Wild Calling! Dog Food Review
Wild Calling Overview
Wild Calling! is a small, family-owned, family-run company that began making canned dog and cat foods in 2012. They operate with the slogan “Real. Honest. True.” Their foods, both canned and dry, are grain free. The company is headquartered in Greeley, Colorado. They currently offer three dry product lines for dogs and one canned line. Their foods include limited ingredient diets and exotic protein diets. They also make dry and canned cat foods. Wild Calling! emphasizes the fact that they use no ingredients from China and that they are not like other pet food companies. They believe in the personal touch with customers. You can read their company and product brochure here. Wild Calling! was the 2014 Pet Product News Editors Choice Award for Best Dog Food.
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Who Manufactures Wild Calling!?
Wild Calling!’s kibbles are made by C.J. Foods, with facilities in Kansas and Nebraska. Their canned foods are currently made by Simmons, the largest canned pet food manufacturer and co-packer in the pet food industry. Wild Calling! previously used Evanger’s and American Nutrition but there were a lot of customer concerns about Evanger’s manufacturing history. Simmons has a good reputation for canning pet food and co-packs for lots of companies.
Wild Calling! Recalls
We did not find any recalls for Wild Calling! in the FDA database on in an online search.
Wild Calling! Dog Food Coupons
Also check Chewy.com and other online pet food sites for discounts on Wild Calling! foods. You can visit the Wild Calling! Facebook page to stay advised of upcoming specials. You can also join the Wild Calling! community to get the latest from them.
Wild Calling! Dog Food
There are a lot of things to like about Wild Calling! and many dog lovers have quickly accepted this grain free brand as one of their favorite foods. Some of the early concerns about the canned foods centered around the fact that they were being co-packed by Evanger’s, which has had some problems with the FDA and some local problems in Illinois in the past. However, we want to stress that, according to Wild Calling!, their canned foods are now being manufactured by Simmons. You should be able to make judgments about Wild Calling!, both canned and dry foods, based solely on the ingredients in the foods and not have to worry about any manufacturing problems.
All of Wild Calling!’s foods are AAFCO-approved for All Life Stages so you can feed them to your dog from the time he’s a puppy to a senior. They make three lines of dry food and one line of canned foods. The dry product lines each have three recipes at this time and come in different product sizes. The line of canned foods includes eleven recipes and they all come in 13-ounce cans.
Rocky Mountain Medley dog food recipes include Elk, Whitefish Meal & Turkey Meal Recipe. It does not contain chicken by-products, fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grain or gluten. It is over 55 percent wild meat, poultry and fish. It has 85 protein derived from animal nutriments. The first three ingredients are Elk, Whitefish Meal, and Turkey Meal. The food has 32 percent crude protein and 18 percent crude fat. It has 432 kcal/cup.
Duck, Salmon Meal and Lamb Meal Recipe is similar. It is over 55 percent wild meat, poultry and fish and 85 percent protein derived from animal nutriments. It has no chicken by-products, fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grain or gluten. The first three ingredients are Duck, Salmon Meal, and Lamb Meal. The food has 32 percent crude protein and 18 percent crude fat. It has 430 kcal/cup.
Trout, Lamb Meal and Turkey Meal Recipe also has over 55 percent wild meat, poultry and fish. It has 85 percent protein derived from animal nutriments. It contains no chicken by-products, fillers, corn, wheat, soy, grain or gluten. The first three ingredients in this food are Trout, Lamb Meal, and Turkey Meal. The food has 32 percent crude protein and 18 percent crude fat. It has 434 kcal/cup.
The carbs in Wild Calling!’s Rocky Mountain Medley dog foods come primarily from sweet potatoes and tapioca. According to Wild Calling! these foods are designed to be fed as a rotational diet.
Wild Calling! Also makes a limited ingredient line of dog food which includes three recipes: Beef, Turkey, and Whitefish.This line of food is called Western Plains Stampede Dog Recipes. These foods feature a single source of protein for dogs with food sensitivities. Again, Wild Calling! suggests that these foods be fed as part of a rotational diet, though that is not always possible if your dog is sensitive to something in one of the foods. These recipes contain no chicken by-product, egg, grain, gluten, yeast culture, corn, or soy.
The first three ingredients in the Beef Recipe dog food are: Beef, Sweet Potato, and Lentils. After the first nine ingredients, nearly all of the ingredients in the food are vitamins and minerals so this food is much more “limited” than many dog foods that claim to be limited ingredient diets. Wild Calling! says they do not use any ingredients from China. The food has 25 percent crude protein and 15 percent crude fat. It has 417 kcal/cup.
