Nature’s Select Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Nature’s Select Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Nature’s Select product line includes seven dry dog foods, six claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance.

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

  • Nature’s Select Grain Free (5 stars)
  • Nature’s Select Select Multi-Protein Recipe
  • Nature’s Select Select Classic Nutrition Recipe
  • Nature’s Select Select Cold River Recipe with Salmon
  • Nature’s Select Select Mobility Plus Recipe (3.5 stars)
  • Nature’s Select Select New Zealand Lamb Meal Recipe
  • Nature’s Select Select High Pro Active Dog & Puppy (5 stars)

Nature’s Select Select New Zealand Lamb Meal Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nature's Select New Zealand Lamb Meal Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, whole grain brown rice, beef meal, pearled millet, oat meal, peas, pork meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehydrated alfalfa meal, flax seed (source of omega 3 fatty acid), flax seed oil, potassium chloride, dried kelp, yeast culture, whole carrots, dried celery, dried beet, dried parsley, dried lettuce, dried watercress, dried spinach, l-lysine, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, hydrolyzed yeast, taurine, dicalcium phosphate, dried chicory root , l-carnitine, vitamin E supplement, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), vitamin A supplement, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), biotin (vitamin B7), magnesium amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, lecithin, folic acid (vitamin B9), rosemary extract, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis25%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%13%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%29%46%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The second ingredient is 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 third ingredient includes beef meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The sixth ingredient includes 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 is pork meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

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 alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The tenth 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.

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, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.

Next, chicory root 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.

In addition, this recipe contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

And lastly, this food also includes 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.

Nature’s Select Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Select 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 28%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

Excluding the Grain Free Formula, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, alfalfa meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nature’s Select is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various meat and fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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

08/29/2014 Last Update

  • designby

    This has nothing to do with allergens. This has to do with the over-mineralization of food which produces crystals and stones in the bladder, We used to see this only in older dogs and cats. Now we are seeing it in young animals. We just did a surgery last week taking out two HUGE stones from a 3 year old dog who ate this food. This is not the first case regarding this food either. Meal means BONE~ not meat. It is okay if there is one Meal source and chicken has the last amount of minerals (specifically magnesium). Once a dog is diagnosed with crystals or stones, we put them on prescription food for life. The sad thing is that it is completely preventable.

  • broken1

    Thanks for your reply Sonny. Wow, that’s wonderful. I have been a vegan since August 20, 2012. And I am so much happier with myself, as is my wife. I did not know enough about veganism back in 2006, when I became a vegetarian, mostly due to medical conditions. But now I know it is so much more. And it’s nice to be part of a movement that really shows compassion for the life of Humans, non-humans and the planet. I wish everyone would just look into what veganism is really about. It’s not a cult, nor a diet fad, it is so much more. It’s compassion and love. As for the food, it’s not just salad, as most people think. Their are so much non-meat product that mimic the comfort foods most of us grew up with. But, so much more healthier. My last full blood test was a surprise that even my doctor was floored. He even said that he hadn’t seen such good results like mine with any other of his patients in my age category, I’m 59. I will be 60 in February. And I am looking forward to getting my next checkup then. I know there are not any guaranties that I couldn’t get some sort of cancer or rare disease, but, it seems, according to my doctor, that I have increased my chances, significantly, and that’s something I can live with. But again, as you surely know, it’s not a diet. It is an awareness that humans have been taken to think that just because we can reason more than animals, that this gives us reason to abuse, kill and use the flesh and bones of a another sentient being in our diets, textiles and for entertainment. And I find it really odd that we love our cats and dogs to the point of doing everything possible to ensure their well being, but we think nothing of killing another animal that has just as much reason for living, breathing and just being loved. I was so amazed to find that farm animals are really very social creatures. Sure I am not about to go out and hug a wild animal, but I would walk into a biker bar and kiss and hug a badasx biker either, lol. Neither would be good for my health. Anyway, thank you for leading the way, setting the path, that I am so glad I am now, and forever, walking.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    By the way i have a senior dog who will be 18 in February! She is not on a vegan diet.Just because you are on a vegan diet does not mean your dogs should be. She does not have any health problems that are major. She still runs around and goes for walks.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I did read your article. I don’t feed my girls any byproducts at all. I feed them a high quality kibble topped with a high quality canned and sometimes some freeze dried. I do not believe dogs should be fed a vegan diet. Looks like we will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  • broken1

    @Hater and Molly’s Mom, I read your link did you read mine? Did you read the reply from Sonny? I can respect Dr Becker’s POV, but I have tried her way, but after taking my dogs off dog food with , God knows what kind of by products, not wanting to trust corporation that care more about there bottom line than the health of animals, I choose to try a new product. V-DOG has Been on the market since 2005. And they are doing quite well just on word of mouth alone. And my dogs have been doing much better since. By the way the oldest dog was on a vegan diet. Read my article.

  • Sonny

    Thank you for the link. I’ve been a vegan since 1960. My dogs thrive on a vegan diet. They don’t have any allergies or diseases. My two goldens are 17 and my chow is 12.

    They eat organic and I prepare their meals myself. My friends dogs don’t live as long as mine and they always have health problems.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I would never feed my girls a vegan diet. Dogs need meat! So with that said i don’t have an open mind about the subject. Here’s what Dr. Karen Becker has to say about dogs and vegan diets.

