Natural Balance dog food uses a combination of science, high-quality ingredients, and a love of pets to create some of the best dog foods on the market. But is Balanced Nutrition dog food everything it claims to be? More importantly, is it right for your dog? Let’s take a closer look at the brand and its extensive product line in our Natural Balance dog food reviews.
- About the Brand
- Natural Balance Dog Food Reviews
- Natural Balance l Wet Dog Food Reviews
- Natural Balance Pet Treats
- Discontinued Product Lines
- What Dogs Should Eat Natural Balance?
- What Dogs Should Not Eat Natural Balance?
- A Word About Vegetarian Dog Food
- How Does Natural Balance Dog Food Measure Up?
About the Brand
Natural Balance dog food was founded in 1989 by the actor Dick van Patten. The food brand set out to make pet products that were nutritious, tasty, and safe.
One of the things that stands out most about the brand is its Feed with Confidence program. This is the brand’s promise to you, that you can be confident that you’re getting high-quality, safe ingredients.
Each batch is rigorously tested for quality and safety. It tests for a variety of contaminants, including multiple types of fungus and molds and bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. Plus, they make sure each recipe has appropriate levels of vitamins B6 and B1.
Natural Balance dog food is very transparent about this process and posts testing results on its website. All you have to do is enter the 10-digit UPC and the seven-digit lot number and you can get the results for the specific batch you’re feeding your dog.
Natural Balance dog food has a vast product line, which we’re going to take a closer look at next.
Natural Balance Dog Food Reviews
First, we’ll take a look at our Natural Balance dog food review for its dry pet food. The brand has an extensive line of dry dog foods, including:
Original Ultra pet food is a high quality grain free dry food line that was developed to support your dog’s all-around health, including proteins to strengthen the immune system and support brain and neural development, healthy bones and teeth, muscles, and heart and eye health. This dog food also has omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids for skin and coat health. These recipes include:
- Grain-Free Chicken
- Grain-Free Chicken Large Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Chicken Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Chicken Senior
- Whole Body Health Chicken, Chicken Meal, and Duck Meal
Original Ultra is the basic line of adult dog food from Natural Balance. These grain free dry dog food recipes are a great source of nutrients that support your dog’s overall health.
L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets pet food consists of simplified recipes that limit the number of ingredients that your pet is exposed to. Each uses limited animal proteins and healthy vegetables like sweet potato and helps support healthy skin and coat with omega 3 fatty acids, digestion, and overall wellness. Pet food recipes in this product line consist of regular and grain free dry dog food options, including:
- Salmon and Brown Rice Adult Dog
- Salmon and Brown Rice Puppy
- Duck and Brown Rice Adult Dog
- Chicken and Brown Rice Adult Dog
- Chicken and Brown Rice Puppy
- Chicken and Brown Rice Large Breed
- Chicken and Brown Rice Small Breed Bites
- Lamb and Brown Rice Adult Dog
- Lamb and Brown Rice Puppy
- Lamb and Brown Rice Large Breed
- Lamb and Brown Rice Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Beef Adult Dog
- Grain-Free Beef Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Lamb Adult Dog
- Grain-Free Turkey Adult Dog
- Grain-Free Pollock Adult Dog
- Grain-Free Fish and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Bison and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Venison and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Duck and Potato Adult Dog
- Grain-Free Duck and Potato Puppy
- Grain-Free Duck and Potato Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Bison and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Fish and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Grain-Free Chicken and Sweet Potato Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Chicken Small Breed Bites
- Grain-Free Fish and Sweet Potato
As you can see, there are a lot of options for dog food under the L.I.D. product line. One of the things that we like about it the most is that it has both regular recipes with brown rice, sweet potato venison, and sweet potato and fish, and grain-free options. We also like the wide range of protein sources. Go with the standard, like chicken and beef, or if your dog has allergies, try a novel protein like salmon, lamb, pollock, duck, or venison.
