Top Recommended Dry Foods

Dog Food Advisor Forums Canine Nutrition Top Recommended Dry Foods

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  • #133468 Report Abuse
    Elizabeth D

    Hi there-looking for dry food recommendations and unless I’m not looking in the right place, I’m seeing only grain free among the top choices. My vet is steering me away from grain free because of the recent research regarding cardiac issues. Am I not looking in the right place for non-grain free top choices?

    #133475 Report Abuse

    Hi Elizabeth,
    I don’t think there is a list of top grain inclusive foods. I’m in a Facebook group for the DCM issues. The ingredients to steer clear from are grains (though I believe some cases of diet related DCM has happened on grain inclusive) , peas, legumes, potatoes.

    I currently have my dogs on Natures Logic. Only grain is millet but none of the other ingredients. Some are using Farmina Ancestral Grains. The above FB group touts foods from makers following WSAVA guidelines: Purina, Science Diet, Eukanuba/Iams and Royal Canin. It seems the favored is Purina Pro Plan sensitive skin & stomach and Pro Plan Savor.

    I never thought I’d feed Purina but I may try the PPP SSS next. It’s not going to kill my dogs to eat it while they figure out exactly what’s causing this but putting them back on grain free may.

    I have many friends into dogs: breeders, show people and sport people. So many of them feed Pro Plan and they have dogs who live long lives and look great.

    I’ve been on DFA for a very long time. Never ever would I have thought I’d contemplate a Purina food. Never. Most of the friends I’ve made here would laugh if they read this!

    #133478 Report Abuse
    Jo R

    No laughter here. Put my dog with constant digestive issues on Purina Pro Plan sensitive stomach salmon and rice and in less than a month, problems gone. One issue was leaking anal glands while asleep. I had tried adding fiber but just got larger, softer poops. Now with no added fiber, anal glands expressing normally, firm, small once a day poop and no gas. The transition needs to be slow as grain free vs grain inclusive changes the gut flora. The most important point is until the grain free / heart problem correlation is discovered and rectified, I can feel safe with my food choice.
    What I don’t understand about people that shout that Purina and other grain inclusive foods are bad because they have so called “fillers” is why they think field peas and other mass farmed legumes are so great. They are also sprayed with the same chemicals, are gmo and are stored in the same type of silos. Also agree, is a great source of information.

    #133479 Report Abuse

    Fromm Classic Adult is our current favorite

    They have other grain-inclusive formulas too.

    #133480 Report Abuse
    Elizabeth D

    I’m currently feeding two of my dogs Fromms Classic and my pup with digestive issues Wellness Complete Health Large Breed. I recently lost my lab who was on Zignature and he did really well on it. I just don’t understand why Dog Advisor doesn’t have a list of top recommended grain inclusive foods or if they’re saying that those just don’t make it to the top.
    I’m kind of interested in Victor-I’ve seen a lot about them recently and I’d love to get all three dogs on the same food if possible.

    #133505 Report Abuse

    Are you on Facebook? If yes,you should join that group. Fromm is a food that has had it number of DCM dogs in the group. If you don’t want to try Purina, SD, Eukanuba/Iams or RC, look for foods without grains, peas, legumes, potatoes.

    #133538 Report Abuse
    Elizabeth D

    Thanks. I’ll look for that right now.

    #135585 Report Abuse
    christine v

    Probably because grains are an unnatural food source for dogs.

    #138874 Report Abuse
    Mike S

    Are grains really that foreign to dogs? They eats prey, that eats grains and has grains in their stomachs… so they’ve always had grains.

    #138901 Report Abuse

    @mike s, hi, so most kibbles are 50% + carbs. So maybe even if there is a small amount of already digested grains in the gut of their prey it isn’t half of their meal like the majority of kibbles are formulated these days. Probably less than 10% of their over all diets. So I would say yes grains are pretty foreign. They certainly hadnt been eating corn anytime before the last 100 years. Grains are just cheap fillers. But most any carb is foreign for dogs. They just there to cheapen food and add bulk to keep kibble from falling apart.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by haleycookie.
    #138929 Report Abuse
    Mike S

    Yeah carbs aren’t ideal, but many people assume grain free means low carb and that’s not the case. In fact, some dog foods without grains are higher in alternative carbohydrate sources like potatoes and peas.

    #138989 Report Abuse
    Elizabeth D

    Since I’ve written this, I’ve transitioned to Purina Pro Plan Large Breed puppy for my lab pup and my golden is eating senior Victor and I’ll likely transition him to Bright Minds. I’ve also tried to become more informed on the whole grain free, DCM issue and I do not believe the issue is grains as much as it’s that in the grain frees the peas, legumes, potatoes, etc are blocking taurine. I also don’t know that I’ve seen that Fromms Classic is at issue, but I’ll likely switch out my young lab anyway if anything else, for some variety.

