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NutriSource Dog Food Review

Feeding A Puppy

Dog Food Insiders Rating

4 Paws

4 PAWS



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Company Information

NutriSource dog food is manufactured by KLN Family Brands, a family-owned business located in Perham, Minnesota. According to their company information, KLN started in 1964 by making Tuffy’s Pet Foods, which they still make. They have continued to expand their products and brands in many directions. Today they make NutriSource, Pure Vita, and Natural Planet Organics pet foods, as well as Wiley Wallaby licorice, Vic’s Popcorn, and Barrel O’ Fun snack foods, to name just a few of their top brands sold throughout the U.S. They currently manufacture pet foods, snacks, candies, and organic foods.

Manufacturing And Outsourcing

The company manufactures their own pet foods at their own facilities as well as some other pet foods for other companies. Their plant in Perham, Minnesota produces only pet food and nothing else. They have an on-site, fully equipped, wet chemistry lab that constantly monitors and tests products to insure correct formulation, appearance, palatability, aroma, and digestibility.


 

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The company also says that it uses animal feeding tests to meet AAFCO requirements, though the AAFCO statements on the site refer to AAFCO nutrient profiles. They also explain that they use feeding tests for palatability and to check other aspects of their foods. The company says their factory and warehouse are thoroughly cleaned and regularly inspected by AIB – American Institute of Baking. Even their trucks are inspected for cleanliness before they are loaded.

Company History

KLN likes to point out that they have had over 40 years of experience in making dry and wet pet foods and they have a season, specially-trained work force and management team. The company has a good reputation when it comes to making pet food and other products. As described on their web site, they use high quality fresh and raw ingredients that are tested upon arrival to make sure they meet strict specifications for quality, protein, moisture, and ash. And they use state-of-the-art equipment to develop and produce their products, along with extensive research and quality testing.

NutriSource Dog Food Recalls

We couldn’t find any FDA recall information for NutriSource or any of KLN’s pet food products.

Product Overview

According to NutriSource, their foods are made with real chicken or lamb as the first ingredient and they don’t use by-products or whole corn in their foods. They also use mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E) as a preservative. They feature Sel-Plex Selenium – an organic form of Selenium – in their foods. They also use “proteinated” or chelated minerals which are easier for dogs to digest. And their foods have digestive enzymes to help with digestion. NutriSource markets its dog foods as “super premium” foods.

NutriSource also promotes its digestibility, saying that their foods give dogs maximum nutrition. They say that you can feed your dog as much as two-thirds less than other brands, which saves you money. They also say that you not only feed your dog less, but your dog will produce less waste.

Dry Foods

  • Performance
  • Super Performance
  • Adult
  • Large Breed Adult
  • Small & Medium Breed Puppy
  • Large Breed Puppy
  • Senior
  • Weight Management
  • Lamb Meal & Rice
  • Large Breed Lamb Meal & Rice

Grain Free

  • Chicken
  • Lamb Meal
  • Large Breed Chicken
  • Large Breed Lamb Meal
  • Heartland Select
  • Seafood Select

Canned Foods

  • Chicken & Rice
  • Lamb & Rice
  • Chicken, Lamb & Ocean

Snacks

  • Whitefish Biscuits
  • Chicken Biscuits
  • Liver Biscuits
  • Lamb Treats
  • Chicken Treats
  • Salmon Treats

 

Review of NutriSource Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula


Ingredients in NutriSource Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula

Chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), white rice, oatmeal, fish meal (a source of fish oil), beet pulp-dried, turkey and chicken flavor, flax seeds, dried egg product, dried brewers yeast, potassium chloride, salt, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, selenium yeast), vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), glucosamine hydrochloride, choline chloride, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), chondroitin sulfate, yucca schidigera extract, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtillis fermentation product.


 

Ingredients Overview

The ingredients in NutriSource Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula look a little like a model dog food. There are lots of dog foods that have similar ingredients, but this food is particularly free of some of the things that raise red flags with some foods. There are a few things to watch for if you have special situations, but, overall, just looking at the ingredients, this seems like a very good food.

Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The first two ingredients are chicken and chicken meal. Many people like chicken (whole chicken) better than chicken meal, but chicken meal actually has quite a bit more protein in it than whole chicken because whole chicken contains lots of water. Chicken meal, on the other hand, is concentrated. Most of the moisture has been removed from Chicken Meal so it has about three times as much protein as a whole chicken. Both of these ingredients are very good sources of meat protein in any dog food and they’re a great start for a dog food.

The next two ingredients are brown rice and barley. These two carbs are usually easy on a dog’s digestive system and both are good sources of manganese. Barley, in particular, is a good source of dietary fiber. They’re both filling, too, so your dog won’t feel hungry again right away.

The next ingredient is chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). This is a good named source of fat and it’s naturally preserved. Mixed tocopherols are a form of vitamin E. Chicken fat might not sound very appealing to you, but it’s a good fat in a dog food.

Additional Ingredients Of Interest

The next two ingredients are white rice and oatmeal. White rice typically has slightly less nutritional value than brown rice, but it can still be comparatively nutritious. It provides folate and manganese, for example. Brown rice has more fiber than white rice, but it can also be more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients from brown rice. So, white rice does have some benefits. Oatmeal is another good fiber-rich grain that the body digests slowly.

