By Nature Organics (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

By Nature Organics Dog Food receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.

The By Nature product line includes one organic dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

By Nature Organics Chicken Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Organic chicken, chicken meal, organic brown rice, organic whole oats, organic whole barley, organic peas, turkey meal, organic chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried egg product, tomato pomace, natural chicken liver flavor, organic flaxseed, salt, calcium carbonate, monocalcium phosphate, choline chloride, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, organic cranberries, organic carrots, organic spinach, organic tomatoes, hydrolyzed yeast, organic kelp, ferrous sulfate, fructooligosaccharide, turmeric, niacin supplement, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%16%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%33%41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is organic chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third item is organic brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient includes organic whole oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth ingredient is organic whole barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The sixth ingredient is organic peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient includes turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The eighth ingredient includes organic chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The ninth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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 four notable exceptions

First, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

In addition, flaxseed, is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

By Nature Organics Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Since this recipe contains a number of quality organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line somewhat favored status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Just the same, we still need to evaluate the product’s protein, fat and carbohydrate content.

Judging by its ingredients alone, By Nature Organics dry dog food looks like an above average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

What’s more, it’s difficult to ignore the noteworthy quality of this recipe’s organic components.

Bottom line?

By Nature Organics dry dog food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Those looking for a wet product from the same company may wish to visit our review of By Nature Organics canned dog food.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.

A Final Word

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

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

04/25/2010 Original review
11/25/2010 Review updated
01/19/2013 Review updated
01/19/2013 Last Update

  • Stanley White

    To Janet from 2 years ago– if you read this, I would welcome anything learned from your experience. My Westie has developed copper trouble after eating a dog food with polypropal glycol in it. She needs low copper food, A RX food is expensive, but ok for now, However I need to find out what other dog owners who needed low copper content use and like. Please respond if you see this, and let me know whatever you have learned. Thank you. Stanley.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Thank you, By Nature, for helping rescue groups!

  • LabMommy

    LabsRawesome : “That is truth and just beautiful”.

  • dog

    Sound good organic dog food…. watch special allert, may contain arsenic rice….. even its within the “safe” levels. Do you feed your dog poison? ……

  • krystal

    There is yeast in the food? What does the bloating look like?

  • krystal

    Don’t ever use outdated food for your pets, it’s not worth it. They could’ve resealed it, put it on the shelf, other people noticed, and left it there picking other bags. I have two Italian Greyhounds and I have them on Merrich and I am currently switching them to By Nature.

  • Krystal

    Has your vet check her kidneys and liver for any issues like cancer? Sorry for the question. I feed my dogs Merrich but I am switching slowly to By Nature. Maybe an all raw diet might help your pup.

  • Blmiesen

    I feed my boxer and puggle Wellness dry and wet food.  My boxer has a sensitive stomach and lose stools as a puppy.  They both do very well on Wellness.  Research your dog food.  Nutro was on the recall list.  MAke sure you buy nothing from China and make sure all is made in the USA.  Good luck

  • Isabel

    I tried the canned food from BY Nature Organics and my dog loves it. I am now introducing her to the dry version and so far so good.

  • Jayspauldingjr

    Wonderful, just wonderful.

  • Louhadi

    My German Shepherd bloated 30 minutes after eating this food.  Ever since, I have not fed a food with any kind of yeast.  “Dried yeast fermentation solubles” may be different from other forms of yeast, but I’m one of those who believe yeast should not be in dog food.

  • Mike P

    Wow Michelle very powerfull.I read this to my wife as our rescue was in her lap.Needless to say my wife cried as I read this to her.

  • John

    Labs….

    That was awesome…. I love it!

  • LabsRawesome

    I am a dog. I am a living, breathing animal. I feel pain, joy, love, fear and pleasure.

    I am not a thing. If I am hit – I will bruise, I will bleed, I will break. I will feel pain. I am not a thing.

    I am a dog. I enjoy playtime, walk time,
    but more than anything, I enjoy time with my pack – my family – my
    people. I want nothing more than to be by the side of my human. I want
    to sleep where you sleep and walk where you walk. I am a dog and I feel
    love…I crave companionship.

