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Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

by Nulo
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe is a mid-priced dog food with exceptional quality. This product has no controversial ingredients, including zero artificial preservatives, colors and flavors - that’s fantastic. It has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs and, moreover, excellent meat and fat quality. It’s good to be aware that Nulo has an above-average number of recalls, and the company was relatively transparent when answering our questions. Watchdog Labs highly recommends this product.

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TYPE
Wet Dog Food
PRICE
$$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
Grain-Free, Gluten Free
PACKAGE
13-oz
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
Cavu / Main Post

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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 45.45%

Min. Fat 31.82%

Min. Carbs 13.64%

Max. Fiber 4.55%

Max. Ash 9.09%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 10.0%

Min Fat: 5.5%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 78%

Calories

Calories

443 Calories per Can

This product has an above average amount of calories for wet food. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount.

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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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96.8%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
100%
32
Total Ingredients
0
Controversial Ingredients

Turkey, Salmon Broth, Turkey Liver, Salmon, Chickpeas, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Agar-Agar, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe has a fantastic 0 total controversial ingredients.


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.


  • Turkey
    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). Turkey is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Salmon Broth
    Salmon Broth is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Broth is often used as a healthy natural flavor or instead of water when making dog food. It makes dogs more likely to eat the food and adds moisture but doesn't provide a lot of nutritional value.
  • Turkey Liver
    Turkey liver is an organ that contains healthy nutrients like calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. Specifically, it's rich in iron, copper, vitamin A and B. We consider it 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.

  • Chickpeas
    Chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) are a legume that provides nutrients such as protein, fiber, folate, iron and phosphorus. They are generally a healthy dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

This product doesn’t contain any controversial ingredients.Perfect!


Country of Origin

Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food is made in the USA - excellent!


Meat & Fat Quality

This food contains Turkey, Turkey Liver, and  Salmon as the main meats. This is great, because all three ingredients clearly identify which animal they come from. The fats in the product come from meat and plant ingredients, because no added oil is listed.


Artificial Preservatives

This product contains no controversial preservatives. By the way, 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. Very nice!


Artificial Flavors

Last but not least, Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe stands out by also skipping any artificial flavors. Excellent.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
100%
0
Brand Recalls

Nulo has no recalls in its recent company history.

Transparency

Transparency

Score
68%

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?

Nulo was one of the fastest companies to respond. They replied to the first email within 24 hours and the follow-up emails just as quickly.  

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

We contract with an independent animal nutrition scientist (Ph.D.) who has formulated commercial dog and cat foods for over 30 years, and who regularly collaborates with members of industry regulatory agencies and the veterinary community. Questions from pet owners and veterinarians are directly addressed through our in-house Customer Care Manager, who is also credentialed in animal nutrition sciences.


(Follow up email response)
We are unable to provide the name of our formulator, as we have contracted with this person to not release their name.

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

See previous email.


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

We do not do any testing on laboratory or caged dogs or cats, nor do we operate a kennel facility. The only ‘tests’ that we conduct on our recipes are feeding trials, where dogs/cats are fed our finished and pre-tested (for safety and micro-nutrient composition) product for a period of three to four days. These studies provide information about a food’s acceptability to dogs and cats over time, and their relative palatability.  They are only performed when a new product is being brought to market, not ongoing.


What we want to find out is how they like the food and how they like the food relative to other super-premium foods in our own category. We also make detailed observations during this period regarding stool quality and consistency, which are important indicators of how well a pet is responding to the product.  These observations are conducted in kennels with a loving, safe, playful, and clean environment and a dedicated veterinary staff that is extremely qualified and capable. Animals are not subjected to cages, surgery, fasting, blood chemistry, feeding tubes, or any other egregious procedures.  Their environment includes oversized indoor and outdoor runs with large outside play yards, substantial ventilation systems for climate control, home-like environment settings with social rooms, frequent daily exercise with animal care technicians, and routine top-notch veterinary care. We are animal lovers at our core and take great care to provide safe, super-premium, palatable food products without invasive testing of any kind.


(Follow up email response)

With regards to our feeding trials, I apologize for any confusion – these are palatability trials, rather than AAFCO feeding trials. Again, we are committed to providing your pets with the highest quality and safest nutrition without any invasive or unnecessary tests.

Nulo responded with a detailed answer that also was familiar to other companies who do not feel like AAFCO tests go far enough, and are in some ways not humane.

What country are your products manufactured?

Our dry, canned, freeze-dried, and treat recipes are manufactured in the United States at state-of-the-art facilities that specialize in producing premium pet foods and treats. The facilities are annually inspected by the third-party organizations, including the American Institute of Baking (AIB) and BRC Global Standard For Food Safety, and have consistently received the highest quality and safety ratings.


With regards to our pouch recipes, these are manufactured in Thailand at a state-of-the-art facility that is also one of the world’s leading producers of canned tuna for humans. Our producer has an uncompromising commitment to product quality and sustainable sourcing, and follows the highest levels of internationally recognized standards for food safety and processing. As with all of our products, Nulo’s pouches must meet strict standards for product safety and quality before they are shipped to stores, including nutrient, microbiological, and packaging integrity analysis to ensure all specifications are being met.

Nulo provided transparent and clear answers to most of the questions, this is a good example.  

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

I have not mentioned the specific names of our partners only because they have asked us (contracted with us, actually) to limit dissemination of this information within trade only as they are not equipped to address questions directly from our customers. If you would like to give me a call at my number below, I would be happy to speak with you regarding any additional questions you have pertaining to our manufacturing partners. Your pets, as well as our own pets, are our top priority and we believe they deserve only the best.

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

Our manufacturing partners utilize HACCP-based quality and safety programs to ensure that our products are safe from beginning to end. One of these checkpoints includes cleaning the equipment between production runs to mitigate the risk of any cross contamination between batches. All incoming ingredients come with a COA (Certificate of Analysis) and must meet our strict specifications. Finished products must also pass analytical and microbiological safety tests before they are distributed.

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

No.

As mentioned above, Nulo states they are under contract to not disclose this information.  

Do any parts of your product come from China?

For our dry, canned, freeze-dried, and treat recipes, our meat, poultry, and fish are sourced from North America, with the exception of some of our duck (France), lamb (Australia & New Zealand), and wild-caught fish (regions can vary based on the migratory path of the wild population). The ingredients in our pouch recipes are sourced locally from Thailand, with the exception of Beef (Australia and New Zealand) and our wild-caught fish (regions include the Gulf of Thailand, Western Pacific and Indian oceans). Our fruits, vegetables, vitamins, and minerals are sourced in North America as well as regions throughout the world, but are always traced and required to meet strict safety and quality standards.


Nulo has always had a strict sourcing requirement for non-Chinese ingredients since our products were first developed. Today, none of Nulo’s ingredients are sourced from China, with the exception of a few vitamin supplements that have been impacted by very recent catastrophic events in the vitamin industry, a situation that has affected all pet food companies using vitamin supplements in their foods for dogs and cats. The vast majority of Nulo’s products in the market today have been made with exclusively non-Chinese vitamins, however we can no longer guarantee that every product will continue to be free of any vitamins sourced from China in the future. Our suppliers have reassured us that this is a temporary constraint in the supply chain, and Nulo will revert to sourcing exclusively non-Chinese vitamins at the first opportunity available.

Nulo Freestyle Turkey, Salmon & Chickpeas Recipe Grain-Free Canned Dog Food

by Nulo
CHECK PRICE NOW
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