When you look at dog foods, you see dog food brands that are incredibly expensive and then you see dog foods that are incredibly cheap. Of course, there are many dog food options that fall in the middle of the spectrum as well. It’s left up to pet owners to try to determine what dog food is actually going to be good and what type of price we’re willing to pay for our pet food.
Nutro dog food reviews reveal this dog food brand to fall into suit with other premium dog food formulas without making their dog food overly expensive. Before you make a decision, take a look at this detailed Nutro dog food review and learn as much as you can about the dog food recipe. Your friendly dog food advisor has you covered here with everything you need to know.
About Nutro Dog Food
One of the best ways to really get the lowdown on pet food is to look at the brand as a whole. This can often tell you whether or not quality is an important element to the brand. Nutro was originally individually owned for a long time. However, in more recent years, the brand was sold off to Mars Incorporated and is still owned by them. They do have their primary headquarters in Tennessee, USA.
Nutro has several dog food recipes and options but they don’t stop there. They also make cat food products too. They’re pretty popular in the dog food industry because they create affordable food with premium ingredients. What you will find is that Nutro dog food actually does a lot of marketing comparing their ingredients to competitor brands.
Overall, most owners feel that Nutro dog food is a great choice because the brand pays close attention to the standards of their ingredients. Even with the transition to Mars, the ingredients and the ideals behind the Nutro dog food recipes have not changed. It’s all about the nutrition with things like real animal protein. But they go one step above just using real meat protein and actually consider how that animal was raised too. It’s a plot twist.
The Nutro dog food formulas do vary a bit. You can find wet food, hypoallergenic foods, grain free options, and more. You can choose what you feel will work best for your pet and easily compare to other dog foods for the truth of the matter.
Nutro Dog Food History
Since Nutro dog food brand is now owned by Mars, it’s much harder to find their history. We know that Mars purchased them in 2007. While Mars has maintained their stance on natural ingredients and creating a healthy dog food packed with nutritional value, we don’t get to know the story behind the development of Nutro brand to begin with.
Most of these stories start with a family pet and the search to simply find something better. We know the Nutro food company adheres to their original philosophy of just feeding clean. They tell you the details of everything in their recipes and even go so far as to compare to other dog food recipes for full disclosure.
They always made it their priority to tell you the why behind every single ingredient in Nutro pet foods. If you ever question an ingredient, you can check out their glossary and see the benefits behind the science.
While Nutro dog food products were purchased by Mars in 2007, the Nutro brand was around for nearly 100 years before that transition. They originally set up shop in 1926. Their approach has always been the same and they evolve as they learn more about pet food brands and what is truly good dog food.
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Where Are Nutro Dog Foods Made?
The primary headquarters for Nutro dog foods is in Tennessee. However, that is not the location where the majority of their dog food is made. They have several facilities throughout the USA. Wet food and dry dog food are made in different plants as well.
Dry food varieties are manufactured primarily in Victorville, California, and Henderson, North Carolina. Wet dog food is made in several different facilities. This includes Sioux City, North Dakota, Fort Smith, Arkansas, and Columbus, Ohio.
Several locations also make puppy food, depending on the category it falls into.
Nutro Dog Food Cost
One of the factors that many pet parents consider is the cost of the best dog foods compared to other food in the market. Nutro certainly doesn’t fall into the cheapest category. After all, Nutro products are made with a slew of natural products. The entire stance behind their formulas is to provide clean food for your pets.
You will pay a little bit more for options from the Nutro company in comparison to some of the others out there but it’s also not the most expensive food on the market. In fact, if you compare the price per pound, Nutro is the more affordable option against several big names. Take Blue Buffalo for example. It’s almost half the price per pound for Nutro’s adult formulas.
That being said, you will find options within a large range. You could find some bags as low as about $15 and some as high as $75. It depends on which provided dog food formula you choose and the size of the bag.
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Nutro Dog Food Ingredient Quality
When it comes down to it, the thing we really want to know is if the dog food recipes are really all that they claim to be. They spout natural ingredients but how much else is added to the “natural” right?
Newsflash – a random meat meal is not really all natural. Additives and artificial flavors are colors are not natural. Luckily, Nutro dog food sticks to their word on choosing ingredients that are simple, trustworthy, and purposeful. That is their entire philosophy.
A quick glance at the Nutro website gives you a full glossary of ingredients and the benefits behind them. You can also clearly see every single ingredient. So what is it that makes Nutro dog food good? Well, they really don’t use fillers and artificial things that have no meaning behind them. Every ingredient is chosen for its nutritional value. Their statement is that they “know exactly why each ingredient is in your pet’s food”.
Here are some of the ingredients you will see. Of course, this could vary depending on the formula.
- Protein from fresh meat: Nutro doesn’t just toss together random meats and meals to create their food. They use real meat like raw chicken for their primary source of protein. The dry and wet food with chicken uses farm raised chicken, not just mystery chicken.
- Meat meals: You will find some meat meal in the foods from Nutro but the meal is not a primary ingredient and it’s fully identified. They use things like salmon meal, lamb meal, beef meal, and chicken meal to support the protein source and it’s still animal protein.
- Fiber & Carbs: this is not a grain free dog food. However, Nutro does use high-quality grains to support fiber and carbohydrate needs. Nutro products have things like barley, alfalfa, whole grains. You will also find sweet potato, whole grain brown rice, chia seeds, and more.
- Fats & Oils: Your dog’s diet needs some natural fats and oils. What is used might depend on the food. However, they use oils and fats that aren’t highly processed. For example, a chicken dry food will use chicken fat.
- Vitamins & Minerals: Of course, there are other things added specifically to provide your pet food with vitamins and minerals that are necessary for health. This includes amino acids, omega fatty acids, and then the essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health.
