Our boy has been on Acana duck for quite a while. We went through several foods and settled on it.
Chicken just makes him gassy, period. So we tried to focus on red meats and went with Fromm Heartland GF. He couldn’t keep on weight and was a pooping machine getting 4 cups a day. Switched to Acana duck and he’s weight leveled, he pooped less, and was eating 2 cups daily.
Our vet has brought up taurine deficiencies in dogs and requested us to look elsewhere. Tried to sell us on Hills or RC, but said at the end of the day to try and focus on a diet that didn’t have legumes and had meat as the protein source.
So at the end of the day, we’re looking for a new food. I’m not looking to get into debates about it, it has us concerned so we’d like to switch. Switching makes for a stronger stomach too, right? Lol.
We’ve had him on Farmina Cod and Orange Ancient Grain but that made him super itchy. Rebalanced on the Acana and tried the Farmina Lamb and Blueberry. He’s not as itchy, but he is licking his front feet pink. I don’t think it’s the grain.
I really wanted Farmina to work, but he’s sensitive to something in it. Its affordable and has great looking ingredients. I believe the itching is fish related as he couldn’t eat the Acana fish foods we tried.
Suggestions? Most of the foods that meet our criteria have chicken in them. We haven’t had him on a chicken diet since we started fostering him 2 years ago, so maybe he’s fine on it now.
I do like Fromm, but he just poops so much on it, and has to be fed so much it doesn’t seem like a good pick.
Annamaet Venison and Salmon gets him itchy as well, our other dog is on that.
I am almost exactly 7 months late responding to your post — and I’m shocked no one else has up to this point — but, thanks to the everlasting “archival” nature of the internet, your post was preserved and awaiting a response, any response and, finally, here I am!
First of all, how is your boy doing 7 months later? What are you feeding him now and is he reacting well or still having some GI problems and itching?
SO, here’s my story that I hope will help you out: I had been on a massive journey to find my Lab mix, Perry, a kibble that has no grains, no legumes, and no white potato. It took hours of searching, as well as a lot of trial and error with at least a half-dozen different brands, but I finally found it:
EARTHBORN HOLISTICS VENTURE ALASKA POLLOCK MEAL & PUMPKIN
So, here’s the first thing to be said about Earthborn: their REGULAR (vs. Venture) line … no good! Peas, peas, and more peas. They “ingredient split” peas about five different ways (e.g., peas, pea flour, pea fiber, etc.). If Earthborn stopped using peas they’d put some pea farmers out of business!
BUT… then they developed this new Venture line. It’s been out about a year now, I think. Six flavors. Grain free. No GMO. High quality ingredients. Unfortunately, and to my great dismay, three of the flavors use peas. WHY? I don’t know — they can’t help themselves, these folks at the corporate offices of Earthborn (mind you, they are a family owned and operated business). Another two don’t have peas, but aren’t legume-free: they use chickpeas.
And then there’s the Pollock formula!
First five ingredients: Alaska Pollock Meal, Pumpkin, Tapioca, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed
And the rest of the ingredients are essentially minerals, vitamins, probiotics. Omega 6:3 ratio is better than most kibbles. Also, higher fiber than most kibbles, 9%, which a canine nutritionist I went to said is likely one of the keys to this food stabilizing Perry’s GI tract.
This is pretty much the ONLY kibble my dog does well on. And it is so frustrating because you’d think that a special line as this would have flavors that mimic each other, but this one is the odd man out. I have implored them to make more Venture flavors with just the pumpkin, tapioca and flaxseed — and, of course, they’ve taken my suggestion ‘under consideration.’ But, ok.
Also, I love that they’ve opted for sunflower oil in this line, rather than the controversial and overly-used canola oil, or pretty much any other vegetable oil.
My dog loves it — and I also love that this particular flavor has a slightly larger kibble size — great for large dogs as mine (70lb) — maybe or maybe not for smaller dogs, although I know of smaller dogs that do fine on larger-sized kibble pieces.