  • broken1
  • broken1

    I use V-Dog.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    So are you saying dogs should be fed a single source protein?

  • designby

    Nature’s select has to be the biggest cause of bladder crystals & stones in our vet clinic than any other food we’ve seen. Any food with meals, especially *mulitple* meals is a recipe for disaster. Buyer beware.

  • Regina

    My vet put my GSD puppy on Hills prescription ID kibbles for sensitive stomach and he is doing ok on it not great just ok but I supplement with ground beef. I am trying my hardest to get him off of that crap food. Its sooooooooo terrible for a dog I cannot even describe to you. It should never be given to a dog long term. NEVER! I am working on putting him on Honest Kitchen and/or Artisan diet with raw food. My other 3 dogs get Nature’s Select Lamb and Rice. I am hoping to switch the other 3 onto grain free Nature Select. They are shipping me the samples to try before I do that.

  • Regina

    Nature’s Select has grain free version that I am going to try my dogs on. They have been on Lamb and rice version of Nature Select for many years and they love it. Our dogs are healthy, have good coats, and they love their food. Recently I have been doing a lot of research about grain free products and nutrition due to my GSD puppy who has very sensitive tummy. I cannot put him on kibbles he is getting raw diet and Honest Kitchen and/or Artisan Grandma Lucy food. However my other 3 dogs most likely will be switched from Lamb and rice to grain free Nature Select kibbles. I will say though they are not cheap at all the food is pretty expensive. I think a bag of grain free dog food is $75. But I refuse to feed them that crappy Pets Mart food.

  • Ampz

    I have a 5 year old English Bulldog with a sensitive stomach and over weight. .. What is the best dog food I can get him. Thank you in advance.

  • kimbear

    I am one of your customers up in Crestview and I’ve been very pleased with the product and the service! We are feeding 10 dogs right now ( we foster ) and so far everyone is doing well.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    I would recommend Natures Variety Instinct

  • Jane

    Actually Monsanto GMO contains Round-Up, a toxic herbicide. The seeds are also called “Terminator” or “Suicide” seeds.

  • sandy

    What are your dogs eating now? I’ve used Nature’s Select Grain Free and the Hi-Pro/Active Dog/Puppy. These are actually the only two formulas of Nature’s Select that I would feed since the other ones are too low in protein for my liking. The Puppy one would be too small a kibble for your guys and the Grain Free kibble is very small. BTW, Nature’s Select and Victor are made by the same manufacturing plant. I’ve heard good things about Victor from other posters as well.

  • royal flush todd

    Thanks for the advise. Any suggestions on which of the three I listed are best suited for my dogs?

  • Pattyvaughn

    The level of asenic found in rice is very small and dogs supposedly can eliminate that amount easily. That being said, I am not comfortable feeding a food with rice in it to my dog every day. So my suggestion would be to pick some foods that have rice and some that don’t, and rotate. Feeding a rotational diet is healthier in several ways anyway. It supports a wider variety of gut flora. It helps to minimize problems that can arise from foods that have too high or too low a level of some nutrients. And it limits problems stemming from less than favorable ingredients.

  • Royal flush Todd

    So im confused and not an educated dog food guru. I am trying to decide on which dog food would be best in your opinion. All three are available to me but im hearing arsenic in rice and pancreatitis, alot of protein is good and then im hearing it depends then im hearing its bad….what the heck. how about some help. I have a 70 lb 4yo female German shepherd and a 11 yo 100 lb shepherd with arthritis but i do give him supplements for his legs. They are moderately active. Im considering Victor hi pro plus, Berkley and Jensen chicken and brown rice, or natures select(any kind). I hear arsenic is in the food but isnt there arsenic in the heart worm meds? How much arsenic is bad and how much is good or is it a different kind or arsenic? This site is great with a wealth of knowledge but hard to understand.

  • Schaumburg Dog

    Good quality dog food since they have re-worked their formula to become holistic and remove some “controversial” ingredients. Very friendly company to deal with here in the Chicago area. My issue is that this company needs to get its pricing figured out. In 2010, a *50lb* bag of Chicken/Rice/Lamb cost me $56.66 with tax, or $1.13 per pound of dog food. In 2013, I now can only order a *30lb* bag of Chicken/Rice/Lamb, which now costs me $53.49 or $1.78/lb. That means if I could still buy the same 50lb bag, it would now cost $89!!! That’s an increase of 57% in 3 years! The company says the new smaller size is to help maintain freshness and to make the bags easier to handle but to be honest, it seems more like an attempt to hide this huge price increase. They’ve also done away with the ability to track your previous orders (and what you paid) on the website. It’s a shame – NS used to be one of the best deals out there for price & quality.

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  • Hound Dog Mom

    Processed corn, like corn gluten meal and other corn products in typically found in dog food, is actually highly digestible – more digestible than fresh meat. The issue is that it has a low biologic value and isn’t species appropriate.