You get the idea here. Food is created mindfully, whether you’re looking at wet foods or dry foods, food for senior dogs, puppy formulas, or even small breeds. They use ingredients that are not as likely to cause food sensitivities as well. And the ingredients are all non GMO ingredients.
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Nutro’s pet food takes an approach that a balanced approach to nutrition. They do have grain free options but that is not their focus. If you’re looking for grain free, you forget that some grains are part of the food pyramid. Of course, some people use grain free because of sensitivities. It’s all about striking the perfect balance.
Their most popular is dry dog food but every line also has wet options to provide owners with a larger variety to choose from.
We’ve pulled out some of the top choices to cover with you.
Nutro Natural Choice
The most prominent line that Nutro offers is Nutro Natural Choice. The Nutro natural choice line is not grain free but stands behind the philosophy of a carefully chosen and well-balanced diet for any dog food. They have several options, including breakouts for dry dog food, wet dog food, toy breeds, small breeds, large breeds, and even a weight management formula.
This contains non GMO ingredients and is free of things like corn, wheat, and soy. You will find nutrition from sweet potatoes, chicken far, real meat, chicken meal, brown rice, and more. It’s all composed together and paired with veggies and other ingredients that matter.
Nutro Natural Choice is a good dog food and it’s a basic approach to health and nutrition. Whether you need smething for large breeds, adult dogs, large breed puppies, senior dogs, or even the smallest of breeds, Nutro Natural Choice has you covered.
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The Nutro Ultra line is a new dog food to some extent. It’s been around for awhile but becoming more and more popular. It comes as a dry dog food or wet. Nutro Ultra changes just a few recipes from the natural choice line with a bigger emphasis on the source of protein.
Nitro Ultra uses a blend of protein from quality sources. Nutro Ultra includes salmon, chicken, and lamb. There is some chicken fat and then of course they have sweet potato and other quality ingredients. Nutro Ultra is designed with superfoods. You can find Nutro Ultra in designations for all of the different ages and categories as well.
Of course, Nutro Ultra also falls under the non GMO ingredients label, staying in line with the philosophy of the brand.
Nutro Limited Ingredients
Finally, if you just want something plain and simple, the limited ingredient diet dog food is a great choice. They make this for large breeds as well as adult dogs. However, you can find it in either wet or dry dog food compilations.
As your dog food advisor, we feel it’s important to point out that this formula has 10 ingredients and they are chosen very carefully. It’s great for allergen avoidance. Here, you won’t find things like chicken meal in the food. You will still likely find brown rice or you will notice instead something like lentils or sweet potatoes instead.
The formulas in this line will look more like lamb & sweet potato, salmon & lentils, fish & potato, and more. Each flavors is in dry dog food or wet to meet your needs.
Alternatives to Nutro
It’s always a good idea to be familiar with alternatives. What if you can’t get your favorite dry dog food from Nutro or you simply have decided it’s time to try something new? This might also be helpful to you if you read the recent notification that they are potentially discontinuing portions of the brand.
Check out some of these options.
Probably one of the most common alternatives to Nutro is Blue Buffalo. Blue Buffalo is a bit more expensive but they do follow a similar philosophy. They use natural types of ingredients as well, although they are not quite as clean as Nutro, particularly Nutro Ultra.
Blue Buffalo is most known for their life source bits that add some extra antioxidants to the formula. Their dry food is particularly popular and they have quite a variety of choices as well.
Lotus is a bit more expensive as well but they are known for providing pets with healthy ingredients and that’s where they come in. Lotus has a unique addition to their ingredients, which is chicken liver. This provides some substantial benefits to pets. Apart from that, their ingredients list is really quite comparable overall to Nutro.
Lotus is also know for supporting Vitamin A dietary needs and taking you back to the roots of what wild dogs eat.
Taste of the Wild
If you like the idea of the natural options for ingredients but you really want grain free food, consider Taste of the Wild. This food is designed to provide as if your dog were surviving in the wild. Rather than grains they use things like lentils and other vegetables to supplement that need. You will also find vegetables and some fruits as well as unique meat like buffalo, venison, lamb, or beef.
Where to Buy Nutro Dog Food
Nutro dog food is readily available among many stores and can also be found for purchase online. Here are a few of the most common retailers.
- Farm stores (Tractor Supply, Atwoods, etc)
- Pet Smart
These are just a few examples. You can also purchase Nutro lines directly from their website or find a location near you on their website as well.
Nutro Dog Food Recall History
Much like most popular brands, Nutro has faced some recalls, according to dog food advisor. The good news is that all recalls are publicly available for you to see and sort through. They have had only a couple of recalls. It’s a chance you take with natural foods.
The company never had recalls until they transferred ownership to Mars. The first recall was in 2009 and was related to melted plastic possibly found in some of the lines. They discovered the issue and voluntarily recalled right away.
The other recall occurred in 2015. This recall was specific to dog treats based on possible mold. The dog treats were voluntarily recalled and pulled from the shelves upon discovery.
Both recalls were voluntary and were handled quickly and efficiently. With nearly 100 years of production, two recalls isn’t terrible in comparison to some brands out there.
We hope that you find this Nutro dog food review helpful in understanding the quality and the options that Nutro has to offer. They take a firm approach to ingredients that are carefully chosen. Every ingredient in every food has a purpose. The company strategically chooses them all and they share the “why” behind their selections with you.
You quickly see that the foods are clean and they give priority to some of the things that should be valued most when it comes to our pet’s health. If the quality of the food and the selection of ingredients is vital to you, then Nutro could certainly be a great choice.
We see a company that has dedicated nearly 100 years to providing owners with clean and reliable food sources. They must be doing something right considering their long history of success.