Meet Gentle Giants Dog Food
Gentle Giants is an independent company created by a man named Burt Ward who was seeking a better way to feed dogs and mainly a way to increase the lifespan of large breed dogs. Large breeds often have a heart-breakingly short life span, which can often reach just six to eight years.
Gentle Giant uses formulas created by veterinarians and nutritionists developed for years before the food was widely available for commercial distribution.
It’s lower fat and better balanced with carbohydrates to help control weight and improve your dog’s overall health.
Can Gentle Giants improve your dog’s health that much? Let’s break down the formula and the philosophy of Gentle Giants to see if it’s your next dog food.
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Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company : Gentle Giant, Inc.
- Founded in : 2008
- Made in : USA
- Available at : Chewy, Amazon, Walmart
- Types of Food : Wet, dry
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
- Recalled in Past? : No
Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken
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Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Salmon Feast
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Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition 90% Chicken Canned Food
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Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition 90% Beef Canned Food
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Gentle Giants Dog Food Reviews
There aren’t many choices here, but we do have a few favorites that you might want to try. The formulas are safe for all life stages and breed sizes, so you can feed Gentle Giants from the beginning for lifelong health.
Below is the list of the products reviewed on this post:
- Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken Dry Dog Food
- Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Salmon Dry Dog Food
- Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition 90% Chicken Grain-Free
- Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition 90% Beef Grain-Free
1. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Chicken
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Pearled Barley, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp
The Chicken kibble recipe is a holistic approach to dog food without using so much fat. It features whole, balanced carbohydrates with a low glycemic index and contains many fruits and vegetables to provide critical vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune system.
The Chicken recipe uses meal from farm-raised chickens for a dense source of protein and a natural source of glucosamine.
It has a total of twelve whole fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals to support strong bones and a healthy immune system. Both pre and probiotics support the immune system, and it’s balanced for all breeds, sizes, and life stages.
The recipe uses a reduced amount of fat and a lower amount of overall protein than many commercial dog food recipes because this may make the food more comfortable for your dog to digest and cause fewer issues with weight fluctuation.
It’s best to transition dogs to this formula slowly because they may need to get used to the taste. There are only two flavors available, but if your dog isn’t a huge fan of either, there are four different flavors of pate you can use to spice things up a little bit.
It’s a nice recipe that uses no artificial flavors or colors that could encourage dogs to overeat. The recipe is formulated to teach dogs how to self-regulate.
There are no other cheap fillers such as corn or soy and no grains that could affect your dog’s digestion. The minerals are chelated to provide better absorption as well.
Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin keep joints healthy and lubricate the connective tissues.
It does use peas, but this ingredient is very far down on the list so it may not pose as much of a threat to your dog’s heart as a grain free food that uses peas in the first three or so ingredients. You should still discuss it with your veterinarian, but this should be less of a risk.
Overall, it’s a well-made food with plenty of nutrition for your dog. While we aren’t sure that it can double your dog’s lifespan, we do think this is an above average food and can offer your dog plenty of dense nutrition for a lifetime of good health.
Whilst, it isn't really competitive with premium dog food, Gentle Giants will be more than adequate for dog owners on a tight budget.
2. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Salmon Feast
First 5 Ingredients: Salmon Meal, Whole Dried Potatoes, Whole Dried Peas, Tapioca, Salmon Oil
Made for adult dogs of all breed sizes, this salmon recipe keeps it healthy by packing Omega fatty acid-rich salmon with non-GMO fruits and vegetables. It steers away from gluten, corn, soy,and other common allergens to make it ideal even for sensitive pups.
The first ingredient is wild caught salmon, a protein-rich meat that is also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to a dog’s healthy brain, heart, and skin function. It has been shown to lessen muscle loss in dogs with heart failure and improve appetite.
Whole dried potatoes offer dogs a source of carbohydrates that they can use for energy. Potatoes are low in calories but a good source of niacin, phosphorus, and vitamin C. Peas, on the other hand, are full of vitamins and minerals, particularly protein and fiber. And because these come from fresh peas that don’t contain sodium, these are good ingredients to find in your dog’s bowl.
Tapioca is a safe and effective source of starch for dogs. It provides energy and is easily digested by canine stomachs.
The fifth ingredient is salmon oil, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It also gives support for cognitive function and healthy skin.