The first three ingredients in the Turkey Recipe dog food are: Turkey, Turkey Meal, and Sweet Potato. This food has 25 percent crude protein and 18 percent crude fat. It has slightly more fiber (5.25 percent crude fiber) than the Beef Recipe. The food has 405 kcal/cup.
The first three ingredients in the Whitefish Recipe dog food are: Whitefish, Whitefish Meal, and Sweet Potato. The food has 25 percent crude protein and 15 percent crude fat. It has 405 kcal/cup.
Wild Calling! also makes Xotic Essentials Dog Recipes. These recipes feature exotic or novel proteins that dogs are less likely to have eaten previously. They can be a good choice for a dog with a food allergy who needs to eat an unusual protein. Wild Calling! offers three recipes in this line. These foods use LITe (Limited Ingredient Technology), no generic ingredients or bland fillers, no chicken, grain, gluten, egg, yeast, corn, wheat, or soy.
Xotic Essentials Kangaroo Recipe features Kangaroo Meal, Sweet Potato, and Kangaroo as the first three ingredients. The food has 23 percent crude protein and 14 percent crude fat. It also has 5.5 percent crude fiber, so it is a little higher in fiber than usual for most dog foods. The food has 408 kcal/cup.
Xotic Essentials Rabbit Meal Recipe features Rabbit Meal, Sweet Potato, and Rabbit as the first three ingredients. The food has 23 percent crude protein and 14 percent crude fat. It has 5 percent crude fiber. The food has 415 kcal/cup.
Xotic Essentials Bison Meal Recipe features Bison Meal, Sweet Potato, Bison as the first three ingredients. It also has 23 percent crude protein and 14 percent crude fat; and it has 5 percent crude fiber. The food has 408 kcal/cup.
According to Wild Calling! these foods are meant to be fed as part of a rotational diet.
Wild Calling!’s canned foods include the following recipes: Grassland, Chicken Coop, Hoppy’s, Mountain Lake, Western Plains, Pheasant Run, Rainbow River, Turkey Trot, Shepherd’s Choice, Country Best, and Triple Delight. Wild Calling! says they have an alligator recipe coming soon. Their canned foods are 96 percent meat, poultry or fish. They include liver which is the same as the meat protein in the food except for the salmon recipe, Rainbow River, and Triple Delight, which contain chicken liver instead. The canned foods do not contain any gluten or grains. They do have added vitamins and minerals.
For example, Wild Calling’s Grassland canned dog food features Buffalo, Water (Sufficient for Processing), and Liver as the first three ingredients. The liver comes from the buffalo. The food contains guar gum as a thickener. The food has 10 percent crude protein, 9 percent crude fat, and 78 percent moisture. There are 508.0 kcal/13oz can.
You can check the other canned foods, as well as the kibbles, on the Wild Calling! product page.
Overall, the ingredients in these foods look very good. If you are looking for a grain free dog food with moderately high protein, the Rocky Mountain Medley foods look good. The Western Plains Stampede recipes and the Xotic Essentials recipes have less protein but they could be very helpful for dogs that need a limited ingredient diet or who have food allergies.
Wild Calling! Xotic Essentials Kangaroo Recipe Dog Food Review
We don’t see a lot of kangaroo dog food in this country – which is why kangaroo is a novel protein for our dogs. We thought it might be helpful to review a dog food that features kangaroo meat.
First, stop thinking about Kanga and Roo from Winnie the Pooh. Just think of dog food. Kangaroos are a nuisance animal in Australia. Per Jeremy Petersen, Vice President at Wild Calling!, the kangaroo and kangaroo meal in their kibble is sourced from Australia, which makes sense. It’s not exactly a farm-raised animal. Kangaroos are plentiful in Australia and they are commercially harvested for their meat which is exported to many countries. The practice is state and federally licensed.
Xotic Essentials is designed for dogs that need exotic (“xotic”) or novel protein. They can’t eat the typical proteins usually found in ordinary dog food such as chicken, beef, or lamb. These dogs may have food allergies or food sensitivities or some other health issue that makes it hard for them to eat regular dog food. It can become more and more difficult for an owner to find a novel protein because after a while, a dog can develop an allergy to the new protein, too. A food like kangaroo and some other exotic proteins can be foods of last resort for some owners. If these foods don’t work, an owner may have to go to a prescription diet. This may mean feeding a very expensive hydrolyzed protein (protein that is so fractionalized that the dog’s body can’t determine the source so it doesn’t produce an allergic reaction). If you think exotic protein dog foods are expensive, wait until you start buying hydrolyzed protein dog foods.
