In this article you will find:
- Meet NRG Dog Food
- Brand Quick Look
- Behind the Brand
- NRG Dog Food Review
- Best NRG Food Recipes
- What Types of Dog Food Does NRG Offer?
- The NRG Recall History
- Customer Feedback
- How Much Do I Feed NRG?
- Can NRG Be Fed Dry?
- Can I Mix NRG With Other Foods?
- Can I Feed NRG To a Puppy?
Meet NRG Dog Food
About 20 years ago, a food scientist and a researcher with a Ph.D. in canine nutrition got together and decided to create a food that could satisfy all the nutritional requirements of dog food without a vitamin premix. That dog food formed the first offering from NRG, a frozen food using only premium ingredients.
Fast forward to today, and NRG has changed with the times to offer an easy to serve and store dehydrated option that retains all the raw flavor of their original dog food but in a more manageable form to store and serve. Is it worth picking up for your dog? Let’s find out via our in-depth NRG Dog Food review below.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: NRG
- Founded in: 1999
- Made in: North America
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon
- Types of Food: raw dehydrated
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
- Recalled in Past? : No
Behind the Brand
The founders of the brand wanted to create food that mimicked a dog’s ancestral diet, providing only quality ingredients for dense nutrition. In the early days, that food was frozen, but the company wanted to create a more convenient bridge between kibble and raw.
Their dehydrated foods now use table grade ingredients and a production process that reduces the amount of greenhouse gasses going into the atmosphere. The company values suppliers who grow using sustainable and humane methods and sources ingredients solely from North America.
The company manufactures foods in North America as well as using strict standards of quality control that prevent contamination even when sourcing raw meats. The ingredients provide whole, balanced nutrition that you could practically eat yourself and are easy to store and serve.
NRG Dog Food Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Five Ingredients:
- Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Filet
The Raw One Wild Caught Salmon is an excellent option for sensitive tummies. It features whole salmon as the first ingredient with fresh fruits and veggies that provide essential vitamins and minerals. All ingredients are sustainably sourced and come from reliable providers.
The food packs a tremendous amount of protein into each serving, which is critical for muscle mass and energy throughout the day. Omega fatty acids help improve the condition of the coat and ease inflammation or itchiness. It also uses coconut oil and cod liver oil for extra fat suitable for active dogs and their energy needs.
The ingredient list is very short and contains all easily recognizable ingredients. There are no cheap fillers such as corn or soy that can trigger allergic reactions, and no artificial flavors or colors that often encourage dogs to overeat.
If your dog is sensitive to poultry, this recipe is suitable. The formula contains only whole proteins from salmon and no poultry by-product meals, a typical cheap filler.
It does contain wheat germ which is often used to bind the food together. While not necessarily dangerous, it isn’t considered a highly premium ingredient and may bother those looking for gluten-free food.
It’s not the cheapest food around, but you may have to use less per serving than what you’re used to with cheap kibble. Talk to your vet before you make the switch and make sure to follow serving recommendations on the box. Adjust to your dog’s individual needs.
Overall, the food is quality and convenient. It offers a way to bridge the gap between the convenience of kibble and the dense (but messy and time-consuming) nutrition of raw. We think most dog owners will be pleased with the results of the switch.
Best NRG Food Recipes
Dehydrated foods are convenient and easy to serve. We like almost all of NRG’s recipes but here are three we think would be good places to start.
The Original recipe offers your dog balanced nutrition from quality sources of beef plus fruits and veggies. Beef is usually a crowd pleaser and is suitable for picky dogs.
The formula provides balanced energy for all-day activity and is ideal as all-purpose dog food for a variety of breeds and ages. Vitamins and minerals come from naturally derived sources within the ingredients themselves rather than a premix.
Optimum is an excellent choice for those of you with highly active or large breed dogs. It provides a proper source of protein that can build muscle but also helps keep weight under control.
If your dog struggles to either maintain weight or keep fit, this formula could be a good equalizer. Fresh fruits and veggies provide vitamins and minerals for a balanced recipe that should help large breeds, sporting dogs, and working dogs active and energetic all day.
If your dog has allergies, this formula could be the right choice. Salmon provides a good source of omega fatty acids to help alleviate inflammation and prevent itchy skin.
