NutriSource Grain Free (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★★★★☆

NutriSource Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The NutriSource Grain Free product line lists six dry 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.

  • NutriSource Grain Free Seafood Select
  • NutriSource Grain Free Chicken (4.5 stars)
  • NutriSource Grain Free Lamb Meal (4.5 stars)
  • NutriSource Grain Free Heartland Select (3.5 stars)
  • NutriSource Grain Free Large Breed Chicken (3.5 stars)
  • NutriSource Grain Free Large Breed Lamb Meal (3.5 stars)

NutriSource Grain Free Seafood Select was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

NutriSource Grain Free Seafood Select

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Salmon, menhaden fish meal, peas, pea flour, pea starch, alfalfa meal, flax seeds, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), natural turkey and chicken flavor, sunflower oil, tomato pomace, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, dried brewers yeast, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, 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, glucosamine hydrochloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, Yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

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 third 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 fourth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth 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 seventh 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 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.

After the natural turkey and chicken flavor, we find sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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 five notable exceptions

First, tomato pomace is a 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 an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Next, 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.

In addition, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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.

And lastly, this recipe also includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

NutriSource Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, NutriSource Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

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 46% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 62%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, alfalfa meal, flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

NutriSource Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of fish, chicken or lamb 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

03/07/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Karen

    I feed only Nutrisource exclusively, both their dry and canned for my dogs. They are one of the better, safest, US made dog foods out there. Peace of mind is well worth it.

  • Allyson

    I love Nurtisource! My dogs have done great on it for years. All made in the USA, friendly customer service, and for the quality the price is great, plus they have a rewards program at most locations that sell it! Although I do try other lines of food in my dogs’ rotation Nutrisource always stays! Haven’t found a food better than Nutrisource for both quality and price!

  • Pana Meña

    Hello everybody!
    I recently changed my dog food for another brand because when I went to the store, it was almost empty of merchandise. So I selected a Nutro brand and everything was OK in the beginning.

    Two weeks ago I´d notice that my dog was with flatulences and in that moment I knew it was because of the food change. Nova (my dog) started to feel apathetic to the food and stopped to eat.

    I went to another pet store and found Nutrisource Grain Free Lamb Food again and bought two big packages. Nova is been eating this food for a couple of days, but I don´t feel the flatunlence it´s getting better.

  • DogFoodie

    Budget friendly is sort of a relative term. Take a look at NutriSource, Earthborn Holistic, Dr. Tim’s, Eagle Pack, Wellness, Horizon and Victor to start.

  • English Springer Mom

    I’m trying to find a good grain free dog food that is not made by the Diamond company, but that’s still budget friendly.

  • loveourbaby2018

    I am glad you gave some feedback about the pedigree, he actually does well on it. I love the pet advisor site. I admire pet parents like you guys who have been doing this for years I still have so much to learn and I am sure as he ages so will his particular needs and appetite.
    I did try some of the higher priced foods listed as supposedly great for dogs, as mentioned earlier, it made him sick when he was a baby. I thought he had something maybe and then after switching to pedigree puppy, he got better very quickly and was a normal heatlhy puppy. I am very happy with Nutrisource and Pedigre. He loves them both too.

    I understand the corn thing (Pedigree), but reliable documented medical sources from what I have read, suggest that certain types of meat protein (even if only the 2nd or 3rd ingredient) even if they are only meal ect are not always bad for dogs, if they are getting enough or other sources of protein in their diet. For him a very high protein diet creates constipation, the pedigree keeps him regular. The dog food combo I use (Nutrisource/ Pedigree) makes his pee healthy yellow, great flow and his poo is excellant. His breath is excellant too, and his teeth are perfect (i brush them twice a week w/dog tooth paste).
    I also don’t asume just because it costs more and has a great looking bag with pretty pics that means a dog food is safe or good. Some of the very high priced dog foods have not too long ago had recalls.

    Pedigree has been around for years and recall you mentioned was quite brief on a particular adult formula. To my knowledge Pedigree dry dog food has had fewer recalls than even some of the particular big names and high priced ones, especially when we adopted him.

    I will certainly look up those you mentioned when I get a chance (always willing to learn & that how I learned about Nutrisource), but my baby has a sensitive tummy and his diet is already working for him very well now. I can’t see changing something that seems to be working for him and he really seems to enjoy his menu.

