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

taste of wild pacific stream review

Our Final Verdict

We give Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream dog food a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

When we think of fish-flavored pet food, most of us probably think of cat food. But fish can also be an excellent source of protein and essential fatty acids for dogs!

The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe and Puppy Recipe both utilize real salmon as the top ingredient, along with a variety of other fish-based ingredients. Because these dry formulas exclude poultry, eggs, and grains, they may also be a solution for dogs with mild to moderate food sensitivities.

But before you run out and buy this food for your own pup, it’s important to understand what feeding a grain-free diet could mean for your dog’s health.

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

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe
  • Contains probiotics and antioxidants
  • Full of healthy omega fatty acids
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Second place
    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe
  • Provides key nutrition for growing puppies
  • Chicken and egg free
  • Contains proprietary probiotics and antioxidants
  • Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food Reviewed

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

    The Taste of the Wild label is owned and manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. Although Diamond Pet Foods is a fairly large company, it is technically family owned.

    All Diamond Pet Foods factories are located in the United States. Along with Taste of the Wild products, these factories also produce select varieties of Solid Gold, Kirkland, and other dog food brands.

    Many but not all Taste of the Wild ingredients are sourced from within the United States.

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

    Generally, we recommend this formula for young and adult dogs who require a grain-free diet. With the use of fish-based animal proteins, this is also an excellent choice for dogs with allergies to chicken and other common proteins.

    Before switching your dog to a grain-free diet, we encourage you to speak with your veterinarian. Every dog is different, but many vets only recommend grain-free diets for dogs who cannot eat grain-inclusive food.

    Which Types of Dogs Might Do Better With a Different Formula?

    Since the Pacific Stream Canine Recipe is a grain-free formula, it won’t suit a grain-inclusive diet. Instead, Taste of the Wild offers its Ancient Stream Canine Recipe, which combines protein from salmon with a variety of nutritious grain sources.

    Though Taste of the Wild recommends its Canine Recipe line for all life stages, some owners may prefer to feed a senior formula to their older dogs. Currently, Taste of the Wild does not offer any senior formulas, so you might want to try something like the Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula Senior Dog Food.

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    What’s Inside Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food?

    Unless stated otherwise, these ingredients are included in relatively equal amounts in both the Canine Recipe and the Puppy Recipe:

    Salmon

    Salmon is the first ingredient in both Pacific Stream formulas, serving as the primary protein source. When properly prepared (such as in commercial dog food), salmon is an excellent source of protein and omega fatty acids.

    If your dog suffers from allergies or sensitivities to common animal proteins, like chicken or beef, your vet may recommend salmon or other fish as an alternative.

    Ocean fish meal

    Ocean fish meal is a rendered concentration of whole fish that often includes an extremely high level of protein. The primary downside of using fish meal in dog food is that the natural oils are often extracted before rendering. However, this isn’t a huge concern because the Pacific Stream Recipes also contain a good amount of whole fish.

    Because Taste of the Wild does not specify the type of fish used in this meal, there’s a good chance that the species vary depending on seasonal availability and market prices.

    Sweet potatoes

    Sweet potatoes are a common ingredient in grain-free dog foods because they provide a source of whole carbohydrates, along with a wide range of important vitamins and minerals.

    Unfortunately, these tubers might not be as good as we once believed. In 2019, the FDA identified sweet potatoes as a common ingredient in several grain-free formulas potentially linked to cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). The FDA also listed Taste of the Wild as a brand linked to these cases of DCM.

    You can read more about the ongoing research connecting grain-free dog food to DCM on the FDA’s website.

    Potatoes

    Like sweet potatoes, potatoes have also been a staple in grain-free dog food formulas for years. Sadly, the same research that called into question whether dogs should eat sweet potatoes also applies to “normal” potatoes.

    Peas

    Peas are another exceedingly popular carbohydrate source in grain-free dog foods and have come under recent scrutiny as a result. However, they’re also commonly found in grain-inclusive formulas.

    While peas are far from a necessity in your dog’s diet, they do contain plenty of vitamins and minerals that will do a canine body good.

    Canola oil

    While you might raise an eyebrow at the sight of “canola oil” on your dog’s food label, this plant-based oil is actually a great source of omega fatty acids. Canola oil specifically contains a good amount of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid that dogs cannot produce by themselves.

    Pea protein

    One key difference between the Canine and Puppy Recipes is the inclusion of pea protein in the latter formula. While some owners prefer to steer clear of plant-based proteins in their dogs’ food, this ingredient is listed far below animal-based protein from salmon and ocean fish.

