Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet product line includes eight dry dog foods, six claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two for growth (puppies).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutro LID Senior
- Nutro LID Puppy (4 stars)
- Nutro LID Small Bites Adult
- Nutro LID Large Breed Adult
- Nutro LID Adult Lamb and Rice
- Nutro LID Large Breed Puppy (3.5 stars)
- Nutro LID Adult Fish, Brown Rice and Potato
- Nutro LID Adult Venison Meal, Brown Rice and Oatmeal
Nutro LID Adult Venison Meal, Brown Rice and Oatmeal was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Venison Meal, Brown Rice and Oatmeal
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Venison meal, whole brown rice, whole grain oatmeal, brewers rice, chickpeas, rice bran, pea protein, split peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, flaxseed, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), soybean oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dl-methionine, taurine, zinc sulfate, niacin supplement, vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, manganese amino acid chelate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement, potassium iodide, folic acid, rosemary extract, decaffeinated green tea extract, spearmint extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||24%||16%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||21%||33%||46%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is venison meal. Venison meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh venison.
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 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.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth 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 seventh 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 meat content of this dog food.
The eighth 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 ninth 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.
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, we find 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.
Next, 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help 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 includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Nutro Limited Ingredient
Diet Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet looks like an 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.
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 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, peas, pea protein and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of various named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
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
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
01/30/2016 Last Update