Natural Balance Synergy (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★½

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

The Natural Balance Synergy product line includes one dry dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient guidelines for all life stages.

Natural Balance Synergy Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), beet pulp, pearled barley, lamb meal, salmon meal, oatmeal, dried egg, oat fiber, natural flavor, flaxseed, brewers dried yeast, dried carrot, salmon oil, salt, potassium chloride, inulin, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), psyllium seed husks, choline chloride, taurine, iron amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, l-carnitine, kelp meal, dried cranberries, dried parsley, l-lysine, dried Yucca schidigera extract, dried spinach

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis28%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%18%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%37%37%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 37%

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 is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The sixth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is lamb meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The eighth ingredient is salmon meal, yet another high protein 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

The ninth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

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 five notable exceptions

First, flaxseed is 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.

Next, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.

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.

This food also contains salmon oil. 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 includes 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 Synergy Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Natural Balance Synergy looks like an above-average dry dog food.

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 31%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

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.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Natural Balance Synergy is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Those looking for a nice wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Natural Balance Ultra canned dog food.

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.

Natural Balance 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.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

03/17/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Be aware that sudden and large changes in a dog’s diet by choosing a new
    type of dog food can cause digestive problems, please complete major
    changes in your dog’s diet gradually by mixing some of the old dog food
    with the new. It is particularly important to introduce puppies to a new
    type of dog food gradually, as puppies can develop allergies if your
    puppy’s diet suddenly changed.

  • Maukwa

    My dog had bouts of colitis, and is very itchy….the vet wanted him on a venison special prescription diet…I found one that was not as expensive….Natural Balance Potato Venison….this site does not give it very high marks, but it has saved my boys life, and the vet approves. I give him both dry and canned.

  • Tracey South

    p.s. I decided after meeting another friend of hers that hates what she does with these treats, she needs a damn intervention. you were exactly on target , saying some people think a non fat dog is somehow not having a loved life.

  • Tracey South

    since me and my dog saw her yesterday and same problem as usual, your reply makes me feel justified at least. she gave my dog jerky as usual. mind you she gave me 2 bags of rawhide treats the other day telling me don’t worry it’s made in Ireland. Ireland ! (she knows I do not give him rawhide anyway but felt the Ireland comment would somehow make it ok ??) urgghhh. I looked at bag at home , it said Made in China !
    I made her take it back and said tell me what that says. she also gave him “beef lung” the other day. I asked her yesterday where did you get THAT and she said don’t worry , I got it at the Chinese hardware store …it said Made in USA.
    ( because that is where to buy healthy food for your family member at a hardware store ?)
    I want to choke her. I have told her umpteen times made in USA does not mean ingredients are from here.

  • Jason Shwagner

    God I can’t stand pig headed rockbrains like that, so I feel for you. I constantly have ppl trying to feed my dogs crap, half or more of it stuff made in china. I know they mean well mostly but still, after making it clear my dogs get nothing ever other than thier dog food in small portions 2x daily and healthy tiny treats a couple times a day and thats it, they still try to sneak them food acting like if a dog isnt fat it isnt living a fun life….uggh. I wish those #/!#ing chinese jerky treats would be banned nationwide but nope, every wally world sells them by the truckload.

  • Gary

    Yes they were. At first, Natural balance said they were not involved and several articles/TV shows would then recommend it as a safe alternative. It was supposed to have very limited ingredients and would therefore be safe. Later on, it came out that they were using the rice protein despite it not being on the label as a listed ingredient. There used to be an apology letter on the natural balance web site- the apology was pathetic and I personally refuse to ever use their products because they lied about the ingredients and the shady half-apology. I believe this fact and the contents of the letter are still on the Natural Balance wikipedia page.

  • Ben

    We put our dog on Synergy because he had loose stools and it helped. We also did rice/chicken brew for about 10 days in between the transition. Now he has had two bouts of ear infections and licking of paws so I am going to switch to Salmon and Grain free dog food. I hope his stools don’t change.

  • AllAmerican45

    I have been told my golden has a food allergy to chicken. I am at a lose as to what food to put him on now. His ears stay inflamed & have been for months yet he doesn’t seem to have any itching. I talked to several pet stores about what to try & of course they say the no grain no chicken. Even more confused now. Where should I start?