These dog food recipes were formulated by a team of vets, animal nutritionists, and master formulators to target specific health needs. Each contains no artificial flavors or colors and has a high fiber content to support healthy digestion. Specific recipes include:
- Gentle Balance Dry Dog Food Formula. This recipe includes a special fiber blend and prebiotics to support healthy digestion and ideal stool quality. It also contains omega 3 and 6 fatty acids to support skin and coat health. Chicken and chicken meal are the top two ingredients, and it boasts a crude protein of 28 percent.
- Zen Life Dry Dog Food Formula. Experts formulated this pet food to support your dog’s well-being from the inside out. Real turkey with natural tryptophan is the first ingredient, and with the addition of chamomile, this recipe tastes great and helps your dog live a zen life.
- On the Move Dry Dog Food Formula. Here’s a formula designed for active dogs. With 27 percent protein from chicken, chicken meal, and fish meal, this recipe helps build lean muscle and provides natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin to support joint health.
- Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dry Dog Food Formula. This one is formulated for overweight dogs and provides a special blend of protein and fiber that supports them nutritionally while helping them lose weight.
If you have a dog that has special dietary needs, the Targeted Nutrition dog food line might be what you’re looking for. Gentle Balance might be a great choice for senior dogs, and the On the Move Formula is perfect for dogs with high energy needs. Zen Life seems to be tailored to helping your dog wind down, though it should never be used as a substitute for letting your dog run around outside to burn off that pent-up energy. Finally, the Fat Dogs low-calorie recipe is the only weight management formula offered by Natural Balance.
Natural Balance’s Vegetarian Dry Dog Food formula gets rave reviews from pet parents. It’s designed to provide balanced nutrition for your dog and offers an alternative to meat-based dry dog food. Protein comes from plant sources, like brown rice, oat groats, and pea protein. Note that feeding a vegetarian diet to your dog isn’t always recommended. They are, after all, wolves at heart, and animal protein is an essential part of their diet. That said, some conditions require a low protein pet food diet. Talk to your vet to make sure a vegetarian diet is safe for your dog.
Natural Balance l Wet Dog Food Reviews
Next in our Natural Balance dog food review is its wet foods, including:
Just like the dry Original Ultra pet foods, the wet Original Ultra recipes support your dog’s all-around health. There are a lot of recipes available, including:
- Chicken Canned Dog Formula
- Chicken, Duck, and Brown Rice Puppy Formula Canned Dog Food
- Chicken, Salmon, and Duck Canned Dog Food
- Reduced Calorie Chicken, Salmon, and Duck Canned Dog Food
- Beef Canned Dog Formula
- Lamb Canned Dog Formula
- Liver Canned Dog Formula
- Ultra Premium Vegetarian Canned Dog Formula
L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet dog food uses the same philosophy as the L.I.D. dry food formulas. These are simplified grain-free dog food recipes with a limited number of ingredients. Each uses limited animal proteins and has everything your dog needs to support healthy skin and coat, digestion, and overall wellness. Recipes include:
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Canned Dog Formula
- Duck and Potato Canned Dog Formula
- Sweet Potato and Venison Canned Dog Formula
- Sweet Potato and Fish Canned Dog Formula
- Lamb and Brown Rice Canned Dog Formula
- Buffalo and Sweet Potato Canned Dog Formula
These grain-free dog food recipes come in small portions, so there less waste, a common problem with picky eaters. Each flavor uses natural ingredients and has added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Plus, you can use these pet foods alone or as a topper for dry food.
