Nutro Ultra (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Nutro Ultra Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Nutro Ultra product line includes 11 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.

  • Nutro Ultra Adult [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Senior [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Puppy (4.5 stars) [G]
  • Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Large Breed Adult [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Large Breed Puppy [G]
  • Nutro Ultra Toy Breed Adult (4.5 stars) [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy (4.5 stars) [G]
  • Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior (4.5 stars) [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Weight Management (3.5 stars) [M]
  • Nutro Ultra Small Breed Weight Management [M]

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole brown rice, brewers rice, rice bran, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lamb meal, salmon meal, natural flavor, pea protein, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whole flaxseed, dried plain beet pulp, whole grain oatmeal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dl-methionine, salt, mixed tocopherols and citric acid (preservatives), dried coconut, whole chia seed, dried egg product, tomato pomace, dried kale, dried pumpkin, dried spinach, dried blueberries, dried apples, dried carrots, zinc sulfate, niacin supplement, biotin, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), selenium yeast, vitamin B12 supplement, copper amino acid chelate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), manganese amino acid chelate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%17%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%35%40%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 40%

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 brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.

It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of rice product:

  • Brown rice
  • Brewers rice
  • Rice bran

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making rice (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is lamb meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The eighth ingredient is salmon meal, yet another high protein 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

After the natural flavors, we find pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

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 meat content of this dog food.

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 seven 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, 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.

In addition, we find chia seed, an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.

However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

Additionally, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, 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.

And lastly, this recipe also includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Nutro Ultra Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Ultra 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 51%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, flaxseed and chia seed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Nutro Ultra is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

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
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
And Discounts

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

09/21/2017 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Susan

    Hi Sylvia,
    have a look at “Canidae” All Life Stages Large Breed, Canidae make 2 large breed formula’s Turkey Meal & Brown Rice has limited ingredients & Duck Meal & Brown Rice or there’s Canidae’s cheaper brand “Under The Sun” Adult Large Breed Chicken formula & rotate between a few different brands, I never feed the same brand of dry kibble, I always rotate & feed between a few different brands that agree with my boy, I feed “Taste Of The Wild” Sierra Mountain, Roasted Lamb it’s an all stages, single meat protein & grain free formula, I also feed “Canidae” Pure Wild, Canidae’s all life stages Platinum….
    Here’s Canidae’s site, scroll down a bit & on your right click on page 5 you’ll see the large breed formula’s or go thru all teh pages & have a look at the different formula’s Canidae kibbles are easy to digest & they grow their own vegetables…

  • Sylvia De

    I have 2 golden retrievers, both on large breed Ultra Nutro no problems for 4-5 years. We’re on our 3rd bag of the new formula (2017). They both have lost a bit of weight and are not satisfied, constantly looking for more food. We’ll be researching for a new dog food.

  • Susan

    Hi Lucy, try “Canidae” Pure Meadow Senior & Canidae, All Life Stages, Life stages formula, email Canidae & ask if they have samples, your dogs will love the All Life Stages formula, my cat even eats it & she’s fussy….

  • Lucy Day

    I tried the Nutro Ultra Small Breed Adult for both my 7+ and 15 yr old they don’t like it. I even tried to use hot water to give it gravy and tried a spoonful of can mixed into it which they don’t get normally and they still don’t like it much. I tried the puppy one for the puppy who is now 5 months old and she didn’t like it either. Guess its back to the one that came with the puppy which is an all stage type. Called Health Extension Little Bites Dry Dog Food. They all liked it for a while then stopped and the stool for the 7+ was a bit soft but don’t know what else to give them.

  • Tika Land

    Oh no! Mine has had terrible diarrhea. Will not be using this brand anymore.

  • Tika Land

    Our puppy was on Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy and has issues since they changed the recipe. Diarrhea and explosive blow outs. Now the vet has her on Science Diet I/D. We will not be using this brand anymore. I am also sending an email to the company.

