Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

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natural balance limited ingredient review

Our Final Verdict

We give Natural Balance Limited Ingredient dog food a rating of 4.0 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient line is crafted to reduce the number of ingredients that your pet is exposed to. Thus, this formula is ideal for dogs with allergies and food sensitivities. There is plenty of protein provided in each recipe because it uses an animal protein and a whole food protein. You can choose between whole-grain and grain-free varieties.

These simple recipes have a great taste that your dog will love and plenty of nutritious ingredients that will make you happy. This review focuses on the Limited Ingredient Diets (L.I.D.) line to provide you with an overall view about the advantages and disadvantages, so you can decide for yourself which dog food is right for your pet.

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At a Glance: The Best Natural Balance Dog Food Recipes

Natural Balance PriceFlavorSizes Available
Limited Ingredient Diets
Natural Balance L.I.D.(Our Favorite)

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Beef
Lamb
Chicken & Sweet Potato
Legume & Duck Meal
& more
4 lbs
4.5 lbs
12 lbs
24 lbs
& more
Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed
Natural Balance L.I.D. wet

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Chicken & Sweet Potato
Duck & Potato
Sweet Potato & Fish
Sweet Potato & Venison
& more
6 oz
13 oz
Limited Ingredient Diets Grain Free Wet
Natural Balance L.I.D. venison & sweet potato

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Venison And Sweet Potato13 oz
Limited Ingredient Diets Grain Free Dry
Natural Balance L.I.D. potati & duck formula

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Beef
Lamb
Chicken & Sweet Potato
Legume & Duck Meal
& more
4 lbs
4.5 lbs
12 lbs
13 lbs
& more
Limited Ingredient Diets Grain Free Wet
Natural Balance L.I.D. sweet potato & fish

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Chicken & Sweet Potato
Duck & Potato
Sweet Potato & Fish
Sweet Potato & Venison
& more
6 oz
13 oz

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food Reviewed

Overall View

Natural Balance began as a small company started by actor Dick Van Patten in 1989. The company has since changed ownership and belongs to the J.M. Smucker Company and is a subsidiary of Big Heart Brands. The company is committed to providing high-quality, nutritious food for your dog that is completely safe. To demonstrate this commitment, it tests every product for nine different contaminants before it hits the shelves, and you can view the results online before you purchase a particular formula. This dog food is manufactured with high standards, and every recipe is full of nutritious goodness that dogs love.

Who makes Natural Balance Limited Ingredient and where is it produced?

Headquarters for Natural Balance is in Burbank, California. Its food is made by Diamond Pet Foods in either California or South Carolina. Unfortunately, it does not own Diamond Pet Foods, so it doesn’t have as much control over the manufacturing process, but it does have chemists who test each product before it is sent to the shelves. It also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of its products.

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Which types of dogs is Natural Balance Limited Ingredient best suited for?

There are 20 different dry food recipes and eight wet food recipes within the Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets. Fifteen dry versions and five wet are grain free. The Limited Ingredient Diets are best suited for dogs with allergies and/or food sensitivities because the number of ingredients used is limited.

There are recipes for large and small breeds, as well as puppy formulas.

Which types of dogs might do better with a different brand?

We would recommend the Multi-benefit Diet from Hill’s Prescription that is for weight, glucose, and urinary management if your dog has health issues that your veterinarian is treating.

If you have a senior dog who needs to lose weight, the Hill’s Prescription Diet + Mobility may be a good option if your veterinarian is prescribing a special diet.

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Primary Ingredients in Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredients Diets: These formulas are designed to reduce the number of ingredients within the recipe to keep it as simple as possible to reduce the chance of allergic reactions.

There are limited animal protein sources, and the company uses only one within each recipe. Ingredients to support healthy skin and coat, digestion, bones, and overall well-being are a priority.

There are a variety of flavors, such as fish, venison, chicken, duck, lamb, and bison. In the grain-free varieties, you will see one meat source, followed by potato or sweet potato. If grains are included, there will be a single meat source followed by whole-grain brown rice.

A Quick Look at Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Pros
  • Ideal for allergies and food sensitivities
  • Simple ingredients
  • High-quality protein
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Variety of recipes
  • Dry food and wet food
  • Grain-free options
  • Formulas for small and large breeds
  • Formulas for puppies
  • Every production is tested
Cons
  • Not many options for health issues
  • No formulas for weight management or seniors
  • It does not own its manufacturing plant

Overview of Ingredients

Protein

Natural Balance uses high-quality meat and non-meat proteins such as red meat, fish, legumes, and whole grains. High-quality meat sources are at the forefront of each recipe, grain free or not. Fish, legumes, and whole grains are also protein sources used in a variety of its formulas. It uses whole meat, which is lower in protein than meat meal, but you will find that some recipes include a meat meal.

Fats

Popular included fats are canola oil, chicken fat, and salmon oil. The average crude fat analysis is 10%.

Carbohydrates

The brand has recipes that use whole grains and ones that are grain free with plenty of complex carbohydrates. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are popular ingredients, and with this line, whole vegetables or fruits added. It supplements the food with vitamins and minerals.