The flavors with chickpeas are Turkey — which, instead of pumpkin & tapioca uses chickpeas & butternut squash — and Squid (SQUID..?!?! WTF?), which uses chickpeas & pumpkin. Squid is a bit odd and I really don’t need another fish kibble as a rotational protein source, but I did try the Turkey — and Perry did not go all that great on it. It certainly could be that pumpkin is a bit better than squash for him, but I suspect the chickpeas as the culprit — and I’m pretty much sold on the argument that legumes of all kinds are not good for dogs. (The turkey kibble has flaxseed, too, so I rule that out as being a better or worse ingredient for Perry.)
So, we found our kibble in the Venture Pollock. I really would like to offer Perry at least ONE additional protein using the same pumpkin & tapioca formula, and am praying Earthborn will finally see the light and come through.
OK, Charles — there IS one more line you can check out that a lot of folks don’t know about: Sport Dog Food. This is a small husband-and-wife-owned company out of Long Island, NY. It originally was set up to be a dog food specially gears towards working dogs, hunting dogs, sport dogs, and the like, and they have several flavors made WITH grain for that purpose. But they great folks also developed a grain-free line called Elite which is more about what it doesn’t have than what it does:
No legumes of any kind. No grains, no rice, no white potato. No corn, wheat, soy, flax or alfalfa (for me, I’m ok with flax for my dog, which I actually think helps some with fiber to keep him regular — but I get that others aren’t). No controversial Menhaden fish, and no vegetable oils (again, I’m ok with sunflower oil — not with a lot of other vegetables oil though!). And a few other things. And, then on the positive side, lots of great ingredients.
I used Sport Dog for Perry in its earlier incarnation in 2017 — until they had a disagreement with their manufacturer (small plant in the midwest) and had to cease business for several months while looking for new manufacturing plants to contract with and, in doing so, had to change their formulas quite a bit, although still with most of their “no-no” ingredients left out. The previous incarnation, which had beef, chicken and fish flavors, Perry did spectacularly with the beef and chicken, but not so much with the fish, and I think the culprit was the use of mussels — he doesn’t do well with shellfish.
However, when they changed manufacturers, they changed protein sources and changed several of the other ingredients within. Instead of beef, they now use water buffalo (now commonly farmed in the US!). Instead of chicken, it’s now turkey. And their whitefish stayed whitefish but with a little more varieties of fish in it, albeit without mussel.
Regrettably, Perry only did “ok” with the whitefish; “not-so-great” with the turkey, and “pretty bad” with the water buffalo. It’s no fault of Sport Dog — they really do have a great product, and SO well thought out — but, just for Perry, for whatever reason, his GI tract wasn’t having it. Perhaps some element of fiber missing. And I tried it again several months later, just to make sure but, nope.
SO… on the Venture Pollock formula for the foreseeable future.
Hope you made it this far through my ‘mini-novella’ — I truly hope this is helpful to you, Charles, and to other readers who might come across this post — and would love to hear your further comments, opinions, questions, etc. Thanks!
How about Purina ProPlan Beef and Rice or their Sensitive Skin Salmon formula? Neither have chicken and are made by a company with years of research and testing. They also have veterinary nutritionists on staff and own their own manufacturing facilities.
Until a definite answer is found to the recent rise in DCM cases, I will only feed my pets a food made by a company that meets all those qualifications. Many dog owners who said they would never feed one of these brands have switched and their dogs are doing great. Including, my own!
It’s not worth the risk!
Have you done an elimination diet with a prescription food to find out exactly what your dog is sensitive to? Often it is discovered that the dog actually has environmental allergies. It would probably be beneficial for you to do one. Instead of switching food after food. I know that can be stressful. Good luck!
Hi crazy4cats — not sure if you’re responding to me or to the original poster, Charles, but I very much appreciate your input and your taking the time to comment. I’m glad that the Purina products work well for your dog but, just for me, I don’t like what Purina puts into its dog foods, based on my observation of the ingredients within several of their products.
