By Nature 95% Varieties (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★★

By Nature 95% Meat Dog Food earns the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The By Nature 95% Meat product line includes four canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:

  • By Nature 95% Beef
  • By Nature 95% Chicken
  • By Nature 95% Turkey and Bacon
  • By Nature 95% Beef, Chicken and Liver

By Nature 95% Chicken was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

By Nature 95% Chicken

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 46% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 10%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, dicalcium phosphate, flaxseed, calcium carbonate, cassia gum, carrageenan, potassium chloride, guar gum, choline chloride, salt, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%36%10%
Calorie Weighted Basis32%61%7%

The first item in this dog food lists chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient lists chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The next three items are all plant-based thickening agents

  • Guar gum
  • Cassia gum
  • Carrageenan

Guar gum is found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

Carrageenan is a gelling agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With one notable exception

This food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

By Nature 95% Meat Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Based upon its unusually short list of quality ingredients, By Nature 95% Meat looks like an above-average canned dog food.

And with a name that includes the phrase “95% meat”, we would expect our nutrient gauges to confirm a high protein content.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46%, a fat level of 36% and estimated carbohydrates of about 10%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 36%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 10% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

With no sign of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing an abundance of meat.

Those looking to mimic a dog’s natural ancestral diet, this product line makes an excellent choice.

However, with 61% of the total calories in this food coming from fat as compared to just 32% from protein, this product may not be appropriate for every dog.

Bottom line?

By Nature 95% Meat is a grain-free canned dog food using an abundance of beef and poultry as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Those desiring a lower fat content for their pet’s diet may wish to look elsewhere for a another product.

For an organic wet food from the same company, please be sure to visit our review of By Nature Organics canned dog food.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

04/27/2010 Original review
03/06/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials definition
  • Betsy Greer

    Oh, that’s because all of the canned varieties listed in the best wet puppy foods list meet the AAFCO guideline for “all life stages,” which includes puppies.

    I thought you were referring to one labeled, “puppy,” per se.

  • Bret Osborne

    But the brand is listed as a top 5 choice for puppies.

  • Betsy Greer

    Here it is: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/by-nature-dog-food/

    Edit: Oops, that’s dry food, and I think you are looking for wet. I don’t see a review for By Nature puppy canned.

  • Bret Osborne

    Where is the puppy flavor? This brand is listed as a Top 5 star food for puppies but I don’t see a puppy flavor listed.

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  • Pattyvaughn

    Sometimes the price difference is in the quality of the meat, sometimes you are definitely paying for the brand name on the label. That’s why rotating is such a good idea. If there is something questionable about it that isn’t apparent, it isn’t the only thing you dog is getting nutrition wise so it can’t do as much harm.

  • chennypenn

    I’m curious why this food is so much cheaper than other 5 star canned foods. If it’s 95% meat and rates at 5 stars, how can it be a good 1/3 cheaper than say, Merrick 96%?

    I’ve bought and rebought this food for my dog and I think she’s fine on it, but I’m wondering if I’m missing something. OR, if it’s not too good to be true and I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. :)

  • lgarvey2001 .

    I am confused about some reviews and excessive thirst. I bought some of this because sometimes my foster dogs will not eat at first. I am not sure if its the earthborn holistic primitive naturals taste, or that maybe the quality is not what they are used to so they don’t like it? I would put a teaspoon or more of canned food depending on the size of the dog, and mix it up and they seem to want to eat more. This small amount should not effect them and cause excessive thirst I wouldn’t think? i just want to make sure that a little but of this is ok. I bought it since it was rated at 5 stars and the price was reasonable.

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  • Pattyvaughn

    The high meat content probably helps to keep her urine nicely acidic too. I’m glad you found something that works for your girl.

  • Morgan Tangren

    I have a Chinese Crested/Boston Terrier cross with chronic cystitis (inflammation) of the bladder, and this is the one food that has worked for her. She no longer has accidents in the house because the limited ingredients in these foods do no make her bladder flare up.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Because they meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for Growth and Maintenance, they are considered a complete food. Foods for supplemental feeding are missing something that AAFCO requires.

