Taste of the Wild (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Taste of the Wild Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Taste of the Wild product line includes seven dry dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and three for adult maintenance.

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

  • Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain (4 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula (5 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon (5 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula (5 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula (4 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula (4 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula (4 stars)

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein, peas, potatoes, canola oil, tomato pomace, bison, roasted venison, beef, flaxseed, potato fiber, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, Yucca schidigera extract, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%19%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%39%35%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 35%

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

The third 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 fourth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) 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 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 meat content of this dog food.

The sixth 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 seventh 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.

The eighth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

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 ninth 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.

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, flaxseed is 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, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

In addition, 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 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Taste of the Wild 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 31%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, peas and flaxseed in this recipe, and the potato protein and garbanzo beans contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Taste of the Wild Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of various named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.

Taste of the Wild Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

05/09/2015 Last Update

  • Packmomof4

    My two small breed dogs loved the new venison & carbanzo bean flavor of kibble. At first I was afraid to use this brand of food bc diamond owns it but I have not had any issues with it at all. Iv tried a few brands to. I use to use Merrick but it now does not agree with my dogs and new ownership of the company so maybe food changes. Sad bc it was a great brand in my opinion.

  • Jeannie Priddy Hayes

    My 3 dogs are sick from.Diamond chicken and rice. I’m searching g for another brand…..

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Tyler,

    I don’t have any puppies at my house right now, but you should be able to feed Beagles any All Life Stages food. I don’t use TOTW in my rotation, so I’m not sure if they are all life stages. The fact that the they are suggesting the puppy formula might indicate that the other formulas are considered adult maintenance. If you’re unsure about TOTW, I would call the customer service line directly. In general either the bag or the website of any food will tell you if the food is suitable for all life stages. This DFA link will help you find some that are considered all life stages, which would be fine for both. Just click on the links for 4 or 5 star puppy foods and there is a list. Good Luck!

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/best-dog-foods/best-puppy-foods/

  • Karen Edwards Ragano

    Wow. Such hateful disagreements over a food for our loved 4-legged children. Amazing. People, please relax and stop being so ugly to one another!

  • theBCnut

    Diamond makes about 20 different brands, so when they mess up, it’s pretty widespread.

  • debij65

    I would never buy a Diamond product after I heard how sick dogs were getting from the Costco brand.

  • debij65

    Diamond also makes the Costco brand that was making a lot of dogs sick.

  • Tristan

    Yes my thoughts exactly, smells like a cheap cereal based food. Such a shame as my boy was thriving on it. Anyway thanks for you time.

  • ANGELA DEMAHY

    I called Diamond direct and thats what they told me and I didnt see any difference in the packaging. It was the same bag. I went to the pet store that I buy my food from and they opened two more bags with different skew numbers and they were all that different color. It was dark with a distinct fishy odor and when they changed the formula the color went to a light chicken color and no smell of fish at all.

  • Tristan

    Thanks for the reply. Did you notice that the packaging had changed also? They told me yesterday that formula hadn’t changed. I’m awaiting a reply from them with regards to production code. I live in the UK and there isnt any local shops that sell high quality so I have to always buy online, it’s difficult to know what your getting. Hope your dog is feeling better.

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