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

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

by Taste of the Wild
Review Product PhotoReview Product Photo
Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free is a low-priced dog food with great quality. This product has no controversial ingredients, including zero artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. However, it has a high amount of carbs, compared to its protein and fat, but the meat and fat quality in the food is excellent. Taste of the Wild has a below-average number of dog food recalls and was exceptionally open and transparent when answering our questions. Watchdog Labs recommends this product.

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Dry Dog Food
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
5, 15, 30 lbs
United States
Schell & Kampeter Inc.

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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

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 27.78%

Min. Fat 16.67%

Min. Carbs 47.78%

Max. Fiber 5.56%

Max. Ash 7.78%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 25.0%

Min Fat: 15.0%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 5.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 10.0%



338 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

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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Total Ingredients
Controversial Ingredients

Lamb, Lamb Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Lentils, Peas, Pea Flour, Canola Oil, Potatoes, Dried Yeast, Roasted Lamb, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil (A Source Of Dha), Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried BiFidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, RiboFlavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 0 controversial ingredients. That’s what you want to see in a food.

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.

  • 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).
  • Lamb Meal
    Lamb is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. 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.
  • 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.
  • Egg Product
    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.
  • Lentils
    Lentils are a legume that provide carbs, fiber, protein and numerous nutrients like folate, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron and zinc. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned that there is a potential link between lentils and canine heart disease. It is still too early to draw conclusions so we cannot yet say if potatoes are a generally high-quality dog food ingredient or should be avoided.

Controversial Ingredients

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain has no controversial ingredients.

Country of Origin

This dog food is produced in the United States, ensuring high standards for food safety and overall quality. In short, this is a very good thing. We generally recommend dog foods made in the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Europe for that reason.

Meat & Fat Quality

Taking a closer look at the meats and added fats in this dog food, we see Lamb, Lamb Meal, Canola Oil, Roasted Lamb, and Salmon Oil (A Source Of Dha). All of them have one great thing in common, they show is very transparently what animal and plant they are made from. That’s excellent!

Artificial Preservatives

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain contains 0 controversial artificial 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

No artificial colors, either. Absolutely excellent!

Artificial Flavors

Last but not least, this product manages to shine by also not using any artificial flavors. No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors is exactly what you want to look for in dog food. Well done!



Brand Recalls

Taste of the Wild has a below-average number of food recalls.

Recalled Products:
Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine with Roasted Fowl, Net Wt. 30 lbs, Taste of the Wild Pet Food, Rt B, Meta, Missouri 65058. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy with Roasted Venison & Bison, Net Wt. 30 lbs, Taste of the Wild Pet Food, Rt B, Meta, Missouri 65058. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine with Roasted Bison & Roasted Venison, Net Wt. 30 lbs, Taste of the Wild Pet Food, Rt B, Meta, Missouri 65058. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine with Smoked Salmon, Net Wt. 30 lbs, Taste of the Wild Pet Food, Rt B, Meta, Missouri 65058. Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Canine with Roasted Lamb, Net Wt. 30 lbs, Taste of the Wild Pet Food, Rt B, Meta, Missouri 65058. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy with Smoked Salmon, Net Wt. 15 lbs, Taste of the Wild Pet Food, Rt B, Meta, Missouri 65058.
Product was found to be contaminated with Salmonella.
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Approx. 10,275,000 lbs total (for all Taste of the Wild brand products).



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?

Taste of the Wild was exceptionally responsive to our first email. They also responded quickly to the follow-up email sent to clarify a few of their answers. They received a perfect transparency score. Answers to the questions are below.  

Does Taste of the Wild have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?

We use a team approach for veterinary and pet nutrition. The team is comprised of staff members as well as outside consultants. Dr. Alexia Heldman is the staff veterinarian while Dr. Melissa Brookshire and her veterinary team provide regular consultation. In addition, Dr. George Fahey, a prominent nutritionist, provides nutritional consultation on an ongoing basis. Mark Brinkmann has been formulating recipes for Diamond Pet Foods since 1995, and trained under Mark Morris, the founder of Hill's Science Diet.

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

See previous answer.  

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

We utilize a 3rd party, certified laboratory to make sure our foods are well accepted by the pet, and nutritionally adequate.  These tests are non-invasive. The work is conducted by registered technicians and supervised by licensed veterinarians.  Finding the right balance is the key, just as it is with many decisions we all face.  We hold ourselves accountable to find the proper balance between minimal animal testing, and food safety assurance. All of our diets are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO for either all life stages or maintenance.  This statement is printed on each and every bag.

(Follow up email response)
With regard to the AAFCO 6-month feeding trials, we do use them from time to time, but only on a limited basis. We believe that these tests can be overstated in their value. The AAFCO test protocol only requires 8 dogs be in the study, and most research facilities use only beagles. In our view, that protocol by itself does not constitute a robust assurance of nutritional adequacy. In fact, it is possible to pass an AAFCO feeding trial with nutrient values that fall below the AAFCO Nutrient Profile requirements.

We believe strongly in the value of the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles. These profiles were  developed by some of the best pet nutritionists and veterinarians in the world and were updated in 2016 to reflect new nutritional information available. These profiles are comprehensive lists of required nutritional values, the span of which includes Amino Acids, Vitamins, Minerals, and Fatty Acids. Validating our adherence to these requirements is the path we use most often to ensure nutritional adequacy. It is our view that meeting and exceeding these requirements assures that our foods are nutritionally adequate for the pets that we are feeding.

This is a wonderfully transparent answer. They articulated a belief we found was shared by other manufacturers.

What country are your products manufactured?

Taste of the Wild, a Diamond Pet Foods brand, is manufactured here in the U.S. in facilities wholly owned by Diamond. We are committed to product safety and quality, and adhere to stringent food safety protocols. We constantly monitor and test our raw materials, production environment, processes and finished products. We've developed a comprehensive food safety system as outlined below.

Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?

Food safety is our #1 priority and it shows in the amount of new business we get from word of mouth—friends and neighbors talking to one another, recommending our foods. Please visit our corporate website,  http://diamondpetcompany.com/#facilities/1 for a virtual tour of our facilities to get an inside look at what it takes to create high quality pet food.

(Follow up email response)
Due to safety regulations and to ensure that our quality control protocols are followed, tours of our facility are limited to the virtual tour on our website.

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

Here are a few of the ways we ensure quality:

          * On-Site Product Testing

          * Mycotoxin Control

          * Microbial Testing

          * Water Purification

          * Air Quality Control

          * Test and Hold Program

Does Taste of the Wild own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?

Taste of the Wild, a Diamond Pet Foods brand, is manufactured here in the U.S. in facilities wholly owned by Diamond.

Do any parts of your product come from China?

There are ingredients that are critical to our formulations (i.e. folic acid and taurine) that can only be sourced out of China.  Our choice is to either include these ingredients or manufacture our foods without them, which would not be in the best interest of your pet, in our view.

Some pet food companies are making “China-Free” claims despite the facts I’ve outlined above.  They accomplish this by utilizing a loophole in European law.  European laws allow for ingredients purchased outside their continent, then reprocessed in Europe, to be labeled with European origin.  We could likewise hide behind that loophole in the law, and tell you what you want to hear, but choose not to for obvious reasons.  I’d rather you not feed our foods than to tell you they are China-free, when they are not.

This is another example of Taste of the Wild giving much more complete answers, that include belief statements which we feel is a transparent way of communicating to consumers.  While the content or claims could be contested, it is very transparent.

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

by Taste of the Wild
Other Products From This Brand

Other Food From This Brand

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Educational Resources




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