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NutriSource Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Written by: Sophie Herlihy

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Dogster Team

NutriSource Dog Food - Featured Image

NutriSource Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give NutriSource food a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

It’s no secret that dog food recalls have been making headlines lately. In light of this, many pet owners are left wondering what the best option for their furry friend is when it comes to food.

NutriSource seems to be a popular choice, but is it really one of the best? With a range of products that cater to different life stages, recipes, and budgets, we decided to take a closer look at this brand and write an in-depth review so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right food for your pup.

We’ll cover everything from recent recalls to what’s actually in the food, as well as the pros and cons, so you can decide if NutriSource is a good fit for your furry friend.

NutriSource has a long-standing history of sticking by its core values and beliefs: people, quality, spirit, tradition, and community. In fact, this company has turned away million-dollar deals with large pet providers to stick by its mission to provide quality nutrition for pets and support communities.

The company now has a wide range of dog and cat products available at pet stores and vets across the United States, Canada, and Europe. A core value of NutriSource is supporting independent stores that focus on pets’ well-being and nutrition, as they believe this is the best way to get quality products to pets and their owners while supporting innovation and community in the pet care industry.

Such tenacity in a company is rare in this day and age, but do their products measure up? Let’s find out.

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At a Glance: The Best NutriSource Dog Food Recipes

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
NutriSource Lamb & Rice Adult Dog Food NutriSource Lamb & Rice Adult Dog Food
  • Sustainably sourced and ethically raised lamb from New Zealand
  • Added pre and probiotics to support digestive health
  • Second place
    NutriSource Chicken Lamb & Fish Canned Dog Food NutriSource Chicken Lamb & Fish Canned Dog Food
  • Multiple high-quality protein sources
  • Many dogs with sensitive stomachs have found this food
  • Total nutrition for all life stages
  • Third place
    NutriSource Super Stars Training Rewards Dog Treats NutriSource Super Stars Training Rewards Dog Treats
  • High-protein treat
  • Real pork is the first ingredient
  • 100% of the profits are donated to the SuperStar Giving Program
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    NutriSource Dog Food Reviewed

    Who makes NutriSource and where is it produced?

    For over 50 years, NutriSource has been proudly produced in Perham, Minnesota by three generations of the same family.

    Their website states that all dry kibble is produced in their state-of-the-art facility in Perham. However, it’s not mentioned where the other products, such as wet foods, treats, or broths are produced; based on local production discussions we assume this is also in the same facility, but it is not clear.

    chow chow dog eating
    Image Credit: Ivan Marjanovic, Shutterstock

    Which type of dog is NutriSource best suited for?

    The majority of recipes are grain-inclusive, with a handful of grain-free options as well. There are recipes for all life stages from puppies to seniors as well as small breeds and large breeds.

    There is also a selection of limited ingredient diets (LID) for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. And, finally, there are recipes for dogs with specific needs, such as for overweight or underweight dogs.

    The range of products is vast, and most pet parents will find something that suits them. The only exceptions would be those pooches on medical diets prescribed by a veterinarian or those with very severe food allergies that limit their diet to just a few ingredients.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    The first ingredient in all of their dry food recipes is meat. This is always followed by grain, with the exception of their grain-free recipes where the second ingredient is usually pea proteins, pea flour, lentils, or other legumes such as garbanzo beans.

    Meat as the first ingredient is a good sign, and it appears that these protein sources are of high quality.

    As for the wet food recipes, the first ingredients are typically water or broth, followed by meat or fish. The inclusion of water or broth is not unusual in canned foods.

    Grain-Free Recipes

    NutriSource has a large range of grain-free recipes alongside those that are grain-inclusive. They have grain-free options for their regular kibbles as well as limited ingredient diets.

    Grain-free dog food is a bit of a social movement at the moment, with many people believing it to be a healthier option for their pets. And while there are some pros to grain-free diets, such as being lower in carbohydrates, there is also some controversy surrounding them.

    The jury is still out on whether or not grain-free diets are actually better for dogs. Some veterinarians believe that they may be linked to heart disease1, while others say that there is not enough evidence to support this claim.

    On the flip side, a grain-free diet may be beneficial for dogs2 with food allergies or sensitivities. However, the most common food sensitivities are usually protein sources such as chicken or beef.

