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Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Review

Dog Food August 19, 2020

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Review

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Nature’s Recipe dog food has been around for over 35 years, according to their web site. Their foods contain no corn or wheat; no artificial flavors or preservatives; and no poultry by-product meal.

They currently make kibbles and wet/canned foods; grain-free and grain-inclusive, for dogs of various life stages and needs. Nature’s Recipe was the first company to sell a lamb and rice dog food dating back to 1985.

Keep reading to find out if Nature’s Recipe dog food is right for your dog.

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food – Top 5 Recipes Reviewed

Brand Score

Our reviews are based on extensive research and years of professional knowledge of dog food brands. In order to remain objective, we do not accept gifts of free products or write sponsored posts on this site.

We’ve examined Nature’s Recipe dog food closely and graded the brand according to the PupJunkies.com standard. Our criteria include ingredients, quality, customer experience, recall history, working with veterinary nutritionists to formulate the food, nutritional standards, research, and price.

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Nature’s Recipe has made changes to some of their recipes since the FDA report on dilated cardiomyopathy mentioned their brand
  • No recalls since 2012
Cons
  • The company provides very little information about ingredients, sourcing, or manufacturing
  • One of the brands named by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in their study of dog foods possibly linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy
Pros
  • Affordable
  • Nature’s Recipe has made changes to some of their recipes since the FDA report on dilated cardiomyopathy mentioned their brand
  • No recalls since 2012
Cons
  • The company provides very little information about ingredients, sourcing, or manufacturing
  • One of the brands named by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in their study of dog foods possibly linked to canine dilated cardiomyopathy
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

About Nature’s Recipe Dog Food

Nature’s Recipe doesn’t provide much brand or company information on their web site but there is information available. Nature’s Recipe is owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, formerly the pet food division of Del Monte Foods. The company’s headquarters is in San Francisco, California.

Big Heart Pet Brands, in turn, was purchased by J.M. Smucker in 2015 for $5.8 Billion. Their pet food brands include 9Lives, Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Meow Mix, Milk Bone, Milo’s Kitchen, Natural Balance, Rachael Ray Nutrish, Pup-Peroni, Snausages, and several other pet brands.

According to Nature’s Recipe, their foods do not contain beef, corn, or wheat which they say can lead to food intolerance. They say that they use highly digestible ingredients such as lamb, venison, and sweet potatoes.

In 2019, Nature’s Recipe was one of the 16 brands named by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as most frequently reported to the agency in cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The list included brands that were reported 10 or more times. You can view the raw data for yourself.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

We didn’t find any information about ingredients or manufacturing on the Nature’s Recipe web site so we had to start digging through customer service replies on Chewy.com.

“This food is made in the USA. A majority of Nature’s Recipe’s manufacturing and sourcing is done in the United States. If availability for sourcing becomes a scarce, they may source from another country.”

That’s vague but that’s what we found.

There is a little more information about salmon: “Whenever wild-caught salmon is available, it is sourced for this diet. When not available, farm-raised Salmon from the Pacific Northwest is used to ensure the recipe is still available.”

Kibbles and some wet/canned products are manufactured in the U.S. but we did notice that some of their canned foods are labeled “Product of Thailand.” That’s not a problem. Thailand produces wet/canned foods for many pet food companies. But it would be nice if Nature’s Recipe were more open about this kind of information.

Recall History

We found one recall notice for Nature’s Recipe dating from 2012. At that time some of the company’s dog treats were recalled because of possible Salmonella contamination.

There was also a large recall way back in 1995 involving mycotoxins. It was possibly the largest recall of that kind at the time.

What Kinds Of Dog Food Does Nature’s Recipe Offer?

  • Prime Blends (dry and wet, grain-free and grain-inclusive)
  • Original Recipes (dry and wet, grain-inclusive)
  • Grain-Free Recipes (dry and wet)
  • Healthy Skin Recipes (dry and wet, vegetarian)
  • Easy To Digest Recipes (dry and wet, grain-inclusive)

Nature’s Recipe  Dog Food: Top Five Recipes Reviewed

Here’s a look at some of the bestselling Nature’s Recipe dog food recipes on Chewy.com to give you an idea of what’s popular and what other dog lovers are choosing for their dogs.

Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 27% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3470 kcal/kg, 336 kcal/cup

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dry Dog Food is Nature’s Recipe’s bestselling dog food on Chewy.com. This is an all life stage dog food. It’s available in 4-lb, 12-lb, and 24-lb.

Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this food:

New Formula: Salmon, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Pea Starch, Poultry Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Lactic Acid, Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.

This formula lists three pea/legume ingredients in the first five ingredients for the food, suggesting that a large amount of the food is made up of plant material. Even if you are not concerned about dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs, these are not the best ingredients for your dog since they are essentially meat substitutes.