  • Crazy4dogs

    That’s awesome that you adopted a mixed breed dog! I just love when people do! :)
    Nutrisource is a good food, but I’m curious why you would add Pedigree to the mix? It’s a terrible food that has wonderful heartwarming shelter dog commercials to endorse it’s really bad food. I would encourage you to find a well rated food They don’t have to be 5 star on this site, but Pedigree is a 1 star food and has had recent recalls). If budget is a concern, there are many foods that are priced the same as or similar to Pedigree. Victor, Whole Earth Farms and Propac Ultimates are among them. Good luck with your pup!

  • loveourbaby2018

    Post script: to clarify we like the nutrisource and combine a diet with pedigree, not sure of the stars listed for either, I don’t really pay attention to the stars (got them wrong am sure) or personal ratings but use my own discretion, compare his health report from his regular vet care (very lucky there too, his vet is terrific) and he seems to be doing good.
    It took time to find the right combination of food for him, I am so glad too that the nice person who told me about nutrisource shared that, because when we adopted him, it was when all the crazy recalls seemed to be happening at once to even some of the foods you may even see at a few of the vet clinics(not his docs office though). We will stick with this menu and find for his unique and special needs (sensitive tummy, breed inclined to have hipdysplasia ect), will hopefully have our baby dog for a years to come. So lucky to have found him, fell for him at first site and he always makes us smile, and glad for dog food advisor, this is how I decided upon his diet combination and chose his food.

  • loveourbaby2018

    I like Nutrisource also, very happy with it. Our mixed breed dog does very well on it and when we first adopted him we tried several of the very expensive higly acclaimed foods that supposedly were supposed to beat most all. My d.h. bought a large bag for like 50 or 60 bucks because it was the food he had been fed from day one after being weened from his mother. Well, it made his tummy ache and his stools loose. I went ahead and bought some other food from the store (pedigree) and his loose stools, tummy ache went away. Someone i ran into when shopping recommended nutrisource as their breed are one of the ones that has sensitive digestive systems and is a breed known for not being able to take certain heart worm preventives, they said their dog does great on it and has had it in puppy formula when a pup.
    I tried it and like it very much. He does fine and I have never found any issues with it ever. I have bought small and large bags, grain-free and with grain/ chicken and lamb. He loves it and he is healthy and does very well on it. Now I do mix it with another dog food pedigree (that we buy at the grocery store, which now has formulas for hip dysplasia prevention w/ glucomine in it) that is 3 or 4 stars on it because he does well on both combined, but I also feed him Nutrisource by itself. For us, it is easier to combine them as it reduces the cost but not the quality.
    I feel it is very important with all the questionable dog foods and sporadic recalls, as pet parents when we find a reliable source of dog food our dogs thrive on, it is good to share. For the record, I am a very responsible pet parent, read dog parent bks written by vets, vet mags for pet parents and have pet insurance even in case he ever needs it when he is older. He is like our baby, he is our family. I have never found any fault with nutrisource ever (nor have I ever found anything in it other than normal dog food kibble), and I have paid some high costs for some of the 5 star listed, and didn’t like thier greasy feel nor how he did on them. Also very glad I finally found the right combo for him, and he seems to be doing very well, a beautiful healthy and happy little fellow.

  • Zach

    I have been using Nutrisource Grain-free Seafood Select and also the Grain-free Chicken since Zach was born. I recently switched over to Taste of Wild and he suffers from constipation now. He has been on TOW for two weeks now. I am going back to Nutrisource. Zach has a beautiful shiny coat which is due to the Nutrisource. Also when he was on Nutrisource his turds were perfect! Nutrisource ROCKS!

  • Bobby dog

    My dog is just finishing up a bag of Heartland Select. He enjoyed eating each meal, licks his bowl clean, and only needs the least amount of food for his weight. I bought a medium sized bag so he has been eating this for about two months; his fur is shiny and soft with no shedding. If you are looking for a GF kibble I recommend you give this recipe a try. Bobby gives it two paws up.

  • Highlander German Shepherds

    My puppies and older dogs do excellent on the Heartland grain free formula. We use the Performance formula for the young to middle age adults. We couldn’t be happier with Nutri Source.
    Highlander German Shepherds

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    So happy that you found a good food that works for your dog!

