Friday, May 8, 2015

Food Friday: Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Puppy Diet

I'm puppy-sitting this week, so there is a bag of Nutro Natural Choice Limited Ingredient Diet puppy food in my house that wouldn't normally be here. This is a limited ingredient diet that is only somewhat limited, and I'm feeling lucky indeed that it doesn't contain any of Brisbane's allergens. These pups are very, very good at flinging their kibble everywhere. (Yes, I still have foster puppy Xena, so that makes five dogs in my house for those keeping count.)

Nutro is a dog food marketing company owned by Mars Incorporated. Other products you may have heard of by Mars include candy bars (3 Musketeers, Snickers, Twix), chewing gum (Wrigley's, Juicy Fruit, Bubble Tape), and lots of pet products. Mars dog foods include Pedigree, Cesar, Eukanuba, Iams, Natura, and Royal Canin. They also make Pill Pockets and Greenies, and own both the Banfield veterinary centers in Petsmart stores, and the Wisdom Panel DNA Test. Isn't it kinda crazy that all those brands are actually owned by the same company?

Nutro hasn't always been owned by a giant corporation though, it used to be a private pet food company and was only sold in 2007. The fact that Nutro dog food in produced in a facility that makes many brands is part of why it was part of the giant 2007 Menu Foods recall.

As far as quality goes, Nutro Natural Choice LID diets seem to be ok. This food is rated four out of five stars on Dog Food Advisor. I'm not crazy about the amount of grains in this food, and it's not something I would choose to feed my own dogs.

I'm also not thrilled with the "Limited Ingredient Diet" label when this food actually contains so many different things. It's got lamb and rice, sure, but it's also got oatmeal and pea protein. Most foods advertised as having limited ingredients contain one protein source and one carbohydrate source. This can help with elimination diets, if your dog has trouble on a rabbit and potato diet, you can switch to a venison and sweet potato diet and see if they improve. This is a lot less useful if said diets both also contain peas, oatmeal, or other potential allergens.

That said, the pups are doing well on this particular food. Their coats are shiny, their eyes are bright, they are at healthy weights and have healthy-looking stools. They are growing and developing properly and in general are healthy puppies. Would a better food make a noticeable difference? I doubt it.

What does your dog eat?


  1. I feed grain-free potato-free dry food for my pup. White potatoes cause tear stains so my rotation includes, Zignature (fave!), Nature's Variety Instinct, Earthborn Hollistic, Pure Vita, and recently discovered Nulo and Wild Calling which my dog really enjoyed (he's not much of a eater any how though)

    1. I still need to try Zignature! I was going to get a bag at one of my local shops and then got distracted by Merrick's new Backcountry foods. I like Instinct and Earthborn Holistic. Pure Vita, Nulo, and Wild Calling don't make anything Briz can eat, though.

    2. Yeah, I like Nulo, but I find it a bit annoying that they advertise "no chicken or egg proteins!" and then put chicken fat in their food. :(