  • Flax Seed

    Synergy also contains Psyllium, the active ingredient in Metamucil.

    I have seen it work first hand. Had an older rescue with constantly loose stool.

    2 days after switching to Synergy, perfect stool.

    Great product!

  • Tracey South

    honest I don’t know how to keep up with this dangerous pet food topic. I am not replying to you to complain about, just you made me want to say how confused I am. one reason is b/c of my friend and her OCD stubborn need to buy jerky for her dog (and try to give it to my mine, which is really a problem when she is dangling it , in front of him while I say no, don’t give him that) why she does this , I could write a book about but I don’t know other than she is pig headed. but as I read, just b/c you get something that says Made in America , does not necessarily mean all the ingredients originate from America. Therein lies my confusion. Because just as sure as one person is that is true, another will swear it is not true. Thanks for letting me vent ! and on my topic of jerky which I know you did not even talk about, our vets all say the same thing…….just don’t give the dogs jerky, period , no matter where it says it is from !

  • Fayclis

    Natural Balance was NOT involved with the recall that killed pets. None of their products come from China. Natural Balance had a voluntary re-call and it was NOT for anything serious. There were no problems with the actual food.

  • Fayclis

    Natural Balance is made in America and has a buy with confidence program.

  • Elle Mac

    My Lhasa apso was always vomiting…vet couldn’t find anything wrong with her; tried a million different foods. Finally went to a small pet supply store in Richmond Hill and was recommended Natural Balance Synergy. It’s been almost 6 months and she hasn’t thrown up once! She’s seven years old and acts and looks like a puppy again!

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  • It is true that you don’t feed as much of the higher quality foods, as higher quality foods have more of the stuff dogs digest/use more (meat as opposed to carbs/grain). Cheaper foods tend to go right through a dog, so that they aren’t getting as much nourishment from them, therefore you need to feed more of them to meet the nutritional needs of the dog and keep them feeling full.

    FYI, though… Natural Balance is far from the highest quality. It’s a fine start into better quality foods, but it certainly is not the best thing for a dog. There are just too many carbs in their food (mainly potato, as I know many people that refer to NB as “a bag of potatoes”). Earthborn Holistic Grain Frees are a really good food at a very reasonable price, and it’s available in most areas. I know Anderson’s and Pet Supplies Plus carry it. I also like Zignature and Merrick Grain Free, at least when it comes to somebody a bit budget conscious.

  • voxleo

    We are trying out this food because our young Pit mix (we think that’s what he is anyway) has a tendency to sensitive stomach issues and barfs from time to time. FINALLY got the hubby to respect the need to keep his diet to a high quality food and no table scraps when he gave us quite a start last weekend that needed a trip to the emergency vet when we coughed up a little blood after losing his collar in the yard (we think someone was maybe trying to steal something from the shed and was holding him by the collar or throat to keep him quiet or from attacking since we cannot find the collar anywhere at all and he went out with it on and came in without it and coughing). Turns out too maybe he was also having pneumonia from aspirating something he barfed or the like, but THAT bit of info finally scared hubby into taking me more seriously when I said don’t give him people food and the importance of a high quality kibble and not too much variation since he was so sensitive.

    At first I was thinking it was not a good choice just because It is pretty pricey and the largest available size is only 28 lbs., which can go pretty fast with two dogs. But I see that the boys don’t eat nearly as much of it as the other cheaper foods, So much so that I’m not really sure if there is something they don’t like about this bag, since I don’t remember them being so picky with it the last time we tried it. But my cat was sampling their food too, which he won’t do unless he’s starving or its pretty high quality stuff, as he is the one in the house with the most discerning palate, so I am thinking maybe they just don’t need as much of it. They seem to be just as energetic if not more so AND the pit seems to be less with the licking of every part of himself the way he used to do. Plus that means less poop, so yay, but I AM a little concerned with all the scandalous problems that companies are having with bad batches of food so am wondering how much other people’s dogs consume of this by comparison?

    Our dogs free feed, and have kibble available at all times, if that makes a difference. They mostly don’t even snack though, and tend to eat in the early morning hours once a day,

  • M Ward1993

    Could be the brewers dried yeast, it can be a quality ingredient but can also be an allergen.