  • Michelle Marchese

    He was eating Gravy Train. I know that many people think that grocery store brands are not a good food for dogs but my dog has been eating it for several years and was doing fine on it.he developed his skin problems almost overnight. One day he was fine the next day he started the itching and progressing to the hair loss and other symptoms. He is five and until now I have always fed grocery store brands with no problems. I will continue to feed the nutriSource because this is what is working well for him. There will be no going back to the inexpensive brands. I will say that the only thing that I find fault with the food is that there are limited retailers that carry it. I’m lucky that in a metro area that I live in I do have more retailers than people that live in rural areas.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I’m so glad your dog’s skin problems went away! What was he eating before?

  • Michelle Marchese

    I started my associated with a yeast infection dog on nutriSource grain free seafood Selects 14 days ago. He was having major skin issues as well as hair loss itching and awful smell associated with topical yeast infections dispose several trips to the groomers for medicated baths. As of today we have had a complete turnaround. His coat looks great his tail has started to bush out where it had had so much hair loss before. The smell is gone and he looks better because he feels a hundred percent better. The only difference between now and 14 days ago is the fact that I switched him to NutriSource Seafood Selects. I did not mix foods as I switched him cold turkey and had no side effects. He loves the taste of the food and is literally sitting next to his bowl first thing in the morning before I get my coffee and he lets me know when it’s time for dinner in the evenings.

  • Miriam Lawless

    I give them half a scoop dry and two tablespoons can food when I feed them.

  • stephspov

    try Halo

  • Debbie Larsen

    try whole earth farms by merrick decent price, my wolf loves where will not eat this junk

  • melanie clark

    try fromm. they have from gold and they have grain free. both are excellent foods

  • Miriam Lawless

    We switched out schnaure age 3 yr; and 6 months old puppy king charles caviepoo to the to the nutra source chicken and I noticed only one difference. It is not a bother but they both poop about 3 times a day.It does not stink and the puppy’s bowels have firmed up a lot. I love this food and hope it stays on the market.

  • Aliciask

    My dogs just wont eat this. It sits it their bowls for days until they get truly hungry. I wish I could find a quality food that they seemed to enjoy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Try contacting the company and asking if there has been a change in the formula.
    When something like this happens over the summer, one of the first things I think of is did the dog overheat, because overheating can kill of intestinal bacteria that were helping the dog digest food. But this isn’t summer. Still, digestive enzymes and probiotic might help. Or it might be time for a food change, a year is a long time to eat one food.

  • Betsy Greer

    What variety are they eating? How long have they been eating it and what we’re they eating previously?

    I have a pup that can’t have chickpeas or lentils because they make him very gassy. You could try adding digestive enzymes and probiotics to see if that helps.

  • Erica

    Two of my three dogs are on Nutrisource and they both have terrible gas. They don’t seem to be in distress or anything and they’ve been on it for over a year. I would have to say the flatulence started in the last month. My other dog is on Urinary SO food and has no problems with it. What could it be? The gassy two are 8 and 2.5 years old and healthy.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Oh, at his age it may also be a teething issue, but if you think he isn’t eating enough and it’s a food issue, I wouldn’t hesitate to switch foods.

  • butchroy

    Can you keep him on the puppy? I remember HDM saying once or twice, that there is no problem with feeding your dog the puppy food of a brand always because it has the higher amount of protein. Maybe your guy can tell he is getting less protein and it is not as appetizing to him. Just a thought, and you might like to try raw! My Butch, pitbull rescue, eats Darwins for breakfast and Nutrisouce puppy for supper. I do rotate my dry food, so he also can get Nature’s Logic or Nature’s Variety etc. for supper. Supper is the kibble, breakfast is the raw. Look up Darwin’s, it is delivered frozen right to your door and if you buy in large quantities it is even cheaper. I LOVE it! So does Butch.

  • Kris

    At 4 months old and a large breed I think he can handle what I give him . In the morning we feed him one and a half cups and in the evening the same. Its just weird cause he went from eating the bison nutrisource so good (nothing left in the bowl) to not hardly eating the chicken large breed nutrisource food. Its not like him to leave food behind he’s a mastiff for god sakes lol.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Have you compared the number of calories in the food to the old food? He may be one of those rare dogs that only eats what they need.

