Choosing the right dog food can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t need to be. In this article, we will compare Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild, two popular brands of dog food that are often recommended to dog owners due to their excellent nutrition and ingredient quality. After reading this article, you will understand better which dog food between Nature’s Recipe and Taste of the Wild that suit your dog best.
Our discussion below will tell you everything that you need to know about:
- The companies behind Nature’s Recipe and Taste of the Wild
- The available product variants in Nature’s Recipe and Taste of the Wild
- Whether Nature’s Recipe and Taste of the Wild use safe, good quality ingredients
- The nutritional content of Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild
- Whether you should get Nature’s Recipe or Taste of the Wild for your dog
Nature’s Recipe: Introduction
Nature’s Recipe is a dog food brand created by Big Heart Pet Brands, which has been acquired and is now operating under The J.M. Smucker Company, which is located in Orville, Ohio. It is known as a relatively cheap brand that offers decent ingredients and nutritional values. All of the dry food products are produced in the United States, but some wet food products are made in Thailand.
There are several product variants in both Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild brands. Depending on your dog’s preference and health condition, one of them may be better than the others. First, let us see the variants of Nature’s Recipe:
- Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free. This is the most popular variant of Nature’s Recipe, and it is free from corn, wheat, and rice. It provides dry grain-free kibbles for dogs that can’t consume grain.
- Nature’s Recipe Original. This is also quite popular. It is a dry dog food that provides a well-balanced formula with grain.
- Nature’s Recipe Grain-Free Trays. This wet dog food comes in pre-measured sizes and doesn’t contain any grain.
- Nature’s Recipe Wet Dog Food. This is the wet dog food variant of the well-balanced formula with grain.
Nature’s Recipe seems to have very good quality control. There is only one recall event in the past that is associated with Nature’s Recipe. It happened in 2012 due to a potential salmonella contamination. There are no other recalls, and the consumers are generally happy with the dog food. Read also: Nature’s Recipe vs Purina Pro Plan.
Nature’s Recipe: Ingredients Analysis
In order to determine the quality of Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild, we need to take an in-depth look at their ingredients. For this analysis, we take the Nature’s Recipe Original Small Bites dry dog food formula as our basis.
The first ingredient in Nature’s Recipe is chicken meal, which is a meat concentrate that can provide about 300% more protein than fresh, raw chicken. It is a good thing that chicken meal is placed as the first ingredient, meaning that this formula contains a high amount of the ingredient.
The second and third ingredients are brewers rice and barley, respectively. They are good cereal grain ingredients that provide calories and fiber to your dog. Contrary to the popular belief, grain is actually a good ingredient that should be a part of most dogs’ diet. However, some dogs may become an exception due to a specific dietary habit or health condition.
Nature’s Recipe also contains oatmeal, which is a whole-grain ingredient that provides high levels of B-vitamins and fiber. However, Nature’s Recipe contains poultry fat, which is used as a preservative. Poultry fat can provide linoleic acid, but it is generally considered a low quality ingredient that may cause digestive issues on some dogs.
Nature’s Recipe: Nutrition
Based on the nutritional values, Nature’s Recipe falls in the category of average dog food. The formulas generally provide good levels of nutrition that can support most dogs’ health and growth.
More specifically, a dry matter analysis on the formula shows that it consists of about 55% carbohydrate, 24% of protein, and 13% of fat. This makes Nature’s Recipe comparable to the average dog food in the market.
While the nutritional values are not very impressive, they are still sufficient. Nature’s Recipe becomes better once you consider its price, which is relatively cheap and budget-friendly. You can even get discount vouchers from the Internet to buy it.
Taste of the Wild: Introduction
Now, we shift our focus to Taste of the Wild. This is a dog food brand from Diamond Pet Foods, which is based in Meta, Missouri. Taste of the Wild is very popular and known as a decent quality brand. One nice thing about this brand is that all of their products are made in the United States. The dry dog food products are made in company-owned plants, whereas the wet dog food products are made in a private-label cannery.
As mentioned above, both Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild have several variants. This time, we will take a look at Taste of the Wild’s variants:
- Taste of the Wild Grain-Free. This is the most popular variant. It is a dry dog food that doesn’t contain any grain. The formulas have an average protein level of 32%.
- Taste of the Wild with Ancient Grains. This is the dry dog food variant that contains cereal grains, providing 33% protein and 41% carbohydrate on average.
- Taste of the Wild Prey. This is a special grain-free formula designed for dogs with sensitive guts or allergies. The ingredients are carefully selected, with beef, trout, or turkey as the main source of protein.
- Taste of the Wild Cans. It is the only wet dog food variant in the brand. It is grain-free.
Taste of the Wild also has generally good history, except for one recall occasion in 2012. It was among the 14 brands that were recalled by the parent company due to a potential salmonella contamination. Other than that, Taste of the Wild hasn’t faced any recall.
Taste of the Wild: Ingredients Analysis
To compare Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild, we take the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon dry dog food formula as our basis. In general, Taste of the Wild has a very good ingredient quality.
The first ingredient listed on the label is beef. This is an excellent source of protein that suits the majority of dogs perfectly. It provides high protein without any risk of causing a digestive issue. Then the second ingredient is peas, which provide decent protein while being rich in carbohydrate and fiber.
Taste of the Wild also has chickpeas and lamb meal. Chickpeas are also a fiber-rich legume with decent protein. Meanwhile, lamb meal is a meat concentrate that boosts the protein content of the dog food even more. Last but not least, there is canola oil, which is an excellent source of essential omega-3 acids.
Taste of the Wild: Nutrition
Taste of the Wild falls in the segment of above-average when it comes to nutrition. The average nutritional values are very nicely balanced. A dry matter analysis on the dog food shows that it contains 43% carbohydrate, 32% protein, and 17% fat.
There is slightly less carbohydrate here compared to most dog food products in the market. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, because dogs don’t require as much carbohydrate as humans do. Dogs thrive from higher levels of protein and fat.
This is where Taste of the Wild shines. It provides higher protein and slightly higher fat compared to the average dog food in the market. Hence, Taste of the Wild can be an excellent choice if you are looking to improve your dog’s nutrition quality.
Nature’s Recipe vs Taste of the Wild
|Taste of the Wild
|- Owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, which is operating under The J.M. Smucker Company
|- Owned by Diamond Pet Foods
|- Has 2 dry food variants and 2 wet food variants (grain and grain-free)
|- Has 2 dry food variants (grain and grain-free), 1 special formula, 1 wet food variant
|- Dry food products are made in the US, wet food products are made in Thailand
|- All dry and wet food products are made in the US
|- Uses poultry fat, which may cause digestive issues on some dogs
|- Good ingredient quality, doesn't use poultry fat
|- Contains 55% carbohydrate, 24% protein, and 13% fat on average
|- Contains 43% carbohydrate, 32% protein, and 17% fat on average
In general, Taste of the Wild is more recommended. It has better ingredient quality, and it provides higher protein and fat. There are formula options with or without grain to suit your dog’s dietary needs.