  • Ceilyp

    David no dog needs corn as they just cannot digest it.  Ever eat corn yourself????Are you able to digest it?  Bet not.  Did you know that there is no real “PRESCRIPTION” diet dog food?????Hill’s copyrighted that term.  THere is no governing body that says you need a prescription to obtain that food.  Doesn’t it make you question what they are doing and why your vet says you need it?  All my opinion but my statements about “PRESCRIPTION” are based in fact.

  • sandy

    Canine Caviar is GMO free

  • losul

    yes, some of them were engineered to produce their own bacterial pesticides, lessening the need for chemical pesticides.

  • Jens

    Actually the are engineered to be sprayed less heavily and many of the modern herbicides and pesticides are a lot safer to use. One should not forget that even organic veggies are sprayed and often with stuff that is a lot more aggressive, but organic. The problem with the GMO’s regarding this issue is that it binds farmers to use the herbicide produced by the company that makes the seeds…..that is the catch.

  • Betsy Greer

    Maybe… Nature’s Logic or Castor & Pollux?

  • Betsy Greer

    A+ Answers, BIO ethics, fresh fetch, K9 Natural, My Perfect Pet, People Fud and Raw Health, are all genetically modified ingredient free.  Not all are dry foods, some are raw, and not all foods are widely available either.  

    Rudy Green’s is not GMO certified free, however the company effort is geared to eliminate GMO’s as much as possible.  

  • Pattyvaughn

    The problem I have with GMO is that they were bred to be pesticide and herbicide resistant so they could be sprayed heavily with these things, so pesticides and herbicides are in the plant therefore in the seed.

  • sandy

    The  Salmon and Sweet Potato has never been grain free.  It had brown rice in the old formulation.  The only grain free offering from Nature’s Select is “Nature’s Select Grain Free”.

  • Jens

    GMO’s will be pretty much in any food that uses corn and soya and their products. I have in principle no issues with GMO’s since the genes expresse by these species are naturally occuring anyway. My issue with GMO’s is that they become so widespread that non-GMO varieties are pushed to margins and I like to have a selction of food.

  • Sue

    GMOs. You have seen my name here recently because my dog was seriously ill a little over a week ago.  I suspected the dog food, but I didn’t know what the ingredient could be that caused her intestinal tract to become so inflammed.  I read an article about GMOs and was shocked to see that they can cause the symptoms my dog experienced.  She vomited, had diarrhea and had to be rehydrated.  I’m asking all of you out there for help in finding a food that doesn’t contain GMOs.  There are lists here on no potatoes and
    grain-free foods, etc.  How about no GMOs?  Thank you so much.     

  • Paulabarker01

    Hi, I’ve been feeding my pup the Salmon & Sweet potato formula.  He seems to do well on it.  Looks like they just reformulated their products.  Contains millet, not considered grain free.  Wonder if this is why…

  • GRUB

    I have been feeding Natures select hi-pro puppy to my dog’s. it is a good quality food. they have reformulated their ingredients to improve upon it. Bravo. Any company who takes the time to make their food better for your dog’s should get recognition for it. 

  • InkedMarie

    I would skip the Hills food and go with a grainfree food, without potato. If you head over to our forum, in the dog food ingredients one, you will see a stickie with a list of grain & potato free foods. I would feed your dog the amount of food for what she *should* weigh. I’d use salmon or fish oil and do whatever exercise your dog can do. Do you have her on any anti inflamatory?

  • Pattyvaughn

    Feed her less of a good quality food and give her a joint supplement too.  Get out for a walk more often, joints definitely fit into the move it or lose it category.  Replace part of her food with a raw turkey neck a couple times a week.  They have a lot of cartilage in them, which is good for joints, and they are good for teeth too.

  • sandy

    I don’t like several ingredients in the food.  I’d rather put my dog on a grain free food with alot more protein and less carbohydrates and give a joint supplement(s).  I’ve used Glycoflex III before for a senior foster that really helped her.  She even started jumping through the doggie door.  I’m also a member of a BARF group and several of them with large breeds highly reccomend Acti-Flex.  Some other things to research are fish oil, tumeric, bromelain, emu oil.  You might want to go to the forums and post your question for a more in-depth conversation on joint supplements, anti-inflammatory foods/diet, etc…

    For me, I currently feed a lower carb/grain free kibble and also feed raw as a more anti-inflammatory diet and give a couple of joint supplements.

  • David

    I have a 13 year old obese golden retriever with arthritis in her hips.  Two weeks ago I had to take her to the vet because she was no longer able to get up on her own.  The vet put her on an antiinflammatory med and changed her food to Hills Prescription Diet j/d Canine Mobility. He told us about how it’s scientifically formulated, etc. help her lose weight and improve her joints, etc.  It’s $3 per pound but the first ingredient is whole grain corn.  Thoughts?  

  • sandy

    Both your dogs can eat the same food.  Go through the 4 and 5 star lists and try to find one that is at least 30% in protein, with few red colored ingredients, at least 2 meats in the first 5 ingredients, grain or grain free is up to you.  Pick a couple from the list, go to their websites and look up each recipe as they might have varying Guaranteed Anyalsis for each recipe.  You could even rotate through a couple foods like using both Merrick Classic and Merrick Grain Free.  A lower carb food (which means more protein and fat) will help your beagle lose weight as well as reducing her feeding portion.  I’ve found that when feeding a higher protein food, the dogs actually eat less. I feed pugs and a bulldog.  They eat the same things. 