    A Quick Look at Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food

    Pros
    • Real salmon is the first ingredient
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • No chicken- or egg-based ingredients
    • Suitable for some dogs with food allergies
    • Contains 80 million CFU live probiotics per pound
    • Available in standard and puppy formulas
    Cons
    • Contains controversial grain-free ingredients
    • Company has been the subject of recent lawsuits
    • Some ingredients are imported
    • Not available from all pet food retailers
    • Strong fish odor

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    Reviews of the 2 Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Dog Food Recipes

    The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream is a salmon-based, grain-free food that comes in two dry formulas:

    1. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe

    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Grain-Free...
    3,289 Reviews
    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Grain-Free...
    • Taste of the Wild ancient stream; with smoked salmon; real fish is the #1 ingredient; high quality...
    • A combination of ancient, whole grains like Grain sorghum, millet, quinoa and chia seed which are...

    The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe is the standard formula, suiting the health needs of all life stages. Like all Taste of the Wild dog foods, this recipe is formulated with a proprietary blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and easy-to-digest fiber.

    Along with being grain free, this formula uses fish as its only animal protein — you won’t even find eggs on the ingredients list. The use of salmon and ocean fish provides tons of protein and a wide range of omega fatty acids to support healthy skin and fur.

    Taste of the Wild states that the salmon used in this formula are both wild-caught and farm-raised.

    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Recipe

    Pros
    • Fish is the only animal protein source
    • Contains probiotics and antioxidants
    • Full of healthy omega fatty acids
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Chicken- and egg-free formula
    • Suitable for all life stages
    Cons
    • May not meet the specific needs of puppies and seniors
    • Includes imported ingredients
    • Smells strongly of fish

    2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe

    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Grain-Free...
    3,219 Reviews
    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine Grain-Free...
    • A Taste of the Wild with smoked salmon; real Salmon is the #1 ingredient; optimal amino acid profile...
    • High quality protein recipe with smaller kibble; tailored for growing puppy; superfoods for...

    The Pacific Stream formula is one of Taste of the Wild’s only dry dog foods with a specialized Puppy Recipe. Like the standard version, this formula is grain free and features fish as the only animal-sourced ingredients. You’ll also find the brand’s staple probiotics and antioxidant blends.

    To support the growth of puppies and adolescent dogs, the Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe contains a guaranteed amount of DHA for optimal brain, nervous system, and vision development. The individual kibble pieces are also molded smaller for easier chewing and digestion.

    Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe

    Pros
    • Provides key nutrition for growing puppies
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Chicken and egg free
    • Salmon is the first ingredient
    • Contains proprietary probiotics and antioxidants
    Cons
    • Fiber content may be too high for some pups
    • Some puppies strongly dislike the flavor

    Recall History

    The Taste of the Wild dog food brand has only been subject to one official recall since its launch in 2007. In 2012, several varieties of cat and dog food were recalled because of potential salmonella contamination.

    More recently, Taste of the Wild has been the subject of multiple lawsuits claiming the food contains high levels of iron, heavy metals, BPAs, and other chemicals. These claims, one filed in 2018 and one filed in 2019, have neither been confirmed nor debunked at this time.

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Of course, our opinion isn’t the only one that matters. Here’s what other reviews have to say about the Pacific Stream formula:

    • Pet Food Reviewer: “Given that this dry dog food’s fish content only consists of Salmon and some other minor Ocean Fish, it may make it suitable for dogs with significant dietary allergies or sensitivities to red meat or poultry.”
    • Watchdog Labs: “This food includes Salmon, Ocean Fish Meal, Canola Oil, Lentils, Salmon Meal, and Smoked Salmon as the major protein and fat sources. All of them are very transparent, except for Ocean Fish Meal — which fish does this come from? You can’t be sure.”

    As always, we encourage you to find out what other dog owners have to say about these formulas before trying them for yourself. For Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream, you can find Amazon customer reviews for the Canine Recipe here and the Puppy Recipe here.

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    Conclusion

    Although the Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream formula takes advantage of high-quality ingredients to meet your dog’s nutritional needs, the amount of controversy surrounding the brand and grain-free diets in general leaves us a bit hesitant.

    On the one hand, this formula may be perfect for puppies or adult dogs with known grain or protein allergies, especially since it is completely free of chicken and egg products. On the other, most dogs don’t require a grain-free diet in the first place. If you’re not already feeding your dog a grain-free diet, we encourage you to speak with your vet before switching over to Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream.

    Have you tried any Taste of the Wild products with your dog? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


    Featured image credit: Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Smoked Salmon, Amazon