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I’ve found Nutro to have a loyal following, and being a brand we often see in supermarkets it’s widely used. We often see marketing terms like “holistic”, “premium”, “balanced” and so forth with pet food, and in this case they’ve used the word “natural”. It’s important to look beyond these marketing words and look at the ingredients and analysis – they tell the real story.
For this review I’ve selected the Wholesome Chicken recipe, which can be used as a guide for all recipes in the range.
We find chicken as the main ingredient which gives a good impression, but it’s important to note this is reduced to 20~30% of it’s weight when the kibble is cooked. This is fine when a food has other meats in the ingredients, but this one doesn’t – that’s it! Cats need a meat-based diet, even more so than dogs, so this food falls short at the first hurdle.
Ground rice is a cheap filler and provides little nutritional value. We can be sure this is white rice as its unspecified, which isn’t as good as brown rice which we find in some better foods.
Corn gluten is the 3rd ingredient in the food and potentially the predominant source of protein. Historically it was used as animal feed due to the high protein content, but we often find it these days in cheaper pet foods to inflate the protein. They label it maize in the ingredients as more pet owners are on the alert for “corn”, not “maize”. It’s the same thing.
A long-term diet of corn gluten meal (CGM) can lead to cats and dogs developing corn allergies.
It’s not good to see beet pulp so high up in the ingredients as it’s high in sugar.
All in all it doesn’t strike me as a food that justifies the loyal following. To put it simply, a cat needs a meat-based kibble, whereas this has the hallmarks of a filler-based kibble. “Natural” seems insignifcant to me, and I’d rather see “natural” meat instead of “natural” fillers.
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* Carbohydrates aren’t listed on pet food labels. This value is calculated based on levels of protein, fat, moisture, and ash. Estimated values for moisture and ash have been used where these values haven’t been given (moisture of 10%, and ash of 8%).
Chicken, Ground Rice, Maize Gluten, Chicken Fat, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavours (Chicken), Rice Flour, Sunflower Oil, Essential Minerals (including Potassium Chloride, Manganese Sulphate, Zinc Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Iron Sulphate, Potassium Iodide), Omega Fatty Acid Supplement (including Flax Seed, Fish Oil), Choline Chloride, Iodised Salt, Methionine, Dried Chicory Root, Natural Antioxidants (including Mixed Tocopherols and Rosemary Extract), Taurine, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Essential Vitamins (including Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid), Beta Carotene, Marigold Meal, Yucca Extract.