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Nutrisca Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Nutrisca Grain Free product line includes 5 canned 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.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
- Nutrisca Grain Free Duck and Chickpea Stew [A]
- Nutrisca Grain Free Lamb and Chickpea Stew [A]
- Nutrisca Grain Free Turkey and Chickpea Stew [A]
- Nutrisca Grain Free Salmon and Chickpea Stew [A]
- Nutrisca Grain Free Chicken and Chickpea Stew [A]
Nutrisca Grain Free Turkey and Chickpea Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nutrisca Grain Free Turkey and Chickpea Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, chicken broth, water sufficient for processing, chicken liver, carrots, peas, dried egg product, dried ground peas, salmon (source of omega 3 fatty acids), dried chickpeas, dried egg whites, guar gum, natural flavor, tricalcium phosphate, spinach, menhaden fish oil ((, source of docosahexaenoic acid) (preserved with mixed tocopherols)), salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, potassium chloride, minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, cobalt amino acid chelate, potassium iodide), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried tomatoes, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||22%||25%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||44%||21%|
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”.2
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken 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 third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated 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 eighth ingredient includes dried ground peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The ninth ingredient is salmon. Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.
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, we find dried chickpeas in this product. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried chickpeas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
Next, we note the use of menhaden fish oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.
What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deeper water species.
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.
Nutrisca Grain Free Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutrisca Grain Free dog food looks like an above-average canned 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea products and chickpeas, this looks like the profile of a canned product containing a notable amount of meat.
Nutrisca Grain Free is a canned dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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.
Nutrisca Dog Food
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.
- Dangerous Levels of Vitamin D Discovered in Several Dog Food Brands (12/7/2018)
- Nutrisca Dog Food Recall | November 2018 (11/4/2018)
- Nutrisca Dog Food Recall (2/11/2015)
- Dogswell Recalls Dog and Cat Jerky Treats (7/27/2013)
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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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
10/14/2018 Last Update