Taste of the Wild (Dry)


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 nine dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon [A]
  • Taste of the Wild Pine Forest (4 stars) [A]
  • Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain (4 stars) [A]
  • Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula (5 stars) [M]
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula (5 stars) [M]
  • Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed [M]
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula (4 stars) [M]
  • Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula (4 stars) [A]
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula (4 stars) [A]

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 32% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Beef, peas, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil, egg product, wild boar, ocean fish meal, pea flour, brewers yeast, tomato pomace, flaxseed, natural flavor, salmon oil (a source of DHA), salt, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, 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, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis29%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis32%17%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%35%37%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 37%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef 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 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 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 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.

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 five notable exceptions

First, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and 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.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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.

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 32%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

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 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 products, garbanzo beans, brewers 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.

Bottom line?

Taste of the Wild is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats 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.

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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

10/19/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Susan

    Hi, anyone that has heard rumours about TOTW formula’s being bad this is not true, a pet shop owner in Chico CA had nothing better to do with his spare time, he had a few bags of TOTW return in 1 week, so he posted this on Face Book & scarred a lot of poor people…. He should of just returned bags of TOTW & waited for bags to be re tested…before stressing out people….
    TOTW acted quickly & re tested these bags of kibble that were returned & they have nothing WRONG with them TOTW Veterinarian & TOTW Representative have assured the Pet Shop that they have tested & researched the batches original testing record before the kibble leaves the plant & that there are NO problems with any TOTW formula’s….
    If you have a sick pet with diarrhea & vomiting, fast them for 12 hours make sure you keep their fluids up then restart feeding again on a bland diet, chicken & boiled potato, is the new bland diet these days, either boiled potato or boiled sweet potatoes..if there’s no improvement then take your dog to a vet…

  • Lisa Fitzgerald

    Thanks Susan. I brought it back and was fully refunded, I do keep it in a cool, dry place. I store kibble in the pantry which has old fashioned flour bins where I leave it bagged, rolled down and clipped shut as tightly as possible. I have been storing dog food this way for the 5 years that we have lived here. This is the first time my dogs have refused to eat.

  • Sarcastra

    We purchased a new bag of this the other day. He never gave us a problem eating it but refused to eat from this bag. After the second day I removed it and gave him another food we had on hand for emergencies. He ate it right away. I did some research and found people stating the same as you. I won’t be feeding him Taste of the Wild until they address and fix this issue. I hope your dogs are okay now.

  • Di Faulk

    All of a sudden my pups are turning their noses up on their food. I am concerned that there is something going on currently with TOTW. There is a lot of online chatter about elevated liver enzymes. This need to be investigated before it sickens our fur babies.

  • Linda Weinacker

    look at their facebook page. tons of questions and it’s going on for a couple of months now

  • Linda Weinacker

    I have 3 cocker spaniels and I have had them experiencing vomiting after eating Taste of the wild salmon. one has urine infection and after reading consumer affairs, the taste of wild facebook page-community questions I refuse to further feed my pups this food. if you experience any hesitation from your pup with not eating this food, well there nose is better than ours..listen to him and don’t make him eat it. Do not continue to feed your dog this product.

  • Linda Weinacker

    do not feed them Totw! I stopped

  • Linda Weinacker
  • Ivana PK

    Why order something so important (i.e. food products) from Amazon? No no no! You never know what you’re getting from Amazon! I use Amazon all the time but never for products we eat or apply on our bodies. I have always purchased my cat’s food at Target. One day I ordered on Amazon and the food was BAD BAD BAD!! It smelled so awful we couldn’t even give it to stray cats! It was most likely a fake from China or who knows where (higher priced cat food). I have never had that issue when I bought it at Target. Now that we have a puppy we are buying Taste of the Wild from a reputable/legit retailer! NEVER on Amazon! Call/email TOTW and ask them who their authorized distributors/sellers are. I heard great things about our local Tractor Supply store. Probably Chewy.com can be trusted also. NEVER Amazon for dog food!!!

  • Susan

    Hi so you were feeding the TOTW High Prairie puppy formula & then went to the High Prairie Adult formula? Have you looked at the ingredient list? the Adult High Prairie formula has a few more proteins, it has Chicken Meal as 3rd ingredient & ocean fish meal further down the ingredient list, have you done a food elimination diet & tested certain proteins & seen if your dog reacts to any? What is she eating now you home cook? When my boy was put on Eukanuba FP fish & Potatoes vet diet, he got real sick on the 4th day that I was introducing with his old kibble, he bad water diarrhea for 1 week, vet thought he cant eat potatoes, 3 years later I worked out it might have been either bad fish or green potatoes they could have bought bad batch & green potatoes & cause bad diarrhea, it happened again with another fish kibble & the kibble has come 7th on the Clean Label Project bad list…. Go on this site, “Clean Label Project” they tested 299 pet foods, they started testing pet foods this year, they found the worse pet foods with environment toxic contaminates are grain free kibbles that have fish in them…… http://www.cleanlabelproject.org/product-ratings/pet-food/