    #139067 Report Abuse

    In the FB group I am in, Fromm has the fourth or fifth highest incidence of DCM. IMO, I wouldn’t feed it until we have more info.

    #139099 Report Abuse
    Elizabeth D

    Even the non-grain free Fromm?

    #139103 Report Abuse
    christine v

    I really like this write up re; DCM, it’s a bit more balanced thn the scaremongering articles i often see bandies about.

    “There has recently been a rising controversy regarding the effect of Taurine on dogs. Unfortunately, some veterinarians and manufacturers are incorrectly applying the concern to all breeds of dogs and using “grain-free” foods as a scapegoat in order to push their own product agenda. The recommendations from these individuals are unfortunately setting us up for much greater problems in the near future.

    The facts:
    • Unlike cats, dogs are able to synthesize taurine in their bodies

    • Some dog breeds may suffer from taurine deficiency in relation to certain diseases and may need to have taurine added to their diets

    • American Cocker Spaniels and certain giant breed dogs (produce taurine in their bodies at a slower rate) appear to be more prone to taurine deficiency

    • There are no symptoms directly related to taurine deficiency, but instead symptoms are usually related to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) which can be caused by taurine deficiency

    • Grain-free pet foods are not the cause of taurine deficiency; however, potatoes and some legumes MAY affect taurine absorption if in large enough quantities (this is still unclear and only speculation at this point) and can be found in many “grain-free” as well as “grained” pet foods

    Most importantly:
    • The proportion of plant to animal protein sources may be a contributing factor (the lower the animal protein and the higher the plant protein, the more likely the food is to create low blood taurine levels)

    • Many of the sick dogs from the original study had normal blood taurine levels and many of the dogs with low blood taurine levels did not respond to taurine supplementation

    Studies like this can be very good for the industry and our pets so long as they are interpreted correctly and organizations do not use the findings to further their agenda. Bottomline, grain-free foods are not the villain. It is irresponsible to claim that it is the problem given the actual true facts.

    Genetics, disease, and large amounts of low-nutrient dense, high glycemic carbohydrates paired with minimal animal protein appears to be the problem, and would be even more specific than just blaming grain-free foods. There are grain-free foods to avoid, just as there are “grain-in” foods to avoid. Grains are certainly not an important, needed part of a dog or cat’s diet. But neither are carbs like potatoes, or peas which are mostly found in grain-free foods. They are merely replacements for grains like rice, corn, oatmeal, and others. Unfortunately dry kibble dog food (which is the only form of dog food this should even be associated with), MUST have those types of carbs in them to make the kibble hold together. It’s almost like the “glue” to keep it in kibble form.
    We KNOW for a fact that corn and wheat do not do dogs any favors when it comes to their health! Rice is normally fine for most dogs but some will suffer from itchiness and other symptoms due to it being a high-starch carb. Obviously it would be best to avoid rice for an “itchy dog”. This is why grain-free foods exist. They would normally have a higher quality source of carbs binding them and without the toxins and allergens found in cheap cereal grains. It comes down to picking the lesser of evils on the carb source and figuring out what works best for your particular dog.
    At EarthWise Pet, we have a comprehensive Certified Pet Dietitian program that trains individuals through over 500 hours of pet nutrition courses and material. Our expertise allows us to assess ingredients, manufacturing, and sourcing of all of our recommended foods. Because of this certification and vetting process, we offer a variety of grain-friendly and grain-free diets with low-carbohydrate content, minimal processing and high animal-based protein levels to ensure biologically appropriate, quality nutrition for your pets with sufficient levels of Taurine. If you have concern that your breed may be predisposed to taurine deficiency, ask your EarthWise Pet associate for recommendations and to see what food is right for your furry family member. We guarantee we have one that will fit your pet’s needs and give you confidence in the ingredients, sourcing and manufacturing processes of the food you feed.

    I will add that I personally know thousands of dogs. I have not yet known of one to suffer from DCM, but I have known many that have been afflicted with Cancer, Diabetes, Obesity, and general poor health. In almost all cases, the dogs were fed low-quality dry dog food for most of their lives and that would usually consist of foods loaded with grains. Why would we want to go back to those kinds of diets, grains or no grains?!”

    #139114 Report Abuse

    Yes, even non grain free Fromm has cases. And contrary to the post above, there have been a few cases with raw fed dogs too, not just kibble fed dogs.

