Fresh pet food has become increasingly popular over the last few years, and for good reason! We pet owners love spoiling our fur babies, especially during meals. So, when I heard about NutriCanine, I was excited to try it with my dog, Jelly.
NutriCanine is a Canadian-based dog food company that focuses on producing high-quality fresh dog food. This subscription service helps dog owners choose the ideal recipe for their pets by answering a brief questionnaire. This questionnaire will help you find the most suitable recipe and serving size for your canine.
Since this is a fresh food company, there are strict quality guidelines to ensure that your dog’s food comes frozen, preventing any degradation of the meals. As someone who had never given their dog fresh food before, I was excited to see if NutriCanine would be a new constant in my dog’s diet.
At a Glance: What We Reviewed
|NutriCanine Chicken Fresh Food
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|NutriCanine Turkey Fresh Food
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|NutriCanine Beef Fresh Food
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|NutriCanine Lamb Fresh Food
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NutriCanine’s Chicken Recipe Reviewed
About NutriCanine’s Products
NutriCanine specializes in making high-quality fresh food for dogs. They focus on perfecting four recipes: Chicken, Turkey, Beef, and Lamb. The Chicken Recipe is the most popular one, as chicken is often the go-to animal protein choice for dogs and, unless your dog has allergies, is a generally safe choice as well.
The Turkey Recipe is advertised as the “leaner” choice for dogs who may be a little bit round (but still adorable) and would benefit from a less calorie-dense meal choice. Besides having ground turkey, turkey liver, and kale as the main ingredients, it contains similar foods as the Chicken Recipe.
NutriCanine’s Beef Recipe is geared toward dogs who may turn up their nose at other dog foods. This mix of ground beef, rice, and beef liver, along with mixed berries and vegetables, will help entice the pickiest eater. This Beef Recipe is also recommended for dogs that have an immune response to gluten.
Lastly, there is the Lamb Recipe. While any dog could try this recipe, NutriCanine created this blend of lamb, rice, liver, and vegetables with hypoallergenic dogs in mind. The lamb and vegetables help promote healthy skin and coat while avoiding any gluten.
Each of the recipes includes NutriCanine’s special Vitamin & Mineral Mix. This company’s goal is to make healthy food that tastes delicious and promotes your dog’s overall health, from their skin and coat to their digestive wellness.
Who Makes NutriCanine and Where Is It Produced?
NutriCanine’s food is made by a small Canadian-based company. Since they want to make sure their food meets quality standards, all their recipes were developed by a dog food formulation specialist, adhering to AAFCO guidelines.
NutriCanine is subscription-based, so if you want to give these recipes a try, the company can have them shipped right to your door.
Which Types of Pets Is NutriCanine Best Suited For?
NutriCanine caters its recipes to dogs in various life stages. The company also specializes in three recipes if the dog owner is looking for something specific. The Turkey Recipe can help with dogs who are slightly overweight, while the Beef Recipe is for picky eaters. The Lamb Recipe can help with dogs who are hypoallergenic.
It is not clear on their site if their recipes can be for puppies. However, when you fill out the questionnaire, you can select age groups ranging from 2 to 12 months. This gives the impression that you could use this food for your puppy. But it would be best to reach out to your vet to get some guidance.
When you fill out the questionnaire, you can select age groups ranging from 2 to 12 months. This gives the impression that you could use this food for your puppy. But it would be best to reach out to your vet to get some guidance for young puppies younger than 2 months.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
Breakdown of Primary and Secondary Ingredients
These fresh food recipes have meat as the first ingredient, so it will either be chicken, turkey, beef, or lamb. The second ingredient for the recipes is either a vegetable or grain:
- Butternut Squash
The rest of the ingredients are almost similar across all four recipes, with some minor variations. But expect your recipe to include most of the following:
- Mixed Berries
- Green Beans
- Sunflower Oil
- Fish Oil
NutriCanine aims to only add healthy and beneficial ingredients for your dog. No fillers were added to stretch the amount of food you get per serving. It is simple, but your dog’s health was the top priority when these recipes were developed.
Fresh Food vs Raw Food
Some people may think that “fresh food” and “raw food” are the same thing. However, there are some differences.
Fresh food, like all NutriCanine’s recipes, is gently cooked at a low temperature. Raw food has not been cooked and usually contains organ and muscle meat, bones, raw eggs, vegetables, and fruits. Some veterinarians do not advocate for a raw food diet because it requires a lot of special preparation, which can lead to sanitation issues if not done correctly.
NutriCanine sticks to fresh food and tests it for E. coli and other foodborne diseases. The meals are flash-frozen and vacuumed sealed to maintain freshness.
