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, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and four for growth (Puppy).

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

  • Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon
  • Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain (3.5 stars)
  • Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula (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: Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg product, pea protein, peas, potatoes, canola oil, tomato pomace, roasted venison, roasted bison, 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 Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, 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 items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%19%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%39%35%

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

The third ingredient includes 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. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while some condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.

Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1

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 includes 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 three notable exceptions

First, 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.

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.

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 as well as 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 named meats, meat meals and fish 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.

Those looking for a quality grain-free wet food may wish to visit our review of Taste of the Wild canned dog food.

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.

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

10/17/2013 Last Update

  1. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  • Linda Connolly

    Just heard that Canine Caviar is having problems. this from a friend who knows a distributor. .I just took our 13 year old German Shepherd off Taste of the Wild bison because she didn’t want to eat it…then vomited…that was it for me. I switched her to Fromm. Over a hundred year old company and never have they had a recall. Our dog loves the food and has more energy…Definitely looks healthier…My research showed that TOW has had MANY recalls…

  • Jo

    Thanks, i have been getting a lot of advice (including in the forums) to steer clear of TOTW :)
    i have also been considering Timberwolf’s Lamb Grain Free. what do you guys think about that?
    i know Rosemary is a controversial ingredient but i do not know whether i should pay any mind to it.

  • theBCnut

    I really like CC and use it often. I really don’t like TOTW and would never use it.

  • GSDsForever

    I would for sure go with Canine Caviar over TOTW any day, on better quality/more selective ingredients & grade, avoidance of Diamond products, and CC’s flash cooking process at low temperature (preserving more nutrients) + higher digestibility cited.

  • DogFoodie

    I really like and use myself, Canine Caviar as part of a rotation. I definitely prefer it over TOTW because I’m not a fan of Diamond made products.

  • Jo

    Anyone has any comments on whether Taste of the Wild or Canine Caviar is better for a 8.5year old dog with no known allergies?

  • Jo

    Anyone has any comments on whether Taste of the Wild or Canine Caviar is better for a 8.5year old dog with no known allergies?

  • Dori

    You could vacuum seal the food in 1 gallon increments and just keep out what you think you will use in two or three weeks. I would still urge you to keep the original bag somewhere just in case there is a recall you’ll need the info on the bag itself. We all urge people to do that. Not that we’re expecting a recall or know any knowledge of a recall coming but it’s always best to be prepared. You can keep the 1 gallon bags either in it’s original bag rolled up and stored in an air tight non see through container. Tupperware containers are not advised for storing dog food. Even light coming through a plastic container can prove to be harmful to the food. Try to find a metal container for a tight fitting air tight lid. If you have room in your freezer, what a lot of people do is vacuum seal food in separate bags and store all the extras in the freezer, then just pull one bag out at a time. That’s a lot of freezer space unless you have a dedicated freezer in the house. A lot of people purchase larger bags of kibble when they have multiple dogs because, as you said, it is more economical than buying the smaller bags. The rule of thumb typically is to purchase the amount that your dog will go through in a month, that would vary with the number of dogs in the household and the sizes of the dogs and how much they eat. There are a lot of places on line and in stores that you can purchase a metal air tight container for dog food.

  • myOWNcompass

    My dog’s coat went all thick, glossy, and beautiful with the Salmon flavor. Perhaps it’s an allergy?

  • myOWNcompass

    Thank you Dori for your detailed answer. Yes, the idea was/is to save money. Otherwise I am left buying it 5lbs at a time for $14.99 plus tax each, a total of $97.36. My thirty pound bag costs me a total of $53.03.

    The container I am using seals tightly, and like I mentioned above, IS stored in a cool, dark pantry. It has never smelled rancid. When you say airtight, do you mean vacuum sealed? I have a vacuum sealer, I suppose I could do it in 1 gallon increments.

    I do have to say that I have not seen any symptoms of illness in Turbo, other than the times when the new dog on the property has overturned the trashcans and the dogs have all partaken. ugh.

  • Beth

    We used to use Natural Balance but switched to TOTW after noticing the glossy coat of our friend’s Doberman (who uses TOTW), doing some research, and talking to our pet supply shop owner. Our Mastiff/Doberman’s coat is now so glossy, we get constant comments at the dog park. She radiates health and I am thrilled with TOTW.

