Our Rating of Nutrish Dish Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meal as its primary source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Review of Nutrish Dish Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish product line includes the 2 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish Chicken and Brown Rice was selected to represent both products in the line for this detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient ContentProtein =
Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, dried peas, brown rice, brewers rice, pea protein, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), cranberries, whole flaxseed, natural flavor, dried plain beet pulp, dried apples, dried carrots, whole dried potatoes, salt, dicalcium phosphate, zinc proteinate, potassium chloride, menhaden fish oil, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), choline chloride, glycerin, sunflower oil, copper proteinate, brown sugar, manganese proteinate, biotin, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, vitamin A supplement, paprika (color), riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||18%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||37%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The third ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fifth inclusion is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 next ingredient is poultry fat. This item is obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life.
However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).
The eighth ingredient includes cranberries, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The ninth ingredient is 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.
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 Rachael Ray product.
With 7 notable exceptions…
First, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
Next, we find dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
In addition, glycerin is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.
We also note the use of brown sugar. Sugar is always an unwelcome addition to any dog food. Because of its high glycemic index, it can unfavorably impact the blood glucose level of any animal soon after it is eaten.
Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.
Additionally, this product 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 food includes 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.
Based on its ingredients alone, Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish looks like an average dry product.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Which means this Rachael Ray product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas, pea protein, flaxseed and dried potato, this looks like the profile of a kibble still containing a notable amount of meat.
Rachael Ray Nutrish’s standard dry kibble comes in six variations: three for adults, one for puppies, one for small breeds, and one for large breeds. Flavors include chicken, turkey, and beef with an assortment of vegetables and rice. There are no wheat- or gluten-containing ingredients, but be careful as this recipe does include soybeans, a common allergen for dogs.
Products from the Rachael Ray Nutrish line are available from most major pet food carriers, including retailers like Walmart and Target, grocery stores such as Meijer, pet stores like Petsmart, and even online from Amazon, Chewy, and Jet. To search for a specific product, use the online locator found on the Rachael Ray Nutrish website.
One further note: Rachael Ray Nutrish was one of 16 brands linked to a wave of cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, by an FDA report in 2019. While only 10 cases had officially been linked to the brand and further study is still being done, you should monitor your dog for signs of DCM if you’re feeding them a Rachael Ray Nutrish grain-free food.
PEAKTM is the top-of-the-line grain-free food offered by Rachael Ray Nutrish. The recipes each include a minimum of 30% protein, the highest protein level available across the brand’s foods. A total of six recipes are available, in flavors that are typically considered exotic meats like venison, quail, and bison. Two of those six also include freeze-dried raw bites.
To their credit, the brand does attempt to maintain transparency by including an ingredients glossary on their website that explains the purpose of each ingredient in their recipes.
Can puppies eat Rachael Ray dog food?
What is puppy best food?
- Wellness Complete Health Puppy Food. …
- Life’s Abundance Puppy. …
- Iams Proactive Health Smart Puppy. …
- Purina One +Plus Healthy Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food. …
- Purina Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Formula. …
- Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Large Breed Dry Dog Food. …
- Royal Canin Small Puppy Wet Dog Food.