  • K~T

    My 9 year old beagle Daisy is overweight and has a bladder problem. I have been researching different dog food brands in order to take control of her weight, but we also have a 2 year old golden named Bailey. I’m afraid with such different dogs feeding them will become a hassel and I’m getting dizzy reading all the pros and cons. Can somebody please help me?

  • Shani Duncan

    Hi Shawna,
    Yes, I Agree.  And we’ll probably see more foods like that on the market soon!  (But higher protein doesn’t work for all dogs either.)  And, it is still the reason the Ultra Lite food has a lower rating.. for now.

  • Shani Duncan

    Hi Melissa,
    I did state that I own a Nature’s Select in my reply.  My apologies if that was not clear.  I totally agree different dogs need different foods.

  • Shawna

    I’m a bit confused Shani..  Newer research proves that diets “higher” in protein are better for weight loss (err, I should say “fat” loss) then low protein diets.

  • Melissaandcrew


    Just because Nature’s select works for your dog(while another food did not) does not mean it will work for every one’s dog. The situation for Jill is no different than your experience. I notice in your posting you state “WE would very much” etcc etc. It implies that you are an employee or rep from this company, which is fine, but don’t you think you should disclose that to people so they know?

  • doggonefedup

    Did your vet say pork or ham?  Wolves would totally flourish on wild hogs. They are however kinda on the lean side as far as pigs go. Lard which is pig fat is very high in long chain omege3’s very healthy part a a canine’s diet. 

  • Doc1621

    meant to say feed sorry need to put my glasses back on

  • Doc1621

    When I worked at a vet many years ago the vet told me not to find my dog pork due Pancreatitis. That was many moons ago so perhaps thing have changed but wanted to pass that on to you.

  • Roger Brannen

    Nature’s Select is extremely sorry to hear that your pets are having these medical issues.  We take great pride in ensuring that our products are toxin free, produced in a safe environment, and meets or exceeds all the nutritional and safety standards as set forth by AAFCO.  We sincerely invite you and your vet to contact the corporate office in California at 888-814-7387 to discuss your concerns.  Paul Cavanaugh, President

  • Karen

    I use Nature’s select for my Lab, he is 104 American Lab and the 50 pound bag lasts him 6-7 weeks. He likes it and it sticks to the ribs, less poo. We are very happy with this dog food, 53 bucks and they deliver.

  • Shani – NS Nashville

    Hi, it is 1.4% calcium and 0.95% phosphorous: 1.5 to 1 ratio, I hope this helps.

  • Shani – NS Nashville

     Yes, it is 1.4% calcium and 0.95% phosphorous: 1.5 to 1 ratio

  • Shani – NS Nashville

    the Ultra Lite food is a diet food and thus has a low protein.  But all ultra lite foods have low protein.  The rest of the product line is approved by the AAFCO for All Stages of life, and has a great level of protein/fat, which is why it has 4 stars.

    I hope this helps!

  • Guest

    I don’t see it posted anywhere either. I wonder if there’s something to hide? They have stores/dealers all over so someone must have the information.

  • Guest

    Does anyone know what the calcium and phosphorus content is for their Salmon and Sweet Potato food?  I’ve sent a few emails asking for the nutrient content and haven’t received any response.

  • sandy

    Most kibbles also only list the minimum amount of fat.  That means it could be higher.  Only a few brands like Orijen and other low fat kibbles will list a minimum and a maximum.

  • melissa


    this food according to the review, shows a mean fat level of 12%, which is very low for most dry kibbles.

  • nicole

    my puppy has been eating the high protein dog food from nature’s select, but he has really REALLY bad breath. it started after eating this food. does anyone else have the same issue?

  • Katie n Tuck

    Can someone explain how this is so highly rated with such a low protein rating? Isn’t protein vital to a dog’s health?

  • Jill Hightower-hill

    Last September we were introduced to Natures Select salmon and sweet potato food for our two dogs, a pomeranian and a yorkie.  We were told it was superior to other foods on the market and that it would help with allergies and dry coat.  The dogs liked the food.  In February the dogs went in for their annual teeth cleaning, the had to fast since it is an anesthesia procedure.  The vet took blood that morning and said it appeared they had eaten something fatty.  We assured the vet they had only had their Natures Select food and nothing after 6pm the night before.  Not thinking anything of this we continued feeding them this food.  In June of this year 2012 the dogs got very ill with vomiting and diarrhea.  Both of the dogs had bloodwork at the vet showing their pancreatic enzymes severely elevated.  They both were diagnosed with pancreatitis.  The vet blames this food, saying it was slowly killing them over the past year.  Our dogs have been on antibiotics now for weeks and a special prescription only food from the vet.  The yorkie had to be hospitalized for a week.  They still are not well and we don’t even know if they will recover.  I am saddened that something I thought was good for my dogs has made them so ill.  Please check with your vet before using this product. 

  • Eric N.

