Nulo Medal Series Grain Free (Canned)


Rating: ★★★★★

Nulo Medal Series canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Nulo Medal Series product line includes 5 grain-free canned dog foods.

  • Nulo Medal Series Beef, Peas and Carrots [A]
  • Nulo Medal Series Salmon and Chickpeas [A]
  • Nulo Medal Series Turkey and Sweet Potato [A]
  • Nulo Medal Series Lamb and Lentils (3 stars) [A]
  • Nulo Medal Series Chicken, Carrots and Peas [A]

Nulo Medal Series Turkey and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nulo Medal Series Turkey and Sweet Potato

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 46% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 19%

Ingredients: Turkey, turkey liver, turkey broth, peas, sweet potatoes, ground flaxseed, guar gum, potassium chloride, agar agar, choline chloride, salt, 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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis10%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis46%27%19%
Calorie Weighted Basis35%51%15%
Protein = 35% | Fat = 51% | Carbs = 15%

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 liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third 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 addition component in many canned products.

The fourth 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 a 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 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 one notable exception

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 Medal Series Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nulo Medal Series 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 19%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 46% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 17% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed in this recipe, and the chickpeas and lentils contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nulo Medal Series is a 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.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

04/23/2017 Last Update

  1. 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
  • Angie Rosado Ordoñez

    Mine have watery stools as well, but I have tried different canned foods and they still have watery stools. Since this Nulo is a good food I am adding pumpkin the 110% one, not the pie one, and some white rice and their stools are now firm.

  • Crazy4cats

    Good info. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lauren

    So they got back with me with this: Although our dry recipes do differ in composition between our MedalSeries and FreeStyle lines, our canned foods are identical! The only difference is the label and where you can purchase them: MedalSeries through PetSmart and FreeStyle through independent pet specialty retailers and select online retailers.

  • Lauren

    I will check on the price, I know my local pet store sells the freestyle and petsmart sells the medal for 2.49. I just emailed them I will let you know what they say!

  • haleycookie

    Huh, that is odd. Definitely a question worth throwing at the company. I wonder if the cans are priced differently or not.

  • Lauren

    Yes, the dry food is different but if you compare the wet food turkey and sweet potato they are the same.

  • haleycookie

    They’re not the same at all. Different protein and fat levels. Different ingredients. The freestyle seems better more meat ingredients in the front and the Turkey recipe in freestyle is free of chicken while the medal it’s the second ingredient.

  • Lauren

    Can someone explain the difference between the medal and the freestyle? I looked up both of the turkey recipe’s on their website and they’re exactly the same. Thanks

  • haleycookie

    Petsmart carries the medal series nulo.

  • Leyna

    I have not been able to find the “MEDAL” brand of Nulo..Anyone know where to buy this?

  • sandy

    As of the date of the article, the Lamb recipe has a fat-to-protein ratio of 90%. Also, remember that the protein and fat listings on a Guaranteed Analysis are minimum amounts. There could be more protein and even more fat. The calorie content listed on their website is 510 per can for lamb. That’s alot of calories and alot of those calories are from fat, not protein. The turkey recipe has 430 calories, the same amount of protein (46%) as lamb but a fat-to-protein ratio of 60%.

  • haleycookie

    Lamb usually rates lower 90% of the time because for whatever reason it simply can’t reach the same protein levels so it’s either replaced with some other type of protein(plant or animal) or left out all together so the protein ends up being lower because of that. And with how these foods are rated that can bring down a score.

  • maddy503

    Why do you guys think the lamb and lentils only got 3 stars? That one is my dogs favorite.

  • Kameron Bell

    I fed this to my dog and his stools are watery. Did I switch him to fast. Am I supposed to switch from dry to wet over time.

  • Diane

    I just found this food on the internet and am researching it as I need a food without potatoes and peas for my allergy sensitive dog. Was a little concerned also of the fat content as he is a small dog and can’t gain weight. Any luck with your baby yet? Thanks

  • ScotchBonnet

    I’ve been trying several kinds of canned food for my somewhat fussy retrievers, and they really liked this brand–I got the chicken and turkey varieties, and they scarfed them up.

  • Lars

    We just started using it with a dog who has just awful allergies. We are feeding the canned salmon and chickpeas variety.

    It is too soon to tell if it is making a difference, but he likes it a lot. it is a solid ‘lump’ of wet canned food vs. those that look like beef stew. I will keep you posted as we continue with it — but so far, so good. It is a food that comes out of the can in a solid lump (like canned cranberry gel vs. a stew). The one thing that I am going to have to monitor is how much I feed him. With the high fat and protein content (which we are hoping the flaxseed oil and the fish will be very beneficial to helping his skin problems) and the total volume of food that the 3 cans (he’s about 70#) provide, we may have to watch his weight a bit and feed closer to the low end for his weight than the middle of the range.

    We’ll keep you posted…but so far, so good! (We purchased the food at PetSmart — so it’s easy to find.)

  • Jwhitt

    Has anyone used this food? Looks greats