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
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||19%||42%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||26%||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.
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.
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.
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.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
10/17/2013 Last Update