Rachael Ray Nutrish tubbed dog food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish product line includes four tubbed dog foods.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutrish Naturally Delish Chicken Paw Pie
- Nutrish Naturally Delish Hearty Beef Stew
- Nutrish Naturally Delish Savory Lamb Stew
- Nutrish Naturally Delish Chicken Muttballs with Pasta
Rachael Ray Nutrish Naturally Delish Chicken Muttballs with Pasta was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Naturally Delish Chicken Muttballs with Pasta
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, dried egg product, carrots, pea protein, pasta (flour, egg, salt, water), spinach, natural flavor, ground tapioca, tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, caramel color, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, taurine, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, niacin, copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, manganese proteinate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, biotin supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.1%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||18%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||38%||28%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The second 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 third ingredient 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 fourth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
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 pasta, a noodle product made mainly from wheat flour. Wheat of course, is an inexpensive cereal grain nutritionally similar to corn.
The seventh ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.
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 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.
Next, caramel is a coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.
Even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added coloring in a pet food.
That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
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.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Wet Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish appears to be an average wet 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 41% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the use of the pea-based protein enhancer along with the below-average fat content, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a below-average amount of meat.
Rachael Ray Nutrish is a plant-based tub packed dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and egg product as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
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
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
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However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.
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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
06/17/2012 Original review
06/17/2012 Last Update