  • Susan

    Hi Lucy,
    Here’s “Clean Label Project” latest testing of 5 star foods thru to 1 star foods that are very high in toxins..
    a few of the Nutro dry dog forumla’s did really well, when they were tested for toxins, a good Senior dry kibble is “Canidae”Pure Meadow Senior formula, I’ve seen really good results, Pure Meadow Senior is easy to chew, digest & has all the supplements for their bones, joints,skin, brain, heart. its on page 3…

  • Lucy Day

    I am considering the Nutro Ultra Small Breed Senior (4.5 stars) [M] anyone have experience with it? The comments are not sounding so good for this food for my chihuahua old lady? Thanks

  • Lauren Kate Gansell

    Mine did the same. There’s WOOD in the pieces I found

  • Lauren Kate Gansell
  • Lauren Kate Gansell

    Mine has done the same exact thing. I have a little dog. Throwing up and blood in his stool. I recently found In multiple pieces that there were little pieces of what looked like WOOD attached to the pieces in the food. I’m not sure what to make of it but they were sharp and I’m not happy about it at all.

  • Paula Sarnovsky

    You’re welcome! Hope you don’t get any of this batch either! If they snub their noses at it, take it away immediately, it never crossed my mind that they were trying to tell me something was wrong with it when they hesitated (which they have never ever done before). Good luck!

  • Kalli

    Thank you so much! I’ll check when it gets here

  • Paula Sarnovsky
  • Paula Sarnovsky

    You are welcome! I hope your pup is on the mend. Glad I could help! πŸ™‚

  • Sandeep Kumar

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. Really appreciate it. I’m going to do just that. The vet gave metronidazole and diagel to help with my pups tummy.

  • Paula Sarnovsky

    Hello, our Vet said it had to be the food, likely a bad batch. We got the replacement bag and started it two days after seeing the Vet and neither dog is sick anymore. They both had to go on an anti diarrheal led and antibiotic for the intestinal tract. My bill ended up being 178.00 from this whole situation. Please contact their customer service and let them know, they will need the date, serial/lot # off the bag along with the UPC code. This all needs to be documented z. I hope your pup is better soon. Feed him a bland diet, rice and cooked chicken or burger mixed together. Good luck! Paula

  • Sandeep Kumar

    Hi, Paula – I have a 5 year old yellow lab and he’s been pooping mucuousy and I have seen blood as well once. Taking him to the vet. This started only recently after he started on the new version of Nutro Ultra. Have you found out what caused your pups to have diarrhea? Please let me know.

  • Paula Sarnovsky

    Yes, I have contacted both companies. They are aware of the situation. πŸ™

  • Paula Sarnovsky

    They are going to the vet this morning. They still are vomiting and have diarrhea, one has blood in his stool.. πŸ™

  • Paula Sarnovsky

    Thank you.. They are both going to the vet this morning as they are still vomiting and have diarrhea and one dog has blood in his stool.. I was instructed by the vet not to feed them until they are seen. After that it will be a very bland diet.. πŸ™

  • Babslynne

    Plain canned pumpkin can regulate the stool and settle the tummy, I would also recommend a bland diet for a few days, boiled chicken and rice.

  • anon101

    If the symptoms continue for 72 hours or if the symptoms become more severe, take the dogs to the vet immediately.
    They may have a stomach virus, their symptoms may have absolutely nothing to do with the food.
    If they can not hold food down and are having diarrhea, they are vulnerable to dehydration, nausea.
    There are medical interventions such as subq fluids that would help.

  • haleycookie

    Might just be different levels of nutrients, different ingredients, etc. I know they just revamped most of their foods so your pups may have just needed time to adjust to it. Did u call amazon or nutro? If you haven’t called nutro j would get on it. When things happen it’s always important to contact the company so they can keep record of the batch, best by date, etc just in case other have this issue.

  • Paula Hagen Sarnovsky

    Looking for help!!! Has anyone had any issues with Nutro Ultra Large Breed dog food? Both of my dogs, who normally eat like they have never eaten before, were reluctant to eat it this morning and now both dogs have vomited and one has diarrhea. I order it through Amazon, this is a brand new bag. I have contacted them, they are sending me a new bag at no charge but we have noticed the ingredients appear to have changed a little. I know they have added Kale to it and the appearance looks different as well.. HELP!!

  • Bev

    Yes. I am still using the Nutro Ultra for my dog. No more stomach distress. Also added two larger dogs to our family who eat the same but a larger kibble. All are thriving.

  • LunaLove

    do you still feed the small breed weight management? and hows it going?

  • Firefly Farm

    “Chiweenie.” πŸ˜€
    (Sorry, that word always gives me the giggles–it’s so much fun to say!)

  • Firefly Farm

    Often times this happens in the feed store where it’s stacked in a warehouse, not when the food was put into the bags. This is a common issue with bags of horse feed, too. I got a wormy bag of Purina Ultium the other day and discovered worms near a teeny tiny hole in the bottom of the bag where it had been sewn together (and the stitching had popped just a little.)

