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Meta: Considering Nutrisource for your dog? Ever wondered just how healthy this food is if it is nutritious at all? Here’s everything you need to know about Nutrisource before purchasing a bag of their dry dog food.
Nutrisource Dog Food Review
There are enough dog food brands out there to make your head spin! We all want to find something nutritious and healthy for our pets, but it’s challenging with the amount of saturation in the market. One major brand that continues to stand out is Nutrisource.
Is this particular brand of dog food worth your money, and is it as healthy for your pooch as it claims to be? We’ve researched everything from the ingredients to how Nutrisource compares to its competitors in order to answer those questions for you. Here is our in-depth guide to this dog food product, as well as where to catch a few deals and coupons at the end.
What Is Nutrisource and How Does It Work?
This is a dog food product, which is mean to be fed to your dog one to three times a day depending on their breed, size, age and dieting restrictions. The brand is manufactured by KLN Family Brands in Perham, Minnesota. They started out making Tuffy’s Pet Foods, but have since made other lines including Nutrisource.
All foods made on-site in Perham are strictly for dogs, with each undergoing testing to ensure they meet company standards. Their website specifies that they follow The Association of American Feed Control Officials’ (AAFCO) standards and that their facility is routinely inspected by the American Institute of Baking.
According to Nutrisource, their ingredients include real chicken and lamb as the main ingredient in their foods. They claim to not use any by-products or whole corn, either. Marketed as “super premium” dog food, their recipes also include selenium, chelated minerals, and enzymes to help with digestion.
The company also claims their food offers maximum nutrition, that you can feed your dog as much as two-thirds less than other brands, and that your dog will produce less waste as more of their food is readily digested.
The Nutrisource product line contains ten varieties of dry dog food, including some for specified age groups. These include:
- Adult Chicken and Rice
- Senior Chicken and Rice
- Super Performance
- Lamb Meal and Rice
- Large Breed Puppy Chicken and Rice
- Performance Chicken and Rice
- Small and Medium Breed Puppy Chow
- Large Breed Adult Chicken and Rice
- Weight Management Chicken and Rice
- Large Breed Adult Lamb Meal and Rice
While the company does make snacks and grain free varieties, we’ll focus on their dry food for this article. Dry food continues to be their most popular product as well as most produced in their Perham facility. Specifically, we’ll be looking at the chicken and rice recipes.
What Makes Nutrisource Unique?
Nutrisource, like many dog foods, is unique because of its patented recipe. While you can find a number of products on the market that are cookie-cutter recipes, this brand has a particular set of ingredients and a process they adhere to. Here’s a look at what your dog is really eating when they chow down on Nutrisource dog food.
The main ingredient listed in this food is whole chicken meat. That’s an excellent, protein-rich ingredient for your pooch. This helps bring Nutrisource’s protein content up to the 25-19% range.
There’s a lot of debate over this product these days. According to the AAFCO, chicken meal is a “dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of poultry.” They also state that it does not include feathers, heads, feet, or entrails.
On the plus side, chicken meal is incredibly rich in protein, more so that it’s whole meat counterpart. On the downside, this variation of chicken is not permitted by the FDA for human consumption because it can legally contain 4D animals, which means dead, dying, diseased, or disabled chickens in this case.
Chicken meal is also harder to digest than a whole chicken, which is why Nutrisource requires enzymes to help the food move through your dog’s digestive tract. Meal also requires a high level of heat to cook, which can lessen its nutrient content.
Brown Rice and Barley
Carbohydrates are the next essential ingredient to any dog food, and Nutrisource includes them next on the list. Both are excellent sources of dietary fiber, make digestion easier, and provide a more filling meal for your dog.
As an added bonus, both ingredients contain manganese. This essential mineral maintains the quality of bone and cartilage while improving the function of mitochondria by providing the cells with energy. Your dog can get their manganese from meat, but these grains are more potent sources.
While fat might not sound appetizing, this ingredient is highly digestible and an excellent source of Omegas for your pet. Fat also adds flavor, which is why so many people enjoy a nice cut of steak. Chicken fat provides your pooch with a natural source of fatty acids necessary for growth and development.
Nutrisource preserves their fat with mixed tocopherols, a compound constituting of vitamin E with antioxidant properties. That means they are good for both the heart and skin of animals as well as humans. Despite sounding a little gross, this is actually a quality ingredient in dog food.
White Rice and Oatmeal
These next two ingredients provide a second round of fiber-rich carbs for your pet. White rice is not as nutritious as brown rice, but it is easier to digest. Oatmeal is incredibly healthy for dogs, providing them with an incredible amount of slow-digesting fiber to keep their insides healthy.
Dogs, in general, should not consume a diet high in grains. However, their digestive is designed to eat a variety that adds to their overall health. Since these grains are further down the list, that means there are less of them altogether. Keep any grain-related allergies in mind, though.