    My wife & I have started feeding Natures Select Chicken, Rice & Lamb about a month ago.  Our 1 1/2 year old rescue Pit/Jack Russell Mix was having issues with California Natural and other foods we had tried.  We took him off California Natural and started cooking Chicken & Rice & every now & than pumpkin. It cleared up his diarrhea and he fell in love with food again.  We knew we had to get him back onto a dry food (time & money mainly) and we went to a dog exhibit and ran into Natures Select (Atlanta).  We read the ingredients and they looked great, the price point was great & free convienent delivery was even better.  We have switched and so far so good.  His stool has been great & the he likes the food.  The Customer Service has been excellent so we are very happy.  We are about to change our Lab mix over soon as well.  We feed her Nutro Grain Free which she loves but 24 pound bag is $55.00 and the ingredients are so/so and for $50 I can get a 50 pound bag of Natures Select with a lot better ingredients.  No brainer.  Just wanted to share my story. 
    Thanks for a great website that has taught me a lot the past few months of searching for a good dog food for my kids!!!
    keep up the great work!!!

  • hounddogmom12

    The part about the unusual low protein/fat/meat content is referring to the lite formula only, all the other formulas are 4 starts. As you can see at the top of the review where the 7 different formulas are named the lite formulas has 2 stars next to it in bold red.

  • Janice Hyder

    Ok, I’m confused.  Under ‘the bottom line’ you say, 
    The unusually low protein, fat and (thus) meat content of the Ultra Lite formula compels us to downgrade this product to just 2 stars.  
    But then at the end of that section you give it 4 stars and say it is highly recommended.  Which is it?

  • Snowmass1958

    Hi – my name is Carol and I work for the local Tampa Bay Nature’s Select distributor.  After reading all of these reviews, I feel truly happy that I was able to find such a great company, great boss and great co-workers to work with!  Nature’s Select is a an excellent product and all of us believe in the product and each other to provide a great experience when selecting our dog food, from ordering to delivery.  Thank you and pass the word!

  • Jrainey9876

    The rating above is for Chicken Rice and Lamb Not the Salmon & Sweet Potato. Also if you look at the ingredients now for the Salmon & Sweet Potato It has lots of vegetable and fruits. The Dog food analysis site is 5 years old and not accurate. Go to and read the list.

  • sandy

    This particular rating (dogfoodanalysis) is specifically for the Salmon &  Sweet Potato, not the whole line as a group average and it’s old.  I found it odd that it says “this food has no fruits or vegs” but it has sweet potato, pumpkin, blueberries and cranberries.

  • colddonkey

    Jan3car, if you’ll notice the rating from is from 2007. I’ve noticed there have been numerous occasions when has given lower ratings then other more up to date. I use to relay on and the ratings there but it seems they haven’t done to much rating the last 2 years.

  • Jan3car

    i google alot of pet food. you gave this food a high recommendation but another site gave it a low rating.
    see for yourself.

  • sandy

    My fosters get this Brand in Grain Free and Hi Protein and some raw chicken wings.  They do well on it and don’t have any problems with transitioning since they are coming in from the vet’s office/animal control/other rescue organization.  I’m feeding 4-8 fosters at any given time.

  • Jon Combs

    I have to ask.. how many dogs are you feeding to use 250lbs every 2 weeks? :)
    We’re using just under 50lbs in 2 weeks and are feeding 6-7 dogs on it (We have dogs over for dinner sometimes). I’m just curious, and picturing a house with 30 large dogs running around. Or hordes of small dogs. :)

  • Jon Combs

    Just to add in.. we started using Nature’s Select just over a year ago after learning about them at a local dog rescue event. It has been great. We’ve got a couple of dogs that are picky or have known food allergies, and they all love this food and have beautiful coats. We buy the Chicken Meal and Rice w/ Glucosamine.
      I know there are other foods out there that could be considered higher quality, but not without a huge increase in price. If these reviews included some sort of “price per star” ranking, I suspect this food would end up at the top. Even other foods of roughly equal quality cost nearly twice as much.
    To top it off, they have the free delivery, and the customer service has been wonderful.
    All in all, I can’t recommend this food enough :)

  • Jacque Reynolds

    I would like to add my comments and praise for the Nature’s Select dog food. I buy five, 50 lb bags every 2 weeks and the quality of the food is always very good. My dogs love the kibble and eat it without hesitation. (They usually grow tired of one brand after a week or so but they have eaten this brand for over a year now and still enjoy it.) The best part is that they don’t get gas!
    The food is very well priced, especially when I buy in bulk, good quality, and the home delivery is great! I have had times when I sent comments to my distributor and I would hear from the owner of the company! Now, THAT’S service!
    I will say that my dogs would not eat the kind with glucosamine but they love the Chicken, Lamb and Rice. We also buy the High Protein Puppy food and my pups do very well on it.
    I highly recommend this product.

  • Gene Gonzales

    Just want to say that we love Nature’s Select dry dog food, we have 3 pets, 1 german shepard puppy we had her on Kirkland dog food and she really wasn’t happy, now she is on nature’s Select chicken, rice and lamb high protein puppy formula and she just loves it, our other pets are chihuahua’s seniors and they are on the ultra lite senior formula, much better than what we were feeding them before, had to switch their food due to one of our pets haveing a kidney issue in september, she is doing great now and we are very happy with the pet food, my wife did alot of research on various pet foods and this is the one we chose, prices are good, customer service is great and they are very knowledgeable, I have recommended to all my friends and family.