    I enjoy the touch of a kind hand and the
    softness of a good bed. I want to be inside of the home with my family,
    not stuck on the end of a chain or alone in a kennel or fenced yard for
    hours on end. I was born to be a companion, not to live a life of
    solitude.

    I get too cold and I get too hot. I
    experience hunger and thirst. I am a living creature, not a thing. When
    you leave, I want to go with you. If I stay behind, I will eagerly await
    your return. I long for the sound of your voice. I will do most
    anything to please you. I live to be your treasured companion.

    I am a dog. My actions are not dictated by
    money, greed, or hatred. I do not know prejudice. I live in the moment
    and am ruled by love and loyalty.

    Do not mistake me for a mindless object. I
    can feel and I can think. I can experience more than physical pain, I
    can feel fear and joy. I can feel love and confusion. I have emotions. I
    understand perhaps more than you do. I am able to comprehend the words
    you speak to me, but you are not always able to understand me.

    I am a dog. I am not able to care for
    myself without your help. If you choose to tie me up and refuse to feed
    me, I will starve. If you abandon me on a rural road, I will experience
    fear and loneliness. I will search for you and wonder why I have been
    left behind. I am not a piece of property to be dumped and forgotten.

    If you choose to leave me at a shelter, I
    will be frightened and bewildered. I will watch for your return with
    every footfall that approaches my kennel run.

    I am a dog – a living, breathing creature.
    If you choose to take me home, please provide me with the things that I
    need to keep me healthy and happy.

    Provide me with good food, clean water,
    warm shelter and your love. Do not abandon me. Do not kick me. Do not
    dump me when your life gets too busy. Make a commitment to me for the
    entirety of my life, or do not take me home in the first place.

    If you desert me, I do not have the means
    to care for myself. I am at the mercy of the kindness of people – if I
    fall into the wrong hands, my life will be ruined.

    I will experience pain, fear and
    loneliness. If I wind up in an animal shelter, I have only my eyes to
    implore someone to save me, and my tail to show you that I am a friend.
    If that is not good enough, I will die.

    I am a dog. I want to give and receive
    love. I want to live. I am not a thing. I am not a piece of property.
    Please do not discard me. Please treat me with kindness, love and
    respect. I promise to repay you with unconditional love for as long as I
    live.
    National Dogs | Examiner.com

    Filed under: Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Lynette, here is a list of dog foods with prices. You can let us know if your on a budget or if money is no object, and then everyone will have a better idea what to recommend. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmNw5KB82-n_dGtyOEpVVXhPQ2tfeU1FUGdEdjVnTkE&hl=en#gid=0

  • Mike P

    Hi Lynette I have a Boxer and changed her over to grain free from Pedigree after we adopted her. Grain free is expensive but not really.I feed my 70 lb Boxer 1 1/2 cups a day so a 25 lb bag last about 7 weeks. They eat less on grain free food and are very satisfyed.With two big eaters like you have it might be an option to go grain free.There are alot of great posters on this site that will help you find a great food.Mike S is always open to answering any questions you have on the different foods. He has helped me a bunch.Good luck finding the right food for your doggies.

  • LMD

    Lynette,
    Don’t panic! We’ve all been where you are. Discovering the truth about your brand of dog food is the first step. Everyone on here is very knowledgable and can help make your selection easier. I might also recommend you use a website like petflow as a price guide once you’ve narrowed down to a few choices. I did that for pricing info to cut down on trips to the store. Then you can get on the site of the food you select and see who carries it near your home. Let us know what questions you have, and congrats on becoming an informed pet parent!

  • sandy

    Alot of folks like Kirkland which can be found at costo if you’re on a budget and it would definitely be an upgrade.  I also order from http://www.naturalpetfooddelivery.com.  but only purchase the green bag and the grain free bag.