Addition of Sunflower and Fish Oil
Why is fish and sunflower oil added? Won’t that make the food “unhealthy”? Not at all! You may be surprised to know that a lot of commercial dog foods contain omega-3 and -6 fatty acids and benefit dogs with the following issues:
- Heart problems
- Issues with skin and coat
- Joint issues
Fish and sunflower oil are also great for brain development, which is essential for younger dogs. But most commercial dog foods do not have that much fish oil (therefore, not as much omega-3 or -6), so your dog may not be reaping all this oil’s benefits because of the low quantity.
NutriCanine has added these oils to their recipes because these oils have essential fats that help with the dog’s overall skin, coat, and joint health.
Planning Ahead Is Essential
If you are unfamiliar with fresh food, it is vital to understand that the food cannot be stored as you would with dry or even canned food. You MUST have room in your freezer to store the food properly. The food cannot be kept long-term in the fridge. You only put the food in the fridge when you are ready to use all of it within four days.
Another thing you need to plan for is getting the food defrosted enough so your dog can eat it without getting brain freeze. And since the food only lasts four days in the fridge, plan how much you will need ahead of time.
NutriCanine Chicken Recipe Review
NutriCanine’s food is top-quality. While a lot of dog food has a laundry list of ingredients, NutriCanine keeps it simple but beneficial. If you are more familiar with pate-style wet food, everything is blended together. Even though the ingredients are listed on the label, you often wonder what is actually in the food.
This is not the case with NutriCanine. You can see the chunks of potato, blueberries, and kale mixed in with the animal protein. And while this may be an overused statement, you feel good about giving your dog this food. The company has stated that the food is human-grade, ensuring that it is a quality fit for your canine.
Ingredients Analysis of the Chicken Recipe
Calories Per Cup Breakdown
This is where NutriCanine differs a bit from other dog foods: they do not provide a calorie per cup breakdown.
Why is that? NutriCanine provides you with suggested daily caloric intake based on a few questions you answer about your dog before you order the food:
- Activity Level (Mellow, Active, Very Active)
- Body Type (Underweight, Ideal, Overweight)
Based on the answers, NutriCanine will give you an idea of how much your dog should be eating per day.
Here is Jelly’s information:
|Activity Level (Mellow, Active, Very Active):
|Body Type (Underweight, Ideal, Overweight):
According to my answers, Jelly should get 581 calories a day. Once she has fully transitioned to eating entirely fresh food, she will get approximately two-thirds of the packet.
Our Experience With NutriCanine’s Chicken Recipe
My dog, Jelly, is a lovable senior girl. She prefers to watch a movie with you on the couch than to go on a 5-mile hike; however, she is at her ideal weight. She is not a picky eater, but since this was her first time trying fresh food, I opted for the Chicken Recipe. She is used to chicken and has never had any adverse effects from this animal protein, so I thought that this would be the safest bet.
Jelly normally gets Blue Buffalo Senior Formula Dry Food with a few spoonfuls of Blue Buffalo Homestyle Chicken Recipe as a topper. According to NutriCanine’s instructions, I should give her 25% fresh food and 75% kibble for the first two days to ease her into it. When I was serving her the food, it did not look like a lot, but this was the point: ease her into the new diet slowly.
The first feeding was a complete success! Jelly did not even hesitate when I put her bowl down. Great! Well, taste-wise, Jelly would give NutriCanine an A+ if she could talk (and knew about grades!).
The real test would be to see if she got an upset stomach. I feed her in the late afternoon, so if she starts to get a bit antsy at night, this is a sign she might have diarrhea. However, she slept through the night, showing no signs of stomach issues at all.
After two days of eating only 25% fresh food, we increased the portion percentage to 50% for the next two days. Jelly wolfed down her meals and licked the bowl clean. By the time we increased her percent to 75% fresh food and 25% kibble, I felt confident that her stomach could handle fresh food like a champ!
Overall, my experience with NutriCanine was fantastic! Jelly absolutely loved the Chicken Recipe, and it did not cause any digestive issues. Jelly did not have any issues, per se, that I was looking to help alleviate with a different diet, but she is a senior dog, so giving her top-quality food will help with her overall joint and heart health.
If you are curious about switching your dog to a fresh food diet, I cannot recommend NutriCanine highly enough! The ingredients they use and the care they put into each of their meals show that they are striving to be top contenders in the fresh pet food market. Based on how much my dog liked their Chicken Recipe meal from NutriCanine, I have no doubt that they will continue to receive highly positive receptions from their customers.