Under the Sun Grain Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Under the Sun Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Under the Sun Grain Free product line includes five 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.

  • Under the Sun Grain Free Adult with Lamb [M]
  • Under the Sun Grain Free Adult with Chicken [M]
  • Under the Sun Grain Free Adult with Whitefish [M]
  • Under the Sun Grain Free Adult Large Breed with Chicken [M]
  • Under the Sun Grain Free Adult Small Breed with Chicken [M]

Under the Sun Grain Free Adult with Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Under the Sun Grain Free Adult with Lamb

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 12% | Carbs = 52%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, green peas, chickpeas, yellow peas, canola oil, suncured alfalfa, lamb, flaxseed, natural flavor, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), parsley, pumpkin, sage, green beans, carrots, cinnamon, rosemary, butternut squash, blueberries, zucchini, tomatoes, apples

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%11%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%12%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%27%48%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 27% | 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 and fourth ingredients include green peas and yellow peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The sixth ingredient is dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

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

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

The 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 find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help 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.

Under the Sun
Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Under the Sun Grain Free 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 28%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% 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 41%.

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 peas, chickpeas, alfalfa and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Under the Sun Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

Under the Sun Dog Food
Recall History

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

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

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

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Dog Food Coupons
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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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

Notes and Updates

11/29/2016 Last Update

  • Katherine Schaefers

    My Saint Bernard has been on Under the Sun adult grain-free chicken for two years. He’s got a gorgeous coat and is a very lean, muscular, athletic/active dog at 150lbs. We just got a new Saint pup and started him on the same when he was about 4 months old. He’s doing great, no stomach problems. We sometimes switch back and forth with the lamb, and they do fine with that as well.

  • Susan

    Here you go this is the only online Pet place that sells “Under The Sun” there’s only 3 UTS formula’s & they are on special cause they’re running out of date….you can go to another on line pet place & get the Canidae Pure formula’s cheaper, its called competition, I just bought 3 Bags of Canidae Pure Wild Boar 1.8kg bag for $19.99 a bag from “My Pet Warehouse”. when I buy 3 smaller bags it’s cheaper then buying the 5.4kg bag for $65 the UTS might be grain free but the carbs are over 50% & UTS only has 1 protein then a carbs as 2nd & 3rd 4th ingredient, there’s better gain free kibbles around with 2-4 proteins as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th ingredient then a carb & are under 40% in carbs & either the same price or cheaper then UTS kibble that’s why UTS didn’t take off in Australia.. https://www.petcircle.com.au/product/under-the-sun-grain-free-adult-chicken

  • Gayle Ramirez

    I am surprised Pure costs the same. The life stages is actually not as good a product as the UTS thus why you can with UTS in the US get a grain free option at a lower cost.I work in the pet industry and when UTS came out that was the whole reasoning for the brand.

  • Susan

    The Canidae Pure & Life stages formula’s cost the same price as Under The Sun formula’s….UTS formula’s didn’t take off too well in Australia probably cause they cost the same price as the Canidae formula’s & has less protein & more carbs..

  • Gayle Ramirez

    Under The Sun is not as high quality,thus why it costs less. canidae came out with the UTS line for those who wanted a descent dog food that was US made but couldn’t afford the super premiums like Pure. Life stages does have way more grain way less meat in them. Merrick did the same thing with the Merrick grain frees and regular foods and cheaper yet still descent brand of Whole earth

  • Twiggy T

    It hasn’t helped my husky lose weight, but it helps her with her allergies/sensitivities.

  • Shea

    I was interested in this brand for my small terrier since it has less fat and calories in it. I’m a little concerned though because half of it is carbs. Has anyone had luck with keeping their dog’s weight down with this food?

  • Brigette

    HI! I’ve been doing the Fromm since last I posted. 🙂 They still like it and haven’t had any issues with it. I feed the Grain Free Four-Star Nutritionals in Hasen Duckenpfeffer but will switch it out for the Lamb & Lentil ever so often. I still use Grain Free Duck from Under the Sun for the soft stuff. 😉 They get a few tablespoons of that on the side of Fromm dry. I just go by the feeding chart on the bag.. each of mine (weighing under 15 lbs) will eat about 3/4 cup of the dry since i have the soft food to go on the side. That’s the total per day (which is split up for them to eat twice daily). And I don’t give too many snacks. Maybe that helps with the weight, not sure. But they are always satisfied.

  • Shea

    I just sent you a message about Under the Sun and didn’t see that you went back to Fromm. What formulas do you use? I’m having a hard time deciding if I should keep Sadie on Fromm because she’s gaining weight on it. Under the Sun has less fat and calories but more carbs.

  • Shea

    I’ve been feeding Fromm too but my small dog is gaining weight on it even though I reduced the amount she gets. I think it might have too much fat in it for her. Just found this food researching. Let me know if you ever got the Under the Sun for your dog and how he did on it. Kinda nervous about this food because it has alot more carbs than I feed Sadie. I like that it’s lower fat and calories and has no potatoes! Too many potatoes makes Sadie’s skin yeasty!

  • Susan

    Hi next bag you buy Rotate & try “Canidae” Pure Wild formula, I have found Canidae Pure & Life Stages formulas are better quality then Canidae’s Under the Sun formula’s Under The Sun didn’t do well in Australia & are all on clearance sale now but the Canidae Pure formulas are always sold out by the end of the month also the bottom of Under The Sun kibble bag always has a heap of kibble dust/crumbs, I ended up getting a refund I had 1/4 of a bag of crumb, I started the Canidae Pure Wild a month ago & my boy looks excellent his coat is like a mirror so shiney everyone comments on Patches coat & how good he looks..

