Nulo Medal Series (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Nulo Medal Series Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Nulo Medal Series product line includes 6 grain-free dry 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.

  • Nulo Medal Series Adult Lamb and Lentils [M]
  • Nulo Medal Series Adult Chicken and Peas [M]
  • Nulo Medal Series Large Breed Turkey and Peas [M]
  • Nulo Medal Series Adult Salmon and Sweet Potato [M]
  • Nulo Medal Series Puppy Chicken and Sweet Potato [G]
  • Nulo Medal Series Senior Chicken and Lentils (4.5 stars) [M]

Nulo Medal Series Adult Lamb and Lentils was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nulo Medal Series Adult Lamb and Lentils

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 38%

Ingredients: Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, whole peas, sweet potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), lentils, menhaden fish meal, pea fiber, natural lamb flavor, yeast culture, dried chicory root, potassium chloride, dried apples, dried blueberries, dried carrots, dried tomatoes, calcium carbonate, salmon oil, salt, sweet fennel, dandelion, chamomile, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), iron proteinate, niacin, copper proteinate, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), sodium selenite, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis32%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%19%38%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%39%32%
Protein = 30% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 32%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains about 80% 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 is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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 chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient includes lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The ninth ingredient is pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no nutritional value to a dog.

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 three notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, chicory root 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.

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 Medal Series Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nulo Medal Series Dog Food looks like an above-average dry 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 36%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 38%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 39% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

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 peas and lentils, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nulo Medal Series is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Highly 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

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

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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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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

04/10/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • disqusted

    Senior versions usually get docked half a star or even a whole star, because they are not as robust as the 5 star. It’s basically having less ingredients that make fat and protein, you can’t call it a 5 star just because it says senior. You could just cut back on the amount of food you give your dog and give them canned green beans instead, same effect.

  • Elizabeth Coe

    I have all of my dogs on Nulo but going to change…the puppies poop especially is so rank if he using the pee pad inside it will gag you. Not sure what the issue is but can’t deal with it

  • Angie Destatte

    I have my Mastiff puppy on Nulo puppy and she loves it. Her coat is super shiny! The breeder had her started on diamond puppy and when I switched her over to Nulo within weeks there was a drastic change in her coat condition. Way better!

  • Angie Destatte

    I called and asked them because I have a Mastiff puppy. They yes it’s for all breeds

  • Heather

    I changed my 6 year old lab to this food a little over 4 months ago and I do have to say, this is the only food that he eats willingly without me having to add any additive (i.e. chicken, a bit of canned food, etc.). His coat is soft and shiny as well! If you have a picky eater like I do, it may work for you! The food is a little bit more expensive, but it has been worth it to me! It’s a great dog food!

  • JComo

    Can a large breed eat the puppy food?

  • Tina

    Yes, the entire Nulo brand are grain free (both dry & wet), Nulo has over 80% of animal protein and no animal by product, lower in carbonhydrate and contains probiotic(good for their digestive system), I just switched my 9yrs German Shepherd for their senior dog food, and doing great! So I think this will be perfect choice for your dog

  • Sarah Edie Dixon

    Is there a grain free line? I have a bull breed with grain allergies

  • Red Carey

    WHY DOES THE SENIOR VERSION GET 4.5 STARS???

  • Jen

    Thank you!

  • Pitlove

    Hi Jen-

    I agree with you. I prefer simple foods. I tend to avoid foods with a lot of ingredients for my pets. But, with your Golden being a large breed the most important thing is that the puppy food is safe to feed to a large breed puppy. There are foods that do not say “large breed puppy” on the bag, that are safe for them and vice versa. Safe for a large breed means a low energy density food with restricted levels of calcium and phosphorus for slow growth.

  • Jen

    Ok so I have a 5 month old Golden Retriever, I was just at petsmart to pick up a small bag of food because her dog food we ordered hasn’t arrived yet. Thus she needs to eat.

    I have her on Blue Buffalo Large breed puppy, Freedom Grain Free…..there was a spokes person walking around and told me to get Nulo medal series and explained how it’s better ingredients than the Blue.

    I’m reading on this blog and it seems like there are ALOT of proteins for her. I don’t know if the necessarily ok….. this is my first time owning a dog on my own so I’d like some input…..

  • Diane

    I am going to try this kibble along with the wet and see how my babies do. Hoping it helps my one with his food allergies. Will try the freestyle dry without chicken protein. Glad your babies like it. I have two picky yorkies LOL.

  • Bolo The Bully

    My 5 month old (36lbs.) Bully loves the Puppy chicken and sweet potato medal series.
    First time on it today.
    I also mixed in his usual milk suplements and BullyMax vitamins.
    Our Stadforshire Terrier (85lbs.) ate all of his also.
    Regular auto ship of BullyMax High Performance (5 star vet approved) hasn’t came yet this month so I tried this 5 star Nulo.
    Satisfied thus far.
    Will use Nulo as a substitute and may even mix with Bully max when I comes in.

