If you were to ask me who is most qualified to determine which is the best dog food for your canine friend, I’d begin by telling you who it’s not – it’s not dog food manufacturers, and it’s not your pet supply store, and it’s not even your veterinarian.
So who is the right person to decide on the best food for your dog? It’s you!
You know your dog in a way that nobody else does. You know what makes him happy, what stresses him, which toys he likes best, and who his favorite people are. You also know when a certain dog food is working for him and when it’s not. Sometimes it can take a few tries to find exactly the right formula, but once you do, it’s best to stick with it.
Regular readers know that I’ve raised many dogs to ripe old ages using nothing more than store brand dog food. I don’t feed table scraps, and I don’t give my dogs much in the way of human food – some human foods can actually be very harmful to dogs, which is something that I talked about in Your Dog is Not a Human, So Don’t Feed Him Like One! My point here is, full disclosure, that I’m not one to recommend expensive dog foods, because my dogs have never needed them.
I do know, though, that some dogs have dietary issues and may need a diet that’s a little more pricy than what I give Janice and Leroy. With that in mind, I’m going to talk about Nutro dog food in this post – or rather, I’m going to let dog owners talk about Nutro dog food, since I do consider dog owners to be the foremost authority on what is good for their dogs. Price-wise, Nutro is mid-range, costing anywhere from $1.23 to $1.50 per pound.
A Note on Content
I’ve taken the following Nutro dog food reviews from the Consumer Affairs web site, which has literally thousands of reviews on just this one dog food. And if you’re wondering, yes, I did actually read every single one – I do it for you and your dog! I’ve taken what I consider to be the best out of the 5, 3 and 1 star ratings. I think that’s a good enough representation of what people think without having to look at the 4s and the 2s. I’ve chosen 12 reviews from each star level.
I’ve also paraphrased and/or summarized the reviews in most instances, for the sake of clarity and sometimes brevity. Occasionally, though, I have included a quote. In some instances, I’ll interject my own 2 cents worth on the reviews, simply because I am opinionated and won’t be able to resist!
I hope you find these Nutro dog food reviews helpful and interesting. Here we go!
1. J from Santa Fe, New Mexico likes Nutro Ultra Senior. Her dogs have had issues with other dogs, including loose stools, vomiting and even pancreatitis. They do just fine on Nutro dog food. J attributes this to the formula’s low fat content.
2. Robin from Rochester Hills, Michigan, has a Japanese Spaniel and an American Cocker Spaniel. She feeds them Nutro Wholesome Essentials. She says that her dogs love it, and they have no digestive issues at all.
3. Sandra from Waterbury, Connecticut feeds her elderly dog Nutro Weight Management formula. Her (formerly) chunky monkey loves the blend of real chicken and other wholesome ingredients. Sandra tried a number of different brands before settling on Nutro dog food, and found that there were adverse side effects. With Nutro, though, Sandra reports that all is as it should be.
4. Debra from Panama City, Florida, has raised large, healthy dogs on various Nutro dog food products. For most large breeds, a lifespan of 9 or 10 years is typical, but Debra’s have all lived to be 14 or 15! She attributes their gorgeous coats and clear eyes to Nutro’s Lamb with Rice formula.
5. Susan from Bloomington, Illinois has been feeding Nutro dog food to her best buddies for 17 years. She appreciates the fact that she can always find it in stores, and it’s fairly price. She says “No need to switch.”
6. Rebecca from Dunn, North Carolina appreciates the fact that Nutro has representatives at her PetSmart location every weekend. Rebecca’s dog is diabetic, and she found the Nutro reps to be a great source of information.
7. Addie from Hermet, California has a Belgian Shepherd and a Toy Poodle. Both suffered from allergies, but when she switched them to Nutro Max Grain Free dog food, the allergies disappeared and both dogs are at a healthy weight. Addie says that she would “recommend the grain free food to any and all.”
8. Although this blog is devoted to dogs, since we’ve just touched on allergies, I’d like to throw something in for the cat people out there. Debra from Sharon, South Carolina, switched her cats over to Nutro Grain Free Salmon formula cat food. Her cat had allergies so bad that she had actually chewed off a lot of her fur, and was vomiting constantly. After switching to Nutro, in just one day, the cat stopped gnawing at her fur. A month later, her fur is shiny and thick, and she’s put on some much-needed weight. Debra says, “Wish I had changed sooner.”
9. Frank from Easton, Pennsylvania has a 3-year-old rescue dog, and since Frank adopted him, he’s been on Nutro puppy and dog food from the beginning. Frank says his dog “loves this food … is thriving and happy.”
10. Bell from Cowan, West Virginia points out that “if they won’t eat it, it does not matter how good it is for them.” Both her dogs love the taste of Nutro dog food products, so they have the benefit of great taste and good nutrition.
11. Marji from Brooklyn, New York, bought Nutro Lite dog food at her veterinarian’s clinic, but you can also find it in most pet supply stores. Marji says that this dog food has helped her dog to lose weight, and then maintain the weight loss. Her dog likes the taste, too.
12. Paige from Lynchburg, Ohio is a huge fan of Nutro dog food! She says “I love that I can buy almost every variety in this dog food so my favorite pups have the nutrition they need. My family has used this brand of dog food for three generations so I know it can be trusted. And I always recommend this dog food to anyone that asks.”
3 Star Reviews
1. John from Barboursville, Virginia doesn’t really have anything bad to say about Nutro dog food, but says that he dislikes the statement “Made with world class ingredients.” He doesn’t know what that’s supposed to mean, and says that it “could mean what you want it to. Personally, I think he’s being a bit nit-picky. It’s marketing-speak, okay, John?
2. Nancy from Milwaukee, Wisconsin also has a problem with the labelling. She is “uncomfortable with the miscnon nutritive ingredients.”
3. Mae from Valley Head, Alabama, also reads the label, but likes Nutro dog food because meat is the primary ingredient. She considers it a good value, but doesn’t like the fact that not many pet food stores in her area stock Nutro.
4. Tom from Dublin, Ohio, likes the fact that Nutro High Protein Grain Free dog food has lots of fiber. He says that his dog likes it, and he’s glad that he doesn’t have to go looking for other brands.
5. Mary from Houston, Texas likes Nutro’s variety, but she thinks that even more variety would be a good thing. She also reports that the Nutro dog food she fed didn’t really do too much to meet her expectations that her overweight dog would slim down.
6. Heather from Gaston, South Carolina says that her Yorkie was suffering from loss of appetite, and the clerk at her pet store recommended Nutrodog food for her picky eater. Heather reports that it helped somewhat, but she didn’t like having to drive a long distance to get the dog food.
7. Dave from Greencastle, Indiana, also found availability to be a bit of a problem. He also thought that Nutro dog food was a bit pricy, but his dogs liked it.
8. Estella from San Antonio, Texas, switched to Nutro from Blue Buffalo after finding that Blue Buffalo was getting “a bit pricy.” She found Nutro to be comparable, and really liked the organic ingredients. Her only complaint was that she’d like to see Nutro in bigger bags, but “It is a great bargain at the end of the day, so I am not complaining.”
9. Sue from San Antonio, Florida, agrees with Estella, saying “…The bag size is inconvenient. I have three dogs, all between 60 and 110 pounds and for multiple dog owners a larger size bag would be better. Also, the bite size of the product could be larger. But it has helped my dog’s skin and coat. It has met my expectations for the allergy conditions that exist at the moment.”
10. Julie from Show Low, Arizona, says “One of my dogs is sensitive to food ingredients, and Nutro does not give her problems … I think Nutro is well-balanced and is at a fair price. However, I would like more options on the grains and proteins — venison, duck, etc. Raise the fat content just a little. More large dog specific brands, and up the joint care and omega oil contents.”
11. Alex from Oakland California says that he tried Nutro dog food because his veterinarian recommended it. He says “I like the product presentation. I also like the reputation and feel good about how long they’ve been in business. I also like that the people recommending the food have qualifications. But I don’t like the price and ease of access. I was around people with more disposable income at the time. I’m usually more frugal. But I want the best for my pet. I feel good about feeding the food to my dog.”
12. Anjela from Gilbert, Arizona says that her dog didn’t much care for the taste of Nutro Wild Frontier dog food. But then, by her own admission, her dog is picky. And Anjela does like the fact that Nutro dog food contains no chemicals or other undesirable additives.
1 Star Reviews
1. Heather from Herrin, Illinois has a horror story. She says that she gave her dog Nutro “Petite Eats” and two days later, the dog began to vomit yellow bile and produce a bloody stool. To put this in context, Heather’s dog also ate part of a house plant (variety unknown), and Heather’s veterinarian did not state specifically what was the cause of the vomiting and blood in the stool.
2. Joy from Morgan City, Louisiana, says that she would have given Nutro dog food a 5 star rating if not for the fact that Nutro “messed up the formulas.” Her Rottweiler and her Chihuahua both did very well on Nutro dog food until they switched to the “same for all ages” formula. Her Rottie doesn’t like it, and her Chihuahua died after three months on the formula. I’d suggest that if her Chi had been eating it for three months, the death likely had little or nothing to do with the food, and that if it did, a 5 star rating except for that would be way too high.
3. Bobbisue from Coal Town, Pennsylvania, has always used Nutro Lamb and Rice dog food, but in November of 2017, both of her dogs got sick, vomiting and passing loose stools. Her veterinarian has been unable to determine the cause of the illness, but Bobbisue has stopped using Nutro, just in case.
4. Lisa from San Jose, California, has two brussels Griffons who suffered anal gland impactions due to food allergies. They had been on Nutro dog food since they were puppies. I’m not sure that it’s fair to blame a dog food company for an allergy, but I’m glad to report that Lisa has changed brands. It doesn’t matter how good a dog food is for most dogs, if your dog has developed an allergy to a particular brand, then it’s not the right food for your dog.
5. Lea from Millis, Massachusetts, operates a breeding kennel. She had always used Nutro, but found that her puppies were beginning to vomit. Unsure as to whether the problem was with the food, she contacted Nutro, and found their customer service to be “awful, and they didn’t care that our dogs were getting sick.” So the problem here might not be with the food, but with the company. Either way, it’s unfortunate.
6. Laur from Philadelphia, PA really doesn’t like Nutro dog food. She says [caps hers, not mine] “This is THE WORST food I have ever in my life given my 65 pound pit … HOW IS THIS STILL ON THE MARKET??? These reviews have to be paid and fake … How in the world does this product have 4.5 stars when there are so many negative reviews? ‘CAUSE THEY’RE FAKE! My poor dog is in so much pain that I keep having to calm her down so ** YOU NUTRO!” Well, Nutro DOES [caps mine, not hers] have a 4.5 rating overall with Consumer Affairs. And Laur doesn’t say what it is she doesn’t like about Nutro dog food. So take this one for what it’s worth.
7. Chrissean from Antioch, California, doesn’t think much of Nutro Max Chicken and Rice. She says that it’s the only dog food she’s ever fed her Bull Mastiff, who ultimately died of kidney failure despite always appearing to be healthy. She blames her dog’s death on the food, after having “found so much stuff and people who said their dogs experienced kidney failure and the brand of dog food they were eating.” It’s worth noting, though, that Chrissean does not say how old her dog was, and also that the Bull Mastiff is a breed known to be prone to kidney failure.
8. Derrick from Hartford, Michigan says that he found a dead rat in a bag of Nutro dog food. He says that he’s never had a rodent problem, and that there were no tiny openings in his house through which a rodent could gain entry. He’s used Nutro for 6 years and never had a problem before. He wasn’t happy with customer service – he says they didn’t seem to care about what happened, and the most they would do was offer him a refund. I’m not saying that Derrick is wrong, but I live in a rural area and I know from personal experience that a rodent can get through a hole small enough to just barely accommodate your pinky finger. The customer service thing is problematic, though.
9. Darrell from Los Angeles, California, likes the size of the pieces in Nutro Wild Frontier, but he finds it too dry. He’d like to see it made moister, and with more real vegetables. His dog didn’t care for the taste, either.
10. Sue from Kittaning, Pennsylvania, only fed her dog Nutro because her local PetSmart was offering a free bag. She figures she got what she paid for, and then paid for what she got. Her dog ended up with an inflammation in the large intestine, and had to be put on a special diet. It’s hard to know if the Nutro dog food plus the inflamed intestine adds up to cause and effect, but Sue thinks it does and is not overly happy with Nutro.
11. Andrea from Voctoria, California, says that her 8-month poodle mix disliked Nutro dog food so much that she stopped eating and stepped up her activity when it came to begging for table scraps. Andrea claims that her dog only ate Nutro when it became apparent that nothing else was on offer. Andrea mixed the Nutro with another brand, and her dog picked out all the Nutro, tossed it aside, and ate the other dog food.
12. Laura from Lorraine, Ohio, acknowledges that Nutro dog food is healthy and full of good ingredients, but she quite simply prefers to offer her dog home-cooked food. She thinks Nutro is probably okay, but when compared to what she cooks for her dog, Nutro only rates a single star.
It looks as though some people really like Nutro dog food, while others are less than enthusiastic. Many of the negative reviews have more to do with customer support than with the actual quality of the dog food, although for sure those reviews that deal with digestive issues trouble me a bit. Having said that, though, one thing I did notice was that whenever a negative review was posted, Nutro was very quick to jump in and offer to talk personally with the people who posted the bad reviews.
Whether you spend a lot of money on your dog food or not, from time to time, problems are going to occur. I once bought a bag of dog food for Janice and Leroy, only to discover that it was moldy. I returned it to the store and had it replaced. I think that most of the time, stores and dog food manufacturers are going to be more than willing to address problems with their product – after all, they want to sell you more dog food!
Even with human food, problems occur, and recalls happen. When they do, most of the time the company is going to be more than willing to listen to your concerns and work to rectify the issue, and it’s the same with dog food. So if you have generally been satisfied with Nutro dog food, or with any other brand, don’t let one isolated incident stop you from buying a product that is good for your dog and that your dog loves. Most dogs seem to really like Nutro dog food, and it’s reasonably priced.
Is it good for your dog? I don’t know. But remember what I said in the beginning about who knows best when it comes to the dog food that’s best for your canine friend? It’s you.
I hope you’ve found this post about Nutro dog food helpful. I definitely think Nutro is worth a try, but the final decision is up to you and your dog.