NOTICE : CALIFORNIA NATURAL IS NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION.
The California Natural dog food brand specializes in recipes designed specifically for dogs with food sensitivities. This brand only offers dry dog food products, each of which features just 3 to 6 main ingredients.
By limited the number of ingredients in their recipes, California Natural products have a lower risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities in dogs – they also make use of several novel proteins like lamb, venison, and kangaroo.
Not only are California Natural dog foods made with a limited number of ingredients, but each recipe begins with an animal-based protein as the main ingredient.
Furthermore, all products are free from corn, wheat, and soy products as well as artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. California Natural takes your dog’s health seriously so they only use the best ingredients available and they follow the strictest standards for safety and quality when it comes to the production and manufacture of their products.
California Natural limits ingredients, but does it make it good? Read on for our comprehensive California Natural Dog Food Review below.
Who Makes California Natural?
The California Natural brand of dog food is currently produced and manufactured by Mars, Incorporated. This brand falls under the Natura Pet Company which was sold to Proctor and Gamble at some point during the brand’s history.
Proctor and Gamble then sold all of its Iams, Eukanuba, and Natura Pet food brands to Mars, Incorporated in 2014. Mars, Inc. is currently the sixth largest privately held company in the United States and their pet food products are sold worldwide.
Is California Natural Made in the United States?
The California Natural brand of dog food is a subsidiary of Natura Pet Products along with the EVO brand of dog food. Both of these brands are made in the United States in manufacturing facilities located in Hereford, Texas.
California Natural uses only the highest quality ingredients in their products including USDA-inspected meats, digestible carbohydrates and healthy fruits and vegetables. This company is very careful about sourcing their ingredients from trustworthy suppliers to ensure quality and safety for all of their pet food products.
Where Does California Natural Get Their Ingredients?
The California Natural brand is dedicated to the quality and safety of their products. In keeping with this commitment, they are very serious about using only the best ingredients available.
Not only does California Natural use the highest-quality ingredient possible from trusted suppliers, but they provide detailed information on their website that shows exactly where each ingredient comes from. To find out where the ingredients in your dog’s food come from, simply log on to the California Natural website and click on the tab labeled, “Our Ingredient Sourcing”.
Here you will be able to click on a picture of your dog’s food and then you can click on pictures of the main ingredients to find out exactly where they come from in the United States.
California Natural Dog Food Recall History
The California Natural brand does more than just use the highest quality ingredients in their products – they also adhere to the highest quality manufacturing guidelines in the production of their pet foods.
California Natural holds certifications from the AIB and the USDA, plus they are the only pet food manufacturer in the United States to be rated ISO Quality Management System compliant.
Each and every one of California Natural’s products is subjected to over 100 quality control checks throughout the manufacturing process. Even so, there has been one recall in California Natural brand history. Here are the details of that recall:
In March 2013, the Michigan Department of Agriculture detected Salmonella in a batch of dry food during testing. In response, California Natural issued a voluntary recall for all of their products made in that facility just to be safe. The recall was later expanded in April, May, and June of the same year.
California Natural products can be found in specialty pet stores as well as some local chains – you can also purchase them from online pet food retailers. California Natura typically doesn’t offer coupons on the company website but you may be able to find California Natural dog food coupons from individual retailers in-store or online.
Is California Natural Dog Food Expensive?
The California Natural brand of dog food is fairly expensive but that is because it is made with high-quality ingredients that are sourced in the United States. The price for California Natural dry dog foods vary from one recipe to another, but a 30-pound bag of California Natural dry dog food typically costs somewhere between $50 to $75.
California Natural currently doesn’t offer any wet food products.
What Kind of Dog Food Does California Natural Offer?
California Natural only offers dry dog food products at this time – they don’t have any wet foods or any dog treats to offer. This brand specializes in limited ingredient diets, so all of their formulas are made with just 3 to 6 main ingredients.
California Natural’s dog foods are protein-rich and made without by-products or low-quality fillers. They don’t use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and their recipes are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Simply put, you can feel good about feeding your dog California Natural dog food.
California Natural Dry Products: California Natural only offers dry dog food products which means that they can devote their time and attention to making their recipes as delicious and nutritious as possible.
This brand specializes in limited ingredient diets which are made with just 3 to 6 main ingredients in order to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities. Here is a list of the dry dog food recipes that California Natural has available:
Traditional Dry Dog Food Recipes:
- Chicken Meal & Rice Puppy Food
- Lamb Meal & Rice Puppy Food
- Chicken Meal & Rice Adult Dog Food
- Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Food Large Bites
- Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog Food Small Bites
- Herring & Sweet Potato Adult Dog Food
- Weight Management Brown Rice & Chicken Meal
- Weight Management Brown Rice & Lamb Meal
Grain-Free Dry Dog Food Recipes:
- Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe
- Grain-Free Kangaroo & Red Lentils Recipe
- Grain-Free Chicken Meal Recipe
- Grain-Free Lamb Meal Recipe
- Grain-Free Venison & Green Lentils Recipe
California Natural Dog Food Review
The California Natural brand of dog food is a brand dedicated to providing quality nutrition to dogs with food sensitivities. In order to meet this goal, they limit all of their products to just 3 to 6 main ingredients, focusing on high-quality proteins and digestible carbohydrates.
A quick review of the ingredients lists for various California Natural products reveals the use of premium proteins, wholesome carbohydrates, and other high-quality ingredients. This brand makes sure that all of their recipes are complete and balanced in terms of nutrition and they even cater some of their recipes specifically to puppies and dogs of different breed sizes.
When you feed your dog California Natural dog food you can rest assured that his nutritional needs will not just be met – they will be exceeded in the healthiest and most delicious way possible.
