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Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried product line includes two 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.
- Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Beef Recipe Bites [A]
- Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Recipe Bites [A]
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Recipe Bites was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Chicken Recipe Bites
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, apples, chickpeas, peas, flaxseed, chicory root extract, cranberries, salmon oil (a source of DHA), dried kelp, potassium chloride, salt, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative, a source of vitamin E), vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||42%||32%||18%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||56%||13%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
This item also includes ground bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The fourth ingredient includes 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 lists 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 sixth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The seventh ingredient is chicory root. Chicory 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.
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 two 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.
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 Raw Freeze Dried
Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried Dog Food looks like an above-average raw 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 42% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 21% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a notable amount of meat.
Nutrisca Raw Freeze Dried is a grain-free dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main source 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 and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
For even more raw diet suggestions, be sure to visit the Advisor’s Recommended Raw Dog Foods summary page.
Dogswell Dog Food
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.
- Dangerous Levels of Vitamin D Discovered in Several Dog Food Brands (12/7/2018)
- Nutrisca Dog Food Recall | November 2018 (11/4/2018)
- Nutrisca Dog Food Recall (2/11/2015)
- Dogswell Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats (7/27/2013)
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
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
02/18/2019 Last Update