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Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Review

Our Final Verdict

We give Natural Balance Vegetarian dog food a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.


There are advantages and disadvantages of feeding your dog a vegetarian diet. It can be a great diet if your dog suffers from allergies, but you may wonder which vegetarian dog food is the best choice. This review focuses on Natural Balance Vegetarian dog food. We’ll discuss where it is made, ingredients, recalls, and the pros and cons.

The company makes a wet and dry version of its vegetarian recipe, and we will look closer at each one so you will know if Natural Balance Vegetarian is the right choice for your dog.

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At a Glance: The Best Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food
  • Plenty of protein
  • Has fiber for the digestive system
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • Natural Balance Vegetarian Wet Dog Food Natural Balance Vegetarian Wet Dog Food
  • Complete nutrition
  • Minimal ingredients
  • Good consistency
  • Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Reviewed

    Overall View

    If you need a vegetarian formula for your dog, Natural Balance Vegetarian is a good choice because it provides the same essential nutrients as formulas that include meat. The company believes in producing high-quality food, and its vegetarian formula meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dogs.

    However, it is not ideal for growing puppies because they require more calories and protein. Natural Balance is an American company owned by J.M. Smucker Corporation, though it was founded by actor Dick Van Patten in 1989. The company provides a 100% money-back guarantee and a non-profit animal rescue program that helps provide wholesome nutrition to animal shelters.

    Who makes Natural Balance, and where is it produced?

    The home base for Natural Balance is in Burbank, California, and Diamond Pet Food manufactures its products at its South Carolina and California facilities.

    To ensure safety, it is tested by chemists and microbiologists before it is put on the market. You can check its website to learn more about the specific bag you purchased and see the results of the tests. Natural Balance’s recipes are free of artificial chemicals and byproducts such as feathers or bones.

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    Which types of dogs is Natural Balance Vegetarian best suited for?

    If you have decided, with your veterinarian’s approval, that a vegetarian diet is suitable for your pet, the Natural Balance Vegetarian formula is appropriate for all adult dogs. Dogs suffering from allergies or other medical problems, such as kidney issues or liver disease, can benefit from a vegetarian diet.

    Which types of dogs might do better with a different brand?

    Some dogs still have issues with digestion on a vegetarian diet. A vegetarian brand that is highly digestible is the Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Vegetarian Dog Food. If your dog is a picky eater, they might enjoy V-Dog Vegan Kibble Dry Dog Food.


    Primary Ingredients in Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food

    The main ingredients for both formulas are brown rice, oat groats, barley, and peas. The wet food has more moisture but has many of the same ingredients. There is no meat or dairy, and it’s also a vegan recipe.

    It is high in fiber and has the same essential nutrients as the formulas with meat. Veggies are incorporated in the wet and dry foods, but Natural Balances formulas are not grain-free. One big difference is that the dry food adds whole fruits, while the wet food incorporates more supplements.

    A Quick Look at Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food

    • Plenty of vitamins and minerals
    • Simple ingredients
    • High-quality plant protein
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Dry food and wet food
    • Ideal for adult dogs
    • Every production is tested
    • No dairy or meat
    • Not many options for health issues
    • Does not own its manufacturing plant
    • Only two formula options
    • No grain-free option

    Overview of Ingredients


    The plant-based protein sources in this recipe are brown rice, oat groats, barley, peas, and potato protein. Many whole grains are excellent sources of fiber, too. The crude protein analysis in the dry food is 18%, and the wet is 5%.


    Since Natural Balance doesn’t use animal fat, the primary source of fat is canola oil preserved with mixed tocopherols. The wet food formula contains 3% crude fat, and the dry food has 8%.


    There are plenty of complex carbohydrates in each recipe because it uses potatoes, rice, and other vegetables to provide well-rounded nutrition.

    Controversial Ingredients

    Canola oil is a debatable ingredient in dog food. Critics say it isn’t as heart-healthy as other oils, such as fish oil or coconut oil. Proponents claim that canola oil adds a clean taste to a product and helps maintain a healthy immune system.

    Tomato pomace is used to add fiber, though lesser brands use it as a filler. It is a common ingredient in many dog foods. Carrageenan may pose a cancer risk, according to some studies. It is added to canned pet foods to maintain the consistency and moisture of the product.

    Recalls of Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food

    Natural Balance has had two recalls, one in 2010 and the other in 2012. Both were related to possible salmonella contamination and were voluntary recalls. The vegetarian line was part of the 2012 recall.

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    Reviews of the 2 Best Natural Balance Vegetarian Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s look closer at the two Natural Balance Vegetarian dog food formulas:

    1. Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog Food


    The dry formula is popular because it contains complete and balanced nutrition without meat and dairy. Omega fatty acids are added to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. The main ingredients are brown rice, oat groats, barley, and peas. You will also find plenty of fruits and vegetables that work together to keep your dog healthy.

    There are no artificial flavors or colors, and it has a high fiber content to keep the digestive tract functioning properly. The primary source of fat is canola oil, which some are opposed to using, and it has tomato pomace, which is another debated ingredient. This formula is not appropriate for puppies but is suitable for all breeds of adult dogs. Most dogs enjoy the flavor profile and are excited about mealtime.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    natural balance vegetarian dry dog food

    • Plenty of protein
    • Meets nutritional levels
    • Veggies and fruit
    • Fiber for the digestive system
    • Omega fatty acids
    • No artificial flavors or colors
    • Ideal for all adult breeds
    • Contains tomato pomace
    • Contains canola oil
    • Not ideal for puppies

    2. Natural Balance Vegetarian Wet Dog Food


    The 13-ounce can of wet dog food is a true vegetarian formula and is considered vegan because it doesn’t contain meat or dairy. The main ingredients are brown rice, barley, oat groats, and carrots. Keep in mind that the recipe is not appropriate for puppies.

    Since it is wet dog food, it contains plenty of water, but you can mix it with dry food if necessary. It contains added vitamins and minerals with plenty of vegetables. It does not include whole fruits but contains carrageenan to maintain consistency and moisture. Even picky dogs love the flavor of this vegetarian wet dog food, and the consistency is firm, so it is not as messy as some canned foods.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    natural balance vegetarian wet food

    • Complete nutrition
    • Minimal ingredients
    • Plenty of protein
    • Tasty
    • No meat or dairy
    • Ideal for adults
    • Good consistency
    • Not ideal for puppies
    • Contains carrageenan

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Here’s what other reviewers are saying about Natural Balance dog food:

    • Tog Dog Tips: This site reviewed the Natural Balance Vegetarian Dry Dog formula and said, “The vegan-converted dogs have grown healthy and energetic, with enviable and allergy-free skin and shiny coats. This product has certainly changed the lives of many pets and pet owners.”
    • Chicago Tribune: This site offered its take on the Natural Balance Vegetarian Canned dog food and reported: “This palatable wet food is excellent for picky eaters who might reject plain kibble.”
    • Amazon: We check the reviews on Amazon from buyers before recommending a product to you. You can read those reviews by clicking here.

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    Natural Balance Vegetarian provides nutritious dog food in dry or wet form. It is an ideal choice for dogs with sensitive digestive systems or allergies and provides optimal nutrition for every breed. It is unsuitable for puppies, and some dogs may not like the flavor of the dry food. But overall, it is well-liked.

    Natural Balance is focused on whole-body nutrition, and its vegetarian formula is no exception. As you search for the most optimal vegetarian food for your dog, we hope you keep Natural Balance Vegetarian at the forefront because it is an excellent option for owners who want or need to feed their dogs a plant-based diet.

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