This post may contain affiliate links. We are compensated for referring customers to our affiliate partners.In this review, we will take a look at Nature’s Variety Prairie Lamb & Oatmeal dog food. Nature’s Variety is thought by many to be a higher quality dog food, but we can only be sure by checking the ingredients used in each blend offered. While the top 5 ingredients make up about 90% of the nutritional value in this food, we will examine both the top 5 ingredients as well as some other ingredients of interest.
Ingredients In Nature’s Variety Prairie Lamb & Oatmeal Dog Food
Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, Turkey Meal, Peas, Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Lamb Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Montmorillonite Clay, Carrots, Salt, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, Vitamins (Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Yeast Culture, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Extract, Freeze Dried Lamb , Freeze Dried Lamb Kidney, Freeze Dried Lamb Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Rosemary Extract, Butternut Squash, Dried Kelp, Broccoli, Salmon Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Dried Chicory Root.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The top 5 ingredients included in this Nature’s Variety Prairie Lamb & Oatmeal Dog Food are: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Oatmeal, Barley, and Turkey Meal. The first two ingredients in Nature’s Variety Prairie Holistic Lamb & Oatmeal Recipe are lamb and lamb meal. Lamb still contains the moisture and fat of fresh lamb meat while lamb meal is a concentrated form of the food. It’s had most of the moisture removed so it contains several times as much protein as fresh lamb. In addition to being a good source of protein, lamb contains modest amounts of many vitamins and minerals.
Below you will find a brief explanation of each of these ingredients:
Lamb – As mentioned, this is beef 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. Beef is a good source of animal protein and it is rich in zinc, iron, and all of the essential amino acids.
Lamb Meal – Unlike fresh meat, meat meals like lamb meal have been cooked down to a moisture level around 10% – this means that they are a much more highly concentrated source of protein. Lamb is rich in animal protein as well as zinc, iron, vitamin B-12 and magnesium.
Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a good source of dietary fiber, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Manganese. It is one of the complex carbohydrates that digests more slowly so your dog won’t have a rush of sugar entering his bloodstream when he eats it. This can happen with some other grains and carbs.
Barley – Barley is a good source of dietary fiber as well as Manganese. And it’s also a complex carbohydrate that is slow to digest. Your dog should certainly feel full when he eats this food.
Turkey Meal – Turkey is a good source of Riboflavin and Phosphorus, and a very good source of protein and Selenium. As a meal the turkey will be in concentrated form with most of the moisture removed so it contains a great deal of turkey protein.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
Aside from the top five ingredients, there are several other notable ingredients found Nature’s Variety Prairie Lamb & Oatmeal Dog Food. Some of these ingredients include: canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa meal, ground flaxseed, menhaden fish meal, montmorillonite clay, freeze dried lamb and organ meats, an assortment of fruits and vegetables, plus various vitamins and minerals.
Canola Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid) appears as a major source of fat in the food. It’s a named fat source though plant oils are usually not considered to be as good for your dog as animal or fish oils. Canola oil is still a good source of fat in dog food. It’s made from a cultivar of the rapeseed plant. It contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. Mixed tocopherols are forms of vitamin E; citric acid is vitamin C. These are natural preservatives.
Sun-cured alfalfa meal is made from the alfalfa plant – it has been cut and dried in the sun then ground into a meal. Alfalfa contains folate, niacin, calcium, and iron as well as vitamins A, K, and C. Ground flaxseed an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid and omega-6 fatty acid. It’s also a good source of Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Thiamin and Manganese. However, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have been linked to problems with conception and problems with pregnancy, not just in dogs but also in humans. If you are a dog breeder, be careful feeding dog foods that contain flaxseed.
The food also contains Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden is a fish that is found in the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan peninsula, and around the Atlantic coast of the United States. It was well-known to Native Americans and to the pilgrims. Many kinds of Menhaden are used today in foods and pet food. They’re also used to make fish meal and for fish oil. The fish meal in this food, like other meals, is a concentrated form of the food, so most of the moisture has already been removed before it arrives at the plant to be added to the dog food. Nature’s Variety says they do not use any fish meals that have been preserved with ethoxyquin.
Montmorillonite clay is an ingredient you don’t frequently seen in dog food. It is a natural clay that is used as an anti-caking processing aid in this dog food formula. The food also contains a wide assortment of vegetables and fruit such as Carrots, Sweet Potatoes, Apples, Blueberries, Cranberries, as well as Butternut Squash, Broccoli, and others. It also includes herbs and spices that you don’t normally see in dog foods. These ingredients add carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. In some cases there’s not much research or evidence to support adding some of these ingredients to dog food but they probably won’t hurt your dog unless your dog is prone to allergies or has food intolerances. In that case a food that has so many extra ingredients should probably be avoided.
In addition to the normal vitamins and minerals added to the food (chelated minerals for easier absorption), the food also contains a number of prebiotics/probiotics and fermentation products. These ingredients have been added to help with digestion; to help beneficial bacteria flourish in the dog’s gastrointestinal system; to aid the immune system; and to help the dog’s other health needs. Do they work? It’s likely that they do, at least for some dogs. These products, tailored to different species, have been added to food for farm animals and other animals for some time. Evidence suggests that they have been helpful for these animals.
The food also contains Freeze Dried Lamb, Freeze Dried Lamb Kidney and Freeze Dried Lamb Liver. These freeze dried ingredients have been added to provide a freeze dried raw coating on the kibble. According to the company, this coating makes the food taste better. These ingredients are found very low on the ingredient list so it’s doubtful that they provide a lot of nutrients, but they probably do add to the taste of the food.
Overall Rating For Nature’s Variety Prairie Lamb & Oatmeal Dog Food
This dog food appears to supply a healthy amount of animal based proteins and other high quality ingredients. Because of this, we believe this is an above average dog food and it has earned our 4 paw rating.