Fromm makes excellent foods with high quality ingredients, easily a step up from poor foods like this brand’s, with their Gold & Classic lines very affordable options — which was, I think, pitlove’s (correct & helpful) point in trying to help others who feel that they have only the most paltry choices due to cost.

    I really appreciate that regulars on this site often offer a list of lower cost foods of better quality as an alternative — to help others.

  • Popop Popk

    What food is that nutrient dense that it calls for only 2 cups a DAY for a 65lb dog. lol It isn’t fromm. Sounds good though.

  • Pitlove

    try the sportmix wholesomes before Diamond Hi-Energy please. Much better ingredients than Diamond Hi-Energy

  • Babslynne

    If you don’t transition them slowly from one food to another they will get diarrhea. You should always transition them slowly by mixing the old food with the new food 75/25 mix for a while, then 50/50 mix a while, then 25/75, then finally 100% new food. this process should take a week or 2. It also helps to mix in a spoonful of plain canned pumpkin to settle their stomach and prevent diarrhea.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Pitlove is right. I would probably pick Sportmix wholesomes (not the original Sportmix) since it’s made by a company with a decent reputation. I would pick between the 3 I originally mentioned: Sportmix Wholesomes, Diamond Naturals or 4health. Those get good ratings. The regular (and cheaper versions) of these brands are only slightly better than what you’re feeding.

    They shouldn’t get diarrhea if you do a SLOW TRANSITION to whichever new food you pick. You need to feed 75% old food – 25% new food for 3-5 days, 50% old food – 50% new food for 3-5 days, 25% old food – 75% new food for 3-5 days. If they get a loose stool anywhere in the process, stay with the ratio that is working for a few more days. A small amount (a spoonful) of pure canned pumpkin mixed in with the food will help the transition if they get a soft stool. You also will end up feeding less as there is more nutrition in the better foods. If dogs get a loose stool on new food after the transition, it’s often because you’re feeding too much. Good luck with it! Let us know how it’s going! πŸ™‚

  • Pitlove

    try the sportmix wholesomes. NOT the regular sportmix that still has junky ingredients.

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    Um going get hi energy diamond dog food will that give them diarrhea

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    I’m thinking about getting them sports mix energy plus dog food will that be okay

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    will the Sports mix give them diarrhea

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    what good for my 7 dogs and what dog food will last them the most

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    What would be good for 7dogs

  • Crazy4dogs

    I looked up Retriever and found it at Tractor Supply. If that’s where you’re buying it you could take a look at Sportmix Wholesomes, 4Health or Diamond Naturals. These all get a 4 star rating and cost around $30-$40 bucks for a large bag. The Sportmix Wholesomes appear to be the best deal @ $30 for a 40lb bag.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Did you read the ingredients and review of Purina Dog Chow? It’s pretty much an even match with this food. Just because a company has been making food for a long time or does a lot of advertising doesn’t mean it’s a good food.

    If you actually tried feeding a better food you would notice a difference in a shinier, softer coat, the dog would smell better, have more energy and less smelly poop after just a few weeks of changing the diet.

    You would have great difficulty in finding a food that’s cheaper than this (except Dog Chow), but as Pitlove said, you feed less so the cost isn’t as different as you think. What kind of quality do you think you’re getting in a food that costs $20 for 50 lbs???

  • Pitlove

    Your dog might not die eating this food, but they certainly will not thrive and you aren’t giving them the best chance at a long and healthy life. Disease doesn’t pop up over night. Considering your philosophy on your own bodies health, I can’t imagine you would do much better for your dogs. Huge shame on both ends.

    Also why don’t you read some of the reviews below from pet parents who lost their dogs to this junk?

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    what about Purina Dog Chow Purina Dog Chow has the same ingredient in it and Purina company’s been out a lot longer than all the dog food companies

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    What im saying is weres the proof if I feed them this food they whont be healthy there is no proof or if I feed them other dog food no proof saying if you feed them this dog food they whont be healthy no proof saying that

  • Crazy4dogs

    Aren’t potatoes, wheat, eggs on the pyramid? I’m not sure if the chocolate chip is there, but it should be! πŸ˜‰

  • Crazy4cats

    Umm. I did Not see either on that biological food chart you were just referring to. Lol!
    Btw, I am going to post a question about digestability on that thread. Be ready!