  • Laney

    I don’t quite understand why this is not considered supplimental feeding. Delete my comment if I just misread it.

  • mighnee

    kathy two of my dogs are showing these symptoms both are seniors one with a failing heart…he has stopped eating the kibble on his own…and i was on here today searching  options for him…which by nature did you feed?  thanks

  • Jtangerine

    I think the new food looks very suspicious.   I don’t like it and my ‘sensitive’ dog doesn’t feel good after she eats.  I’m changing dog food until I get an idea of what happened! 

  • LoveNewEngland

    Warning: The formula for By Nature 95% has changed, look for the new label that now says “95% Varieties”. This was a great product my labrador absolutely loved, but when I purchased the product with the new label, the product consistency was very different. The day I started using the new label can, my dog vomited and had the worst case of the runs I ever seen. I immediately brought him to the vet for tests, which all turned out negative. The local pet store swapped the “new” cans after the sales rep delivered two case of the “original” to the store. All is back to normal. Currently seeking an alternative product for all growth stages. 

  • Hound Dog Mom

    Diane –

    Looking at this site the only “mineral” that broth contains in a high enough amount to be considered dietarily significant is sodium (aka salt).

  • Diane

    You make the statement that “broths are nutritionally empty” .. They contain minerals & choline per this site & also fats that the dogs need:
    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/soups-sauces-and-gravies/1235/2

    Thank you for the review

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Wow…my male dog (who passed away last Aug.) had Pica :(
    I knew he had health issues, but I didn’t know at the time what could cause Pica.  My traditional vet didn’t even flinch when I mentioned the Pica, though.  I now have a new, holistic vet that I love.  Desi wasn’t seen by her, though….his passing is the reason I switched.  Hopefully, I’ll never have
    another dog with Pica, but if I do I’ll dig deeper as I know a little more now than I did then.

  • Shawna

    Hi Kathy ~~ the eating of non-food items is called Pica.  In humans and in dogs it can be due to a nutrient deficiency (iron seems to be a culprit in humans).  In dogs it can be behavioral as well as other causes…  Who here hasn’t seen a puppy chow down on a stick :)..

    My guess with your Archie (and this is a guess) is that Archie wasn’t getting a particular nutrient or nutrients needed from the food.  Maybe he needed a higher amount then what is supplied — could be enough to make the food “complete and balanced” but not enough for his needs…?  Could be that the food had adequate amounts but he was not digesting it properly for some reason..?

    This article, in my opinion, does a good job of discussing the various causes of pica.  http://www.aspcabehavior.org/articles/18/Pica-Eating-Things-That-Arent-Food.aspx

    PS — I’ve had pica most of my adult life..  My iron has always been on the low side of normal but never below normal.  After having issues for over 20 years my current M.D., Certified Clinical Nutritionist finally diagnosed Pica, as well as my other symptoms, as being caused by a reaction to a food.  For me it was dairy.  Once off dairy and on iron supplements my pica goes away.  I, luckily, crave ice.  Dr. Oz had a show on Pica (all 4 ladies on the show were iron deficient).  The show participants with pica ate drywall, baby powder, lava rocks and I forget the fourth…  I’m thankful my pica craving is ice..  :-)

  • kathy raborn

    Selected this food as a low carb, high protein alternative for my overweight 3 year old golden.  He loved it, but soon after starting on just two cans a day he became an obcessive water drinker and panted constantly. After a trip to the vet and some costly bloodwork, we could find no medical reason for the sudden thirst. Still I was reluctant to blame it on food … until Archie started eating dirt and mulch. At the suggestion of a local pet food merchant who suggested that Archie might be reacting to the texture of the food, I switched to Dogswell Nutrisca Salmon Kibble and Honest Love dehydrated raw food.  Both are a little higher in carbs, but less than other brands.  Symptoms disappeared in about a week, energy is back and weight has started to come off.  I’m sure By Nature is a wonderful product but wanted to share Archie’s symptoms so others could be aware and not prolong the discomfort of their pet.    

