Sea Food for Adult Dogs, Seven of the best dry dog foods (Salmon, Herring, Flounder)

Does your dog have dry skin, food or skin allergies?

Or, maybe you just love your friend to have a beautiful coat, bright eyes, and increased energy. It may be time to change their diet from grains used in many commercial dog foods to a balanced diet of meat based proteins and essential fatty acids that nature intended. Fish can be one of the best sources of meat protein for dogs that are sensitive to grain based diets or other forms of meat protein such as chicken or turkey.

What should I feed my dog?

It is important for the health and well-being of your friend to feed an appropriate amount of a well-balanced diet that meets the nutritional requirements dictated by biology. As a species, your friend is a member of a large group of mammals that share a biology. The dietary needs of animals belonging to this group vary. Some members have an absolute requirement for meat (carnivores), while others meet their nutrient requirements eating plants (herbivores) or a combination of meat and plants (omnivores).

Are dogs carnivores or omnivores?

Cats are an example of carnivore, cows are herbivores, and humans are omnivores.
Canine DNA studies show canines evolved directly from timber wolves. And, of course, it should come as no surprise. Wolves are carnivores.
The tooth structure of canines is designed to chop meat not grind grain.
The canine intestinal tract is not the same as humans (a true omnivore). Herbivores and omnivores produce a digestion aid in their salivary glands, amylase, that carnivores typically lack. Amylase helps the break down of starchy carbohydrates into simple sugars before they enter the stomach. Although canines do produce amylase, the enzyme is added further down the digestive tract in the pancreas and small intestine. A dogs intestinal tract does not gain the same benefits from complex carbohydrates as humans. Even without the same ability, minimal nutritional needs can be met eating a combination of plant and meat proteins (if a richer level of meat diet is not available). Modern genetic research shows ten canine genes play key roles in starch digestion and fat metabolism.

The minimum canine dietary requirement has been established for many nutrients. The maximum tolerable amounts of some nutrients are known, and results of toxicity have been established. What is less understood is what may happen over time with marginal deficiencies or excesses.

Nutritional guidelines have been developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). AAFCO 2009 guidelines are the general basis for the nutritional content of commercial pet foods:

Nutrient Growth and Reproduction Adult Maintenance
Adult Maintenance
Crude protein 22% 18%
Crude fat 8% 5%
Linoleic acid 1.0% 1.0%
Calcium 1% 0.6% 2.5%
Phosphorus 0.8% 0.5% 1.6%
Potassium 0.6% 0.6%
Sodium 0.3% 0.06%
Copper 7.3 mg/kg 7.3 mg/kg 250 mg/kg
Zinc 120 mg/kg 120 mg/kg 1,000 mg/kg
Vitamin A 5,000 IU/kg 5,000 IU/kg 250,000 IU/kg
Vitamin D 500 IU/kg 500 IU/kg 5,000 IU/kg
Vitamin E 50 IU/kg 50 IU/kg 1,000 IU/kg
Thiamine 1.0 mg/kg 1.0 mg/kg

Canine Biology – Natural Ancestral Diet vs. Grain Based Dog Foods (AAFCO guidelines)

Whether you believe canines are carnivores or omnivores, dog’s possess an undeniable carnivorous bias. Meat based protein diets are closer to a dog’s natural ancestral diet.

Are some pet food companies taking advantage of canines ability to eat just about anything?
Notice the higher carbohydrate content of some dry dog foods compared to a dogs natural ancestral diet.
And, the dramatically lower protein and fat levels.


The scientific evidence shows canines have a natural and undeniable carnivorous bias while recognizing a dogs omnivorous ability to survive when necessary.

Dogs use proteins and fats as their primary energy sources, they can use carbohydrates for energy but their body is not designed to handle complex carbohydrates such as grains or starches such as rice or potatoes for extended periods. These foods will be more difficult to digest and should be cooked, avoided or viewed as fillers in the canine diet.

