Eukanuba Naturally Wild (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

PRODUCT MAY HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED
See the Following Related Review

Eukanuba Excel Dog Food

Eukanuba Naturally Wild Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Eukanuba Naturally Wild product line includes six dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

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

  • Eukanuba Naturally Wild North Atlantic Salmon and Rice
  • Eukanuba Naturally Wild Country Grown Turkey and Multigrain
  • Eukanuba Naturally Wild North Atlantic Salmon and Rice Puppy
  • Eukanuba Naturally Wild Adult New Zealand Venison and Potato
  • Eukanuba Naturally Wild North Atlantic Salmon and Rice Large Breed
  • Eukanuba Naturally Wild New Zealand Venison and Potato Large Breed

Eukanuba Naturally Wild Country Grown Turkey and Multigrain formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Eukanuba Naturally Wild Country-GrownTurkey and Multigrain Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Turkey, brewers rice, ground whole grain sorghum, potato, ground whole grain barley, chicken meal, fish meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried egg product, dried beet pulp, natural flavor, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, salt, sodium hexametaphosphate, fructooligosaccharides, dl-methionine, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, cobalt carbonate), vitamins (ascorbic acid, vitamin A acetate, calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, niacin, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), inositol, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), vitamin E supplement, beta-carotene, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%16%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%33%45%

The first ingredient in this dog food lists turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey 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 includes brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fourth ingredient includes potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth item is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

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

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

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.

But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.

We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.

Without knowing more, we would expect to find at least a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

The tenth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

After the natural flavor, we find fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

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 five notable exceptions

First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.

We also note the inclusion of sodium hexametaphosphate, a man-made industrial polymer with no known nutritive value.

HMP is used in making soap, detergents, water treatment, metal finishing and most likely here to decrease tartar build-up on the teeth.

Although some might disagree, we’re of the opinion that food is not the place for tartar control chemicals or any other non-nutritive substances.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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.

Eukanuba Naturally Wild Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Eukanuba Naturally Wild dog food looks like an 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 26%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Eukanuba Naturally Wild is a plant-based dry dog food using a below-average amount of turkey, venison or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may want to check out our review of Eukanuba Natural Dog Food.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

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.

Other spellings: Eukenuba, Eucanuba

Notes and Updates

11/13/2009 Original review
03/06/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Wikipedia definition
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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1140685339 Betsy Greer

    Should HMP be swallowed, though?

  • Fjl

    Mike, as a firm believer in Eukanuba’s benefits for dogs I appreciate the call out for Sodium Hexametaphosphate but believe you haven’t accurately represented this ingredient. HMP is a tartar controlling agent in Crest Products ( makes sense knowing that P&G is the parent company for both brands). This ingredient has been PROVEN to reduce tartar in dogs. Eukanuba does research on their ingredients and as a blogger for this site I would expect you to be aware of the science behind the food. It seems as though other products get call outs for being “natural” but perhaps unproven, while products that have been trusted for 40 years are called out for having technology in their food. The majority of people brush their teeth with some sort of toothpaste. This ingredient can help keep dogs from having to be anesthetized for teeth cleanings more often. I believe that is a benefit that should be mentioned. Knocking your dog out while they get their teeth cleaned isn’t ” natural”.

  • Bluenotegp

     Mike, I live in Winnipeg, our water is rated as one of the best in the world, yet we use flouride (sp?) in it, we have been putting this in the water system for over 70 years and no ill effects to any dogs, cats, or people. That is the long term.  Now as an Owner of a retired Greyhound, and you may know they need a very specific diet and care, the complaints of floride can be trumped as almost all Vets recomend you brush your dogs teeth, this tooth paste made for dogs has floride in it. So why would it be bad for them to have it in their food at a very low dose. As for people that do not brush their dogs teeth, enjoy the vet bills.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Mike – My vote is YES to red flag sodium hexametaphosphate. Who woulda thunk?! I wouldn’t have known about this ingredient if Terence hadn’t posted a comment about it. I figured all the chemical nonsense ingredients were vitamin and mineral fortification. I think readers would appreciate some insight so they can investigate further if they want.

  • Jonathan

    I think it should be added. It’s “controversial”. That is what the description of “red-flag” is. You red-flag things you don’t even really believe are a problem in small amounts like garlic, so why not note this? It would appear that most better foods don’t use it, so there must be a reason.

