grain free dog food


Am very new to this, I would like some advice about feeding my 6 year old chocolate Labrador.

As a puppy he used to eat his own poo, I changed his food and he stopped instantly, now we are back to eating other dogs mess (especially the ones we are walking with) and also he grazes on grass (the coarser the better) and when he is at his worst he eats mud

He has been fed James Well Beloved, Arden Grange fish and potato and then last year a vet advised me to just feed him terrier biscuit and canned food.

that was fine up until a few months ago when he went back to eating all the bad things.

I am now feeding him Barking Heads grain free turkey and vegetables (as he also has a seasonal skin allergy)

He is better except for the (poo eating), but I am not convinced it is the right food for him

I have looked at Simpsons premium 80/20, Wainrights grain free and Orijen dog foods

My other worry is the protein level in the foods as I am told it makes the blood hot which affects the skin when the allergy is bad

If anybody has any advice I would be very grateful as I don’t want to mess him around with changing food too often


Hello and welcome to the forum. There was some discussion about this lovely habit but I can’t remember which thread it is in.
I can only speak from personal experience. My terrier is partial to a mouthful of horse poo given half a chance and will occasionally try to eat soil clods. I never really had an problem with it while she was on Markus Muhle or Gentle cold pressed foods. When she started on a raw diet, she became much less responsive to ‘leave it’ when coming across soil clods she fancied or horse poos. I reintroduced 'gentle in the form of treats and frozen in a kong and she is much better again now.

Gentle has brown rice as its filler which may be tolerated better than maize or wheat. It is hard to say if the food made a difference but it seems to.
if you look at this thread, it will talk you through using the quick search tool. You can enter all your requirements and a list of suitable foods will come up.


Hello and welcome to AADF forum. Yes, we have had several threads about coprophagia - it is clearly a common problem. I was just looking at the Burns website earlier today and in particular the Burns Health Guide. You seem to be associating the coprophagia with diet so have a look at Page 21 and see if there is anything useful in the article.

I honestly don’t know whether it is diet related or not but I have formed the impression that it is an unfathomable habit that the dog will persist with whatever it is fed. I reckon the owner just has to deal with it in a practical way - clearing poo straight away and keeping the dog on a lead (or muzzle) when out and about.

Regarding the food and protein content, you don’t say why you think that Barking Heads is not suiting him so maybe you could let us know? There could be something in this that would help you to eliminate some other products from the list of possibles.

There is a trend now for higher protein foods, particularly raw meat. Dog owners have to decide if that is the way to go for them. I am just a dog owner of many years standing but I feel that the average domestic dog may not actually require this kind of diet and that a suitable protein level should be related to the dog’s activities of daily living. However, I realise that some people don’t agree with this.

It seems that you want to remain grain free because of the seasonal allergy and of the foods that you describe, the only one I have personal experience of is Wainwright’s. I gave it to two of mine fairly recently and I think it is a suitable product for the average domestic pet. My two had perfect poos on it and there is the added benefit of being able to ring the changes on meat source. The protein is moderate at 27% and the carbohydrate source is mainly sweet potato which is said to be quite good. One or two people on my own forum have put their problematic dogs on Wainwright’s grain free with good results. The other grain free product that I used for quite a long time was Fish4Dogs. All mine were fine on it and I cannot remember why I took them off it - maybe it was just for a change.

Edit: While out on a dog walk just now I was thinking about my friends who have owned and bred Labradors for many years. They have five between them, two being of similar age to yours. For some time they have all been on white label duck and potato with a protein of 26% and fat 12%. They are typical, laid back Labs and don’t get (or require) masses of exercise so these levels are OK for them - they are all doing well and look good. However, one of them is a persistent poo eater and has been since she was a tiny tot - wouldn’t matter what they were fed, if the poo is there, she’ll eat it.

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Thanks for your advice all of you
Orijen is 38% protein so very high !
My dog needs to feel satisfied, so have to find a food that is good quality and makes him feel full
Will research the ideas you have given me and hopefully find one

I have split the posts relating to protein in the diet and that thread is here.

Thank you for getting back to us eira.brewster. I really hope that you can find something that is suitable for your dog. Please post back if you have any queries. If you do find something that suits your dog better, please would you let us know?

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