Nulo Medal Series Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Nulo Medal Series product line includes six dry dog foods, five claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for growth (Puppy).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nulo Medal Series Adult Lamb and Lentils
- Nulo Medal Series Adult Chicken and Peas
- Nulo Medal Series Large Breed Turkey and Peas
- Nulo Medal Series Adult Salmon and Sweet Potato
- Nulo Medal Series Puppy Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Nulo Medal Series Senior Chicken and Lentils (4.5 stars)
Nulo Medal Series Adult Lamb and Lentils was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nulo Medal Series Adult Lamb and Lentils
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, whole peas, sweet potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), lentils, menhaden fish meal, pea fiber, natural lamb flavor, yeast culture, dried chicory root, potassium chloride, dried apples, dried blueberries, dried carrots, dried tomatoes, calcium carbonate, salmon oil, salt, sweet fennel, dandelion, marigold flowers, chamomile, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), iron proteinate, niacin, copper proteinate, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), sodium selenite, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||19%||38%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||39%||32%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth 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 meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The ninth ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.
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, 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.
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.
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.
Nulo Medal Series Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nulo Medal Series 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and lentils, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Nulo Medal Series is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of chicken or turkey meals 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.
Nulo Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
10/10/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