This product has been discontinued
Meet Nutrisca Dog Food
Nutrisca is made by Dogswell, a company out of Los Angeles dedicated to creating high-end foods free of cheap fillers and unnatural ingredients.
They don’t use artificial ingredients or corn and soy in their formulas and use only quality sources of protein to help improve your dog’s health.
The recipes are designed to have slightly higher protein levels, which could be useful for working and sporting dogs. The presence of whole, quality meat sources along with chickpeas could help keep your dog’s muscle tone stronger.
Nutrisca is one of several holistic brands owned by the company, and the company believes that a higher quality product can help keep you out of the vet’s office.
If your dog is struggling with allergy issues or weight gain, or you’re ready to upgrade your food from bargain brands, this could be a good option. Let’s break it all down in our comprehensive Nutrisca Dog Food Reviews below.
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Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Dogswell
- Founded in: 2004 (Dogswell)
- Made in: USA
- Made by: KLN Enterprises (dry), Simmons (wet)
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon, Walmart
- Types of Food: Dry, wet
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? Yes
- Recalled in Past? Yes
Behind the Brand
Dogswell was created in Los Angeles in 2004. It is the owner of several holistic pet companies including Nutrisca. Nutrisca is formulated to be free of common food allergens such as corn and soy and to provide a higher quality nutritional content than your typical food.
The formula is high protein and uses no grains to help alleviate some inflammation and make the food easier to digest for your pup.
The recipes are also potato free which can help reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes and possibly decrease the chances of DCM. (Potatoes and legumes, when used as main ingredients in dog food, are thought to be linked to an increased risk of canine DCM.)
The company uses rigorous safety standards, especially after its one and only recall, to ensure that foods are still of the highest quality at an affordable price.
It’s an excellent holistic option for those looking for something made in North America, and the company has plenty of experience making these types of high-quality foods.
The brand has a minimal recipe line, but it does focus a lot on specifically grain free and higher protein content. Dogswell has focused its energy solely on that type of recipe so that it can make sure it’s the highest quality available.
Nutrisca Dog Food Reviews
Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea Recipe
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Nutrisca Lamb & Chickpea Recipe
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Nutrisca Salmon & Chickpea Recipe
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Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea Stew Recipe
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Reviewed Nutrisca Dog Foods
- Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea Recipe
- Nutrisca Lamb & Chickpea Recipe
- Nutrisca Salmon & Chickpea Recipe
- Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea Stew Recipe
1. Nutrisca Grain-Free Chicken and Chickpea Recipe
Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Menhaden Fish Meal
Nutrisca uses only whole chicken grown in cage-free conditions for a high-quality protein source that should satisfy most dogs. It has a balanced carbohydrate ratio for a meal that provides dogs with energy all day long without adding excess calories or putting them at risk for weight gain.
It doesn’t use any grains or potatoes in the recipe, and there are never any cheap fillers that can cause allergic reactions. It’s a holistic approach to dog food recipes, intended to give dogs energy but in a way that mimics the canine ancestral diet.
Whole fruits and vegetables provide vital vitamins and minerals to support things like bones, the immune system, and eye health. Omega fatty acids from fish meal give your dog good fats that can also help with energy levels as well as promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. There are no artificial flavors or colors that can encourage your dogs to overeat.
The formula does use peas in a prominent position in the ingredients list. It includes whole peas plus pea fiber and pea starch. Recently a study showed a tentative link between foods high in potatoes, peas, and legumes and a condition known as Canine Dilated Cardiomyopathy or an enlarged heart. Talk to your vet about the risks of peas in foods to help you make the best decision until we know more.
One thing to consider: splitting ingredients sometimes gives the appearance that they aren’t as prominent in the recipe. In this case, Nutrisca divides peas into three separate ingredients, so it’s difficult to tell if the overall ratio would put peas at a higher percentage than meat. Again, talk to your vet before making the switch to get guidance on how that could affect your individual dog.
The recipe also contains probiotics to help your dog absorb each ingredient fully and provide long term benefits and the building blocks of good health. We think it could be an excellent option for dogs that have a lot of energy or who are working or sporting dogs and need that extra protein boost.
2. Nutrisca Grain-Free Lamb & Chickpea Recipe
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Meal, Peas, Menhaden Fish Meal, Flaxseed
Nutrisca Grain-Free Lamb & Chickpea is a high-protein food that’s formulated with multiple animal proteins, antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies, and added vitamins and chelated minerals. The lamb it uses has been raised without the use of antibiotics.
In the first five ingredients, you can see that it’s more meat-based. Although the brand splits the legume ingredients (peas, chickpeas, pea fiber, and pea starch), the likelihood of those overwhelming the meat ingredients is quite low since the volume and amount of meat looks pretty high.
At 30% total minimum crude protein, it’s already good enough to give very active canines a big energy boost. The main contributors to this are the meats, of course, but even the legumes and flaxseed contain significant amounts of protein too.