The protein is lean but still offers that good source of fats that can help ease digestion and build muscle. The fruits and vegetables provide excellent sources of vitamins and minerals without premixes.
It’s easy to store and reconstitute and may provide dogs with allergies some relief by eliminating cheap fillers, artificial colors and flavors and poultry by-products from the ingredients list.
What Types of Dog Food Does NRG Offer?
NRG offers dehydrated foods using a safe process that retains all the nutrients necessary for your dog’s health. The formulas are balanced for all life stages and breed sizes and pack a serious amount of protein in a serving.
Dehydrated foods are a bridge between the convenience of kibble and the denser nutrition of raw foods. If you’ve struggled with how to fit a raw food diet into your schedule, this could offer a chance to feed your dog the same quality as raw without all the hassle.
Ingredients are human grade and sourced from sustainable providers. There are no artificial colors or flavors, no cheap fillers such as corn or soy, and no processed by-products or meat meals. The food is one of the few to be completely balanced without any kind of vitamin pre-mix, so you know what’s in your dog’s diet without wondering about all the scientific names.
The foods are formulated to be appropriate for all life stages but check with your vet before feeding to a puppy. The food could also be suitable for aging seniors who have trouble chewing kibble.
Foods are simple to serve. Just reconstitute with water following the ratios on the directions and serve. Refrigerate any leftovers.
- Canadian Beef
- Canadian Chicken
- Wild Caught Salmon
Optimum Recipe (For Large Breed or Active Dogs):
- Large Breed Active Dog Canadian Beef
- Large Breed Active Dog Canadian Chicken
- Large Breed Active Dog Wild Caught Salmon
The Raw One (Benchmark Dehydrated Food):
- The Raw One Canadian Beef
- The Raw One Canadian Chicken
- The Raw One Wild Caught Salmon
The NRG Recall History
NRG has never experienced a recall in the history of the company. After 20 years in business, this is quite an accomplishment. The company uses human grade ingredients, which helps reduce overall contamination and carefully follows safety protocols in manufacturing.
Customers love the ease of storage with this type of food. It comes in a box that’s simple to store on a shelf, and the directions for making the food are pretty simple. It’s a much more convenient way to make sure your dog has excellent nutrition without compromising on the quick serving.
What Customers Like and Dislike about NRG?
A favorite aspect is the lack of unnatural ingredients including vitamin premixes. Customers were relieved to find that all the ingredients were easily recognizable and human grade. Dog owners looking to serve their dogs better food with better ingredient have a way to do that finally without the hassle of raw food.
Customers also liked that dogs seemed to like the taste. Dogs may not always want what’s good for them, and it’s a lot easier to serve them if they do actually like the taste. While there are still dogs who don’t want to eat certain foods (including these recipes), most dogs seemed to be satisfied.
The downside is that the leftovers are messy and require refrigeration. Also, the food is more expensive than some of your cheap kibble options, but hopefully you’ll spend less time in the vet's office with digestion and inflammation issues.
- “I have a Lab who is allergic to all meat proteins. The salmon NRG has been a great food for him. His coat and his energy are terrific on this food. I also have a 9-month-old puppy Lab who has been raised on NRG and he's doing great on this food. I highly recommend this food.” Jazzy999, chewy.com
- “I tried this with our 3 kids and they didn't seem to like it. It's much more expensive than the other dehydrated/freeze dried raw & grain free foods out there. The ingredient list is good, but it just didn't work for our family.” BrandyB, chewy.com
How Much Do I Feed NRG?
As a recommended starting point, we recommend 1 dry cup per every 20 LBS your dog weighs broken into two feedings breakfast and dinner.
Can NRG Be Fed Dry?
As a change once in a while you can feed NRG dry. The dogs do not seem to ravish it like rehydrated NRG but they seem to enjoy the change.
Can I Mix NRG With Other Foods?
While feeding NRG as a sole diet will provide the best for your pet. Lifestyle decisions dictate what and how your pet is fed. NRG can be fed in conjunction with other BALANCED foods. If an UNBALANCED ration is being served, than NRG should be a separate meal.
Can I Feed NRG To a Puppy?
Yes, the first offerings to puppies being weaned should be pureed in a blender to a cream soup consistency to facilitate them lapping it up.