Taste of the Wild gets the Advisor’s second-tier rating of 4 stars.
The Taste of the Wild wet product line includes five canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Formula
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula (3 stars)
- Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Formula (5 stars)
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon, fish broth, water, egg, peas, natural flavor, potato starch, calcium carbonate, sweet potatoes, potatoes, ocean fish, smoked salmon, guar gum, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, potassium chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, dicalcium phosphate, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, iron proteinate (a source of chelated iron), zinc proteinate (a source of chelated zinc), vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate (a source of chelated copper), manganese proteinate (a source of chelated manganese), riboflavin supplement, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||15%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||32%||35%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is fish broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient is egg. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth ingredient mentions peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
After the natural flavor, we find potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The eighth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.
The ninth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The tenth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
Next we find ocean fish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, the phrase “ocean fish” is vague and does little to adequately describe this ingredient. Since some fish are higher in omega-3 fats than others, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this item.
In any case, fish meat is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
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 two 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.
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.
Taste of the Wild Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Taste of the Wild looks to be an above-average canned 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 39% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Taste of the Wild is a grain free canned product using a moderate amount of bison, fish, duck or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Please note some products 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.
A Final Word
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Other spellings: TOTW
Notes and Updates
12/10/2009 Original review
07/22/2010 Review updated
10/03/2012 Last Update
- Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