Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4.5 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 below 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 below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.
- TOTW Ancient Wetlands with Roasted Fowl [A]
- TOTW Ancient Stream with Smoked Salmon [A]
- TOTW Ancient Mountain with Roasted Lamb (3.5 stars) [A]
- TOTW Ancient Prairie with Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison (5 stars) [A]
Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Roasted Fowl was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Wetlands with Roasted Fowl
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck, duck meal, chicken meal, grain sorghum, millet, dried yeast, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, natural flavor, roasted quail, roasted duck, smoked turkey, quinoa, chia seed, tomato pomace, salmon oil (a source of DHA), 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, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||20%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||40%||30%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 next 2 ingredients include duck meal and chicken meal. Both are considered meat concentrates with each item containing nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.
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 dried yeast. Dried yeast 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 insist 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 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 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 egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) 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.
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 5 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 tomato pomace. 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.
In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
Next, salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains
Dog Food Review
Based on ingredients alone, Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains looks like an above-average dry kibble.
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 55%.
Which means the 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 and chia seed, this looks like the profile of a dry formula containing a notable amount of meat.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Taste of the Wild product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Diamond Dog Food Recall Summary (5/6/2012)
More Taste of the Wild Reviews
The following Taste of the Wild reviews are also posted on this website:
- Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review
- Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Taste of the Wild Prey Dog Food Review (Dry)
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
09/23/2019 Last Update