  • Gordon

    Personally Mike, I’m still reading more about it (Your posts included), before I form a more robust opinion. At this stage though, it may not be a problem in regard to being added in kibble, if it really can aid somewhat in overall dental hygiene. However, as you and others have brought the attention to what long term effects might be, I agree to this question as an important one. What would the long term effects good or bad be? And how long has it been added to many brands of kibbles?

    I know one things for certain. In my opinion it should be guaranteed a red flag ingredient if added to any raw food containing grounded bones, as it would be a null additive in such raw foods. I hope my 2 cents worth helps.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Shameless, Jonathan, Gordon and Everyone Else… I need your help. In your opinion, should we red flag sodium hexametaphosphate (HMP) as a controversial ingredient? My concerns are only for its long term safety as a dog food additive. Please let me know your opinions.

    In case you missed yesterday’s discussion, you can read more about HMP in the comments at the end of my article, “Dry Dog Food and the Myth of Cleaner Teeth“. Thanks for your help.

  • Jonathan

    When we discus an ingredient like florid in water, it’s clear that the tiny amounts (ppm) have no know immediate or short-trem effects. But what about long term? Why is there more cancer now than there has ever been? What about Alzheimer’s? Birth defects? We don’t know what causes these things all the time. Could it be a little bit of chemicals that the FDA considers GRAS? Wearing away at our cells at a molecular level? I can see this HMP being a red-flag. I agree with Cathy… I think it’s potentially worse that something like Brewer’s Rice that, while cheap, isn’t that much worse (nutritionally) than white rice, which is kind of a junk grain. And Brewer’s Rice doesn’t have the potential to be an ever-building toxin feed every day. As I have said before, GRAS is B.S. There are many GRAS items (like BHA regularly used in candy, sausage, and other human foods, as well as a red-flag item here) that I do not trust. Not to mention the sweet poison aspartame that has so many well documented health problems associated with it, yet remains in our food supply being pumped in to children by well meaning parents that think diet sodas are magically healthful.

  • Gordon

    Yeah with regard to fluoride intake from our water supply, I haven’t formed my own opinion either way yet. To be fair with regard to the purpose behind this it appears for genuine reasons, but speaking with regard to the fluoride parts per million ratio to water, contained in Sydney’s water supply, it appears an extremely small amount to warrant any health concerns, at least, so say the pro-advocates.

    On the other hand, there may be a hidden agenda behind fluoride supply in water supplies, like slowly turning us into will-broken-government-agenda believing folk, if you believe the Mel Gibson movie….Conspiracy Theory. I know, that’s all hocus pocus but hey, I just had to add that to this comment, lol.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    About ingesting fluoride, I agree with the *experts* who think ingesting fluoride is toxic. So, the experts who think ingesting fluoride is aok are……… wrong (as Ed would say!)

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Yes Gordon – I certainly AM now like a dog with a bone on the sodium hexametaphosphate issue – LOL!
    I would never feed Eukanuba/IAMS – never have – but for those who do feed it, it seems like the SHMP being red-flagged would be a nice alert (even more so than brewers rice and beet pulp). Because most people just scan these pages, I think the red flag items are helpful for those wanting to scrutinize potential problem ingredients.
    But hey, I’m one who doesn’t want to ingest fluoride (in my municipal water supply) but I do support the use of fluoride topically on my teeth. Many professionals, with *expert* studies to support their view, and with good ole’ FDA approval, believe ingesting fluoride daily is just fine for the human body. I don’t agree.

  • Gordon

    Oh yeah, and you can bet your bottom dollar, that BARF contains no sodium hexametaphosphate!

  • Gordon

    Wow, this Terence Tan really started something here. Shameless is now like a dog with a bone on sodium hexametaphosphate, lol.

    It does look concerning though, so I can’t half blame you Shameless.

    The funny thing is, I’ve just had a read of Mike and ed’s tit for tat bashing under the “…cleaner teeth” article, for a lack of a better description, and from my understanding since Terence Tan brought it up, is that there is too little of it to be a real concern. Having said this, I’m no expert and sometimes even experts can have differing opinions. When it comes to something controversial, despite years of studies, experiments, and documentation, I found almost in any subject, expert advocates on both sides of the coin so to speak, debate conflicting arguments to support their perspective.

    As far as I know, apart from two certainties in life, being death and taxes, there’s a third one, being the laws of physics which is indisputable. I digress and sound too philosophical (corny) so forgive me.