Controversial Ingredients

Canola oil is highly debated if it should be present in dog food. Some claim that it is not heart healthy and that dog food companies should instead use fish or coconut oil. However, proponents claim that canola oil adds a clean taste to the food, with lower levels of trans and saturated fat.

Tomato pomace is used in some of Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredient recipes, though not all. Some companies may use this as a filler to save money from using high-quality ingredients. It appears that Natural Balance uses it to add fiber, since it is lower on the ingredient list. It is a common ingredient in many dog foods.

Recalls of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Dog Food

Natural Balance has had two recent voluntary recalls, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. Both were related to possible Salmonella contamination.

Reviews of the 3 Best Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dog Food Recipes

Let’s look closer at three of the Limited Ingredient Diets dog food formulas:

1. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets — Grain-Free Chicken & Sweet Potato

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets...
  • Contains 1 - 26 Pound Bag of Dry Dog Food
  • Limited ingredient diet with a single animal protein source

This grain-free formula is made from chicken, chicken meal, and sweet potato. Dogs love the flavor of sweet potato, which is why this recipe is so popular. It is designed to maintain your dog’s digestive health and support healthy skin and a shiny coat with the use of flaxseed and salmon oil. There is no canola oil or tomato pomace within this recipe.

To keep the allergen risk low, it doesn’t have whole vegetables or fruit, but rather vitamin and mineral supplements to provide the right amount of nutrients that your dog requires to stay healthy. This formula has 21% protein, 10% fat, and 5% fiber, which is enough to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. On the downside, this is a pricey product and not ideal for puppies.

Pros
  • Ideal nutrition for adult dogs with allergies
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Grain free
  • Plenty of protein
  • Tasty
  • Preservative free
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Not for puppies

2. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Small Breed — Lamb Meal & Brown Rice

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets...
  • Contains 1 - 4.5 Pound Bag Of Dry Dog Food
  • Helps Minimize The Number Of Ingredients Dogs Are Exposed To

This small breed formula is packed full of flavor and nutrients for your furry companion. It has lamb meal and brown rice as the two main ingredients, and the protein analysis is 21%, which is plenty for an adult dog. It is limited in carbohydrates but focuses on maintaining digestive health, as well as skin and coat health.

The Limited Ingredient Diet minimizes the number of ingredients used to reduce allergies and food sensitivities. It offers 12% crude fat and 4% crude fiber, which meets nutritional standards established by the AAFCO.

On the downside, this recipe contains tomato pomace, which is a debatable dog food ingredient. On the upside, the company offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee on its dog food, and it tests each production to ensure the safety of the food so you can purchase with confidence.

Pros
  • Whole grains
  • Vitamin and mineral supplements
  • High-quality protein
  • No fruits and vegetables
  • Well-balanced
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Meets nutritional standards
Cons
  • Contains tomato pomace

3. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets — Venison & Sweet Potato Canned Food

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets...
  • Contains 12 - 13-Ounce Cans Of Dog Food
  • Helps Minimize The Number Of Ingredients Dogs Are Exposed To

This wet dog food by Natural Balance is part of its Limited Ingredient Diets (L.I.D.) line that focuses on minimizing the number of ingredients to reduce allergies and food sensitivities. It features sweet potato and venison as the two main ingredients, which are great carbohydrate and protein sources. This is also a grain-free version that will help maintain your dog’s digestive health and support its skin and coat.

Crude fat is 4% and is supplied by canola oil and salmon oil, while crude fiber is 2%, both of which meet nutritional standards. Keep in mind that this can also be mixed with dry food or given separately if your dog needs more water added to their diet. Canned food is especially helpful if your dog has trouble chewing kibble. On the downside, this product is pricey but many dogs enjoy the flavor.

Pros
  • Limited ingredients
  • Ideal for dogs with allergies
  • Grain free
  • Tasty
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Meets nutritional standards
  • Adds more water to a dog’s diet
Cons
  • Contains canola oil
  • Pricey

What Other Users Are Saying

Here’s what other reviewers are saying about Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets dog food:

  • Totally Goldens: This site reviewed the Natural Balance L.I.D. grain-free Sweet Potato & Venison formula and stated, “Because it features one specific, novel protein source, the chances of allergic reactions and stomach sensitivities are drastically reduced. That aside, using venison gives the food a unique taste, and venison is a great lean protein.”
  • My Pet Needs That: This site reviewed the L.I.D. Grain-free Sweet Potato and Fish Formula. It stated in its review, “The Natural Balance L.I.D. dog food in sweet potato and fish formulation is one of the brand’s best-selling products especially for those who prefer giving its pets healthier carbs and fish-based proteins.”
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Conclusion

Natural Balance is a company that offers a limited ingredient line that is suitable for dogs with allergies or hypersensitive tummies. You can find these in wet or dry and with or without grains. When grains are used, they are whole grains that provide more fiber. You can find specific formulas for small and large breeds, as well as for puppies. On the downside, it doesn’t offer recipes for weight management or other specific illnesses that may warrant a prescribed diet.

Natural Balance doesn’t own a manufacturing plant, but it has qualified microbiologists and chemists who test each batch of food to ensure that it is safe before it hits the shelves. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet is packed full of nutritious ingredients and plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your dog healthy, while providing a high flavor profile so your dog will enjoy mealtime.


Featured image credit: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets, Amazon