Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dog Food Tubs receives the Advisor’s top tier rating of 5 stars.
The Nutro Ultra Grain-Free product line includes 8 tubbed 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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Tender Beef Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Signature Duck Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Savory Trout Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Farm-Raised Lamb Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Steamed Salmon Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Roasted Turkey Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Juicy Duck Entree [M]
- Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Deluxe Chicken Entree [M]
Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Roasted Turkey Entree was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Roasted Turkey Entree
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken liver, turkey, chicken, pork plasma, dried carrots, tapioca starch, dried spinach, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, dried tomatoes, choline chloride, xanthan gum, dried parsley, sodium acid pyrophosphate, tetrasodium pyrophosphate, magnesium proteinate, sodium hexametaphosphate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), potassium iodide, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.9%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||53%||21%||19%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||44%||41%||15%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken 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 second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next two ingredients are turkey and chicken. They are considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey and chicken”.1
Turkey and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes dried carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The eighth ingredient is dried spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.
The ninth ingredient is potassium chloride, a nutritional supplement sometimes used as a replacement for the sodium found in table salt.
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, Xanthan gum is a food additive used here as a thickener to create gravy-like consistency.
Next, 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.
In addition, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
And lastly, with the exception of magnesium proteinate, 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.
Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Tubbed Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Ultra Grain-Free dog food tubs looks like an above-average 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 53% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 14% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Nutro Ultra Grain-Free is a meat-based wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 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
The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
08/13/2018 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for turkey and chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