Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food tubs receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5.
The Nature’s Recipe Grain Free product line includes 6 recipe tubs.
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 the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken and Duck [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Chicken and Venison (3.5 stars) [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Prime Blends Chicken and Beef [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Prime Blends Chicken and Lamb [M]
- Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Easy to Digest Ocean Fish and Tuna [M]
Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Prime Blends Chicken and Beef was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nature's Recipe Grain Free Prime Blends Chicken and Beef
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, sweet potato, beef, green beans, canola oil (mixed tocopherols used as a preservative), tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, calcium sulfate, salt, natural flavor, potassium chloride, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, beta-carotene, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc sulfate, reduced iron, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), choline chloride, carrageenan
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||67%||6%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||67%||14%||20%|
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 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 includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The fifth 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 sixth 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.
The seventh ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
Nature’s Recipe Grain Free
Tubbed Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food tubs looks 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 15% 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 canned dog food containing a significant amount of meat.
Nature’s Recipe Grain Free is a 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)
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
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
04/30/2019 Last Update