Which Nature’s Recipe Formulas Get
Our Best Ratings?
Nature’s Recipe Original dog food in trays receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Nature’s Recipe Original product line includes the 3 dog food trays listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Nature’s Recipe Chicken in Broth||5||M|
|Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Turkey in Broth||5||M|
|Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon in Broth||5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Nature’s Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon in Broth 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.
Nature's Recipe Chicken and Wild Salmon in Broth
Wet 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, a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The next 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 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 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 phosphorus. 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 Nature’s Recipe product.
With 3 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.
The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.
Next, this recipe includes sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Nature’s Recipe Original dog food in trays looks like an above-average wet product.
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%.
Which means this Nature’s Recipe product line contains…
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.
Our Rating of Nature’s Recipe Dog Food
Nature’s Recipe Original (in trays) is a grain-inclusive wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Nature’s Recipe through October 2023.
- Nature’s Recipe Dog Treats Recall (10/13/2012)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Nature’s Recipe Brand Reviews
The following Nature’s Recipe dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Brand Prototype: Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Review
- Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Review
- Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food Review (Trays)
- Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
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- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
05/24/2022 Last Update