Rachael Ray Nutrish (Dry)


Rating: ★★½☆☆

Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Rachael Ray Nutrish product line lists four dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and two for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef and Brown Rice
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Chicken and Veggies
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Healthy Weight Recipe
  • Rachael Ray Nutrish Turkey, Brown Rice and Venison

Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef and Brown Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef and Brown Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 47%

Ingredients: Beef, chicken meal, ground rice, soybean meal, whole grain corn, corn gluten meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, natural chicken flavor, dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, dehydrated alfalfa, dried peas, dried carrots, potassium chloride, olive oil, zinc sulfate, iron oxide (color), vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), niacin supplement, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, biotin, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt sulfate, folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%16%47%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%34%41%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 34% | Carbs = 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Although it’s a quality item, raw beef contains about 80% 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 ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

The fourth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh 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 eighth 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 ninth ingredient is beet pulp. 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.

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, this recipe contains dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

In addition, iron oxide is a synthetic color additive used in industry to impart a reddish color to food — and paint. In its natural form, this chemical compound is more commonly known as “iron rust”.

We’re always disappointed to find any artificial coloring in a pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

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

Additionally, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food looks like a below-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 30%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 47%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 46%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean and corn gluten meals, dried alfalfa and dried peas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include menadione in its recipes. Without this controversial supplement and use of plant-based protein boosters and coloring, we would have been compelled to award this brand a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Rachael Ray Nutrish is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken or turkey meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not 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.

Rachael Ray Nutrish 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.

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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 Chewy.com 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

10/13/2016 Last Update

  • Ariana

    I had my 3 dogs on Rachael Rays Nutrish dog food and for the first 3 months they seemed to love it but, then I began to notice they seemed to always be thirsty and always hungry no matter how much I was feeding them, I kept their food and water out 24/7 but, regardless they couldn’t get enough it seemed and then they all 3 started having diarrhea and their hair started falling out. After the 4th month I took them to my vet who said would never recommend this dog food or cat food to any pet owner she’s seen several other patients with the same problems but, most were a lot worse then my dogs and the general link to all was Rachael Rays Nutrish dog food. My vet recommended 4health dog food and it’s sold at my local tractor supply store. My dogs LOVE it and the diarrhea went away within a couple days after switching and their hair grew back and they are not drinking near as much water and seem so much happier and calm! I definitely recommend trying 4health if anyone is searching for a good quality dog food.

  • Pamela Jackson

    We bought this bag for our dog and luckily we were dumping it in to our storage container for food when a dead rotting rodent dropped out of the bag. The moisture from the rotting thing caused rot throughout the bag! Thank god we found it before we fed it to him!!!!

    I have tried calling the company and have left voicemails! Images include what I assume is the run number! Do not feed to your dog!!!

  • You said “that is why I was so shocked when I saw that Chewy popup link”.

    There are absolutely no Chewy popup links anywhere on this website. There is a Chewy link on each review and article you can optionally choose to click on, if you’d like.

    The only popup generated on this website is an invitation to get free emergency dog food recall alerts sent to you by email.

    That cost-free, spam-free public service has been offered to our readers for more than 8 years.

  • John Dozier

    Wow if I am wrong I am wrong No need to go into an adolescent rant of attack in your defense! With all the sarcasm. Thanks for your Free service that helps people out. And actually I did get pop up for Chewy when I was reading about your rating of Rachael Rays dog food. That is what surprised the heck out of me. My most sincere apology. So I corrected my post a dog food retail company. Either way it still seems like conflict of interest when you are funded by a company that sells dog food. But if you say it is not then I stand corrected. There are a thousand other ways to fund a website like this. It is not my job to tell you how. If you say you are not influenced by them than I’ll take your word for it. I will be glad to remove my negative post. I have always relied on your site and appreciate it. That is why I was so shocked when I saw that Chewy pop up link. But I guess since that is the food I was looking at it is ok. By the way all that sarcasm is really not needed to carry your message.

  • What conflict of interest are you referring to? You are misinformed. We do NOT “get money from (any) dog food company”. And we never have.

    As clearly explained within this and every one of the more than 1000 reviews throughout this website, we “receive a fee from Chewy.com 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”.

    Chewy is a pet food retailer — and NOT a “dog food company” as you claim.

    By the way, did you happen to notice that there’s no advertising on any article or review? Nor has there ever been in the more than 9 years we’ve made this information available free of charge to any and all visitors — including YOU?

    Without some way to generate revenue, how else would you suggest we pay our 4 employees, top level Rackspace hosting, a CloudFlare content delivery network, custom software, business insurance and hundreds of other expenses?

    Enjoy your 100% free visit.

  • John Dozier

    I find the fact that you get money from a dog food company disturbing and so much a potential conflict of interest that I no longer have as much faith in the review write ups.

  • Ashley Van Tubergen

    Hence my concern with finding a safe, healthy food for them. Thanks

  • InkedMarie

    I had luck with Wellness Core reduced fat; Annamaet Lean is a good choice too. Doxies may be “like little garbage cans” but the owner feeds them.

