Why Is Nutro A Bad Dog Food

Providing high-quality and nutritious food to your pooch is something that ranks high on every dog owner’s priority list. Being a dog owner myself, I purchased many different dog food formulas until I came across Nutro and decided to stick with it. In this honest Nutro dog food review, I will take a look at Nutro’s product lines, recall history, best dog foods, and much more!AT A GLANCE:Our 5 Best Nutro Dog Food

The company was established in 1926, meaning they have been in the dog food industry for nearly a century. Clearly, they came a long way (before the acquisition by Mars in 2007).

Today, the brand caters to dogs as well as cats. One dog product that has become quite a hit and is synonymous with this brand is Greenies dog treats.

Nutro enjoys a nice reputation among pet parents, mostly because they have adopted the method of educating you as a parent on the nutritional needs of your dogs.

Nutro also provides you comparative literature on ingredients that highlight the quality of their dog food over other competing brands. Actually, this has become their mode of advertising as opposed to mainstream media.

If you haven’t yet tried any Nutro dog foods, continue reading my Nutro dog food reviews to find out what you (and your pup) have been missing. Stay with me till the end of this article to find out everything Nutro products have to offer to your dog!

Many NUTRO customers also tout the food, saying their pets have had no problems. And veterinarians say several factors can cause gastrointestinal problems in dogs and cats, including changes in diet, newly developed sensitivities to pet foods, and viral infections.

Is Nutro a Good Dog Food?


Nutro Natural Choice earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Nutro Natural Choice product line includes 19 dry dog foods.

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

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Nutro Natural Choice Adult Small Breed Chicken and Brown Rice 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.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient ContentProtein =

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain barley, split peas, brewers rice, whole grain brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, rice bran, whole grain oatmeal, whole flaxseed, dried plain beet pulp, potassium chloride, choline chloride, citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservative), chia seed, dried coconut, dl-methionine, dried tomato pomace, dried egg product, dried pumpkin, dried kale, dried spinach, salt, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, sodium selenite, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Protein =

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 24% 16% NA
Dry Matter Basis 27% 18% 48%
Calorie Weighted Basis 23% 37% 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is fresh 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 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 fourth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we find 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 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 seventh 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.

After the natural flavor, we find rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.

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 Nutro product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of beet pulp. 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 chia seed, 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 also be considered when judging the amount of meat in this recipe.

We find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.

Based on its ingredients alone, Nutro Natural Choice appears to be an above-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 26% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Which means this Nutro product line contains…

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

At a Glance: The Best Nutro Dog Food Recipes:

Nutro offers dozens of different dog food formulas for all types of nutritional needs, life stages, and breeds. Here are a few of the best recipes Nutro has to offer:

Rating Product Details
Our Favorite Winner Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult
  • Chicken is first ingredient
  • Made with whole grains
  • No GMO or artificial ingredients
  • Nutro Ultra The Superfood Plate
  • High in protein
  • Contains meat from chicken
  • lamb
  • and salmon
  • Does not include GMOs or artificial ingredients
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight
  • Lamb is first ingredient
  • Formulated for health weight loss and maintenance
  • High fiber for improved satiety
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials Small Breed
  • Supports healthy digestion system
  • Promotes healthy skin and a soft
  • glossy coat
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
  • Nutro Ultra Small Breed The Superfood Plate
  • Packed with antioxidants to help maintain a strong immune system
  • Premium natural diet made for small breeds
  • No artificial colors
  • flavors or preservatives
  • With its “FEED CLEAN.” slogan and shelf space in most pet food retailers, Nutro easily leads the pack in natural, premium dog food formulas. Along with its range of dry foods, Nutro also produces wet food and treats featuring the same high-quality ingredients and balanced nutrition.

    Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food (Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato)

    The Wholesome Essentials Adult Dry Dog Food is easily one of the most popular formulas from Nutro, especially the Chicken, Brown Rice & Sweet Potato Recipe. This grain-inclusive formula lists chicken and chicken meal as the first ingredients, ensuring that each serving has plenty of animal-sourced protein. It also contains brown rice for healthy carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, and omega fatty acids for healthy skin and fur.


    Why was Nutro dog food discontinued?

    Nutro Ultra

    While it offers the trendy “grain-free” formulas, it also makes most of its dog foods with grains less likely to cause allergies, such as whole-grain oats and brown rice. Many veterinarians recommend this brand of dog food as one of the top choices among grain-free dog foods.

    Is Nutro bad food?

    Past Nutro dog food recalls include:

    In 2007, some varieties of Nutro canned dog food were recalled for potential melamine contamination. In 2009, some varieties of Nutro dry puppy food were recalled because plastic was found in the manufacturing line.

    Did Nutro dog food Change 2021?

    Our Rating of Nutro Dog Food

    The Dog Food Advisor finds Nutro to be a quality, grain-inclusive kibble. Each Natural Choice recipe uses a blend of fresh meat and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein… thus earning the brand 4 stars.