  • Connie Finck

    I use Taste of the Wild for my shiz shu as well. I have also used Origin which is also a grain free diet. he has been on grain free food since a puppy and he is very healthy. I think dogs do better on grain free diets and Noah has steamed vegetables with his dry food to which he loves. The Origin comes from Canada I like all the positive in put on this food.
    Thank you Connie Finck

  • Roberta Liford

    Taste of the Wild High Prairie (adult) recipe appears to have 5 start rating, even though it contains a few controversial ingredients (canola oil, tomato pomace and pea protein). So — how controversial can these ingredients be if they don’t seem to affect the rating?

  • chase

    my dogs love it

  • Dori

    If it’s taking you 2.5 months to go through a bag then you need to start buying smaller bags. If you do buy a larger bag for financial reasons then you should buy an air tight container and store the food, in it’s original bag and it should all be stored in a cool darker area. Pantry, closet, something like that. The problem with buying large bags for economical reasons is that the oils in the foods go rancid (oxidize) sooner than you will go through the bag of food so in the long run you’ve got to throw the remainder of the food away and buy more. Economically it makes more sense to figure out how much your dogs are going to eat and calculate, more or less, how long it will take your dogs to go through the food and buy that size bag. It is more waste full on your end to attempt to purchase a large size bag to save money. (We’ve all tried it). It just doesn’t work because at some point the remainder of the food at the end of the food is going to go bad and do more harm than good.

  • theBCnut

    After about 2 weeks, the fats start to go rancid. Store in the original bag with the top rolled down tight for least damage.

  • myOWNcompass

    How long does it take for a dog kibble to go bad? I buy a large bag and keep it in a large tupperware type of container stored in a cool, dry, dark cabinet. The bag lasts us approximately 2.5 months.

  • karen bright

    My dogs only eat Nutri Source (grain free) kibble and Iam’s lamb biscuits. I used to feed them Canadae and TOTW (grain free) kibble ’til the “incident” at the Blue Diamond factory. Occasionally I give them a can of grain free dog food, about once a week, and they get two soft boiled eggs once a week. Their vet (DR. Kragness) says they’re healthy and pleasantly plump. They see the vet every 4 months. I love my boys and yes they’re spoiled. I have a 131 pound Rottweiler and a 65 pound Black Lab mix.

  • Dori

    Hi Kerry. I’m wondering when you put him back on the TOTW was it the same bag that you had or was it a new bag you purchased?
    There are plenty of better foods on the market than TOTW as aquariangt mentioned and again BB has been having a lot of issues lately. Hopefully you can find a food without peas or at least less of them so that he doesn’t have to be so itchy.

  • Carrie

    I switched to the Salmon to help my English Springer Spaniel overcome chronic ear infections and she is completely free of them now. Both my dogs have better stools and no incidence of vomiting. My American Eskimo has completely lost his tear stains as well. Love this food.

  • aquariangt

    Taste of the Wild is manufactured by Diamond, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some quality control issues there. Not that BB doesn’t have those issues as well. I’d look for a non pea food though, no reason to put your dog through allergies, there are lot’s of options. I myself have a pea allergic dog. Where do you usually shop and I can give you some ideas? Paying TotW and BB prices gives you a lot of better options from better companies

  • Kerry Lee Haas

    Something is amiss. I was feeding my Boxer TOTW Pacific Stream for about a year but started noticing he would get diarrhea towards the end of the bag. So I switched him To Blue Buffalo which sorted out his stomach issues. Then I attempted to transition him back to TOTW and he developed bloody diarrhea and vomiting. I took him off of it right away. Something has changed with their formula. I wanted to put him back on it because he is allergic to peas and I feel badly for him scratching at his ears after eating BB. But I would rather him have itchy ears than bloody diarrhea.

  • Melissa

    This food was recommended to me by a family friend who owns a pet shop. Supposedly TOTW is the highest quality food Pet Value carries. My dogs have been on this diet for about 3 years now and thriving. I only have good things to say.

  • Joni

    I am feeding the lg breed puppy chicken and rice……and I eased my guy into it by feeding him cooked ground turkey and white rice for a few meals……my vet said treat him like he has diarrhea and then mixed a little dog food with it….after a fee days he was all dog food. I have also been buying canned Proplan puppy food to mix in with the dry food, cuz I believe his teeth are hurting (teething, Silver is almost 4 months) so that with warm water mixed with his food, he seems to get it down easier! I hear ya about scared to feed them anything ….so much scary stuff out there! Good luck – keep me posted!

