Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second highest-tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe 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 to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Turkey Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Turkey Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 40%

Ingredients: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), lima beans, miscanthus grass, natural flavor, monosodium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, calcium carbonate, dried chicory root, salmon oil, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc methionine, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, biotin, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%19%40%
Calorie Weighted Basis28%39%33%
Protein = 28% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 33%

The first ingredient in this dog food is deboned turkey. Although it is a quality item, raw turkey contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The third ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth 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 next 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 that 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 lists lima beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

However, lima beans contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is miscanthus grass, also known as elephant grass. Miscanthus is a non-GMO source of crude fiber.

After the natural flavor, we find monosodium phosphate, a supplemental source of both sodium and phosphorus. Sodium and phosphorus are each considered essential minerals.

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 Nulo product.

With 3 notable exceptions

First, we find chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

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.

Next, we note the use of salmon oil. Salmon 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, salmon 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.

Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus
Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 40%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Which means this Nulo product line contains…

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas and lima beans, this still looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nulo Freestyle Limited Plus is a grain-free dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Nulo Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Nulo 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.

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

02/28/2020 Last Update