Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Review

Nature’s Recipe is a pet food brand owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, a subsidiary of the J.M. Smucker Company. Dedicated to providing pets with optimal nutrition, Nature’s Recipe emphasizes natural ingredients, grain-free recipes, and high-quality protein sources.

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The Quality and Variety of Ingredients

One of the significant benefits of Nature’s Recipe Dog Food is its focus on natural, wholesome ingredients. The brand offers a variety of flavors and formulas, such as salmon, sweet potato, and pumpkin; chicken, lamb, or venison meals, often paired with nutritious grains and vegetables.

Several Nature’s Recipe formulas are grain-free, making them suitable for dogs with specific dietary needs. They contain no corn, wheat, soy, poultry by-products, or artificial colors and flavors, catering to dogs with allergies or sensitivities.

The Science Behind Nature’s Recipe

Nature’s Recipe’s nutritional philosophy centers on natural ingredients and careful balancing of nutrients. The brand adheres to the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles, ensuring that your pet is getting a balanced diet.

Customer and Vet Opinions

Looking at online platforms such as Reddit, many pet owners swear by Nature’s Recipe. Users have reported their dogs showing improved skin and coat health, better digestion, and increased energy levels on this food. A point often highlighted is the product’s affordability for its quality and nutritional content.

However, some pet owners reported their dogs having stomach upset, specifically diarrhea, after eating Nature’s Recipe. It’s important to note that individual dogs can react differently to various foods, and these negative experiences do not reflect the general quality of the brand.

On the professional side, veterinarians often recommend Nature’s Recipe for dogs with food sensitivities due to its natural ingredients and lack of common allergens.

Nature’s Recipe Dog Food: Pros and Cons


  1. High-quality, natural ingredients
  2. Grain-free options available
  3. Suitable for dogs with food sensitivities
  4. Relatively affordable
  5. Variety of flavors and formulas to suit different dogs’ needs


  1. Some dogs may experience digestive upset
  2. Limited availability in some areas
  3. Some formulas may not be high enough in protein for very active dogs

Analyzing Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Formulas

Every Nature’s Recipe formula contains a real protein source as its first ingredient, providing essential amino acids to support lean muscle mass. Their grain-free options employ sweet potatoes and pumpkin as easily digestible, grain-free carbohydrate sources. They’re not only nutrient-dense but also help to ensure steady energy levels.

Adult Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe

This particular formula contains lamb meal as the primary protein source, an excellent choice for dogs with poultry sensitivities. With added barley and oatmeal, it’s fiber-rich and supports healthy digestion. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are included to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin. Plus, added vitamins and minerals ensure a well-rounded diet.

Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe

This grain-free option is ideal for dogs prone to digestive issues or allergies related to grains. Chicken is the primary ingredient, supplying lean protein for optimal muscle health. Sweet potatoes and pumpkins provide carbohydrate energy without the potential for grain-related intolerance.

Understanding Nutritional Adequacy

The Nature’s Recipe brand underlines its commitment to nutritional adequacy. Each of their dog food products meets the nutritional standards set by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles. This means that every bowlful your dog enjoys is complete and balanced, containing the essential nutrients necessary for their health and well-being.

Recall History

Nature’s Recipe has a relatively clean recall history. In 2012, the company issued a voluntary recall for one of their products due to possible salmonella contamination. However, no other recalls have occurred since, suggesting that the brand is vigilant about product safety and quality control.

Price and Value

When it comes to price, Nature’s Recipe sits in the mid-range category. It’s not the cheapest brand on the market, but it’s far from the most expensive. The value comes from the quality of ingredients used, the brand’s attention to nutritional balance, and the variety of formulas available to cater to different dietary needs.

Environmental Impact and Sustainability

While Nature’s Recipe doesn’t explicitly outline its sustainability practices, their parent company, J.M. Smucker Co., has committed to responsible sourcing and reducing environmental impact. It’s a promising indication of the brand’s potential eco-friendly approach.

Transitioning to Nature’s Recipe

If you decide to switch to Nature’s Recipe, remember to make the transition gradually over a week or two. Mixing increasing amounts of the new food with your dog’s current food can help avoid digestive upset.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Suitable for All Life Stages?

Most Nature’s Recipe formulas are designed to cater to adult dogs, but the brand also offers specific puppy and senior formulas. For example, their Puppy Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe is tailored to the unique nutritional needs of puppies, including DHA to support eye and brain development. It’s essential to select a formula that matches your dog’s life stage to ensure they receive the correct nutrient balance.

Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Good for Dogs with Food Allergies?

Yes, Nature’s Recipe is often recommended for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. Their grain-free formulas exclude common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy. Additionally, they offer recipes that use alternative proteins like salmon or lamb, ideal for dogs allergic to more common protein sources like chicken or beef.

Does Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Help with Weight Management?

Nature’s Recipe offers a specific weight management formula – the Adult Light Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe. This formula contains fewer calories than regular adult formulas and is high in fiber to help your dog feel satisfied without overeating.

Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Suitable for Small Breeds?

