Trader Joe’s Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★½☆

Latest Update May Not Be Current
Unable to Locate Complete Label
Data on Company Website1

Trader Joe’s Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Trader Joe’s Dog Food product line includes two dry recipes.

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.

  • Trader Joe’s Premium Lamb Meal and Rice [A]
  • Trader Joe’s Premium Chicken Meal and Rice [A]

Trader Joe’s Premium Lamb Meal and Rice was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

Trader Joe's Premium Lamb Meal and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, ground brown rice, ground whole wheat, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried tomato pomace, natural flavor, herring meal (source of omega 3), flaxseed (source of omega 3), salt, potassium chloride, vitamins (choline chloride, a-tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulphate, zinc amino acid chelate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, copper amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), kelp meal, rosemary extract, sage extract, pineapple stem (source of bromelain), papain, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis23%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%13%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%29%48%
Protein = 23% | Fat = 29% | Carbs = 48%

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

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

The third ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat 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 wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

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

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

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

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

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

After the natural flavor, we find herring meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2

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

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

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

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

With two notable exceptions

First, we note the inclusion 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 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.

Trader Joe’s Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Trader Joe’s Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 26%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 53% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

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

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

Bottom line?

Trader Joe’s is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of lamb or chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.


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.

Trader Joe’s Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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

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

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes and Updates

08/27/2017 Last Update

  1. “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 2/27/2016
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • anon101

    All sausage products are loaded with nitrates and are high in sodium. Not a healthy dietary choice for any living thing (animal or human).

  • Rosaura Mejias

    Can I feed my dogs meatless sausages

  • Georgiann Quinn

    Why does it not state where it is manufactured. It only says where it is distributed from. Store staff couldn’t find this information either. Anyone?

  • Steph Wong

    Trader joes has a lot of things that I like but dog food isn’t one of them

  • theBCnut

    Yes, if you could see all the old replies to this old post, you would see that several different possibly legitimate reasons were given and discussed.

  • M. Fortas

    Wrong-o. I was a retailer for years and often the manufacturer does not want that info disclosed because the TJ or private label stuff–whatever it is–is so much cheaper than the actual brand name yet virtually unchanged from the original. This is common in most every large retailer from Walmart to Home Depot and everyone in between.

  • Ally

    Switched my dog to this after we had him on a “Blue Something…” variety. The old food contained protein bits that he spent an obscene amount of time separating from the rest of the kibble lol. He had no problems with the change and loves both the chicken and lamb flavors. We almost exclusively shop at TJ’s so its extra convenient to pick up with the groceries.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Beka-
    At the very bottom of this page, click on the contact us button. There is an option to report a recipe change and to request an updated review.

    We just got a Trader Joes’s in my area. I should check out their pet food. Is this what you feed?

  • InkedMarie

    It may be awhile as it just got updated in February.

  • Beka

    This needs to be updated. Trader joes premium lamb meal and rice NO LONGER contains soy, corn, or wheat.

  • InkedMarie

    Did you look at the ingredients?

  • Tiana Schultz

    Hey guys I have a dog who can only have grain free treats are the Chicken Breast Strips grain free…??

  • CommentSense

    The proper term for this is private labeling. No they don’t ‘tweak’ the recipe, they are the same exact product sold under a brand name, just without the brand name on the package.

  • Channon Smith

    Unfortunately Trader Joe’s food gave my dog runny stool and an increased frequency to go. Once I went back to my old brand, this ceased.

  • The Dog Food Advisor community encourages “courteous critiques, polite debate and calm disagreement”.

    Unfortunately, recent remarks here compel me to remind those ignoring this rule to please adhere to Our Commenting Policy.

    We reserve the right to delete comments that exceed the boundaries of courteous behavior. This includes remarks that are rude, profane, mean-spirited, disrespectful, lack good manners or otherwise unrelated to the topic at hand.

    Future comments that violate this policy will be removed.

  • LackofPerspective

    So mod, you’ll remove my post pointing out this person’s ignorance but you’ll let their ignorant comment about private labeled dog food stand? Your logic is impeccable, sir!

  • LackofPerspective

    By your (highly flawed) logic, there’s some sort of arbitrary expiration date on both stupidity and commentary. Better send off your press release to every university history and lit-crit department, post haste.

  • Pitlove

    You’re responding to a post that is two years old calling someone else “not that intelligent”. Hope you see the irony.

