Nutro Hearty Stews (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Nutro Hearty Stews Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Nutro Hearty Stews product line includes 5 canned dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Nutro Hearty Stews Grandma’s Farm Stew Senior [M]
  • Nutro Hearty Stews Grandpa’s Country Stew Senior [M]
  • Nutro Hearty Stews Healthy Chicken and Rice Stew [M]
  • Nutro Hearty Stews Meaty Lamb and Rice Stew (4 stars) [M]
  • Nutro Hearth Stews Chunky Chicken and Turkey Stew (4 stars) [M]

Nutro Hearty Stews Healthy Chicken and Rice Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nutro Hearty Stews Healthy Chicken and Rice Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 39% | Fat = 14% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken liver, chicken (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), beef liver, rice bran, wheat gluten, potato starch, ground rice, whole rice, dried egg product, salt, calcium carbonate, guar gum, sodium phosphate, natural flavors, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potassium chloride, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, tricalcium phosphate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, choline chloride, sodium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), zinc oxide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), biotin, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis7%3%NA
Dry Matter Basis39%14%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%30%35%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 30% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient 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 fourth ingredient is beef liver, another quality raw item.

The fifth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.

The sixth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although wheat gluten contains 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.

The eighth ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

The ninth ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

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 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.

Next, this food includes dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

And lastly, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Nutro Hearty Stews Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Hearty Stews looks like an average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 39%, a fat level of 14% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line.

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

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nutro Hearty Stews is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and organs as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

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.

Nutro Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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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.

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Notes and Updates

08/03/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials