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Nutra-Nuggets Dog Food Review 2024: Pros, Cons & Recalls

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on April 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

Nutra-Nuggets Dog Food Review 2024: Pros, Cons & Recalls

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Nutra-Nuggets Dog Food a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Nutra-Nuggets is a pet food company that’s under the umbrella of Diamond Pet Foods. It has two main lines of food—US and Global. The types of dog food available through each line are pretty similar, and the ingredient lists only vary slightly.

The types of recipes that Nutra-Nuggets offers is a little limited if you compare it to other large pet food companies. So, if you have a dog without any health issues, Nutra-Nuggets dog food is a budget-friendly option to consider. If your dog requires a special diet, especially if they have food allergies, Nutra-Nuggets won’t be the best option.

At the end of the day, Nutra-Nuggets manufactures decent and reliable dog food at an affordable price, but if you’re looking for premium high-quality ingredients, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Here’s everything you need to know about this pet food company and if it’s the right fit for your special dog.

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At a Glance: The Best Nutra-Nuggets Dog Food Recipes

Rating Image Product Details
Winner
Nutra-Nuggets Grain-Free Formulation Beef Dog Food Nutra-Nuggets Grain-Free Formulation Beef Dog Food
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Probiotics support digestive health
  • Antioxidants support immune system
  • Second place
    Nutra-Nuggets Puppy Food Nutra-Nuggets Puppy Food
  • High-protein and high-fat diet
  • May be suitable for active adult dogs
  • Suitable for nursing and pregnant dogs
  • Third place
    Nutra-Nuggets Professional Formula for Dogs Nutra-Nuggets Professional Formula for Dogs
  • Helps support joint health
  • Good source of protein and fat
  • Also suitable for pregnant and nursing dogs
  • Nutra-Nuggets Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Nutra-Nuggets Lamb Meal & Rice Formula
  • Supplemented with glucosamine
  • Proper balance of omega fatty acids
  • Promotes shiny coat.
  • Nutra-Nuggets Adult Professional Dog Food Nutra-Nuggets Adult Professional Dog Food
  • Supports the performance and health
  • Quality protein and fat
  • Guaranteed levels of probiotics
  • Nutra-Nuggets Dog Food Reviewed

    Who Makes Nutra-Nuggets and Where Is It Produced?

    It’s unclear as to when Nutra-Nuggets was created. The food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods and in the company’s own facilities located throughout the US. The facilities are in California, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Kansas.

    Diamond Pet Foods was founded in 1970 by Gary Schell and Richard Kampeter. Nutra-Nuggets is one of several different brands belonging to Diamond’s lineup of pet food.

    Which Type of Dog Is Nutra-Nuggets Best Suited For?

    Currently, there are six different Nutra-Nuggets dog food recipes available in the US. There are two regular adult dog food recipes, one puppy recipe, one grain-free recipe, and two performance recipes. Since Nutra-Nuggets doesn’t have a wide range of special diets, the food is best suited for healthy, young adult dogs that don’t have any chronic conditions.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    If you’re looking for more specialized diets, such as weight control or sensitive skin and coat, Purina Pro Plan has one of the most extensive lines of specially formulated diets in the industry. If your dog has food allergies or sensitivities, they’ll do better with limited-ingredient recipes or organic dog food. Food such as Merrick Limited Ingredient Diet dog food would be a great alternative.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    You’ll find recurring ingredients used in multiple Nutra-Nuggets dog food recipes. Here are some common ingredients you’ll encounter.

    Real Beef

    Nutra-Nuggets’ beef recipes contain beef as their first ingredient. Beef is a great source of protein and one of the most popular types of meat used in dog food. It’s also a great source1 of iron and zinc.

    Meat Meal

    Many of Nutra-Nuggets’ dog food contains meat meal, including beef meal, chicken meal, and lamb meal. Real cuts of meat have high water content and lose a lot of weight once they’re dried and incorporated into dog kibble. To add more protein to a formula, pet food companies commonly add meat meals because they’re dehydrated and ground forms of animal meat and are packed with protein.

    Chicken By-Product Meal

    This ingredient is a bit controversial, and it’s the first ingredient in several of Nutra-Nuggets’ chicken recipes. Chicken by-product meal and other meat by-product meals don’t specify which parts of the animal were incorporated into the meal. So, it’s difficult to determine how nutritious the ingredient is.

    Grains

    Other than its one grain-free diet, Nutra-Nugget dog food contains a blend of different grains, including rice, oatmeal, and barley. Unless you’ve received a veterinarian recommendation to put your dog on a grain-free diet, there’s really no need to omit grains from their diet. Dogs need a certain amount of carbohydrates, and grains are also often a great source of nutrients and fiber.

    Chicken Fat

    Chicken fat is a common ingredient found in dog food. It’s a good source of energy for dogs, and it also contains omega-6 fatty acids2, which help with normal growth and development, bone health, and skin and coat health.

    Rigorous Quality Assurance Procedures

    Nutra-Nuggets has a rigorous quality assurance procedure to ensure that it manufactures and produces food that’s safe for dogs to eat. According to the brand’s website3, the procedure includes on-site product testing, mycotoxin control, microbial testing, water purification, air quality control, and a test and hold program.

