Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Northwest Naturals product line includes the 6 freeze-dried raw dog foods listed below.
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.
Use the links below to compare price and package sizes at Amazon.
- Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Turkey [A]
- Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Chicken [A]
- Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Lamb (4 stars) [A]
- Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Beef (3.5 stars) [A]
- Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Chicken and Salmon [A]
- Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Whitefish and Salmon [A]
Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Beef recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Nuggets Beef
Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef heart, beef liver, ground beef bone, beef kidney, broccoli, carrots, apples, romaine lettuce, ground flaxseed, fish oil, apple cider vinegar, blueberry, cranberry, inulin, dried kelp, potassium chloride, sodium chloride, ginger, parsley, garlic, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, mixed tocopherols (as preservative), vitamin D supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||43%||36%||13%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||61%||9%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next ingredient is ground beef bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
The fifth ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.
The next ingredient is broccoli, which is a healthy green vegetable and a member of the kale family. It’s notably rich in vitamin C and fiber and numerous other nutrients.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli is believed to provide anti-cancer benefits.
The seventh ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The ninth item lists lettuce. This green leafy vegetable is naturally rich in vitamins and minerals. In fact, lettuce boasts an exceptionally high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 88.
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 Northwest Naturals product.
With 5 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, 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.
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
Next, we find fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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.
Freeze Dried Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Dog Food looks like an above-average raw product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 52% and a mean fat level of 34%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 6% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 66%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing a significant amount of meat.
However, with 61% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 30% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried is a grain-free raw dog food using a generous amount of named meats and organs as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Northwest Naturals Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to Northwest Naturals. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
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 ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩
07/20/2020 Last Update