  • Bobby dog

    Aren’t they essential food groups? I am pretty sure they are part of a well balanced diet. πŸ˜‰

  • Crazy4cats

    Smooth move, including both salt and sweet in your “diet”

  • Crazy4dogs

    And you actually believe that?

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, I could be a big fan of the ONLY CHOCOLATE Diet, if it ever comes out! πŸ˜‰

  • Bobby dog

    I am a big fan of the chocolate chip cookie and potato chip diet. πŸ˜‰ I am going to call it “The Chip” diet.

  • Crazy4dogs

    HaHa C4C! πŸ™‚

  • Pitlove

    I have not heard that no. Also looking good and being internally healthy aren’t mutually exclusive.

  • Shawna

    You don’t honestly believe that do you? That is extremely naive thinking – especially when evaluating dog food.

    If you ate the euthanasia drug daily, for every meal, do you think you would be “healthy”?

    The FDA found Pentobarbital, the euthanasia drug, in four ingredients. Those ingredients were “meat and bone meal”, “beef and bone meal”, “animal fat” and “animal digest”. Three of those ingredients are in this food. That’s just one example of what is horribly wrong with this food.

    Here’s the FDA paper on pento in dog food
    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed
    ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The
    ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal
    Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal
    sources that could include euthanized animals.”

  • InkedMarie

    LOL, if you think that eating whatever you want + working out=being healthy, well, there’s nothing I can say to you that won’t get me banned.

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    but have you heard of you can eat whatever you want and still work out and youll be fine as long as you work out

  • Pitlove

    you didn’t read what I said. I said you DONT have to pay 60$ a bag for a quality food.

  • InkedMarie

    Type “how we rate food” in the search above. The ingredients in this food are so low quality. If you look at the ingredients & still want to feed this food, good for you. Just because your dogs look ok & apparently live long doesn’t make it a good food. It’s not. You could feed your kids Burger King day in, day out but you know thats not a healthy diet.

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    where’s the proof that says that if I pay 60 + dollars that my dog is going to live longer than what im feeding

  • Pitlove

    Whoever told you you had to pay a lot of money for a quality dog food was wrong. There are much healthier and better foods than this that don’t cost 60$+ a bag. Also shots do not make your dog healthier. More people are seeing their dogs become sick and have fatal reactions to vaccines. I’m also sure your vet forgot to mention that your dogs vaccines as a puppy are good for at least 7-10 years.

  • Champ Richard Jr.

    There is nothing wrong with this food i feed all my 7 dogs mini chunks and it works great just beacuse you pay more money for dog food does not make your dog healthier its about shots

  • Crazy4dogs

    LabsRawesome has given you some good choices. There’s also Holistic Select, Propac Ultimates, in no particular order.

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Duane, here’s a list of budget friendly foods. They are in no particular order. 4health (Tractor Supply) Rachael Ray Zero grain, Pure Balance, Evolve (Walmart) Fromm Family Classics ( Pet or feed store) Whole Earth Farms (Petco)

  • Duane Reed

    I would love to have a list of the budget friendly foods for my Walker hounds.I am sick of reading about this poison. [email protected].

  • LabsRawesome

    Did you bother to read the above review for Retriever dog food? It has at least 13 red flag ingredients, it also has the lowest possible rating of 1 star, out of a possible 5 stars. There’s not even one good ingredient in this “food”. Please read this article on how to find a good dog food. There is also a link to a video by Dr. Karen Becker on how to choose a good food. If you’re interested, I can suggest some budget friendly foods for you.

  • Lynsey N Jeremy

    This food is awesome I have been breeding Saint Bernard and the breeder. I recived my female from. Has used it. Never problem with it. Keeps a beautiful coat and maintaine their weight…

  • magnuml

    I have fed this food for many years. I own several working dogs and They all look great and maintain great energy levels when working.

  • theBCnut

    I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Teresa Heath

    I started feeding my 7 1/2 year old great dane and my 7 1/2 year old doberman the retriever brand dog food the blue bag which is the HIGH PROTEIN, in November of 2014, On December 22, 2014 I lost my great dane due to BLOAT, i knew the danes were more to get this but after losing my doberman on February 28,2015 just two months after my dane, i became really worried, i spoke with my vet and he asked me what i was feeding and advised me that it VERY WELL COULD BE the dogfood tht has caused these two to bloat, because i had taken such good care and made sure that neither one of them did anything to bring on bloat as much as anybody could. So i took the remaining amount tht was open and the whole bad that wasnt back to Tractor Supply and explained to them what happend and they took my info and the dogfood and gave me my money back then i purchased a better food from what I had be told was. I do not recommend feeding this dog food, after losing two of my babies like this. i hope nobody has to go and lose their beloved pet from this like i have!!!!