  • LackofPerspective

    Interwebz sheriff in da house! Here’s a suggestion… get some human friends.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Done. Troll elsewhere.

  • LackofPerspective

    So, what brand of white hat do you prefer?

  • Crazy4dogs

    I admire you. You really did pick an appropriate discuss name! Joining an obviously outdated discussion that was 2 years ago truly does show a “Lack of Perspective”. Perhaps you just to wanted to start an argument as the OP you responded to had already acquiesced and you reply with rudeness?

    Maybe you aren’t aware that “house brands” can and, in fact, often do change manufacturers based on price, availablity, etc. Kenmore appliances are a perfect example of that. Depending on what you are purchasing and in what year you are purchasing, it can be any one of a number of different manufacturers for the exact same product (i.e. refrigerator, microwave, etc). So theBCnut was really not that far off track. There are many manufacturers of dog food, some are better than others. Many people do want to know who is making their animals food.

    You might want to troll another disqus site.

  • LackofPerspective

    Did you even read your original post? The cutting reply to your ignorance was because you drew some ridiculous conclusion without knowing the facts. It’s one thing to not know something – heck, it’s great we all have the capacity to learn – it’s something else entirely to automatically assume the worst and then recommend people “skip” the product due to your ignorance. Keep flying that dufus flag, buddy!

  • theBCnut

    You really don’t understand the nature of intelligence, do you. Someone is intelligent, or not, because of their capacity to learn. I definitely do have a capacity to learn, but that does not mean I have been exposed to everything there is to learn. As a matter of fact, other, more polite people, have pointed out these particular points over the last 2 years and so, now, I am aware of them, as I was not 2 years ago.
    You are right, you do lack perspective, and alas, so sometimes do I.

  • LackofPerspective

    See above. I’m guessing you’re as dim and/or sheltered as theBCnut.

  • LackofPerspective

    You’re not that intelligent, are you? Private labeling has zero to do with a company having anything to “hide.” it’s about making volume sales and economies of scale. In other words, If company A sells their product to TJ’s at volume/reduced rate they’re not going to advertise it, lest they suffer loss of retail sales as people flock to the private label version of their product.

  • Michelle Ollada

    They must have changed their formula recently- I looked at the bag I just bought and the 3rd ingredient is wheat

  • Polo And Cody

    It’s the same as the lamb formula, just switch lamb with poultry. As for the canned I once found magots.

  • AnoukAimee

    My dog absolutely refuses to eat this food. I’d try the chicken variety, but I’m unsure about the quality–does anyone know how it is versus the lamb? Or what the quality of the wet food at TJ is? Thanks.

  • LiliVonShtuppIsTired

    Been using this for years. Very happy with it.

  • Dori

    Ha Ha Ha! C4C. Have you seen any Hoe’s at Trader Joe’s. Too Too Funny. LOL!!!

  • Crazy4cats

    That is exactly what I was wondering. I remember reading it when she posted because we just got one in our area too. How did we not notice. Lol!

  • Dori

    Oh my Labs! Hoe’s are trading at Joe’s. How did we all miss this 2 months ago. ROTFLMAO. Hee Hee!!!

  • GSDsForever


  • LabsRawesome

    Oh my! LOL. After reading your post, I just went back and noticed that I wrote Trader Hoe’s instead of Joe’s. Hahaha. Too funny. 🙂

  • GSDsForever

    I haven’t ever seen grain free, but I haven’t exactly looked hard. I don’t think so.

    I’m in Trader Joe’s all the time though, so will try to remember to post back if I see one. Wouldn’t surprise me if they introduced one, given how popular GF versions have become on the market.

  • GSDsForever

    I am laughing because I just now saw this, after someone mentioned Trader Joe’s on another thread.

    Trader Hoe’s. Sounds dirty. LOL.

    j/k with ya, Labs.

  • LabsRawesome

    I just found out there’s a Trader Hoe’s opening in February near me. Does anyone on here use their canned dog food? Do they have any grain free dog or cat foods?

  • Mahoraner Niall

    finally found a cruelty free dog food (when i say that i mean they dont cage dogs and see what additives to add to it like iams does) that is cheap and healthy for my little bella!

  • theBCnut

    Um, I get that it did happen, but that doesn’t equate with easily. That’s more like perfect storm material. Canned foods are cooked in the can, so fly eggs shouldn’t even hatch, never mind that there shouldn’t have been time for them to be laid. I hope you brought you maggotty beans to the attention of the FDA.

