Nature’s Recipe Grain Free (Tubs)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free dog food tubs receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Nature’s Recipe Grain Free product line includes 4 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.

  • Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken [A]
  • Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken and Duck [A]
  • Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken and Venison [A]

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken and Venison was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nature's Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken and Venison

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 61% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 20%

Ingredients: Chicken, vegetable broth, sweet potato, chicken fat, venison, green beans, modified food starch, tomato paste, tricalcium phosphate, sugar, salt, natural flavor, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, beta-carotene, folic acid), minerals (zinc glycine complex, iron glycine complex, copper glycine complex, manganese glycine complex, sodium selenite, potassium iodide), choline chloride, parsley

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis11%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis61%11%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis57%25%18%
Protein = 57% | Fat = 25% | Carbs = 18%

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 vegetable 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 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 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 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.2

Venison is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

The seventh ingredient is modified food starch. The source of this starch is unknown but it is most likely derived from corn or wheat. Without more information, it’s impossible to adequately judge the quality of this ingredient.

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 three notable exceptions

First, sugar is always an unwelcome addition to any dog food. Because of its high glycemic index, it can unfavorably impact the blood glucose level of any animal soon after it is eaten.

Next, unlike the controversial item tomato pomace, the tomato paste detailed here does not include the skin or seeds of the fruit.

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 Grain Free Tubbed Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Recipe Grain Free 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 61%, a fat level of 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 61% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% 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.

We like this product. However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include sugar in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient, we may have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free is a meat-based wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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
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.

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A Final Word

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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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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.

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Notes and Updates

11/01/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. 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