  • kfoste

    I can’t keep mine up either they are laying on the floor like a bunch of babies who have been punished, the won’t look at me, lol

  • judy Taptich

    21.00 for 50 lb. bag

  • judy Taptich

    I use the high protein and agree

  • judy Taptich

    my dogs find game on the property and bring it home to share…omg they drive me crazy..they manage to get out on their own no matter how hard I try to watch them

  • judy Taptich

    glad to hear it

  • judy Taptich

    I am surprised at the review for high protein retriever I have used it for years and raised my puppies on it. I never had a problem with the dogs but I better knock on wood. I can’t afford the expensive stuff. I give them table food and soup I make on top of it.

  • judy Taptich

    the mini chunks are junk and cheaper..the high protein has been working good for my dogs

  • Brett Williams

    I imagine vets do love this stuff — it cost me $95 at the vet thinking my dog had blood in her urine (it was the food dye causing it). Feed your dogs this crap and the vets make a small fortune.

  • Brett Williams

    I paid $17.99 for 50 pounds of Retriever Bites and Bones at Tractor Supply. The dogs LOVED the taste. Unfortunately, it turned my husky’s urine blood red staining her white coat, and both dogs gnawed at themselves while they were on it. NEVER AGAIN. I saved $15 on dog food but spent $95 in vet bills because of it.

  • Brett Williams

    My dogs started itching soon after they started eating Retriever Bites and Bones. I thought I dried their skin out in the bath, but in hindsight, their itching stopped when I discontinued the Retriever kibble. They will never eat this food again (it turned my white dog’s urine blood red).

  • Brett Williams

    I have a Siberian Husky with a snow white underbelly. Right after she started eating Retriever Bites and Bones, I noticed red near her vulva — scared me to death. She is spayed so I knew she wasn’t coming in heat. She took a week course of antibiotics just in case she had a UTI, but the vet couldn’t find anything wrong. It appears the red #40 in that food has turned her urine a reddish-brown color which is staining her coat where the urine stream flows. I am switching her food back to Iams (the overpriced high-protein foods upsets her stomach) and will see if the staining stops. I strongly suspect the food dye is causing this issue and caused me a $95 vet bill and my dog to take antibiotics for no apparent reason.

  • Shodan5

    I just returned the unused portions to tractor supply. They have had a few others in the last couple of days with the same complaint. The factory knows of this and approved returning our money, but hasn’t pulled the product yet, but told me they will make preperations to pull the batches. In a few more months they will use some more untill they get rid of the contaminates stuffs. It is all calculated. They know what they are doing. Killing a few pets and making a few people sick at a time in the amounts they can get away with. It’s the world we live in these days.

  • DogFoodie

    You should make a report to the FDA and ask your vet to do the same on your behalf.

    Unless you’ve found information that I didn’t in a cursory search, there isn’t a current recall for this food and it looks like the last recall was in 2008. How do you think it’s possible that they still have those same ingredients and are adding it into batches occasionally?

  • Shodan5

    No, I had no idea. I just searched for the symptoms of what my dogs were showing, and it suggested salmonella and led me to a dog food recall list, and I checked the serial numbers. What shocked me the most is how much they know this is happening. Instead of disposing the contaminated ingrediants they add it to batches occasionaly until it is gone. Nothing to stop it. Maybe years to go yet.

  • DogFoodie

    Did you know this, but chose to buy it for your dogs anyway?

  • Shodan5

    This dog food has been on a voluntary recall list for many years, I have 3 sick dogs from it, one may not make it. They still produce it from the same contaminated plant. I will never buy it again. It was all I fed soo no chance of it being from any other food. It has killed and made very ill many pets.

  • Donna

    I have 2 puppies eating these dog biscuits and they are itching like crazy. The vet cannot find anything wrong. They do not have fleas, they have been on an antibiotic and have been treated for both kinds of mites even though the scrapings did not show any. It may be these dog biscuits. How do you know the formula has changed?

  • Katie

    Ugh, when my mother told my vet that this is what she feeds her dogs (I feed my pup separately) he said “oh thats the good stuff” and no matter what I say, she remains convinced that this food is really good. It helps, I’m sure, that it is so cheap ~$20 for a 50 pound bag.

