Simply Nourish Dog Food (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★★★★☆

Simply Nourish Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Simply Nourish product line includes 15 dry dog foods. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Simply Nourish Adult Lamb and Pea
  • Simply Nourish Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Adult (3.5 stars)
  • Simply Nourish Senior Sweet Potato and Salmon
  • Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Large Breed Adult
  • Simply Nourish Healthy Weight Small Breed Adult
  • Simply Nourish Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice (5 stars)
  • Simply Nourish Puppy Sweet Potato and Salmon (5 stars)
  • Simply Nourish Senior Chicken and Brown Rice (2.5 stars)
  • Simply Nourish Large Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Simply Nourish Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice
  • Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient Sweet Potato and Salmon
  • Simply Nourish Small Breed Adult Chicken and Brown Rice (5 stars)
  • Simply Nourish Small Breed Puppy Chicken and Brown Rice (5 stars)
  • Simply Nourish Small Breed Senior Chicken and Brown Rice (3.5 stars)

Simply Nourish Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed Adult Dog Food was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Simply Nourish Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 40%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin), oatmeal, brown rice, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil (source of DHA), dried chicory root, dried carrots, dried spinach, dried sweet potato, dried pumpkin, dried blueberries, salt, potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium selenite, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-polyphosphate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D supplement, vitamin B12 supplement and choline chloride

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%19%40%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%39%33%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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 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 fifth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The sixth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

After the natural flavor, 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.

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, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, 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.

Simply Nourish Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Simply Nourish 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 40%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Simply Nourish Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry, fish or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

07/18/2014 Last Update

  • Molly

    Just started my pup on Simply Nourish Large Breed puppy and I have also found worms in the food…. little white one, almost look like maggots. I am taking the food back today, Also my puppy has had diarrhea for a while and reading these comments its from the food, I thought this food was GREAT before I found the worms.. Yuck!!!

  • Molly

    Hello, I just bought a bag of Simply Nourish large breed puppy and this morning found worms in it as well….. almost looked like maggots, small white worms. I am taking the food back today!!

  • Christy

    I am suspect of what is “Natural Flavor”. Reason is because I just came from the pet store to see the newer bags (expiration date aug,15) no longer list “Natural Flavor”. Instead they now list “animal digest”. Older bag (expiration July, 15) does not list “animal digest” yet it does list “Natural flavor” . Has “animal digest” always been in this pet food labeled as “Natural Flavor”?

  • Dori

    You should complain not only to the store but the company and the FDA. This should not be happening on a regular basis. Doesn’t matter where in the route of the food from manufacturer to store, the manufacturer is responsible.

  • Mike_Pf

    I’ve opened three bags with some worms / moths in them. I did a lot of research and I’m finding a LOT of people having the same issues. Before, it was just here and there. This last time, I bought a bag of Senior Chicken and Rice and it was filled with moths. Taking it back and switching dog foods (again). Once maybe, but this is consistently a problem with this brand.

  • John

    He was on it for 3 some odd months before i finally gave up and switched him to raw. They dont have large breed puppy in grain free, or i would have given that a shot.

  • Mia

    How fast did you switch him? My dog, Chief, also has an upset belly when I switch his food too fast. For some dogs, it may take 2 weeks for for a dog to fully be able to handle the dog food. If you do switch him to a raw dog food, though, make sure to do lots of research!!!

  • Crazy4cats

    What a cute pup! :D

  • joanne

    Omg what do I feed Bauer now? I need to try to get him off of Bumble Bee Wild caught canned Salmon w/ white rice & canned pumpkin and back onto kibbles I brought SN Salmon/sweet potato and it has been sitting in my kitchen cause I was unsure if I should give it to him. He use to be on Wellness Grain free but was sick for a while had him on RX high energy food and stools were horrible,put him on bland boiled chicken and rice and was throwing up and had severly loose stools was at the vet every other day and he didn’t sleep at all threw the night. since he has been on bumble bee wild pink can salmon,rice and pumpkin and prostura w/ vit b12 shots he is doing much better. I don’t wan’t to keep him on can salmon to long I believe that is to much mercury for a small dog.

  • joanne

    My ??? exactly

  • Crazy4cats

    Mmmmm.. You should have had to pay extra for those lol!

  • Jay

    Found meal worms in bag !!! Kinda gross but, its more protein. That’s not in the ingredients list ????