    Affordable Prices

    Nutra-Nuggets has limited high-quality ingredients and uses a good amount of ingredients that are lower-quality but more cost-efficient. Fortunately, the prices are also relatively affordable when compared to other dog food brands. So, you’re definitely getting what you pay for when purchasing Nutra-Nuggets dog food.

    labrador retriever dog eating its food from a bowl
    Image By: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

    Performance Diets

    Nutra-Nuggets has two performance diet dog foods for more active dogs. One recipe is for active and athletic dogs, and the other contains an even higher percentage of protein and can be suitable for service dogs and pregnant and nursing dogs.

    In general, these types of diets can get pretty expensive, so if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, Nutra-Nuggets’ performance diets are a considerable option.

    Limited Availability

    Nutra-Nuggets dog food is more widely available on the west coast and can be found in pet supply and hardware stores. Unfortunately, you can’t purchase the food online through Nutra-Nugget’s website, and it’s unavailable through online retail stores, including Amazon, Chewy, PetSmart, and Petco. You can sometimes find Nutra-Nugget sold at Costco, but it’s not in stock consistently.

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    A Quick Look at Nutra-Nuggets Food

    Pros
    • Rigorous quality assurance procedures
    • Relatively affordable
    • Real beef is first ingredient in beef recipes
    Cons
    • Limited availability
    • Uses chicken by-product meal

    Recall History

    At the time of writing, Nutra-Nuggets has only has one recall way back in 2007. Tests found trace amounts of melamine, a type of plastic, in the lamb meal and rice formula. No deaths were reported, and Nutra-Nuggets hasn’t had a recall since.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Nutra-Nuggets Dog Food Recipes

    1. Nutra-Nuggets Grain-Free Formulation Beef Dog Food

    Nutra-Nuggets US Grain-Free Formulation Beef Meal & Pea Formula for Dogs

    Nutra-Nuggets Grain-Free Formulation Beef Dog Food is a popular recipe. It provides a complete and balanced meal for dogs of all ages who can’t consume wheat or gluten. The formula includes probiotics to support digestive health and antioxidants from natural sources to support the immune system.

    When you take a closer look at the ingredient list, it might seem a little off-putting that the first ingredient is a beef meal. However, beef meal is a common ingredient in dog food because it adds more protein to the formula as it has less water weight than beef.

    As with all grain-free diets, it’s important to be cautious because of possible links between grain-free diets and dilated cardiomyopathy. Dogs can safely consume a small amount of properly cooked legumes, but the majority of the ingredients in this recipe are different types of legumes. So, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to see if this grain-free diet is appropriate for your dog.

    Pros
    • Suitable for all life stages
    • Probiotics support digestive health
    • Antioxidants support immune system
    Cons
    • Contains a lot of legumes

    2. Nutra-Nuggets Super Premium Puppy Food

    Nutra-Nuggets US Puppy Food

    Nutra-Nuggets Super Premium Puppy Food is Nutra-Nuggets’ only puppy food. It contains a high amount of protein and fat that meets the required amount that puppies need for healthy development. This food is also a good option for pregnant or nursing dogs to eat. It may also be appropriate for more active dogs.

    The biggest concern is that the first ingredient in this food is chicken by-product meal. As we’ve mentioned before, this ingredient can be quite ambiguous because of the lack of clarity on what goes inside the meal. This recipe also has fish meal. So, this recipe may not be the best option for puppies with food allergies or sensitivities.

    Pros
    • High-protein and high-fat diet
    • Suitable for nursing and pregnant dogs
    • May be suitable for active adult dogs
    Cons
    • Chicken by-product meal is first ingredient
    • Not for puppies with food allergies or sensitivities

    3. Nutra-Nuggets Professional Formula for Dogs

    Nutra-Nuggets Professional Formula for Dogs

    Nutra-Nuggets Professional Formula for Dogs is another high-protein and high-fat recipe for dogs. These high levels of protein and fat can sustain the active lifestyle of working dogs. It’s also suitable for pregnant and nursing dogs. The addition of glucosamine and chondroitin helps with supporting and maintaining healthy joints.

    The protein in this formula is mainly comprised of chicken meal, eggs, and fish meal. The blend of different sources of protein is very palatable for dogs. However, it’s not the best option for any dogs with food allergies, and you’ll want to look for dog food with a simpler ingredient list that uses a single source of protein.

    Pros
    • Good source of protein and fat
    • Also suitable for pregnant and nursing dogs
    • Helps support joint health
    Cons
    • Not for dogs with food allergies

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    It’s important to consider other customers’ opinions. Here’s what real customers are saying about Nutra-Nuggets dog food.

    • Viewpoints – “I have used this product from the time it came out in the early 90s. It was for all stages and sizes of dog. I took the samples home thinking; OK I’ll use as a training treat. The dogs loved it so much that I switched them to it.”
    • DogFoodAdvisor – “I switched to this dog food (US Lamb and Rice Formula; it has no corn) because my dogs were having allergy problems. Once I switched, their hotspots and allergy problems went away”
    • Amazon – As of now, Nutra-Nuggets dog food isn’t available on Amazon.

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    Conclusion

    Overall, Nutra Nuggets is a company that sells affordable dog food. We give this dog food four stars because it provides all the nutrients that dogs need to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but the recipes can be a bit lacking in quality. However, Nutra-Nugget has had only one recall in its history, and it keeps its prices low.

    So, if you live in an area that supplies Nutra-Nugget dog food, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try if you’re looking for budget-friendly dog food.

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit: Nutra-Nuggets

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