Nutrisca Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★½

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

The Nutrisca product line includes 3 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.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Nutrisca Lamb and Chickpea [A]
  • Nutrisca Salmon and Chickpea [A]
  • Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea [A]

Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nutrisca Chicken and Chickpea Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 36%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, peas, chickpeas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea starch, pea protein, menhaden fish meal, natural flavors, salmon oil, dried tomato pomace, dried carrots, dried apples, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried apricots, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement), rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis32%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%20%36%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%40%30%
Protein = 30% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 30%

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

The third 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 fourth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh 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 eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

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, 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.

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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

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.

Nutrisca Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutrisca 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 36%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 36%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% 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 peas, chickpeas and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nutrisca is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable 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.

Those looking for a quality wet food from the same company may wish to check out our review of Dogswell canned dog food.

Dogswell Dog Food
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.

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A Final Word

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

08/24/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Donna Wiant

    We’ve fed Nutrisca dry for years. They (huskies) do great and it’s all I feed. I changet up from salmon to lamb to chicken.I add veggies and fruit if I can..blueberries, sweet potatoes, green beans…whatever is around. Nothing on forbidden lists don’t worry.

  • anon101

    Nutrisca is a good food, and I have been using it for years. But, I think there are some changes going on….
    I decided to try Zignature, another excellent food.
    The whitefish kibble is my favorite.

  • Andrew Rezza

    After suffering for probably a couple of years with recurrent ear infections and yeast overgrowth, I found this miracle product…Nutrisca dogfood. Not only has our dog been free over yeast overgrowth which caused constant ear infections, but his bowel movement have solidified as well. Now it’s a pleasure to walk him and actually be able to easily pick up his poop! He is on the dry salmon and chick pea one and seems to like it as well. I sometimes add my own peas and chickpeas to it to lure him in with a “cooking” smell. Anyway, I do recommend this product and will continue on using it. Thank you Nutrisca!

  • Daylight

    Thanks for the feedback. I have used this brand in the past but I have never smelled the food or checked for foreign materials in the food. After reading various posts, I did it with this bag. I immediately returned the food. As your post suggest, I will tell the store and see if I can get identifying info on the bag. Thanks again

  • Susan

    Hi, DO NOT FEED, Return look for a different batch nb & use by date also email Nutrisca, a good Pet Food company will want the bag sent back to them Free Post & send you out a new bag..

  • Daylight

    I just opened a 4 lb. bag of nutrisca and it has a bit of chemical smell to it, reminds me of the way a can of paint smells when it is opened. It this smell normal or from the bag? Thanks

  • Traci Ebersole Connolly

    Giant eagle carries it

  • Kathy Crump

    Thank you.

  • Kathy Crump

    Thank you!

  • Donna Wiant

    I order it from Amazon or chewy.Com with free shipping and two say reliable delivery. Kroget keeps small bags so if I run out I’m ok. Love this food, my dogs have no problems at all.

  • Susan

    Hi Maggie have you tried “Canidae” pure Formula’s? Excellent for dogs with food sensitivities & environment allergies, Canidae Pure formulas have limited ingredients, they have their new Small Breed Pure formula’s, Bison, Salmon or Chicken that have only 5 ingredients Patch & the cat loves Canidae Pure Wild Boar/Pork he’s doing really well at the moment, Canidae kibbles are nice & small size, Canidae is money back guaranteed, Canidae is a small family run business that use local farmers fresh ingredients, click on link below & read “Our Story”

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Another thought. Call Walmart and Krogers and ask them why they no longer have this product available? They probably will have some vague answer, but, the bottom line is, it probably wasn’t selling well.
    Nutrisca is a good product (imo). They don’t do a lot of phony baloney advertising……

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7
  • Kathy Crump

    Thanks. I did call the 800 number on the bag but gave up after 1/2 hr on hold. Thanks so much for the response and suggestions.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Did you call the 1-800 number on the bag? It may have not been selling well, unfortunately.

    I get Nutrisca from chewy dot com, their autoship plan is very flexible and user friendly.
    Dogswell has a new grain free line (same company), check it out.

  • Kathy Crump

    I have just learned that Nutrisca dry dog food has been discontinued both at the Krogers and Walmart where I have always purchased it. I am trying to find out why. I have received no response from an email inquiry I sent to the company. Does anyone have any info on this?

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Probably nothing. Sorry. I hope this blog and the comments help to answer some of your questions.
    Science based Veterinary Medicine (not to be confused with homeopathic beliefs)