  • Dee Ivins

    I was wondering what the phosphorus ratio is in the Ultra-Lite and Chicken and Glucosamine lines. Could you help? Thanks!

  • Margaret

    I’m very pleased with the Nature’s Select Salmon and Sweet Potato formula. I have four Shih-Tzu fosters as well as a Chow mix and a Chihuahua mix of my own. All the dogs love this food and even the Chihuahua, who is old and vey picky, will eat it dry. I had been feeding Organix but with six dogs I just wasn’t able to afford it, and judging by coat and general appearance my dogs seem to be doing just as well on this as on Organix.

  • Lee Ann

    I switched to Nature’s Select after realizing Blue added caramel to their formulas. It’s a high quality product, price per pound is considerably lower and they have amazing customer service with free home delivery. I love the larger 50 pound bag size. I also like that they carry Zuke’s treats that can be delivered with my food. Remarkable!

  • Kat

    Mike, Thanks!! I found the info I was needing on another reviewed for dehydrated raw about the : you wrote:

    Mike Sagman January 6, 2011 at 11:34 pm
    Hi Paula… High protein can be the subject of controversy. Protein issues tend to focus on two questions (mostly based upon a dog’s life stage):

    (1) Does high protein cause kidney problems in older dogs? And (2) does high protein cause hip dysplasia in larger breed puppies?

    First, to those who worry over kidney problems in senior dogs, recent studies find high protein not to be a contributing factor. That is, unless a dog is already suffering from advanced stages of renal failure. As a matter of fact, it has now been shown that a low protein diet is actually not healthy for most older pets. For a more detailed explanation, be sure to read my article about “Low Protein Dog Foods“.

    And lastly, although there are many who still believe high protein can be a health problem for puppies, more recent studies have confirmed the rapid growth which causes skeletal disorders in large breed dogs is now more specifically linked to the practice of overfeeding. In other words, feeding too many calories (rather than too much protein) is the leading cause of hip dysplasia. You can read more (including references and footnotes) about this timely topic in my recently updated article, “Best Puppy Foods“.

  • Kat

    Hi Mike, my beloved sweedish vallhund “Odie” (who passed away in September of 2010) had a kidney issue and I started feeding him a diet that included Solid Gold holistic blendz (low protien) for that reason. My vet had told me that a high protien diet was not good for his kidney…and he said for that matter that most senior dogs should be on a low-protien diet. Do you agree with that? I originally thought that the Ultra-Lite may be a good alternative for a change of pace for my two dogs who are 13 and one 8 year old (who are very active take 1.5 hour walks/play time at least 5 times a week, no health issues at this time) I add a portion of kibble to a mixture of slow cooked meat (various fresh), Prefrence (no meat) and a fresh vegetable (various). I am also looking to sub-out Preference because 2 of the boys won’t eat it anymore. thanks

  • Merle Ann

    We have three cats (1 senior & 2 – 3 yr olds) and 2 -7 yr old cocker spanials. All five have been on Nature’s Select food for almost a year now. I have no complaints. We use the chicken, lamb and rice, 25 lb. bag, for the dogs, which lasts them 1 month and they self feed. (Unlike the 40 lb Costco brand that we used prior to switching) Our male is a nibbler and our female, who is blind, generally feeds am and pm with no nibbling in between. Because of her inactivity from going blind 2 1/2 yrs ago she had picked up extra weight. I am happy to report that she has “trimmed down” (not to her former 27 lbs) but is currently about 35 lbs – down from 45 lbs. While she will never run around like her sighted brother, the difference in energy level was remarkable! She kind of “trotts” around the yard now :-)

    The cats are on the feline formula and self feed, as well. All maintain healthy weight levels and never have turned their nose up at this formula. I purchase the 20 lb bag which lasts the three cats 2 months.

    I find the service EXCEPTIONAL and the price very fair. I am now introducing this brand to my daughter’s new puppy and have no reservations recomending it to others.

  • sandy


    They also have cat food. I just received my 50 lb bag of their hi-protein dog food and the 20 lb bag of cat food. Very reasonably priced.

  • sandy


    Their “Puppy/High Protein” is for all life stages and the kibble is very small. Protein is only 27% and fat 15%. The grain-free kibble is also very small. My rep dropped off samples.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Vickie… I don’t see anything by Nature’s Select specifically designed for smaller adults. One trick I’ve found that can sometimes help is to gently squeeze the bag and try to feel the size of the kibble inside. And (of course), there’s always customer service. Wish I could be more help.

  • Vickie

    Close friend feeds her dogs Nature’s Select. She has one picky eater that eats the Nature’s with joy. I also have a picky eater: Sadie. She likes small bites.She is 3 1/2 years old. (Also 1 of 4 of my resued family member). Does Nature’s Select have “Small Bites for adult dogs? I am ery interested in becoming another customer for all 4 of my 4 legged members
    (2 cats 1 puppy (7 months) & Sadie.

  • Jonathan

    A quick Google search returned nothing… if this was a “bad” food for animal testing, PETA would be screaming at the top of their lungs all over the internet.

    The ingredients look fair, so if the price is right, do your pups and your wallet a favor and feed away!

  • Christine

    Does anyone know if this company does animal testing? I talked to a rep at a home show recently & got a sample; the dogs like it & it’s actually cheaper than Blue Buffalo (which I had been feeding them). I just don’t want to make the same mistake I made w/ Iams a few years ago.

  • Jonathan

    Cecily, the amount of glucosamine in dog food is almost always such a tiny amount it’s not recognised as a therapeutic level. Read the label… they usually list it in parts per million or milligrams per kilogram.

    most have 300 milligrams per kilogram, which is not much at all… and probably close to what chicken meal already contains anyways.

    Even 1000 mg/kg still doesn’t reach “therapeutic levels”. For most dogs, 300 mg per dose per every 40 pounds of body weight would be considered therapeutic. Not 300mg per kilogram of food they consume.

    So keep up with the supplement. What’s in the food will SLIGHTLY add to it, but the supplement itself is still necessary and much more important.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Cecily… I rate the foods by picking a representative example form each product line. You can find this dog food in the Nature’s Select review. Some of the answer to your question can be found on our FAQ page regarding the topic, “How We Rate Dog Food”.

  • Cecily

    Have you rated Nature’s Select Chicken Meal and Rice with Glucosamine? I have 2 Cane Corso’s, one which had OCS in his shoulder as a pup. Right now we feed Eagle Pack w/Duck and give Glucosamine supplements. I recently spoke with a vendor from Nature Select and he suggest this food. And the fact that they carry 50lb bags is really nice!

  • Eric Emminger

    just to add… the reason the body requires a small amount of Natural Vitamin K is because it helps to thin the blood just a little to prevent blood clotting, etc… and also, I recently learned through the researching of Vitamin K (natural sources) that it is also helps arthritis.

  • Eric Emminger

    Hello, I’m the Founder of a local “Pit Bull” Rescue group serving the Tampa Bay area… I have been feeding all of my own dogs and the Rescue dogs Nature’s Select Dog Food brand for sometime now… I started out feeding them the Chicken, Lamb and Rice formula except for my senior dog who I feed the Alaskan Salmon and Sweet Potato formula.

    I now, am feeding some of the more active ones the Chicken and Rice – High Protein formula (which I wish was a bit higher in protein, like upwards of 30%…) and for most of the other dogs I have been mixing two formulas 50/50, the Lamb and Rice forumula and the Chicken and Rice – High Protein formula. By mixing the two formulas 50/50 IMO, makes it a better rated food although I admit I’m not an expert in dog food but I am very well informed… I’m a dog food ingredient junkie per say Lol…

    Anyhow, I do highly recommend Nature’s Select to anybody and everybody but to keep in mind every individual dog is different and unique. I’ve never had any issues feeding Nature’s Select brand dog food and the Customer Service has ALWAYS been excellent!! Very friendly, down to earth and my local guys have been very Rescue Friendly and kind!!

    I didn’t see this mentioned so I thought I would add that in regards to the Alaskan Salmon formula they do NOT use ethoxyquin in preserving their Alaskan Salmon formula. They use they use Naturox which is an all natural free flowing antioxidant for use in the preservations of oils, fats, fat soluble vitamins, flavors, aromas, carotenoids and other oxygen-sensitive material.

    I would also like to bring up info about the Vitamin K Sources… it’s a NATURAL Source of Vitamin K (ingredients: Alfalfa Meal, Kelp) which the body requires a small amount… I bring this up because it has been questioned about on my website as Nature Select brands having “synthetic vitamin K” which is BAD… however Nature’s Select does NOT use any synthetic vitamin K whatsoever… NONE ;)

    Another dog food rating site gave the Alaskan Salmon formula a lower rating because they questioned the preservative and also it was an old review too (2007) and all of my several emails went unanswered requesting them to update the info as there has been a lot of change to it… I’m so glad I found this site. Seems to be more up-to-date and more friendly and fair :)

    Highly Recommended and the Customer Service has ALWAYS gone above and beyond… at least my local distributor serving the Tampa Bay area.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Sydney… Many red flag ingredients are only controversial. They aren’t necessarily bad. We don’t grade these foods just by the number of red flag items but by a host of other details. Please be sure to read my article, “The Problem with Dog Food Reviews” to get a better idea of how we rate the products here. Hope this helps.

  • Sydney

    Just wondering why this dog food gets a 3 star rating while other foods that has more red (indicating ingredients that one should look out for) markings get 4 stars. I recently moved my pups to this food from other well known dog food and found that they love it.

    I love the ingredients, home delivery and price…..

  • Jonathan

    I go a step further with rotation. My pup is eating 3 different foods at once, changing one food out at a time as they each run out. I have no idea if this is appropriate for many dogs or not, but Sadie loves it. One at a time like Mike is saying is probably easier on the dog. My girl is a food monster. The only thing she’s ever thrown up was a half can of Wellness core ocean that I had mixed into her kibble. But I think that was due to the larger than normal amount of wet food that I gave her that meal, plus the fact that I hadn’t given her any other fish based food before. Oh and then there was that time she swallowed a chunk of brick and it had to be surgically removed to the tune of 1300 bucks. Don’t feed your dog rocks I guess is the message there.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Debra… Rotation feeding plans represent a unique way of feeding in which a dog’s food is changed or “rotated” regularly. A number of manufacturers (and reviewers) recommend this type of feeding method. For a good understanding of a rotation diet, you may wish to read about the Nature’s Variety Rotation Diet Plan. We plan on writing an article about this beneficial feeding method in the near future. Hope this helps.

