Dog Food Insider

Natures Recipe Dog Food Review

Dog Food Analysis and Review

Company Information



Natures Recipe Dog Food Review

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food is made by Del Monte, the fifth largest manufacturing concern in the dog food market. With the company’s fiscal 2007 acquisitions of Meow Mix and Milk-Bone, Del Monte now has the #2 market share in Pet Snacks (excluding rawhide), the #2 market share in Dry Cat food products, and the #2 market share in Wet Cat food products.

The company’s headquarters are located in San Francisco, California and they have more than 14,000 employees. Del Monte Foods is one of the largest producers, distributors, and marketers of branded foods and pet products in the United States retail market. It generated approximately $3.6 billion in net sales in fiscal 2009. Several of Del Monte’s products hold a number one or two market share position. Del Monte also produces, distributes, and markets private label foods and pet products. The company now focuses mainly on pet foods and higher profit margin produce.

According to the Nature’s Recipe web site, they began making their product 25 years ago, before feeding natural foods became a trend.


See What Dog Owners Are Saying About Nature’s Recipe Dog Food & Compare All Nature’s Recipe Formulas


Company Recall And Quality Control History

At the time of the 2007 pet food recalls Del Monte was the second largest pet food concern but there have been several mergers and changes in other pet food companies since that time. In addition to Nature’s Recipe, Meow Mix, and Milk-Bone, Del Monte also makes Kibbles ‘n Bits, Milo’s Kitchen, Pup-Peroni,Gravy Train, 9Lives, and other pet food brands which have been subject to recalls.

Nature’s Recipe in particular has a good reputation with their food and manufacturing practices. They have had one voluntary recall, in October 2012, of some treats due to the possibility of Salmonella. Otherwise they have never had any recalls even during the melamine crisis of 2007.

Product Overview

Nature’s Recipe has a wide range of products featuring chicken, salmon, turkey, beef, venison, and lamb. They also have vegetarian and grain-free dog foods. They produce foods for puppies, seniors, adult dogs, large breed puppies, and for many dogs with special needs such as skin conditions, digestion problems, small breeds, and weight control. Their food comes in both canned and dry kibble forms. Their products are widely available at most larger pet food stores and online.

Dry Foods

  • Lifestage Recipes
  • Puppy Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe
  • Large Breed Puppy Recipe
  • Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe
  • Senior Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe

Special Needs

  • Healthy Skin Venison Meal & Rice Recipe
  • Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe
  • Easy To Digest Fish Meal & Potato Recipe
  • Easy To Digest Chicken Meal, Rice & Barley Recipe
  • Small Breed Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Small Breed Venison Meal & Rice Recipe Dry Dog Food
  • Large Breed Chicken Meal & Oatmeal Recipe
  • Terrier Breed Chicken Barley & Rice Recipe
  • Healthy Weight Chicken Meal, Rice & Barley Recipe

Farm Stand Selects

  • Turkey with Real Fruits & Vegetables Recipe


  • Small Breed Grain Free East-To-Digest Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe
  • Grain Free Easy-To-Digest Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe

Canned Foods

  • Lifestage Recipes
  • Canned Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Homestyle Ground
  • Canned Adult Lamb & Rice Recipe Cuts in Gravy
  • Canned Senior Lamb & Rice Recipe Homestyle Ground
  • Canned Senior Lamb & Rice Recipe Cuts in Gravy

Special Needs

  • Healthy Skin Canned Venison & Rice Recipe Homestyle Ground
  • Healthy Skin Canned Venison & Rice Recipe Cuts in Gravy
  • Healthy Skin Canned Vegetarian Recipe Homestyle Ground
  • Healthy Skin Canned Vegetarian Recipe Cuts in Gravy
  • Easy To Digest Lamb, Rice & Barley Recipe Cuts in Gravy
  • Easy To Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley Homestyle Ground
  • Easy To Digest Lamb, Rice & Barley Homestyle Ground
  • Easy To Digest Chicken, Rice & Barley Cuts in Gravy

Farm Stand Selects

  • Lamb Recipe in Savory Sauce
  • Chicken Recipe in Savory Sauce


  • Grain Free Chicken & Turkey Stew
  • Grain Free Chicken & Venison Stew

Training Treats

  • Oven-Baked Chewy Treats – Venison Recipe
  • Oven Baked Chewy Treats – Chicken Recipe with Sweet Potatoes & Apples
  • Oven Baked Chewy Treats – Beef Recipe with Carrots & Apples
  • Biscuits with Real Chicken Mini
  • Biscuits with Real Chicken Original
  • Biscuits with Real Beef Mini
  • Biscuits with Real Beef Original


Review of Grain Free Nature’s Recipe Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Potato

See What Dog Owners Are Saying About Nature’s Recipe Dog Food & Compare All Nature’s Recipe Formulas


Ingredients in Nature’s Recipe Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Potato

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potato Flour, Pea Protein, Peas, Sweet Potato, Poultry fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Apples, Pumpkin, Natural Flavor, Tapioca Starch, Tomato Pomace, Salt, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-carotene, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Lactic acid, Citric Acid (Used as a Preservative), L-carnitine, Yucca Shidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract.


As advertised, the food has no grains, so if your dog is allergic to corn, wheat, (or soy), this food should appeal to you. There are also no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavorings. It also doesn’t have any beef or dairy, which can also be problematic for some dogs.

