Nutro Dog Food (Canned)
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet product line includes four canned dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for all life stages (Large Breed Puppy formula).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Senior (3 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Adult (3.5 stars)
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Large Breed Adult
- Nutro Natural Choice LID Large Breed Puppy (4.5 stars)
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet Large Breed Adult
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, lamb (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), lamb liver, ground rice, wheat gluten, egg product, whole rice, salt, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oat fiber, calcium carbonate, guar gum, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, natural flavors, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum, sodium alginate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, sodium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), zinc oxide, choline chloride, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||40%||25%||27%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||48%||21%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The fifth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
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 sixth ingredient 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 whole rice. Once cooked, whole rice is a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Yet aside from its inherent energy content, rice is only of modest nutritional value to a dog.
The eighth ingredient is salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.
However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.
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, 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.
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
Limited Ingredient Diet Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet dog food looks like an 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 40% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten in this recipe as well as the rice gluten and peas in the others, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of lamb as its main sources 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.
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
01/23/2015 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