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NutriSource Dog Food Review (Dry)

NutriSource Dog Food Review

Is NutriSource a good dog food?

In this review… The Dog Food Advisor an in-depth look at NutriSource Dog Food and rates each of its most popular sub-brands.

We’ll also answer 3 important questions:

  1. Is NutriSource made in the United States?
  2. Has NutriSource been recalled?
  3. Which flavors and recipes get our top ratings?

But first…

Which NutriSource sub-brand is best for your dog?

Here are NutriSource’s most popular sub-brands. In this section, we’ll share what makes each different. So, you can pick the type that best meets your dog’s needs.

NutriSource Dry Dog Food

NutriSource Dry Dog Food

Rating:

NutriSouce’s original dry kibble. Each recipe is made with grain and generous amounts of animal protein, derived from both fresh meat and named meat meals.

  • No BHA, BHT or other high-risk preservatives
  • Healthy grain-inclusive formula
  • 16 recipes (ratings vary)

View All Recipe Ratings

NutriSource Grain Free Dry Dog Food

NutriSource Grain-Free

Rating:

This NutriSource sub-brand is recommended for those who prefer a fully-balanced, grain-free dry option.

  • Contains no corn, wheat or rice
  • Offers top-rated puppy and adult options
  • 17 recipes (ratings vary)

View All Recipe Ratings

NutriSource Grain Free Wet Dog Food

NutriSource Grain Free Wet

Rating:

This NutriSource sub-brand includes the company’s best-selling, grain-free wet recipes.

  • Fully balanced, protein-rich blend
  • Contains no corn, rice, wheat, or barley
  • 9 recipes (ratings vary)

View All Recipe Ratings

NutriSource PureVita Dry Dog Food

NutriSource PureVita Dry

Rating:

PureVita is NutriSource’s limited ingredient diet. The grain-inclusive dry formula is a good choice for dog’s with possible food sensitivities.

  • Balanced omega-3 and omega-6 fat ratio for healthy skin and coat
  • Simple recipe design for gentle digestion
  • 4 recipes (ratings vary)

View All Recipe Ratings

Who makes NutriSource and where is it made?

All NutriSource dog foods are produced in the United States. All the brand’s dry recipes are manufactured at its family-owned company facilities in Perham, Minnesota.

The company claims all its wet foods are made within the U.S.A. However, it does not reveal the name of the manufacturer.

Has NutriSource Dog Food been recalled?

The following list includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to NutriSource products.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.


Review of NutriSource Dry Dog Food

NutriSource Dry Dog Food

Rating:

NutriSource Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The NutriSource Dog Food product line includes 16 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
NutriSource Adult Chicken and Rice 5 A
NutriSource Senior Chicken and Rice 5 M
NutriSource Super Performance 5 A
NutriSource Lamb Meal and Rice 3.5 A
NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Rice 5 A
NutriSource Performance Chicken and Rice 5 A
NutriSource Small and Medium Breed Puppy 5 A
NutriSource Large Breed Chicken and Rice 4 A
NutriSource Weight Management 5 M
NutriSource Large Breed Lamb Meal and Rice 4 A
NutriSource Beef and Rice 3.5 A
NutriSource Trout and Rice 4.5 A
NutriSource Small Bites Adult 5 A
NutriSource Large Breed Beef and Rice 3.5 A
NutriSource Large Breed Trout and Rice 3.5 A
NutriSource Turkey and Rice 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

NutriSource Large Breed Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


NutriSource Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, natural turkey and chicken flavor, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid), dried plain beet pulp, flax seeds, menhaden fish meal (a source of fish oil), potassium chloride, brewers dried yeast, salt, dl methionine, choline chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate), selenium yeast, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lactic acid, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Yucca schidigera extract, taurine, l-carnitine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis23%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%16%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%33%45%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third 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 next ingredient 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 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.

After the turkey and chicken flavor, we find 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 eighth 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.

The ninth 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 tenth ingredient is menhaden 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

NutriSource Large Breed Puppy 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 NutriSource product.

With 6 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 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.

NutriSource Grain Free Small Bites Recipe

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

Next, this food contains dried fermentation products. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, we find taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, NutriSource Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.

Above-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 flaxseeds and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of NutriSource Dog Food

NutriSource Dry is a grain-inclusive kibble using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars. The grain-free sub-brand gets 4.5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.


What Do Others Say About NutriSource?

At the time of this update…

Amazon customers rate NutriSource Adult Chicken and Rice 4.8 out of 5 stars… and appear to be willing to recommend the recipe to others.

Here’s an actual user review

Sample buyer review… “Our dogs are thriving on this food. They’ve eaten it since they were puppies. I have tried a couple of other brands a few times, but always return to this one as I trust it and my dogs are all quite healthy and happy with it.”

Read more buyer reviews at Amazon.com



Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions we get about feeding NutriSource Dog Food:


How to switch to NutriSource dog food… without making your dog sick

In this video

Dr. Gary Richter shares a simple feeding tip that can help reduce your dog’s risk of getting sick when you switch to NutriSource or any other new food.


Is NutriSource dog food good for seniors?

NutriSource offers 3 senior foods designed specifically for older dogs. One grain-inclusive dry senior formula, one grain-free dry recipe and one canned recipe. All 3 recipes meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for adult maintenance. Each dry recipe contains fewer than 400 calories per cup. Which makes each a healthy option for older dogs. View The Advisor’s best senior dog foods here.


Is NutriSource Dog Food good for puppies?

NutriSource markets 6 puppy formulas, 2 of which are specifically designed for large breeds. And a number of other all life stages products… that are also considered safe for puppies. The brand also offers products that are labeled “adult maintenance”. These should not be fed to puppies. View The Dog Food Advisor’s best puppy foods here.


Is NutriSource considered a healthy dog food?

Every NutriSource recipe meets 100% of the nutrient requirements published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Each is considered complete and balanced for the specific life stage indicated on the package… based on standards published by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science.


More NutriSource Dog Food Reviews

Here are more NutriSource reviews published by The Dog Food Advisor on this website.



A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor is privately owned. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

02/08/2022 Last Update

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