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Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review: Does It Live Up to Wild Expectations?

taste of the wild dog food review
  • 9.5/10
    Protein/Carb Ratio - 9.5/10
  • 8.5/10
    Quality of Ingredients - 8.5/10
  • 9/10
    Variety - 9/10
9/10

Summary

Taste of the Wild is one of the leading grain-free dry dog foods on the market. Due to the low carbs and high quality meats used in this dog food, it has an excellent protein/carb ratio, a leading indicator of dog food quality.

Last Updated: April 18, 2024 by Lisa Melillo

OrijenImagine your dog sprinting through a dense forest, tracking scents and following the natural instincts of its wild ancestors. This isn’t just a scene from a nature documentary; it’s the vision behind Taste of the Wild Dog Food, which aims to bring the wild to your dog’s bowl. In this Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review, we’ll see if this brand really captures the essence of a natural canine diet.

As someone who’s patched up more than a few adventurous pups in my vet tech days, I know that what fuels them matters immensely. So, let’s start our journey back to nature. Does Taste of the Wild truly offer the primal diet that it claims, or is it just another commercial kibble?

Join me as we examine the ingredients, nutritional content, and the real-world impact this food has on our four-legged friends. Will it unleash the wolf within, or is it just tamed fare? Let’s find out together.

About Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild sprang from a family’s passion and a unique vision: create a pet food that mirrors nature’s intended diet for dogs and cats, yet remains affordable for pet owners. This family-owned business was driven by the founders’ recognition of the gap in the market for quality, affordable pet nutrition. They realized that the best way to cater to the dietary needs of pets was by adhering closely to their genetic dietary requirements. The company crafts foods that their “inner wolf or mountain lion” would naturally crave.

From its humble beginnings, Taste of the Wild has grown exponentially. It is now one of the fastest-growing pet food brands globally. Despite this growth, the core philosophy remains unchanged—every pet deserves premium nutrition at a fair price. The brand maintains a personal touch in its operations. It stands by a promise that it only produces food that it would feed to its pets. Therefore, every product meets its high standards of quality and integrity.

Company History

Taste of the Wild was founded in 2007 by Diamond Pet Foods, a family-owned and operated company with deep roots in the pet food industry. Based in Meta, Missouri, the brand was created to fill a niche in the pet food market for natural, high-quality, yet affordable products. The Schell and Kampeter family started Diamond Pet Foods in 1970. They an opportunity to offer something unique: pet food that closely resembles what dogs and cats would eat in the wild, tailored for domestic pets.

The founders, driven by their own experiences as pet owners and their extensive knowledge in animal nutrition, aimed to provide pet foods that not only satisfy the primal dietary cravings of pets but also support their overall health with scientifically formulated recipes.

Made in the USA

Taste of the Wild is deeply committed to quality and safety, producing all of its dog and cat food in six state-of-the-art facilities across the United States, located in California, Missouri, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Kansas. This strategic placement underscores their commitment to crafting superior pet food through careful sourcing and manufacturing processes. While many ingredients are sourced locally, some essential components are procured globally from trusted suppliers who must pass rigorous vetting processes to meet the brand’s high standards.

The emphasis on domestic production ensures not only the quality but also the safety of the food, adhering to stringent manufacturing standards. By maintaining close relationships with both local and international suppliers, Taste of the Wild ensures a consistent supply of high-quality ingredients, which in turn helps them deliver the natural, nutritious food that pets love and pet owners trust.

Taste of the Wild Product Line

Taste of the Wild variety

Taste of the Wild offers a diverse and specialized range that caters to various dietary needs and preferences. Each product line is carefully formulated to bring the natural diet of wild ancestors right into your pet’s bowl, using real meats and wholesome ingredients.

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon

Blending wild boar, beef, and lamb, the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon formula offers a diverse protein profile that’s hard to find in other dog foods. Enriched with probiotics, omega fatty acids, and antioxidants, it not only supports digestive and immune health but also maintains a shiny coat and healthy skin. This hearty mix brings the spirit of the Southwest to your dog’s diet.

Taste of the Wild Pine Forest

Ideal for dogs with common protein sensitivities, the Taste of the Wild Pine Forest formula focuses on venison. This lean meat is low in fat yet high in flavor and nutrients, making it an excellent choice for maintaining your pet’s muscle health and energy levels. It’s a particularly good choice for dogs that require a lighter, yet nutrient-rich diet.

Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain

Centered around roasted lamb, the Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain formula is specifically designed for dogs with food sensitivities. The single-protein source paired with highly digestible carbs like sweet potatoes and peas makes it ideal for maintaining your pet’s energy without causing dietary upset. This simple, nourishing formula supports dogs from the inside out.

Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula

Featuring a unique blend of roasted quail, duck, and turkey, the Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula provides a taste adventure that mirrors the diversity of wild bird diets. This formula not only fuels your pet with high-energy protein but also includes a balanced blend of natural antioxidants to support overall health. It’s perfect for dogs that thrive on variety and rich, meaty flavors.

Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula

Combining roasted bison and venison, the Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula offers a robust flavor profile that’s immensely popular among dogs of all breeds. This formula’s rich protein content helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, while the added vegetables and fruits support a healthy immune system. It’s as close as your pet can get to feasting on the open prairies without leaving home.

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley

The Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Formula is tailored for small breeds, featuring smaller kibble sizes and a high-protein mix of venison, lamb, egg, duck, and ocean fish. It addresses the high-energy demands of small dogs, providing them with nutrient-dense meals that promote overall health and vitality. This blend ensures that even the smallest members of your pack are well-nourished.

Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula

The Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula, with its salmon-based recipe. It is especially suited for dogs with allergies to poultry or red meat. Rich in omega fatty acids, it promotes a healthy skin and coat. More so, the inclusion of fruits and vegetables ensures your dog receives all necessary nutrients for optimal health. This formula is a great way to introduce seafood into your dog’s diet. The flavors are both refreshing and satisfying.

Taste of the Wild Prey

It is a simplified approach to pet nutrition. The focus is on limited-ingredient diets that feature only four to eight key ingredients. This line was developed to cater to pets with sensitive stomachs or those who require a more straightforward diet. One of the best examples from this product line is the Taste of the Wild Prey Trout Recipe. The latter contains real spring-fed trout. It also has probiotics and is suitable for dogs across all life stages.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review: Quality of Ingredients

Let’s dive into the details of one of Taste of the Wild’s bestsellers, the Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Canine Recipe. As a vet tech, I’ve often recommended grain-free diets for dogs with certain health conditions, like allergies or digestive issues. This particular formula is a great example of a well-crafted, grain-free diet. It can help alleviate these concerns while providing ample nutrition.

Top Ingredients and Their Benefits

  1. Beef: Beef is the star of this formula, serving as a high-quality source of protein that’s essential for building strong muscles. It’s rich in essential amino acids and provides the robust flavors that dogs naturally crave.
  2. Peas: Often included in grain-free diets, peas are an excellent source of carbohydrates and provide additional protein. They’re also rich in fiber, which aids in digestive health and helps maintain a healthy gut.
  3. Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas): Garbanzo beans are not just a filler; they’re a nutrient-rich ingredient that offers both protein and fiber. This helps in regulating digestion and provides a steady source of energy for active dogs.
  4. Lamb Meal: A concentrated form of lamb, lamb meal contains more protein than fresh lamb because it’s rendered and dried. It’s packed with essential nutrients and is particularly good for dogs with sensitivities to other protein sources.
  5. Canola Oil (with mixed tocopherols): This ingredient serves as a fat source that’s rich in omega-6 fatty acids, crucial for healthy skin and a shiny coat. The mixed tocopherols, a form of vitamin E, act as natural preservatives and antioxidants that help maintain the freshness of the food and support immune health.

Taste Test

Having worked with dogs for years, I know how finicky they can be about their food. This made Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Grain-Free Canine Recipe the perfect candidate for a real-world test—my own dog.

My Dog’s Experience

As soon as I opened the bag, my pooch showed interest. The scent of beef seemed to grab his attention immediately—a good sign for a usually picky eater. I gave him his normal portion, and he eagerly dug in, enjoying the variety of textures and flavors more than his regular kibble.

He typically pauses mid-meal, but this time, he cleaned his bowl without stopping. Post-meal, he was energetic and seemed happier, ready for our walk with extra zest.

Nutritionally, I was pleased. The high-quality proteins like beef and lamb meal support muscle health effectively. The inclusion of canola oil with tocopherols is great for his skin and coat.

Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon passed the taste test with ease, matching my professional criteria for nutrition and my dog’s taste preferences perfectly.

  • 29%

    Crude Protein

  • 15%

    Crude Fat

  • 5%

    Crude Fiber

Taste of the Wild Pros and Cons

As a veterinary technician and a dog owner, I have closely observed the strengths and weaknesses of Taste of the Wild. Here’s a straightforward list of the pros and cons across the brand’s entire product line.

Taste of the Wild on store shelf

The Good

  • High-Quality Proteins: Taste of the Wild uses real meats like venison, bison, and salmon. These meats build and maintain muscles.
  • Grain-Free Options: Many dogs have grain sensitivities. This brand provides several grain-free formulas to prevent itchy skin and digestive problems.
  • Rich in Nutrients: Each formula includes fruits and vegetables for antioxidants and probiotics for digestion.
  • Wide Variety: The brand offers flavors and formulas for all dogs, from puppies to seniors with special dietary needs.
  • Available in Wet Food Formats: Some of the product lines are also available as canned wet food for hydration.
  • USA Made: All products are made in high-standard facilities in the USA.

