When I brought my puppy home a couple of years ago, it was just like bringing my child home for the first time. I was full of worries, especially about food. Well, I was until my vet told me about Nutro dog food. I'd never heard of the food before but took my vet's advice, went out and purchased a bag. Two years later, I have a healthy, happy dog who is full of energy and loves to bark at everything.
Of course, just because one person has had a good experience with it, doesn't mean everyone has, or will. So, how does it stand up to other dog food brands? Is it as I great as I think, or is my dog the exception?
What is Nutro?
Nutro Products, Inc. is a pet food company based out of Franklin, Tennessee. The company began in California in 1926 and has been feeding pets for ninety years. The company committed to living up to their "FEED CLEAN™" standard. That standard means Nutro makes all of its food with trustworthy, real, non-GMO ingredients that everyone recognizes.
The following are the questions pet owners most frequently ask about Nutro dog food.
What does FEED CLEAN™ mean?
According to the company, their FEED CLEAN™ standard means all of the ingredients they use are as close to their native form as possible.
Unlike other popular dog food brands, Nutro does not use any colors, artificial preservatives, or flavors. They also do not use unhealthy ingredients like corn, soy protein, chicken by-product meal, or wheat.
The company also knows where all of their ingredients come from. They can source every single one back to the farmers and suppliers. Additionally, Nutro only uses trusted factories to produce their food.
How does the company test for GMOs?
First, it is important to understand that the company does not use many of the ingredients that usually have GMO variants.
When they cannot avoid those type of ingredients, the company is aware of who the supplier is. They also use DNA tests to make sure the food has not been contaminated or has GMOs in it.
Does Nutro test safety and quality?
All Nutro facilities have onsite experts that make sure all safety standards are met. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also inspects to make sure the company adheres to all Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), Good Hygiene Practices, and Good Manufacturing Practices.
How We Reviewed
In addition to our own experience with Nutro dog food, we looked for reviews from other pet lovers. We also checked for any recalls or safety complaints about the product.
Nutro dog food costs between $10 and $80. The price of the food depends on what product you buy, what size the bag is and where you purchase it.
Nutro sells a number of dry dog food products as well as wet food. The wet products do not meet the same FEED CLEAN™ standards as the rest of the food, so we are not going to discuss that in depth. Just keep that in mind if you purchase the wet kind for your dog.
When you are choosing your food, you can shop by breed size and life stage. For instance, if you need puppy food for a small breed, as I did, you'd buy NUTRO ULTRA™ Small Breed Puppy Food or WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™ Small Breed Puppy Food.
Below are the products that Nutro offers.
The first Nutro dog food on our list is the WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™. This is the one that I have been feeding my two-year-old pomchi since he was 10-weeks old. The food comes in adult, senior, and puppy varieties. They also have food specifically made for small and large breeds.
All of the WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™ recipes have sweet potato, brown rice, and either salmon, chicken or lamb. They contain all of the vitamins your dog needs to thrive. For example, the WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™ Senior Farm-Raised Chicken has antioxidants to support an elderly dog's immune system. It also has Omega 3 and six fatty acids.
Dog owners who have purchased the food seem to love it. The different types all have excellent ratings on Amazon with at least 4 out of 5 stars. The food for large breed adult dogs, for instance, has 4.3 out of 5 stars. The biggest complaints about the food are that some dogs do not tolerate it, but that's not surprising. Not all dogs will tolerate every kind of food, so it is important to switch them over to it slowly.
NUTRO ULTRA™ is another variety of Nutro dog food. Like the WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS™ type, there is an ULTRA™ dog food for seniors, adults, and puppies. The food is made from three proteins, a superfood blend, and whole grains.
One example of an ULTRA™ recipe is the large breed adult food that is made with chicken, lamb, salmon, brown rice, flaxseeds, and sunflower oil. It also has dried pumpkin, dried kale, dried blueberries, dried apples, and other vegetables and fruits in it. A variety of vitamins like B12, B1, vitamin A and others are also added to keep your doggy healthy throughout his or her life.
This Nutro dog food also has terrific reviews on Amazon. The small breed adult variety has 4.6 out of 5 stars, and most people are very happy with it. Like the other Nutro product, people have complained that their dogs did not digest it well.
The final dog food on our list is the Limited Ingredient Diet. This food is made using ten ingredients as well as vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Nutro has made the food without the ingredients that commonly cause allergies in your canine friends like chicken, beef, and corn.
Instead, the company makes the food with high-quality ingredients like venison, sweet potatoes, sunflower oil, dried beet pulp, and vitamins. Like all of the other types of Nutro, pet owners are largely happy with this food.
How it Compares to Other Brands
The dog food market is full of products. However, not every bag of dog food is as good for your doggo the Nutro brand. The following three brands do come pretty close.
Blue Wilderness is a grain-free, protein-rich dog food. Like Nutro, you can find a bag of Blue Wilderness for each of your dog's life stages: puppy, adult, and senior. Additionally, the company has a wide variety of protein options like chicken, salmon, and even duck.
Each variety of Blue Wilderness has unique benefits. For instance, Blue Wilderness puppy food helps brain development, lean muscle growth, and dental health. It also ensures your puppy's immune system, bones, skin, and coat are all healthy. Like Nutro, it is a bit pricey costing between $20 and $80 depending on what type of food you buy and what size the bag is.
Blue Wilderness has great reviews on Amazon. Their large breed puppy food, for instance, has 4.2 out of 5 stars. Like Nutro, the biggest complaint people had about the food on Amazon is that it was not the same quality as food bought in their local pet store. Overall, though, it was well-liked by dog owners.
Eukanuba is another food that compares to Nutro. Like the others, you can find a bag of food for each of your dog's life stages. Protein, like chicken and lamb, is also its number one ingredient. The company says their dog food helps maintain your pup's energy throughout the day, keeps teeth clean and helps healthy bone and joint growth. The food also helps boost your dog's immune and digestive systems. The food costs between $10 and $50 depending on the size you choose.
Like Nutro and Blue Wilderness, Eukanuba has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The most prominent complaint people had was that their dog did not digest the food well. However, as we have mentioned, not every dog will digest every food well.
The last product on our list is Chicken Soup for the Soul Dog Food. Unlike the others listed, this food only has two stages: puppy and adult. However, it is great food for a dog that you suspect has food allergies. The food is made with all natural ingredients, protein like poultry and fish as well as an abundance of vitamins. The food costs between $15 and $60.
This food also has high customer ratings on Amazon. The Chicken Soup for the Soul Adult Dog has 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon. Customers were happy with it overall, but like the other food we have listed, some complained their dogs did not digest the food.
Pros And Cons of Nutro Dog Food
If you still think you want to stick to Nutro dog food, it would be helpful to know its pros and cons.
The food also has really high ratings from customers who have been feeding it to their dogs. There are not very many downsides to Nutro food.
Never feed your dog something that does not make them feel well. If you notice your dog is not digesting the food well, go back to what you were feeding it, or try something else, but do it slowly.