Nulo FreeStyle Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Nulo FreeStyle Grain Free product line includes 11 canned 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.
- Nulo FreeStyle Adult Trim Turkey and Cod [M]
- Nulo FreeStyle Adult Beef, Peas and Carrots [M]
- Nulo FreeStyle Turkey, Salmon and Chickpeas [M]
- Nulo FreeStyle Adult Turkey and Sweet Potato [M]
- Nulo FreeStyle Adult Lamb and Lentils (3 stars) [M]
- Nulo FreeStyle Puppy Chicken, Salmon and Lentils [G]
- Nulo FreeStyle Puppy Turkey, Cod and Sweet Potato [G]
- Nulo FreeStyle Adult Chicken, Carrots and Peas (4 stars) [M]
- Nulo FreeStyle Small Breed Turkey and Lentils (3.5 stars) [A]
- Nulo FreeStyle Small Breed Duck and Chickpeas (4 stars) [A]
- Nulo FreeStyle Small Breed Lamb and Sweet Potato (3.5 stars) [A]
Nulo FreeStyle Adult Beef, Peas and Carrots was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nulo FreeStyle Adult Beef, Peas and Carrots
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, turkey, beef broth, beef liver, peas, carrots, ground flaxseed, guar gum, potassium chloride, agar-agar, salt, choline chloride, natural flavor, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, sodium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, thiamine mononitrate, cobalt proteinate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||46%||32%||15%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||56%||11%|
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
The second ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2
Both beef and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is beef 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 fourth ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The sixth ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
The eighth 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, we find agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
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.
Nulo FreeStyle Grain-Free Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nulo FreeStyle canned dog food 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 46% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 15% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed in this recipe and the lentils and chickpeas contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Nulo FreeStyle is a grain free meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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.
Nulo 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.
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
11/01/2018 Last Update