  • LabsRawesome

    No it’s not. Check the ingredients.

  • kfoste

    Yes and most of the others they all start with corn!

  • Jana Maria Shaw Church

    Its better than ol Roy!

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi kfoster. Yes I know that kibbles & bits is a horrible food. My dogs eat Victor grain free kibble, 5 star canned foods, fresh meat, eggs, and some veggies..

  • kfoste

    Don’t listen to this crap you are doing the best you can…Some people dump them or kill them or just abuse them. You are going fine if you can just add a cooked egg or a bit of pre seasoned meat or fish oil that issssss good and not toxic when you can and be happy with your dogs.

  • kfoste

    None of your business is it I am sure the dogs would like to live.

  • kfoste

    Kibbles and bits are not a good food either.

  • kfoste

    Not as low as some of the more expensive dog foods you get at walmart and other places.

  • kfoste

    Cooked eggs and unseasoned meats wild game is best if you get a deer ect use all of the leftover on your dogs.

  • kfoste

    We have had a 10 year old border collie on h pro all his life he is still in good shape but we ad a little meat on top 3 times a week before it is seasoned

  • kfoste

    all we have to do is read the bag

  • Michael Mantion

    I am well versed in Psoriatic Arthritis. “chemicals or preservative” are not the cause. Carry on..

  • Shawna

    Rheumatoid arthritis has been linked, in some, to lectin protein in nightshade plants and gluten grains. This research article did find some correlation between wheat and psoriatic arthritis. “IgA antibodies to gliadin and coeliac disease in psoriatic arthritis”

  • Michael Mantion

    Hi Kathy I have never heard of traditional border collies having an 18-20 year life span. also Psoriatic Arthritis is believed to be caused by rashes which are not related to “chemicals or preservatives” You may want to find a better source of information. Its heart breaking to see a dog in pain and unable to move. Your pup is very smart and will easily be able to learn how to use a scooter. Your best bet is just to get her up and moving and to treat the pain as best you can.

  • rebecmort

    My dogs are sensitive to dyes, preservative and fillers
    …I have used Retriever Dog Biscuits (the previous recipe) the past 2 years BUT …There has been a recent change in the Biscuit formula … I will no longer buy this product. All my dogs are itching from whatever it has in it now !

  • BoxerChick

    Mini Chunks at my local store is 21.99 for 50 lb bag .. the bites and bones and hi protein are about the same price ..

  • BoxerChick

    Funny .. I work for TSC .. and this Retriever Mini Chunks is our biggest seller .. I was told by a customer the other day that this dog food was a 4 star food , “Really , how can that be when it is full of corn and fillers, no nutritional value at all ?” I asked her .. LOL

  • InkedMarie

    Wow, that has to be the cheapest food I’ve heard of

  • Pattyvaughn

    You definitely can’t expect to get good anything for 30 cents a pound. I hope that’s a typo, not that paying more would make this food good, but YIKES! that’s bad.

  • Annie

    Retriever dog food is $9.99 for 31.1 lbs at tsc. I was just looking online at their foods.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Sorry for your loss. Milo’s chicken jerky treats were recalled earlier this year for containing illegal antibiotic residue. Not sure if there would be any connection.

  • Cyndi

    So very sorry for your loss! Her cause of death could very well have been from Beneful. You should post your story on the Beneful review page also.

  • abbypatch

    We just lost our black lab baby, Abby, last week, age 7 years, because of “acute” kidney failure. I doubt it was acute as she seemed to drink too much water and urinate too much (not often). In hindsight, she would greet us if we went somewhere without her and be happy to see us, but in the past 2 months, she didn’t. She just laid on her bed and got up only when we came in the house.

    Her diet was dry food (usually Beneful) with a half cup of wet (a yellow can-can’t remember brand), and half cup of human veggies. In the morning and after the evening meal, she would get a Retriever biscuit.

    We noted, too late now, that none of the foods we fed her do not tell you WHERE the food was made; just stating “Product of….” with the exception of Milo’s Dog Treats which state “Made in USA.” Milo’s was a special treat we gave her when we had to leave the house for a few hours.

    We are devastated over the loss of our baby but want to know if we can find out where all these products are made. If not, I want to fight to make this info known so no one else has to go through this heartbreak. We feel that some of these products are made in China and if so, needs to be known so people can decide what they want to feed their pets. Anyone know where we can get that info?