  • Jsue181

    Something in this food made my Saint itch and chew herself like crazy. Don’t know what it is.  Went to my trusty Blue Buf. Lamb and Rice and the itching totally stopped.

  • BryanV21

    I wanted to share information that my rep gave me…

    They are
    done with their move away from Diamond. The only other issue they need
    to work out is with their Bison LID canned food. Not that it’s at
    Diamond, but they can’t yet get any is all. 

  • HeatherGdotcom

    I put my dogs on this Synergy food last month.  We transitioned slowly from their other food, and in only a month I’ve noticed that they are pooping less and also seem to have more energy.  I like that chicken is the first ingredient but that it also contains salmon and omegas, which is good for my mixed-dog who has a dull coat.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    I’ve always liked and used Natural Balance.  Not all their formulas are made by Diamond.  I was feeding the LIDs then transitioned to the Alpha (which is made by CJ Foods, in Kansas) and was feeding it with success.  However, after this latest recall, I decided that I just couldn’t tolerate a company that uses Diamond for any of its foods, especially for their limited diets.  So, I’m now using other foods for my dogs.  My dogs were doing well on the Alpha and I was sorry to let it go, and I will use it again if NB ever stops using Diamond.  But, until then, it’s onward….. 

  • LA

    there were several plants involved not just the South Carolina – go to the FDA Site

  • LA

    Hello Natural Balance has been involved in recalls – instead of guessing just go to the FDA Site and they keep a list of of Past and Current recalls for dog and cat food.   And YES Natural Balance was Involved in the recall that killed many pets – Mike also keeps a list on this site – so instead of going back n forth with each just go to the FDA Site and there is is.   Below is just a  Very SMALL Part of the list on the FDA







    Natural Balance

    Nature’s Variety Raw Frozen Diet, Chicken







  • Blazeaglory

    Would the salt content in this Synergy formula have a negative effect on my dog? Is it a large amount or too small to worry about? Ive been using this formula with great results for a yea now and it actually made the fleas go away! Should I worry about the salt content? Thanks

  • Blazeaglory

    Check for recall info. It says they test all their dog food ina million dollar lab and nothing cam up contaminated. You have to watch the video and listen.

  • Eve’sHumanMom

    apparently.  not on the list either.  still makes me nervous that NB plans to continue their relationship with Diamond, though.

  • M Ward1993

    Does this mean that this food is in no way related to the diamond recalls going on, because it is made in a separate plant? Not the plant that has all the problems?

  • Eve’sHumanMom

    We have transitioned to Synergy with no problems.  Pooping only twice a day, now (Son #2 happy about this.) and just as happy a little girl as ever.  E-mailed NB about where it was made:  NOT at Diamond.  They didn’t mention the name of the company but that it was in Nebraska.  If Dr. Mike sees this, thanks.  Have fed her several 4 star foods on rotation and after the initial months since we adopted her, her fecal matter firmed up, she filled out, and strangers compliment her smooth and shiny coat.  Even the cream colored fur on  her hind quarters and underside of her curled tail shine in the sun.

  • Eve’sHumanMom

    Hm.  glad I scrolled down and looked at the comments.  Just got a 28lb bag for my 8kg rescue mutt (with strong Shiba inu genes) here in Japan because it was new and I got one more kilo free, which made it about the same price as the NB Ultra.  Had no idea it was for digestive issues, but since DH and the sons don’t like to pick up the poop (I don’t know why, it is so little) which, after her first couple of months with us firmed up nicely, no  matter which 4-star food I feed her (Canidae, Artemis, Natural Balance rotation, with an occasional foray into other brands for weight loss and skin care,) maybe it’s just as well.  She is willing to eat anything at any time, including catching lizards, skinks, grasshoppers, as well as grazing in the empty lot out back.  Biggest problem with food so far is DH and FIL feeding people food.

  • Ice

    Both my male Shelties eat this formula of Natural Balance and both they and I love it.  My older dog (4.5 years) started on the NB Ultra formula when he came home from the breeder, and did fine on that, but due to the fact that he was never a food driven dog or a big eater, I switched to this formula when he was about a year and a half old for the higher protein/fat content.  Sine then he managed to put on an extra 1.75 lbs to hit and maintain his target weight, and when we got our second dog, he started on this formula as well.  Our younger dog is now 5 months old, getting his adult coat, and looking great. 