  • MindfullyLiving

    Science Diet is one of the worst foods, just as pad as Iams. If you are near a Tractor Supply, their 4 Health brand is really good and affordable, grain free, and Doctor Harvey’s is a really wonderful base along with Dr. Ruth Roberts Crock Recipe which you can google.

  • shanlew lewis

    amazing. vehicular one was he on before senior. i have 6 year old dobe, almost 7. he is on taste of the wild. he’s done very well on it. however, it’s very high in protein and i want to cut back on the protein because he’s not s active. i also have 3 shih tzus i want to get them all on the same. (;

  • Lindsay

    I switched my 7 month old Husky mix slowly to this food (Nutro Large breed lamb puppy food) over the last 2.5 weeks mixing it with the blue Buffalo he is currently on. I upped the mix of Nutro to approx. 75% from 50% on Monday evening and he threw up Tuesday evening then on Wednesday at 3am. I could not sleep because I was so worried about my baby dog. He threw up most of his dinner after eating it like 9 hours ago. Then I decided to look at the reviews and saw a lot of other people saying the same thing and that Nutro was making their dog sick. I wanted him off the food immediately. I went and bought him Orijen Puppy food Thursday and pretty much switched him cold turkey (I mixed the little bit of the Blue Buffalo I had left in with it) and he has had no problems.

    He was mostly fine on the Blue Buffalo except he would have loose stools sometimes. I did some
    Research on Nutro looking at Reviews on Pet Smart and everything seemed fine but apparently I did not research enough!

    Do yourself a favour and skip this food! Not worth the risk!

  • SavageBlows

    Where’s the evidence it was Nutro. More reviews than not have said it is a good food for pets.

  • Meredith Johnson

    How is he doing on this grub my min pin hates his pro plan and really bad skin after reviews don’t know if I want to make him sick !

  • Meredith Johnson

    How is he doing now on food after reading reviews I really don’t know if I want to try this or not I love my min pin !

  • Meredith Johnson

    It’s the pro plan I have the same problem with my min pin its the dry skin also petsmart here in Paducah Kentucky recommended the Nuto Small Breed Ultra ! Best of luck

  • Jon M Simpson

    I have been feeding my dogs Nutro for almost 20 years and have never had anything but healthy, energetic and happy dogs. I have a 12 year old Doberman now that is still able to jump high, run hard and fast and is as energetic and enthusiastic as he has always been. Just had a full physical and blood panel done on him and he is in perfect health. After eating this stuff his whole life – with changes to senior version – he still LOVES the food, vacuums it up like he has not eaten in days.

    I am sure every dog is different and results are going to vary, but all 3 dogs that have owned me, loved this food and thrived on it. I know other people who swear by it as well.

  • Faith McNeil

    I’d recommend the brand to anyone. I’ve always been skeptical about what my dogs eat. Pedigree is a BAD Dog food as well as IAMs. I don’t trust Blue Buffalo because too many bad stories on it. My friend recommended this brand for me and I love it. So many new flavors for my pups to try! My Maltese is 2 going on 3 this year, and my Yorkie is 5 going on 6! They both love the food. My yorkie even gained a pound – He’s normally about 5lbs but now he’s 6 so I’m happy with that! πŸ™‚

  • JeremyScott10

    Thank you el doctor!
    It would be great to see a thread devoted to the importance of purified water, and best purification systems.

  • Hi JeremyScott10

    Happy New Year!

    I just wanted to make sure you’re not using warm water from the faucet. Warm water goes through the hot water heater and there’s always a buildup of sludge in there. Even with a filter installed after the water heater, there is still months or years of rust, minerals, sludge, etc.

    I use filtered water from the fridge (ok) or from a 4 stage filter mounted under the kitchen sink (better). Then I warm it in a pan or pot.

    Remember to change filters as directed otherwise they become a reservoir for bacteria. I don’t use reverse osmosis (RO) filters because they waste a lot of water and I try to be environmentally friendly πŸ˜‰

  • JeremyScott10

    Dogs for the Earth puts blueberries in their patties, and adding warm water really brings out the aroma. My dogs go crazy for this food, and the other freeze dried type foods.

  • Theresa Flores

    I have a mixed poodle/Maltese, she’s 1yr old and I have tried different brand of dry dog food but she always smell it and wouldn’t eat it because she doesn’t like the smell. I notice after giving her the nutro treats with blueberry and apple flavor she’s loves it. Does anyone know a good brand that has a similar smell? I apprieciate your recommendation.