  • John

    once i found simply nourish large breed puppy food i was very happy with what id read about the product and its rating, however, the entire time my dog was on it, it caused him diarreah, so i have since been reluctantly forced to switch him to a raw diet

  • Crazy4cats

    Hi Kathy-
    It sounds like a great idea to switch his food. It sure couldn’t hurt! Try something totally different than what you are currently using. Maybe something with lamb, turkey or beef and sweet potato. Also, have you had a fecal test done to check for parasites, worms and/or bacteria? These things can also cause loose stools. I wish you luck.

  • KathyM

    We have a 6 month old Golden Retriever puppy. He has been fed thie large breed puppy chicken and brown rice formula since we brought him home from the breeder. All of his shots were finished at 4 months old. He has had runny poop off and on for 4 months now. We’ve added pumpkin to his food. He made it more solid, but as soon as we stop, the runniness comes back. We are thinking about switching his food. Any thoughts or ideas?

  • Mia

    Just because something is imported doesn’t make it a bad food. It truly comes down to the quality of the meat. If you got nice, juicy, 5 star chicken from thailand, and gross, 2 star chicken from America, you would probably eat the chicken from Thailand right? It really matters the quality of the meat, not where it comes from. It is also possible that they got it from a facility in America, which got it from Thailand, therefor they can classify it as being from America.

  • Mia

    Sorry for the little incident. As I have heard, dogs who eat grass have and upset belly.

    I find that my dog, Chief, who used to eat 3 cups a day, now eats around 2. He is really active, and he seems to be doing good on eat. He had kennel cough for a while, but we gave him this food and he “coughs” only now and then, not as frequently as he used to.

  • Mia

    Ew! That sounds terrible. But, you must remember, not all dog food can be fully sanitized without the use of some harmful chemicals. I have personally not gotten a bad batch, but have heard terrifying stories about it. It could also be from shipping it from the factory to the store. Some little worms might wiggle their way in there and build themselves a little home! Hope your dogs are fine and I’m sorry about your incident.

  • Mia

    I’ve done the same thing. I would make a “wet food” from the dry food out of water and honey and the dry food. Had to stop because Chief is going to a camp for 2 weeks and we can’t send wet food with him. I would just give it time. I hand feed my dog the first 2 bites and he eats till he is full off of the 1 cup per meal. It worked for me. As long as your dog is not drastically losing weight, he should be fine. Some dogs just don’t eat much, like I eat a lot and my sister doesn’t. HeeHee!

  • Dianna Kelleher

    If your vet thinks she looks good he/she can also suggest a good portion size for her. The bags usually estimate the max they should have. My food now suggests 5 cups for my “large breed adult”, but my lab is only 70 lbs and the vet says to maintain her weight she only needs 3 cups per day.

  • Allahquan L. Tate

    I feed both my cat and my dog the Simply Nourish brand. I think it is pretty great. I like the fact that it is grain-based. I gives me piece of mind and I know that my dog, who is a Blue Heeler-Lab hybrid, has enough food to balance her energy use. Well written piece.

  • GIGI

    I’ve been trying to praise SN, yet now my dog is seriously ill. Looking into fish farms, since I heard they are filthy and this is a concern for our animals and their guardians who trust PetsMart. Sorry, but I can’t risk any possible risks. Please help to clear up the doubt about foreign markets.
    Aunt Gigi

  • Guest

    There is nothing wrong with canned food from Thailand but think about where Thailand outsources to gather it’s ingredients. If you read the articles online they do a lot of trade with China.

  • HappyTails

    You don’t have to believe my post,that’s fine. I am the one who had to scrub the upholstery and vacuum my car for several hours to clean up after these critters,I know what I found and know what I saw. The biggest concentration of worms were in the cargo area where the bags were,but I found several worms burrowed in my upholstery in the back seat and then a few more under the drivers seat,the bags I had were severely infested(the Petsmart I bought and returned them to,cut open the bags while I was still standing there,and both bags were crawling with them). I am glad that your dog is doing well on this food,as previously stated mine did excellent on it as well,but the worms were not something I was willing to deal with.