  • Bob K

    Lynette – Picking a new dog food is not all that hard with this website as a guide.  Questions for you.  1.) Do you have a budget?  2.) What stores are near you such as Pet shops, Costco, Menards, Farm & Fleet?  What brands and formulas do to they sell?  Now match those foods to the ratings on this website and look for 4 and 5 star foods.  Now you will have a short list.   You can always switch to another food if needed and some people like to rotate foods.   It might take a few hours of time and a trip to a few stores with a note pad and this website to pick a food that is available, affordable and good for your dog.  Remember to transition slowly to a new dog food.

  • Lynette

    I have a Boxer & a Lab – At the moment I am feeding them Purina Little Bits but after reading your review on the product I did not like what I read. Now I dont have a clue what to switch to. Please Help….

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Vari, Sevag and Others,

    After reviewing the multiple comments you have posted here on this website, it’s apparent you are working together with
    deceptive intent (or as a fraudulent individual using multiple
    identities) from the same computer IP address.

    Because you have abused your privilege to post on this website, you
    are no longer welcome here and are now blocked from further posting.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Having a grain free or gluten free recipe doesn’t necessarily make for a top rated dog food. This food is rated 5 stars for the many reasons explained in my report – most notably the apparent above-average meat content of this product line.

  • Vari

    P.S. Sodium selenite is a deadly chemical used in over 90% of highly rated pet foods. 
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium_selenite 

  • guest

    How can this food have 5 star rating when it has grains and gluten, just because its organic? 

  • Jan (Mom to Cavs)

    Are you talking about calling the company for Flint River Ranch or By Nature, which this thread is about? If you are speaking of By Nature, then they were bought out by a company called Kent Nutrition Group that is located in Iowa. By Nature was formerly Blue Seal Feeds. That’s all I know….not much about Kent NG but you could check them out if you want. Hope this helps.

  • Janet

    I have Scottish Terriers. I need a low copper content dog food for them, as copper causes liver problems in Scotties. I have been feeding Flint River Lamb, Rice and Millet but I see you only give it 3 Stars. I have called the compant all the way to the source to find out what the quality of their ingredients are, but they are very secretive. They won’t even give you an address so you can take a look at the outside of the plant, to see if it appears clean. For all I know someone is making this stuff in a barn. It worries me.

  • Crystal

    Thanks for your help. I will contact my vet.

  • melissa

    Crystal-

    Since GSD are one of the breeds with a predisposition to EPI, have you asked your vet about this potential? It sounds like she/he has a severly sensitive stomach and if it were my dog, I would be concerned that it was a symptom of a different underlying condition. (Epi, Colitis, IBD just to name a few)

    My wheaten with the IBD/Sensitive stomach was put on a month long course of Tylan Powder by our vet and presto, problem resolved and now he eats without any further issues. I would speak with the vet for medical intervention options before continuing to switch foods thereby running the risk of irrating the stomach/intestinal tract further.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Crystal… Unfortunately, since I’m not a veterinarian and due to the biological uniqueness of each pet, it would be inappropriate for me to provide specific health advice or product recommendations. Please see our FAQ page and our reviews for more information. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers. Wish I could be more help.

  • Crystal

    I am trying to find a good dog food for my German Shephard. She has a very sensitive stomach. I have tried Science diet, Nutro sensitive stomach, and am now on Hills Science diet(from the vet). She has had very lose stool, after a visit to the vet she was switched to Hills diet D/D. She did good for a couple days. Her stool was better. Now for the last 3 days she has thrown up at night and now has lose stool again. I want to find a good food that will make her feel better. Can you help?

  • Jackie

    I see they have expanded their product line (on their website.) I wish someone near me carried this – the closest place is 99 miles away! Wish I would have at least tried it when it was at Petsmart.

  • melissa

    Petsmart has discontinued carrying By Nature products-just saw the sign today!Probably to make room for the Innova(and others) that they are going to be carrying next month

  • judith

    Started this dog food for my insulin-dependent English Setter and his glucose levels are now quite stable! Very impressed.

