Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried product line includes two recipes.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Beef Recipe
- Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Recipe
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Recipe
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, apples, chickpeas, peas, flaxseed, chicory root extract, cranberries, salmon oil (a source of DHA), dried kelp, potassium chloride, salt, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative, a source of vitamin E), vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||32%||18%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||56%||13%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes 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.
This item also includes ground bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The fourth ingredient is chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is 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 meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
And lastly, this food 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.
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food looks like an above-average raw 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 42% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 21% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a notable amount of meat.
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food is a meat-based raw product using a notable amount of chicken or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
09/26/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