Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet canned dog food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet product line includes three canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free LID Fish and Potato
- Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free LID Lamb and Potato
- Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free LID Turkey and Potato (3.5 stars)
Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet Fish and Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Fish and Potato
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fish, whole potatoes, water sufficient for processing, dried potatoes, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), potato protein, carrageenan, guar gum, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, brewers dried yeast, ferrous sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||23%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||44%||29%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is fish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1
Although it is a quality item, raw fish 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 potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The fifth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
The sixth ingredient is potato protein, the dry residue remaining after removing the starchy part of a potato.
Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
The eighth ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, 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.
And lastly, with the exception of copper, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free
Limited Ingredient Diet
Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free Limited Ingredient Diet canned dog food looks like an above-average wet 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 34% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 68%.
Below-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried potato, potato protein and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a below-average amount of meat.
Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a below-average amount of turkey, lamb or fish as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 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 similar kibble product from the same company may wish to visit our review of Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free dry dog food.
A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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Notes and Updates
01/21/2015 Last Update
- Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