Most of the other ingredients are made up of whole fruits and vegetables — 20 in all — that include beets, cranberries, apples, spinach, and carrots. These provide the meal with plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Gentle Giants also included prebiotics and probiotics in the recipe. These two support gut health, which is a major factor to a dog’s overall health.
We particularly like the use of non-GMO foods in the recipe to ensure that pets get only the safest ingredients possible. The protein is on the low side at 24%, but this will also work for dogs who are on a special diet.
3. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition 90% Chicken
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chickpeas, Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes
This canned food offers plenty of meat and protein for chicken-loving canines. The first ingredient is chicken, and as the name of the recipe indicates, it makes up 90% of the meal.
Chicken is a popular bet with dogs, and it’s a lean meat that provides many benefits. For example, it’s high in protein so it gives dogs a big boost in energy but won’t give them too much calories.
Poultry is excellent at building lean mass in dogs and a great source for glucosamine and amino acids that promote bone health.
As the second ingredient, the chicken broth adds moisture to the pate and a little more flavor. The chickpeas, meanwhile, supplement the animal protein with its own protein contribution. And because it is full of vitamins and minerals, including fiber, it can help tackle many health problems.
Dog foods that are grain-free usually rely on whole foods like sweet potatoes to provide the carbs needed to create energy. Like regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, which is good for the digestive system. Unlike regular potatoes, sweet potatoes are low in fat and lower in the glycemic ingredients but full of essential vitamins.
This recipe keeps it simple by sticking to an all-natural formula that is without fillers, corn, soy, wheat, or grains. It’s perfectly balanced to support the needs of all dogs, from small breeds to large ones and from growing pups to seniors.
The rest of the ingredients are mostly made up of fruits and vegetables such as apples and pumpkins. These are all certified GMO-free to make it as safe as possible for your pets.
A good addition to the mixture are the New Zealand green-lipped mussels, which are natural sources of chondroitin and glucosamine. These two are necessary for healthy bones and joints, making it even more necessary when it comes to senior pets. The brand also included dandelion greens, which are essential for liver health.
We particularly like the high meat content in this recipe. It’s a balanced meal that’s vet-approved and formulated to provide all of a dog’s required daily nutrition.
4. Gentle Giants Canine Nutrition Canine Nutrition 90% Beef
First 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Broth, Chickpeas, Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes
A hearty and tender pate of beef combined with numerous vegetables and fruits make for a tasty meal. The recipe is crafted for adults of all sizes and breeds and those who are sensitive to grains, corn, soy, wheat, and gluten.
As the first ingredient, beef comprises a major part of the dish — 90%. Like humans, most dogs enjoy the flavorful taste of red meat. Beef is not just tasty, it’s also packed with protein and essential amino acids. Unless your dog does not tolerate beef, it’s an extremely good meat choice for them and one you should include on a flavor rotation.
The beef broth brings out the savory taste of beef even more, aside from providing moisture content. Chickpeas, as the third ingredient, contributes more protein to the meal. They’re also good sources potassium and magnesium, which are both essential to cell recovery and overall good health. And most importantly, chickpeas help support a healthy immune system.
Some people give sweet potatoes to their fur babies as a healthy treat. And they truly are nutritious. As a fourth ingredient, the sweet potatoes contribute a healthy dose of fiber to the meal. Fiber is good for pets because it speeds up elimination and reduces a dog’s risk of exposure to carcinogens it may have eaten.
There is also salmon oil in the mixture, which gives the meal omega fatty acids. Many dog foods boast of the inclusion of omegas in their feeds, and rightly so, because these contribute to a dog’s cognitive function, heart health, shiny skin and coat, and properly functioning immune system. Not to mention salmon oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that may be of aid to aging dogs with arthritis.
The mostly meat content of this meal is suited for dogs on a high protein diet. The rest of the ingredients are made up of either fruits like blueberries and cranberries or veggies like parsley and pumpkin.
We like the inclusion of dandelion greens, which are chock-full of vitamins and minerals. These plants are often used for aiding digestion and improving liver function. Another nice addition are the New Zealand green-lipped mussels, which are used for alleviating inflamed joints and repairing damaged cartilage.
Behind the Brand
Gentle Giants got started with a family who created and refined dog foods to help prolong healthy life for their dogs. After many years of perfecting the recipe, the food was finally released to the general public first in California and then the rest of the country.
