Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review: Recalls, Pros, and Cons

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taste of the wild review

Our Final Verdict

We give Taste of the Wild dog food a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

The Taste of the Wild brand is built on high-quality ingredients that replicate the traditional diets of dogs and their canine ancestors. In practice, though, the company and its products may sound better than they actually are.

Compared to other dog food brands on the market, Taste of the Wild relies heavily on whole meat and other animal protein sources. It also earns points for using easy-to-digest ingredients combined with live probiotics for boosted gut health. At the same time, Taste of the Wild’s emphasis on grain-free formulas and recent legal issues bring up questions about the company’s overall credibility.

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At a Glance: The Best Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes:

Though we invite you to check out the entire Taste of the Wild dog food catalog, which you can find on the company’s website, here are a few of the best formulas currently on offer:

Dog FoodPriceFlavorSizes Available
Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine Recipe(Our Favorite)

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Bison and Venison with Ancient Grains
Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison
5 lbs
14 lbs
28 lbs
Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Canine Recipe
Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Canine Recipe

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Smoked Salmon with Ancient Grains
Smoked Salmon Grain Free
5 lbs
14 lbs
28 lbs
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Recipe
Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Recipe

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Roasted Venison & Bison5 lbs
14 lbs
28 lbs
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Recipe
Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Recipe

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Venison5 lbs
14 lbs
28 lbs
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canine Recipe
Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canine Recipe

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Grain-Free with Wild Boar5 lbs
14 lbs
28 lbs

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Reviewed

Taste of the Wild sure knows how to appeal to doting pet owners. With a romantic brand name and product labels featuring wild canines hunting their prey, it’s easy to imagine Fido living their best life after switching over to this dog food.

But as we all know, branding isn’t everything. Does Taste of the Wild’s dog food line actually live up to first impressions?

Who Makes Taste of the Wild and Where Is It Produced?

Taste of the Wild, like many dog food formulas on the market, is actually a subsidiary brand owned by a larger company. In this case, Taste of the Wild is owned and manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods.

Along with making Taste of the Wild recipes, Diamond Pet Foods is also responsible for manufacturing a select variety of other brands’ formulas, including a few pet foods sold under Costco’s Kirkland brand and Solid Gold.

While Diamond Pet Foods claims that most Taste of the Wild ingredients are sourced within the United States, an undisclosed number are sourced from outside the country. Diamond Pet Foods currently owns and operates three U.S. factories.

Which Types of Dogs Is Taste of the Wild Best Suited For?

If you know that your dog thrives on wholesome, hearty nutrition, then Taste of the Wild may be a great brand to check out. While this company doesn’t offer the widest variety in the dog food world, its limited product range still includes specialized formulas for puppies and small breeds.

Because Taste of the Wild is owned by a relatively small parent company, especially when compared to pet food heavyweights like Purina or Pedigree, many owners prefer supporting the brand with their hard-earned money.

Of course, your dog likely doesn’t care who makes their food, as long as it tastes good!

Which Dogs May Do Better With a Different Brand?

As of this review, Taste of the Wild does not offer any specialized formulas for senior dogs.

Although the company suggests its standard adult formulas for senior dogs, most veterinarians recommend switching to a senior-specific formula whenever possible. If you have any questions about making the switch to senior dog food, we always encourage readers to speak to their vet.

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A Quick Look at Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Pros
  • Offers grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas
  • High-quality meat-based protein sources
  • Free of artificial preservatives
  • Relies on naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals
  • Made in the U.S.A.
Cons
  • History of lawsuits and recalls
  • Utilizes imported ingredients
  • Not available at all major retailers

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Ingredients Analysis

Since Taste of the Wild’s brand is built on the use of high-quality, ancestral food sources, let’s take a closer look at a few of its keystone ingredients:

Ancient grains

In short, ancient grains are a collection of grains that have been relatively unaffected by agricultural development and selective breeding. For example, what we think of as corn today looks different from its ancestor because of careful cross-breeding over thousands of years. On the other hand, less common grains like chickpeas, quinoa, and chia still closely resemble their ancestors.

Ancient grains are a big trend in human nutrition right now, so it’s not much of a surprise that these ingredients have made their way into some pet foods. While these ingredients are typically more expensive than traditional grains, they tend to offer increased protein, fiber, and other valuable nutrition.

Meat sources

Taste of the Wild relies heavily on whole, diverse sources of animal-based protein. However, the company does still use chicken meal and chicken fat in a few of its formulas.

Overall, these ingredients won’t be an issue for the average dog. But if your pup is prone to food sensitivities or allergies and chicken is a potential trigger, this fact will quickly cross Taste of the Wild formulas off of your list.

Live probiotics

Like the human digestive tract, canine guts have evolved side by side with beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and even boost immunity. Taste of the Wild includes live, dog-approved probiotics in its formulas.

Although the inclusion of live probiotics in your dog’s food isn’t always necessary, it isn’t likely to cause any harm either.


Recall and Lawsuit History

When it comes to official product recalls, Taste of the Wild only has one incident to report. In 2012, select lots of dog and cat food were recalled because of potential salmonella poisoning.

