Rachael Ray Nutrish is a pet food brand created by famed TV personality Rachael Ray, a celebrity chef who is most well-known for her cooking shows on The Food Network. The brand’s diverse range of products include dry food, wet food, and treats that are affordable and widely available from many common U.S. retailers. Overall, we found that some recipes are better than others in terms of quality and health.
Quality Of Ingredients
Rachael Ray Nutrish offers a wide range of product lines, and the quality of ingredients fluctuates with each. On one hand, some of the premium recipes contain fairly high-quality whole meat and vegetable sources with few undesirable additives. Others, however, include potential sensitivity-triggering ingredients like canola oil, sugar, and soybean meal. The wet food lines are also disappointingly low in protein, so we wouldn’t advise feeding them on their own without the advice of a veterinarian.
We’ve also found that some of the recipes advertised on the Rachael Ray Nutrish website as grain-free did in fact contain grain ingredients. We’re uncertain whether this is simply an editing error. Regardless, make sure you read the ingredients list carefully before making a purchase.
To their credit, the brand does attempt to maintain transparency by including an ingredients glossary on their website that explains the purpose of each ingredient in their recipes.
In 2018, Rachael Ray Nutrish was sued for containing glyphosate, an herbicide, despite advertising the food as being “natural”. However, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2019 and the company insists the chemical was merely being used by the farmers who grow the vegetables used in the food, never as an actual ingredient.
One further note: Rachael Ray Nutrish was one of 16 brands linked to a wave of cases of canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, by an FDA report in 2019. While only 10 cases had officially been linked to the brand and further study is still being done, you should monitor your dog for signs of DCM if you’re feeding them a Rachael Ray Nutrish grain-free food.
Full Ingredients And Analysis
Analyzing the first 10 ingredients in a dog food is a great way to understand the overall nutrient content of the dog food because AAFCO requires all dog food ingredients to be listed in order of predominance by their weight. Here’s a closer look at what’s inside Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Food – Real Chicken & Veggies Recipe:
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Dried Peas, Soybean Meal, Whole Ground Corn, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Starch, Corn Gluten Meal, Brown Rice, Dicalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Dried Carrots, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Beet Powder (Color), Iron Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Biotin, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Selenium Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K), Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid
Ingredients You May Wonder About:
Chicken: Rachael Ray Nutrish advertises that all their chicken comes from U.S. farms. It’s the main protein source in many of their recipes. Reference
Chicken Meal: Chicken meal can refer to a lot of different things. Rachael Ray claims to not use byproduct meal, so we’re not sure what exactly goes into the chicken meal in their recipes.
Dried Peas: Peas are a naturally gluten-free source of carbohydrates that are high in vitamins and fiber. Reference
Soybean Meal: This vegetable ingredient is high in amino acids. However, it can trigger sensitivities in some dogs. Reference
Whole Ground Corn: A plant-based source of carbohydrates, linoleic acid, and antioxidants, corn is a great nutritional source for many dogs, as long as they aren’t sensitive to it. Reference
Dried Plain Beet Pulp: The brand uses beet pulp as a source of fiber and prebiotics. Reference
Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols): Tocopherols are a widely used food preservative that are high in antioxidants and have even been suggested to reduce the risk off cancer. Reference
Pea Starch: Pea starch was recently found as a common ingredient in foods linked to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. Reference
Corn Gluten Meal: This ingredient is added for its high concentration of protein and amino acids. Reference
Brown Rice: Brown rice is an easy-to-digest carbohydrate source that his high in fiber and vitamin B. Reference
Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate: This ingredient is added to enhance the appearance of the food. Reference
Dried Carrots: Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. They can help support a healthy immune system and improve digestive function. Reference
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Product Line
One attractive quality of Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food is its incredibly diverse product line. There are 65 different recipes and flavors to choose from which include dry food, wet food, and even a few choices of chews and treats. On the Rachael Ray Nutrish website, you’ll find an easy-to-use search function that allows you to sort recipes by life stage, nutritional need, and flavor.
Super Premium Dry Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish’s standard dry kibble comes in six variations: three for adults, one for puppies, one for small breeds, and one for large breeds. Flavors include chicken, turkey, and beef with an assortment of vegetables and rice. There are no wheat- or gluten-containing ingredients, but be careful as this recipe does include soybeans, a common allergen for dogs.
