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Nutra Complete Dog Food Review (Freeze-Dried)

Karan French

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Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: May 20, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Nutra Complete freeze-dried raw product range is made up of two recipes both with ratings of 4 stars.

Please note, however, that this food has a high fat content, so is only suitable for highly active dogs.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Nutra Complete Premium Beef 4 M
Nutra Complete Premium Pork 4 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Nutra Complete Premium Beef was selected to represent both products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Nutra Complete Premium Beef

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

36.8%

Protein

34.7%

Fat

20.5%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Beef, beef liver, beef kidney, beef bone (ground), flaxseed, dried kelp, blueberry, carrot, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, chicory, salt, cranberry, yeast culture, pumpkin seed, ginger, potassium chloride, taurine, zinc amino acid complex, inulin, diatomaceous earth, iron amino acid complex, vitamin E supplement, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin supplement, copper amino acid complex, l-carnitine, manganese amino acid complex, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, mixed tocopherols (preservatives)


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 35% 33% NA
Dry Matter Basis 37% 35% 21%
Calorie Weighted Basis 26% 60% 15%

Ingredients Analysis

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

Beef is naturally rich in all 10 essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef liver, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient is beef kidney, an organ meat low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.

The fourth ingredient is ground beef bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is dried kelp, a dehydrated form of seaweed also known as alginate. Kelp is most likely used here as a thickening or gelling agent.

The seventh ingredient includes blueberries. Blueberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient lists carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The ninth 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.

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 five notable exceptions

First, 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 taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

In addition, this food contains chelated mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Next, we find diatomaceous earth, also called fossil shell flour. This substance is derived from a fossilized form of microscopic one-celled plants known as diatoms.

Diatomaceous earth is EPA approved for mixing with cereal grains to help control mealworms, crawling insects and other pests. It’s also used as an anti-caking agent in animal feeds.

We’re not sure why it’s included here in this dog food.

And lastly, this recipe contains 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Nutra Complete looks like an above-average raw dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 37%, a fat level of 35% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 36%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 100%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this still looks like the profile of a freeze-dried raw product containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, with 60% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 26% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for pets on a low-fat diet.

Nutra Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Nutra through May 2024.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Nutra Dog Food

Nutra Complete is a grain-free freeze-dried, raw dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its dominant source of animal protein, however, due to such a high fat-to-protein ratio it has an overall rating of 4 stars.

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