Nutro Dog Food Review in 2021

By Ann Collins / August 9, 2021

When you decided to buy your puppy, was dog food, the first thought that crossed your mind? Probably not. Most dog owners spend time entertaining their new puppy that they never really get the chance to research the perfect brand of dog food properly. So we are here to make your life easier by bringing all the basics to you, both good and bad.

Here you will find the information you’ve been searching for—regarding a safe, healthy dog food brand called Nutro Feed Clean. You can feel at ease knowing each recipe has been formulated carefully to guarantee healthy, well-balanced nutrition for any breed.

nutro dog food up closeThis brand, like so many others, caters to a variety of breeds, ages, and preferences; but, unlike many, Nutro Feed Clean thrives on energizing every pet with clean, pure products. As a new dog owner, I am sure you have questions. Please join us and continue reading our Nutro dog food review as we cover the history of the brand, basic nutrition guidelines, brand warnings, meal plan tips, age and breed priority, everyday safety, and allergies.

About the Brand

dog posing looking forwardIn 1926, John Saleenhas inherited a small dog food business that soon became known as Nutro Feed Clean. He further developed the brand under a healthy and well-balanced platform that was adopted in 1976, but it flourished significantly in industry. When employees promised to provide users with clean recipes that were quality, purposeful, and trustworthy for any pet, customers were curious. The company promises to stick to the “pets first” philosophy by providing nutritional food that guarantees purpose with every ingredient.

This brand ensures non-GMO ingredients, closest to their natural state, and refrains from using artificial preservatives or flavors. All ingredients originate from farmers and suppliers who can be trusted, while the food is prepared in facilities, and tested for safety and quality.


dog sitting on grassImagine you’re just settling down to read a nice book, when all of a sudden, your 200lb Great Dane comes barreling into the room. It skids to a sharp halt at the base of your chair, begging for the popcorn. You just fed her! Is she still hungry? Did I feed her enough? Well, studies show that on average, a dog weighing 10 lbs should be eating approximately 200 to 275 calories, whereas a dog weighing 200 lbs should be eating 1603 calories. To check how much your dog should be eating online calculators are available at all times.

To maintain health and wellness, dogs must have a proper balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, vitamins, and minerals. Fortunately for you, Nutro contains everything essential—antioxidants, amino acids, whole grains, and fatty acids—for your pup. The calorie intake is roughly 26% protein, 15% fat, and 59% carbs.

On average, a puppy’s diet should be between 22% to 26%. It’s crucial to provide your pup with the proper balance of nutrition but does not overdo it. Nutro dog food can meet those guidelines.


white dog eating nutro foodAccording to Nutro’s website, they assure you that “quality natural ingredients make the best natural dog foods.” The recipes include all-natural ingredients which contain healthy fats, digestible carbohydrates, and quality proteins. Vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients are featured in each recipe.

In Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food, the main ingredient is either chicken or lamb, which have essential amino acids to keep your puppy healthy. The next two ingredients are rice and oatmeal. Even though this product isn’t grain-free, the grains are soft enough for easy digestion and are high in protein. Next, peas—located on the ingredient list—are a great source of carbohydrates, rich in natural fiber, and contain about 25% in proteins.

Oils such as soybean, sunflower, and fish are rich in EPA and DHA type Omega-3 fatty acids which are necessary to support growth and development. The list continues with other ingredients like antioxidants, but they shouldn’t negatively affect your pup’s immune system.


dog posing with ears upNutro does rigorous testing on their products to ensure safety and the best quality. Experts verify that all safety standards and certifications are up to par. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects each facility thoroughly, checking, and reviewing products.

Nutro complies with the Good Manufacturing Practices, Good Hygiene Practices, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points. Nutro carefully inspects all their ingredients to ensure the safety of every grain, ensuring they meet food safety guidelines. Once products are finished, they go through another quality test. The experts ensure each recipe contains no traces of contamination, so your puppy doesn’t get ill.


retriever laying grass with tongue outDepending on the size of your pup, Nutro has available products for a variety of breeds. For example, products like Nutro Wholesome Essentials Natural Puppy Dry Dog Food are meant for larger breeds, such as Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and other large pups. Its purpose is to strengthen their bones and joints.

They also contain Omega 3 to benefit development and growth. However, there are different products made by Nutro for smaller breeds like chihuahuas and pugs. Just double-check the bag to make sure you have the right food for your puppy’s breed and size.

