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Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman

By Mike Sagman

Updated: March 20, 2024

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Rating:
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Which Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains Dog Food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars. Ancient Grains is the new grain-inclusive sub-brand that’s been added to the popular “TOTW” product line.

The Ancient Grains sub-brand includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

35.6%

Protein

20%

Fat

36.4%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Water buffalo, pork, chicken meal, grain sorghum, millet, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), cracked pearled barley, dried yeast, roasted bison, roasted venison, natural flavor, flaxseed, beef, quinoa, chia seed, tomato pomace, salmon oil (a source of DHA), dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, dl-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is buffalo. Although it is a quality item, raw buffalo contains up to 73% 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 pork. Pork is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered pork”.

However, even though it’s considered a quality ingredient, raw pork contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The fourth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient includes millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The eighth ingredient is dried yeast. Dried yeast can be a controversial item. It contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

What’s more, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is something we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered a nutritious addition.

The ninth ingredient is bison, another quality 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 Taste of the Wild product.

With 7 notable exceptions

First, chia seed is an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.

However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

Next, tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup.

Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

We also note the use of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

This recipe also includes 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 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on ingredients alone, Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains looks like an above-average dry kibble.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 36%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

Which means this Taste of the Wild product line contains…

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a comparable dry kibble.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried yeast, flaxseed, chia seed and quinoa, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains Dog Food

Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.



Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Taste of the Wild through April.

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

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More Taste of the Wild Brand Reviews

The following Taste of the Wild dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

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