Yes, Nature’s Recipe offers Small Breed Grain-Free Chicken, Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Recipe, specifically designed for smaller dogs. Small breeds often require more calorie-dense food as they have faster metabolisms. This formula is nutrient-rich and the kibble size is adapted for smaller jaws.

How Can I Store Nature’s Recipe Dog Food?

Dog food should be stored in a cool, dry place to maintain its freshness. Once opened, dry food bags should be tightly sealed, or the kibble can be transferred to airtight food storage containers. Always use the food before its expiration date to ensure your dog is consuming fresh and safe food.

Can I Feed My Dog Both Wet and Dry Nature’s Recipe Dog Food?

Absolutely! Mixing wet and dry dog food can be an excellent way to add some variety to your dog’s diet. Nature’s Recipe offers both wet and dry formulas, making it easy to mix and match while maintaining a consistent dietary profile. It can also stimulate picky eaters and help keep them hydrated.

Can Pregnant Dogs Eat Nature’s Recipe Dog Food?

Yes, but pregnant or nursing dogs often require more calories, protein, and certain nutrients. It’s essential to consult with your vet to adjust your dog’s diet during pregnancy or lactation. They may recommend increasing portion sizes or switching to a puppy formula, which is often higher in these required nutrients.

What’s the Shelf Life of Nature’s Recipe Dog Food?

Each bag of Nature’s Recipe dog food will have an expiration date printed on the packaging. In general, an unopened bag of dry dog food can last anywhere from 12 to 18 months. Once opened, it’s best to use the food within six weeks to ensure its freshness and nutritional value.

Does Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Contain Artificial Additives?

Nature’s Recipe prides itself on using high-quality, natural ingredients and avoiding artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. This focus on natural, wholesome ingredients aligns with their mission to provide nutrient-rich, easily digestible food for dogs.

Are There Vegetarian Options Available in Nature’s Recipe?

Currently, Nature’s Recipe does not offer vegetarian or vegan dog food. Every recipe includes a meat-based protein source as the first ingredient. It’s important to note that dogs are omnivores, and a diet with animal proteins is essential for their overall health and wellbeing.

Can Nature’s Recipe Dog Food be Fed to Large Breed Dogs?

Yes, Nature’s Recipe can be fed to large breed dogs. While they don’t have a specific formula designed for large breeds, their regular adult recipes should suit most large dogs. However, large-breed dogs often have specific nutritional needs, so it’s worth discussing their diet with your veterinarian.

Does Nature’s Recipe Offer Wet Dog Food Options?

Yes, Nature’s Recipe offers a variety of wet food options. These include stews and patés with a variety of protein sources such as chicken, duck, salmon, and venison. Wet food can be a great addition to your dog’s diet, offering hydration and a different texture to enjoy.

Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Suitable for Dogs with Sensitive Stomachs?

Several Nature’s Recipe formulas are designed with easily digestible ingredients, making them suitable for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Their Easy to Digest recipes, for instance, include a single animal protein source and easily digestible carbohydrates, along with prebiotic fiber to help support digestive health.

Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Suitable for Active Dogs?

Absolutely! Nature’s Recipe offers balanced nutrition suitable for dogs with various activity levels. If your dog is particularly active, they may need more calories than less active dogs. Nature’s Recipe’s nutrient-dense, high-protein formulas can help support the increased energy needs of active dogs. Always consult with your veterinarian to determine the best diet for your pet’s lifestyle.

How Does Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Support a Dog’s Skin and Coat Health?

Nature’s Recipe uses high-quality protein sources in their recipes, which are key to a dog’s skin and coat health. Additionally, some of their formulas contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, nutrients known to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Does Nature’s Recipe Have Dog Treats?

Yes, Nature’s Recipe offers a variety of dog treats. These include crunchy biscuits and chewy training treats, all made with natural ingredients and without any artificial flavors or colors.

Does Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Have Chelated Minerals?

Yes, many Nature’s Recipe dog foods include chelated minerals. Chelated minerals are attached to proteins for better absorption, making them a beneficial addition to dog food.

Can I Feed Nature’s Recipe to My Dog with Kidney Issues?

While Nature’s Recipe dog food offers high-quality, natural ingredients, dogs with kidney issues often require specific dietary adjustments, like reduced protein and phosphorus levels. It’s crucial to consult with your veterinarian before choosing a diet for a dog with a health condition.

Are There Any Recalls on Nature’s Recipe Dog Food?

Nature’s Recipe had one recall in October 2012 due to potential salmonella contamination. Always check the FDA’s pet food recall website for the most current information.

Can I Feed Nature’s Recipe to My Overweight Dog?

Nature’s Recipe offers a weight management formula designed to help dogs maintain a healthy weight. This formula is lower in calories but still nutrient-rich to meet a dog’s needs. For overweight dogs, portion control and regular exercise are also key. Always consult with your veterinarian for the best weight loss strategy for your pet.

Is Nature’s Recipe Dog Food Good for Dogs with Heart Disease?

While Nature’s Recipe offers high-quality, balanced nutrition, dogs with heart disease often require specific dietary modifications, like reduced sodium levels. Always consult with your veterinarian to find the most suitable diet for a dog with a health condition.

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