Food Form

furry brown dog close up on grass

Nutro Dog Food comes in both a wet and dry food form. The majority of Nutro brand dog food contains the same ingredients in both forms. Unfortunately, wet food can only be purchased in a canned form momentarily, but as we speak, wet dog food is being experimented with. Nutro also carries treats in different flavors and textures—which are a great addition to a healthy snack for your pup.


Life Stage

small dog looking up sadlyNutro invented a range of recipes to match the life stage of your dog. So, whether you’re deciding how many calories your pup needs or calculating the amount of fiber per bag, Nutro has got you covered. Nutro’s puppy formulas are made specifically to replenish a loss in calories that older dogs don’t need. If adult dogs eat puppy food, they risk ingesting too many calories and gaining weight.

However, if they eat food for senior dogs, they might not obtain enough calories. The last formula made is for senior dogs; they require more fiber to guarantee their digestive tract maintains proper function and well-being. The senior dog food contains fewer calories, yet still has the appropriate amount of nutrients.

Nutro has made it a priority to fill the different categories of dog food mindfully. Puppy recipes are loaded with antioxidants, designed for oral health, and include Omega-6 Fatty Acid and Zinc.

Recall History

sick black dog on floorFrom 2007 to 2015, Nutro food products related to dogs have been recalled three times. That’s not bad for eight years. In March 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recall about the 12.5 ounce canned food recipes because there was potential contamination with melamine.

In September 2009, there were traces of plastic found in the production line. Unfortunately, that plastic made its way into some batches of products. The Nutro Ultra Puppy and Nutro Natural Choice Chicken Meal, Rice, and Oatmeal Formula Small Bites for puppies were affected. Lastly, in December 2015, Nutro Chewy Apple Treats were recalled because of a possible trace of mold contamination in the products.


puppy sick on floorAccording to reviews, symptoms caused by Nutro Dog Food products include food sensitivity such as itching, sensitive skin, diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues. Although this is an issue, do not fret. Problems like these can be solved with a simple solution. Nutro altered their formula recently leading to a change in reactions.

Since some puppies struggle digesting poultry, we would suggest switching to a food source that contains lamb since some bags contain chicken instead. Also, Nutro products include grain such as rice or wheat, and other foods like eggs, fish, beef, lamb, and dairy. Puppies can get sick from a change in products; it’s essential to speak with your veterinarian about which products your dog is allergic to and avoid them. Nutro has done its best to ensure each formula fits your dog perfectly.

Feeding Directions

dog hiking with stick in mouthFor puppies that range from 3 to 5 weeks, the food needs to be moistened and given to the puppies frequently. From 6 weeks to 6 months of age, they must be fed the suggested amount in three meals a day. Once they reach six months, we encourage you to feed your puppy twice daily until they reach 18 months.

If your puppy is pregnant, it is recommended to offer half more than usual and during lactation provide two to three times more the amount for puppies over 12 months. To keep the bag fresh, secure tightly, and store in a cool, dry area. For more directions and feeding amounts, check the back of the pack. It lists the age, weight, and how many cups will be needed to feed your beloved pup.

What Kind Of Dog Food Does Nutro Offer?

Nutro was a small company for many years before finally expanding. It now offers five different lines of dog foods and dental treats.

The company offers different formulas for all life stages. It also provides food for various breeds, sizes, and health conditions.

It has different lines of dry and wet foods made to fit many dogs. The Rotations line allows your dog to eat various recipes since there’s no transition period between each one.

The Farm’s Harvest line has freeze-dried recipes with farm-raised veggies and fruits as well as real meat.

Its MAX line has simple and wholesome recipes with farm-raised meats. It also has healthy carbohydrates. The Ultra line is designed for optimal nutrition, while the Greenies is a line of pill pockets and dental chews.

You can find various recipes within each line designed for specific age groups, allergies, and breeds.


Is Nutro Expensive?

At first glance, you’ll notice that Nutro is on an expensive side of the scale. It’s not the most expensive brand out there, but it’s certainly not the most affordable one either.

It offers six product lines packed with different recipes, all of which contain high-quality ingredients. Luckily, not all its products are priced the same, meaning you’ll definitely find some that fit your budget.

Initially, Nutro dog food ranges from $30 to $70 for a 30lbs bag. Grain-free, and other specific formulas, are more expensive.

To give you an idea, 30lbs of dry food should cost you between $40 and $70. A 24lbs bag of freeze-dried food costs around $65, whereas canned food is priced somewhat differently.