  • Kris

    Hi i have 4 month Italian Cane Corso and switched him over to large breed dry dog food nutrisource. I was feeding him nutrisource puppy dry dog food l. Its only been a few days now and his eating habits have changed considerably when I made the switch. He won’t eat his normal serving with the new nutrisource food. I’m just wondering if it takes some time for his digestive system To get use to the new food? The new dog food kibblets are big then the last so I don’t know if he has a hard time swallowing the food and this is the reason he does not finish all his food when given to him. Any info on this issue would help thanks.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    The NutriSource foods are fairly calorie-dense – especially the Super Performance formula. Have you asked your vet if she’s underweight? And if she is, have you ruled out causes such as parasites? You don’t want to make her grow too quickly but if she is indeed underweight a more calorie-dense food may help. You could also try feeding her smaller more frequent meals. Sometimes puppies can’t eat enough in one (or even two) sittings to consume enough calories when they’re very young so they need to be either free fed or offered frequent meals throughout the day.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    There are many brands of ready made raw foods. You can find most here: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/raw/

    Pre-made raw foods are, however, very expensive. If you wanted to go the raw route learning to make a homemade balanced diet would be the cheapest way to go (either get in contact with a knowledgeable vet or invest in a book containing balanced recipes such as “Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet”). I have two large bloodhounds and most pre-made raw foods I’ve priced would cost me anywhere from $600 – $1,000 to feed per month. I feed homemade (I buy everything in bulk for a discount) and it costs me under $200 a month.

  • Maria

    Is this food food for Bulldogs? I have a French bulldog she is 4 months old, and she’s thin, I would like for her to gain some weight, so she could look stocky like she suppose to look. I’m currently feeding her Verus puppy formula. Do anybody knows a good food that could help my dog gain some weight? Thanks!

  • Maria

    Do they sell raw food for dogs, already prepared? If so, is it expensive?

  • Pingback: Product Review: NutriSource Grain-Free Dog Food | Big Dog Little Dog Blog()

  • smithac3

    Wow. Did not know this. Is it ok if I just add a little cottage cheese to it, like a teaspoon? He is so picky and seems to do better on grain free and chicken free but likes it with the cottage cheese. I give 2%. Thanks for the advice.

  • ケイテイ

    My dogs were on this food for several months(heartland) but sadly with the number and size of dogs we have, vs the bag size, and the new price change, I can no longer afford to buy it. Which is a shame. It was a really good food. Had to switch back to Nature’s Domain.

  • Susan

    Well our great transition to Nutrisource GF lamb meal went south. Opened a new bag and back to biting, scratching, stinky, and will not eat. Guess I’ll add fish meal to the no, no, list. New bag has little white flecks on each piece.
    Soo frustrating!

  • Storm’s Mom

    “Transition” is the process of switching your dog from from one food to another. Normally, you would mix in, say, 25% of the new food with 75% of the dog’s regular food, feed that until stools are normal, etc and then increase the % of new food in the mix until you are feeding 100% of the new food. Usually adding in digestive enzymes and probiotics while you are switching foods helps the transition go smoother (less likelihood of stomach upset/runny stools).

    “Rotation” is the practice of regularly changing the food you feed your dog. In my case, I change to a different brand and protein source every bag. One bag will be a fish-based kibble, the next a lamb one, etc. Others do it more frequently than that, some do it less frequently than that.

    So, “rotation” is how some people feed their dogs, and “transition” is how it’s done/how you get there. Hope that helps?!

  • shelly

    Comments refer to the word “transition” and the word “rotation” when writing about changing foods to better benefit the dog. What is the difference?

  • Storm’s Mom

    Glad Milo’s doing so well on Nutrisource! The only thing that concerns me about what you wrote is that you’re wetting it.. When you try the Lamb, please don’t add water to it because it has citric acid. Citric acid can be a precursor to bloat, and while more of a concern with larger breeds and ones predisposed to bloat, I still wouldn’t wet a kibble with citric acid just incase. The Chicken formula doesn’t list citric acid (just mixed tocopherols), so you should be fine to wet it..but I would also try not wetting it and see how it goes over.

  • smithac3

    Okay. I know I said I’d wait a month, but 18 days is close enough. Once Milo was eating this I cut the cottage cheese out and just started wetting it with warm water. He eats it 3 times a day no issues. I just make sure never to give table scraps to him. I do give him healthy doggy bones after he’s eaten his food though. He’s doing great on this. It’s a great price at the local pet store. $13 for 5lb bag. They also carry a grain free lamb, after my second bag I will rotate it since I obtained a sample bag of the Lamb and Milo likes that as well. Now another great part, aside from it being healthy and the dog eating it, Milo does not smell. I haven’t bathed him in 2 weeks and no dog smell. Usually the family would complain just after a few days of bathing him. This food is worth a try if your looking for grain free, healthy kibble, for picky eaters.

