NutriSource Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The NutriSource Dog Food product line includes 12 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.
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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at Amazon.
- NutriSource Adult Chicken and Rice [A]
- NutriSource Senior Chicken and Rice [M]
- NutriSource Super Performance (5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Lamb Meal and Rice (3.5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Rice [A]
- NutriSource Performance Chicken and Rice (5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Small and Medium Breed Puppy (5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice (3.5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Weight Management (4.5 stars) [M]
- NutriSource Large Breed Adult Lamb Meal and Rice (3.5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Beef and Rice (3.5 stars) [A]
- NutriSource Trout and Rice [A]
NutriSource Adult Chicken and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
NutriSource Adult Chicken and Rice Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), white rice, oatmeal, menhaden fish meal (a source of fish oil), beet pulp-dried, natural turkey and chicken flavor, flax seed, dried brewers yeast, salt, potassium chloride, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lactic acid, glucosamine hydrochloride, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, Yucca schidigera extract, taurine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||18%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||37%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The seventh ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The eighth ingredient is menhaden 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
The ninth 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.
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, flaxseed is 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.
Next, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
In addition, 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.
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.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
NutriSource Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, NutriSource 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
NutriSource is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.
Those looking for a quality wet food from the same company may want to check out our review of NutriSoure Canned Dog Food.
NutriSource 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.
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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
01/13/2019 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