    Both my sheepdogs have compact poops, are never gassy or anything like that, good breath, and HIGH HIGH energy on this food.  Also, their coats are amazing with no supplements at all.  This food is definitely a good bargain for the money.

  • Liz

    my puppy vet recommended puppy food called natural balance ultra premuim for puppy thru dog formula dry kibbles for my poodle puppy, he is going to be grown as mini poodle when he all grown up as adult dog!, before i try purina puppy chow, orijen  chicken puppy formula, Evo red meat formula,  and i try variety of canned food,  nature variety instinct chicken meal, evo 95% beef, venison, and try the wellness 95% beef, these are lists i can give it to my puppy to mix with dry kibbles the doctor said its ok and fine to add canned food with kibbles to get more meat for my puppy so i try all variety of kibbles and canned food mix to my puppy, But none of these food never worked out for my puppy, my puppy like it the first time but he won’t eat none of these food and never wanted to touch these food ever, he walks away, and got sick very bad, later he got sicker he had to go see the doctor and get tested everything what went wrong, all the food i list above ( except NB ultra premium) , orijen, evo and all other canned foods are very rich and high content protein for young puppy like mine toy poodle to mini poodle, my puppy doctor said too much protein in food very toxic for some puppies and dairy product may cause tummy problem, plus more pron to chicken allergy and some meat like turkey can not digest as well either it depend on the breed and changing and giving variety of food mix in not good either for young puppy cause very bad tummy ach and loose bowel and gas, bloating etc,,, the strange thing is i took my puppy to vet to check his symptons and check every tests he need such as blood works and  other lab tests and parasites tests all came out normal, this is very confusing, once they told me to feed this kind of food then now they told me don’t feed high contend protein food and then they told me different stories! i was just upset why do i have to go thru all these tests, if it came out everythig clear, why can they give me other option before go thru this stressful for my puppy!! spend so much vet bill causing food problem!!! sorry this is nothing to do with section what i am talking about!

  • M Ward1993

    They must have changed their formula. Here it is:Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Beet Pulp, Pearled Barley, Lamb Meal, Salmon Meal, Oatmeal, Dried Egg, Oat Fiber, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Carrot, Salmon Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement,folic acid), Minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite,calcium iodate), Psyllium Seed Husks, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-carnitine, Kelp Meal, Dried Cranberries, Dried Parsley, L-lysine, Dried Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Spinach.

  • M Ward1993

    I emailed the company and they told me the minerals are chelated.

  • Hi MWard1993,

    The only minerals listed on the company website and reproduced verbatim at the time this review was written included “zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate”.

    Unfortunately, none of these minerals appear to be chelated.

  • M Ward1993

    Mike, are you sure the minerals in this food are not chelated? Why would they not be, when they are chelated in all the other formulas?

  • Anonymous

    Switched to this food for my dogs recently – noticed BIG differences in their energy and stool.  Backyard cleanup is MUCH BETTER and my Jack Russell who had some skin issues is all cleared up.  I’m now a true believer in natural dog food (and cat food)  – and will never go back to grocery-store brands.  It’s worth it to switch and you’ll notice big changes in your pet and their overall well-being.

  • Hi Melissa,

    The footnote (labeled #1) you mention at the bottom of this review is linked to my statement about this food being ethoxyquin free.

    It’s always been my understanding that many of the dry kibbles manufactured under the Natural Balance logo are produced at facilities owned and operated by Diamond Pet Foods.

    Since I have an email letter in my possession sent to me in 2010 from Diamond stating all of their foods containing fish meal are now ethoxyquin free, I may have erroneously assumed when I wrote this review that Synergy was also free of this preservative.

    However, I cannot assure you the Synergy product line is made by Diamond.

    I’ll try to check with the company on this issue as soon as I can.

    Do you know for a fact that this particular line is made by CJ Foods?

  • melissa

    If its made by CJ foods, why does it say in the bottom of the review” Diamond” customer service??

  • DarwinsMyth

    I’ll never buy the cheap dog food again (i.e. Purina,etc.). My German Shepherd eats her food (i.e. Natural Balance Synergy) with enthusiasm, and her stools look normal, with no more signs of diarrhea and the stools are no longer green or some really light color. She’s always ready to rumble/play with me anywhere or anytime.

