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Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health is a low-priced dog food with great quality. This product has no controversial ingredients, including zero artificial preservatives, colors and flavors - that’s fantastic. However, It has a high amount of carbs, compared to its protein and fat content, but uses excellent quality meat and fat. Natural Balance has an above-average number of recalls but the company was relatively transparent when answering our questions. Watchdog Labs recommends this product.Read the Full Review Below
The food has high carbs and somewhat low protein and fat, 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
Min. Protein 25.56%
Min. Fat 14.44%
Min. Carbs 52.22%
Max. Fiber 5.56%
Max. Ash 7.78%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 23.0%
Min Fat: 13.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 3.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 10%
410 Calories per Cup
This product has a relatively high amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. If your dog has fair to low activity levels, you may want to feed less than the labels recommend amount, since high-calorie foods like this are often feed to more active dogs who require a higher amount of daily calories. 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.
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.Learn More
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Pea Protein, Carrots, Duck Meal, Natural Flavor, Dried Tomato Pomace, Menhaden Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) , Oat Hulls, Flaxseed, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Taurine, 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), L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), L-Tryptophan, Dried Kelp, Dried Spinach, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Cranberries, Blueberries, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), L-Carnitine, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 0 controversial ingredients, absolutely excellent!
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.
As mentioned above, Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health doesn’t have any controversial ingredients, that’s really great.
Country of Origin
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health is made in the USA, excellent.
Meat & Fat Quality
The meats and added oils in this food are clearly named, identifying which animals they came from. That’s excellent and something to always look for when buying dog food. Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Duck Meal, and Menhaden Oil are the ingredients we’re talking about here.
This product contains 0 controversial preservatives, that’s outstanding and a great sign of quality. 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.
Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body also doesn’t have any artificial colors, great.
No artificial flavors either, that’s great news. This dog food manages to ace all three “artificial ingredients” tests, an excellent performance. We love it.
Natural Balance has an above-average number of recalls.
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.
Many companies choose to not share the names of the specific professionals who work on their products. We would highly prefer to know the people behind the products.
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?
Majority in USA, with a few exception being manufactured in a Thailand facility with LID Mini Rewards in Canada.
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
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?
Do any parts of your product come from China?
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.