  • Kevan

    I have been using Nutrisource Large Breed Chicken; however although bullet points printed on the bag state that the source of Omega 3 is fish meal, the ingredients section not only do not list fish meal, no other source of Omega 3 is listed

  • smithac3

    I’m going to make 2 comments, one now and the other in a month. I just bought a bag of the Chicken grain free. I am thrilled my 5 month old Shih tzu, Milo, loves it! He gobbled every piece. He likes a little cottage cheese in with it. I put like half a teaspoon and mix it up. He ate every bit and licked the bowl. Here’s crossing my fingers that this food really works for him. He is back at his bowl right now searching for more. Love it! :)

  • http://enria.org/ Storm’s Mom

    NutriSource is a great food at a great price! It’s a regular part of my rotation, and Storm does really well on it. Generally, NutriSource is a brand that a lot of dogs seem to do well on. I would stick with the Grain-Free Lamb Meal and/or Grain-Free Chicken Meal ones, though.. the others are too low in protein. Better yet, supplement those 2 with canned toppers for even higher protein!

    The thing is, though, that you don’t HAVE to choose.. why not feed each of them (and others!) in rotation? I feed a different food every bag, making sure to change the protein and, preferably, the main carb source, each time. This helps to prevent the build-up of any single ingredient in the system, which could result in an intolerance.

    I would also strongly recommend getting some probiotics and digestive enzymes to feed especially during the transitions, but also generally to help build up a healthy gut, which will allow you to change foods without notice or stomach upset. Canned pure pumpkin (not the pie filling stuff with spices) works wonders during a transition, too.

    Hope that helps!

  • James

    I am currently feeding my 30lb 6-month old Australian Shepherd TOTW Salmon Puppy Formula. She is doing awesome on it, but I wanted to try a new food. I am currently deciding between NutriSource Grain-Free Lamb meal, Acana Grain-Free Chicken & Burbank Potato (because it is most affordable, and as a college student, price plays an important role for me), and possibly keeping her on TOTW, just switching meat formulas. Is NutriSource a good, quality food despite the lower meat content? She is a very active puppy, but has a bit of a sensitive stomach at times. Any feedback would be great!

  • Kana Alohilani Boston

    Try for Nutrisource Seafood one or add Fish Oil to what you are feeding your dog right now. My dogs had same crazy shedding problems but started to feed them fish, it stopped.

  • Susan

    My small dogs were on BB for a fews years and suddenly started itching, biting and refused to eat. I figured out formula change could have been the cause. After 2 trips to the vet, fish oil, round of meds, and after 9 months of trying different kibble dog foods always same results, if not worse, I tried Nutrisource GF lamb meal, and what a change. All skin issues are gone. Grain free and no chicken from now on. Thanks for this website!

  • myfourmutts

    At the suggestion of a friend who feeds this to all the dogs at her rescue, we started feeding our four “terrorists” the grain-free lamb. They’re loving it! I’ve never seen them so excited to eat a bowl of food. We’ve tried TOTW, 4Health Grain-Free, BB Wilderness, and Merrick GF as well, but this is their favorite…paws down! I will be recommending this food to all my friends.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Try Nutrisource’s Grain Free Lamb Meal. It’s got chicken fat, but normally dogs that have chicken allergies/intolerances don’t react to chicken fat (mine’s allergic to chicken and he’s fine with chicken fat). Like ollie, I suspect that your dog is allergic/intolerant to chicken. 3 years is a LONG time for a dog to be on the same food …and that’s generally how intolerances happen, when a dog has been on the same food for a long time… so I would suggest changing your dog’s food after every bag from this point onwards. A different protein every bag is how I do it.