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  • Anonymous

    This food is a lifesaver!  My dog Scout was having some gas and digestive issues.  I wanted to find him a natural pet food that would give him all the nutrition he needed (he’s very active and loves to run and play fetch) but I also wanted a food that helped me with backyard cleanup – LOL!  We tried Natural Balance Synergy and he immediately loved it – I’ve never seen him so excited about a dry food before.  He is 22 pounds so I follow the feeding instructions on the back of the bag and have noticed that there is less waste in the yard and I haven’t noticed any gas!  I also like the face that there are three meats in this formula – Chicken, Lamb Meal and Salmon Meal – which honestly I think makes it taste so good to him and is why he loves it so much.  I will keep buying this food and highly recommend it!

  • Sew

    Natural Balance dry kibbles are made in the USA. Specifically at CJ Foods in Bern, KS and Diamond Pet Foods in Lathrop, CA; Meta, MO; and Gaston, SC.

  • Hannahnyny

    Does anyone know if Natural Balance is made in America? 

  • Di Bauden

    My two 5 year old lab mixes had terribly sensitive tummies. They had really bad gas, would vomit and occasionally had diarrhea. Last September, one had diarrhea and vomiting daily for 21 days in a row. After a million “negative” tests, I changed their food to Synergy from the regular NB Premium when the vets could find no reason for the upset stomach. Neither of my girls have been sick since (13 months!). Gas is a rarity and their stool is fantastic. I cannot recommend this food enough. It is a five star food in my house for sure. I’ve sent testimonials to NB for this product and received a bunch of coupons for my contribution. Natural Balance is a fantastic company and I’ll be forever grateful they created this wonderful food! The nutrition and health of my dogs is paramount to me.


    I have Boxers, and for years have been in search of a high-quality prepared formula that would be healthy, easy to digest, and assist with running stools etc., I’ve tried multiple formulas in addition to home-made menus – nothing really seemed to help my dogs with their gas and stool problems [one of my dogs has allergies as well].

    First, both of my dogs love this particular formula, and there is a drastic improvement with their stools – BRAVO to Natural Balance, I think you guys hit it right out of the park.

  • Pat Moore

    Meaghan, waiting to hear how this food has turned out for your pups.

  • HNB

    I started feeding my three dogs (1 year old pug, 11 year old pug & 2 year old Border TERRIER) NB Synergy about 3 months ago. I sho my dogs so digestion and coat quality are very important. I also consider myself very well educated about dog food ingredients and have tried almost all of the top natural foods (Orijen, EVO, Pinnacle, Instinct etc.) and must say that Synergy really delivers the EXACT resuts it says it will. My dogs ALL have uniform, tiny stool and it’s always consitant. Coats are amazing and they are thriving. I am impressed and will continue to feed this food. I was WAITING for NB to finally up the protein and fat in a formula.

  • Suze

    I started using this kibble about four months ago. I have pei and they have ear issues, every pei I have ever known does. I started this food because it has no potatoe in it as well as it is for digestion. My dogs have never ever been free of ear issues until I started this food. They are mostly raw feed, but there are some days when life just gets in the way and you need a quick meal, that is when they get NB. I will continue to use it. It is only 4 stars which is sad, but I like it. Used to feed EVO but would not touch it now that P&G have a hold on it.

  • Maeghan

    I bought Synergy just the other day and right off the bat my 3 pit bulls LOVED it. I’m still mixing with a bit of their old food but 2 of the 3 are leaving the old food behind. (the other one is just a bit of a piglet and will eat anything you put in front of him) I have 2 “twins”(littermates) who are 6yrs old and then a 2(ish)yr old who is my newest rescue. He started as one of my many foster/rehabilitation dogs(I help foster and rehabilitate severe abuse case pits) but he was the worst case I have ever had and we really bonded so I decided to keep him. Though he looks 100X better than when I got him, he still needs work. Hope this food helps his digestion and gets some weight on him as well as helps his coat. All 3 of my dogs are HIGH energy and lots of muscle. After hours in the store i picked this food because it seemed to have everything I was looking for. Will let you all know how it turns out!

  • Gina R

    I just began my rescued pitbull on NB ynergy — he loves it and soooo far he is gas free!!! This is the FIRST time since I rescued him in November of last year! He has had terrible gas from the day a friend of mine and I rescued him. I mean– he would clear the HOUSE! I have tried everything —Blue Buffalo (Salmon,etc) 4 Health, and finally found Synergy at the local feed store. And so far, I see huge improvements!!!