  • LabsRawesome

    Did you do a slow transition over a week to ten day period? If not you must do this when switching to a new food. Start with mostly the old food and just a small amount of the new food. Over the week to ten day period gradually add more of the new food and less of the old. I would remove the life source bits and throw them away, since your dog doesn’t eat them anyway. That will help when you are portioning out the food too.

  • eyeswideopen

    Would not recommend. I have 2 dogs, a chihuahua mix for 7 years and a terrier for 4 months. I’ve always fed them blue but got tired of the lifesource bits being spit out and left on the floor.

    Switched to nutro and my chihuahua mix threw up almost every day for 2 weeks. Small amounts first then large entire contents of his stomach the past couple days. Our terrier was homeless before we got her and eats everything so she’s been mostly fine, maybe threw up twice in the past 2 weeks.

    I put them back on blue and no throw up. I will eventually switch foods bc I don’t like lifesource bits all over the house but wanted to make sure it was the food and not a health issue.

  • Bev

    My Chiweenie loves Nutro Ultra Small breed weight management. It is the only food that doesn’t upset her stomach. Her skin and fur are great on this food.

  • Kelly

    I am back to the drawing board on trying foods. I liked a turkey limited ingredient and maybe should have stayed with it. It was a bit more expensive. Switched to a chicken/rice at petsmart and our dog got a giant boil. Could be unrelated but some say that certain kibble contributes to skin boils. I have just purchased Nutro Ultra but I am not sure we want to stick with this after reading reviews. I found a few local companies that I might try. I don’t know!!

  • Tom

    Please confirm this with concrete evidence. I can’t find anywhere that they use china material.

    People on here need to substantiate their claims with traceable facts so that others know what to believe and what not to and how to respond to the info. Please provide the source to your claim because i was select Ultra Large Breed to a new puppy.

  • finnoula

    Nutro Ultra is a godsend. For years I’ve struggled to find a food that my finnicky 14 year old chihuahua would eat. I’ve worked with my vet to design home-cook meals that would both meet his nutritional needs and prove palatable to him. But it’s been hit or miss for years. Someone at work mentioned she had a finnicky eater as well, and suggested Nutro as her dog now eats without a problem. Tried it and my little Chi loves it! He’s been eating his kibble, supplemented with a little boiled chicken for over a month now. This site’s review indicated Nutro was only moderate in protein, so figured a tiny bit of chicken wouldn’t hurt. His coat’s gotten silkier and he has no issues with his tummy (a problem prior). We’re now happy campers!

  • shon

    Yes biglots has it again now for a great price

  • KJ

    I heard about Nutro years ago when I switched my late Shih Tzu to the sensitive stomach brand& she never had another stomach issue. It took 2 years to get her on the right food. We now have 2 labs that have only had Nutro&people always complement their build&coats. They also have never needed their teeth cleaned. Love Nutro from my experience&would highly recommend.

  • Alie

    Saw your profile picture and just had to laugh–I have bought this card a few times because it was just too funny! “Nancy always had thick ankles…but no one really seemed to notice.” (Or something like that!) Anyway, thanks for the laugh and we use Earthborn Holistic as well with our Australian Shepherd puppy. πŸ™‚

  • Bucky Eads

    I refer folks to this site all of the time. I check the dog food I feed on here for comments from others, to see if there are any issues, etc. Great resource!

  • Bucky Eads

    I had fed my five dogs: senior Lab, mini heeler, terrier/peke mix and two Jack Russell mixes Nutro Ultra for about two years. I had switched them from Blue Buffalo because my senior got deathly ill from a rancid batch of the BB lamb, switched all immediately. They were doing fine on it then, about six months ago, the female JRTmix and my terrier/peke mix both started having big time skin allergy problems. Vet and I put our heads together, did some narrowing down and determined it was the Nutro. So, went on a hunt to find a new food to transition them to. Now they are all fully on Earthborn Holistic. DOING FANTASTIC! No skin issues, shiny coats, just beautiful. My old girl is even getting around a little better because her joints are not as creaky. Will never go back to Nutro. Just my experience, for what it is worth. πŸ™‚

  • Liz

    I have 3 dogs – 2 chihuahuas and 1 large breed pit bull mix that do great on Ultra Small Breed. My smallest chi has very bad knees and hips. She does wonderful on this food, and hasn’t had a spell where she’s been so sore she couldn’t get up in a few months! My other furbabies do great too. Beautiful coats, nice white teeth (my old man is almost 8 & has never needed a dental and has ALWAYS been on Nutro) and perfect bowel movements. Love this food and will always recommend it.