    This is happening with all kinds of breeds of all sizes. And not just simply on grain free foods. According to the studies done so far, all we know is the food is a major factor but not WHY the food is causing this. One study (I think from UC Davis?) showed that all but one of the dogs in the study that had diet caused DCM improved after changing the diet, something that is not possible with genetic DCM. That alone says a lot.

    I also do not trust any source that states “we know for a fact corn and wheat have no benefits to dogs..” it’s laughable considering we have numerous studies on the specific nutrients dogs utilize from corn gluten meal. Does it make it a necessary ingredient? No, but it sure makes it obvious someone likes to ignore science when making such a sweeping statement…

    #139129 Report Abuse


    That write up is full of falsehoods. What credentials does the writer have? Do they sell pet food?

    I think it just says what you wanted to hear. I’d rather stick with the scientists researching this issue’s facts .

    #139134 Report Abuse
    Elizabeth D

    Christine-was this written EarthWise Pet? Are they a dog food company?

    #139153 Report Abuse

    Appears it’s a pet store. Yep, best place for info lol

    #139156 Report Abuse

    lol here is another gem directly quoted from that store’s post “To the people who are “in the know”, this issue is obviously being driven by manufacturers like Science Diet, Royal Canin, and Purina.”

    #139157 Report Abuse

    Lol Sanne. It makes me laugh. Are those companies sending gremlins to other dog food companies to make their food cause DCM?

    #139158 Report Abuse

    haha I am picturing Purina reps breaking into dog food factories and injecting the food with some kind of DCM causing virus

    #139159 Report Abuse
    christine v

    She should of have said, the scaremongering and propaganda is being driven and spread by Purina, science diet etc

    #139160 Report Abuse

    Except she should not have because that would still be false. Maybe I am missing it somewhere, but I have yet to see any of those companies talk much about this DCM issue publicly. Can’t find much of anything on their own websites, social media, or commercials. If it were true that they are spreading it, I would expect to see them advertise all over the place that their food does not cause DCM. So far, the only people I am seeing bring up their food is concerned Cardiologists who have noticed patterns.

    #143538 Report Abuse
    Robert B

    Four companies who make legume (e.g. peas, lentils, chickpeas etc.) and tuber (e.g. potatoes, cassava root, sweet potatoes etc.) free canine formulations that are grain inclusive but avoid corn, wheat and soybeans are:

    – Annamaet
    – Dr. Gary’s Best Breed
    – Dr. Tim’s
    – Farmina N&D Ancestral Grains

    You may want to research them a bit and add them to your “list” for consideration.

    I am currently in the process of moving my 9-1/2 year old Australian Shepherd off Orijen and I am piloting a rotation among different foods by these companies. I have an older dog so what specific foods that I chose might not be right for your dog, so look at the different foods that each make carefully.

    What I like is the companies all have some grounding in veterinary nutrition, all disclose ash content and looking at their ingredient lists > 1% by weight, they look pretty good among their peer companies. I am starting off with smaller 5lb. Bags to see how he does.

    Good Luck

    #144861 Report Abuse

    FYI if a company does business in Europe and has a European version of their website they have to list what percentage each ingredient is for anything 10% and over. It’s a great way to have a better idea of exactly what comprises the kibble.

    #144867 Report Abuse
    Patricia A

    Stella and Chewy’s also just came out with a grain inclusive in two proteins.
    Stella’s Essentials Wholesome Grains Kibble

    Stella’s Essentials with Ancient Grains provide a great solution for pet parents looking for a premium diet that has a variety of wholesome grains including barley, oatmeal, brown rice, millet and quinoa. Our diets are protein-rich, nutrient dense and packed with the finest natural ingredients to support whole body health and best-in-class animal nutrition.
    Product Benefits:
    Responsibly sourced animal proteins – cage-free & grass-fed
    Poultry-free option
    Pea-free, lentil-free & potato-free
    Wholesome grains including brown rice, pearled barley, oatmeal, quinoa and millet
    Made in the USA with no ingredients from China
    Rich in Omegas for healthy skin and coat
    Strong levels of glucosamine & chondroitin to help maintain hip and joint function
    High quality proteins for lean muscle mass
    No corn, wheat or soy protein
    No by-product meal
    Guaranteed Taurine levels
    Complete & balanced for all life stages less large breed puppy

    #144868 Report Abuse

    FROMM is the best!

    #145399 Report Abuse
    robbert C

    Before commenting whether Purine is a good choice or not it has to be confirmed whether the dog has genetic DCM or diet caused DCM. From the past six months i have been feeding my dog a grain free food and there is no change in his condition .

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