NutriSource Dog Food Review


NutriSource Dog Food: An In-Depth Review

How many times have you entered a pet store, determined to find that perfect kibble for your pooch, and found yourself staring at dozens of different brands, not knowing which one to pick? 

“Complete and balanced,” “biologically appropriate,” or “preservative-free” are some of the labels that have probably caught your eye more than once. If these labels left you wondering about the meaning behind them and you ended up buying the same stuff as before, we got you covered!

Following our popular reviews of Wellness CORE dog food and Orijen Puppy Food, we once again decided to accommodate our readers’ request and explore another canine food brand in detail.

Although NutriSource pet food has been around for decades, many of our faithful readers failed to find unbiased reviews of their products. Instead, they turned to us for guidance, knowing that we don’t profit from affiliate links and are not sponsored by any brand we examine in our in-depth analyses of dog chows.

In this article, we will lay out the findings of our research into NutriSource dog food by breaking down their best products in several categories.

Let’s roll!

What Is NutriSource Dog Food?

NutriSource is a family-owned pet food company headquartered in Minnesota, dedicated to producing food that aims to achieve long-term health of house pets.

They’ve been present on the U.S. market since the 1960s. Because of their commitment to the principle of shopping and sourcing locally, and their refusal to offer their products to mega pet stores, they remain unknown to many dog owners.

Although this approach has its downsides when it comes to reaching potential customers, it also allows these dedicated dog lovers to verify that each product is sourced in a responsible manner.

NutriSource offers multiple lines of grain-free and wholesome grain brands, each carefully crafted to satisfy the dietary needs of our beloved fuzzy fellas of all shapes, sizes, and ages.

NutriSource offers a wide range of dog chow, including:

  1. Dry food
  2. Wet food
  3. Treats

Grain-free or with the inclusion of wholesome grains, NutriSource dog food is produced with the nutrition that is the most appropriate for dogs in mind. In other words, each bag and can of NutriSource grub is packed with high-quality protein and, according to our furry testers, absolutely yummy!

Here’s an overview of NutriSource’s dog food offer:

NutriSource product lines Grain-free Grain inclusive
NutriSource dry recipes
NutriSource wet recipes
NutriSource treats
PureVita dry recipes
PureVita wet recipes
PureVita treats
Choice

One thing’s for sure—NutriSource goes to great lengths to offer biologically appropriate nutrition for dogs of any size and age.

Looking at this table, we found ourselves wondering if our furry companions and we have perhaps bitten off more than we could chew.

Then we sat down and made a list of requirements that a particular brand had to meet to be named a winner in any of the categories.

NutriSource Dog Food Criteria

Whether we are looking for the best dry dog food or worst wet dog food brands, here at TheDogDigest, we believe in setting ground rules and sticking to them at all costs.

We did the same when we started testing NutriSource’s vast offer of dog chow. Before we proceed with actual reviews, we’d like to share with you what we looked for in NutriSource:

  • Lots of protein for strong muscles
  • Low carb content that doesn’t mess with your pooch’s blood sugar
  • Genuine, named meat sources as the source of amino acids with no meat by-products
  • High content of health-beneficial fatty acids, namely linoleic, Omega-6, and Omega-3 fatty acids, responsible for healthy skin and shiny coats
  • Fresh legumes and vegetables as the source of digestible vitamins and minerals

How We Sorted Through NutriSource Dog Food

Luckily, when we review dog food, we’re not alone. We have an entire army of helpers that aid our research. Without them, it would take us incomparably more time to sift through any brand’s offer.

Before we started our research, we had to make sure what constitutes proper canine nutrition. What better place to start than with those who have answers and solutions to all our doggy-related problems—veterinarians. We spoke to veterinarians who told us what complete and balanced nutrition of dogs should look like and what age-appropriate dog chow entails.

Then we went to several independent pet stores. The staff there was more than happy to answer our queries about NutriSource best sellers and their recommendations. Without their assistance, we would have to conduct extensive market research, which would prolong the review for months. Phew!

Last but not least were online reviews by our fellow dog owners. We read hundreds of comments, writing down people’s opinions about a particular recipe before singling out the very best of NutriSource.

How We Chose Our Top Picks

After much listening, reading, and munching, we came to the definitive list of the best NutriSource dog food in the following categories:

  1. Dry food
  2. Wet food
  3. Puppy recipe
  4. Senior recipe
  5. Treats

We don’t want to keep you waiting any longer, so we’ll get right down to the results of our dog food investigation!

TheDogDigest Picks Recipe Rating
Best dry food Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe 4.6
Best wet food Mediterranean Select 4.6
Best puppy recipe Large Breed Puppy Recipe 4.7
Best senior recipe Senior Recipe 4.6
Best treat Grain-Free Rabbit Bites 4.8

Best NutriSource Dry Food: NutriSource Adult Chicken & Rice

Image source: NutriSource Pet Foods

NutriSource Adult Chicken & Rice earned the title of our top pick from NutriSource’s offer.