  • jenn

    actually it can easily happen. I once bought a can of name brand kidney beans that had 3 maggots in it.

  • JMG

    Would really love to see Trader Joe’s canned dog food reviewed here!

  • Morgan

    Pretty please, can you update this review to include their corn, wheat, and soy free food? We’re doing a lot of research to try to find a healthy food for our dog at a reasonable price, and I’d love to see what has to say about it. I’ve used this site a lot in the past, and really trust your recommendations!

  • AlwaysLefty

    As of May of 2012, Trader Joe’s was owned by Aldi North. The two companies were owned at one time by the two brothers as one but they split it into two companies, Aldi North and Aldi South, in 1960. If Trader Joe’s is no longer owned by Aldi North, then my apologies. My information comes from an article posted on Forbes Magazine’s website dated 5/17/12 by Walter Loeb entitled Aldi’s Trader Joe’s is a Winner. I would post the link, but I don’t know if the Disqus format allows that. This is sufficient information to search for the article, if you want to. Again, if I read the article wrong or things have changed since 5/12, my apologies. This does nothing to change my review or opinion that the dry kibble is bad and I wouldn’t give it to my dogs again. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I actually have to finish planning my shopping trip to Aldi and TJ’s.

  • Kristina P

    I wrote to ask about this and they said “We are pleased to inform you that all of our dog food and dog treats are made in the US. Our suppliers and vendors source primarily from the US and will source outside of the US for some ingredients. Having said that, we can confirm that none of our suppliers source ingredients from China.”

    So that was helpful!

  • mamakat

    trader joe’s is not owned by the same company as aldis. i am an employee there.
    two brothers. each owned their own company. the end.
    they have nothing to do with each other.

  • Jerry Swartz

    Need calorie amount of one TJ Chicken & Sweet Potato Flavor Dog treat

  • Whit

    Ok, I would like to interject here if I may? I was buying Aldi’s Turkey Burgers and they quit selling them for the season. So I emailed them and wanted to get the Manufacturer’s name( I knew they wouldn’t) so I could continue to buy them until Aldi’s started selling them again, they wouldn’t give it up. Same way with Wal Mart, their pies are made by a well known company. My friend worked there and said that it was a secret because people would stop buying the name brand and buy Wal Marts. She said they “tweaked” the recipe and slapped Wal Marts name on the package. I agree with what Chris said, it’s simply self preservation. I bet if you were to call Kroger, Publix Target or anyone who has a “house” brand and ask them for the maker you won’t get one name. Unless they have their own facility. It is not “suspect” whatsoever.

  • Sue

    TJ’s dry kibble Wholesome & Natural mixed with either their canned dog food or homemade recipes from dogfooddude “Feed your Best Friend Better” has been the food I have fed my dogs and they love it. For my senior dog I add a salmon capsule (TJ’s 1000) for her joints once a day. She loves the TJ’s canned food and the kibbles, but I like to use homemade mixed with the kibbles.

  • AlwaysLefty

    As John Huff said, the dry food at TJ’s has changed a lot since the last review/rating was done. It no longer has any corn ingredients – which is very important in our house since our doxie turns into a 5 year-old who just binged on Halloween candy and soda pop whenever she eats corn based foods – or wheat. Other problems, like a lack of additional vitamins, have been corrected too. So, we decided to give it a try for our 3 little guys. Big mistake – BIG MISTAKE. Our dachshund is a gassy little gal to begin with, but this kibble made her even gassier. And the smell was hellacious! None of them enjoyed the food. In fact, our little Chihuahua wouldn’t even come for dinner time w/out coaxing! He actually skipped a few meals too; it caused him to have bad gas one day as well.

    So we went back to Taste of the Wild, Pacific Stream formula. Man, were they happy to see and smell that bag. No more trying new food for us unless necessary. Obviously, I wouldn’t recommend trying the Trader Joe’s brand.

  • AlwaysLefty

    Trader Joes is owned by the same company as Aldi’s grocery stores are. I don’t know if Aldi is nationwide, but they based out of and all over the midwest. Like Aldi, they manufacture and sell mainly their own brand. And i’ve been told, though I’ve never worked for either company, that they use regional manufacturers to keep shipping costs down but prefer that not be known.

