Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food Review: How Natural Is It?

Nature's Recipe

Nature's Recipe

Overall Rating



  • Salmon is the first ingredient
  • Cheap grain free alternative
  • Positive feedback from pet parents


  • Too many controversial ingredients used

The first time I came across Nature’s Recipe Grain Free dog food, it of course, wasn’t for this Nature’s Recipe Grain Free dog food review. It was actually when I began working at a doggy day care in Castle Rock, Colorado. There, I came across a variety of different pet foods that owners used to feed their pets, from the crappiest of them all, to brands I have never even heard of. At that time, one of them was Nature’s Recipe Grain Free.

At first, I was intrigued by its small size and the fact that the brand used garbanzo beans (my first time ever seeing it used in a dog food).

So, how healthy is Nature’s Recipe Grain Free dog food?

Let’s jump into my Nature’s Recipe Grain Free dog food review and find out!

For this review, I will be focusing on the Grain Free Salmon, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Recipe.


Name: Nature’s Recipe Grain Free

Website URL:

Flavors Available: Salmon, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin, Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin and Lamb, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Formulas Available: Adult, Large Breed, Puppy and Small Breed

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 12 pounds, 14 pounds and 24 pounds

Price: Varies

Overall Rating: paw printpaw printpaw print


Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (Min.)27.00%

Crude Fat (Min.)12.00%

Crude Fiber (Max.)4.00%

Moisture (Max.)10.00%

Calcium (Min.)1.10%

Phosphorus (Min.)0.90%

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min.)1.00%*

Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min.)1.70%*


Salmon, garbanzo beans, peas, pea protein, salmon meal, poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sweet potatoes, apples, pumpkin, natural flavor, dried tomato pomace, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, taurine, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Inositol, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, beta-carotene, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, biotin), minerals (ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), lactic acid, citric acid (used as a preservative), yucca schidigera extract, rosemary extract. 


1. Salmon

Salmon is a highly quality protein used. During the cooking process, the salmon is reduced, effectively cutting the amount of protein by half in the process.

2. Garbanzo Beans

These beans are among the few beans that are safe for dogs to consume. Packed with protein, lecithin, potassium, magnesium, copper, Vitamin A, B complex vitamins, antioxidants and folate. Garbanzo beans are called super foods for a reason as they help to provide optimal body health support.

3. Peas

Peas contain a surprising amount of protein, Vitamin A, potassium and soluble fiber. This is an ingredient often used in dog food to help support GI health as well as support the protein content in the food.

4. Pea Protein

This is an ingredient that is a derivative of whole peas. It is considered to be controversial as it is used to boost the protein content of a dog. By many, it is considered to be a starch filler and high in soluble fiber, meaning it will slow down digestion.

5. Salmon Meal

Salmon meal is a high-quality protein ingredient used that contains as much as 300% more protein than salmon does alone.

6. Poultry Fat

This is one ingredient that raises a bunch of red flags. While “chicken fat” is considered to be a high-quality fat source, poultry fat is even less so. Poultry fat, according to the AAFCO definition, is obtained from the tissue of poultry in the process of rendering or extracting. The main problem with this ingredient is that you are not told what type of poultry the fat is rendered from. It doesn’t even mean that the fat came from a chicken. It can come from anywhere even dead, diseased, disabled or dying poultry prior to being slaughtered. It could even come from a turkey, goose, seagull, roadkill that is unidentifiable or even a pet bird that was euthanized.

7. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are used to help promote optimal digestive health. They are high in dietary fiber, low in fat, contains vitamin B6, vitamin C and manganese.

8. Apples

Apples are an excellent source of fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Apples can also help keep your dogs breath smelling fresh.

9. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is often served as a means to help dogs cope with diarrhea and constipation. It contains fiber and beta carotene. It is good in small amounts and can help promote a healthy digestive tract.

10. Natural Flavor

This is considered to be a slightly controversial ingredient because owners are not told where the flavor is coming from. The flavor itself tends to come from various meat, vegetable and fruit sources, all used to help boost the flavor of the food to entice dogs to eat it.

11. Dried Tomato Pomace

This is yet another controversial ingredient used in few pet foods. Regardless, it is known for being packed with antioxidants and fiber, helping to boost a dogs immune system and promote digestive tract health.

12. Salt

This is an ingredient that should not be listed in any pet food. The only reason this ingredient is used at all is to help enhance the flavor of the food itself to entice dogs to eat it. Salt, especially if consumed for long periods of time, can lead to obesity and heart issues.

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food Formulas, Sizes and Price

Grain Free Salmon, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Made with fresh salmon as the first ingredient, packed with plenty of protein, vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Formulated for all life stages, this is a food that will help to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 12 pounds and 24 pounds

Large Breed Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Chicken is listed as the first ingredient and is made without artificial flavors or preservatives. Packed with nutrients and important minerals and vitamins, this is a food that will benefit any adult dog. Formulated for adult dogs over 50 pounds.

Sizes Available: 24 pounds

Small Breed Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Chicken is listed as the first ingredient and it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that your dog needs in order to thrive. Small kibble size is perfect for smaller mouths and all life stages.

Sizes Available: 4 pounds and 12 pounds

Grain Free Lamb, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Fresh lamb is the first ingredient. Made with no artificial flavors or preservatives, this is food that is formulated to be gentle on dogs tummies. Formulated for all life stages.

Sizes Available: 4 pounds, 14 pounds and 24 pounds

Grain Free Puppy Chicken, Sweet Potato and Pumpkin

Made with growing puppies in mind, this food is packed with essential vitamins and minerals puppies need to grow.

Sizes Available: 4 pounds and 12 pounds

Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Dog Food Reviews

There are various reviews left by actual pet parents who have tried Nature’s Recipe with their own dogs and most of them have been positive. Check out what some pet parents have been saying below.

My puppy loves this food! I typically purchase the salmon flavor as it leaves my puppy with the shiniest coat I have ever seen. With a cheap price, it saves me money in the long run. -Michael A.

My local animal shelter recommended this food when I adopted my dog. The ingredients are good, the price is cheap even though this food is grain fee, making it extremely affordable. This is one food every owner should try especially if they are on a budget. -Bonana

Great food at an awesome price. I absolutely love this dog food. Are there better brands out there? Of course, but for the price point, you really can’t get any better than this food. -SMR

My dog likes this food. My dog as well as my sister’s dog seems to be doing extremely well on this food. My dog has suffered from allergies for a while but after feeding her this food, her ears and skin have been doing much better. I couldn’t be happier! -Janice Ochoa

My Final Opinion

After taking a careful look at the ingredients listed on this food, looking at the overall availability of this food, taking into consideration what pet parents think of this food and the overall price, this is a food I don’t mind recommending. Sure, while it does have a cheaper price tag, the use of controversial ingredients is the reason why I can’t rate this food any higher than three paws.

However, for those who are looking for a grain free food with a low price tag, then this is the food for you.

Final Verdict:

thumbs up


Have you or your dogs tried Nature’s Recipe? If so, what did you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below.


Vanessa is a Certified Vet Tech in the state of Colorado and has over 10 years of experience in animal nutrition. She owns two dogs: a Siberian Husky mix and a Beagle Black Lab mix.

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