  • ollie

    she could be allergic to the chicken now many dogs are . I would say just try another flavor in grain free or a different flavor in regular and see if it works just switch gradually so she doesn’t have stomach issues. good luck

  • Nicole….English Mastiff

    Hi everyone, I am the owner of a 5 year old female English Mastiff. She has been on NutriSource large breed chicken formula for the past three years. Prior to that I always fed her Eagle Pack. After a few she began to have small patches of hair missing here and there and the vet could not find anything wrongbut stated that it happens to some dog but will normally grow back. I wasnt happy with that answer to I researched her food and found that it had a new manufacturer. Dont know if this had anything to do with it however I switched her to nutrisource and within a month or so her hair grew back. Now that she has been on the same she is now having allergy issue. She has flaky and itchy skin. She is on medication however I just thought about the possibility of needing to change her dog food again. Do you think I should now try the grainfree?

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com/ Mike Sagman

    Hi Storm’s Mom,

    Oops! Sandy and I just updated this review today and we entered the incorrect product number in our database. It should be fixed now. If it’s not, it should be within the next 30 minutes as our content delivery network refreshes its edge servers.

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Storm’s Mom

    Hi Dr Mike, just noticed that the formula mentioned in the yellow box iabove s a Nature’s Variety one, not NutriSource. The write up is about NutriSource GF Heartland Select, though, which is what used to be in the yellow box.

  • Pattyvaughn

    My picky eater loved it too. I’ve found that he does really well if I rotate foods. It keeps his interest so well that I don’t even think of him as picky anymore. Plus it has the added benefits of keeping the probiotics in the gut more diversified, which gives a huge boost to the immune system.

  • JULIEinDSM

    My picky eater LOVED this Bison flavor! I felt great feeding it to him! He’s since past, and now with my new dog, I will be feeding her the same!!!

  • Pattyvaughn

    They haven’t been able to prove anything connecting citric acid to bloat scientifically, but then they haven’t been able to connect anything else to bloat either. If you have a dog that has already bloated once, you do absolutely everything you can to avoid it happening again.

  • Storm’s Mom

    It is thought that adding water to foods with citric acid increases the risk of bloat exponentially.

  • somebodysme

    Why would adding water to citric acid be a concern? I’d like to try this food but I always soak one meal in water because she doesn’t seem to drink enough water.

  • Storm’s Mom

    Every kibble has some concerns attached to it, so, you’re setting yourself up for disaster if you go around looking/asking for concerns, etc..especially before you try it and see how your dog does on it. This is also why rotating brands is such a great idea!! You can feed some foods with “concerning” ingredients because you aren’t feeding them for very long. Having said that, Nutrisource is firmly in my rotation – the Grain Free Lamb Meal formula is (the others either have chicken or are too low in protein for my liking) – and my guy does great on it!!! I’m a big fan of the company as well – family owned, they make their own kibble in their own plant, and have never had a recall. The GF Lamb Meal does have some possibly “concerning” ingredients (citric acid being the foremost one, I would say), but because it’s the only food he gets with most of the potentially problematic ones, I’m very comfortable feeding it in my rotation…especially because the upside of this food is greater than these minor downsides. Hope this helps!!

  • Susan

    Our feed store gave us a sample of this food several months ago and I noticed there was a lot of pea protein in the 1st 5 ingredients. So I never bought a bag, have only let them sample it. Now after reading this website about all the different foods and the problems with potato as an ingredient, pea protein doesn’t sound so bad. I am seriously considering switching my dogs from TOTW to this as soon as possible. In the meantime, is there anything I should know about this food that is of concern?

  • Storm’s Mom

    That’s awesome!! So glad you found something that works so well for your girl!!! NutriSource is one of my favourites …my guys LOVES the Grain Free Lamb Meal, and he does fantastically on it! I’ve always said it’s a bit of a “hidden gem” – great food at a great price!!!

  • Scott

    Thank you MR. Dog Food Advisor for your wonderful analysis on dog food. It has really helped me to decide on which foods to feed my 1.5 year old Amstaff. After trying several high end brands which she would hardly touch and also developed serious skin allergies too, the fine people at our local Petfood store insisted I try Nutrisource Grain Free. I wish I would have listened to them the other times they suggested I try it, but I had never heard of the company. I came on this site and read the analysis on Nutrisource Grain free and thought I’d give it a shot. Wouldn’t you know, within seconds of putting the food in her bowl, she scarfed it down and then licked the bowl after the food was all gone. Everytime we walk into the kitchen she comes and sits next to her food bowl waiting for more. After about a month on this food, she has gained weight and her coat, eyes and energy levels are amazing. She also hasn’t had one loose stool and the vet is very impressed at how well she looks. After doing some research, I found out that Nutrisource is made by a family owned business called “Tuffy’s” in Perham, MN. I work about 20 miles away and stopped by for a visit one day. I can honestly say…it is a family owned and run business and I was amazed about how much R&D and care for pets went into their product. Long and short…I would highly recommend this product. Thank you!!

