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Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review

Dog Food Nutrition March 4, 2020

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review

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Taste of the Wild is a grain free brand that boasts higher protein percentages than many grain-inclusive dog foods.

Taste of the Wild has recently begun to make some foods with ancient grains and some limited ingredient formulas. The company makes dog and puppy foods, kibble and canned foods, and foods for cats and kittens.

Taste of the Wild (or TOTW, as it’s often shortened online) has been an extremely popular brand for several years, partly because it costs slightly less than some of the more expensive grain free dog foods.

We can provide you with more information about the company and its foods to see if they are right for your dog with our unbiased review.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypeProteinkcal/Cup/Can
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-FreeDry32%370 kcal/cup
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Canned Dog FoodWet8%364 kcal/13.2-oz can
Taste of the Wild Ancient PrairieDry32%422 kcal/cup

Brand Score

Taste of the Wild Dog Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • Affordably priced
  • Only one recall (2012)
  • Manufactures their own foods at their own plants
  • Appears to have good quality control measures
Cons
  • Currently involved in a class-action lawsuit that claims their foods have high levels of lead, pesticides, and other chemicals
  • Taste of the Wild has been singled out as one of the brands most frequently producing DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs eating grain free dog foods per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Vague about the source and details of their ingredients
Pros
  • Affordably priced
  • Only one recall (2012)
  • Manufactures their own foods at their own plants
  • Appears to have good quality control measures
Cons
  • Currently involved in a class-action lawsuit that claims their foods have high levels of lead, pesticides, and other chemicals
  • Taste of the Wild has been singled out as one of the brands most frequently producing DCM (dilated cardiomyopathy) in dogs eating grain free dog foods per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Vague about the source and details of their ingredients
Ingredients
Overall Quality
Customer Experience
Recall History
Formulation
Nutritional Standards
Research
Price

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 have looked closely at Taste of the Wild and graded it 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.

About Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild foods are made by Diamond Pet Food, owned by Schell & Kampeter, Inc. Schell & Kampeter, Inc. is a family-owned, privately-held company that was founded in 1970. Their headquarters are located in Meta, Missouri. At one time Diamond had repeated pet food recalls but they don’t appear to have affected Taste of the Wild.

Taste of the Wild is their premium product line.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Taste of the Wild is vague about the source of their ingredients. They state on their web site and on the Diamond site that they use products from local and global suppliers, but they don’t elaborate much.

They say that they use quality ingredients and they maintain close relationships with a few trusted suppliers. Both the TOTW and Diamond sites have ingredient glossaries to explain the ingredients but neither of them state the source of the ingredients.

This quote is from one customer service reply: “The lamb from New Zealand, lamb meal and venison from Australia, duc k meal from France, potato protein from Germany and dried chicory root from Belgium.

There are ingredients that are critical to the formulations (i.e. folic acid and taurine) that can only be sourced out of China.”
Taste of the Wild does say that they don’t use any artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.

Taste of the Wild is manufactured in their five state-of-the-art facilities in the U.S.: two in California, and one each in Missouri, Arkansas, and South Carolina. TOTW and Diamond provide information about their quality assurance program and product testing

Taste of the Wild only performs humane feeding trials– offering dogs food to eat and observing their response to the food. These trials are non-invasive.

Recall History

Taste of the Wild has only had one recall. That recall, in 2012, was part of a larger Diamond recall which eventually involved many brands that Diamond was co-packing (manufacturing) for other premium dog foods. A settlement was made to customers that were affected.

It is not uncommon for companies, such as Diamond, that have their own manufacturing facilities to make dog food for other brands using the proprietary recipes that belong to those brands for a fee. This is called “co-packing.”

What kinds of dog food does Taste of the Wild offer?

Taste of the Wild is best-known for making grain free kibbles that contain some unique proteins such as venison, bison, salmon, lamb, boar, and other somewhat unusual meats.

Most of these grain free kibbles also contain peas. TOTW also makes these formulas for puppies and in cans. They even have a small breed formula.

Taste of the Wild has also introduced several limited ingredient diet formulas which focus on four key ingredients: animal protein, lentils, tomato pomace, and sunflower oil.