  • Sanz

    I need a consensus. If you were to choose between two ingredients, would you rather have potatoes or pea fiber as a binder/filler?

  • Crazy4dogs

    I agree. I was surprised when I first opened the bag. I didn’t realize that rabbit meat was so dark. I guess I haven’t eaten rabbit before! 😀

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Yup, same here! I think it’s because the kibble is so dark.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Good luck! Anal gland issues are not fun.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks! Me too! 😀

  • Crazy4cats

    Lucky you! Hoping for the best!

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Thanks for asking! Not sure how much I’ve mentioned where, but she has been on NVI Limited Ingredient Rabbit for the last few weeks. She was also on Metronidazole, and just came off a few days ago, so now is when we get to see if her anal glands build up again.

  • Crazy4cats

    Hey DO-
    How is the elimination diet going? Have you made any progress?

  • Naturella

    D_O, I haven’t tried the canned, but I sure would! The dry is pretty good though. Wish the Lamb formula had more lamb, but I guess it has a bit of everything, so it is more “comprehensive” nutritionally or whatever… LoL, either way, Bru loved it and did great on it. Next up is Dogswell LiveFree Salmon, let’s see how that goes. 🙂

    P.S. My roommate’s dog is on Nulo Salmon right now and seems to like it. She used to be on the Lamb formula for a while too, but her stool was puffier and not so dense as Bruno’s was on the same food and flavor. Different dogs, different poop/digestion. 🙂

  • Dog_Obsessed

    This is probably my favorite multi-protien kibble. Lily can’t eat it right now because of her elimination diet, but it is certainly a great one! The wet food is great too, and has no carrageenan which is nice.

  • Naturella

    My Bruno just finished a small bag of the Lamb formula. He did great on it! Stool was one of the best he’s had, firm, small, really good. He is overall very healthy and shiny, so no visible change in his coat or demeanor. This food kept his condition up. Actually he may have become a little leaner on it too (not that he really needed it), or it may be because we are starting to exercise more outside again… Either way, he liked it and it seems like it did him good – if I continue to feed kibble, this food will definitely be a part of our rotation.

  • Ian Sorensen

    Nulo Medal series is exclusive to Petsmart I believe. The other Nulo Freestyle series of foods you ought to be able to find at independent dealers. The Nulo website probably has a list. I’m very happy with the Medal series puppy food.

  • DaiseyLexusAddison

    Where is the best place to find Nulo? Feeders Supply use to carry it, but not anymore.

  • Deloris Duncan-Carter

    I have 4 English bulldogs and 2 teacup yorkies! I buy nothing but Nulo for puppies, they absolutely LOVE it! The price is kinda high but I am feeding some pigs when it comes to Nulo ;). I WILL NOT buy anything else because A. My babies love it B. the awesome ingredients and C. I love the way it makes their coat look and feel! WONDERFUL food for my babies!!!

  • Dee Holoviak

    Nulo Medal Series. Confirmed by Nulo on 4/30/14
    Adult Salmon: Calcium (1.35%); Phosphorous (0.906%)
    Adult Lamb: Calcium (1.531%); Phosphorous (1.033%)
    Adult Chicken: Calcium (1.435%); Phosphorous (0.935%)
    My 6 month old Newfoundland has been on Nulo since he was 2 mos. and he’s doing great.

  • Lindsay

    I had an 8 month old (super picky) German Shepherd. Everything i’ve been trying for him seems to start out ok then about a month in he starts itching everwhere. Tried Wellness puppy, BB Wilderness,BB Freedom and now Merricks. Has anyone tried this and their puppy like it?? He also loves to eat my inlaws dogs food which is dog chow (I think Purina?) and i refuse to let him eat that. Help!

  • Soleil

    My 4 1/2 month old female German Shepherd Lola loves the Nulo puppy food. My puppy had a bit of a rough start because the previous owner couldn’t give her the care she needed and decided to rehome her, so I’ve only had her for 2 weeks.

    I know it’s probably too soon to give absolute credit to the Nulo but I can say this much, when she first came home with me it seemed she had signs of a slight cold in the corners of both eyes and her coat was a little dull, nothing really bad mind you but her eyes are now completely clear and her coat is very soft and has a natural sheen that I didn’t see before.

  • Milesmommy

    Okay good to know, I’ll do that thank you!

  • Betsy Greer

    Both the salmon & peas and chicken & sweet potato puppy formulas have a minimum Calcium of 1% listed, but you should email the company and ask what the maximum Calcium level is.

  • Milesmommy

    Does anyone know if the nulo puppy food has a low enough percentage of calcium to be acceptable for large breed dogs? I didn’t see it on the list of recommended foods for large breeds that is given on the nutrition forum

  • Jennifer Hamblen Seneff Jones

    my dogs liked the senior food….. fed 2 nites now, one is a picky eater.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Thank you so much for responding!

  • Dee Holoviak

    I have had my dogs on Nulo for 2 months now. All seem to be doing great. Shiny soft coats. Newfie puppy taking a bit more time to adjust but he loves the salmon .

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Has anyone tried this?