About Nature's Recipe Vegetarian Dog Food
Nature's Recipe is not a vegetarian dog food brand, but it does offer plant-based options for vegan dogs.
This brand advertises no artificial preservatives and flavors in its products as well as no corn or wheat, which may help to make it more allergy-friendly.
Nature's Recipe's vegan formula, Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe, is specifically made for adult dogs and can be given to dogs large and small, from five to 50 pounds.
On its website, Nature's Recipe states that its vegetarian formula is developed to satisfy AAFCO nutritional standards.
For all options, check out our top picks for the top vegan dog food brands at this link below....
Let's take a look at the ingredient list for Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe:
Ingredients: Brewer's Rice, Soybean Meal, Barley, Canola Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Salt, Carrots, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of Vitamin C], Inositol, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-carotene, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Onion Extract, Garlic Powder, Citric Acid (used as a preservative), Rosemary Extract.
Definitely no corn or wheat. What this formula appears to be based on is brewer's rice, which is not a bad ingredient, but it's not the most nutrient-dense, either.
Brewer's rice is a leftover product of rice milling that doesn't contain many of the beneficial nutrients in whole and brown rice. It's often added as a filler to dog foods.
It's great that Nature's Recipe contains a variety of added vitamins and minerals as all dogs need diverse nutrients, just like people.
Instead of pea protein, which is typical in vegan dog foods, this one uses soy protein. It does have carrots in it, but unlike some of the other brands we've scoped out, it doesn't have an array of fruits and vegetables.
We also don't see taurine, which is often added to dog foods—particularly vegan dog foods.
Dog bodies can make taurine as long as they're getting foods with plenty of taurine in them, which are usually animal-based. This is why vegan dog food brands often add a plant-based source of taurine in.
You may or may not want to supplement with taurine, but you should always talk to your vet first before you make a big change in your dog's diet or try any sort of supplementation. This is just something to think about with this brand.
Let's look at the vegan wet food option, Stew Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe Cuts in Gravy next:
Ingredients: Water Sufficient For Processing, Carrots, Pea Protein, Peas, Soy Protein Concentrate, Soy Protein Isolate, Sucrose, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Brown Rice, Cane Molasses, Calcium Carbonate, Green Beans, Guar Gum, Vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, D-Calcium Panthothenate, Vitamin A Supplement,Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Taurine, Salt, Garlic Spice, Dl Methionine, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Rosemary Extract.
This recipe looks a little different. It's mainly water and carrots, and there are plenty of added vitamins and minerals. We do see taurine in this list, which can be good.
The third and fourth ingredients on the list are pea protein and peas, common protein sources in vegan dog food.
Because these ingredients are not first on the list, they may not qualify for any particular concern, but we do want to briefly mention that formulas based on peas, potatoes and lentils could potentially be problematic for some dogs.
Right now, the FDA is investigating 16 dog food brands using one of these foods as a main ingredient for potential connections to cases of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which can lead to heart failure.
But as of right now, the FDA hasn’t indicated that anyone should stop buying these brands as no conclusions have been reached.
**Also, Nature's Recipe isn't on the list at the time of writing.
It's also important to note that the potential problem seems to lie in basing formulas on these ingredients—Nature's Recipe wet food looks like it's based on carrots.
Check out this vegan starter kit
We don't have access to the information to make any judgments either way, but it's something to note.
Nature's Recipe Vegetarian Dog Food Reviews Analyzed
To help you get some clearer insights into Nature's Recipe's vegan dog food, we checked out all the reviews we could find from different sources for an unbiased view.
Below, we're summarizing the key points that we discovered in customer feedback.
Nature's Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe
In general, the reviews for Nature's Recipe are positive, and only a very small minority of reviews are negative.
The positive associations with this food include improving skin conditions, help with allergies, and even improvement in appetite where dogs have shunned other brands.
This last point is important because as dog parents know, no matter how healthy the food might be, it won't matter if your dog won't eat it.
Many reviewers have reported seeing thinning fur become thick and glossy and praised Nature's Recipe for being the only food that their dogs' sensitive stomachs could handle.
Some have also mentioned that this food helped to stabilize their dogs' weight and sustain energy levels, even for older dogs. (However, weight loss is not necessarily something that reviewers often see in case this is something you're looking for.)
Of the negative reviews, some pointed out a discomfort with the use of fillers in the product, and a few commenters were not keen on the amount of soy used.
Many of the negative reviews were about dogs not liking the formula and refusing to eat it, but a few also mention that this kibble is a little too big for smaller breeds like Toy Poodles.
A small handful mention that skin issues and allergies did not clear up as customers had hoped, and some even say that their dogs developed itchy skin on this formula.
However, taking all the reviews into perspective, the bad reactions to the food seem to be very limited and the benefits of Nature's Recipe seem to be in the majority of experiences.
- Healthy skin and coats
- Most dogs enjoy the taste
- May help with certain allergies
- Good for sensitive digestive systems
- Great for adult dogs from younger to senior years
- Some dogs don't like it
- Not necessarily good for all allergies
- May be a little too large for small dogs
- Higher in soy and fillers
Where to Buy
You can also find Nature' Recipe at Petco and Walmart. If you want to pick up a bag in person, check the online store locator to see if it's available in your area.
If you're looking for something a little different from Nature's Recipe for your vegan pooch, there are lots of options to choose from.
One is V-dog, a popular vegan dog food brand that many reviews say has completely transformed their dogs' health. See our V-Dog review here.
It's chock full of healthy ingredients like flaxseed, fruits and vegetables, and it's supplemented with taurine and L-carnitine for a balanced formula.
Advocates of this brand love that it's made in the U.S.A. and find that their dogs thrive on it.
V-dog is based on peas and is not on the FDA's list of brands being investigated regarding the use of peas, potatoes and lentils and the potential connection to heart problems. As always, it's worth talking to your vet about switching brands if you're interested in this (or any other) alternative.
Another option is Halo Holistic Garden of Vegan Recipe—this is Halo's highly praised vegan dog kibble. See our Halo Dry and Wet Vegetarian Dog Food review here.
Halo's recipe avoids fillers, corn and wheat. It uses mainly peas and chickpeas and pays attention to a full spectrum of vitamins and minerals, plus taurine (again, Halo is not on the FDA's list regarding pea content).
Some of the most notable comments about Halo's vegan dog food are about helping with itchy skin, rashes and digestion and promoting healthy, shiny coats.
Altogether, Nature's Recipe vegan dog food appears to be a solid plant-based option and a product that most reviewers stand by.
It avoids some major allergens but does not contain added taurine. An affordable price is also a major plus.
Cons include the use of some common filler products and the fact that some dogs aren't interested in it.
But overall, this is a great product if you're switching to the vegan diet for your dog and you need an option that won't break the bank.
Want to take all of the guess-work around going vegan?
Click here to check out the Vegan Starter Kit.