  • Guest

    Vet said this was the best choice in feeding my granddaughters new teacup puppy Chihuahua. The puppy is doing very well and potty training is a breeze. As you can see shinny coat and bright eyes..

  • Robin

    I have 4 dogs. We had our male xoloitzcuintli on it now have our new xolo puppy on it. I have tried many brands because of the breeds and needs i have owning 2 xolos a chihuahua and a pitbull. I found in the end this is a good food and had no problems…sometimes biglots will have it wich is nice .

  • G Del

    We had an Australian Shepherd for 15 years, he ate Nutro his whole life and never had a health issue. We recently got a puppy and we were talked into trying another food, Casey our puppy was not crazy about it, always leaving food in his dish and we were having a hard time to train him as he was not having regular bowel movements. After discussing it with the Vet and we were told that Nutro is a very good food and obviously the current food did not agree with him, we switched him to Nutro, after a week of being on Nutro, he was having regular bowel movements and was trained, also he is eating all his food. We figured the Vet would be a good source regarding food. We were also told by our Vet that there are no regulations about putting “holistic” on pet foods. So Casey is now on Nutro, he enjoys it and has no problems with it.

  • G Del

    We had an Australian Shepherd for 15 years, he ate Nutro his whole life and never had a health issue. We recently got a puppy and we were talked into trying another food, Casey our puppy was not crazy about it, always leaving food in his dish and we were having a hard time to train him as he was not having regular bowel movements. After discussing it with the Vet and we were told that Nutro is a very good food and obviously the current food did not agree with him, we switched him to Nutro, after a week of being on Nutro, he was having regular bowel movements and was trained, also he is eating all his food. We figured the Vet would be a good source regarding food. We were also told by our Vet that there are no regulations about putting “holistic” on pet foods. So Casey is now on Nutro, he enjoys it and has no problems with it.

  • John Morris

    I too JUST discovered BigLots big secret!

  • LabsRawesome

    I was at Big Lots yesterday and was surprised to see some decent brands there. They had Grain Free Evolve dog food. Salmon formula and Turkey formula. They were $7 for a 5lb bag. They also had Nutro Ultra Grain Free small breed adult. I got a 12lb bag for $12. (They also had 22lb bags for $25) The line isn’t reviewed on DFA yet. The Ultra is, but not the Grain Free Ultra. The ingredients look like at least a 4 star to me. They also had Nutro Natural Choice Grain Free cat food, Duck & Potato. It was $7 for a 6.5lb bag. It seems like really great prices, although I have never really priced them in a pet store, I’m sure they cost a lot more there tho. The expiration dates weren’t too bad. Ultra grain free dog food expires March of 2015, and Nutro Natural Grain free cat has an expiration date of January 2015. Just a heads up in case anyone wants to check them out. Here’s Nutro’s site, I have it set for the Ultra GF recipe that I bought.

  • Chris Jessup

    typical “China” crap filler is from rendered animals, cooked to death meat, and rotten animals, then processed into dog foods. beware!! what do you think goes into eggrolls that are processed from china people.

  • Bobby dog

    Well stated and a very valid point! Your dog’s comfort, health, and palate must be included in the decision process!

  • Betsy Greer

    Just because a food has a good rating doesn’t mean it’s good for your dog. My dog can’t eat Orijen and it’s easily one of the very best foods available. I’m not about to begin telling people to boycott Champion products. That doesn’t make any sense.

    Dog Food Advisor is a starting point. Researching foods here is the beginning, but then you must do your own due diligence.

    You have to pay attention to your dog and realize that if they have loose stool, vomiting, etc., or if they simply refuse to eat the food there may be a problem. If a dog refuses to eat a food, it may be for good reason. I couldn’t figure out how one of my dog refused to eat tinned sardines, until I later learned that he happens to have a fish intolerance ~ he knew what not to eat before I knew what not to feed him.