The quality and digestibility of proteins and fats is essential to meet canine energy needs. Knowing that dogs are optimized for eating meat can make it easier to recognize quality dog foods. Even though dogs demonstrate omnivorous capacity, it’s important to give preference to meat based proteins.

A well-balanced canine diet includes an appropriate amount of minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids (from proteins), and specific essential fatty acids (from fats). These components build and maintain tissue and carry out biological reactions.

  • Higher in quality meat-based protein
  • Higher in natural fats and oils
  • Lower in carbohydrates
  • Formulated from a named (non-generic) animal source
  • Free of animal or vegetable by-products
  • Free of artificial flavoring, coloring or preservatives
  • Complete in all essential vitamins and minerals

Canines can subsist on sub-optimal foods but will be far healthier on a high protein, meat-based diet.

Interpreting the ingredients in dry dog food

When searching for a quality dog food, the first two, three or more ingredients should be some form of meat protein. In our search for fish protein, we are hunting for dry dog foods that’s main ingredients are types of fish such as “salmon” or types of fish meal such as “salmon meal”.

Use care when reading package ingredients. If meat protein is stated as “Salmon” (.vs “Salmon Meal”), this means the ingredient is included with water content. When an ingredient has its water content removed, as is the case with dry dog food, the ingredient “dry” weight will be approx 20% of its “wet” weight. When a meat protein with water such as “Salmon” is listed first in the ingredient list, it’s unlikely the most common ingredient because its final weigh would be cut by approx 80%. Some manufacturers state ingredients based on their dry weight while others use the wet weight which can mislead consumers when purchasing a dry dog food. If the ingredient is stated in meal form, such as “Salmon Meal”, the manufacturer is stating dry weight.

After noting the source of meat protein within the dog food, we next want to understand the primary carbohydrate and starch source. Potato fiber is a filler, fruits and probiotics offer real value.

Sea Food for Adult Dogs

Seven of the best dry dog foods (with fish as the primary source of meat protein) for adults canines are presented with main ingredients and current retail pricing:
1) Orijen 6 Fish Grain-Free Formula Dry Dog Food made by Champion Petfoods additional information HERE.
petflow $92 28lbs  $3.29lb
Whole salmon*, whole herring*, salmon meal, herring meal, pollock meal, whole flounder*, boneless walleye*, boneless northern pike*, boneless lake whitefish*, salmon oil, herring oil, chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils, green peas, pea fibre, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, yams*, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, blueberries*, kelp*, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary,
Enterococcus faecium. Vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, Enterococcus faecium.


2) ACANA Pacifica Dog Food by Champion Petfoods (makers of our current #1 Sea Food for Adult Dogs)
petflow $79 28lbs $2.82lb
Boneless salmon, salmon meal, herring meal, whitefish meal, green peas, red lentils, boneless herring, boneless flounder, herring oil, field beans, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fibre, natural fish flavour, whole apples, whole pears, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary. Vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.


3) EVO Grain Free Herring and Salmon Formula Dry Dog Food by Natura Pet Products, Inc. Once owned by Procter & Gamble, recently sold to Mars PetCare makers of other national pet foods (Franklin, Tennessee), Chocolate (Hackettstown, New Jersey), Gum Wrigley Jr. Company (Chicago, Illinois), Food (Rancho Dominguez, California), Drinks (West Chester, Pennsylvania), and Symbioscience (Germantown, Maryland). Mars Petcare now has 41 different pet food brands but only one brand on our list of seven Sea Foods for Adult Dogs. But wait! The rumor mill says Mars is in the final stages of closing the purchase Blue Buffalo Pet Food. This would give Mars two products on our 2015 Sea Foods for Adult Dogs list. Let’s hope these fine products only improve in 2016.

petflow $137 57lbs $2.39lb
Herring, Salmon Meal, Menhaden meal, Tapioca Starch, Peas, Salmon, Menhaden Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols a Source of Vitamin E), Sunflower Oil, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavors, Eggs, Apples, Carrots, Cottage Cheese, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Dried Chicory Root Extract, Chondroitin Sulfate, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Betaine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Folic Acid), Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin E Supplement, Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Enterococcus faecium, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Dried Lactobacilus), Rosemary Extract