    A puppy I just rescued is also on Synergy, and he loves it! But though his stools are not diarrhea, they are loose compared to what they were before Synergy… i will be buying Blue Buffalo puppy—– to me and my pack BB is by far the best dog food!!.

  • Jonathan

    Susan, the Synergy formula is actually for digestive care. So the fact that your dog is having digestive issues with it is really a shame! You may just need to go back to the LID’s or try a new brand all together.

  • susan

    Have always used Natural Balance, a variety of dry–lamb and rice, sweet pot. and duck, the ultra, all of which my 3 year old standard poodle got tired of and only picked at. Several advised he needed to gain weight, so I went to high protein Synergy. He has loved it. Now several months into it, he has had diarrhea 3 times in about 30 hours, couldn’t make it outside, which is unheard of! Can anyone point to synergy as the possible cause? The only other thing he has had is Natural Balance’s lamb/rice roll around treats and only one! I really thought I had found the best food for him. He likes it and has gained about 5 pounds. Help!

  • sandy


    Natures Select Salmon formula has 12% fat and only 1 grain (brown rice). It’s composed of salmon meal, brown rice, sweet potato meal, pumpkin meal, fish meal, canola oil…

  • Carlo

    I started giving my 1 year old boxer who has a very sensitive stomach. Tried wellness simple formula, but still soft stools. Went to Science Diet Sensitive Stomach, stools got better but he didn’t seem to like it and I didn’t like the ingredients. Using Synergy now and stool is good and he likes it. I would recommend this food.

  • Jonathan

    Why are you going with Iams, Kristen? It’s only a two star food. It’s loaded with corn, and the bulk of it’s protein comes from chicken by-product meal. Any of the Natural Balance foods could be a better choice! :-/ Not to mention that, if you spend some more time on this web site, you will learn that a lot of folks up here rotate their doggy’s diet to avoid exacerbating potential intolerance, allergies, or short-comings that one dry kibble may have.

  • Kristen

    Thank you. my new dog has no medical issues but im not giving him the natural balance. im giving him iams. he use to iams so thats what im feeding him. but im still keeping the natural balance food just in case i need it for him.

  • Jonathan

    Sorry to hear about your dog passing Kristen. 🙁 That’s always hard.

    But good luck with your new buddy! 🙂

    Like George Carlin said… “That’s what life is!.. Life is a series of dogs.”

  • Kristen

    I bought it for my dog and he seems to love it. i bought it for my jack russel to help with going to the bathroom better. it turned out that he had a tumor in his bladder that was nonoperatable. The vet told me the natural balance helped him poop better and was a good thing. we put him down yesterday because of the tumor. But my new dog that i got he seems to love it too. So i think its a great dog food and i like the probiotics in it because it helps with runny poop. He makes this new dog poop alot better.

  • Pat Moore

    I always look to see how many carbos are before the fat ingredient in any food, and this one (Synergy) is really grabbing me with Brown Rice as the only carbo before the Chicken Fat. Alpha has 3 carb sources before the fat. Of course, the Guaranteed Fat is a high 16% too; I really look for 14%. I think if I alternate foods some day, or get disenchanted with Chicken Soup….Dog, I will probably be the first on this site to try Synergy.

  • Pat Moore

    Waiting to hear if anybody has tried this food, if they like it, and it they think 16% fat is too high for a “senior” dog.

  • Hi Daniel… That statement is footnoted. Natural Balance is manufactured by Diamond. As of May 2010, Diamond claims the company no longer uses fish meals preserved with ethoxyquin in any of the products they manufacture.

  • Daniel

    Hi Mike, In your review you stated that salmon meal appears to be ethoxyquin-free. I didn’t find any statement on NB web side that it is ethoxyquin-free. Therefore I would like to ask where you have this information from? Thank you

  • Hey Jonathan… We”ll get on it as soon as it’s available. Thanks for the tip.

  • Jonathan

    Hey Mike, Natural Balance has a new grain-free food coming out! My store will be ordering it next week. Looks like a 4 star product. It is not “protein focused”, it’s just grain free. Looks good though.