Over the years, more dog owners have realized the potential hazards of many ingredients in common dog foods and moved to natural options. Two of the brands dominating the natural dog food market right now are 4Health and Diamond Naturals. But which is better between the two?
4Health and Diamond Naturals have a similar list of ingredients and price point range. However, 4Health offers a wider variety of recipes, and their prices are fairer. On the other hand, Diamond Naturals provides more choices to help you find the best formula for your dog.
In this post, we further explore why 4Health and Diamond Naturals dog food brands are popular and compare their recipes and ingredients. We’ll also look at the pros and cons of each brand to help you make an informed decision. Let’s see how these two giants stack against each other.
The first similarity you will note is that Diamond Pet Foods Inc manufactures both brands.
The company has proprietary recipes for its five brands (Diamond Naturals, Diamond, Diamond Care, Diamond PRO89, and Diamond Naturals Grain-free) and other brands, including Tractor Supply Company, the owner and retailer of the 4Health dog food brand.
Both 4Health and Diamond Naturals dog foods are made of all-natural ingredients and packed full of nutrients. They use real meat as the main ingredient in all their recipes and add wholesome grains, vegetables, and fruits to add vital nutrients and fiber required by your furry friends.
The two brands also add Omega fatty acids for healthy skin and fur, antioxidants to promote your puppy’s immune system, and organic compounds like taurine to help with heart health. They both steer clear of soy, corn, and wheat fillers — ingredients that can cause indigestion and allergic reactions.
Because the same company manufactures 4Health and Diamond Naturals, they were both parts of the voluntary recall in 2012 that affected all brands made by Diamond Pet Foods Inc.
4Health Dog Food Pros and Cons
ProsConsReasonable pricingRecall historyManufactured in the USASold exclusively in Tractor Supply stores or onlineWide range of recipes for different life cycles
4Health dog food is exclusively made for Tractor Supply which has over 1500 retail stores throughout the United States.
The brand is deeply committed to providing high-quality and nutritious food for your furry friend without charging an arm and a leg.
According to their website, the dog food costs 20% less than comparable premium dog food brands out there. But it’s not only what they put in the food that matters, but also what they don’t. All 4Health formulations are free of wheat fillers, corn, artificial colors, dyes, and flavors.
4Health dog food brand offers numerous formulations for all pets, including specialty formulas, grain-free options, puppy meals, and regular dog food. In total, the company has ten dog treats, 14 canned formulas, and 22 dry food recipes. They offer both dry and wet dog food for dogs as well as a new line for cats.
Some of our favorite formulations and flavors include:
4Health Salmon & Potato Formula Adult Dog Food
ProsConsSuitable for the majority of dogsLow fiberPerfect for long-haired breedsA bit pricey if you buy onlineDoes not contain common protein allergens like chicken, dairy, and beefContain canola oilVery high in antioxidants and probioticsUnspecified by AAFCO
Carbohydrates: 46%Protein: 29%Fat: 17%Fiber: 3%
Salmon, peas, pea protein, potatoes, canola oil, ocean fish meal, potato fiber, flaxseed, choline chloride, salt, dried chicory root, carrots, dried kelp, apples, tomatoes, spinach, blueberries, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flake, yucca schidigera extract, L-Carnitine and probiotics.
4Health Salmon & Potato Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional requirements of adult dogs. The main ingredient and source of protein is real salmon which also provides omega fatty acids for your pup’s skin and fur.
The formulation has a wide variety of probiotics and prebiotics to maintain a proper balance of good bacteria in your puppy’s intestines. Adequate levels of selenium, Vitamin E, and antioxidants are a big plus to ensure your dog is in good health.
The only problem with this product is the inclusion of canola oil and pea protein. Pea protein is not high in amino acids like meat-based proteins, while canola oil does not add anything to dog food at all.
4Health Grain-Free Chicken & Vegetable Dog Food
ProsConsSuitable for dogs with grain allergiesUnspecified by AAFCOHigh levels of protein and Omega fatty acidsAvailable in limited bag sizesGreat formula if you want your dog to gain weightContains tomatoes
Carbohydrates: 40%Protein: 26%Fat: 15%Fiber: 5%Moisture: 10%
Chicken, chicken meal, chicken fat, egg product, garbanzo beans, lentils, peas, potatoes, tapioca, tomato pomace, flaxseed, ocean fish meal, salt, tomatoes, choline chloride, dried chicory root, blueberries, raspberries.
If your furry friend suffers from grain allergy (red itchy skin, hair loss due to constant scratching and chewing, ear infections, obsessive licking, and inflamed pads), this formulation is for them. The special grain-free formula is free of corn, wheat, soy, and any other allergen so your pup can enjoy their food without any side effects.
