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Nature's Recipe Easy-To-Digest Lamb, Rice & Barley Recipe Cuts in Gravy Stew

by Nature's Recipe
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Nature's Recipe Easy-To-Digest Lamb, Rice & Barley Recipe is a low-priced dog food with lower quality. This product has 3 controversial ingredients but no artificial preservatives, colors and flavors. The food has relatively well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs with excellent meat and fat quality. Nature's Recipe has a below-average number of recalls but was not very transparent when answering our questions.

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TYPE
Wet Dog Food
PRICE
$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
Sensitive Digestion
PACKAGE
13.2 oz
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
JM Smuckers

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Nutrition

Nutrition

This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.

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 36.36%

Min. Fat 22.73%

Min. Carbs 31.82%

Max. Fiber 4.55%

Max. Ash 9.09%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 8.0%

Min Fat: 5.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 78.0%

Calories

Calories

374 Calories per Cup

This product has an average amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Average calorie foods like this are typically best for fairly active dogs who need a moderate amount of 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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58.9%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
58%
42
Total Ingredients
3
Controversial Ingredients

Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb, Soy Protein Concentrate, Whole Egg Product, Brown Rice, Peas, Ground Whole Barley, Carrots, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Rice, Brewers Yeast, Salt, Guar Gum, Vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Malted Barley Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Carrageenan, Rosemary Extract.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 3 controversial ingredients. 2 of them are found in the first five ingredients. This is concerning because the first 5 ingredients make up most of the product.


Top 5 Ingredients

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


  • Water Sufficient for Processing
    This is just another name for water, which doesn't add nutrients to the food but is routinely used in dog food manufacturing (especially for canned foods). It's a standard dog food ingredient.
  • Lamb
    Lamb is generally a healthy dog food ingredient that adds protein, fat and other healthy nutrients to the dog food. 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).
  • Soy Protein Concentrate
    Soy protein concentrate is what's left over of the soybean after removing most of the carbs. While it's high in protein, the nutritional quality (the bioavailability of amino acids) of soy protein concentrate is lower than that of meats. For this reason, we do not consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Whole Egg Product
    Whole Egg Product are shell-free eggs that have had their moisture removed. While it provides nutrients like protein, it can be made from food-industry waste products such as eggs that failed to hatch. In other words, quality can vary. Because there are better protein sources (like whole eggs or meat) we do not consider this a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Brown Rice
    Brown rice is whole-grain rice with the inedible outer hull removed. It provides calories, complex carbohydrates and a few other nutrients to dogs. We generally consider it a quality dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Soy Protein Concentrate
  2. Soy Protein Concentrate is not simply good or bad. It's a lower cost ingredient that is one of the most complete vegetable-sourced proteins, but some dogs can have a sensitivity to it. Soy is not generally considered a controversial ingredient, but is controversial when it is used in the top five ingredients (which make up about 80% of the food's weight) where a named meat or lean protein could be more nutritious.
  1. Brewer’s Rice
  2. Brewer's Rice is basically white rice that has been broken into smaller pieces. It's a waste product of the milling process and considered a low quality ingredient because it's missing many of the nutrients contained in whole ground rice and brown rice.
  1. Carrageenan
  2. Carrageenan is derived from red algae or seaweed and is used as a gelling or thickening ingredient to bind food together. Evidence has been found that it is potentially inflammatory and toxic to the digestive tract, and may be responsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and colon cancer.


Country of Origin

Nature's Recipe is USA-made. We like dog foods made in the United States, Canada and Europe because of those regions’ high dog food safety regulations.


Meat & Fat Quality

Lamb and Canola Oil provide meat and added oil in this food. Both show their animal and plant origin clearly, that’s a good thing.


Artificial Preservatives

This product contains 0 controversial artificial preservatives - really great! Here’s a quick primer on this topic: 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

No artificial colors, either. Excellent!


Artificial Flavors

Last but not least, we didn’t find artificial flavors in this dog food. No controversial artificial preservatives, colors or flavors - this product aced all three.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
80%
1
Brand Recalls

Compared to other brands we reviewed, Nature's Recipe has fewer than average dog food recalls.

Date:
10/12/2012
Recalled Products:
Nature's Recipe, Oven Baked Biscuits with Real Chicken, Made with sweet potatoes, oats, flaxseed., 19 ounces; UPC: 30521 51549
Cause:
Product may be contaminated with Salmonella.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
4282 cases ( 6 unit/ case)
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
34%

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?

Nature’s Recipe  is part of the Big Heart Brand, which is owned by JM Smucker. They responded to the first email after 4 days, but did not respond to the follow-up message addressing some of the missed questions. This response was however provided:


Please be aware that Rachael Ray Nutrish is owned by JM Smucker Company.  This is the same company for the Big Heart Brand.  Please refer to the responses received previously for Big Heart Brand.  Thank you for your interest in our products!


This suggests that all brands should receive the same answers to the following questions. So for the following brands you will find the same responses: Gravy Train, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Nature’s Recipe, and Rachael Ray Nutrish.

Does Nature’s Recipe have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

Gravy Train™ [Nature’s Recipe] products are manufactured by The J.M. Smucker Company, where a veterinary nutritionist is on staff.

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

At The J.M. Smucker Company, quality products begin with quality ingredients. A dedicated team formulates Gravy Train™ [Nature’s Recipe] products to ensure they are nutritionally complete and balanced. Some teams involved include Research and Development, Quality Assurance and Marketing. Our products are produced to be nutritionally complete and balanced, and products are labeled in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, our team works with veterinarians to provide the information they need to make the right dietary choice for the animal in their care..


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

No response was provided.

What country are your products manufactured?

No response was provided.

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

At this time, we do not offer tours of our facilities to the public.

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

No response was provided.

Does Nature’s Recipe own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?

No response was provided.

Do any parts of your product come from China?

We source ingredients from various places. Ingredients are sourced from North America but will also source internationally if the situation demands it, due to the inconsistent availability of ingredients. Regardless of location, all ingredients are inspected to ensure they meet our high-quality standards.


This does not answer the actual question.

Nature's Recipe Easy-To-Digest Lamb, Rice & Barley Recipe Cuts in Gravy Stew

by Nature's Recipe
CHECK PRICE NOW
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