Northwest Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Northwest Naturals product line includes six frozen raw dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review. The products are available in both Dinner Bars and Nuggets — with a few selections in chubs.
- Northwest Naturals Turkey
- Northwest Naturals Chicken
- Northwest Naturals Beef (4 stars)
- Northwest Naturals Lamb (4.5 stars)
- Northwest Naturals Chicken and Salmon
- Northwest Naturals Bison and Beef (4.5 stars)
Northwest Naturals Chicken Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Northwest Naturals Chicken Formula
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, ground chicken bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, cantaloupe, carrots, broccoli, romaine lettuce, egg, ground flaxseed, salmon oil, apple cider vinegar, blueberry, cranberry, inulin, dried kelp, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, ginger, parsley, garlic, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, mixed tocopherols (as preservative), vitamin D supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.1%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||43%||36%||13%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||61%||9%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is ground chicken bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The third ingredient includes chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is chicken gizzard. The gizzard is a low-fat, meaty organ found in the digestive tract of birds and assists in grinding up a consumed food. This item is considered a canine dietary delicacy.
Next is a series of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables…
- Romaine lettuce
The ninth ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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.
The next ingredient is 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 three notable exceptions…
First, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
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.
Raw Frozen Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Northwest Naturals 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 47% and a mean fat level of 33%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 71%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a significant amount of meat.
However, with 61% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 30% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Northwest Naturals is a meat-based raw dog food using a generous amount of various species 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.
Northwest Naturals Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
02/04/2016 Last Update