The Bad

  • Higher Cost: Taste of the Wild is more expensive than many other dog food brands.
  • Hard to Find: Some formulas are difficult to find in stores or online, which can disrupt consistent feeding.
  • Past Recalls: There have been recalls in the brand’s history, raising concerns about safety measures.
  • Controversial Ingredients: Ingredients like canola oil and peas have sparked debate over their nutritional value and safety.

Alternatives to Taste of the Wild Dog Food

As much as Taste of the Wild offers a range of high-quality options, it might not be the perfect fit for every dog or budget. Whether you’re looking for something more affordable, widely available, or with different dietary benefits, here are some great alternatives to consider.

Blue Buffalo

From my experience, Blue Buffalo is a solid choice for owners seeking dog food with natural ingredients and life-stage specific formulas. Their “Life Protection” line, much like Taste of the Wild, emphasizes real meat as the first ingredient but includes grains like brown rice and oatmeal, which can be beneficial for dogs not sensitive to grains. Their comprehensive range includes options for puppies, adults, and seniors, making it a versatile choice for a dog’s entire lifecycle.

Canidae

Canidae is another brand I often recommend for those looking for high-quality, holistic dog food. What sets Canidae apart is their commitment to using limited ingredients, which is perfect for dogs with food sensitivities. They offer both grain-free and grain-inclusive options, catering to a broad range of dietary needs. Their formulations are simple, often focusing on a single protein source, much like some of the Taste of the Wild formulas.

Merrick

If you’re looking for dog food that’s crafted with whole foods and real, deboned meat, Merrick is a worthy competitor to Taste of the Wild. They boast recipes that include locally sourced ingredients, and their grain-free lines are particularly rich in protein. Merrick also offers a variety of recipes that include probiotics for digestive health, much like Taste of the Wild. They have an impressive selection of both dry and wet foods, which provides flexibility in feeding practices.

Orijen

Orijen stands out with its “Biologically Appropriate” approach, emphasizing fresh, regional ingredients. Their dog foods contain unmatched amounts of fresh, raw meat. It mirrors a natural diet more closely than most commercial options. This brand is perfect for those looking to mimic a raw diet but in a more convenient, dry form. It’s on the pricier side, similar to Taste of the Wild, but the quality and high protein levels are exceptional.

FAQs: More About Taste of the Wild Dog Food

Is Taste of the Wild good for dogs with allergies?

Yes, Taste of the Wild is great for dogs with allergies. Its grain-free recipes avoid common allergens like corn, wheat, and soy. They use novel proteins like bison and venison to reduce allergy risks. Plus, added probiotics and omega fatty acids help support healthy skin and digestion.

How does Taste of the Wild ensure the safety of its dog food?

Taste of the Wild ensures safety through strict testing and quality controls. They manufacture dog food in high-tech U.S. facilities. Each batch is tested for pathogens like salmonella before distribution. This commitment keeps their dog food safe and reliable.

Where does Taste of the Wild source its ingredients?

Taste of the Wild sources most ingredients from the U.S. They also use some international suppliers for specific nutrients and high-quality proteins. They ensure all suppliers meet high standards for quality and sustainability.

Can Taste of the Wild be fed to puppies?

Yes, Taste of the Wild has specific formulas for puppies. These provide balanced nutrition to support growth, including optimal protein and fat levels. They also contain DHA for healthy brain and vision development in puppies.

Does Taste of the Wild offer wet dog food?

Yes, Taste of the Wild offers wet dog food. It can complement their dry food or serve as a full meal. Like their dry food, the wet options are grain-free and feature high-quality proteins. This makes them great for hydration and diet variety.

Wrapping Up: Is Taste of the Wild Right for Your Dog?

As we conclude this Taste of the Wild Dog Food review, the brand’s dedication to using high-quality, grain-free ingredients truly stands out. It’s designed to meet the nutritional needs of dogs at every stage of life, offering a reliable choice for owners who prioritize health and well-being.

For those pondering a switch or simply exploring new dietary options for their pets, Taste of the Wild presents nutritionally rich and well-crafted formulas. Emphasizing safety and quality, this brand effectively supports the natural dietary instincts of our canine friends, ensuring they thrive in our care.

3 thoughts on “Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review: Does It Live Up to Wild Expectations?”

  1. Robert Steingraber

    Interesting in light of the law suit filed in March of this year over a study which showed Taste of the Wild contains large amounts of lead! Ive stopped using it for my dog’s safety!

    1. You should not make a statement like that unless you are going to answer Mike’s reply asking where you got information!!

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