    Basically what I’m actually trying to say with out wanting to offend anyone, is that even experts in their chosen expertise are still learning and what’s more, a progressive expert or scientist, is an open minded one, with the ability and willingness to pursue more information and accept new findings as either a plausible or not, based on all the available evidence.

    I love this site as a great forum on canine nutrition, especially as a great starting point to learn more about same, and weigh up or compare information that I reference elsewhere.

    The other day, I had a consumer waiting in line behind me with some groceries at a local supermarket. Amongst his groceries, he had a bag of Purina Supercoat dry. One of the Australian Purina poor formulas. I couldn’t but help to intrude on his decision, ever so politely, writing this websites URL and two others I also like, then handing this information to this consumer, who happily took it, and said they’ll have a look.

    I probably should mind my own business, especially since I am not affiliated with or employed to market BARF, but I can’t help but promote this brand when ever the opportunity arises. I just want to do my bit in encouraging better canine health.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Shameless… After checking the explanation on Eukanuba website, it’s apparent the company’s using HMP for the very dental reasons we’ve been discussing today. However, as I mentioned in my response to your earlier comment, the FDA has declared the ingredient safe when used as a food stabilizer.

    However, even though I remain skeptical regarding the long term effects of ingesting this toothpaste ingredient as a food coating on a daily basis, I’m not sure it would be fair to label it as controversial without more long term data.

  • ShamelessRawFoodie

    Hi Mike – Many of the Eukanuba dry dog foods contain sodium hexametaphosphate. Since there are some concerns about health problems related to the ingestion of sodium hexametaphosphate, will this ingredient be a Red Flag controversial ingredient?

  • Dennis

    All formulas of “Naturally Wild” dog food is back on the shelfs now where I live, (So. Cal.)

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Linda… You ask a legitimate question. But Eukanuba Customer Service is probably the only entity capable of answering it.

  • Linda Kulow

    Because of Salmonella?? Hmm….think about this, how come human foods can be back on the store shelves so quickly? All this takes in cleaning out the machines that make the food. This should most likely be done on a regular schedual anyways like once a week….once every 72 hours. This answer does not satisfy me as I work in a human food production enviroment. Not trying to be argumentive but if it is taking them this long to clean their machines and production area, when was the last time they did this?

  • Jonathan

    My store hasn’t gotten it back yet…

    It was part of the big factory shut-down they had to do because of salmonella, I believe. That’s what their drive told me.

    Most of the Iams/Euk product is back now, but we still haven’t gotten this one, Iams Chunk, and Euk Sensitive stomach. I think that’s all.

  • Linda Kulow

    Just wondering…..is Eukanuba Naturally Wild dog foods back on the store shelves in your areas? If not, how come?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Chris… Here’s a link to our page regarding specific details about this Eukanuba dog food recall. Thanks for alerting our readers.

  • Chris

    I just wanted to let everyone know that as of July 30, 2010 all Eukanuba Naturally Wild dog food has been recalled. Discontinue use immediately and return the food to where you purchased it.

  • Keith

    I adopted a 1 year old Dog from the pound and decided to feed this food to him because I love Venison. At first he loved it so much and would get very excited for feeding time and eat it very very fast. But eventually he turned his nose up to it and the more I watched him he would get a little nausea after eating it. It was also pretty expensive. Im going to switch him to a 5 star food on this web page thats cheaper. Thanks.

  • Doug F.

    I was on the Naturally Wild, but my vet recommended natural balance limited ingredient diet . and its price is very much in same range as NW, but i can only find it at petco and small pet stores, not at petsmart

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Dog Food Fluxed… Naturally Wild is probably Eukanuba’s best product; if your dog likes it… stick with it. But keep your eyes open for some of my upcoming reviews. There may be some higher-rated products that may also fit your budget, too

  • Dog Food Fluxed

    I wish there wasn’t Brewer’s Rice in this product. My dog just turned a year old and I was looking for a respectable dog food to switch her off her puppy formula. I read all the great reviews for Blue Buffalo, but my pocket book had a seizure when I saw the price of the bags. It was sixteen dollars for just a few pounds! My dog doesn’t have allergies, so I thought I’d try NW since it was on sale and comparable (right across the aisle from Buffalo Blue.) My girl loves this. I have never heard her burp so much in all the time we’ve had her. I am very conflicted about continuing to feed it to her. I bought two bags since it had been on sale and do plan on finishing those up. I’m not sure what to believe when it comes to dog food. There is so much hype for holistic foods, but it is at such a racket that I cannot afford.