Natural Choice Dog Food
Natural Choice Dog Food Overview
Natural Choice dog food is made by the Nutro Company, in business since 1926. Nutro is a subsidiary of Mars, Inc., which manufactures many pet foods. Other foods manufactured by Nutro include Nutro, MAX, and Nutro Ultra Holistic pet foods. Nutro also makes the very popular Greenies treats. They are headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. Nutro products are sold in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and the United States. Their adult lamb and rice dog food has been a top selling premium dog food for years. Natural Choice dog food is sold in pet stores and online.
Who Manufactures Natural Choice?
Natural Choice dog food is produced by the Nutro Company. The company has several facilities in the United States: Victorville, Calif.; Lebanon, Tenn.; and North Sioux City, S.D. The company headquarters is in Franklin, Tennessee, not far from the Lebanon, Tennessee facility.
Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which will direct you to our partner sites. If you purchase the pet foods we recommend through those links, we may earn a small commission – at no extra cost to you.
Natural Choice Recalls 2017
We did not find any recalls for the Nutro company or for Natural Choice in the AVMA or FDA pet food databases in the last several years. Nutro Max had a cat food recall in 2009 because of excess levels of zinc and low levels of potassium. The company said the problem was due to a mistake by the company that premixed the vitamins and minerals. The company also had food affected by the melamine recall in 2007.
We note that there have been many complaints made about Nutro products to ConsumerAffairs.com. However, anyone can make a false complaint to this site. It is not unusual for competitors to make complaints about a top-selling pet food rival so we don’t put much stock in complaints made to this kind of site unless the complaints result in a recall. If you look online, you will find that most popular pet foods have complaints on these sites – which may or may not be genuine. If someone has a real complaint about a pet food or treat, they should contact the company and the federal Food & Drug Administration.
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Natural Choice Reviews
Nutro’s Natural Choice dog food offers several types of food: dry, canned, trays, and treats. They also have numerous formulas: Wholesome Essentials, Limited Ingredient Diets, High Protein-Grain Free, Sensitive Skin and Stomach, Grain Free, Lite & Weight Management, and High Endurance. These formulas come in various recipes for different life stages (puppy, young adult, adult, and senior) and for different breed sizes (Toy, Small, Medium, Large). Natural Choice has a tremendous range of products for dogs. This doesn’t even include the different flavors of foods they have.
Natural Choice has 30 different kibbles on their dog products page. They have 18 different canned foods and six different foods in trays. And, finally, they have 14 different kinds of dog biscuits and treats. If your dog needs a particular kind of food in any formula, it’s probably a good idea to check Natural Choice first to see if they have a food he can eat.
Natural Choice is not the most expensive or exotic premium dog food in the pet store, but it has always had a good reputation. Nutro has been making premium dog food longer than many of its current competitors. It should not be dismissed or overlooked because it’s familiar.
That said, some dog owners will not like Natural Choice dog kibbles because many of them contain a lot of rice and oatmeal. Many of the foods also contain soybean oil. And some of the foods haver lower protein than many dog owners prefer (22-24 percent as-fed).
However, Natural Choice has some new foods that are High Protein-Grain Free which may appeal to dog owners who like higher protein. They may like some of the other ingredients as well.
The food comes in Chicken & Chickpeas, Duck & Chickpeas, Salmon & Chickpeas, and Venison & Chickpeas recipes, all for adult dogs. The foods are all 30-32 percent crude protein (min) and 18 percent crude fat (min). In terms of metabolizable energy, they all have between 400 and 460 calories per cup.
Natural Choice Consumer Ratings:
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Our Natural Choice High Protein-Grain Free Adult Dog Food Chicken & Chickpeas Review:
For this review we have selected Natural Choice High Protein-Grain Free Adult Dog Food Chicken & Chickpeas Recipe. The first five ingredients in the food are
- chicken meal
- lamb meal
- chicken fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols)
It’s always good to see meat protein as the first and second ingredients in a dog food. People debate whether chicken meal or chicken is better but they are both good ingredients. Chicken meal has had most of the moisture and fat removed so it is mostly protein from the chicken. Chicken still has the moisture before cooking. If the moisture were removed this ingredient would likely be placed lower in the list but it’s still a great ingredient here. Chicken is about 80 percent protein and 20 percent fat. It’s a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium and omega-6 fatty acid. As long as your dog has no allergies to chicken, these would be excellent ingredients in a dog food.
The third ingredient is chickpeas, otherwise known as garbanzo beans. Chickpeas are a kind of pulse – an ingredient that is becoming more common in dog foods today. They are technically a legume and are high in protein. They are also high in fiber and are being used more and more in animal feeds. They are low in fat and a good source of iron, folate, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. In terms of percentages, they are 19 percent protein, 13 percent fat, and 68 percent carbohydrates. They also provide a source of omega-6 fatty acid. Chickpeas appear to be slightly more digestible than soybeans and some other cereal grains in some animals. However, they contain some antinutritional factors that can impair nutrient absorption. Cooking and other preparation can diminish some of these antinutrients, so the way the dog food company handles the chickpeas would be important. At this time we’re not aware of research involving the digestibility of chickpeas for dogs. The current research is based on farm animals.
