Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Tubs)

Rating:

Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dog Food in tubs receives the Advisor’s best rating of 5 stars.

The Nutro Ultra Grain-Free product line includes the 8 tubbed dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Use the links to compare prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

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

Protein = 40% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Turkey, chicken broth, water, chicken liver, chicken, carrots, spinach, pork plasma, tapioca starch, calcium carbonate, pea fiber, parsley, potassium chloride, salt, dried pork broth, choline chloride, dried tomatoes, xanthan gum, 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) = 7.5%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%18%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%36%30%
Protein = 34% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 30%

The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

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

The second ingredient 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 third ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The next ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

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 next ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is spinach. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score3 of 91.

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.

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 3 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, we note the use 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.

And lastly, 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.

Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Tubbed Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Nutro Ultra Grain-Free Dog Food in tubs appears to be an above-average moisture-rich product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 40%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 43% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 31% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 43%.

Which means this Nutro product line contains…

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-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.

Bottom line?

Nutro Ultra Grain-Free is a wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Nutro Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Nutro brand. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. 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

12/17/2019 Last Update