The dry matter basis (DMB) figures for this food are: 30 percent protein, 13.3 percent fat, 4.4 percent fiber, and (approx.) 44.4 percent carbohydrates. It has 336 kcal/cup.

Our rating for this food is 3 out of 5 stars.

Nature's Recipe Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 20% Min
  • Fat – 12% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3510 kcal/kg, 312 kcal/cup

Nature’s Recipe Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food is a grain-inclusive diet. This is an adult maintenance formula. It’s available in 4.5-lb, 15-lb, and 30-lb bags.

Note that when there are differences between information provided by Chewy.com and the brand, we use the information from the label.

Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this food:

Lamb Meal, Barley, Oatmeal, Brewers Rice, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Dried Brewers Yeast, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbly-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Lactic Acid, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Citric Acid (Used As A Preservative), Rosemary Extract.

Nature’s Recipe Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food has 23.3 percent protein and 13.3 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 4.4 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates is 51.1 percent. It has 312 kcal per cup.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Nature's Recipe Prime Blends Chicken and Beef Recipe Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 12% Min
  • Fat – 2% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Max
  • Moisture – 82% Max
  • Caloric Content: 960 kcals/kg, 75 kcals/cup

Nature’s Recipe Prime Blends Chicken and Beef Recipe Grain-Free Wet Dog Food is Nature’s Recipe’s most popular wet/canned dog food. This is a maintenance formula. It comes in a case of 12 2.75 ounce trays.

Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this food:

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Sweet Potato, Beef, Green Beans, Canola Oil (Mixed Tocopherols Used As A Preservative), Tricalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Salt, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Beta-carotene, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Reduced Iron, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Carrageenan.

This formula has 66.7 percent protein and 11.1 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 5.6 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food was neglible. It has 75 kcals/2.75-oz tray.

Our rating for this food is 4 out of 5 stars.

Nature's Recipe Easy-To-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley Recipe Homestyle Ground Canned Dog Food, 13.2-oz, case of 12

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 8% Min
  • Fat – 5% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Max
  • Moisture – 76% Max
  • Caloric Content: 1190 kcal/kg, 445 kcal/cup

Nature’s Recipe Easy-To-Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley Recipe Homestyle Ground Canned Dog Food is a maintenance food for adult dogs. It’s formulated to be easy to digest. Comes in a case of 12 13.2 ounce cans.

Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this food:

Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken, Soybean Meal, Chicken Liver, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewer’s Rice, Barley, Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Guar Gum, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Rosemary Extract.

Some people will object to the presence of soybean meal here as the third ingredient, especially in a brand that usually claims that it doesn’t use soy protein. Soy can be a problem for some dogs. It is a plant source of protein.

According to the dry matter analysis for this food, it has 33.3 percent protein, 16.7 percent fat, and 4.2 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 33.3 percent. It contains 445 per 13.2 ounce can.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Nature's Recipe Grain-Free Chicken & Venison Stew Canned Dog Food, 10-oz, case of 12

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 8% Min
  • Fat – 2.5% Min
  • Fiber – 1.5% Max
  • Moisture – 83% Max
  • Caloric Content: 956 kcal/kg, 272 kcal/cup

Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Chicken & Venison Stew Canned Dog Food has no corn, wheat, or soy protein; no poultry by-product meal; and no artificial flavors or preservatives. This is an adult maintenance food. Comes in a case of 12 10-ounce cans.

Here’s a look at the main ingredients in this food:

Vegetable Broth, Chicken, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans, Tapioca Starch, Venison, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Puree, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sugar, Salt, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Beta-Carotene), Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Ferrous Glycine Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodide, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Parsley, Taurine, Magnesium Sulfate, Rosemary Extract.

This formula has 47 percent protein and 14.7 percent fat, according to the dry matter basis (DMB). It has 8.8 percent fiber. Our estimate of the carbohydrates in the food came out to 11.8 percent DMB. It contains 272 kcal per 10 ounce can.

Our rating for this food is 3.5 out of 5 stars.

How Much Does Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Cost?

Nature’s Recipe diets are very affordable compared to most premium dog foods.

What Do Customers Think Of Nature’s Recipe Dog Food?

Nature’s Recipe gets good ratings from most customers. Most customers (over 90 percent) say they would recommend various Nature’s Recipe dog foods to others. Most recipes get 4- or 5-star reviews.

Overall, Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food A Good Choice?

Our impression of Nature’s Recipe is that these are affordable dog foods and some of them would be good for your dog.

However, Nature’s Recipe appears to be secretive about ingredients (even more than most dog food companies) and may cut corners at times to use some less than desirable ingredients.

If you read ingredient labels carefully you should be able to find a good Nature’s Recipe food for your dog. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of their customer service representatives.

Where Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Sold?

You can find Nature’s Recipe dog food at Chewy.com and other online retailers. You can also buy Nature’s Recipe at some pet supply stores.

Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and is the author of several books about dogs. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.
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