This is looking like a very filling food. If you don’t like grains you’re probably not going to like it. The grains aren’t at the top of the ingredient list but there are several of them. There’s nothing wrong with a good dog food that contains grains. The most recent research shows that dogs have the digestive enzymes to properly digest these grains. The grains included in Nutrisource are not sweepings or middlings or the bad part of grains without good nutritional value. These are good grains as far as we can tell. As long as your dog doesn’t have an allergy or food intolerance to these particular grains, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be able to eat them and thrive. For more information about grains in dog food, check out our article on grain free dog food.

The remaining ingredients provide a couple of good sources of protein: fish meal (a source of fish oil) and dried egg product. The fish meal is a good source of omega-3 fatty acid, as well as protein. Fish sources of omega-3 fatty acid are excellent. NutriSource also says that their fish meals are not preserved with ethoxyquin. The dried egg product is another good source of protein and dogs can easily digest the nutrients in eggs.

Dried beet pulp is a good digestive fiber. Some people don’t like it but it’s an insoluble fiber that comes from the beet industry. It’s been used in horse feeds for years. In dog food it’s good for the colon and it’s not a filler as some people seem to think.

Flax seeds provide fiber and many good minerals. It’s a good addition to the food unless you’re feeding a dog that you plan to breed. In that case, you should be careful since flax seeds and flax seed oil have been associated with lower conception rates and other breeding problems.

Dried brewers yeast is a source of protein in dog food. It has to contain at least 35 percent protein, though this particular ingredient is the 13th listed, so it’s hard to tell how much protein it actually adds to the food. Here’s aninteresting article about brewers yeast if you’d like to learn more.

The food also contains glusosamine and chondroitin which are usually added to help with joint problems. However, if your dog really has joint problems you should talk to your vet and/or add your own supplements separate from the food to make sure he is getting the proper dosage.

The food contains vitamin E and vitamin C which are probably added asantioxidants and preservatives. These are natural preservatives and much better than artificial preservatives which have potentially harmful side effects.

The food also contains rosemary extract which is another antioxidant and natural preservative. This is only a problem if your dog has epilepsy or is prone to seizures. Rosemary is sometimes cited as a trigger for seizures. But it’s hard to find dog foods that don’t contain rosemary today and the risk is minimal.

The last ingredients in the food are the vitamins and “proteinated” orchelated minerals. This means the minerals have been attached to amino acids so they are more easily absorbed when your dog digests them. This is most often seen in better dog foods. The food also contains several digestive enzymes which are supposed to help your dog digest the food better though the jury is out on whether these enzymes really work in commercial dog foods.


 

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Overall Quality Of Ingredients

The quality of the ingredients looks very good as long as you don’t mind some grains. There are several ingredients here which might be added to boost the protein percentage – eggs, fish meal, dried brewers yeast. But, overall, this looks like a very good food with good sources of meat protein and a good named fat source. The carb and fiber sources look good, too. The food has no by-products or digests. No artificial preservatives, or artificial sweeteners, or artificial flavors. It has several sources of antioxidants and natural preservatives. We don’t know where the ingredients are sourced but everything here looks good.

The information provided about the company’s manufacturing and safety procedures also looks good and the details can be found here.

Special Concerns

The only thing that I see of concern is that there are several ingredients here which look like they are being used to boost the protein percentage. The first ingredient is chicken, which is a good ingredient, but when the moisture is removed from the chicken during the cooking process, this ingredient would be much lower on the list. The next ingredient is chicken meal and this is still a good ingredient with good protein. But I have to wonder about the separate sources of protein and why they are being added: eggs, fish meal, dried brewers yeast. This is still a very nice food but with all of the carbs in the food, the animal protein starts to look a little shaky.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein (Min.) ….. 26% (260 g/kg)
  • Crude Fat (Min.) ….. 16% (160 g/kg)
  • Crude Fiber (Max.) ….. 4% (40 g/kg)
  • Moisture (Max.) ….. 10% (100 g/kg)
  • Selenium (Min.) ….. 0.5 mg/kg (0.5 mg/kg)
  • Vitamin E (Min.) ….. 175 IU/kg (175 IU/kg)
  • *Omega – 6 Fatty Acids (Min.) ….. 3% (30 g/kg)
  • *Omega – 3 Fatty Acids (Min.) ….. 0.6% (6 g/kg)
  • *Docoasahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (Min.) ….. 0.05% (0.5g/kg)
  • *Glucosamine (Min.) ….. 550 ppm (550 mg/kg)
  • *Chondroitin (Min.) ….. 150 ppm (150 mg/kg)
  • * Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) (Min.) ….. 100 mg/kg (100 mg/kg)
  • * Total Microorganisms (Min.) ….. 100 million CFU/lb**

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

** Colony Forming Units per pound

Calorie Content Metabolizable Energy (calculated): 3,968 kcal per kg, 405 kcal per cup.

NutriSource Adult is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

NutriSource Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula provides 26 percent crude protein (Minimum), which is well above the government’s minimum recommendations (18 percent for adult dogs). The 16 percent fat in NutriSource Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula is also above the government’s recommendations (9 to 15 percent for an adult dog).

Bottomline

NutriSource Adult Dog Chicken & Rice Formula looks like a good dog food. It has good meat protein from chicken and chicken meal. However, it does contain a lot of carbs from brown rice, barley, white rice, and oatmeal. If you don’t mind the grains, your dog will probably do very well on this food.

NutriSource Adult Dog Food has received our 4 paw rating.


 

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