  • Joseph Cadieux

    No problems, i rotational feed my dog but I want to say i give her the salmon flavor more than anything. It has actually made her coat amazing, but i do give her salmon oil as well. Your dog could just be allergic to something in it.

  • Bryan Bailey

    Joni, may I ask which Proplan Puppy variety you’re using? I see Large Breed Puppy Chicken & Rice and I see Puppy Lamb & Rice.

  • Bryan Bailey

    Wish I could take credit but when he first lost his appetite he seemed depressed and I started hand feeding him cat food to “cheer him up”. He loves stealing Kitty’s food. That evening I realized how really sick he was when we went potty.
    I should note, I had also just gotten Kitty a bag of TOTW cat food which after two meals he would not eat (possibly bad?) so I returned him to his usual cat food which is what I hand fed puppy after he got sick. Cats are very sensitive, like a canary in a coal mine. Kitty may have helped save puppy’s life.

    Puppy is still quieter than usual. I’m watching him very closely.

  • Bryan Bailey

    Joni, I mis-spoke, it was when I switched him to TOTW Pacific Stream that he got so sick (not Bison). I think those can be Salmonella symptoms, not sure about the green urine. My puppy is only 3 1/2 mos old but weighs 37 pounds, mix breed stray with blue eyes. He’s gonna be large if/when he’s all grown. I may try the Proplan too. I’m scared to feed the little guy anything.

  • Dori

    I’m so glad you thought to change his food and that he has returned to normal. Unfortunately, not all dog owners act quick enough and don’t realize that the first thing to think about is what he’s eating. Glad you did! Lucky puppy.

  • Joni

    Wow! What kind of dog? A vet had told a friend of mine, who had similar problems with TOTW, and that it was too high protein for the big breeds – but that can’t be it because my puppy is now doing fine now on Proplan Puppy food and it has the same amount of protein. It’s something else. Scary!

  • Bryan Bailey

    PLEASE don’t overlook this and know that there are similar accounts popping up all over the web including several on Dog Food Guru.
    My puppy had been eating TOTW High Prairie and was thriving. Got a bag of TOTW Pacific Stream and he immediately developed symptoms of extreme thirst, dark mucous diarrhea, greenish urine and extreme lethargy, and he stopped eating. Glad he stopped. With the ice/snow storm I couldn’t get him to the vet hospital till Monday at which point his symptoms had subsided somewhat and at that point the vet couldn’t pinpoint a cause other than it being something puppy had ingested. Because of the numerous accounts of the same, I am convinced there is something amiss in this bag of dog food that almost killed my puppy.

  • Bryan Bailey

    Yes, my 4 month old puppy on TOTW Bison developed intense thirst, lethargy, mucousy diarrhea, and greenish urine. Thought he was dying that morning he seemed so weak and quit eating. The vet couldn’t find any cause but after a few days not eating TOTW his poop has returned to normal and his other issues have cleared up.

  • Jenna Meadows

    My girl used to lose her hair after eating chicken flavored food. Vet said she was allergic. I switched her to salmon formula and her coat has never looked better! Maybe your dog is allergic to some of the ingredients. I would try switching to the bison…

  • Cody Toler

    Has anyone else had their dogs start loosing hair after you feed the Salmon flavor? not any of the others just this one? another lady said hers lost it’s hair after eating it and 3 of mine have??

  • barbkohl

    Any Bil-Jac is pretty much the same except the grain free. All are based on the same formula and just altered slightly, for the specific needs of large breeds, older dogs, puppies, and low fat.
    So you can get any variety of Bil-Jac Dry and it will work fine.

  • Joni

    I just recently had a big problem with Taste of the Wild with my 3 month old collie pup – pooping and peeing A LOT / struggling to poop tho not diarrhea ….I thought it was just a stage or something simple he will get over, but he didn’t and after a few weeks I brought him in the vet – not parasites / no infection but his urine PH was 9 and it’s supposed to be 6 or 7. Changed food – feed cooked ground turkey and rice and changed him to Proplan….after 4 days his urine PH ws 6! I know someone else that had a similar thing happen with TOW food.

  • Crazy4cats

    Oh, just a puppy. How painful :-(

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Please keep trying to get the food tested, and do not throw any of it away. Some vet schools will test food. Also, if you haven’t already, I would recommend making a report to the FDA and having your vet make one too.