  • Felicia

    I have 2 rat terriers, female (4 yrs old) is healthy but very overweight (spayed 2 years ago). My male is 10 yrs old has severe allergies, bladder stones, and is very underweight. The male has been on prescription food for the past 4 years but it is still not doing great and it’s a challenge to keep them on 2 different foods. The manager at Petsmart highly recommended By Organics (Dry) for both. Said she’s basically been eating pizza and this is more like salad so she’ll loose weight and he should do well with his allergies on it. I have not taken my boy to the vet yet for testing to confirm his organs are healthy but he certainly seems better on this food then on the prescription. The cost is about $5 less a bag, but I have both dogs on it so it’s way more convenient. Very grateful to have found this awesome food for my babies.

  • ALH

    P.S. Sadly, PetSmart and Petco no longer carry this product in-store. I just started having it special ordered through another pet store in town at no additional cost. Check with your local mom & pop pet store to see if they will do the same for you with their regular shipments.

  • ALH

    I currently feed the By Nature Duck & Sweet Pea to my dogs and I cannot give anything but high marks for the food. It is amazing. One of my dogs always had constant anal gland problems and sever allergies, which led to an intensive search for a food that would aide those two issues – without having to feed him pumpkin to clean out his system every day. After reading reviews online, I decided to buy this product and could not be happier! Since starting on the food over a year ago he has improved beyond my wildest dreams. He still has allergies, but nothing near what they used to be. Also, he has not once had to have his anal glands drained (which was happening every 4-6 weeks before). He is more active and overall happier. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this food!!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carla… Sometimes (human and pet food) retailers overlook out-of-date products. You should certainly not feed this to your dog. The smell is probably due to rancid fats and oils. I would take this product back to PetsMart and request a refund.

  • Carla Anderson

    I just purchased a bag of this dog food today from PetSmart…I noticed the bag looked a bit crumpled almost as if it had been opened once before and returned maybe. It was sealed shut,,but looked as though it was reglued. The date on the bag says best if used by sept. 2010..and its December of 2010. Is this normal for a store to keep the outdated product..and also,,, i noticed the food has a funny smell…. is this normal. Hard to even describe the smell..but different from the other foods ive purchased…like NUTRO HighEnergy for my whippet…. Guess what im asking is… does this food have a funny odor..and what about the date on the bag…

  • Jim

    I tryed this food because i was used to leaving the bowl full morning and night, with it never being empty . I switched to Blue Buffalo and the dogs ate it empty 2 times a day. I wanted a quality food, but at that rate 30 lbs in 17 days it was more than i could afford. so i tried by Nature Organics Chicken Formula Dry Dog Food. I can fill the bowls and they dont consume it all. The potty is solid, and not as much as it was with Sam’s Club lamb and rice.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Sue… That of course, depends on the brand, the amount of fat in the food and how the product is preserved. Probably no longer than 6 months to a year with a natural preservative.

    You should check the expiration (or manufacture) date on the package. More importantly, each time you’re finished dispensing the food, be sure to squeeze out all the air and keep the bag tightly sealed. Just like human food, contact with the air causes oxidation.

    By the way, I’m not a huge fan of after market storage containers. As a dog food gets lower in its container, the remaining air space begins to expand. And the excess air can cause the food to become unusable sooner than planned. Hope this helps.

  • Sue P.

    Do you know how long an open bag of this dog food would stay fresh?

  • Marie

    Like everyone else I have to say thank you for all of the great information!

    I have been in the process of switching my pups over to this food for the last 4 weeks. We were using California Natural but the P&G buyout makes me too nervous and I decided I wasn’t going to wait to see what happens. My lab mix has some medical issues and we also recently took in a rescue puppy (pitbull / miniature dachshund mix so he had difficulty eating the larger kibble) and I wanted something I felt comfortable feeding to both of my guys. It took just over a month of research before I finally decided on this food but I am happy with the decision and the pups seem to really enjoy it. Definitely worth checking out if you are looking for a new food!

  • Aimee Smith

    Silly me, this is 5 star! Awesome!

  • Aimee Smith

    Just wanted to throw my two cents in. I’ve read a lot of pros and cons with these different dog foods. It can lead a person insane, but after a lot of research this looks like a great dog food with healthy ingredients. I haven’t seen a single negative comment about it on the web. I’ll post back after puppies been on it and give more feedback. Thanks Mike for all your research. Why isn’t this a 5 star, this food seems so good?