The primary ingredients in this formulation are meat proteins- chicken and chicken meal. Both are rich sources of protein, Vitamin B12, Tryptophan, Choline, Zinc, and Iron. 4Health also amped up the protein content using egg protein, fish meal, peas, and garbanzo beans.
Since this is a grain-free formula, the sources of carbohydrates include potatoes, dried peas, and tapioca. Peas and pea protein have become a great replacement for corn, and they’re a good source of protein, dietary fiber, and Vitamin K.
The recipe has loads of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from whole natural sources such as berries, flaxseed, tomatoes, and added vitamins. It also contains probiotics to help with digestion and prevent harmful bacteria growth that can cause serious health issues in your pet.
4Health Original Puppy Formula Dog Food
class=”size-large aligncenter” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/51uojZDsStL._SL500_.jpg” alt=”4health Tractor Supply Company, Puppy Formula Dog Food, Dry, 5 lb. Bag” title=”4health Tractor Supply Company, Puppy Formula Dog Food, Dry, 5 lb. Bag”>
ProsConsHigh in whole food antioxidantsNot suitable for puppies with animal protein allergiesGreat taste and small bites for puppiesContains peas and potatoes, which may cause yeast infection.Provides optimal nutritionReal meat and vegetables included
Carbohydrates: 40%Protein: 30%Fat: 17%Fiber: 4.5%Moisture: 10%
Lamb, lamb meal, pea protein, egg product, Chicken fat, ocean fish meal, rice, millet, peas, cracked pearled barley, potatoes, carrots, oatmeal, tomato pomace, dried skim milk, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, dried kelp, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, cranberries, rosemary extract, probiotics, and Vitamins.
Like the other 4Health formulations, this puppy food contains meat protein in the form of lamb meat and lamb meal as the main ingredients. The formula also has egg products and ocean fish meal for more protein and three types of grains (rice, millet, and pearled barley).
Looking at the ingredient list, it’s clear 4Health uses the kitchen sink approach, which contains a little bit of every ingredient beneficial to puppies. This makes the food appropriate for all stages, even when your puppy grows older.
After doing a taste test on puppies, younger dogs, and adult dogs, we realized you need to add some water to moisten the kibble for puppies. This makes the food easier to eat and also more flavorful. The bags are always fresh and don’t smell offensive and your puppy will thrive and grow, with no additional food or meat needed.
Diamond Naturals Dog Food Pros and Cons
ProsConsMade in the USALong recall historyWidely available wherever dog foods are soldFewer variety of recipesCompetitive pricingCustomized shopping optionVet-guided formulations
Diamond Naturals dog food is the pride and signature brand of Diamond Pet Food Company. The brand offers a natural diet for your pups and focuses on whole ingredients to provide nutrition and antioxidant-rich foods to promote overall health.
Their formulations feature various real fruits, vegetables, and quality animal and plant protein. They also offer grain-free options for the sensitive puppies out there. The recipes also include a wide range of probiotics, DHA for young puppies, omega fatty acids, chondroitin, and glucosamine. Like 4Health, all Diamond Natural dog foods contain no corn, wheat filler, soy, artificial colors, or flavors.
In total, Diamond Naturals offers 22 formulations split into the age, flavor, and size of your dog. Their products are in the same price range as 4Health dog foods and other comparable brands between $14 to $45.
Diamond Naturals Premium Large Breed Formulas Dry Dog Food Lamb Meal & Rice Formula
class=”size-large aligncenter” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41650BjduEL._SL500_.jpg” alt=”Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food Lamb Meal and Rice Formula with Protein from Real Lamb, Probiotics and Essential Nutrients to Support Balanced and Overall Health in Adult Dogs 40lb” title=”Diamond Naturals Large Breed Adult Dry Dog Food Lamb Meal and Rice Formula with Protein from Real Lamb, Probiotics and Essential Nutrients to Support Balanced and Overall Health in Adult Dogs 40lb”>
ProsConsDesigned for large breed dogsSome dogs don’t like this recipeVery affordableIncludes salt and natural flavorsExceeds AAFCO guidelinesOnly comes in 6 ounces and 40-pound bagsIt’s full of superfoods
Carbohydrates: 41%Protein: 23%Fat: 13%Fiber: 3.5%Moisture: 10%
Lamb meal, brown rice, cracked pearled barley, oatmeal, grain sorghum, dried yeast, rice bran, egg product, chicken fat, dried beet pulp, natural flavor, flaxseed, potassium chloride, salt, dried chicory root, L-Carnitine, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya.
If you have a king-sized furry friend, this is the right formulation. Its primary ingredient is real pasture-raised lamb protein, which (together with egg protein, chia seeds, and quinoa) provide up to 23% protein. This may seem low compared to all 4Health foods, but it helps your dog stay healthy and lean. In addition, the formulation puts special attention to bone strength by adding dried kelp for calcium and other minerals, including 750mg/kg of glucosamine and chondroitin.