1. California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe
This California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Adult Food is a limited ingredient diet made with just four main ingredients. It features chicken meal as the number-1 ingredient and primary source of protein which is supplemented with digestible carbohydrates and healthy fats for complete and balanced nutrition.
This particular recipe is formulated for adult maintenance and because it is rich in protein it will help your dog to maintain his lean muscle mass for a healthy bodyweight. The healthy fats in this recipe will also improve and maintain the look and feel of his skin and coat. Best of all, it has a low risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities.
As promised, the first ingredient in this California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Adult Food is chicken meal. Do not worry about the word “meal” here – meat meals are just fresh meats that have been cooked to remove moisture.
Fresh meats contain up to 80% moisture by volume so, when the product is cooked, a lot of that moisture is lost and the volume ends up being much lower. Meat meals, on the other hand, are a highly-concentrated source of protein.
As the only source of protein in this formula (besides a little plant protein from the flaxseed), the chicken meal in this recipe contributes significantly to the 21% crude protein content. This is within the recommended range for dogs, though it could stand to be a little higher.
After the chicken meal come brown rice and rice presumably white rice. These are the main sources of carbohydrate in this recipe and both of them are considered highly digestible for dogs. In addition to providing plenty of usable energy, these ingredients also provide some dietary fiber for your dog.
The flaxseed that appears later in the list provides some supplementary fiber as well. All in all, however, the crude fiber content for this recipe is just 2.5% which is perfectly fine – you don’t want to go any higher than 5% for dog food. While dietary fiber does help to support your dog’s digestion, too much fiber in his diet could be problematic.
The remaining ingredients in this recipe consist of fats, flavors, and supplements. Sunflower oil is the main source of fat in this recipe and, while it is rich in omega-6 fatty acids, it is a plant-based fat. Plant-based fats are less biologically valuable for dogs, though they still provide a concentrated source of energy.
The sunflower oil also works with the flaxseed to help balance the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acid content of this recipe. At the end of the ingredients list you will find an assortment of vitamin and mineral supplements.
It would be better to see natural sources for some of these nutrients – like fresh fruits and vegetables – because your dog’s body can only absorb so much from synthetic supplements. Many of the minerals are chelated, however, which is a good thing because it makes the mineral more biologically valuable for your dog.
This California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Adult Food has a guaranteed analysis as listed below:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 21%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 11%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 2.5%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Calcium (Min) – 2.11%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.34%
- Vitamin E (Min) – 300 IU/kg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.5%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) -0.3%
- Calorie Content – 3,533 kcal/kg (430 kcal/cup)
This California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Adult Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.
California Natural Dry Food Rating: 4/5 stars
Overall, this California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Recipe Adult Food is a high-quality product for adult dogs. It features protein-rich chicken meal as the primary ingredient and it is supplemented with digestible carbohydrates like brown rice and white rice.
The main source of fat in this recipe is plant-based which, though not a major problem, is less biologically valuable for your dog than animal-based fats. This recipe could be improved with the addition of an animal-based fat like salmon oil and the overall crude protein content could be a little higher.
As a whole, however, this recipe is properly balanced and made with high-quality ingredients. The downside of the California Natural brand is that their products are currently only available through certain local independent retailers – their products are not being sold online right now.
2. California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas
This California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional needs of dogs in all life stages. It features just five main ingredients including protein-rich salmon meal and green and red lentils.
Another benefit that this product has to offer is the fact that it is both gluten- and grain-free. This, combined with the limited number of ingredients, makes it a great choice for dogs suffering from food allergies and sensitivities. As a whole, this recipe is highly digestible and a great source of balanced nutrition.
As promised, the first ingredient in this California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe is salmon meal. As was true for the chicken meal in the previous recipe, salmon meal is a highly-concentrated form of protein and, because it comes from a fish, it also contains some omega-3 fatty acids.
While salmon meal is an excellent ingredient, it is important to note that it is not the only source of protein in this recipe. Peas, for example, are rich in plant proteins, as are green and red lentils.
Plant proteins are much less biologically valuable for dogs than animal proteins and, because these ingredients appear so high on the list, it is likely that they contribute significantly to the overall protein content of this formula. This recipe has a crude protein content of 28% which is very high for a dog food but it is impossible to tell how much of that comes from plant-based sources.
Though the peas, green lentils, and red lentils contribute some plant protein, they are also the primary sources of carbohydrate energy and dietary fiber in this California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe.
There are also some supplementary sources of fiber such as flaxseed and pea fiber. Overall, this recipe contains 6% crude fiber which is a little too high for our liking. The remaining ingredients in this dog food recipe consist of fats and supplements.
The main source of fat is sunflower oil – another plant-based ingredient – that is rich in omega-6 fatty acids. This helps to balance out the omega-3s from the salmon meal. It is good to see that most of the mineral supplements are chelated, but your dog will only be able to absorb limited nutrition from the synthetic vitamin supplements.
This California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe has a guaranteed analysis as listed below:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 28%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 11%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 6%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Vitamin E (Min) – 300 IU/kg
- Calcium (Min) – 1.2%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.8%
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.1%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.0%
- Calorie Content – 3,495 kcal/kg, 435 kcal/cup
This California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
California Natural Food Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Overall, this California Natural Grain-Free Salmon Meal & Peas Recipe is a decent source of nutrition, though there are several ways in which this recipe could be improved. For example, this formula is a little high in plant proteins and it is likely that these contribute significantly to the total protein content of the formula.
The main source of fat is plant-based as well, and there is too much fiber in the recipe as a whole. It is a good thing to see chelated minerals included, but your don’t won’t be able to absorb all of the synthetic vitamins and this recipe could benefit from the addition of some dried fermentation products for probiotic support.
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