  • Ashley Van Tubergen

    Also, if anyone has any affordable, healthy alternatives to this food, we are open to suggestions! We have doxies, so it’s very important to us that we find something to help control their weight. Doxies are complicated—they’re like little garbage cans, but you have to be so careful about their weight because of their backs. 🙂

  • Ashley Van Tubergen

    We switched to this dog food about 3 or 4 months ago. We have 4 doxies, and it seemed like they all loved it. Haven’t noticed any significant weight gain or loss. However, about 3 weeks ago, we noticed one of our dogs wasn’t feeling well. He was shaking uncontrollably and whimpering, and we noticed his belly felt hard so we rushed him to the vet. They did x-rays and said nothing looked abnormal. We couldn’t tell if it was his back or stomach. They put him on pain meds and an antacid, but we noticed he wasn’t pooping. Ended up having to give him steroids and a bunch of fluid a couple days later and he finally pooped and seemed to be feeling a bit better. However, he’s still lethargic. Not his normal self, and we can tell he isn’t feeling well. Not necessarily sick, but just uncomfortable. He’s on prednisone, and I’ve given him miralax and gas-x. I’m wondering if it’s just gas? Now I’m starting to question his dog food. Our other 3 dogs love this food, but I’m thinking it isn’t sitting very well for him. Judging by some of the other reviews, it looks like that may very well be the case. Lots of similar stories.

  • Stephanie

    I am the owner of a almost 6 year old Boston terrier Chihuahua mix that I got when he was 3 the person we got him from told us he ate a name brand dog food well for almost 3 years I have been buying different bags of dry food for him to eat and he just turned his nose to it no matter how long it sat there he would only eat soft well on a chance we figured to try RR nutrish real beef and brown rice and we r shocked to see he actually eats it and we couldn’t be happier thank you so much

  • Andrew Pershing

    Yes! Good nutrition! And the baked swt. potato helps them stay regular.

  • Linnett Terzolino

    I just bought two sm bags of the rr nutrish new dish and my one dog ate it for about a week she’s 12 and is so sick won’t eat is throwing up very lethargic wants to go out and eat grass. I’m going back to my old food hope it helps her.

  • InkedMarie

    Cindy, you’re posting to the Dog Food Advisor, not whomever makes the food.

  • Cindy McCuan Christian

    I have been using your foods for a few years now, mostly the dry grain free, but when my Chihuahua started getting finicky I decided to try your super premium wet food….BIG MISTAKE! My guy is soooo sick right now…lethargic and vomiting after being on it for 3 days. (I was mixing it with the dry not fully changed over) I should of looked at the packaging and seen that you sold out to Taiwan to make this food! I really thought you cared about animals but I guess I’m wrong!

  • ladydye_5

    Oatmeal, rice (brown especially) there are many things you can feed your dog that would be better than just changing food cold turkey.

  • Karen Poet Snyder

    My chocolate lab was on the RR chicken and rice for about 4 years, she loved it, but she had terrible skin problems and was scratching all the time. The vet gave us medicine for allergies and special shampoo for her skin and the whole time, it was her dog food. She even had some bald spots where her fur was falling out. We also had problems with her needed expressed about every 3 months which we never had problems with before. We switched to Blue Buffalo Grain Free about 6 weeks ago and all her problems stopped. Her fur has grown back and her cost is shiny…she’s not scratching at all anymore and she’s not rubbing her butt up against the furniture anymore. I wished we had made the food connection earlier. I can’t say enough good things about Blue Buffalo Grain Free dog food!!!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I would take her to the vet, her symptoms may have nothing to do with the food and may be related to environmental allergies or a medical condition. At the least the vet will prescribe medication to stop the suffering (temporarily) as you decide what type of testing to have done.

  • Jess

    My dog has been steadily scratching and biting all over. She doesn’t have flees and the only thing that has changed has been switching her food to RR beef. She has a hard time sleeping because she wakes up constantly to bite herself.

  • Barbie Scott

    Just pay attention to your pets needs.Changing foods does this with any animal. You have to gradually mix with something and not give full portions when doing this.Ask your vet. I have many dogs, 2 were having skin issues, i change to rachel ray and not a problem since. You have to remember every dog is different in their organs strength and weaknesses, so dog foods that are best for them will vary…

  • Barbie Scott

    Changing foods does this with any animal. You have to gradually mix with something and not give full portions when doing this.Ask your vet. I have many dogs, 2 were having skin issues, i change to rachel ray and not a problem since. You have to remember every dog is different in their organs strength and weaknesses, so dog foods that are best for them will vary…

  • Michelle Smith

    My dog was seriously ill. Throwing up, refusing to eat, fever, lethargic, runny nose, bloated belly, tail wrapped totally under her body. All not long after I switched to Rachel Ray chicken and veggie. She had been eating the Beef and Rice for a few months prior to that. She refused to eat for 4 days. I nursed her back to health with a bland diet of eggs and canned Beyond food. She refused to eat the Rachel Ray anymore. I started to feed her Purina Smart Blend and she ate great. After I felt she was back 100 percent, I tried the Rachel Ray again because I had $30 worth of it still and I wasn’t sure why she had gotten so ill. She would eat less but out of hunger still eat it. 3 days in and she’s barfing again. There’s something bad in that food!!!!!

  • Mommat

    We made ours chicken and rice. I threw a couple chicken breasts into the pot of rice I was cooking and shredded the chicken when it was all done. Couple it with some baked sweet potato slices and you have a good meal and treat.

  • Mommat

    We have a dog who is doing the same thing. He is now chewing sores all over himself.

  • janisofny

    My dogs (Dobermans) have been eating Rachael Ray’s nutrish dog food for about five years. Their health is excellent, their coats are glossy, their poops are regular and firm and they love the food (they drool when I am filling their bowls). Your dog may have been suffering from something else. You don’t seem to have solid medical proof it was the food? I’ve had many, many pets in my lifetime, including two Pitties. One died at six from a massive stroke, the other one at age 11 from cancer. One of my Dobermans died at six, another at 17. None of my previous pets ate Rachael Ray dog food, only the two I currently have. Sometimes dogs die young. My current two Dober-boys are six and 10. Both are in excellent health and sometimes very puppy-like.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Please take her to the vet asap, something is wrong.