  • Pattyvaughn

    This is dog food. Is should be made using the same amounts of the same ingredients, which should mean that while the source of the ingredients may change, the manufacturer should remain the same. So not giving the manufacturer is reason to suspect.

  • Chris

    I disagree with above–TJ doesn’t ever disclose manufacturer’s because of their private labeling contract system. They have companies compete to the rights to TJ’s exclusive private label with lowest bids winning out. Part of the deal is that the manufacturer isn’t named… Not because it’s sketchy, but because it’s subject to change and if customers went to the source they might bypass TJ and cost them business. Don’t count their dog food out based on that… Give us the ingredients and we’ll figure out its quality!

  • Pattyvaughn

    I can’t even imagine how, with the way canning is done, you could have maggots in the can. They just about had to have had a breakdown in their equipment and filled cans sat for hours without tops, then when they got everything fixed they didn’t throw those ones out. Yuck!! They were probably full of nasty bacteria too, and you were lucky you found something visible to stop you from feeding it.

  • Maddy

    I found maggots inside the can! Called the store where I bought it (Woodhaven, Queens – NY) to inform them and the manager was so relaxed about it – they must know about this quality issue. He said, “all of the cans?” – I explained that I only bought one so I have no idea whether the other 50 cans on the shelf are or aren’t contaminated but really the issue isnt HOW MANY cans but rather that even one is! (Eye roll.)

  • Pattyvaughn

    The only reason to not disclose that kind of info would be because they have something to hide. I’d skip that one.

  • InkedMarie

    I can’t help on the food as we have o nearby Trader joes and I’ve never heard of the food but if any business wouldn’t give me that kind of info on their food, they wouldn’t get my business

  • LabsRawesome

    LMAO. Dude, this is a dog food ratings website. And this page is for Trader Joe’s dog food. LOL. Sorry about your luck, at the bar tho….

  • Christie

    I also just bought this Trader Joe’s Wholesome and Natural Dog food and can not seem to find any info on this kibble. My dog who is very picky seems to really like this food. I called Trader Joe’s to see if they can tell me who the manufacturer is and they told me they can not disclose that information. It seems like a pretty decent kibble and I was curious how it rated. Thank you!!

  • I just spent 20 minutes at Trader Joe’s reading the ingredient list on his “Wholesome & Natural” Chicken and rice kibble. Apparently the recipe has changed. It is now “Corn, Wheat and Soy FREE.” In addition to added Probiotics.
    I think this item needs a new review…It sounds really good for the price. Thanks for the time. JH

  • Diann

    i buy Nupo power make a gravy and my dog does great on it with no house arthritis.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    coo coo

  • Pattyvaughn

    I’m guessing that reading is not your strong point.

  • mizzkiral7[email protected]

    I took my beatiful lady several times, to joe dogs. The waitresses continuously are rude to my woman.. even though she goes out of her way to be nice.the word I would use to describe the employees of joe dogs starts with a capital C. This observation comes from close to a year timeline. I will no longer take the love of my life here. She feels bullied everytime she leave. No fault of her own. Ive watched it too many times. I feel sorry for my woman when I leave this bar. My woman is a trooper and tries to be the better person. Enough is enough.I will not spent another dollar to watch the love of my life be treated nasty for no reason. These girls think they run the bar. My only regret is wasting money at a bar that pays girls to be controlling and rude to other girls who work hard for their pay. F.Y.I……. joe dog management needs a reign on their servers… me including many friends.. will never be back.

  • Jeannie

    We have been feeding TJ canned for about three months and some dry with it, our dogs love it.

  • Dana M.

    Trader Joe’s also has chewable Glucosomine for the joints or Cosequin is a good brand you can buy online from various sights. I shop around for that one.

  • Crazy4cats

    Has anyone tried their (Trader Joes) canned dog food? I was just there and they have huge 22 oz cans for $1.19. I don’t think that they are rated on this site. Does anyone have any opinions on it?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Who knows how many people fell for it and believed that it was premium food just because they used the word in the name.  Wouldn’t it be cool if there was a standard so you couldn’t use the word premium unless the food was above a certain grade?  If the truth in advertising laws applied to dog food, do you know how many dog foods would have to be named things like Trash, Junk, C**p, and UGH Don’t Buy This.

  • KB

    So, I went back to TJs and they have a 20 lb bag of dog food that is called Premium Kibble. The first ingredient is ground corn, second is poultry by-product.

