Review of Nulo FreeStyle Grain Free Canned Dog Food
Nulo FreeStyle Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Nulo FreeStyle Grain Free product line includes the 11 canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Nulo FreeStyle Adult Turkey and Sweet Potato 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.
Nulo FreeStyle Adult Turkey and Sweet Potato
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, turkey liver, peas, sweet potatoes, ground flaxseed, guar gum, potassium chloride, agar-agar, salt, choline chloride, natural flavor, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, sodium carbonate, magnesium sulfate, 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 turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is turkey 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 turkey liver, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next 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 fifth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The sixth 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 next 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 realistically, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this Nulo product.
With 2 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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, Nulo FreeStyle canned dog food looks like an above-average wet product.
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 68%.
Which means this Nulo product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other wet dog foods.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed in this recipe and the lentils and chickpeas contained in some other recipes, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
However, with 56% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 33% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for pets on a low-fat diet.
Our Rating of Nulo FreeStyle Canned Dog Food
Nulo FreeStyle is a grain-free canned dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, thus receiving 5 stars.
Nulo Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Nulo.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Nulo Brand Reviews
The following Nulo dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Nulo FreeStyle Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Nulo Freestyle Freeze-Dried Raw Dog Food Review (Freeze-Dried)
- Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Nulo Medal Series Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Nulo Medal Series Grain Free Dog Food Review (Canned)
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.
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
11/10/2021 Last Update