  • MCU23

    I agree! Reviewed this page before selecting Nutro Ultra for my australian shepherd, thinking the 4 star rating meant it was decent dog food. Within five days my dog got progressively lethargic and was starting to look weak. Before Nutro, my pup would eat all her food immediately, but after a couple days on Nutro she started leaving most of the food in her bowl. She would eventually eat it out of hunger. She also vomited the Nutro kibble in whole pieces and even stopped drinking water. I couldn’t figure out her sudden change in feeding behavior and her symptoms until I looked online and hundreds of dog owners have complained about various Nutro products within the last several months, and their dogs had the same symptoms as my dog, but a lot of them died because their symptoms progressed! Vets can’t figure out why these dogs are having these symptoms and families are basically left watching their canine friend get sicker and eventually die. Stay away from Nutro products! Something in their dog food has changed and it is no longer safe nor trustworthy! Don’t put your pups at risk!

  • David
  • unbound55

    This page needs to be revisited. Nutro has changed ingredients and has started to pull filler material from China. There are substantially increasing reports of dogs getting sick (including our own that we finally isolated to the food) since about February of this year.

  • theBCnut

    You should start seeing a difference within 2 weeks, but it can take much longer for all symptoms to go away. This really sounds like a food intolerance/hypersensitivity. Your dog may be reacting to some type of protein in the food. Keep ingredient lists of the foods you try and compare them to try and figure out what she is reacting to. You may want to try a food that has a meat and a starch that she has not had before and see if that helps. When you are trying to figure out what she is reacting to, remember that plants have proteins in them too, so they can be the cause of the problem.

  • Marshahallusa

    I have a Cocker Spaniel with chronic skin and ear problems. I have been giving my dog Proplan sensitive stomach for 3 years. I decided to change her food after a suggestion from a friend. She is on Nutro Natural Choice sensitive stomach for 2 weeks now. The guy at the pet store said that Nutro guarantees that their food will help her skin. My question is how long before I will notice a difference in her skin?

  • Jeff Jennings

    We have a 14yr old Golden Retriever, and a 10yr old Chesapeake Bay Retriever . The both have been fed Nutro Ultra since they were puppies. They are now on the Senior Breed, and we have never had any issues with their diets etc.. We do add Chicken , and Beef Broth to their food, and they never seem to get tired of it, and of course they would love to have more than what the vet. recommends we give them. Thank you for all the good information here..

  • Simply Nourish also has a small breed food and it might cost less than Nutro or about the same. You can improve a food by adding things like canned food, healthy chopped up left-overs (meat and veggies), even packaged fish like sardines.

  • NayandCookie

    Duh. The one she is eating is considered an all life stages recipe. Ok I get it. So then yeah after the bag of the smaller kibble assuming the vet gives her a clean bill of health and I don’t need to suppliment her food with anything I will decide which one to keep giving her. So far I have had no issues with the nutro brand. I wouldn’t mind considering a better quality, but I’m not trying to end up in the poor house πŸ™‚

  • NayandCookie

    Thanks for the tip! I will try that. Once I realized I accidently ordered the nutro ultra small breed puppy and not the nutro ultra puppy it reminded me about considering changing her food since her age is no longer on the bag. I haven’t given her that small breed puppy one for a while, but since its the same ingredients, just smaller kibble I will trust one bag won’t hurt her. First time not buying in the store. Wanted to do an auto order program since I don’t live near a petstore anymore. Go figure, I order the wrong one. Anyway, the one bag will give me time to consider an all life stages food. πŸ™‚ thank u again!

  • Generally speaking for pugs, some folks switch them to adult food around 8 months old. But she can eat any food at her age whether it’s for puppy/growth, adult maintenance, or “all life stages”. “All life stages” means the food is for puppies and adult. I prefer a food for “all life stages” or “growth/puppy” since they meet the more stringent nutrient profile.

    You can flood her food with water to slow her down somewhat. Adding water also helps to ensure she is getting enough fluid which helps them keep their bladder flushed out too. For all things pug, check out pugvillage dot com.

  • NayandCookie

    I have been feeding my pug the nutro ultra since she was 8 weeks old. At 9 months old the pet store suggested I switch to the regular puppy one instead of the small breed. He said the difference was the size of the kibble. Shes now 15 months 12 pounds and I planned to give her the reg puppy formula until she goes to the vet next week to see if I should start her on sdult small breed. U accidently ordered online the small breed puppy (the smaller kibble) and wondered if its a big deal to give her the one bag since I don’t want to ship it back. She inhales her food, so I was thinking maybe the smaller kibble would be better for her anyway.

    I was also wondering at what age do people generally switch to adult food? Thr nutro ultra puppy actually says its used for adults too.


