Nutrience Original Dog Food receives the Advisor’s above-average rating of 3.5 stars.
The Nutrience Original product line includes eight dry dog foods, three designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and five for adult maintenance.
- Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed
- Nutrience Original Puppy Large/Giant Breed
- Nutrience Original Adult Small Breed (4 stars)
- Nutrience Original Puppy Small Breed (4 stars)
- Nutrience Original Puppy Medium Breed (4 stars)
- Nutrience Original Adult Large/Giant Breed (3 stars)
- Nutrience Original Older/Light Large/Giant Breed (3 stars)
- Nutrience Original Older/Light Small/Medium Breed (3 stars)
Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Nutrience Original Adult Medium Breed
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground corn, oat groats, brown rice, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), dried beet pulp (sugar removed), natural chicken flavour, dried tomato pomace (natural source of lycopene), yeast culture, flaxseed (natural source of omega-3 fatty acids), salt, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, calcium propionate, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract, blueberries, cranberries, dl-methionine, l-lysine, fructo-oligosaccharides, yeast extract, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, sodium selenite, zinc proteinate, calcium ascorbate (vitamin C), iron proteinate, manganous oxide, niacin (vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, vitamin A acetate, inositol (vitamin B8), biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), copper proteinate, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid (vitamin B9)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||26%||14%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||31%||46%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient lists corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.
The third ingredient includes oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
The fourth item 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 fifth ingredient lists 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 sixth item 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 chicken flavor, we find tomato pomace. This is another controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.
Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content… while others scorn it as a cheap pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.
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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, this recipe contains this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
Next, yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.
A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.
However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.
That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago2, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.
So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.
In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.
And lastly, this food also 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.
Nutrience Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutrience Dog Food appears to be an average kibble.
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 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.
Nutrience is a grain-based dry dog food using a below-average amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note some products have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/27/2010 Original review
02/13/2011 Review updated (new formulas)
11/11/2012 Last Update