  • BullieMom

    I recently started feeding my Bulldog this food, after establishing she had a grain allergy. I tried MANY different foods and this is the one I ended with. She likes it, her coat is beautiful, allergy skin issues are cleared up (she has never had a yeast issue…woohoo!) and it has a lower protein content than most other grain free foods. It is also at a reasonable price point, I had found a few other foods that looked good but they were very expensive. If Nutrisource hadn’t have worked for her, I would have tried the more expensive but I didn’t have to!

  • Cyndi

    Awww, that’s awesome about your pup! It’s always a great boost to get compliments like that about your dogs. My vet complimented my Bailey last time we were there, but then didn’t say a whole lot when she found out what I fed her, lol! They just don’t get it.

    Great to hear about your dog’s fatty lumps shrinking too! I really wish I would have found out how bad kibble was and how great raw feeding is when I had my doberman. He probably would have lived longer and he had alot of those big fatty lumps. One on his side was about the size of a softball. Didn’t bother him much, but sure wasn’t pretty to see.

  • beaglemom

    lol, seriously… my dogs definitely eat better than I do. At my boy’s last checkup they mistook his age for 10 months instead of 10 years based on how he looks and acts (loved it!) and I said it was because he eats way better than I do. The tech joked back “oh isn’t that always the case!”… I didn’t respond, but I wanted to say “I wish!”… this from someone at a clinic that pushes science diet?

    anyway, I just went to our local farmers market last weekend and was so excited because there was a local farm selling local beef that was locally slaughtered for LESS than the price of the conventional beef at the grocery store. Score! :) My husband has a little trouble sometimes with how much better the dogs eat than us, lol, and I assured him we’d *all* be benefiting from the local resources I’m stumbling upon in my research. I love local meats/produce.

    About raw — I love hearing stories like yours and Brandon’s! Mine still only eat 50% raw but I was petting my male last night (who we got at 9 and is now 10) and happily noticed that the 3 fatty lumps he came to me with are actually shrinking. Yay! Quality diet/raw really works wonders…. it’s made a believer out of my husband for sure. I’m really looking forward to getting them on all raw/home-made once I get through my current stash of dog food. It’s so awesome to watch them rebound after going from the garbage (all kibble) to what they SHOULD be eating!

  • Brandon Palmer

    Thanks Cyndi. Glad it’s working for your dog too. It’s more work and
    cost can be an issue for some, but it is definitely what dogs and cats
    should be eating. Now if more people did this for themselves we’d eliminate a ton of cancer, allergies, autoimmune issues and much more!

  • Cyndi

    Good for you! I too just switched my dog to a raw diet almost 3 months ago. Best thing I ever did! It truly is the BEST food for dogs! I just need to work on my own diet now, lol!

    Why someone “down-voted” your comment I’ll never know!

  • Brandon Palmer

    Our dog has a similar story to yours. Research a raw food diet for pets. I can’t stress this enough if you want your pet to be healthy. Find a holistic vet that knows and promotes raw food. It is what the animals are supposed to eat. Cooked kibble no matter how “good and healthy” it is advertised, is still cooked and full of fillers and carbs with little nutrition and not the right balance of fats and proteins. I have watched our dog improve dramatically in only 2 weeks on a raw food diet of ground turkey with bones, veggies and organ meats all ground together.

    I have never seen my dog get excited about his bowl of kibble but when I start preparing his raw food he can’t wait to eat it, and it’s gone in a minute! Read
    Pottenger’s Cats: A Study in Nutrition or Dr. Khalsa’s Natural Dog: A Holistic Guide for Healthier Dogs. It’s the way our pets are supposed to eat, just like we are supposed to eat real food and not processed GMO carb junk. That’s why we have so many allergies and food intolerance’s. Hope this helps you!

  • Brandon Palmer

    Research raw food for pets. The cooked kibble is terrible for animals, that’s why they have to add all sorts of synthetic vitamins and minerals. We switched our dog to a raw diet and we can’t believe the change. No more dry skin, lump in his throat is which we were worried was cancer is shrinking and his poops don’t stink to high heaven anymore.