  • Hound Dog Mom

    It’s never too late to switch to a better quality food. If you do want to switch what I would recommend doing is starting with a 3 star food and do a very gradual switch over the course of a couple weeks – say 25% new/75% old for 4 – 5 days, 50%/50% for 4 – 5 days and then 25% old/75% new for 4 – 5 days until she’s completely transitioned to the new food. I’d also highly recommend getting her on a quality probiotic and enzyme supplement during the transition. After she’s been on the 3 star food for a couple months and any digestive disturbances have cleared up you could go for a 4 start food using the same approach and eventually you may be able to move to a 5 star food if you want. If you end up deciding not to switch, I would at the very least recommend topping the Beneful with a quality canned food and/or healthy foods like tinned sardines, eggs, yogurt, leftover lean meat, etc. to provide her with some quality protein. Good luck!

  • resqdog

    Help! I have been feeding my rescue lab Beneful for the last 6 years and she has been doing fine…. but now I read all the posts and feel terrible about it. Should I switch her now? She’s 10 yrs old.

  • Andres Ripoll

    I bought this kind of food a few months ago and my little doxie developed crystals in the urine, we went to the vet and got her on a special diet, the xrays showed nothing. We then switched to her regular food which is also Nutro and the crystals vanished. We tried Ultra a second time (Currently) and the symptoms started again so we threw it out and got her back on her regular food.

  • Dave’s Hounds

    you might also try Natures Logic – it is a 5 star and you may find it also works well

  • D.DiPierro

    I adopted a greyhound 13 years ado and and Nutro was recommended to me by the the rescue facility. In all all the years I had my beloved Ginger she loved the food and NEVER had any problems with it. I recently adopted a new greyhound after loosing Ginger to bone cancer( not related to the food at all) and have tried her on multiple holistic foods because I want to provide her with not only the best food but something she can enjoy. After months of loose stool and her picking through her food as to say Daddy I don’t like this I picked up Nutro Ultra large breed, she LOVES IT and her stool is much better. I discussed it with my trusted vet and she had no problem with it saying all dogs digest food differently and trusted the brand.( she did steer me away from smaller brands as she was concerned they don’t have the qualty controles in place like the larger brands) I know others dislike the brand but I trust it, my dog loves it and as long as they continue making it in the United States we are a Nutro family. I hope this helps at least one person in making a choice, I’ve made my self crazy looking at all the choices. Good day and love your pet!

  • ANON

    GUYS DONT BUY NUTRO it has caused many deaths to cats and dogs my friend had 6 cats but when she started feeding them nutro 2 died please if you care for your pet try to avoid nutro!

  • InkedMarie

    I think you need to do “tough love”. Pick a food. Leave it down for 15-20 minutes. At that time, pick it up, he gets nothing until the next meal.

  • “Lucky”

    our vet suggest purina one, but I did not buy it as it has a poor rating, then a batch was recalled in august.. Purina has been around for years, when did dog food become a speciality item sold only at finest stores with a high dollar price..

  • “Lucky”

    I am on here nearly every day trying to find something best for my lab, he is so picky one week he will eat merrick, the next he won’t. I have tried just about every dry food on the pet advisor top list, today it’s nutro natural choice ultra dry I am thinking of trying. He is a rescue dog and he had heart worms when we adopted him, he came thru the operation to kill the worm and he has been thru so much we don’t want to feed him a dog food that is not good for him. He is 4 yrs old now and weighs 75 lbs, we love him so much, the best dog in every way. I love this web site but getting to be overwhelming finding the right/safe foods…we only buy food made in the U.S.A. I learned that a barcode that starts with a 01 or 02 is USA made

  • “Lucky”

    I am on here nearly every day trying to find something best for my lab, he is so picky one week he will eat merrick, the next he won’t. I have tried just about every dry food on the pet advisor top list, today it’s nutro natural choice ultra dry I am thinking of trying. He is a rescue dog and he had heart worms when we adopted him, he came thru the operation to kill the worm and he has been thru so much we don’t want to feed him a dog food that is not good for him. He is 4 yrs old now and weighs 75 lbs, we love him so much, the best dog in every way. I love this web site but getting to be overwhelming finding the right/safe foods…

  • wrangler38

    I had switched my dogs to higher quality grain free foods and my American Bulldog who never had any issues with Nutro Ultra, started having skin problems with higher quality foods. I’m going back to Nutro to see if that helps them out.