The price of canned food depends on how many cans you have in a pack. It also depends on the size of the can. So a 12-pack of 12.5-ounce cans should cost between $15 and $30.

Needless to say, the prices vary depending on where you’re buying.

Is Nutro a Good Dog Food?

Nutro is considered good dog food, thanks to the ingredients it contains. All recipes have real animal protein coming from farm-grown chicken, pasteurized lamb, salmon, and venison. This helps to ensure lean muscle in your dog.

Plus, this dog food brand offers many recipes for all kinds of dogs. As you know, some hounds have different dietary needs, and Nutro tries to meet them all.

It has many product lines and recipes to cater to all dogs regardless of breed, size, or age. So, you can find recipes made for puppies, seniors, and adults. You can also choose between wet and dry food formulated for large, small, and toy breeds.

Another thing that stands out is the broad offer of specially formulated recipes. These cater to special needs and are suitable for different food allergies.

There’s also a formula for overweight and gluten-sensitive dogs. But, again, such a broad choice and its use of quality ingredients make this brand a good one.

Is Nutro Bad For Dogs?

So far, we have found no signs that Nutro dog food is bad for dogs in any way. All the recipes are flavorful and rich in quality ingredients. So, the diet is balanced and nutritional, with meat as the main ingredient.

Still, some dogs might not like it. Again, it depends on your dog’s palate, habits, and health conditions. For example, some people say that some Nutro recipes are difficult for their dogs to digest, causing stomach problems.

Although this sounds bad, it’s a common thing that happens with dog food. Not every canine will respond the same, and this doesn’t mean the food is bad. It just doesn’t fit your dog.

Is Nutro Dog Food good for large breeds?

As mentioned, Nutro offers many recipes and flavors to pick from based on your dog’s size, breed, and age. And, these are good for large breeds as any other.

But, only a few recipes are made specifically to prevent hip dysplasia in large breed puppies. These are the only few formulas safe for this group.

Other than that, your large dog can eat just about any formula made for large breeds. Non-specific foods are also safe, but make sure to introduce the food slowly. You should also watch out for any changes in your dog’s health and behavior.

Puppies and seniors should have a specific diet that caters to their needs, especially if it’s a large breed. It’s because they often have a sensitive stomach you should go for more specifically-made Nutro recipes.

Is Nutro Dog Food good for older dogs?

Several Nutro formulas are safe for senior dogs. These include ample amounts of protein and average to below-average calorie and fat levels.

This also assumes the formulas meet all AAFCO nutrient guidelines you should always check for. The Natural Choice Senior Chicken, Ultra Senior, and Senior Small Breed are some of the best recipes.

But, again, you should consider your dog’s specific needs and preferences. For example, do they have health conditions or food intolerance? Think about this before buying to ensure you’re getting a recipe safe for your dog to eat.

Some Nutro recipes might not be best for senior dogs, but this doesn’t necessarily make them bad. It’s just that older dogs have different needs due to variable energy levels and health conditions.

Does Nutro Dog Food Have Probiotics?

Nutro included probiotics in their food back in 2007. But, some people the brand was only using this as a marketing claim.

In other words, there was a lawsuit filed in 2013 challenging the validity of this claim. The lawsuit claims the brand included probiotics in the Guaranteed Analysis, thus guaranteeing that their food really does contain probiotics.

But, the plaintiff found the probiotics aren’t live or viable. So, with that said, they have no health benefits to dogs eating this food.

While Nutro doesn’t admit to doing anything wrong, they did agree to a settlement that cost them a hefty sum.

Also, keep in mind this happened with food bought between April 2007 and June 2009. Today, the brand no longer claims its formulas contain probiotics.

Final Thoughts

lazy dog on bedOverall, Nutro Feed Cleanis very beneficial to all types and sizes of dogs. There may have been some setbacks in the past. However, Nutro has done its absolute best to ensure your pet’s health and wellness is taken care of.

With different flavors, you can decide which one would satisfy your pup the most. Our advice? Make sure you choose the right food for your pet so you can prevent any illnesses from occurring.

Nutro is a trusted brand with a history of success in the dog food market. It also provides a recipe for every stage in a dog’s life no matter its age or size.

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About the author

    Ann Collins

    I've been a college grad for over 4 years now. I'm a full-time contributor for puppypointers and I absolutely love it. I enjoy meeting people from all over the world, especially those that have a warm heart for doggies. When I'm not writing, I spend a lot of time at the beach in sunny California.

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