  • Mrs.Candfamily

    Jon,
    Our 75 pound 3yr old boxer eats about 4 1/2 cups a day. Some days less. Our 6yr old boxer mix eats about 2 cups a day. They tend to wait until the whole family is home together to eat. Neither of them liked the salmon flavor nor the turkey flavor. The turkey I tried feeding them for the past few months. They both prefer the lamb and oatmeal that they have been eating for a couple of years now. Our 13yr. old Boxer that passed away was never a big eater. He was very healthy and was slender his entire life. His top weight was 60 pounds Just a suggestion, you may want to slowly transition her over to the Lamb and Oatmeal and see if that flavor is of more interest to her. I put out some of their food first thing in the morning and they graze until it is gone and then I will add more. We have had boxers for over 30 years and have pretty much experienced the same thing with each of them. If the vet thought she looked fine I wouldn’t worry.

  • Mrs.Candfamily

    Your welcome Rich!

  • Reg Carter

    Thank you for this well-written, objective analysis. Much appreciated! :)

  • theBCnut

    It sounds like she self regulates her food really well. If she isn’t really skinny, she is eating the amount she needs. The bag of food has no way of knowing what your individual dog needs, they are just suggestions, and they happen to be suggestions that are all wrong for your dog. Since she is at the age where her growth starts to slow, she may need even less.
    Try putting down only the amount you know she eats and pick up any she doesn’t until the next meal. If she isn’t grazing all day, she will eat her evening meal better. And her food will be fresher.

  • Jon

    I forgot to add….

    She’s also never been a big eater with any kibble we’ve put down in front of her. If that means anything…..

    She was initially on some low grade puppy chow from the breeder, we switched her to a Blue Buffalo recipe, then an Acana recipe, then the Orijen puppy, and now here we are with the SN. She’s been the most consistent with this.

  • Jon

    Hi Betsy,

    According to our vet, she looks just fine. No ribs are showing or anything. She is very lean though, but from what I understand, this breed doesn’t really fill out until 1-2 years old.

    We attempt to feed her once in the morning and once at night. She doesn’t really touch the food in the morning until after we come back from a walk or the dog park. That’s when she’ll eat most of it. Whatever is left over from her breakfast portion I just keep down as she kind of grazes at it all day. At night, after dinner is when I’ll throw in her remaining portion. She’ll probably eat a cup or cup and a half of it and call it night. Whatever I don’t use I just store away and use it again the next day.

    3,350 kcal/kg, 349 kcal/cup

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Jon,

    How does her body condition look? Is her weight good?

    Has this been the case for a long time or was there once a time she ate more and is just slowing down now?

    How many meals per day do you feed her? Do you see the k/calls listed on the bag, if so, what is it?

    There’s nothing wrong with healthy table scraps! Just don’t feed from your plate or you’ll encourage begging.

  • Jon

    I’m feeding my 8 month old boxer puppy the SN Salmon and Sweet Potato Puppy recipe. She’s a very playful, happy, and healthy puppy, however she’s just not crazy about her food. At her weight, she should be eating 5 cups a day but we’d be lucky if she eats just over half of that. We switched her food around a few times in the beginning (I think we created a picky eater) and she does get an occasional treat, i.e., a few pieces of chicken or beef every now and then from the table (I know I know, she’s hard to resist!). I’ve been told since it’s a high quality food, she’ll just eat what her body needs and it may be just enough, even though she’s not eating up to her daily allowance as to what is posted on the label. Any truth to this? I’m reluctant to switch her food again because her stools have been pretty consistent on this diet.

  • Rich

    Awesome!! And my bag shows the “A” Code! Thanks!

  • Rich

    I have been feeding “Bella”, my 18 month old Miniature Schnauzer Simply Nourish Lamb n Oatmeal for about 3-4 months now. She is very healthy, active, and shows no signs of illness. She is fully vaccinated, and receives Heartgard Plus once a month. The SN I buy, comes in a 6lb bag that is made of plastic. I have seen no signs of any foreign matter or critters other then dog food! I do find it hard to believe that “Little” worms can make it from the cargo area of an SUV to the front drivers seat in a few hours. Especially when a food source is right at their noses. Australian or New Zealand Lamb? That’s what I eat!! I see nothing wrong with that. My Aunt is a “Champion” dog breeder, and did make a dog food recommendation when asked. But for now unless something drastic changes, I will stick w what Bella is eating!

  • Pingback: "Simply Nourish" Brand dog food??

  • theBCnut

    The percentage is actually only one consideration. The grams per 1000kcal is vitally important because it determines how much calcium overall the dog is ingesting.