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Nutro seems to be a popular brand in the pet stores. The company has been around for a while in the US and some of their better products are imported to Australia.
This review is for Nutro Natural Choice Adult Dog Wholesome Essentials, focusing on the Chicken & Rice recipe. Let’s take a look…
The top ingredient is chicken which sounds good, but don’t be fooled. Once cooked this will reduce to a mere third of it’s weight, making rice and rice flour the prominent ingredients. The protein level of 22% makes this one of the lowest protein foods on the market, and I estimate the carbs to be 47% which makes it one of the highest carbohydrate foods on the market. That doesn’t strike me as a “natural” canine diet.
Beet pulp as the fourth ingredient is concerning. It’s a common ingredient in pet food, used to add fibre and artificially harden stools (lots of people gauge the quality of a food based on the firmness of stools). Beet pulp sucks up a great deal of moisture, inflating in size, consequentially making stools hard to pass through the colon. Often these problems remain hidden until the dog transitions to a diet without beet pulp. As far back as the 1980s it was found that saponin (found in beet pulp) causes gastrointestinal disorders and bloat.
One thing I’d like to see from Nutro is the inclusion of fruits and vegetables as a natural vitamin and fibre source. They don’t seem to do that. They do, however, include sunflower oil for lineolic acid (helps with skin and coat), and that’s a solid ingredient.
If you can, feed something else, but if you buy your food in the supermarket then this is better than others on offer.
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Chicken and chicken meal are high on ingredients, inclusion of rice, oatmeal, sunflower oil. No corn or wheat.
Rice flour and rice bran are not the best way to include rice.
* 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, Rice Flour, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat, Natural Flavours (Chicken), Sunflower Oil, Iodised Salt, Essential Minerals (including Potassium Chloride, Zinc Sulphate, Iron Sulphate, Copper Sulphate, Potassium Iodide, Selenium), Natural Antioxidants (including Mixed Tocopherols and Rosemary Extract), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Essential Vitamins (Including Vitamin E, Vitamin B5, Biotin, Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12, Thiamine, Niacin, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid), Vitamin C, Marigold Meal.