Just looking at the ingredients for the ProPlan Beef & Rice, as you are suggesting: first problem is that it is filled with grains and glutens, which I am trying to not feed my dog. In addition, there are a few other questionable ingredients. Here are six I wouldn’t be comfortable feeding my dog: Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat, Whole Grain Corn, Dried Beet Pulp.
I’m not a veterinary nutritionist but, again, just for me, and all the research I’ve done, and all the dog foods I’ve tried for my last and current dogs, I do not feel that corn is a necessary ingredient for dogs, it is even controversial among people and websites who discuss and research dog foods, including Dog Food Advisor, and in this product there are two different kinds. Also, it is beyond me why a dog would need Soybean Meal — and, by the way, Corn and Soy are the two top GMO crops in the world (if you care about giving your dog GMO-produced ingredients or not). Dried Beet Pulp is a filler, and is highly questionable, again including here on Dog Food Advisor. “Animal Fat” — what kind of animal(s) are they referring to? They need to be more specific — some of the animals they are using might be (a) offensive, you might be surprised what animals they’re taking the fat from, and/or (b) an animal that your dog might be allergic to.
But the most offensive to me is the Poultry By-Product Meal. ANYTHING from the chicken or turkey that is not used to make what is sold commercially (e.g., leg, thigh, breast pieces, skin) can be used in by-product meal, including feathers claws, and beaks, all ground down, and I don’t even want to take a chance with giving my dog such unknown and questionable ingredients.
For sure, the Sensitive Skin Salmon formula is light years better than the beef one, although it is filled with grains — which, again, may work just right for some people’s dogs, but not for mine. It also has the mysterious “animal fat,” brewer’s dried yeast which, like dried beet pulp, is a questionable filler, and, for heaven’s sake, what is “canola meal”..? Canola is a controversial ingredient and is also one of the biggest GMO crops.
Forgive me playing devil’s advocate here — especially given that you took time out of your day to make a contribution to this thread — but I know there are at least a few others who will be coming here looking for info about legume-free dog food and will also be interested in grain-free products, as I am, and I just want to make sure that people are able to see both sides of the coin and are able to make informed decisions about which products to buy — or not to buy — their dogs.
Fromm Classic Adult and Purina Pro Plan Focus Salmon are grain inclusive, legume free and potato free.
I believe some of the concerns mentioned in above posts are addressed in this article and comments. http://skeptvet.com/Blog/2016/07/more-nonsense-from-holistic-vets-about-commercial-therapeutic-diets/
Use the search engine at that site to look up “nutrition” for more informative science based articles.
Hi Merrick W,
AFFCO definitions really do not tell you much about the ingredient except from which it is sourced. Beef could mean a high content of muscle tissue or it could be very little muscle and a lot of skin and fat.
Nor does the ingredient list give you information about the quality of the ingredient or if the food was formulated or processed appropriately.
So to play devils advocate you wrote “But the most offensive to me is the Poultry By-Product Meal. ANYTHING from the chicken or turkey that is not used to make what is sold commercially (e.g., leg, thigh, breast pieces, skin) can be used in by-product meal, including feathers claws, and beaks, all ground down, and I don’t even want to take a chance with giving my dog such unknown and questionable ingredients. ”
I’m going to apply the same type of reasoning to Alaskan Pollack Meal :But the most offensive to me is the Alaskan Pollack Meal. ANYTHING from the fish that is not used to make what is sold commercially ( fillets) can be used in Pollack meal, including scales, fins, and tails, all ground down, and I don’t even want to take a chance with giving my dog such unknown and questionable ingredients. In fact there doesn’t have to be any actual muscle tissue in Pollack Meal. It could just be a bunch of ground fish cuttings.
I look at and interview the company when making dog food feeding decisions. If there is a particular ingredient I want to avoid I will look at the list but other than that I haven’t found it all that helpful.
There’s a brand called American Natural Premium pet food. They have a lot of formulas that are legume and potato free. I’ve personally tried them and are amazed by the quality results. Their stools are great, they look shiny and healthy, and they go crazy when it’s dinner time. I never really heard about them, but they have been around for a couple decades. The price is great too!
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