Nature’s Gift dog food is readily available on the shelves of Woolworths and Coles. That means you’ll very likely buy it based on the pretty packaging plastered with terms like “Natural ingredients”, “Real Meat 1st Ingredient”, “Supports Oral Health” and so on.
I believe Nature’s Gift used to state Australian Made & Owned on the packaging, but since the manufacturer was acquired by China’s New Hope Group it now only touts “Australian Made”. But are all the ingredients sourced from Australia?
Where to buy?
The best price I’ve found for Nature’s Gift is Pet Circle.
Nature’s Gift dog food review
What the marketing says
To start on a positive, the claim “no added artificial colours, flavours or preservatives” may suggest Nature’s Gift is a little better than other dog foods on the supermarket shelves, but don’t go ahead and buy it yet.
I see “Real Meat 1st Ingredient” used a lot, but don’t let this fool you. I’ll go into more detail shortly, but it doesn’t mean meat is the main ingredient.
“Complete and Balanced” simply means it meats minimum requirements from the American standard AAFCO to be labelled as such.
The ingredients tell the real story with Nature’s Gift dog food, so let’s take a look…
What the ingredients really say
The ingredients are deceiving no matter which variety of Nature’s Gift you buy.
For the purpose of this review we’ll take a look at Nature’s Gift Adult All Breeds With Kangaroo, which you’ll find at Coles, Woolies, most IGAs, and other places too.
Firstly, don’t get excited about the With Kangaroo part of the recipe name. Australian standards for pet food labelling will tell you the word with means there doesn’t need to be much of that ingredient whatsoever. Just a tiny bit.
Right then, what was I saying about Real Meat 1st Ingredient?
Well, it may be the first, but as ingredients are listed in order of percentage it can mean the second ingredient is just as much. In Nature’s Gift dog foods that’s what I consider one of the worst ingredients in a dog food – wheat.
Given the formula, it’s likely there’s a fair bit of wheat too. It seems to be almost 50% carbs, maybe more.
If your dog is overweight, has itchy skin, paws, yeasty ears, rashes, or lethargic, then wheat is possibly the root cause. That’s not the worst of it either, as research would suggest a diet not overly appropriate for a canine can lead to all manner of health issues. Some of these may take years before showing symptoms, heartbreak, and huge vet bills.
As a rule, I never feed my dog any dog food product with wheat (or “cereals”). Ever.
If I haven’t put you off Nature’s Gift dog food already, there’s more…
Fat of 10% is very low for a dry dog food, and it may actually be lower than that.
Most decent dog foods use a guaranteed analysis which gives you a guaranteed minimum % for protein and fat. Nature’s Gift uses a typical analysis, which can mean less than stated on the packet. With fat already so low, I would be even more concerned for the health of my dog if it was actually lower.
Protein of 24% may sound decent enough, but when we consider the third ingredient in the food, possibly as much as the meat and wheat, the vegetable protein will inflate this protein. It’s easier for your dog to benefit from meat protein than protein from ambiguous vegetables.
The vegetable protein isn’t the only ambiguous ingredient. Ask yourself what chicken gravy really means, or what those natural antioxidants are – why don’t they want to tell you what these ingredients really are?
Nature’s Gift dog food – not the best in my honest opinion.
The ingredients of Nature’s Gift dog food (Adult All Breeds With Kangaroo):
Meat Meals (Kangaroo and Chicken), Wholegrain Wheat, Vegetable Protein, Chicken Fat Stabilised with Natural Mixed Tocopherols (Source of Vitamin E), Rice, Chicken Gravy, Beet Pulp, Whole Linseed (Source of Omega 3&6), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Chicory Root Inulin (Prebiotic), Essential Vitamins and Minerals, Natural Antioxidants, Yucca Extract.
Calling Aussie pet lovers – join the mailing list!
With meat as the first ingredient you may find yourself thinking Nature's Gift is good for your dog, but this doesn't seem to be the case when you read beyond the first ingredient...