  • Shawna

    You bet πŸ™‚

    I found some info on what I was talking about with glucosamine and lectins on Green Med Info .com website.. I REALLY do think it will help even if it is not the direct cause.

    “One way to gauge just how pervasive the adverse effects of these foods are among Western populations is the popularity of the dietary supplement glucosamine. In the USA, a quarter billion dollars’ worth of glucosamine is sold annually. The main source of glucosamine on the market is from the N-Acetylglucosamine rich chitin exoskelotons of crustaceans, like shrimp and crab. Glucosamine is used for reducing pain and inflammation. We do not have a dietary deficiency of the pulverized shells of dead sea critters, just as our use of NSAIDs is not caused by a deficiency of these synthetic chemicals in our diet. When we consume glucosamine supplements, the chitin-binding lectins in our foods, instead of binding to our tissues, bind to the pulverized chitin in the glucosamine supplements, sparing us from their full impact. Many millions of Americans who have greatly reduced their pain and suffering by ingesting glucosamine and NSAIDs may be better served by removing chitin-binding lectin containing foods (the underlying cause of their malaise) from their diets. This would result in even greater relief from pain and inflammation along with far less dependency on palliative supplements and medicines alike.”

  • Pattyvaughn

    Small fish are the way to go. They have shorter lives and don’t have as much time to build up toxins in their bodies. And they haven’t been eating the already toxic other fish.

  • Kathy Kruch

    I think I would believe that. I have an allergy to MSG and I know its there when I eat something within 10 minutes. Our Food and Drug administration…. sucks!

  • Kathy Kruch

    Thank You Shawna,
    I just fed her the 4-Health dog food and mix a little of the old food with it. She picked out the new food and left the old. Border Collies are so smart. I have used Glucosamine before with an older dog I had several years ago…It was a miracle worker. Thanks for all the info.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Dry dog food is very processed and processed foods aren’t healthy. The trick is finding the least processed that works for your dog. And you wouldn’t believe how many ways MSG can be hidden in dog food.

  • Shawna

    They actually put products with hidden MSG in dog foods as well — ingredients like “natural and/or artificial flavoring and animal digest” are two examples of ingredients with hidden MSG.. πŸ™

  • Shawna

    No, tuna is high in mercury unless buying certified mercury free — which is VERY pricey… πŸ™

    Sardines are at the bottom of the food chain and as such do not accumulate mercury like larger, longer living fish do.

  • Kathy Kruch

    Now I am wondering how safe canned fish is? Would tuna work? Maybe its time to get the ol’ fishing pole out. πŸ˜›

  • Shawna

    Hi Kathy – Sammie is beautiful!!

    Like some of the others said, I too would at least temporarily avoid foods with grains and potato. Potato, a “nightshade plant”, is known to exacerbate (and even cause) arthritis in susceptible individuals. There is a protein in nightshade plants, called a lectin, that binds with sugars in the body, like glucosamine, and prevent them from being used by the body. Glucosamine is important for joint health.. Google nightshade plants arthritis for more info if interested.

    Food intolerances can also trigger arthritic flare ups. Wheat, soy, corn and some others are ones to watch for. I am intolerant of dairy and had migrating joint issues as well as was diagnosed with carpel tunnel and tendonitis when in fact the inflammation and pain was due to the dairy intolerance. It may not be a cause of Sammie’s arthritis but it could very likely be a contributing factor.

    High quality, organic eggs from free ranging chickens are another good source of omega 3 fatty acids. Sammie may like those better than the fish oil? The whites can be lightly cooked but the yolk must be fed raw as heat damages the omega 3 fat. Tinned sardines are another good source and may be more palatable than the fish oil supplement.

    In addition to what ever pain/arthritis meds Sammie is on, you might want to consider (or research) using anti-inflammatory supplements/foods. Bromelain, as an example, is a digestive enzyme that is found in fresh unprocessed pineapple and in supplement form. Fed away from meals or the fruit, bromelain gets into the system and helps with inflammation. Turmeric, the spice found in every grocery store, is also very anti-inflammatory. It is best to always buy organic spices as non-organic can be irradiated which kills all the benefits of the product.

    Black cherry juice is well known for helping with arthritis pain. Research has demonstrated that it can be more effective than certain medications in fact. Not sure how easy it would be to get Sammie to consume black cherry juice but eating the cherry should have some benefit, if she will??

    Best of luck in finding something that brings her relief!!!! I think your headed in the right direction with the food change etc!!!!