  • maddie

     Thanks so much for your fast reply. This site is so great, I’ve been on it all day. I am looking for foods optimum for my dog who was recently diagnosed with cancer (hemangiosarcoma). I am looking for the healthiest, grain-free, hopefully organic and also low sugar dog food I can find. I’m sad that dog food companies don’t have to better report nutrition facts, but I’m very grateful for all the help this site has been.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Maddie,

    Your question is certainly valid.

    As you know, meat isn’t just protein. Animal tissues include protein, fat, ash (minerals) and water (the largest percentage). Carbs are negligible.

    The method we use to estimate the carbohydrate content of any (people or pet) food is based upon what’s left over after removing the protein, fat and moisture.

    The company reports the product’s protein and fat figures based upon its “guaranteed analysis” minimums.

    It’s likely the company has been conservative in its estimate of protein and fat. And if you lower the fat, our formula is forced to raise the carbs – in this case, from close to zero to 10%.

    Bottom line. There’s more protein and/or fat in this product than the guaranteed “minimums” posted on the label.

    Hope this helps.

  • maddie

    how can it be 95% meat and 10% carbs?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Kathy… Amounts that much could affect the balance of all the nutrients in the food. Due to the high fat content which you seem to be concerned about, I’d recommend exchanging the product. If you still need more help regarding this issue you may want to check with a vet or the manufacturer.

  • Kathy

    Would it be harmful to mix the Wellness and the by Nature 1/2 and 1/2? That would cut the fat and also the calories and still give him the taste of the by Nature which he likes.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    HI Kathy… Regarding calories, you’d probably need to ask the company. And mixing as much as 50% sweet potato, you’d have a significant affect on all the nutrients in the product. Not just the calories.

  • Kathy

    Oh, thank you so much – I don’t know how I missed the gauge. Well, the by Nature is 36%, whereas the EVO is 46%. But then the Wellness is only 23%, so I probably should stick to it for him. However, can you tell me how it could be that the by Nature is only 20 kcal per oz and the Wellness is 36 kcal per oz. With so much more fat, that doesn’t make sense to me. Pistol is also overweight so I was hoping the by Nature would have worked for him for that reason, plus he really likes it. Do you think if I mix it 1/2 and 1/2 with sw potatos I might get away with it?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Kathy… I can understand your confusion regarding the differences in fat content. As I mention throughout my reviews, we always remove the water when we compute protein, fat and estimate carbohydrate content. This is known as dry matter basis. And it allows you to compare dog foods with different moisture content.

    To compare any of the products you mention (that are in our database), just look at the “fat” gauge on each product. Hope this helps.

  • Kathy

    I am confused about what was said in the review concerning fat content. The can says 8% fat. The review says 36%, which I would consider to be extreme. What am I missing here. I have Coton de Tulear with IBD. I am trying him on the beef variety. His stools have been a little loose but not terrible, but it has only been 2 days and I am still mixing with his Wellness Lamb and Rice. He typically does not tolerate high levels of fat. In the past I have given him some EVO 95% beef off and on. However I will not buy a dogfood made by P&G and since they have bought out Natura I will no longer buy the EVO. I would like to know how the actual fat content of the by Natural 95% beef compares to the EVO 95% beef. I would also like to know how it compares with Wellness Simple Solutions Lamb and Rice.

  • http://rospout-westies.com Bill Soule

    Found this food partially by mistake at a dog show. Read the pamplet, tried the sample and boom, not only do my dogs like it but its an organic wonderfood. I like everything about it. I have not been on it long enough to see results but I will come back and post those once my westies have been on it a while. I am always on the search for the perfect food for my guys. I was impressed with what this food has and does not have. Secondly it is carried by Pet Smart in my area so I don’t have to drive miles out of my way to a pet food speciality store for what I was giving. It costs more but I believe it is worth it.