Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet product line lists seven dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and five for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Adult (3 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Puppy (4 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Small Bites Adult (3 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Large Breed Adult (3.5 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Large Breed Puppy (4 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Sensitive Skin and Stomach Adult with Fish Meal (3 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Sensitive Skin and Stomach Adult with Venison Meal (3 stars)
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, pea protein, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lamb, dried plain beet pulp, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), soybean oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, vitamin E supplement, taurine, zinc sulfate, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, copper proteinate, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, biotin, manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract, decaffeinated green tea extract, spearmint extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||14%||51%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||31%||45%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The second 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 third ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.
Even though it contains over 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 sixth 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.
The seventh ingredient is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 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 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 four notable exceptions…
First, soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.
However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3′s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.
Next, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
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.
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet dog food looks like an above average dry 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 26% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below average amount of meat.
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet dry dog food is a rice-based kibble using a below average amount of lamb, venison or fish meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note some products may 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.
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Notes and Updates
01/12/2013 Original review
01/12/2013 Last Update