Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Short List: Egg-Free, Poultry-Free, Grain-Free Kibble

Brisbane has some food allergies that we identified via a not-very-precise elimination diet. He is also allergic to fleas, and the vet thinks he has environmental allergies as well. I keep him happy and itch-free by avoiding his food allergens, giving him Zyrtec and Benadryl, keeping him on Comfortis flea preventative, and bathing him at least once a week in baby shampoo.

Brisbane is beautiful
My half-assed elimination diet involved noticing that he was itchy shortly after consuming certain foods, attempting to cut those out of his diet for a long time, and then feeding him a bunch of said food to see what would happen.

Example: Briz had a huge hot spot. The previous day I was attempting to fry the perfect over-medium egg and slid all the failures into his bowl. We avoided feeding him anything containing eggs for a few months, and then I gave him a few fried eggs with broken yolks again. When he got another hot spot we cut eggs out of his diet entirely.

This entirely unscientific process has led me to believe that Brisbane is allergic to eggs, chicken, turkey, and duck. Since cutting these out of his diet he has been significantly less itchy, and stopped getting yeast infections in his enormous ears. Conveniently, he is not allergic to emu, ostrich, pheasant, quail, or pigeon.
suffocation hazard!
A dog can suffocate in a chip bag in five minutes or less!
Always supervise your garbage hounds!
Finding commercial pet foods and treats that Brisbane can eat is a little tricky, but I love research. I also love hiking and ultralight backpacking, where every ounce counts. I have amassed a list of kibbles that Brisbane can eat, and included the number of calories per cup so I can carry his food most efficiently on the trail. I thought this information would be helpful for anyone looking to put weight on a dog, or help a chunky pup slim down.

All of these grain-free foods are also free of egg, turkey, duck, and chicken, including chicken fat. I excluded some otherwise excellent foods because they used poultry fat as a preservative. I've been told that purified fat is not an allergen and could not possibly cause an allergic reaction, but my vet and I still would prefer to leave it out. Please pay attention to the specific variety of food, as most or all of the manufacturers also make varieties with poultry and eggs, and only certain flavors/recipes are safe. Some of these products are available around the world, others only in specific areas. Most can be purchased online.

I am madly in love with the Dog Food Advisor site, and recently used it to choose a new food for my dogs. Most or all of these foods will be listed there with a fabulous review and nutritional breakdown.

Update: Check out DogFoodWizard.com for custom food selection for any allergens!

The List:

Honest Kitchen Love 514 kcal/cup

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream 360 kcal/cup
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy360 kcal/cup (Note: Puppy food has the same calories.)
Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain 338 kcal/cup Now contains egg!

Orijen Six Fish 456 kcal/cup

Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Fish 380 kcal/cup
Natural Balace LID Sweet Poato and Venison 360 kcal/cup
Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Bison 375 kcal/cup
Natural Balance LID Potato and Rabbit 350 kcal/cup

Wellness Core Ocean Formula 417 kcal/cup
Wellness Simple Salmon and Potato 446 kcal/cup

AvoDerm Salmon and Potato 360 kcal/cup
AvoDerm Trout and Pea 446 kcal/cup

Nature’s Variety Instinct Salmon Meal 448 kcal/cup
Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Lamb 433 kcal/cup
Nature’s Variety Instinct LID Rabbit 449 kcal/cup
Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Lamb and Salmon 436 kcal/cup

Canidae Pure Sea 496 kcal/cup
Canidae Pure Land 474 kcal/cup

Merrick Grain-Free Pork and Sweet Potato 460 kcal/cup
Merrick Grain-Free Texas Beef 422 kcal/cup

Castor and Pollux Grain-Free Poultry-Free 375 kcal/cup

Acana Pacifica 421 kcal/cup
Acana Ranchlands 422 kcal/cup (What my motley crew is currently eating.)
Acana Lamb and Apple 421 kcal/cup

Innova Nature's Table Grain Free Ranch-Raised Beef & Red Lentils 497 kcal/cup
Innova Nature's Table Grain Free Cold Water Salmon and Wild Herring 483 kcal/cup

California Natural Pork and Sweet Potato 431 kcal/cup
California Natural Salmon and Pea 435 kcal/cup
California Natural Kangaroo and Red Lentil 431 kcal/cup
California Natural Lamb 428 kcal/cup
California Natural Venison and Green Lentil 443 kcal/cup

Canine Caviar Wild Ocean 552 kcal/cup
Canine Caviar Wilderness 595 kcal/cup

Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast 300 kcal/cup

Evanger’s Meat-Lover’s Medley 387 kcal/cup

Great Life Buffalo 431 kcal/cup
Great Life Salmon 442 kcal/cup

Dr. E’s RX Buffalo 429 kcal/cup

Pioneer Naturals Pork 426 kcal/cup
Pioneer Naturals Vension 434 kcal/cup
Pioneer Naturals Whitefish 451 kcal/cup

Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon 454 kcal/cup
Pure Vita Bison 438 kcal/cup

Natural Planet Rabbit and Salmon 448 kcal/cup

American Natural Premium Buffalo Meal 400 kcal/cup
American Natural Premium Ocean Fish and Potato 407 kcal/cup

Annamaet Aqualuk 426 kcal/cup
Annamaet Manitok 422 kcal/cup

Back to Basics Whitefish and Potato 273 kcal/cup
Back to Basics Lamb and Potato 297 kcal/cup
Back to Basics Pork 424 kcal/cup
Back to Basics Open Range 400 kcal/cup

Best Breed Grain-Free Salmon 437 kcal/cup

Nutrience Grain-Free Ocean Fish and Salmon 415 kcal/cup

Redmoon Lamb and Potato 476 kcal/cup

Victor Dog Food Salmon and Sweet Potato 402 kcal/cup

Wholesome Blend Grain-Free 406 kcal/cup
Wholesome Blend Grain-Free Small Breed 450 kcal/cup


  1. Have you tried Zignature? We love it here at my house. Chicken, egg, potato free. They have salmon/trout, lamb and duck flavors too.

  2. I have not! Their food looks great too, Brisbane can eat both their fish and lamb-based kibbles. I appreciate their single protein sources and that they don't throw chicken fat, chicken cartilage, or eggs into everything. I will have to update my food list in the near future. It looks like Zignature is available from some of my local stores, so I will have to grab a bag soon. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. The picture of your precious dog with his head in a bag is horriffic, but only if you know the bag can easily suffocate your dog in 3-5 minutes. NEVER ASSUME EVERYONE KNOWS! Pass the word along! Check out the Facebook page for Prevent Suffocation.

    1. Very good point! He is, in fact, always supervised when he has his head in a chip bag for that very reason. It's definitely worth spreading the message though, thanks for pointing that out!