Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets product line includes the 15 dry dog foods listed below.

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.

Use the links below to compare prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

Natural Balance LID Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Natural Balance LID Chicken and Sweet Potato Grain Free

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 23% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 58%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, garbanzo beans, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, pea fiber, natural flavor, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), salt, dicalcium phosphate, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), mixed tocopherols (preservative), lactic acid, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis23%11%58%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%25%53%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 53%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient lists garbanzo beans, another member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables that contains about 22% protein, which must also be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this recipe.

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.

Next, we find 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 eighth 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.

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 5 notable exceptions

First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

Next, we note the use of salmon oil, an oil 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.

Additionally, taurine is added to this food. Taurine is 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.

Next, 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.

Natural Balance LID
Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Natural Balance L.I.D. looks like an average dry kibble.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 23%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 58%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 24% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Which means this product line contains…

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry kibble.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, garbanzo beans and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets lists both with-grain and grain-free dry dog foods using a moderate amount of named meats as their main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Those looking for a kibble for allergy-prone pets may wish to visit our special report… “Suggested Hypoallergenic Dog Foods“.

Natural Balance Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Natural Balance product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

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

09/27/2019 Last Update