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Nutro Puppy Food Review (Cups)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: May 22, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Nutro Puppy Food in cups receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Nutro Puppy product line includes the two cupped dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Nutro Puppy Grain Free Tender Beef, Peas and Carrot recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Nutro Puppy Grain Free Tender Beef, Peas and Carrot

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

19.4%

Fat

28.2%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Beef, chicken broth, pork broth, peas, chicken, carrots, chicken liver, pork plasma, tapioca starch, dried egg product, pea fiber, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, salt, dried tomatoes, xanthan gum, choline chloride, fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sodium acid pyrophosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, magnesium proteinate, sodium hexametaphosphate, manganese sulfate, 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) = 1%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 4% NA
Dry Matter Basis 44% 19% 28%
Calorie Weighted Basis 37% 39% 24%

Ingredients Analysis

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”.2

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient includes carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The next ingredient is chicken liver, 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 Nutro product.

With 4 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.

Nutrient Analysis

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.3

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”.4

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient includes carrots, which are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The next ingredient is chicken liver, 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 Nutro product.

With 4 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 Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Nutro through June 2024.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Nutro Dog Food

Nutro Puppy in cups is a grain-free wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

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Highly Recommended

Sources

1, 2, 3, 4: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

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