Nature’s Recipe dog food tubs receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Nature’s Recipe product line includes 3 tubbed 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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Nature’s Recipe Chicken [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Turkey [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon [M]
Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nature's Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, pumpkin, salmon, brown rice, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato puree, salt, tricalcium phosphate, potato starch, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin, beta-carotene), potassium chloride, guar gum, calcium sulfate, minerals (zinc glycine complex, iron glycine complex, copper glycine complex, manganese glycine complex, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), choline chloride, natural flavor, carrageenan, magnesium sulfate, beta-carotene (color), rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||65%||12%||16%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||59%||26%||14%|
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”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The fourth ingredient is salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
The fifth 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 sixth 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 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 seventh ingredient is tomato puree, a smooth, creamy blend of crushed tomatoes. Whole tomato is a nutrient rich vegetable consisting of about 72% carbohydrates.
The eighth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous. In addition, this additive is used in canned foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.
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, 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.
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.
Nature’s Recipe Tubbed Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Recipe dog food tubs look like an above-average wet 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 65% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 16% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 18%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Nature’s Recipe is a grain-inclusive wet dog food using a significant amount of named meat 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.
Nature’s Recipe 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.
- Nature’s Recipe Dog Treats Recall (10/13/2012)
Readers interested in Nature’s Recipe wet dog food may also wish to check out these popular pages, too…
Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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In any case, it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.
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Notes and Updates
04/07/2019 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