Rachael Ray Nutrish wet dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish product line includes the 6 wet 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 price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Chicken Paw Pie [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Hearty Beef Stew [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Rustic Duck Stew [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Beef Stroganwoof [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Savory Lamb Stew [U]
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Chicken Muttballs with Pasta [U]
Rachael Ray Nutrish Hearty Beef Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Hearty Beef Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, beef, chicken, dried egg product, egg white, pea protein, natural flavor, potato, carrots, green pea, ground tapioca, dicalcium phosphate, guar gum, caramel (color), potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, fish oil, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, magnesium sulfate, celery powder, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), thiamine mononitrate, niacin, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, vitamin A acetate, calcium iodate, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 9.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||23%||28%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||44%||23%|
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 addition component in many canned products.
The second ingredient 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
The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Both beef and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The fifth ingredient lists dried egg whites. Eggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.
The sixth ingredient is 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.
After the natural flavor, we find potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find 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.
Next, caramel is a natural coloring agent made by caramelizing carbohydrates. It’s used by pet food manufacturers to impart a golden brown tint to the finished product.
However, the concentrated version of this ingredient commonly known as caramel coloring has been more recently considered controversial and found to cause cancer in laboratory animals.3
In any case, even though caramel is considered safe by the FDA, we’re always disappointed to find any added 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 food is?
In addition, 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 product includes 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 Wet Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish looks like an average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Which means this Nutrish product line contains…
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to other wet dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein and peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Rachael Ray Nutrish is a moisture-rich dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
However, those concerned about the presence of menadione in this recipe may wish to ignore our rating and look elsewhere for another product.
Rachael Ray Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Rachael Ray product line. 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
10/12/2019 Last Update