First 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The top 5 ingredients included in this Nature’s Recipe Large Breed Easy to Digest Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dog Food are: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Potato Flour, Pea Protein, and Peas. Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:

Chicken – This is fresh chicken meat that still contains its moisture. It’s a good ingredient and provides good nutrients that are easily digestible by most dogs but you should keep in mind that if the moisture is removed it would be lower on the list. Chicken is a good source of animal protein and it is rich in essential amino acids.

Chicken Meal – Unlike fresh meat, meat meals like chicken meal have been cooked down to a moisture level around 10% – this means that they are a much more highly concentrated source of protein.

Potato Flour – Potato flour is a grain-free and gluten-free source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. It is also considered to be highly digestible for dogs, though it may not be high in other nutrients.

Pea Protein – Pea fiber can make peas hard for dogs to digest and this is supposed to be a food that is easy to digest. The pea protein may be easier for dogs to digest (with the fiber), but the peas (with the fibrous outer hulls) may cause some problems. The purpose of pea fiber when it is included is to provide dietary fiber which is important for good health but some dogs seem to have problems with it.

Peas – Peas have protein value between 23-27 percent, depending on the kind of peas used. They are a good source of Vitamin A, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin and Manganese.

Additional Ingredients Of Interest

Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found in Nature’s Recipe Large Breed Easy to Digest Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include: sweet potato, poultry fat, tapioca starch, tomato pomace, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables plus vitamins and chelated minerals.

It’s great to see sweet potatoes used here. They are one of the super foods and contain important vitamins, complex carbohydrates, and they’re an excellent source of fiber. Most dogs also like the taste of sweet potatoes. I would imagine that the salmon and sweet potatoes combined make this food taste good to dogs. Pumpkin and apples are also good sources of dietary fiber. Tomato pomace is also used here as a dietary fiber, though it has other uses according to pet food companies.

The food also contains chelated (“proteinated”) minerals which are easier for dogs to absorb.Citric acid is a natural preservative and it’s used here, along with rosemary extract. The food also contains yucca schidigera extract which has been used in animal feeds for the reduction of waste odors and for increasing the absorption of nutrients. Yucca is also credited with other medicinal properties such as helping joint pain.


See What Dog Owners Are Saying About Nature’s Recipe Dog Food & Compare All Nature’s Recipe Formulas


Quality Of Ingredients

The overall quality of the ingredients looks good, though there are a few ingredients which look troubling.

Special Concerns

I don’t think I’ve seen inositol added to dog foods previously so I had to look it up. The information about this chemical seems somewhat conflicting. Either it helps in the absorption or calcium or too much of it can interfere with the absorption of calcium and other minerals. It sounds as if there is not currently enough research to support its use, though that could change. You can do a bit more of your own reading about insoitol here and here.

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex, synthetic vitamin K, is present in this food. AAFCO doesn’t consider vitamin K to be a necessary additive for dog foods and there are many good natural sources for vitamin K such as liver, kelp, and fish meals. Synthetic vitamin K has been linked to toxicity and other health problems.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein ….. Min. 27.0%
  • Crude Fat ….. Min. 12.0%
  • Crude Fiber ….. Max. 4.0%
  • Moisture ….. Max. 10.0%
  • Calcium Max. ….. 1.0%
  • Phosphorus ….. Max. 0.8%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids* ….. Max. 1.7%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids* ….. Max. 1.0%

*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

AAFCO Statement: Formulated to meet all the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

  • Calorie Content Metabolizable Energy (ME): Calorie content: 3,700 kcal/kg, 365 kcal/cup

Grain Free Easy-To-Digest Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe provides 27 percent crude protein (Minimum), which is well above the government’s recommendations (18 percent for adult dogs). Much of the protein probably does come from salmon and salmon meal so these are good sources of protein. The 12 percent fat in Grain Free Easy-To-Digest Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe is also well within the government’s recommendations (9 to 15 percent for an adult dog).


Grain Free Easy-To-Digest Salmon, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe looks like a good food with many good ingredients. It looks like there is good protein from the salmon and salmon meal and good complex carbohydrates from the sweet potatoes. Many dogs should do well on this food. There are a few problematic ingredients, however, which could lead to problems.

Nature’s Recipe has earned our 4 paw rating.

This review was last updated on 1/20/2016


Review Date
Reviewed Item
Natures Recipe Dog Food
Author Rating

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • My dog has had significant diarhea since being on Natures Recipe. She loves it, but I can’t handle her squirts anymore.

  • Sorry to hear that Annie! Did you slowly switch to the new food over a 1 week period? If not, diarrhea is totally normal for a few days until your dog adjusts to the new food. Otherwise, she might be allergic to one of the ingredients.

    Good luck… A dog with the runs is no fun!

  • I find this food better then the top dry food brands. The top brand made my dog have the runs and throw up. This is one that doesn’t bother her stomach and I like there are not colors added into the ingredients. The only thing it does cause my dog to have is gas.

  • I recently bought at Walmart Nature’s Recipe Ocean Fish & Tuna,my dogs loved it,I have three but looking on the back of the container I see it is a product of Thailand,this I do not like ! I also can not find it online to buy, why ?

  • I’ve been using the Nature’s Recipe small breed grain free food for my rat terrier for almost 10 years, and if small breed is not available, I get the regular grain free one, usually chicken. She loves it, and she’s not an overeater, but she eagerly eats until she’s full. I made the switch from Blue Buffalo, because she had problems pooping with that brand. I credit Nature’s Recipe as one of the reasons she is 17 now, and in good health.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *