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Dog Food Ratings

Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food

by Rachael Ray Nutrish
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

lower-end quality. This product has 3 controversial ingredients but does not use any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. It has a high amount of carbs, compared to its protein and fat, but the quality of the meat and fat is excellent. Rachael Ray Nutrish has a below-average number of recalls and was not very transparent when answering our questions.

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TYPE
Dry Dog Food
PRICE
$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
-
PACKAGE
6, 14, 28, 40 lbs
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
JM Smuckers

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Nutrition

Nutrition

This food has a fair amount of protein fat but is high in carbs, which is lowering the fat content slightly and making it less nutritionally balanced compared to other dog foods we evaluated. Carbohydrates are cheap so they keep the food’s cost low. They are nutritionally useful to dogs in the right amounts, however, 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 28.89%

Min. Fat 15.56%

Min. Carbs 47.78%

Max. Fiber 4.44%

Max. Ash 7.78%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein 26.0%

Min. Fat 14.0%

Min. Carbs N/A

Max. Fiber 4.0%

Max. Ash N/A

Max. Moisture 10.0%

Calories

Calories

326 Calories per Cup

This product has a relatively low amount of calories. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Low-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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58.9%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
54%
37
Total Ingredients
3
Controversial Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Dried Peas, Soybean Meal, Whole Ground Corn, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Starch, Corn Gluten Meal, Brown Rice, Dicalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Dried Carrots, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Beet Powder (Color), Iron Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Niacin, Copper sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 3 total controversial ingredients and 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.

  • Chicken
    Chicken is a nutritious meat that provides protein, fat and other nutrients to dogs. 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 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). However, chicken is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Meal
    Meat meals are the result of cooking. Water is removed from meats to create a protein-rich meal powder. Meat meals contain about four times the protein meats do, so generally, they're a good source of nutrients. Chicken meal is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Dried Peas
    Peas are a good source of carbs, fiber and protein. Peas are starchy but high in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. We consider this a healthy dog food ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that there is a potential link between peas and canine heart disease. It is still too early to draw conclusions so we cannot yet say if peas are a generally high-quality dog food ingredient or should be avoided.
  • Soybean Meal
    Soybean meal is ground and dried soybeans. While soy provides protein, its nutritional quality (the bioavailability of amino acids) is lower than that of meats. For this reason, we do not consider soybean meal a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Whole Ground Corn
    Corn (also known as maize) is a cereal grain that provides carbs, protein, fat, vitamin B and other nutrients. Because corn in dog food is an inexpensive (and often feed-grade quality) ingredient, we do not consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Soybean Meal
  2. Soybean meal is ground and dried soybeans. 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 would be more nutritious.
  1. Whole Ground Corn
  2. Corn is a lower cost ingredient that does provide energy, but dogs can be sensitive to it. As a kernel it is not digestible, so it must be processed, but that processing leads to a higher glycemic index. Corn is not generally considered a controversial ingredient, but is controversial if 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 would be more nutritious.
  1. Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K)
  2. A synthetic version of Vitamin K (known as Menadione) which is added due to the lack or loss of Vitamin K in the food processing. Menadione supplements are banned by the FDA because of their potential toxicity in human use and can be found as 10+ different names on a label. While low amounts have been found to be safe, the consistent repetitive nature of a dogs diet results in the long-term exposure that should be considered.


Country of Origin

Rachael Ray Nutrish is made in the USA. This is very good, because of the high quality standards for dog food manufacturing in the United States.


Meat & Fat Quality

This food shows Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Chicken Fat as the major meats and added fats on the ingredients list. All three of them are very transparent in listing which animals they come from. This is exactly what you want to find out  from a dog food label, so that’s excellent.


Artificial Preservatives

This product contains no controversial artificial preservatives. Here’s what you should know: 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 are used, either, very good.


Artificial Flavors

Last but not least, this dog food doesn’t include artificial flavors. All three “artificial” ingredients get a checkmark here - well done.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
100%
0
Brand Recalls

Rachael Ray Nutrish has a below-average number of dog food recalls.

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?

Rachael Ray Nutrish 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 Rachael Ray Nutrish have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

Gravy Train™ [Rachael Ray Nutrish] 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™ [Rachael Ray Nutrish] 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 Rachael Ray Nutrish 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.

Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Chicken & Veggies Recipe Dry Dog Food

by Rachael Ray Nutrish
CHECK PRICE NOW
Other Products From This Brand

Other Food From This Brand

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