  • upset_malamute_parent

    We had a malamute who was switched to this food. Had being the operative word. He was on this food for 3 weeks before he passed away. The food being the only variable in his life that changed. Because we didn’t want to believe that this change was the reason for his death we had tests run on him which turned up e.coli. No one knows exactly how this happened and we’ve tried to get the food tested for a 100% confirmation but at this current moment all vets we’ve talked to agree that it had to have been the food since with how wide spread the e.coli was simply getting into something wouldn’t have been enough to bring him down. I am so upset because he would have turned 1 today and was a happy, healthy puppy before switching his food to something we thought we could trust.

  • http://www.abuzubaydah.com Hesham Abu Zubaydah

    We just got our first puppy, she is 1/2 Sheltie and 1/2 pit. She came with a bag of Purina, my wife spends all day with her and noticed that she doesn’t like to eat, is shedding and has itchy skin. So my wife ordered Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream puppy food and is really hoping that this food works for our puppy. We have had Lexi for a week and a half, and have never had a puppy before. We are just trying to make sure she is healthy and happy. Will post updates as the food arrives tomorrow.

  • Jessica Rivera

    I recently rescued a 2 year old foxhound mix from out of state and know very little about her history prior to the last month or so. She has been with me about a week, and her stool has become more and more soft and lighter in color each day. I am feeding her the same dog food (Nutro Natural Balance) that she was eating in her foster home for the last few weeks. I gave her a plain scrambled egg on saturday and she had the most normal stool within a few hours. so, I am wondering if she is just not processing the Nutro properly and am considering weening her on to something like Taste of the Wild. Does anyone have any feedback on this?

  • Karen Yeong

    My boy…is super fussy like yours, similar 2 days eating span…. u can actually see his hip bones quite obviously (previous owner practically shaved him left with 1cm fur), he is that underweight. He used to just pick out the boiled meat (chicken, pork, beef), n left most of the soaked kibbles behind.
    What i did to “reset” his picky eating habits (advise from his APDT trainer):
    -skip dinner for 1st nite
    -2 meals a day (per usual no change, if dont eat within 5 mins, just pick it up n he skips a meal). My boy, by 2nd day dinner onwards (not eaten for 2 meals already) gobbled-up whatever was in his bowl
    -every meal same kibbles mix n quantity (i mix 2 different brands n flavours), quantity to slowly increase every couple of days if the whole bowl is cleaned/eaten fully. To give him a quantity he will b able to finish.
    -canned food (same flavour for 1st week) to microwave slightly for aroma (so far my mini poodle gobbles nutripe ambrosia lamb, nutripe lamb n addiction herbed duck potato, are delicious smelling with gravy n worth to cleanup his bowl). I dont soak his kibbles anymore with hot water, now i just mix the hot canned food with kibbles, n feed him when less hot, the kibbles r still crunchy.
    -do not fuss over or give butler service (if he doesnt eat n walks away, he misses that meal n gets nothing till the next meal)… On hindsight, i didnt knew i was giving butler service, i was worried my boy was eating little n already so underweight, so kept trying to make him eat somethingelse if a meal didnt entice him.
    My boy doesnt eat dry kibbles, the only time he ate dry kibbles was on the 3rd day of this “reset” process, probably super hungry or just wanted to eat whatever there was.
    Today marks the last day of the 2 week “reset” process, look forward to him continuing gobbling his meals… fingers crossed.
    Good luck with your little one.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Ugh. Dogs!

  • Daniella Rogers

    Thanks for the info. Someone suggested to boil chicken breast and mix with her food. I cut the chicken up fine with her food thinking I was being smarter than her. She would eat the chicken and not her food. This little girl has a mind of her own.

  • Daniella Rogers

    The lady at Pets Mart suggested that. I brought the trial bag and she ate both meals for 2 days straight. I was so excited, then she stopped. So I started trying other things and decided to go back to the Bil-Jac since it was the only thing that I got four meals straight. Pets Mart didn’t have the trial bag and I couldn’t remember the flavor. I thought the last bag had a red color on it and this one had a yellow label. I’m desperate for all the advices. Thanks so much.

  • Daniella Rogers

    Wow, so you know what I am talking about. So you mix the kibble, wet food, with the hot water? I just feel so sorry for her, I can feel all her little bones. Thanks so much.