4) Taste Of The Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food by Diamond Pet Foods owned by Schell & Kampeter, Inc.
amazon $44 30lbs $1.47lb
Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, canola oil, salmon meal, smoked salmon, potato fiber, natural flavor, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Saccharomyces cerevesiae fermentation solubles, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

5) Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Dog Food by Diamond Pet Foods (makers of Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, our #4 Sea Food for Adult Dogs in 2015)

costco $33 (local), $0.94lb, $45 (online), $1.29lb, 35lbs bag
Salmon meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, ocean fish meal, potato fiber, pea protein, natural flavor, flaxseed, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid.

Product Details

6) Blue buffalo Wilderness Salmon Recipe Adult by Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd. owned by Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. The rumor mill says Mars, owner of 41 different pet food brands, is in the final stages of closing the purchase Blue Buffalo Pet Food. This would give Mars two products on our 2015 Sea Foods for Adult Dogs list. Let’s hope these fine products only improve in 2016.

amazon $53 24lbs $2.21lb
Deboned Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal (natural source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Chicken Meal, Potato Starch, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Potatoes, Tomato Pomace (natural source of Lycopene), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed (natural source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Alfalfa Meal, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Cranberries, Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Yucca Shidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Turmeric, Oil of Rosemary, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Choline Chloride, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Salt, Caramel, Potassium Chloride, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bacillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecium.

7) Earthborn Holistic Coastal Catch Grain-Free Dry Dog Food by Midwestern Pet Foods owned by Nunn Milling Company Inc.
amazon $52 28lbs $1.86lb
Herring Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Pea Protein, Tapioca, Pea Fiber, Dried Egg Product, Sweet Potatoes, Salmon Meal, Whitefish Meal, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Blueberry Fiber, Cranberry Fiber, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Spinach, Cranberries, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, L-Lysine, Taurine, L-Carnitine, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Salt, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Yucca Schidgera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Additional Information 

“How much do you feed your dogs?”

I should begin by saying we have active, large breed, dogs that we attempt to keep in the best possible condition. The amount of food they receive each meal is adjusted by small amounts based on their morning weight. We feed two times a day at the same times and feed the same amount of food at each feeding. Our 61 to 63 lb female receives 3/4 to 1 cup of dry food per meal with 2 oz of fresh meat. Our 89 to 91 lb male receives approx 1 to 1 1/4 cup of dry food per meal with 2 oz of fresh meat. To this, we add a small amount of fish oil, and fresh veggies or fruit.

What veggies or fruit? Whatever the family is eating that is safe for dogs. Not all veggies and fruit is safe for dogs (Google is your friend). If one of the dogs is a little over or under their ideal weight, their high calorie dry food is adjusted up or down by 2 oz per meal.

We have found over the years, when using one of these high quality, high calorie, dry dog foods; it is important to monitor dog weight and adjust food up or down slowly to reach and maintain the ideal weight.

Important note

Dog food manufacturers must add preservatives to dry dog food. Be sure to check the meat protein source is ethoxyquin free. Ethoxyquin is a chemical preservative, sometimes added to fish meal ingredients. Its use has been banned or regulated in human food due to debate it is a carcinogen.

 Next month

Top dry adult dog foods that contain Bison, Venison, Beef, Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Pig or Lamb

Here is a possible list of products for review:

Orijen Adult
Orijen Red

TimberWolf Wilderness Elk Platinum Formula
TimberWolf Black Forest Platinum Formula

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food, Hi Prairie Canine Formula with Roasted Bison & Venison
amazon $45 30lbs $1.50lb
Bison, venison, lamb meal, chicken meal, egg product, sweat potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, tomato pomace, ocean fish meal, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes

Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Turkey
Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Beef
Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Chicken

Blue buffalo Wilderness Chicken
Blue buffalo Wilderness Duck
Blue buffalo Wilderness Bison
Blue buffalo Wilderness Boar

Earthborn Holistic Great Plains Feast
Earthborn Holistic Meadow Feast
Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural

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