These formulas use non-GMO ingredients though TOTW says they can’t guarantee there won’t be any cross-contamination with other foods made at the same facilities.

Recently, TOTW has also introduced several ancient grain formulas. This may be a response to the recent criticism of grain free diets and/or the reports from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about some of Taste of the Wild’s grain free dog foods being linked to DCM.

Or, it might be a reaction to the rising popularity of other brands which have been enjoying success with ancient grain formulas.

Whatever the case, these formulas have grains, cereals, and seeds such as grain sorghum, millet, cracked pearled barley, brown rice, quinoa, and chia seed, in addition to animal proteins such as lamb, bison, venison, smoked salmon, and roasted fowl.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food: Top Three Recipes Reviewed

We’re taking a look at three of the top-selling Taste of the Wild dog foods as found on Chewy.com.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 32% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 4% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max
  • Caloric Content – 3,719 kcal/kg, 370 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

Far and away the bestselling TOTW food on Chewy.com, Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is grain free and gluten-free with no corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Buffalo, Lamb Meal, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Beef, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Potato Protein, Pea Protein, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

There are lots of good sources of meat protein with three good animal proteins from the start: buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal. Lamb meal and chicken meal have had most of their moisture removed so they have more protein than whole lamb or whole chicken. Most dogs will like buffalo.

It’s nutritionally similar to beef. Chicken fat is an excellent source of fat for dogs. Egg product is another good source of animal protein. We do have concerns about the peas but at least they are the fifth ingredient.

The pea protein, far down the list, should not be too much of a concern. The food does appear to have a lot of potatoes and sweet potatoes in it. Not all dogs digest potatoes well.

Natural flavor can be a concern since it’s a vague term. Some sources claim that it can be a source of a form of monosodium glutamate (MSG), the flavor enhancer, but there’s no way to know for sure. In fairness, “natural flavor” is an ingredient in many dog foods but it is something to note when you see it.

When we look at the dry matter basis (DMB) for this food, it comes out to the following: 35.6 percent protein, 20 percent fat, 4.4 percent fiber, and 32.2 percent carbohydrates. It has 370 kcal/cup.

We rate this food 4 out of 5 stars.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 8% Min
  • Fat – 4% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Max
  • Moisture – 82% Max
  • Caloric Content – 924 kcal/kg, 364 kcal/13.2-oz can

Ingredients:

If you’re looking for a Taste of the Wild canned food, Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is one of their most popular foods. It’s grain free and features salmon in gravy. This food has a new formula that looks like it has reduced the peas and pea protein.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Whitefish, Fish Broth, Turkey Broth, Water Sufficient For Processing, Turkey, Turkey Liver, Dried Egg Whites, Salmon, Dried Ground Peas, Potatoes, Peas, Potato Starch, Guar Gum, Natural Flavor, Salt, Pea Protein, Sodium Phosphate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

The old formula had pea protein, dried ground peas, and peas as the sixth, seventh, and 10th ingredients. The new formula has dried ground peas as the ninth ingredient; peas as the 11th ingredient; and pea protein as the 16th ingredient. These are definite improvements.

As for animal protein, whitefish is the first ingredient. Other animal proteins include turkey, turkey liver, and salmon which are all good sources of protein for your dog.

The dry matter basis (DMB) for this food shows that it has protein and 22.2 percent fat, 5.6 percent fiber, and 11.1 percent carbohydrates. according to the guaranteed analysis. It has 364 kcal/13.2 ounce can.

We rate this food 3.5 out of 5.

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein – 32% Min
  • Fat – 18% Min
  • Fiber – 3% Max
  • Moisture – 10% Max
  • Caloric Content – 3,920 kcal/kg, 422 kcal/cup

Ingredients:

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food is one of Taste of the Wild’s new ancient grain formulas.

These formulas don’t contain corn, wheat, or other common grains but they do contain grains and cereals such as quinoa and sorghum, and barley.