  • KB

    I am pretty sure it was the Premium Chicken and Rice.  I do know Chicken Meal was the second ingredient. I am going to call the store tomorrow and find out.

  • They might have more than one kind of dog food.  For example, Blue Buffalo has Freedom, Longevity, Wilderness, and Basics.  This review is only for the 2 listed at the top.

  • KB

    I am confused by this review because I just went to Trader Joes today to check out the dog food and when I looked at the ingredient list, the first ingredient was corn – not chicken meal. Did they change their formula recently?

  • Emily

    I just bought Trader Joe’s Wholesome & Natural Dog Food Formula that is wheat, corn and soy free. How does this food stack up?

  • Pattyvaughn

    What happened to Bench and Field, or are you actually feeding both?

  • Jq

    I used to get my dog blue buffalo dry food. He would always hesitate to eat and pretty much starve himself, even when I mixed wet food in with it. He would pick out the wet food and spit out the dry food. I bought Trader joes Holistic dog food last week and he eats like he has ever eaten before. My dog is naturally underweight so I am glad I finally found a food that he enjoys eating and eats all of when I serve him.

  • Remy53

    What is the calorie count per up of the chicken and rice formula?

  • Pattyvaughn

    For that you may need to call or email the company, or find a bag of it and read the fine print.  Just be aware that location of production does not guarantee where the individual ingredients come from.  You definitely need to call or email the company for that, and it is subject to change at the whim of the company.

  • Clownputsch

    Thanks I learned a lot but WHERE IS THIS PRODUCT PRODUCED? CHINA?  That’s mostly what I’d like to know…

  • Shawna

    Hi Mn5478 ~~ Doggonefedup is correct.  Dogs actually have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates.  I think they can derive a lot of benefit from fruits and veggies don’t get me wrong.  In our chemical laden, toxic environment I think the antioxidants and nutrients in fruits and veggies are VERY helpful.  But they are not required.  This is info that has been stated in the teaching books like Waltham and sited by vets.  Also, if you look at the AAFCO’s nutrient requirements for complete and balanced diets it shows a minimum protein amount in the adult dog to be 18% and the minimum fat amount to be 5%.  There is no minimum amount for carbs. 

  • When I read the original post on this I was trying to picture myself with the same teeth as my dog…

  • doggonefedup

    I hate to burst your bubble but Dogs have no biological need to comsume plant matter. They eats grasses for fiber and sometimes for taste. Berries same thing they like the sweet taste just like humans. If you were to take a cow for instance an grind it up. I mean the complete cow your dog would thrive on it and live a lot longer than if you were to feed them kibble for their entire life. That is a fact.  

  • Mn5478

    20 pounds for $20

  • Mn5478

    Ditto here! ll the way!

  • Mn5478

    Not in our city! I mean a couple r in better neighborhoods, but definitely no more than average.

  • Mn5478

    Actually, dogs are omnivores, jus like humans. They need fruits n veggies as well as meat. At least, that’s what I’ve learned with all my research. A good amount of meat AND veggies will do their body good. When they were in the wild, they foraged plants for food because they couldn’t get meat all the time, which is why they eat grass. The grass helps break Dow stuff that was otherwise hard to break down without it.

    I have been using trader joes dog food for several years and its been good For us. My dogs eat it with no problem. They have beautiful coats and healthy bodies so far. Doc has no probs with it either.

  • LabsRawesome

    “Obligate” or not, DOGS ARE CARNIVORES!! Please watch this video, by a holistic vet. At about the 1:30 mark, she says they are.

  • BryanV21

    Just because a dog isn’t an obligate carnivore, does not mean it’s not a carnivore at all. Dogs are more carnivore than herbivore, and therefore the majority of their diet should be animal-based. Getting a food, kibble or otherwise, the majority of which is plant-based, is not ideal at all.

  • C W

    “there carnivores”

    Cats are obligate carnivores, dogs are not.

  • Mmabrahams

    I find lately I have not been able to settle on a diet for my 12 yr old pit, she has weight problems, and has developed the itchy tail rash as long as stiff joints…help! can anyone give advice on what may help old girl find relief dietary wise?