The formula is packed with protein—enough to meet the needs of the most active pooches—coupled with slow-releasing sugars from wholegrain rice. Oatmeal and barley are also a plus—these grains have a high nutritional value and are highly digestible, which is especially important for the digestive health of your furball.

The addition of Omega fatty acids is also a plus. These compounds make the coat of our furry companions shinier and silkier while improving the health of the pooch’s circulatory system.

Although a bit pricier than an average supermarket dog food of the same category, this formula offers excellent value for money.

What we loved about it the most is that it is suitable for both small and large breeds—the recipe meets the nutritional needs of big doggos, but it’s at the same time packed in small kibble preferred by their tinier cousins.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 26.0%
Crude Fat min. 16%
Crude Fiber max. 4.0%
Moisture max. 10%
Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) + Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) min. 0.5%
Iron min. 125 mg/kg
Copper min. 12.4 mg/kg
Manganese min. 12 mg/kg
Zinc min. 120 mg/kg
Selenium min. 0.35 mg/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 2.6%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 0.7%
DL Methionine min. 0.25%
Choline Chloride min. 0.2%
Taurine min. 0.1%
Glucosamine 300 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate 150 mg/kg
L-Carnitine min. 20 mg/kg
Cobalt min. 1.0 mg/kg
Total Microorganisms*

(Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium)

min. 100 million CFU/lb

Ingredients

Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid), oatmeal, menhaden fish meal (a source of fish oil), natural turkey and chicken flavor, dried plain beet pulp, flax seed, brewers dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, DL methionine, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), glucosamine hydrochloride, lactic acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, yucca schidigera extract, taurine, L-carnitine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.

Best NutriSource Wet Food: NutriSource Mediterranean Select

Image source: NutriSource Pet Foods

Until you pack your bags and fly to Sicily with your loyal furry companion, why not offer your good boy or girl a taste of the southern European cuisine with this Grain-Free Mediterranean Blend meal!

This wet formula is based on NutriSource’s trademark Good 4 Life supplement system, a combination of four supplements that support the health of the neuro system, gut, skin, and coat.

What we loved about this formula is that it doesn’t contain one of the most common thickening agents used in the production of canned dog food—carrageenan—like some of these worst wet dog food brands.

This red seaweed-extracted additive is believed to cause bloating, inflammation, and even colon cancer. In combination with the abovementioned digestive supplements, it becomes clear that this formula was developed with dogs with sensitive tummies in mind.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 9.0%
Crude Fat min. 5.5%
Crude Fiber max. 1.5%
Moisture max. 78%
Taurine min. 0.03%

Ingredients

Beef, lamb broth, lamb liver, lamb, chickpeas, agar-agar, tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salmon oil, sunflower oil, kelp, betaine, taurine, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, brewers dried yeast, yucca schidigera plant extract, selenium yeast, copper proteinate, magnesium oxide, cobalt proteinate, manganese proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Best NutriSource Puppy Food: NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Recipe

Image source: Pet Flow

NutriSource Large Breed Puppy Recipe stands by its promise of offering complete and balanced nutrition for underage doggos.

NutriSource doesn’t compromise when it comes to the health of younger pooches. It sources its premium-quality protein from turkey meat, and the protein effect is further boosted with chickpeas—a source of healthy vegetable-based amino acids—and whitefish meal, which is a protein concentrate.

Red and green lentils serve as the source of dietary fiber, vitamin B, and several essential minerals.

The producer also makes sure that this puppy recipe contains a healthy amount of calcium and phosphorus—key minerals for growth and proper development of muscular and skeletal systems—and strikes the optimal ratio between the two.

This kibble is formulated to support the health of the heart, too, with a blend of L-Carnitine and taurine, coupled with Omega fatty acids.

When it comes to taste, it will probably suffice to say that our pups licked their bowls clean every time we served them this delicious kibble, just as they did when we offered them these best puppy food brands!

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 28.0%
Crude Fat min. 14%
Crude Fiber max. 5.0%
Moisture max. 10%
Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) + Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) min. 0.3%
Calcium min. 1.2%
Phosphorus min. 1.0%
Iron min. 155 mg/kg
Copper min. 13 mg/kg
Manganese min. 14 mg/kg
Zinc min. 165 mg/kg
Selenium min. 0.35 mg/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 2.6%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 0.4%
DL Methionine min. 0.25%
Choline Chloride min. 0.2%
Taurine min. 0.1%
L-Carnitine min. 40 mg/kg
Cobalt min. 1.0 mg/kg
Total Microorganisms*

(Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium)

min. 100 million CFU/lb

Ingredients

Turkey, red lentils, garbanzo beans, whitefish meal, green lentils, peas, sunflower oil, menhaden fish meal, natural turkey flavor, duck flavor, potassium chloride, dried tomato pomace, brewers dried yeast, salt, DL methionine, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lactic acid, preserved with tocopherols and citric acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), yucca schidigera extract, taurine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.