Nutrish DISH® Super Premium Food
This dry food includes kibble mixed with dehydrated vegetables like potatoes, peas, and carrots. There are three flavors available, one of which is grain free. Each flavor also includes fruits like cranberries for antioxidants and flaxseed for omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Just 6 Food
The Just 6 Food line is designed for dogs with severe food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances. Each of the two recipes is limited to six ingredients, not counting added vitamins and minerals. One of them is also grain free. They focus on using easily digestible primary sources of protein like lamb and turkey.
Zero Grain Food
If your dog is sensitive to grains, Zero Grain Food is Rachael Ray Nutrish’s solution. The line consists of four flavors with an animal protein source and carbohydrates that come from starchy vegetables like potato, sweet potato, and peas. Since the recipes are grain-free, they don’t contain any gluten, corn, or rice.
PEAKTM Ultra Premium Food
PEAKTM is the top-of-the-line grain-free food offered by Rachael Ray Nutrish. The recipes each include a minimum of 30% protein, the highest protein level available across the brand’s foods. A total of six recipes are available, in flavors that are typically considered exotic meats like venison, quail, and bison. Two of those six also include freeze-dried raw bites.
Super Premium Wet Food
This entry-level wet food line consists of six flavors with clever names that include Beef Stroganwuff and Chicken Muttballs. They consist of meat and vegetable pieces including carrots, spinach, and green beans. However, be careful feeding this to your pup as the protein level is extremely low at just 9%.
Nutrish DISH® Stews
Following the same formula as the Nutrish DISH® dry food, these stews include meat, vegetables, and fruits for antioxidants. But the protein content is even lower than the Super Premium Wet Food, hovering just around 6%. And instead of getting healthy fats from sources like flaxseed, these stew recipes use less healthy fats like canola oil.
PEAKTM Ultra Premium Wet Food
The partner to the PEAKTM Ultra Premium dry food in the same product line also focuses on designer meat flavors from salmon to duck. Unfortunately, the 8% protein content is much lower, so this food might be best as an enticing topping for the PEAKTM dry food and not on its own.
Treats & Chews
Tasty Real Meat Treats
Rachael Ray Nutrish’s biggest product line boasts an impressive 12 flavors. The first ingredient in each is a meat source like beef or chicken. However, be on the lookout for ingredients that might not agree with your dog’s tummy, like soy grits and pearled barley. The treats also contain added sugar, which can be okay in small amounts but should be limited to special occasions.
These grain-free treats are of somewhat higher quality than the Tasty Real Meat Treats, with a shorter ingredients list that primarily includes meat and potatoes. They’re available in three different flavors.
Although they’re named Soup BonesTM, these chews are really just processed treat sticks. Although they’re advertised as grain free on the website, the primary ingredient in each is wheat flour, and rice syrup and barley are also high on the ingredients list. We’d skip this one if your dog has shown any signs of food sensitivities in the past.
Natural Dental Treats
These treats, branded SmoochiesTM, are designed to be given for dental hygiene. The product line is made up of one biscuit flavor and two brush-shaped chews in different sizes for small and large breeds. We’d opt for the chews over the biscuits as they’re grain-free and contain higher quality ingredients; the chews list textured soy protein product as a main ingredient. Some reviewers have reported finding mold in newly opened bags.
About Rachael Ray Nutrish
Rachael Ray Nutrish began in 2008 when celebrity chef Rachael Ray partnered with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to develop a pet food line. The brand’s goal was to make a healthy alternative to pet foods high in fillers that caused a wave of pet deaths.
Immediately after the pet food partnership was established, Rachael also founded Rachael’s Rescue, a nonprofit that helps animals in shelters across the United States with medical care, food, and homes. A portion of all sales from Rachael Ray Nutrish are donated to this charity.
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition was acquired by J.M. Smucker, maker of Smucker’s jam among other products, for $1.9 billion in 2018.
Where To Buy
Products from the Rachael Ray Nutrish line are available from most major pet food carriers, including retailers like Walmart and Target, grocery stores such as Meijer, pet stores like Petsmart, and even online from Amazon, Chewy, and Jet. To search for a specific product, use the online locator found on the Rachael Ray Nutrish website.
Rachel Ray Nutrish is a budget-priced dog food that’s short on nutrition, often using low quality fillers such as ground corn in their recipes. While we won’t say you should avoid all Nutrish products at all costs, you can do better elsewhere. Check out our Taste of the Wild review for a better low-cost alternative.