The formula has many superfoods like kale, coconut, blueberries, and spinach. Like all Diamond Naturals dog foods, it’s packed with Omega fatty acids, K9 strain proprietary probiotics, and loads of antioxidants to keep your dog healthy and looking good. This formula also contains a lot of prebiotic fiber from chicory root, pumpkin, and dried kelp to boost digestive health.
We love that every ingredient in this formula is intentional to provide the nutrients and energy needed for large breed dogs. However, the recipe has no whole lamb listed which means your dog doesn’t get real meat.
Diamond Naturals Adults Beef & Rice
class=”size-large aligncenter” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41r6CmNg3BL._SL500_.jpg” alt=”Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag (074198608331)” title=”Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog, Beef and Rice Formula, 40 Pound Bag (074198608331)”>
ProsConsFavorite flavor for many dogsDesigned for adult dogs onlyContains superfoods and probioticsVery affordableMade with real pasture-raised beef proteinOnly available in 40 pounds bagEasy digestion
Carbohydrates: 47%Protein: 25%Fat: 18%Fiber: 3.5%Moisture: 10%
Beef Meal, Rice Bran, Grain Sorghum, Ground White Rice, Egg Product, Cracked Pearled Barley, and Chicken Fat.
If the numerous online reviews are anything to go by, this formulation is popular among adult dogs. Perhaps that’s because of the beef flavor and the fact that it’s easy to eat and digest. The primary ingredient is a beef meal, a lean and delicious protein source full of amino acids, iron, and fat.
Grain sorghum and white rice are the main grains offering energy (among other nutrients), but the formula also contains omega and fat sources like flaxseed, coconut, and chicken fat to take care of your dog’s skin and fur.
As usual, every one of Diamond Naturals’ foods is packed with biotin, antioxidants, vitamins, omega fatty acids, probiotics, and glucosamine for joint support. Most of these vital nutrients come from whole natural sources like fruits and vegetables, and there are no artificial flavors or colors.
Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete
class=”size-large aligncenter” src=”https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/41l8EjJnwuL._SL500_.jpg” alt=”Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food” title=”Diamond Naturals Extreme Athlete High Protein Real Meat Recipe Dry Dog Food”>
ProsConsContains real cage-free chicken, fruits and veggiesSome dogs don’t like the tasteHigh protein, High fat, High-calorie formulaLimited bag sizesNutrient-denseIt’s on the pricier sideProvides extra energy for active dogs
Carbohydrates: 47%Protein: 32%Fat: 25%Fiber: 4%Moisture: 10%
Chicken Meal, Chicken, Chicken Fat, Ground White Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Egg Product, Ground Miscanthus Grass, and Dried Beet Pulp.
The Extreme Athlete dog food provides superior nutrition — a high-energy formula designed to provide your active canine with the energy and strength to deal with heavy loads. It contains more protein, fat, and calories than other formulations to ensure your dog doesn’t run out of energy mid-way. 91% of proteins in this formula are derived from animals (chicken and eggs), and only 9% are plant-based.
Because sporting canines have a heavier load on their joints, this formula contains higher levels of chondroitin and glucosamine to prevent joint issues. And as customary for Diamond Naturals, it contains probiotics, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and other supplements to ensure the overall health of your dog.
The formula also delivers vitamins and minerals from superfoods like blueberries, oranges, spinach, and chia seeds. Because of all the nutrients packed in this kibble, dogs on Extreme Athlete have an exceptionally beautiful layer of fur and healthy skin.
Unfortunately, some dogs don’t seem to like the taste of this food, and many prefer the Beef and Chicken adult formula.
Note on Diamond Naturals and 4Health Dog Food Recalls
May 2012 was particularly hard for Diamond Pet Foods Inc. as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 14 cases of Salmonella infantis infections, causing a recall of many of their products. Later that month, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sent out a major recall of all Diamond Pet Foods brands for the same reason.
This affected every brand that outsources its dog food manufacturing to Diamond Pet Foods, including 4Health. However, the Tractor Supply brand was clean, and no adverse reports were made against it. On the other hand, Diamond Naturals has been on the receiving end of FDA recalls time and time again for all kinds of problems, including aflatoxin and salmonella contaminations.
Diamond Naturals and 4Health both provide all-natural, nutrient-dense, and vet-directed formulations at affordable prices. They also have a wide array of food options to choose from in terms of flavors, age of the dog, and specific needs. You’ll find foods for regular dogs, sensitive dogs, sick puppies, and those that need special attention for their skin and fur.
In terms of differences, 4Health comes on top where variety and price are concerned, while Diamond Naturals is available everywhere, and you can use their website to find the best formula for your dog.