Here are the ingredients in this formula:

Buffalo, Pork, Chicken Meal, Grain Sorghum, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Cracked Pearled Barley, Dried Yeast, Roasted Bison, Roasted Venison, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Beef, Quinoa, Chia Seed, Tomato Pomace, Salmon Oil (A Source Of Dha), Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Buffalo, pork, and chicken meal are all considered to be good meat proteins for dogs. Chicken fat is an excellent source of fat for your dog. And grain sorghum, cracked pearled barley, and quinoa are considered to be healthy grains for dogs.

We note that TOTW’s ancient grain formulas do not contain any peas or lentils. Like other Taste of the Wild formulas, this recipe contains their proprietary probiotics and a source of live (viable) naturally occurring microorganisms to help your dog’s digestion.

Some people seem to object to dried yeast or perhaps they are unclear about it. We don’t have a problem with it. It’s rich in B vitamins and has some other nice benefits.

According to the dry matter basis for this food it has 35.6 percent protein, 20 percent fat, 3.3 percent fiber, 33.3 percent carbohydrates, and 422.2 kcal/cup.

Overall, this looks like a good food for dogs. Our score would be 4.5/5.

How much does Taste of the Wild Dog Food cost?

Taste of the Wild dog food is moderately priced compared to other premium dog foods, including other grain free foods.

It appears to have more animal protein than some other grain free foods.

What do customers think of Taste of the Wild Dog Food?

Many Taste of the Wild customers are happy with Taste of the Wild.

All reviews are from Chewy.com:

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

Finicky Eater LOVES High Prairie

By Channon

My 4 year old Shetland sheepdog, Cody is very picky about his food. We’ve tried every brand under the sun. I couldn’t believe my eyes the first time I gave him Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry Dog Food. He gobbled down the whole bowl in minutes!! Plus, I’ve noticed his coat is so much shinnier and soft on this food. I don’t know what they put in this stuff, but I hope they never stop!

But not everyone likes it.

My dog HATES this food

By Nat95

I was using this brand when my dog was under a year old and I feel like there’s a few issues as to why my chihuahua mixed breed refused to eat this: (1) they don’t offer small-bite size as an option (2) it didn’t smell appealing. She literally would never ever eat whenever I tried. I had to completely give the huge bag of food away because she wouldn’t go near her bowl.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

Great Quality

By Elly

My little guy has been eating Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dry food for a few years. He recently injured his back and I wanted to help him and treat him at the same time. He gobbles this up mixed with his dry. Great quality dog food – my vet recommended it for him.

Recommended by vet

By AJCC on

Big rectangular cubes in gravy. One dog loved it (he eats anything) and one dog wouldn’t eat it (she’s a little picky. Tried Wetlands & Pacific Stream flavors and she didn’t like either one.) Both dogs like Purina Pro plan which vet also recommended so will go back to that. Purina is also less expensive.

Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie with Ancient Grains Dry Dog Food

Yes to grains !

By Chelsea on Feb 20, 2020

Im so happy TOTW now has foods with grains and not just grain free. Our vet doesn’t want our shepsky on grain free due to new studies. My old German Shepherd lived to 13 on TOTW grain free so I’m a fan of this brand. No junk. I’m also a new believer in grain in the diet though so thank you so much for incorporating grain into some of your foods ! We were using another brand but we just switched to TOTW for our dog.

Good for your dog

By Kimk on Jan 16, 2020

I have a very picky eater and he also has a sensitive stomach issues. He will eat this but I have to break it into smaller pieces for him in order for him to enjoy

Overall, is Taste of the Wild Dog Food a good choice?

From what we see with Taste of the Wild’s current formulas, it looks like they are responding to concerns about their grain free foods and reducing the amount of peas in their .

This seems to be true for both their regular grain free kibbles and their canned foods. Their new ancient grain formulas look very good if you are interested in trying them.

We do have some concerns about their limited ingredient diets since they rely heavily on four basic ingredients (along with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics). Those foods look like they contain large amounts of lentils which, like peas, have been linked to the DCM problem.

Overall, if you are a fan of Taste of the Wild their updated formulas look good and so do their ancient grain formulas.

If you are thinking of trying this brand for the first time, we recommend the ancient grain kibbles.

Where is Taste of the Wild Dog Food sold?

You can buy Taste of the Wild Dog Food online from retailers like Chewy.com and from some pet food 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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