Review of Nutra Nuggets Dry Dog Food
Nutra Nuggets Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Nutra Nuggets product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Nutra Nuggets Puppy||5||A|
|Nutra Nuggets Lamb Meal and Rice||4||M|
|Nutra Nuggets Professional Formula||5||M|
|Nutra Nuggets Performance Formula||5||A|
|Nutra Nuggets Grain Free Beef Meal and Pea||3.5||A|
|Nutra Nuggets Beef and Rice||3||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Nutra Nuggets Performance Formula 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.
Nutra Nuggets Performance Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken by-product meal, whole grain ground corn, wheat flour, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried beet pulp, egg product, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, fish meal, salmon oil (a source of DHA), potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||20%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||40%||36%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.
In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except feathers.
On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
In any case, although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.
The second ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is wheat flour, a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 fifth ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The sixth item is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh 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.
After the natural chicken flavor, we find fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
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 4 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, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
In addition, we note the presence of 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, Nutra Nuggets Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed in this recipe and the legumes contained in another recipe, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Nutra Nuggets Dog Food
Nutra Nuggets lists both grain-free and grain-inclusive dry dog foods using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Has Nutra Nuggets Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Nutra Nuggets.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
08/27/2021 Last Update