  • Kari Post

    Our almost two boxer/rottie mix has been on Under the Sun Grain Free kibble since we got him 9 months ago. We have fed the Chicken formula, but tried a small bag of the Whitefish formula once. Everyone comments on how healthy and fit our dog is and what a beautiful shiny coat he has (including our vet and vet techs). We have noticed that there are differences in appearance of the kibble from bag to bag (variations in color and size) but on the website it says this is due to the kibble being made in small batches. We haven’t had any issues and our dog seems healthy and happy.

  • Crazy4cats

    I was wondering about this food. Thanks for the review. I may give it a go. I believe it’s made by Canidae.

  • RedinDenver

    My 3 dogs (one of which used to have recurring intestinal issues) all did very well on UTS grain-free lamb formula dog food. I should add that I have been giving my 3 dogs probiotic acidophilus supplements for several years, so that could be part of the reason the intestinal issues cleared up also.

  • Marty

    I noticed that the new formula has canola oil. I like that they went to a single animal protein source, but am not very happy about the addition of canola oil. Thoughts?

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    Photo of what it looks like and the ingredients.

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    My baby, Abbie !!! An almost (November) 8yr old Blue Merle Cocker. Yes, Those Are Blue Eyes !!! A trait of the Blue Merle Breed !!!

  • JudyandSam Simpson Norris

    Are you able to purchase one of the -5-Star dry grain foods there. If so I would go with Acana Salmon Formula or a type of their fish formulas. It’s really good for their skin. Has been good for my Abbie which is auto immune and has yeast infections.

  • This review needs to be updated. Under the Sun by Canidae has changed their formulas and are now pork free.

  • Susan

    Does anyone feed the grain free formulas?? I bought the Original Adult Chicken with grains & the kibble is awful full of kibble powder & kibble pieces baked onto the kibbles, as I got 1/2 way down the bag of kibble I have to use a sifter to sift off all the kibble powder & kibble pieces…..Is Under The Sun grain free kibbles real powdery??? I’ve gotten over 2 cups of kibble powder pieces from 1/2 a bag of kibble…I’ve contacted the Australian Canidae but no one has returned my call or email, I attached 2 videos showing them what’s happening in my email….

  • Krystle

    Not sure! But both my pups have sensitive stomachs and they do really well with that food so, I would like to stick with the same company 🙂

  • Susan

    Hi, that’s weird we are just getting these formulas in Australia & they are being discontinue in America unless we are getting the rest of the old formulas

  • Susan

    Hi I just read that Canidae makes “Under The Sun” my Patch didn’t do well on Canidae Pure formula, too much chick peas & the Life Stages formulas were too high in carbs, he got bad acid reflux & started to itch & smell bad again…So I wont be trying Under The Sun’s old formulas, when you go on Under The Suns web page right up the top in blue is a link saying click here, they are making all new formulas & there will be no more pork in their formulas & all the new formulas will have single proteins….So we are just getting all the discontinued stock in Australia….I was going to post a post on Canidae Australia F/B page, when people run out of Canidae & cant find any stock they can try Under The Sun formulas but I haven’t yet, I’ve posted it on Pet Circle Reviews that’s Under The Sun is made by Canidae but it hasn’t been approved yet..

  • Brigette

    Thanks. I went back to Fromm for the dry. If I decide to switch out again I may give TOTW a look.

  • Amateria

    Despite been signed up for newsletters from pet circle and pet warehouse they don’t ever mention adding new items, I literally have to find out about it through someone’s comment, it’s not written anywhere, I can’t find it just browsing heh.

    Seems Totw is also going pea heavy with their two new formulas, they told me about it in an email from them, went and checked it out and was like “nah I’ll stick to your older formulas when ordering in the future”(did not tell them that though).

    Sorry that it generally had nothing to do with your question though, just wanted to say that lol.

    To add to that the puppy food is sold out so hopefully some reviews come in soon and hopefully their good ones.

  • Susan

    If your dogs can’t eat Potatoes have a look at “Taste Of The Wild” has their Pine Forest formula, Southwest Canyon Formula that’s potato free & if you have small breeds then there’s their Appalachian Valley Formula all Potato free…Email TOTW & ask for Book with all formulas with ingredients etc & sample they sent me all their formulas

  • Susan

    Under The Sun has just come to Australia there’s the Grain Free formulas that are very PEA heavy then there’s the Orginal Adult with Brown Rice & NO PEAs… does anyone have a dog with digestive problems & how did their dog do on the grainfree??

  • Krystle

    My dogs LOVE their weight management formula. Unfortunately, they are discontinuing it BUT I contacted the company and they are sending me samples of their newest formulas to option out for my dogs. They have the greatest customer service I have ever dealt with… Seriously.

  • Brigette

    Thanks for your reply. I JUST bought another brand of dry food today and if they don’t care for it then I will exchange it for this one. I’ve been feeding Fromm for about 6 months but would like to switch out ever so often. 😉

  • Lindsay Ryan

    My 4 dogs have been eating the dry for about 3 or 4 months. They eat it with no negative digestive issues. (2 are grain sensitive and 2 are potato sensitive, and it is hard to find grain free food without potatoes in it). Although, none of them are super excited about it – they take their time eating it, but I guess that’s probably because healthy food is never as yummy and the stuff packed with garbage. Lol.

  • Brigette

    I can’t find any comments on this dry food. Has anyone here tried it? My dogs like the canned and haven’t had any issues with it. Just wondering about the dry.