    The decision of whether or not to feed your dog a grain-free diet is one that you will need to make with your veterinarian.

    Limited Ingredient Diets

    In addition to grain-free choices, NutriSource has a range of Limited Ingredient Diets (LIDs). These are recipes that contain a single protein source and limited carbohydrates.

    LID diets are often recommended for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities3 as they are easier to digest and less likely to cause an adverse reaction.

    NutriSource has grain-inclusive and grain-free options for LIDs, which is great as many LIDs tend to be just grain-free, which may not be ideal for all dogs. They also have both dry and wet options.

    Protein Selection

    Due to NutriSource’s large product range, there is also a large range of proteins used in their recipes. For the dry food recipes, common protein sources include chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, and fish.

    For their wet food recipes, they use a mix of muscle meat, organs, and seafood.

    There are also a few recipes that contain venison and bison as the primary protein source.

    While the majority of their recipes use meat as the primary protein source, they do have a few that use plant-based proteins such as pea and lentils. These are typically found in their grain-free recipes.

    Breaking Down the Marketing Terms: Patents and Proprietary Blends

    Just like the majority of dog food brands, NutriSource uses a lot of marketing terms in the descriptions of the nutrition of their products. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it helps to simplify complicated nutritional terms, but it pays to read closely what they are really advertising.

    Let’s break down NutriSource’s “Good 4 Life System” which you will see advertised on many of their products. This includes a bunch of patented terms and proprietary blends that are unique to NutriSource.

    • Sel-Plex: Claiming to support brain function, this supplement is an FDA-reviewed selenium additive4. It has been around for over 20 years and supposedly increases the digestibility of selenium versus in its organic form.
    • Bioplex: This patented name is used for a blend of trace minerals5, including zinc, copper, manganese, and iron. The blend aims to make these minerals more “bioavailable” for maximum absorption.
    • Bio-Mos: A formulated prebiotic that supports the digestive tract6. Works to remove harmful pathogens such as salmonella and increase nutrient absorption. NutriSource claims 700 research papers support this.
    • Lacto-Sacc: The term used for two live probiotics7 and three probiotic extracts that coat NutriSource’s kibble.
    • NVGEN: a combo of bio-active compounds pulled from yeast cells that support a healthy microbial population. This is a proprietary blend.

    Great Range

    Overall, the range of products and ingredients in NutriSource’s lines leaves options for dogs of any size, age, and need. Grain-free, grain inclusive, LIDs, novel proteins, multiple proteins, single proteins—the list goes on!

    There is a lot of space to pick the perfect diet for your dog.

    NutriSource Gives Back

    What we really liked about NutriSource (in addition to the nutritional value of their products) was their commitment to giving back.

    Their SuperStars Giving Program operates across the United States and supports programs such as:

    • Therapy dogs in children’s hospitals
    • Pinky Swear Foundation (financial support for families of children battling cancer)
    • Soldier’s 6 (supporting the training of dogs for dishonorable discharge veterans, police, and firefighters)
    • Dogtopia (Dogs for veterans, youth literacy programs, employment opportunities for adults with autism)
    • Finley’s Barkery (a dog treat brand that donates 50% of its profits)

    These are the types of companies we like to support!

    Finding a Retailer

    NutriSource emphasizes its commitment to supporting small and independent stores over big box stores. They believe this support is what helps local businesses thrive and passionate pet professionals to innovate.

    However, if you like to buy your dog food in person, this does mean that it can be harder than other brands to source. But in this modern world, finding an e-commerce stockist to purchase online and get home delivered is as simple as pie!

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    A Quick Look at NutriSource Dog Food

    Pros
    • Extensive range
    • Socially responsible company
    • Charitable donations in each purchase
    • High-quality ingredients for maximized nutrition
    • Limited Ingredient Diet options
    • Grain-free options
    Cons
    • Sometimes difficult to find an in-person stockist
    • More expensive than some dog food brands

    Recall History

    In October 2021, Tuffy’s Pet Foods issued a voluntary recall of 1,600 cases of Pure Vita Salmon Entree Dog Food in Tetrapak packaging due to concerns over potentially high levels of vitamin D from the product developer.