The first five ingredients in this food are Kangaroo Meal, Sweet Potato, Kangaroo, Lentils, and Turkey Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid). Kangaroo is a source of good quality protein and it’s low in fat. It’s a lean red meat that is raised on the range without antibiotics or chemicals. It is less than 2 percent fat but is has omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains iron, zinc, and lots of B Vitamins. (For some reason the USDA does not provide nutritional information about kangaroo.)
As you might expect, kangaroo meal will have most of the moisture removed, making it a concentrated form of the meat. Two of the first three ingredients in the food, then, are kangaroo meal and kangaroo – providing a lot of kangaroo protein in this food. This is the single source of meat protein in the food.
The food also has sweet potatoes which are the primary carbohydrate in the food. Sometimes touted as a “super food,” sweet potatoes are 93 percent carbs, 6 percent protein, and 1 percent fat. They’re a good source of dietary fiber as well as Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, and Manganese. They’re often used in grain free dog foods instead of grains.
The food also contains lentils which provide a plant source of protein as well as some carbs. Lentils are 73 percent carbs, 27 percent protein, and 3 percent fat. They also provide some dietary fiber, Folate, and Manganese, as well as Iron, Phosphorus, and Copper.
Turkey fat – a named fat – is 98 percent fat and 2 percent carbohydrates. It’s similar to chicken fat. It’s very high in omega-3 fatty acid and extremely high in omega-6 fatty acid. These fatty acids can be good for your dog’s skin and coat, as well as for his heart. You wouldn’t want to serve your dog a dish of turkey fat, but used in a dog food it can have some benefits. Some very sensitive dogs can’t eat dog food that uses chicken fat so food that uses turkey fat instead can be a good alternative.
Other ingredients of interest in the food include tapioca, which provides more carbs and acts as a dietary fiber, but it is light on nutrition. The food also has pea protein and dried peas, which typically boost the protein percentage. Flaxseed can also increase the protein percentage and the fatty acid levels. It’s extremely high in omega-3 fatty acid. It also provides more dietary fiber.
The food also contains coconut oil – a medium chain triglyceride that is popular at the moment. Many benefits are attributed to it. The food also contains dried seaweed meal which may be a source of trace minerals. It may be an anti-inflammatory or an antioxidant. People make different claims for it. The food also has chelated/proteinated minerals which help your dog digest the minerals better.
The only ingredient which looks a little doubtful is the “natural flavor” which is allowed by the FDA but which is vague. It could be anything.
Xotic Essentials Kangaroo Recipe Dog Food contains 408 kcal/cup. This makes it moderate in terms of calories.
Wild Calling Xotic Essentials Kangaroo Meal Recipe dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
- GUARANTEED ANALYSIS
- Crude Protein (min) 0%
Crude Fat (min) 14.0%
Crude Fiber (max) 5.5%
Moisture (max) 9.0%
The dry matter basis figures for this food are: protein 25.3 percent; fat 15.4 percent; fiber 6 percent; carbohydrates 45 percent.
This food has an average amount of protein and fat. The fiber content is higher than normal for most kibbles; and the carb percentage is high compared to many natural/holistic dog foods.
We think that the ingredients in this food look good, for the most part. Dogs who need an exotic protein may benefit from this food. It would be nice to see more meat protein in the food, especially considering the fact that there are some plant protein sources in the food such as lentils and flaxseed. This suggests that there is probably even less meat protein in the food that the 25.3 percent dry matter basis figure. Dogs with food allergies may not have a lot of choices if they need a food with novel protein, but they should have foods with satisfactory protein levels.
Where can you buy Wild Calling! dog food?
You can buy Wild Calling! on Chewy.com and other online pet food sites. Check the Wild Calling locator page for other places to buy their foods.
We think that many of the Wild Calling! Foods look very good. If you are looking for a good grain free food with higher protein, check the Rocky Mountain Medley foods. You may like some of the canned foods, too. If you have a dog that requires a limited ingredient diet or that has food allergies, we think the Xotic Essentials foods and the Western Plains Stampede foods may be helpful for your dog, but they are only average in terms of protein percentages. Very good ingredients, but you may want to weigh that against the protein levels. We know you don’t always have a lot of choices when your dog has food allergies or a sensitive stomach, so you may like these foods anyway.