Review of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets
Canned Dog Food
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets product line includes the 6 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Fish Grain Free||3.5||M|
|Natural Balance LID Lamb and Brown Rice||4||M|
|Natural Balance LID Buffalo and Sweet Potato Grain Free||3.5||M|
|Natural Balance LID Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free||2.5||M|
|Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Venison Grain Free||3||M|
|Natural Balance LID Duck and Potato Grain Free||2||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Venison Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Venison Grain Free
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Sweet potatoes, venison broth, venison, potatoes, potato protein, dehydrated potatoes, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, vitamins (l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), venison meal, minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), guar gum, potassium chloride, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, choline chloride, carrageenan, taurine, Yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||18%||47%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||23%||38%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is 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 second ingredient is venison broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is venison. Venison is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” venison and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Venison is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next 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 fifth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.
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 actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth item is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The seventh 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 that 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 next ingredient is salmon oil, which 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.
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 Natural Balance product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.
In addition, we find venison meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
And lastly, we note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
Based on its ingredients alone, Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 43% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 70%.
Which means this Natural Balance product line contains…
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the potato protein and dried potato, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing just a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Canned Dog Food
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets lists both grain-inclusive and grain-free canned dog foods using a moderate amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
However, due to their higher fat-to-protein ratios, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Has Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Natural Balance.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Natural Balance Reviews
The following Natural Balance dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Natural Balance Fat Dogs Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Natural Balance Synergy Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Natural Balance Ultra Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Review (Dry)
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.
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
02/06/2021 Last Update