Best NutriSource Food for Seniors: NutriSource Senior Grain-Free Recipe

Image source: Concord Pet Foods

When we asked our fellow dog owners to describe NutriSource Senior Recipe and its effects on their wise, old doggos, three things kept popping up: steady weight, good stool, and shiny coats. Some even bragged about their dogs being less prone to allergies since they started feeding them this formula!

What we do know for certain is that dogs love the taste of this recipe and that the nutritional value of this formula is a textbook example of what a senior pooch’s diet should like—bursting with protein, moderate in fat, and shy in carbs.

Contrary to what many people think, senior canine’s diets should not contain less protein than those of their younger cousins. They should consume more protein because they are losing muscle fiber faster than dogs in their prime.

When it comes to joint and heart supplements, this senior formula got your furball fully covered. From Omega fatty acids to L-Carnitine and taurine, it’s all there!

Just like the brands from our best senior dog food list, with this formula, you can rest assured your dog won’t lack any of the essential nutrients to lead a healthy and happy life in their golden years.

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 28.0%
Crude Fat min. 10%
Crude Fiber max. 7.0%
Moisture max. 10%
Eicosapentaenoic (EPA) + Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) min. 0.3%
Iron min. 155 mg/kg
Copper min. 13 mg/kg
Manganese min. 15 mg/kg
Zinc min. 170 mg/kg
Selenium min. 0.35 mg/kg
Vitamin E min. 160 IU/kg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 1.9%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 0.7%
Taurine min. 0.07%
Glucosamine 300 mg/kg
Chondroitin Sulfate 150 mg/kg
L-Carnitine min. 100 mg/kg
Cobalt min. 1.0 mg/kg
Total Microorganisms*

(Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Enterococcus faecium)

min. 100 million CFU/lb

Ingredients

Turkey, turkey meal, green lentils, red lentils, peas, garbanzo beans, natural turkey flavor, menhaden fish meal, flax seed, pea fiber, beet pulp-dried, sunflower oil (preserved with tocopherols), dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, brewers dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, DL methionine, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), taurine, glucosamine hydrochloride, preserved with tocopherols and citric acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), lactic acid, chondroitin sulfate, yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.

Best NutriSource Treat: NutriSource Grain-Free Rabbit Bites

Image source: NutriSource Pet Foods

To round this review off, we chose the best treat from NutriSource’s extensive catalog.

It’s safe to say that, regardless of the size, every dog has an enormous appetite. That is why NutriSource has designed Grain-Free Rabbit Bites as a powerful snack that both fills those hungry gaps in between meals and serves as an additional source of nutrients.

Unlike the worst dog treat brands, this treat packs a surprisingly high protein content, while keeping carb and fat low. In other words, even if your pooch has had one too many of these, you won’t have to worry about weight gain. Just make sure you don’t make it a habit!

Guaranteed Analysis
Crude Protein min. 12.0%
Crude Fat min. 8%
Crude Fiber max. 4%
Moisture max. 30%
Omega-6 Fatty Acids min. 1.0%
Omega-3 Fatty Acids min. 0.2%
L-Carnitine

Ingredients

Rabbit, peas, potatoes, garbanzo beans, glycerin, flax seed, cane molasses, dried egg product, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid), tapioca starch, sweet potatoes, natural smoke flavor, salt, calcium lactate, lactic acid, palm oil, salmon oil, phosphoric acid, zinc propionate, calcium propionate (a preservative), yucca schidigera extract, natural flavor, L-carnitine, rosemary extract.

NutriSource Dog Food Grain-Free: The Takeaway

No wonder this brand has been around for so long.

Our thorough examination has found that NutriSource—thanks to its dedicated approach to meeting the established nutritional needs of dogs—genuinely deserves the reputation it enjoys, albeit predominantly among more knowledgeable pooch-owners.

Although some of its recipes belong to the category of more expensive kibble, spending a couple of dollars more on this brand truly pays off in terms of your loyal companion’s wellbeing.

We hope that we have cleared any doubts you may have had about switching to or carrying on buying this brand.

That isn’t all we got in store for you! If you are keen to learn more about canine nutrition, hop over to our in-depth reviews of best dry dog food or best canned dog food and discover some of the finest grubs we found on the market.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_food
  2. “Estimated Metabolizable Energy Requirements of Adult Dogs.” Canine and Feline Nutrition, 2011, pp. 521–521., doi:10.1016/b978-0-323-06619-8.10043-x.
  3. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/nutrition-general-feeding-guidelines-for-dogs
  4. https://www.aafco.org/Portals/0/SiteContent/Regulatory/Committees/Pet-Food/Reports/Pet_Food_Report_2013_Midyear-Proposed_Revisions_to_AAFCO_Nutrient_Profiles.pdf

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