Nutro Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros, and Cons

nutro dog food review

Our Final Verdict

We give Nutro dog food a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

While we could all choose to feed our pups the cheapest food on the store shelf, most of us opt for something in the mid-price range. Nutro is one of the few pet food brands that manages to offer premium formulas while still being available in most supermarkets for a reasonable price.

For most dogs, Nutro is a great option. Since the brand offers so many different formulas for different diets and nutritional needs, you’re unlikely to have a problem finding a recipe that’s right for your dog.

But just because Nutro is some of the best food you can buy for the money, that doesn’t mean it’s the absolute best dog food brand out there. Here’s what you need to know before switching your dog over to one of these formulas.

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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:

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult
  • Chicken is first ingredient
  • Made with whole grains
  • No GMO or artificial ingredients
  • Second place
    Nutro Ultra The Superfood Plate Nutro Ultra The Superfood Plate
  • High in protein
  • Contains meat from chicken, lamb, and salmon
  • Does not include GMOs or artificial ingredients
  • Third place
    Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight 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 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 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
  • Nutro Dog Food Reviewed

    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.

    Who Makes Nutro and Where Is It Produced?

    For many decades, Nutro gained favor with owners around the world for being an independently owned and operated pet food company. In 2007, however, the Nutro brand was bought by Mars, Incorporated, one of the largest pet food producers in the world.

    All Nutro products sold in the United States through official retailers are made in the U.S. Currently, Nutro operates dry food factories in California and Tennessee, while its wet food recipes are made in Ohio, Arkansas, and South Dakota.

    While Nutro emphasizes the use of locally sourced ingredients in its formulas, the company does use imported ingredients.

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    Which Types of Dogs Is Nutro Best Suited For?

    Since Nutro offers such a wide range of products, almost all dogs will thrive on this food.

    A Quick Look at Nutro Dog Food

    Pros
    • Cheaper than other premium brands
    • Made in the U.S.
    • Wide product range, including grain free and grain inclusive
    • Meat is always the first ingredient
    • Made without artificial ingredients
    • Available in most pet food retailers
    Cons
    • Brand has a history of recalls
    • Owned by a large parent company

    Recall History

    Overall, Nutro’s recall history is quite short. However, there are still a few instances that you should know about when researching this brand for your own pups.

    Most recently, in 2015, select varieties of dog treats were recalled because of the potential for mold growth.

    In 2009, two puppy dry food formulas were recalled after plastic was found in the factory’s production line. The same year, Nutro recalled several types of cat food for incorrect zinc and potassium levels.

    In 2007, multiple dry dog food products were recalled because of melamine contamination.

    While no recalls were issued, it’s also important to note that Nutro was included in the FDA’s list of brands potentially linked to cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Nutro Dog Food Recipes

    Nutro’s line of dog food recipes is quite vast, making it impossible to take a close look at each formula currently available. But we’ve taken the time to review three of the most popular formulas that you’ll find in most retailers:

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

    NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Natural Dry Dog...
    • Contains one (1) 40 lb. Bag of Nutro WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS natural Adult Dry Dog Food farm-raised...
    • Natural dog food plus vitamins, minerals and other nutrients

    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.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    nutro dog food ingredientsFor this particular recipe, you can find more information by reading the Amazon reviews here.

    Pros
    • Chicken is first ingredient
    • Made with whole grains
    • Manufactured in the U.S.
    • No GMO or artificial ingredients
    • Available most places pet food is sold
    Cons
    • Somewhat high in carbohydrates

    2. Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food (The Superfood Plate)

    NUTRO ULTRA Adult High Protein Natural Dry Dog...
    • Contains One (1) 30 Lb. Bag Of Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food With A Trio Of Proteins From Chicken,...
    • Features Trio Of Protein From Chicken, Lamb, And Salmon—Chicken Is The #1 Ingredient—Specially...

    The Nutro Ultra Adult Dry Dog Food is another great option from the brand, offering slightly more protein than the Wholesome Essentials line. The Superfood Plate features chicken and chicken meal as the top ingredients but also delivers key animal-based nutrients from lamb and salmon meal. The rest of this recipe is rounded out with “superfoods” like chia, kale, and blueberries.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    nutro ultra ingredient breakdownTo see what other owners and their dogs have to say about this formula, check out the Amazon reviews here.

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Contains meat from chicken, lamb, and salmon
    • Made in the U.S.
    • Formulated with “superfoods”
    • Does not include GMOs or artificial ingredients
    • Available in most pet food stores
    Cons
    • More expensive than other Nutro formulas
    • Not ideal for dogs with sensitive skin

    3. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food (Lamb & Rice)

    NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Healthy Weight...
    • Contains one (1) 30 lb. bag of NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Natural Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food...
    • Natural Dog Food Plus Vitamins, Minerals and Other Nutrients

    For dogs who are less active or just have a tendency to put on weight, Nutro also offers a Wholesome Essentials Healthy Weight Adult Dry Dog Food formula. This recipe contains fewer calories and less fat to meet your dog’s lower nutritional needs while also offering plenty of fiber for satiety.

    Ingredient Analysis:

    Nutro Wholesome Ingredient breakdownYou can find out more about this formula from other dog owners by reading the Amazon reviews here.

    Pros
    • Lamb is first ingredient
    • Formulated for health weight loss and maintenance
    • Made in the U.S.
    • Does not contain GMO or artificial ingredients
    • High fiber for improved satiety
    • Available from most pet food retailers
    Cons
    • Fiber content may cause digestive issues
    • Low fat content may affect coat quality

    What Other Users Are Saying

    As one of the most popular natural dog food labels on the market, Nutro has been reviewed by countless different sources. Here’s what other reviewers have to say about the brand and its products:

    • Labrador Training HQ: “As you can see, Nutro Dog Food reviews show that Nutro Natural Choice Dog Food and other products in the Nutro brand, are all good quality dog food recipes to give your beloved pup. The ingredients are average compared to other dog food recipes, but the brand is trusted and has been around for quite some time.”
    • DogFoodAdvisor: “Nutro Wholesome Essentials is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein. […] Recommended.”
    • Dog Food Insider: “NUTRO has provided dog food to consumers for 90 years and there is a reason their brand continues to grow. People love the natural ingredients and the flexibility of lines like ULTRA and Rotations.”
    • Totally Goldens: “To begin with, Nutro food company adheres to rigorous standards of procuring fresh produce with non-GMO ingredients as well as thoroughly testing the finished product to ensure that it is safe for consumption and meets high nutritional standards.”
    • DogFoodAdvisor: “Judging by its ingredients alone, Nutro Ultra Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.”

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    Conclusion

    Is Nutro the best dog food brand out there? No, but it is one of the highest-quality brands you’re likely to find in the neighborhood supermarket.

    Overall, Nutro offers nutrition and ingredients that surpass most bargain pet food brands. On top of that, while Nutro is on the expensive side for a supermarket dog food, it’s far from being completely out of most owners’ budgets. More often than not, Nutro dog food is going to give you the most bang for your buck.