  • Kathy Kruch

    I believe its the same for people food. We should always check ingredients. Things like chemical preservatives and MSG…what is that all about

  • Pattyvaughn

    That is exactly where we all started. Dog food companies lie and tell you how great their food is and we believe them, until something happens.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Sadines come in smaller cans. Or you can feed a whole meal of oily fish once a week.

  • Kathy Kruch

    I will look it up, I bought a bag of 4 health to try I have to see what would be the best for her Sammie is a special dog. She works with children and seniors…I am just so upset that I stayed in the dark about dog food so long. πŸ™

  • Kathy Kruch

    Thank you I will research it.

  • Kathy Kruch

    She has an omega 3 chewable supplement…but does not like it. I bought a small bag of 4health to try out. Right now I am looking at a number of brands. When I had huskies I would feed them canned salmon or mackerel and mix it with their food. but now I only have Sammie who doesn’t eat as much and the fish would spoil.

  • InkedMarie

    oh and please stick around!

  • InkedMarie

    What a beautiful girl! I suggest a grainfree food for sure. Ive never priced Retriever dog food, I’m assuming it’s pretty cheap so I won’t recommend the usual foods but agree with the NutriSource recommendation. Good food at a good price.

    I actually think a grain and white potato free food would be better. I have arthritis and have been recommended to cut out white potatoes whenever possible. If you go to our forums, go to Dog Food Ingredients and look at the stickie of those foods. There are a couple that aren’t break the bank foods.

    Are you giving her any fish oil? I do suggest that. I also suggest a good supplement. Look at www dot Swanson Vitamins dot com. Type in Mobility Essentials. It’s a human supplement, very good. Hound Dog Mom can help with dosing of that.

  • Betsy Greer

    Aww, Kathy. I’m sorry about Sammie also. Those are some soulful eyes she has. : )

    I would totally second Patty’s recommendation for the NutriSource adult chicken & rice as a stepping stone. It’s usually very well tolerated and would be a real step up in quality for her. It’s a good brand that you can trust. I’m on a rotation of NutriSource myself right now.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Oh, Sammie is beautiful. Poor Baby!! Do you have any ideas as to what you want to change her to? My suggestion would be to go grain and white potato free as these foods can be inflamatory. However, that would be a huge change for her, so you may want to change in stages. NutriSource has foods that are usually pretty easy to change to. Try something like their chicken and rice, then switch to their grain free, then look around for some other grain frees to try.

  • Kathy Kruch

    Hello, I have an 8 year old Traditional Border Collie, life expectancy is 18-20 years of age. I have been feeding her Retriever brand dry dog food since she was a pup. She was recently diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis which is caused from poor quality dog food laced with chemicals and preservatives. I am changing her dog food….just wish I would have checked it out before. Don’t be fooled research and check out these products.

  • KSRetrievers

    We have tried various feeds over times trying to find something suitable for both our Golden Retriever working dogs and our Standard Poodles which are more house dogs than field dogs. Tried a couple very expensive “natural” ” whole dog food brands for several months only to find them losing weight, having bad coats and constantly shedding and really bad gas. We switched to Purina One on the advice of our vet and then to after our dogs were becoming more and more picky about it, we switched to the hi protein Retriever brand. We have beautiful coats now, very energetic and all around what I feel are much healthier dogs. We are quite happy with what we feed now, and even raised a litter on Retriever puppy, supplementing with goats and cow milk to moisten the feed and have beautiful puppies that have grown in to really nice looking adults with no issues. Your review sounds biased to me.

  • disqus_geP2WUXiKs

    Right now any dog food is better than a recalled food whether its meat or corn

  • LabsRawesome

    Well she did say that they were being “spoiled” with Kibbles and Bits. Maybe she just doesn’t know any better? And with 7 she can’t afford K&B anymore. I agree, she should find homes for the pups, and get her adults fixed, there are organizations that offer free or reduced cost spay/neuter to people that are low income.

  • Kate

    Same here, I fed crap for years before I came on this site and learned better. She never said “I love them like crazy but this is the best I can do” or even “can someone suggest ways I can improve their diet on a budget?” That’s my problem. And I wish she’d seek help getting them all fixed so it doesn’t happen again.

