Taste of the Wild canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Taste of the Wild 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 Canine
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Canine
- Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canine
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine (4 stars)
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canine formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canine
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, vegetable broth, beef liver, dried egg product, potato starch, lamb, wild boar, peas, chickpea flour, guar gum, tricalcium phosphate, natural flavor, sunflower oil, sodium phosphate, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, inulin, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, blueberries, raspberries, flaxseed oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), choline chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, cobalt amino acid chelate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||17%||31%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||38%||35%||27%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next two items include beef and vegetable broths. 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 fourth ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The seventh ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The eighth ingredient is wild boar, another quality raw item.
The ninth 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 tenth ingredient is chickpea flour, a powder made from roasted chickpeas. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a good source of carbohydrates.
Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried chickpeas contain about 26% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the 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 four notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
In addition, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
And lastly, 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.
Taste of the Wild Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Taste of the Wild canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 44% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 29% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and chickpea flour, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Taste of the Wild is a meat-based grain-free canned dog food using a significant amount of various species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 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.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Diamond Dog Food Recall Summary (5/6/2012)
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
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A Final Word
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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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.
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Notes and Updates
08/19/2015 Last Update