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Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Review (Trays)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: June 17, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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The Rachael Ray Nutrish trays product range is made up of five recipes which each receive the Dog Food Advisor’s rating, 4 stars.

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Rachael Ray Nutrish Hearty Beef Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Hearty Beef Stew

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

40.9%

Protein

22.7%

Fat

28.4%

CarbsCarbohydrates

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) = 2%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 9% 5% NA
Dry Matter Basis 41% 23% 28%
Calorie Weighted Basis 33% 44% 23%

Ingredients Analysis

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”.2

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.

The seventh ingredient is natural flavors, doesn’t give us much information about the particular ingredients included in this dog food for flavoring purposes.

We’re pleased that the flavorings used are natural, but more details are required to give any further information about these natural flavoring ingredients. Flavorings are used to make the foods more appealing and tasty for our dogs.

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 five 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 mineralsminerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Next, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish looks like an average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

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 Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Rachael Ray through July 2024.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Rachael Ray Dog Food

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.

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A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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