  • Mmabrahams

    What about reviewing the Trader Joe wet food.. my dogs seem to love it, and they come in 22oz cans, you can actually see the carrots, potatos and peas mixed in the meat. Fed the dry for years , now have become more sensitive to ingrediants, perhaps over sensetive… after not feeding T.J for a while picked up the lamb and rice , but after reading the ingredients took it off the menu… will perhaps give it another chance.. Have a household with a 12 yr old pit with weight problems and a pit pup of 3 months with boundless energy.. feeding old girl Natures Choice senior lamb and rice, and pup gets Nature variety large puppy breed, I supplement them with a little wet..TJ wet while witer for Evangers wet to arrive in mail(much cheaper)

  • Ll337ll

    I also feed this to my Brussels Griffon mixed mutt with excellent results. He actually prefers this over the higher priced Blue Buffalo brand. Would really appreciate a review of this food. Thank you for all you do for us and our babies.

  • LabsRawesome

     Hi Natalie, TJ’s looks like a decent food. The only thing I would suggest is adding some protein to it. Some cheap and healthy ones are eggs, sardines packed in spring water, canned mackerel.There’s also some budget friendly canned dog foods. Tractor Supply has 4health canned, and Costco has Kirkland cuts in gravy.

  • Natalie

    We have always shopped at TJ, but for some reason never bought the dog food. We switched our dog food to TJ after the Diamond brand had issues. Both our dogs are Shar Pei mixes, rescued from our local shelter. One of them has highly sensitive skin. Since switching brands, I have noticed how TJ dog food seems to be just as good as the other top brands and at a fraction of the price. Both dogs skin and coat are beautiful and no sensitivity issues. Which is a huge plus for us. You get about 30lbs for around $20. We tried both the chicken and the lamb types they offer. We noticed the lamb lasts a little longer, as it keeps our dogs fuller longer. Our dogs eat when hungry, so we just leave food out for them. I have had great results with this so far and will continue using their food as long as we live nearby a TJ. 

  • Hound Dog Mom


    Supplementing with raw meat would be a great idea. I feed my dogs an all raw diet. Just make sure the meat equals 20% or less of the total food eaten each day or you could risk throwing off the nutritional balance of the kibble.

  • Beingbridge

    Thank you for your reviews. When we adopted our dogs, they were on Science Diet. I switched them to Natural Balance and wouldn’t always eat but were clearly hungry. So my husband bought the Trader Joes food and they love it. But the ingredients worried me. Thank you for this review. Even though it isn’t a very high rating at least it is not the lowest. I wonder if I can supplement this food with raw meat to give them more real protein? Bottom line is the dogs are healthy, are at a healthy weight, don’t seem hungry like before and are energetic. Again, I thank you for your reviews.

  • jmco

    TJ’s only opens stores in high income, urban areas. No mail order.

  • Pingback: All Different Dog Food Brands & Types | My Blog()

  • Billie Maness

    Now how and where do i get trader joe’s dry dog food in Wellington, Kansas??? Please someone find out how i can order it online or by phone or Trader Joe’ please open up a store in Wichita, Kansas… Thank you from Gramma Billie a pet lover.

  • BEG

     There’s chicken and rice (yellow-ish package) and lamb and rice (blue) and I think a senior version (purple?) and maybe a puppy version.  I don’t see all of them all of the time at TJ’s.  I’ve used this for a number of years for my black lab, seems to work very well for her.

  • I actually have my yard sectioned off into 3 parts – one big yard and two what I call dog runs. I was thinking the chickens could live in one of the runs.  But we’ll see…I think 2 chickens would be enough. It will be interesting to see what’s on the tour.

  • melissa


    Let us know what you think and end up doing. I thought of  chickens before, but it seems like a lot of work. Heat bulbs in the winter(NY), chicken lice, lots of coccidia issues. Coupled with the amount of predators in my area, free range would be out of the question, and then I worry about the dogs getting near the poop and getting coccidia.  On the other side, lots of people  I know have some (cooped) and love having the eggs. I am not sure the benefit outweighs the work though when I think a dozen eggs is fairly cheap.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Sandy…..

    I like the idea, of live chickens but where I live
    its not allowed. The funny thing about the tripett
    its the first thing Christo will eat by him self every day
    I think hes been getting it now for two weeks, and he has been eating three cups of Brother’s every night.
    He liked the newman’s own, and he liked chicken trimings, he even liked plain Brother’s. but mixed with the tripe he is eating more. he would eat two cups tops before, now I think he might even eat four cups.
    I think three is enough, plus one can of tripett. That is pretty close to a natural ancestral diet. I know kibble
    would not be on a wolf’s menu, but the protein, fat, and lower carbs must be close to what a wolf would eat. lol.