Fish Meal and Dried Egg Product
Both of these ingredients offer protein, with fish meal providing omega-3 fatty acids as well. Neither uses the preservative ethoxyquin, which is highly controversial in the dog food industry. The meal argument pops up once again here, but both are easily digestible for dogs.
Dried Beet Pulp, Flax Seeds, Dried Brewer’s Yeast
Dried beet pulp and flax seeds provide a healthy source of fiber and minerals for your pet. There’s a controversy over beet pulp being used in excess as a filler, but this ingredient is far down the list. Dried brewer’s yeast is simply another source of protein.
The rest of the ingredients listed are in small quantity. Glucosamine and chondroitin are listed, both of which help to prevent joint problems in animals. Vitamin E and C are also included as preservatives, but also have antioxidant benefits. You’ll also find rosemary extract on the list, which provides the same benefits as vitamins E and C.
The second to last ingredient is listed as vitamins. Just like cereals, extra vitamins are added to your dog’s food so that it consumes a balanced, healthy meal.
Finally, there are chelated minerals. Chelated simply means the minerals have been compounded organically, making them easier for your pet to digest. It is highly recommended that animals consume chelated minerals instead of non-chelated for digestive health.
Not every pet owner agrees on what ingredients a dog should and should not eat. Make sure to research these specific ingredients in order to make the best decision for your pet’s diet.
With ten different bags of dry dog food on store shelves, you probably already guessed that different options come at a different price. We found prices as low as $18 for a five-pound bag and as high as $150 for a 40-pound bag of their Performance food.
That’s quite the price range, but it isn’t insanely expensive when compared to other brands. Nutrisource dry dog food is roughly $2.00 per pound. Keeping that in mind, here is how that compares to other major names.
- Blue Buffalo: $2.50 per pound
- Wysong: $2.13 per pound
- Purina: $1.41 per pound
- Diamond: $1.22 per pound
- Pedigree: $0.86 per pound
Public Perception (Other Nutrisource Reviews)
The vast majority of Nutrisource reviews lie somewhere between overwhelmingly positive and mediocre. Some claim that this dog food is packed full of wonderful ingredients for your pet, while others say it performs no better than its competitors.
There are differing opinions on the ingredients used in this food. Some view meat meals as an excellent source of protein, while others condemn them as disgusting and unhealthy. There are reviews that claim dried beet pulp is a perfect source of fiber, just as there are those who view this as a sugary by-product.
Some reviewers were less than satisfied with the carbohydrate content, while others thought that the number of grains was excellent for digestion. Almost everyone agrees, however, that this is a decent performing dry food. There are worse products on the market, but there are far healthier alternatives as well.
Given the mixed reviews, it can be hard to draw an accurate conclusion about this product. It all seems to depend on what you believe about certain ingredients. We suggest searching for the various ingredients found in Nutrisource to help you make the right choice for you and your pet.
How It Compares
We’ve already covered price comparisons with Nutrisource’s competitors, but that’s not the only point of comparison to note. Before deciding to buy this product for your dog, you may want to consider the crude protein, fat, and fiber content.
Nutrisource dry dog food contains roughly 30% crude protein, 17% crude fat, and 7% crude fiber. Compared to other name brands like Fromm, Blue Buffalo, and Pure Vita, those percentages are the same with only one or two percent deviation.
Brands like Taste of the Wild and Orijen contained more crude protein and fat, as well as less crude fiber. There are certain brands out there that rely less heavily on carbohydrates, which also contributes to a lower calorie content.
What We Think
If you’re looking for dry dog food for your pet, then Nutrisource is an above average performer in that realm of the market. It can’t compete with organic or minimal grain varieties regarding quality, healthy dog food, but it remains a mile better than similar options on your local store shelf.
When it comes to major name brand dry dog foods or any market as a superior option, Nutrisource is just as good as the rest. Outside of that category, dry dog food quality only goes down, which makes this product a better choice.
Wet foods and organic options are more likely to be recommended by a vet and overall far healthier, but that doesn’t mean that Nutrisource is terrible by any means. It contains plenty of protein, healthy fibers, and nutrients that can help keep your pet healthy for years to come.
If you aren’t a fan of meat meal or some of the other lesser ingredients, then you’re probably better off finding a different food for your dog. Similarly, you may want to purchase a cheaper dry option. Keep in mind that lower price ranges often equal lesser content when it comes to dry food. All in all, we approve this product. There’s better dog food out there, but there’s also worse.
Coupons and Deals
You can find all sorts of deals for this dog food. The first discount we found came directly from their site in the form of $2 off their “super premium” pet food. Different coupons sites contained various deals from 15% off to select savings at certain retailers, too. Some retailers even offered a $5 off deal for select bags.
Several online publications noted that you might find discounts in the coupon section of grocery store flyers or even in the local paper. So, keep your eyes peeled for those.