It uses no artificial colors or flavors, no cheap fillers such as corn or soy, and a lower amount of fat than some other commercial dog foods. The company has a few tips they believe owners should follow including feeding dogs lower amounts of protein and fat and increasing the amount of Gentle Giants food gradually until dogs walk away themselves, teaching them to self-regulate.
What Types of Dog Foods Does Gentle Giant Offer?
Gentle Giant makes simple formulas that use named meat meals and a blend of lower fat ingredients to help balance canine nutrition and prevent blood sugar spikes. There are no artificial ingredients such as flavors or colors that can encourage dogs to overeat. Sources of complex carbohydrates are easily digestible, and whole fruits and veggies provide vital minerals and vitamins.
Everything in the formula is non-GMO and sourced from responsible providers. It has a lower fat and protein content than other types of dog foods because the owners believe that many dogs are fed too much protein and fat causing weight gain and possible heart issues.
One good thing about most of their recipes is that they don’t use any type of legumes, peas, or potatoes for carbohydrate sources. These ingredients can possibly cause an enlarged heart in some dogs although researchers aren’t sure yet of the exact link.
Foods come in wet and dry versions, and each one has straightforward ingredients. Dry kibbles are formulated to be more densely nutritious, so you don’t have to feed as much, and the wet foods are great for adding more taste and nutrition to kibbles. They are formulated for all life stages and breed sizes.
Gentle Giant Recall History List:
Gentle Giant has no recalls, which is excellent for a company that’s been in business for more than ten years. They’ve got very safe standards and use processing plants that are up to the rigorous conditions they used for years making their own foods in test kitchens before release.
Customers appreciate how it seems to have rejuvenated their middle-aged and senior dogs as well as helping to regulate their weights. Although many people expressed concern at first that it was labeled for all sizes and life stages, quite a few were ultimately won over by the results.
Overall, across Chewy and Amazon, Gentle Giant has an average rating of about four out of five stars consistently across all recipes. It has plenty of fans of all the different offerings, and many customers wish there were more recipes.
What do people like and dislike about Gentle Giant dog food?
Many customers saw improvements in the overall stiffness and pain levels of older dogs. They were pleased with the way dogs seemed at a healthier weight after a regimen of Gentle Giant.
Most dogs also like the taste and seem to thrive on the foods. Customers also liked that it was an affordable option for many higher end foods with hefty price tags.
Some complaints tended to be about picky dogs not liking the taste and that there were only two basic recipes of kibble, chicken, and salmon.
If your dog doesn’t like either of these flavors, there isn’t much room to find something that it will eat. However, because many dogs also loved the canned recipes, you may be able to mix the two.
“I highly recommend this food. I have 3 dogs. One of which has reoccurring pancreatitis, the other has skin issues, allergic to lots of the other foods out there and one that if he eats anything else other than this food he gets really gassy. I swear by this food. I’m not a fan of foods labeled for all breeds, all ages, all sizes but I love this food for my dogs. All their problems seemed to have resolved with this food. I have a cairns terrier, schnauzer mix and a Great Dane and it’s awesome to be able to purchase same food for all. My schnauzer mix I could never get to eat until I purchased this food. Some people swear by not feeding dogs the same thing all their life but this is different. I noticed they even have it in canned food so if my dog were to ever get picky and sick, we could try the canned food!!!” TDT8, chewy.com
“We have a bloodhound who has skin issues and when we switched her to this food she stopped chewing herself…she also was able to finally put on the weight she needed. we also feed this to a pitbull and a ferel dog as well as 5 older japanese chins and there is not one that wont eat this food. The coat and skin has improved and they all eat well! I was also shocked when i placed the order how fast it arrived….great company” Rhonda, chewy.com
“If it were possible to give less than 1 star I would. This food just sat in the bowls untouched for 2 days until I had to add a warm slurry just to get them to eat it. This has happened over and over. It seemed a great premise for my gentle giants, but the flavor must be lacking for both breeds. My money should have been refunded from the manufacturer because something is just not right for with the food. It even smells bland.” Jess, chewy.com
“I wanted to try this as it has great reviews. Unfortunately, my dogs hate the taste. Going to look to see if there is a money back guarantee.” Susan, chewy.com