Outside of its recall history, however, the brand has still encountered controversy.

In 2019, the Food & Drug Administration (F.D.A.) named Taste of the Wild as one of 16 brands linked to dilated cardiomyopathy. As of writing, dog owners are still waiting for conclusive evidence regarding the relationship between grain-free diets and canine heart disease.

In 2018 and 2019, Taste of the Wild was the subject of class-action lawsuits concerning the safety of its products. In 2018, the lawsuit claimed that high levels of heavy metals, B.P.A.s, and other chemicals were found in the food. In 2019, the same was said of high iron levels.

As of this time, Taste of the Wild denies these claims, and no public legal decisions have been made.

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Reviews of the 3 Best Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes

To get a better picture of Taste of the Wild and its formulas, let’s take a look at what we and many others consider the company’s best recipes:

1. Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe

Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipe...
  • Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie; with roasted bison and roasted venison; real meat is the #1...
  • A combination of ancient, whole grains like grain SORGHUM, MILLET, QUINOA and CHIA seed which are...

One of the most popular Taste of the Wild formulas is the Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe. This dry food uses pasture-raised bison and venison as its primary protein sources, both of which are highly digestible. This recipe also features ancient grains, live probiotics, and antioxidants to maintain a healthy pooch.

Protein 32%

Fat 18%

Fiber 3%

Moisture 10%

Other carbohydrates 37%

Since other dog owners are the best source of information when it comes to choosing a new food, we suggest reading the Amazon reviews for this formula.

Pros
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Real meat is the first ingredient
  • Boosted with proprietary probiotics
  • Features antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and more
  • Utilizes ancient grain sources
Cons
  • Contains chicken meal and fat
  • May trigger digestive issues

2. Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Canine Recipe

Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Canine Recipe...
  • Age Range Description: All Life Stages
  • Calorie content:3,640 kcal/kg (392 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy

While many dog food formulas rely on poultry or livestock protein, the Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Canine Recipe uses salmon and ocean whitefish as its only animal-based ingredients. On top of offering the perfect flavor for fish-loving pups, this recipe may suit the needs of dogs with existing protein allergies. It also includes the brand’s probiotics and antioxidant blends.

Protein 30%

Fat 15%

Fiber 3%

Moisture 10%

Other carbohydrates 42%

For feedback from real dog owners who have tried this food, check out the Amazon reviews.

Pros
  • Fish is the only animal protein source
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Ideal for dogs with protein sensitivities
  • Includes probiotics and antioxidants
  • Formulated with a range of ancient grains
Cons
  • Smells strongly of fish
  • Some dogs dislike the flavor

3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Recipe

Taste of the Wild Grain Free High Protein Real...
  • A Taste of the Wild with roasted bison & venison; real meat is #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid...
  • High quality protein recipe with smaller kibble; tailored for growing puppy; superfoods for...

Alongside its collection of adult formulas, Taste of the Wild offers specialty foods like the High Prairie Puppy Recipe. This formula features the same high-quality ingredients as the brand’s adult recipes, along with key nutrients like D.H.A. to support puppy development. The smaller kibble size is easier for young puppies to chew and digest, while the probiotics blend supports gut health.

Protein 27%

Fat 17%

Fiber 5%

Moisture 10%

Other carbohydrates 41%

If you’re on the hunt for more Taste of the Wild puppy reviews, you can learn more about this recipe by checking out the Amazon reviews.

Pros
  • Designed for the unique needs of puppies
  • Suitable for dogs with grain allergies
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Real bison is the first ingredient
  • Includes probiotics, D.H.A., and antioxidants
  • Smaller kibble size
Cons
  • Fiber content may cause stomach upset
  • Contains egg and other potential allergens

What Other Users Are Saying

Despite some hiccups throughout its history, Taste of the Wild still maintains favor among countless dog owners and pet food reviewers. Here’s what a few different sources have to say about the brand:

  • Pet Food Reviewer: “Taste of the Wild’s High Prairie is a high-quality dry dog food. It has significantly above average protein and fat content and a significantly below average carbohydrate content.”
  • Labrador Training H.Q.: “The ingredients in Taste of the Wild are high quality, with most of them sourced in the USA. Rare and exotic proteins provide a good variety, which is nice for dogs allergic to more common protein sources or picky eaters.”
  • DogFoodAdvisor: “Taste of the Wild is a grain-free dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein. […] Highly recommended.”
  • Pet Fashion Week: “Its proteins are sourced from real animals and fish that are sustainably raised or fished. They use ingredients such as bison, venison, and quail that are usually eaten by dogs in the wild.”
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Conclusion

After reviewing Taste of the Wild and its most popular dog food formulas, it’s clear that this brand hits the mark in some ways, while falling short in others.

While you should proceed with caution any time a company has a history of recalls or other quality issues, there’s nowhere near enough information available to justify avoiding the brand entirely. With that said, we recommend sticking to Taste of the Wild’s grain-inclusive recipes unless your dog has an issue digesting grains.

Have you tried any of Taste of the Wild’s dog food formulas? What were your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!


Featured image credit: Taste of the Wild Ancient Prairie, Amazon