    This recall was determined to be a result of a processing error and only affected a defined batch of foods. No toxicities or illnesses were reported following the recall, and no other recalls have since been issued.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best NutriSource Dog Food Recipes

    1. NutriSource Lamb & Rice Adult Dog Food

    Nutrisource Lamb & Rice Adult Dog Food

    NutriSource Lamb & Rice Adult Dog Food is a high-quality, sustainably sourced food that is perfect for all breeds and life stages. The lamb is ethically raised in New Zealand and contains no fillers or artificial ingredients.

    In addition, the food is fortified with pre and probiotics to support digestive health. The only downside is the cost; it is one of the more expensive dog foods on the market.

    However, given the quality of the ingredients, it is worth the price. If you are looking for nutritious and delicious food for your dog, NutriSource Lamb & Rice Adult Dog Food is an excellent option.

    Pros
    • Sustainably sourced and ethically raised lamb from New Zealand
    • Added pre and probiotics to support digestive health
    Cons
    • Costly

    2. NutriSource Chicken Lamb & Fish Canned Dog Food

    NutriSource Chicken Lamb & Fish Canned Dog Food

    NutriSource Chicken Lamb & Fish Canned Dog Food is a great choice for many dogs, thanks to its multiple high-quality protein sources.

    This food is also a complete diet for dogs at all life stages, so you can confidently feed it to your puppy, adult dog, or senior dog. Additionally, many dogs with sensitive stomachs have found this food to work well for them.

    While there are some great things about this food, it’s important to note that the portion sizes must be adjusted when feeding through all life stages.

    Additionally, this food is not suitable for pups with protein allergies due to the multiple protein sources. Despite these few cons, NutriSource Chicken Lamb & Fish Canned Dog Food is still a great option for many dogs and their families.

    Pros
    • Multiple high-quality protein sources
    • Many dogs with sensitive stomachs have found this food to work well
    • Total nutrition for all life stages (puppy, adult, and senior)
    Cons
    • Portions sizes must be adjusted when feeding through all life stages
    • Not suitable for pups with protein allergies due to multiple protein sources

    3. NutriSource Super Stars Training Rewards Dog Treats

    NutriSource Super Star Training Bacon Flavor Dog Treats

    These NutriSource Super Stars Training Rewards Dog Treats are a great way to show your pup some extra love while also giving back to a good cause. 100% of the profits from these treats are donated to the SuperStar Giving Program, which helps to support dogs in need.

    The real pork flavor is sure to be a hit with your furry friend, and the high protein content will give them the energy they need for a successful training session.

    However, it’s worth noting that salt has been added to the ingredient list, so if your dog is on a low-sodium diet, these may not be the best treats for them. Overall, these treats are a delicious and nutritious option for any pup, and you can feel good knowing that your purchase is helping to support a worthy cause.

    Pros
    • 100% of the profits are donated to the SuperStar Giving Program
    • Real pork is the first ingredient
    • High-protein treat
    Cons
    • Salt added in the ingredient list

    What Other Users Are Saying

    • Facebook: “My dogs have done best on NutriSource out of the dozen or so dog food brands I’ve tried. I’m very glad that they do so well on it because I genuinely love NutriSource as a company! I love how transparent they are about everything from sourcing to manufacturing to their nutrient panels. They also support rescues, shelters, and non-profits, which is super awesome. There are so many good qualities about this brand that are very difficult to find with other brands.”
    • Nutrisource Pet Foods: “My dog lived to be 14 1/2 years old before she became ill, and it was time to say goodbye. For the last 12 years, all I fed her was the NutriSource Brand, and she loved the food. I’m from Minnesota, and I wanted to support a company that makes it here. I’ve always been an advocate to fellow dog owners telling them what a wonderful and true quality product the NutriSource Brand is and suggested that they change their brand and try it.”
    • Amazon: Before we buy anything, we double-check with Amazon buyer reviews. You may read these by going here.

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    Final Thoughts

    There are many things to love about NutriSource Dog Foods, from the high-quality ingredients to the commitment to supporting dogs in need. While there are a few things to be aware of (adjusting portion sizes for different life stages, the addition of salt in some products), overall, this is a great choice for many dogs and their families.

    We hope this review has helped you to better understand the pros and cons of NutriSource Dog Foods so that you can make the best decision for your furry friend.

    See also:


    Featured Image Credit: Nutrisource

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