  • Macey

    Thanks very much to all. Great input.

  • Pattyvaughn

    You are welcome!! And I know what you mean, we all have been there.

  • meander reserve

    Thank you very much; find this website very helpful as we stumble through finding the right food!

  • InkedMarie

    28% isn’t high.

  • Pattyvaughn

    For dogs that are prone to UTIs and/or develop crystals because of a UTI, increasing the moisture in the diet is important. Treat the UTI, add a quarter of an adult dose of cranberry powder to their food, and add water, canned food, or whole fresh foods like egg, sardine, lean meats, and kefir.

  • MeanderReserve

    Have had both my cocker pups on nutro puppy ultra for 9 months. Both developed urinary tract and crystals in there urine which my vet said could be related to the food. So we have switched (in the process) to Merricks Chicken and Sweet potatoe. Both are scratching and their coats do not seem as silky. After reading and living on food advisor website,I would value some food advice. Vets do not seem to be able to help.

  • mward1993

    Most of the Nutro products have pretty average protein levels.

  • Storm’s Mom

    In addition to what Pattyvaughn said (all of which I agree with), you may want to consider feeding him a grain-free food, as the “grainy” stool may be a sign he isn’t properly digesting the grains in Nutro.

  • Pattyvaughn

    No, that really is not a lot of protein. In fact, I wouldn’t feed it because I like my dogs to have higher protein. It is extremely doubtful that if your dog has been eating this food all along that it is now too much protein. Too much protein is only in relation to what the dog is used to digesting. If the dog is used to a certain level of protein, it is not too much. However if your dog isn’t used to it, it may take a while for it’s body to adjust to a higher protein level and that can result in constipation and diarrhea issues. My only suggestion would be to feed a rotational diet for gut health and/or possibly add a little something with some more fiber in it to the food.

  • Macey

    My 1-year old Malti-Poo, raised only on Nutro Ultra Puppy, has recently passed black, grainy stool. The vet and a friend said it may be from too much protein, which Nutro has alot of (including the adult/small breed food reviewed here). Any suggestions?

  • Bradley

    My Shepherd-mix, Sammy, made it to 16 y.o. on Nutro Natural Choice, and my 20-month old Cockapoo, Zoe, is doing exceptionally well on Nutro Ultra. I’ve tried Wellness and Blue, but given the availability and price of Nutro, I’ve been very happy with this brand.

  • Colleen

    Not all dogs can handle every brand of food. I had to try different brands to find what my GSD could stomach. Assuming that she isn’t ill I would try something else.
    Also I would always pick large breed foods for large breed dogs, they really do benefit from the extra protein. I’ve tried proplan (stopped feeding because of quality and digestive upset) and Blue Buffalo (far too rich for my pup’s system). Had Nurto not worked Wellness was my next option.
    Good luck!

  • Mary Hlav

    I had started using Purina products for my cocker spaniel and doxie after a downturn in my finances. Both started itching uncontrollably and my cocker girl started loosing her hair! I returned to Nutro Ultra and both doxie and cocker have stopped itching and my cocker girl’s coat is as glossy as ever. It’s true, you get what you pay for.

  • GremDude

    My 2 yo Lab and 3yo Aussie LOVE this food. They have been very health their entire life and have no problems. Seriously, my Aussie always used to pick at his food and now he gulps it down. Highly recommended.

  • daisy

    Our 7months old german shepeard mix poop is very soft
    We give her nutro ultra puppy.should we try giving her nutro ultra large breed puppy instead of regular nutro ultra puppy??

    She is 46 lbs 7 months oct 15.
    She was adopted July 15.
    Is she consider large breed puppy now??

    We want to get the right food for her
    And it feels like it’s not right food for her..

    She was ok with the first bag when she wad almost
    5 months. After purchasing the second bag she is 7 months this month. Her stool is very soft abd sometimes its ok.

    Are we doing something wrong buying her dry dog food from nutro.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Since German Shepherds can be large breed dogs, here is a thread discussing the issues with feeding large breed puppies.

  • Karen S

    I can’t speak for anyone but myself. My German
    Sheppard “Dutch” and Choc Lab “Brody” have spent their entire lives on Nutro food. Dutch was 14 when we lost him and Brody is now 15. Both of these dogs have been healthy and happy. We recently brought home another Sheppard and “Mya” is also thriving on this food. If anything changes with either I would switch foods but so far I’m not tampering with the luck we have had.