  • LabsRawesome

    I can’t bash someone for doing the best they can. Growing up all of our dogs got fed low quality foods. We just didn’t know any better. They all lived to be pretty old, and they were loved, played with, and had a good life and home. Now that I know better, my dogs eat 5 star canned, fresh foods, and 4 star kibble. If something catastrophic happened and I couldn’t afford good food anymore, I would still keep my 2 dogs, and just do the best I could.

  • Kate

    Agree wholeheartedly except a) it sounds like she bred them and b) at least be honest with yourself that you’re feeding a LOW quality food.

  • LabsRawesome

    If this is all someone can afford, I would rather see a dog eat this, instead of giving them to a shelter. Most dogs in shelters, especially Pitbulls are put to sleep simply because no one wants them. If you can afford to, I would add some eggs and cheap meats to this dog food tho.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Consider owning less dogs so you can actually feed them something resembling food. I’m relatively certain you would not feed your family this poorly.

  • lilo’smom

    Look at the food you buy. The cheap stuff you buy (Fast Food) is very unhealthy for you. You should feed your dogs as good as you eat if not better. My thinking is, you can make informed decisions on what you eat. your dogs cannot. And i would think you would be smart enough to not eat fast food everyday.

  • InkedMarie

    Wow, from one poor food to another

  • Kate

    Or* !

  • Kate

    Joke of not, it makes me sick πŸ™

  • JellyCat

    I hope this post is bad joke.

  • Megan

    I have 7 pitbulls who are alll family. I have fed this to the adults for over a year and they LOVE IT. They didn’t like it at first because they were being spoiled with Kibble’s and Bits with chunks of steak in it..but as the dog family grew bigger, we couldn’t afford it anymore. When the pups were born, it only took a month or so and they were into the big dogs Retriever Hi-proitien food. They didn’t want their Puppy Chow I was spending an arm and leg on. So we stopped buying it, and they’ve been on the Hi Protien food ever since.
    We have an acre backyard so they get to run off their energy all day after eating that food.
    It is about $23 for a 50 lb bag of Retriever Brand Hi-Protien where I live and that lasts about a week.

  • David

    I’ve tried all the “natural” brands and my Chocolate Lab would cut right through it with weight loss and a not so fabulous coat. Yes my pup is an amazing gun dog but also my companion. Reading this really upsets me as this is the only brand that works for her. I do use the Retriever Brand wet food as a supper meal and she grazes on the dry food as she pleases (bowl always full).

    I don’t know, I’m pretty sure I’ll continue with this and will continue to recommend it as its helped several friends pups after my recommendation.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Hi Amy – I’m glad to hear your dogs are doing well on this food. Have you thought about trying 4Health? It’s also a Tractor Supply brand. It’s very reasonably priced considering the ingredients, they even have some new grain-free offerings. It might be worth a try. You may find that your dogs do even better.

  • beaglemom

    How can you possibly ignore the terrible ingredients??

  • Pattyvaughn

    If you’re talking about Purina, Pedigree, Ol Roy, Iams, and several others I could name, you are trading junk for junk.

  • Amy

    I was using other brands until speaking with someone about this line who was highly educated on Dog Food manufacturer and what products they equated this too. My 2 dogs are doing MUCH better after a month on this product, than they were on a few other national name brands. Happy Buyer

  • beaglemom

    have you read the ingredients?

  • jane

    I’ve fed my animals this food for about 9 years along with a raw diet when possible and they have not only thrived but are healthier then when on more expensive brands of foods. I also recommend it to puppy buyers as an affordable adult dog food.

  • lynn

    No matter the *ratings*, the INGREDIENTS DON’T LIE. “Garbage IN, Garbage OUT”…..eventually. Would you eat this stuff? Do the BEST for your pets and feed them a wholesome and human-grade food. Do your research.

  • judy

    I don’t get it ether….

  • judy

    there must be something in it to make our dogs do so good!

  • judy

    boy am I disappointed I recommend this to all my puppy buyers and have raised so many dogs on this with great digestibility…weight levels and over all good condition….wow, now what!,..The price even went up $3.00 for a 50 lb. bag.I usually get 3 every 2 weeks…..

  • I fed My Doberman (Blue> Known for skin Issues) Eukanuba north Atlantic and she was having problems with her coat on a budget we tried the retriever brand puppy food. and her health has never been better. We tried other brands that friends feed their Dobes but was still having problems. this is great dog food. and your ratings are off.

  • Nutlug88

    Your findings must be wrong, I have fed both my animals this brand for several years now, both are way healthier than they were on diamond. Their coats shine ( More protien ) I think you need some help in the review department