Nutro Puppy dog food cups receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Nutro Puppy product line includes two cupped 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.
Click the links below to check prices and read reviews from actual buyers at an online retailer.
- Nutro Puppy Grain Free Tender Beef, Peas and Carrot [G]
- Nutro Puppy Grain Free Tender Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pea [G]
Nutro Puppy Grain Free Tender Beef, Peas and Carrot recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Nutro Puppy Grain Free Tender Beef, Peas and Carrot
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, chicken broth, pork broth, peas, chicken, carrots, chicken liver, pork plasma, tapioca starch, pea fiber, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, dried tomatoes, choline chloride, xanthan gum, salt, sodium acid pyrophosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, magnesium proteinate, sodium hexametaphosphate, manganese sulfate, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, potassium iodide, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||19%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||39%||24%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next two ingredients are chicken broth and pork broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.
The fourth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The eighth ingredient is pork plasma. Plasma is what remains of blood after the blood cells themselves have been removed. Plasma can be considered a nutritious addition.
The ninth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
Next, fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
In addition, with the exception of magnesium, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
And lastly, we note the inclusion of sodium hexametaphosphate, a man-made industrial polymer with no known nutritive value.
HMP is used in making soap, detergents, water treatment, metal finishing and most likely here to decrease tartar build-up on the teeth.
Although some might disagree, we’re of the opinion that food is not the place for tartar control chemicals or any other non-nutritive substances.
Nutro Puppy Dog Food Cups Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Puppy dog food cups looks like an 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 44% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a notable amount of meat.
Nutro Puppy is a wet 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.
Nutro 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
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
01/18/2019 Last Update