In this review… The Dog Food Advisor takes an in-depth look at Taste of the Wild Dog Food… and its 4 most popular sub-brands.
We’ll also reveal…
- Is Taste of the Wild made in the United States?
- Has Taste of the Wild been recalled?
- Which flavors and recipes get our top ratings?
Which Sub-Brand Is Right for You?
Here are Taste of the Wild’s 4 most popular sub-brands. Some are wet. Most are dry. Some are made with grain. Others are grain-free.
Who Makes Taste of the Wild Dog Food?
Taste of the Wild is made by Diamond Pet Foods, in Meta, Missouri. All dry foods are manufactured at Diamond’s company-owned plants in South Carolina, Arkansas, California and Missouri. Wet recipes are produced by a private-label cannery within the U.S.
Has Taste of the Wild Been Recalled?
In May 2012, Taste of the Wild was one of 14 brands recalled by Diamond Pet Food. The affected products were contaminated with Salmonella. The following list includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Taste of the Wild. Updates are added as soon as new recalls are posted.
- Diamond Dog Food Recall Summary (5/6/2012)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls here.
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Is Taste of the Wild a Good Dog Food?
Taste of the Wild Dog Food earns The Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
Individual Recipe Ratings
The Taste of the Wild Grain-Free product line includes 9 dry dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the following links to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil, egg product, wild boar, ocean fish meal, pea flour, dried yeast, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis 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, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||17%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||35%||37%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains up to 73% 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 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 third ingredient lists garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.
Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this food.
The fourth ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The fifth 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 sixth 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 seventh ingredient is boar, an animal closely related to wild pig. Although it is a quality item, raw boar contains up to 73% 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 eighth ingredient is ocean fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
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.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The ninth ingredient is pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
Other Notable Ingredients
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 six notable exceptions…
First, dried yeast can be a controversial item. Dried yeast contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
What’s more, a vocal minority insist yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.
Next, we find 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.
In addition, 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.
We also note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Next, 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.
Judging by its ingredients alone, Taste of the Wild looks like an above-average dry dog food.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products, garbanzo beans, dried yeast and flaxseed in this recipe, and the potato protein contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Taste of the Wild Dog Food
The Dog Food Advisor finds Taste of the Wild to be an above-average grain-free dry dog food. The recipe includes a moderate amount of named meat meals as its primary source of animal protein… thus earning the brand 4.5 stars. The Limited Ingredient Diet gets 4 stars. And the wet recipes receive 5. Highly recommended.
What Do Others Say About Taste of the Wild?
Chewy customers rate Taste of the Wild 4.7 out of 5 stars… and 95% say they would recommend it to others.
Here’s an actual user review…
Sample buyer review… “My Basenji has been a picky eater since day one. I had her on ProPlan and she was under eating due to not liking it. I ordered the large bag so I couldn’t switch earlier. Finally, I was recently able to switch her over to this food and now she enjoys eating and eats her recommended amount! She never had any stomach upset in the beginning either. So happy with this food!”
What Are Taste of the Wild’s Best Recipes?
Based on a weighted average of popularity and ratings, here are our 5 most recommended Taste of the Wild flavors and recipes.
- Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula
- Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula
- Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Roasted Bison and Venison
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Cans
Is Taste of the Wild dog food grain-free?
Taste of the Wild offers both grain-inclusive and grain-free dog foods. As of the date of our most recent research, the brand offers 21 different recipes… 17 grain-free recipes and 4 are made with cereal grain. All Taste of the Wild wet formulas are grain free.2
Is Taste of the Wild good for puppies?
Taste of the Wild Grain Free offers 5 All Life Stages formulas. Two of these recipes are designed specifically for puppies. However, the company also markets 4 more recipes that meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for “adult maintenance”. These dog foods should not be fed to puppies.
Is Taste of the Wild considered a healthy dog food?
All Taste of the Wild dog food products are formulated to meet dog food nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. These designs are based on standards published by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. Each is considered complete and balanced for the specific life stages printed on the package.
Is Taste of the Wild dog food made in the United States?
All Taste of the Wild products are made at one of 5 company-owned manufacturing facilities located within the United States. On the other hand, wet dog foods are produced under contract by a private-label cannery. This facility is also located within the U.S.
More Taste of the Wild Reviews
Here are more Taste of the Wild dog food reviews published by The Dog Food Advisor on this website.
- Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Taste of the Wild Prey Dog Food Review (Dry)
Compare Taste of the Wild Dog Food
How does Taste of the Wild compare with The Dog Food Advisor’s most recommended brands?
A Final Word
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For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.
Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
08/28/2020 Last Update