  • You ever think about getting some live chickens for fresh eggs?  I’m going to a chicken coop tour next month.  I want to get some.

  • K9 Natural has a freeze dried tripe. Maybe an ounce or two sprinkled on his kibble would work? Not sure if it would be helpful costwise for you. One 2.2 lb bag/$7.95 has 35.2 ounces which would be 0.22 cents per ounce.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Sandy…..

    Thanks Sandy, its the variety that is keeping him eating. 

  • ziwipeak canned foods also have tripe in them and liver and lung…

  • Johnandchristo

    Thanks Sandy……

    I guess i’ll stick with the tripett for now, as long as he eats I’m happy. 😉

  • You might not want to, it’s a bit low in protein and legume-based (if that’s something you’re concerned about).  If you want something novel try Addiction canned foods.  I use the Duck Confit, Rabbit & blueberries, Brushtail, and Unagi. I get on Amazon.

  • Johnandchristo

    Hi Sandy……

    Its nice to see another soul out there. lol
    NVI sells Kangaroo? wow, and I thought I was cool
    cause I fed Christo rabbit!! I will have to try some.

  • Nature’s Variety Instinct LID.  Comes in lamb or turkey.

    Also Natural Balance LID, California Natural Grain Free Salmon or Chicken or Kangaroo, Back to Basics,
    Vet Preferred Pork:

    Honest Kitchen Thrive:
    [Link to malware infected website removed by Moderator]

  • Sharon Ours

    If you would like to try a sample of what I sell I would be glad to send you a sample to try.  I had a dog with no hair and a terrible skin problem and the food change took care of it.  It was on antibotics and steroids and it didnt’ take care of it.
    [email protected]

  • Athinker13

    Oops forgot to mention…I was thinking of giving Lola this as an alternative to the expensive dog food!

  • Athinker13

    I have a Beagle and I have spent thousands of dollars on her at the vets for itching problems,,,she was born with mange and when that resolved the itching continued…the vet suggested having her tested for allergies so begged borrowed and stole to get the 300.00 for the test..turns out she is allergic to tons of things!  Most importantly, venison, soy bean, corn, barley, potato, alfalfa, and carrots!  Which are the most commonly used things in dog food.  I’ve had terrible trouble finding a food thats good for her..found Royal Canin allergy kind, but its so expensive at 89 dollars a bag.  She is negative for wheat and lamb….I’m wondering if you have any suggestions on food?  Thank you!!!

  • Rcyj1187

    I love this stuff for my dogs dog food is pricy, an this is very affordable, we food sometimes gives the runs if i haven’t given it to my dog in a while but the dry kibble is Awesome.

    Blue Nose PitBull!!!!!!!

  • Elizabethsue

    Looking for calorie content

  • Jrbranch56

    I have been giving my black lab the lamb and rice for years. He was kind of picky with other foods. He seems to like it better than some of the higher priced brands. The main thing that I notice is that his waste is less than those so called better foods. He has maintained a healthy weight and hasn’t had any food related issues. So for me and him it seems to be a great product. At 20$ for a 20lb bag works for me.




  • Hi Sherif R… If it’s just one product, I already have that photo from about 60 days ago. If it’s up to date, I should be OK. Thanks for your offer.

  • Sherif R

    Hi Mike,

    Yes just one. It’s actually almost identical to the Bench AND field formula. It’s primary chicken meal based. I’d be happy to send you a picture of it if you want. They only sell it in a 6.6 lb bag, but it’s higher in quality from their standard 20lb bag which you review here.

  • Hi Sherif… It doesn’t look like Trader Joe’s maintains a website for its pet foods. So, thanks to the help of another reader, I finally procured a photo of the package.

    However, I’d really appreciate of you could answer one question: How many different recipes (products) does this Wholesome and Natural product line contain? It looks like just one, to me. Am I right? Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Sherif R

    If anyone is looking for a higher quality dog food at a reasonable price, try Trader Joe’s Wholesome and Natural formula. No corn, wheat, or soy and full of quality ingredients. Only 7.99 per 6.6 lb bag! Mike… you should consider doing a review on that version

  • Rachel

    should all note – grains do not belong in a dogs diet. there carnivores. This food is not “high quality” for a canine.