The fourth ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is another good meat protein for dogs. As with chicken meal, in the case of lamb meal, most of the moisture has been removed from the meat before it is added to the food mixture. Lamb meal is a concentrated protein. Lamb is about 60 percent protein so you can expect lamb meal to be even more concentrated. It’s a good source of Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Phosphorus and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B12, Iron, Zinc, Copper and Selenium. It also contains lots of omega-6 fatty acid.
The fifth ingredient in the top five is chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherals). Chicken fat is a perfectly good ingredient for dogs. While it’s 100 percent fat, it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids and extremely high in omega-6 fatty acids. Dogs who use up lots of energy and some older dogs who have trouble holding their weight can benefit from chicken fat in their diet. Since this is an adult dog food, the fatty acids should be good for a dog’s skin and coat, as well as his energy levels.
The food also contains some dried potatoes. Potatoes are fine for most dogs but they are high in carbohydrates. They are 7 percent protein, 1 percent fat, and 92 percent carbohydrates. Many dog food companies are using them as a substitute for grains. Some dogs can have some allergy issues with them. They are also relatively high on the glycemic index if you need to be concerned about your dog’s lood sugar levels.
Overall, Natural Choice says that this food is a low glycemic dog food and say the chickpeas and other ingredients provide your dog with steady energy all day.
The food also contains pea protein and split peas. These are plant sources of protein and fiber. Some dogs can have problems digesting peas and pea fiber. If you find that your dog is having some gastrointestinal issues with this food, it is probably because of the peas and chickpeas.
We note that the food has dried plain beet pulp which is a natural fiber that improves digestion and stool quality. It draws moisture into your dog’s gut as the food passes through the intestines, helping with digestion.
The food also has rosemary extract which is a natural preservative, among other things. Rosemary is found in many dog foods today. The only reason you would want to avoid it is if your dog has seizures. Rosemary has been suggested as a trigger for some seizures in dogs.
This food does not use any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
We also note that Nutro makes their products in their own facilities in the U.S. However, this doesn’t mean that all of their ingredients come from the United States.
The food has chelated minerals which are often used in higher quality, more expensive dog foods. Chelated minerals are minerals where proteins have been bonded to the minerals, making them easier for your dog to digest.
The food contains 454 calories per cup. This is rich dog food in terms of calories.
NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® High Protein-Grain Free Adult Chicken & Chickpeas Recipe Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.
|Crude Protein (min.)||32.00%|
|Crude Fat (min.)||18.00%|
|Crude Fiber (max.)||3.50%|
|Linoleic Acid (min.)||3.50%|
|Zinc (min.)||250 mg/kg|
|Niacin (min.)||250 mg/kg|
|Biotin (min.)*||2.5 mg/kg|
* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: 35.6 percent protein; 20 percent fat; 3.9 percent fiber; 35.6 percent carbohydrates.
This food has a better than average amount of protein and a high percentage of fat. The fiber content is average for most kibbles whie the carb percentage is moderate compared to other commercial kibbles.
We’re not big fans of pulses and peas in dog foods, but most dogs should be able to eat NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® High Protein-Grain Free Adult Chicken & Chickpeas Recipe Dog Food without any problems. We like the fact that there are three good meat proteins in the first five ingredients. We like the protein and fat percentages. We do note that this food has slighlty less fiber in it than many dog foods, which may prevent problems with the plant fiber. If your dog does have any problems with this food, it is likely to be due to the peas and chickpeas. Just find a similar food without them – though it’s getting harder and harder to find grain free dog foods that don’t contain peas.
Where can you buy Natural Choice?
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Natural Choice dog foods are sold in pet stores and online. Natural Choice is a popular brand and it is widely distributed so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.
Many Natural Choice dog foods probably have more grains than some owners will like. They also tend to have a somewhat lower protein percentage than is currently popular. However, Natural Choice has a tremendous variety of kibbles, canned food, and treats. If you look through their foods, you can find dog food that is grain free with a higher protein percentage. Their ingredients appear to be of good quality. We think Natural Choice dog foods are good premium foods and many owners and their dogs will like them.
I’m glad to hear most dogs should be able to eat this kind of dog food without any problems. My dog is getting too chubby for her own good. I have tried cutting down on her food, but I’m not sure that’s the best way to deal with her problem. I think it would be smarter for me to just switch her to a healthier brand. https://www.geelongfarmsupplies.com.au/dog-food-promo
Does anyone know the shelf life of nutro natural choice lite kibble? Lamb & whole brown rice formula?
I recently discovered a third of a 30# bag in an air tight container. Probably about a year old. Smells ok.
Use or discard?
Let me put it this way. Would you eat something you found in an airtight container that is a year old??? I’m guessing (or at least I hope) the answer is no. So why would you consider feeding that to your dog?