There are two sources of fat here: chicken fat and salmon oil. Both are considered high-quality kinds of fat. Salmon oil is high in EPA and DHA (types of Omega-3 fatty acids), both of which are known to considerably decrease inflammation caused by arthritis. Meanwhile, chicken fat is high in Omega-6, which is important for heart health and lower cholesterol levels.
The last macronutrient, apart from fat and protein, is carbohydrate, and it is represented by the presence of the legumes. Carbohydrates are usually the first macronutrients burned for energy so it is important that each meal contains enough of it to support a pup’s activities.
This recipe is crafted to be as balanced as possible. It has excellent levels of protein, fat, and fiber plus guaranteed amounts of vitamin E and A, and omega fatty acids.
Many of the nutrients are naturally-sourced based on the presence of carrots, cranberries, tomato pomace, and apricots, although the added nutrients keeps the food healthier for your dog.
3. Nutrisca Grain-Free Salmon & Chickpea Recipe
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Menhaden Fish Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Salmon Meal
Formulated without grains, potatoes, or tapioca starch, this Nutrisca grain-free recipe provides all of the nutrition your canine needs without the ingredients that could possibly be harmful to him or he doesn’t need.
Wild-caught salmon is the main ingredient in this dish, and for many pups who are only fed pork, chicken, or beef meals, this is a novel protein. Dogs that are sensitive to many proteins may thrive when given salmon since fish allergy is rare among them. One more good thing about salmon is that it’s one of a few fish that’s considered ‘oily.’
What’s with oily fish? Oily fish are high in long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids that keep the heart healthy and the coat shiny. If your pup has some skin inflammation, a daily dose of omega-3 can help decrease it and relieve the itchiness. Oily fish are also good sources of vitamin D.
There are two kinds of legumes in this food, but that’s okay. They only place third and fourth in the ingredients list, and the animal proteins (salmon, menhaden fish meal, and salmon meal) number more. What you need to be more wary of are recipes where the legumes and potato ingredients outweigh the volume of the meats.
The peas and chickpeas aren’t fillers. In recipes where grain is not included, alternative sources for carbohydrates must be provided. These two not only provide carbs, but they also contribute some protein, fiber, and plenty of vitamins.
Aside from the first five ingredients, there are just several other main ingredients. Two of those make up the fat content (sunflower oil and salmon oil) of the food, while the rest is a mixture of naturally-sourced vitamins and minerals and added nutrition.
This recipe offers balanced nutrition for your dog. It has a higher than average amount of protein, fat, and fiber. The presence of fruits like cranberries and apricots keep it more wholesome and healthy for your furry buddy. And because it uses only premium ingredients, it gets top marks from us.
4. Nutrisca Chicken & Chickpea Stew Recipe
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product
Canned food is a great way to keep your dog hydrated when he doesn’t like to drink water much. And wet food is more palatable than dry, so if you have a picky eater, chances are that he will be attracted to this meal.
This recipe uses fresh chicken as its main ingredient with further protein support provided by the chicken liver, egg, and salmon.
Chicken is a premium ingredient but cooking it means that a lot of volume can be lost in the process since fresh meat is made up of more than 60% water. The additional meat support ensures that there is enough protein left after cooking.
The chicken liver is especially important since it’s rich in all the important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins, iron, and folic acid. And if you compare it to muscle meat, you’ll find that liver contains more calcium, iron, niacin, copper, and vitamins.
The legumes, which contribute most of the carbohydrate content for this meal, don’t come in until the 6th and 8th slots. This means that although they provide the carbs your dogs need for quick energy, the amount of legumes in the food is not significant enough to overwhelm the animal proteins here.
Menhaden fish oil provides the fat. Fish oil is one of the best fat sources in dog food since it is rich in omega fatty acids that keep your pup’s heart healthy, his skin itch-free, and his coat shiny. Some pet owners even provide their fur friends daily omega fatty acid supplements to keep their hair and coat looking glossy.
The recipe is rounded off and balanced by the addition of wholesome fruits and veggies like spinach, carrots, cranberries, blueberries, and tomatoes.
It has a lot of antioxidants for your dog’s immune system, and it uses chelated minerals for better nutrient absorption.
What Types Of Dog Food Does Nutrisca Offer?
Nutrisca offers both wet and dry foods with high-quality protein sources and no grains. The foods use no cheap fillers such as corn or soy that provide little nutritional value and can cause a wealth of allergies. No artificial flavors or colors are used because those can encourage dogs to overeat.
They have a few different options for dry and wet foods, but the line is minimal. If you have a difficult time finding a kibble your dog likes to eat, one of the wet foods may be more appropriate, but this is a very targeted line.
- Grain Free Salmon and Chickpea Formula
- Grain Free Lamb and Chickpea Formula
- Grain Free Chicken and Chickpea Formula
- Grain-Free Chicken and Chickpea Stew
- Grain Free Duck and Chickpea Stew
- Grain Free Lamb and Chickpea Stew
- Grain Free Turkey and Chickpea Stew
Yes, that’s the entire line. It’s very limited, but it’s intended for a particular type of dog that has digestion issues with grains and could use a more significant dose of protein along with balanced carbohydrates. If your dog fits that bill, this could be an excellent line for you.
Nutrisca Recall History
- Nutrisca had a recall in 2018 for foods that had a higher than safe amount of vitamin D. Dog food companies often supplement with vitamins, but sometimes the recipe is off. In this case, it was a voluntary recall by Dogswell to make sure that the foods were safe. It was found to be a formulation error.
- In 2015, Nutrisca was recalled because of concerns over salmonella contamination. Again, it was a limited recall that affected only a few lines, but Dogwell pulled them from shelves to be on the safe side.
Best Selling Nutrisca Dog Food Recipes
We don’t have a lot of foods to choose from, but we do have a few options that could be good for your dog. The following recipes show a lot of promise for fulfilling your sensitive dog’s needs.
1. Salmon and Chickpea Recipe
This adult dry food has a whole, lean source of protein for strong muscle tone plus balanced carbohydrates for all-day energy. It uses no grains, potatoes, or tapioca starches, which are conventional sources of cheaper carbohydrates in standard dog foods.
The guaranteed levels of DHA help keep your dog’s mind active while providing omega fatty acids for skin and coat health.
Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants keep your dog’s immune system healthy and come from whole vegetable and protein sources.
Chelated minerals are more accessible for your dog to digest and make it less likely that they’ll pass through its system without being fully utilized.
2. Duck and Chickpea Stew Wet Food
Duck is almost always a winner with picky dogs, so if your dog refuses to eat the proper amount of kibble, this one could be an excellent choice. It features high protein and higher fat contents plus probiotics to help with digestion.
Vegetables and fruits give your dog plenty of vitamins and minerals to support the immune system. It’s suitable to feed by itself or as a treat on top of kibble to encourage your picky dog to eat regularly.
Plus, it can also help ease digestion for dogs who suffer from constipation on an all-kibble diet.
3. Chicken and Chickpea Recipe
This type of recipe is classic. It uses whole chicken for a protein source that’s reliably digestible and doesn’t contain as much fat.
The recipe does have a higher protein level which could be useful for active dogs. Plus, balanced carbohydrates keep your dog feeling energetic all day.
Cage-free chickens are a holistic protein source without added growth hormones or other ingredients that can mess with your dog’s digestion.
The minerals are chelated to make them easier to absorb, instead of washing through your dog’s digestive system without being fully utilized. Overall, it’s a great place to start with a classic recipe and dietary staple.
Most people like Nutrisca once they switch to it. It receives around four stars regularly from customers on Chewy and Amazon, with most recipes receiving consistently high reviews.
The only downside is that the limited line doesn’t contain options for breed sizes or life stages so you may have a narrower window to feed this particular food.
What Do People Like and Dislike About Nutrisca Food?
People like that they can read and understand what ingredients are in their foods. Each recipe is simple to decipher and makes it easier to make good decisions about what to feed your dog. The recipes are natural and contain no cheap fillers or common food allergens.
The wet food line is also grain free, which is good news for those switching to all grain free. They often help pickier dogs eat an entire kibble meal without complaining so much and can help ease digestion with constipated dogs.
People also liked the potato free recipes because it can be hard to find recipes that don’t use potatoes. For dogs with blood sugar issues, this is good news.
Some customers noticed that the kibble didn’t appeal to their pickier dogs and that some had more gas than usual. If you see that your dog does fall into that category, it can help to transition your dog more slowly to the new food.
Mix in a small amount of Nutrisca to your dog’s current food and gradually increase the amount while decreasing the old food until it’s all Nutrisca. Sometimes that helps.
- “My girl loves the food, and it's good for her digestion. She has a lot less gas now, too, which is always a good thing!” Pipersmom, chewy.com
- “Both of my dogs hate this stuff. I tried mixing it with yogurt, cottage cheese, bone broth, gravy, you name it. I understand this stuff is high quality, but my dogs can't stand it. I regret buying it.” Flappypappy, chewy.com
Is it cheaper to cook your dog's food?
Homemade meals may even make it possible to feed your dog well for less. A 15- pound bag of high-end dry dog food costs approximately $42, and a 5.5 oz. Add the cost of a vitamin/ mineral supplement and calcium, and it is still less than the cost of feeding high-end commercial food.
Can dogs eat tuna?
Canned tuna can be a healthy, protein-packed snack for your dog. Canned tuna must be served in appropriate small, manageable amounts, and preferably skipjack or albacore rather than the larger tuna fish because of mercury and sodium concerns mentioned above.
Chickpeas safe for dogs?
Garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas, are among the beans that are safe for dogs, as long as they are cooked plainly. Do not, under any circumstances, give your dog chickpeas with onion or garlic, and avoid giving them hummus as it can be processed with ingredients that are toxic to dogs like garlic and lemon juice.
What beans are bad for dogs?
Do not feed your dog any baked beans (they're high in sugar and tomatoes, garlic and onions), chili beans (same reasons as baked beans, plus they can be spicy!), coffee beans (caffeine is toxic), or raw red kidney beans (also toxic).
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