  • Michelle

    James, Kirkland is $25 for a 40lb bag. Sorry I don’t know the price of TJ. I think Diamond Naturals is pretty close in formulation (to Kirkland), and just a bit more money. 🙂 FYI make sure it’s the Naturals, regular Diamond is icky. 😉

  • James

    Does anyone know the cost of TJ’s compared to Kirkland? I think I would prefer Kirkland but there isn’t one relatively close and it is difficult to get….Any other ideas on a decent 40lb bag around $30…

  • Ken

    That’s a relief then, thanks Mike. With all that ground corn and chicken by-product…I got a little freaked out. It felt like we had just gotten something only marginally better than just another bag of Dad’s.

  • Hi Ken… After adjusting for moisture and converting to dry matter basis, this is probably closer to a 3-star recipe. Hope to review it in the future. Thanks for sharing this info with the community,

  • Ken

    Hi Mike, my mother just returned from shopping at Trader Joe’s. She picked up a 20lb bag of Trader Joe’s brand “Premium Kibble Dog Food”. After skimming over the ingredients, I was very disappointed:

    Ground Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal, Wheat Flour, Poultry Fat (Mixed Tocopherols Preservative), Corn Gluten Meal, Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Yeast Culture, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Selenium Yeast, Sodium Selenite, Rosemary Extract, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C).

    Crude Protein 21% min, Crude Fat 10% min, Crude Fiber 4% max, Moisture 12% max

    No info whatsoever on Carb content! Probably way too many because of the grains though.

    At least something positve: No BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin

    In conclusion, this variety of “TJ’s” kibble looks as though it is a two-star dog chow at best. Not happy, will be trying to get their “…and Rice” variety (if it is even available.)

  • Hi Holly… Even though most dog foods are labeled “unfit for human consumption”, I wouldn’t imagine any of them to be acutely toxic to a human. However, since I’m not a physician, you may wish to contact your family doctor just to be sure. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Holly

    Help! I fed some dog food to my almost-year old grand daughter!! It was Trader Joe’s lamb and rice. I tasted it, thought it was some meat and black bean concoction that my daughter and her partner mixed up.

    How bad is it for her?

  • Mike, i know you said that no updating by you would be taking place until T.J.’s supplied more info., but they have a new “grainless” dry dog food, it looks excellent, just thought I would give a heads up to the people that might like to know.

  • Hi Nell… Just received a note from TJs saying they do not have complete product information for their dog foods at their customer service office. Told me to go to the store and check the label. If anyone has the time, would love to get a photo of the complete label for each recipe sold by Trader Joe’s.

  • Hi Nell… I recently contacted TJ and they are forwarding all the product information on their complete line of dog foods (wet and dry). As soon as I get this data I’m planning to update my review. Thanks for the help.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Nell – That is great that Trader Joe’s provided a prompt reply to you. How do we know it’s a real email? What is the email address that your reply came from? What is the date of the email reply? I would only trust this if Mike personally got the information.

  • Nell


    I wanted to cc you on this email I sent to Trader Joe’s regarding ethoxyquin in their dry dog food, and the prompt and excellent reply I got back.

    Here’s my email:
    I just bought your dry dog food for my 10-month-old puppy. I read a review on (GREAT info site btw!), which gave your brand of dry dog food three stars (out of five). The reviewer stated that he was not sure whether or not the dog food is ethoxyquin-free. I’m
    wondering if you have any information on that.

    Here’s Trader Joe’s reply:
    Thank you for contacting us. Our dog food is ethoxyquin free.
    Trader Joe’s
    Customer Relations

  • Hi Emily… Since Trader Joe’s Dog Food doesn’t appear to have a company owned and operated website, we relied on a photo taken by one of our readers. Until the company is willing to provide this information in a convenient, publicly accessible website, we may not update this brand for a while. Wish I could be more help.

  • Emily

    People may be interested to know that I contacted Trader Joe’s customer relations via e-mail and asked if ethoxyquin was used to preserve the fish meals. They responded saying, “We do not allow the use of ethoxyquin in any of our Trader Joe’s labeled products ingredients.”

    I also noticed that the bag in the store near me had a different ingredients list than the one here — no wheat, no corn, no soy, and they added probiotics to the chicken version, but not the lamb. Great value, too — I am likely switching my dog to this!

  • Deana Daeley

    I think your review was VERY fair and balanced. It confirmed what I had already supected. Thanks!