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Dog Food Ratings

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Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free

by Natural Balance
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet is a mid-priced dog food with good quality. This product has no controversial ingredients, including zero artificial preservatives, colors and flavors - that’s fantastic. The food has a high amount of carbs, compared to its protein and fat , but an excellent quality of meat and fat. Natural Balance has an above-average number of recalls and the company was relatively transparent when answering our questions.

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TYPE
Dry Dog Food
PRICE
$$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
Limited Ingredient Diet, Sensitive Digestion, No Corn No Wheat No Soy, Grain-Free
PACKAGE
4.5, 13, 26 lbs
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
JM Smuckers

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Nutrition

Nutrition

The food has high carbs and low protein and fats, making it less nutritionally balanced compared to other dog foods we evaluated. Carbohydrates are cheap so they keep the food’s cost low and they are nutritionally useful to dogs in the right amounts. However, very high amounts of carbs can reduce the much-needed meat-based protein and fat content.

To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 23.33%

Min. Fat 11.11%

Min. Carbs 57.78%

Max. Fiber 5.56%

Max. Ash 7.78%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 21.0%

Min Fat: 10.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 5.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 10.0%

Calories

Calories

350 Calories per Cup

This product has a somewhat low amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Lower calorie foods like this can be for weight loss or less active dogs who require fewer daily calories. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount. It's helpful to know that weight loss foods often have fewer than 340 calories per cup, weight maintenance foods typically range from 340-380 calories, and high-activity dog foods are usually over 400 calories.

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FDA Alert

FDA Alert

Grain-Free Dog Foods

This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.

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89.8%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
91%
38
Total Ingredients
0
Controversial Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes, Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potato Protein, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Dried Potato Products, Salt, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dl-Methionine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Citric Acid (Preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Rosemary Extract

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 0 controversial ingredients, really great!


Top 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.

  • Sweet Potatoes
    Sweet potatoes are a root vegetable that are rich in complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, beta-carotene and other vitamins. They are a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Salmon
    Salmon offers one of the highest Omega-3 contents of any type of fish. Raw meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product's weight. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals in the first five ingredients (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein). Salmon is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Menhaden Fish Meal
    Menhanden (also known as mossbunker and bunker) is a marine fish. Menhanden fish meal is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Fish meals are the result of cooking. Water is removed from the fish meat to create a protein-rich meal powder. Fish meals contain about four times the protein meats do, so generally, they're a good source of nutrients.

  • Potato Protein
    Potato protein is a high-protein extract of the potato plant that's generally a healthy dog food ingredient.

  • Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
    Canola oil is a healthy source of fat and Omega 3 fatty acids that only contains about half the saturated fat found in other vegetable oils used in dog food. We consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient. Mixed-Tocopherols are a natural preservative made from Vitamin E that helps keep food fresh. We consider it a high-quality dog food preservative.

Controversial Ingredients
No controversial ingredients can be found on Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula - that’s really fantastic.


Country of Origin

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula is made in the United States, that’s great as it means strict regulations are in place.


Meat & Fat Quality

The main meats and fats in this dog food are Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt and Salmon Oil. All of them are high-quality choices because they clearly name which species of animal or plant they were sourced from. This is a sign of transparency and quality.


Artificial Preservatives

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula contains zero controversial preservatives. It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.


Artificial Colors

The food also doesn’t list any artificial colors, lots to like here.


Artificial Flavors

No artificial flavors either, that’s great news. This dog food manages to ace all three “artificial ingredients” tests, an excellent performance. Natural Balance made great food choices in this area.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
100%
4
Brand Recalls

Natural Balance has an above-average number of recalls. Let’s take a closer look at recent dog food recalls:

Date:
5/4/2012
Recalled Products:
5 LB Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog. 5 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog. 28 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog. 15 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog. 15 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog. 5 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog. 28 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Bison Dog. 5 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Small Breed Bites. 12.5 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Small Breed Bites. 5 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog UPC# 7-23633-88650-5. 28 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog Large Breed Bites. 5 LB Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Venison Dog. 28 LB Natural Balance Lamb Meal & Brown Rice Dog
Cause:
The recall was initiated because Natural Balance Pet Foods has confirmed that certain dry pet food formulas manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
87,056 units total
Source
Date:
6/18/2010
Recalled Products:
5 lb. and 28 lb. bags of Natural Balance Sweet Potato & Chicken Dry Dog Formula with “Best By” June 17, 2011.
Cause:
Potential for salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
7/21/2007
Recalled Products:
15 oz. cans of the following varieties of Natural Balance Eatables for Dogs: Irish Stew With Beef, Potatoes & Carrots, Chinese Take Out With Sauce With Vegetables and Chicken, HOBO Chili With Chicken & Pasta, Southern Style Dumplings With Chicken & Vegetables.
Cause:
Potential for ofbotulinum (bacteria that causes botulism).
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Date:
March 2007
Recalled Products:
The following Natural Balance foods: Beef, Chicken and Lamb Formula Dog Food, 13 oz. cans, Venison and Brown Rice canned and bagged dog foods, Venison and Brown Rice dog treats, Ocean Fish Formula Cat Food 3 oz. and 6 oz. cans, Venison and Green Pea dry cat food.
Cause:
Melamine.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
N/A
Quantity:
N/A
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
65%

We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.

How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?

Natural Balance did not responded to our email within the first day suggesting that we should call in with these questions.  We then placed a call and received answers to the questions below. Since the call was not recorded, the following responses are paraphrased - they should not be seen as exact statements from the company.

Does Natural Balance have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

Yes, we have a nutritionist is on staff. But can’t share names.  

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

Same staff mentioned above.  

Do you test your products using AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?

Do not. Feel they are invasive. Instead routinely test nutrient content values.

We found a number of companies felt like the AAFCO feeding trials were either invasive, or inhumane.  

What country are your products manufactured?

The majority in USA, with a few exceptions being manufactured in a Thailand  facility with 
LID Mini Rewards in Canada.  

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

No visiting.


What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?

Phone: For competitive reasons cannot disclose their entire QA process but referenced: https://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/buy-with-confidence/safety-testing

It’s unclear how safety can’t be disclosed for competitive reasons.

Does Natural Balance own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?

  • Diamond (Dry foods - Majority)
  • ANI
  • CJ Foods
  • Hampshire Pet
  • Penford
  • Mountain Country
  • Bloomsburg
  • Simmons Pet Food
  • US Pet Nutrition
  • Small in-house Topeka

Do any parts of your product come from China?

No.

Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Sweet Potato & Fish Formula Grain-Free

by Natural Balance
CHECK PRICE NOW
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