  • debra

    clarification please – what do you mean when you say “rotate” food each time we start a new bag?
    thanks much!!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Debra… If you simply avoid the low-meat Ultra Lite formula, the others are matter of taste and choice. We like to rotate Bailey’s food each time we start a new bag. That way, it’s less likely your dog will tire of a particular recipe. Hope this helps.

  • debra

    you are awesome. thank you

  • Jonathan

    lol that was suppose to be “dog” not “god”.

  • Jonathan

    Debra, most pet food stores will allow you to return a food your god won’t eat, because most food vendors “guarantee” their food to both the customer and the store. So when some one returns a bag of Blue buffalo that they claim their dog doesn’t like, I don’t sweat it, because I know Blue will give my store credit. Different story with Purina. they don’t give credit. Not for returns. not for out of date. Then again, there is no reason to try any of their products. So just buy a small bag of something and try it out. And make sure it’s appropriate for puppies. I hear people with Danes in the store all the time saying that you HAVE to feed Great Danes adult food because of the “high protein” in puppy food. And they get this info from the breeder! Mike, you care to copy and paste your nice speech you always give about overfeeding v/s protein? There are important nutrients puppies need in puppy food, so at the very lest, be sure the food is for “all life stages”.

  • debra

    i have a new 4 month old Gray Great Dane.. when we picked him up from the breeder they fed him Eagle Dog Food. He does not eat it. he nibbles on/off all day. but only eats what amounts to one bowl a day. i have heard good things about natures select. how do you go about picking which line of natures select to buy?

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Robert… As you’d expect, every dog food varies in its design (sometimes a lot and others only subtly). What’s more, each dog responds to a particular food (or ingredient) in its own unique way. So, it would be impossible for me (or anyone) to compare two or more dog foods and know which one would be the better choice for your dog.

    Since the products you mention here have been awarded favorable ratings, I don’t see how you could go wrong with either one. Unfortunately, selecting the right dog food still involves at least some trial and error. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  • Robert Cornelius

    When you compare the chicken, rice and lamb formula to a Blue buffalo chicken and brown rice formula which is better for a 1 year old active dog.

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Eleanor… Thanks for taking the time to collect and share this excellent explanation from the company. Since this review was originally posted (4/16/2010), we are planning to update it very soon. Thanks again for the tip.

  • Eleanor Moore

    Dear Mike,

    After reading your review of the Nature’s Select foods I was curious about the flax seed and contacted the owners of the company who referred me to the plant manager Scott G.

    I asked him if the flax seed was a meal or whole and he replied with this answer:
    “Our flax is batched in the formula as “Whole Grain” and immediately before extrusion the entire mix is processed through a Hammer Mill with a fine grind screen. This assures that we have the freshest ingredient possible as Flax is very stable until the oilseed is broken, then it can oxidize at a fast rate. Once extruded, the ground “full fat flax” is encapsulated inside a nugget that is protected with natural antioxidants which helps keep it stable.”

    He went on to say that their were several ways they could describe the flax seed ingredient. With their goal of whole grains in mind, they wanted the consumer to know that it was NOT a by-product of flax oil extrusion and that the good omega 3 fatty acids were in the food.

    Thanks for your great website!!!

    Eleanor Moore
    Master of Science, Animal Science
    Texas A&M University

  • roger brannen

    Hi Andrew. The ultra lite Nature’s Select is a product we generally don’t recommend unless a dog is obese. The protein, fat, and fiber levels are designed for weight reduction. In most cases of light or moderately needed weight loss, we will recommend less consumption of one of our normal adult formulas but with a more preferable protein and fat range. As a company that deals intensely with the end consumer, the range of issues that confront pets are numerous. It is our intent to put together a plan of action that we feel will most benefit the pet for whatever situation needs to be addressed. sales manager, nature’s select

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Andrew… We lowered the star rating on the Lite formula due to its apparently lower meat content. Because of a dog’s natural carnivorous bias, it’s no secret we’re not fans of low meat products. Hope this helps.

  • Andrew

    Mr. Sagman, what is it about the Ultra Lite formula that give it a two star rating?
    Very informative site. Thank you!

  • Mike Sagman

    Hi Kim… Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve added it to my To Do list. Always enjoy reviewing a grain-free product.

  • Kim Lacey

    Nature’s Select just came out with a grain free product. Would like to see a review on it when you get the time.. Thanks!

  • Rev. Col. K.D. Frazier

    I had tried SEVERAL regular grocery store brands like Kibbles and Bits, Gravey Train, Purina varities etc .. and my dog would only eat it IF I put something over it like a spoon of chili or beef stew etc …

    I saw Nature’s Select at the farmer’s market and took a sample bag home … and my dog ate every piece ..
    I ordered a 20 pound bag of the Salmon etc and he loves it … he usually waits until around 9-10 PM before he goes in and eats it ; BUT he does snack on it during the day ….

    This has been the ONLY food that he will actually eat on his own …