Nutro Max canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-tier rating of 4 stars.
The Nutro Max product line includes 7 canned dog foods, seven claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for all life stages (Puppy).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutro Max Adult Beef and Rice Dinner
- Nutro Max Senior Chicken and Rice (3 Stars)
- Nutro Max Adult Chicken, Rice and Lamb Dinner
- Nutro Max Adult Chicken, Rice and Turkey Dinner
- Nutro Max Puppy Chicken, Lamb and Rice Formula
- Nutro Max Large Breed Adult Beef and Rice Dinner
- Nutro Max Weight Control Chicken, Rice and Veg (3 stars)
Nutro Max Adult Beef and Rice canned dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Nutro Max Adult Beef and Rice Dinner
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef broth, beef, chicken, beef liver, chicken liver, ground rice, rice bran, egg product, sunflower oil, guar gum, natural flavor, tricalcium phosphate, salt, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, carrageenan, calcium carbonate, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, sodium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||30%||26%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||53%||20%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The next two ingredients are beef and chicken. Beef and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth and fifth items are beef and chicken livers. These are both organ meats sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The sixth 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 seventh item 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 eighth item is 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.
The ninth ingredient includes 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.
The tenth ingredient lists guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 one notable exceptions…
With the exception of the copper proteinate, 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 Max Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Max canned dog food looks to be an above-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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 30% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.
Near average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet food containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, the Large Breed Adult and Weight Control formulas do contain either rice or wheat gluten.
Nutro Max canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of poultry or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Those looking for a comparable kibble from the same company may wish to check out our review of Nutro Max dry dog food.
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
12/17/2009 Original review
07/24/2010 Review updated
05/15/2012 Last Update