- Fish ‘N Chicks Chicken & Salmon Formula in Broth with Sweet Potato & Green Beans Dog Food
- Duck’en-itas Duck & Chicken Formula in Broth with Pumpkin & Potato Dog Food
- Woof’erole Tuna & Turkey Formula in Broth with Sweet Potato & Green Beans Dog Food
- Surf ‘N Turf Chicken & Tuna Formula in Broth with Pumpkin & Green Beans Dog Food
Just like the high quality dry food recipes in this product line, these wet Targeted Nutrition recipes were formulated by a team of animal nutritionists, vets, and master formulators to target specific health needs. The wet formulas can be used as a meal, but they also make great toppers for dry food. Specific recipes include:
Natural Balance Pet Treats
Natural Balance offers some great dog treats, too. They’re a great choice if you want something that uses limited ingredients, and there are a lot of options to choose from.
Limited Ingredient Diets Crunchy Biscuits
- Grain-Free Bison Formula
- Grain-Free Lamb Formula
- Grain-Free Duck Formula
- Grain-Free Venison Formula
- Grain-Free Turkey Formula
- Grain-Free Chicken Formula
- Grain-Free Fish Formula
Limited Ingredient Diets Belly/Chewy Bites
Limited Ingredient Treats
- Sweet Potato and Chicken
- Sweet Potato and Fish
- Sweet Potato and Venison
- Potato and Duck
- Sweet Potato and Bison
- Brown Rice and Lamb Meal
- Potato and Duck Small Breed Formula
- Sweet Potato and Fish Small Breed Formula
- Sweet Potato and Venison Small Breed Formula
- Sweet Potato and Chicken Small Breed Formula
- Sweet Potato and Bison Small Breed Formula
- Brown Rice and Lamb Meal Small Breed Formula
Limited Ingredient Diets Jumpin’ Sticks
- Chicken and Sweet Potato
- Venison and Sweet Potato
- Duck and Potato
- Chicken and Sweet Potato Mini Stix
- Venison and Sweet Potato Mini Stix
- Duck and Potato Mini Stix
Limited Ingredient Diets Mini Rewards
- Soft and Chewy Turkey Formula
- Soft and Chewy Salmon Formula
- Soft and Chewy Chicken Formula
- Soft and Chewy Duck Formula
- Soft and Chewy Lamb Formula
Discontinued Product Lines
You might see some people recommending some lines of Natural Balance that have been discontinued. Product lines like Wild Pursuit, Synergy, and ChopLick’n Stew no longer appear on the brand’s official website and are out of stock in most online retailers.
What Dogs Should Eat Natural Balance?
One of the best things about dog food Natural Balance is that there are so many products available, but what types of dogs are they suitable for? Let’s take a closer look.
Most of these recipes, like sweet potato venison are tailored to adult dogs, and there are a lot of options to choose from. Some have duck meal, others are limited ingredient dog food with chicken sweet potato, duck meal, sweet potato fish, sweet potato bison, potato duck, or other quality ingredients with a single animal protein. That said, they have a few options for puppies in the Original Ultra line, including four dry food and one wet.
This is a pretty good brand for dogs with allergies. There are so many options to choose from, most of which are grain-free. The entire Limited Ingredients Diet product line is good for dogs with allergies and sensitivities, and there are wet and dry options. We like that they use a variety of protein sources, including some novel proteins like venison, duck, turkey, and buffalo.
If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach, you might want something other than chicken sweet potato, and sweet potato fish is a good option. This pet food brand does a good job of using a range of ingredients, in both Natural Balance dry and wet food.
That said, make sure you read the label before buying. We covered a lot of ground here and showed you all of the dog food Natural Balance offers, but it’s up to you to do your due diligence and make sure the recipe you choose is free of allergens.
We think this is a great pet food option for picky eaters. Again, this largely comes down to the sheer number of options Natural Balance offers. There are a lot of wet recipes that use proteins like duck, lamb, buffalo, and salmon that your picky eater may prefer to chicken or beef. Plus, the number of wet foods gives you a lot of options if you’re looking for a topper. Wet food is moist and smells more appetizing than most dry foods, so they’re a great choice for picky eaters. They may not like sweet potatoes and things like canola oil and other ingredients may turn them off, but the wet food from Natural Balance is good for most life stages and meets their nutritional needs while using ingredients that smell great and are full of natural flavor.
Natural Balance dog food not only offers plenty of dry food options for small breeds, but they have treats specifically formulated for them, too. We think this is a great brand for small breeds because it provides a lot of variety. There are recipes with sweet potatoes, duck potato, in small pound bags, perfect for little dogs.
Large breeds don’t have quite the same number of options as small breeds, but there are three distinct recipes for large breeds available, two in the Ultra line and one in the Limited Ingredient Diet line. If. your large breed dog loves lid sweet potato, there are a lot of food brands you can turn to. But the multi pound bag of large breed food with natural ingredients from Natural Balance meets their crude fat and nutritional needs with natural flavor and wholesome ingredients.
What Dogs Should Not Eat Natural Balance?
Natural Balance is a great option for most dogs, but there are two areas in which we thought the brand was lacking. They are:
While Natural Balance does have one senior formula available in the Original Ultra line, this brand is not the best choice for seniors. With so many product lines and recipes available, it’s a little disappointing that there isn’t more variety for older dogs.
Natural Balance dog food offers one weight management formula in its Targeted Nutrition line, Fat Dogs Low-Calorie Dry Dog Food Formula, and one low-calorie wet dog food. Again, this brand offers such a wide range of flavors and recipes, we wish there was more than one option specifically for overweight dogs.
A Word About Vegetarian Dog Food
Vegetarian diets are a valid choice for humans, but there is some debate about whether they are safe for dogs. That’s why we recommend talking to your vet before switching to Natural Balance dog food vegetarian recipe. There may be risks associated with cutting out animal proteins.
Dog food diet trends tend to follow human diet trends, and vegetarian dog foods are growing in popularity. Some people want vegetarian dog food for their pet for the same reason they follow one themselves – because they think eating animals is unethical.
While this is understandable, it’s more important to consider whether or not vegetarian dog food is healthy for your pet. Most vets and animal nutritionists would say that vegetarian diets are not healthy for canines. Dogs do not only eat meat in the wild. Your dog’s ancestors ate whatever they needed to survive. And while you can feed your dog a vegetarian diet and the right supplements to technically meet its nutrition needs, your pet won’t thrive in the same way as it would be getting these nutrients naturally from eating animal protein.
Although some research shows that dogs had evolved to eat an agriculturally-based diet of grain (calling grain-free diets into question), this doesn’t mean that they don’t need meat. Dogs are designed to eat meat, from their sharp teeth to their short digestive tracts. Yes, ingredients like sweet potatoes, canola oil, pea protein, and potato protein help. But these ingredients are not the same as a high protein duck formula or something that adds a wholesome protein to lid sweet potato and canola oil.
Dogs that eat strictly vegetarian ingredients may suffer from heart disease and other issues due to vitamin deficiencies. They may seem healthy in the short term, but some of these deficiencies take a long time to show up because your dog’s body is pretty good at compensating for them until they can’t any longer.
If you’re concerned about the ethics of feeding your dog meat, there are alternatives to a vegetarian diet. Look for manufacturers that use hormone and antibiotic-free meats for high protein recipes and free-range poultry or grass-fed beef.
How Does Natural Balance Dog Food Measure Up?
From our dog food review, we think that Natural Balance is a great pet food brand. Although the brand isn’t very forthcoming about where it sources its products, we’re impressed with the testing that they complete. The fact that you can go to its website, enter the UPC and lot number, and see the results of the analysis is very transparent and reassuring.
One of the best things about Natural Balance dog food is the sheer number of options it offers. There are regular dry dog foods, grain-free dog food, wet and dry recipes, and those appropriate for small breeds, large breeds, adult dogs, and puppies. We like that they have classic flavors, like chicken and beef, but also offer a lot of novel options, including pollock, salmon, venison, turkey, and duck. This is a great brand for picky eaters and dogs with food allergies or sensitivities, and the recipes are so tasty, they’ll satisfy any dog’s appetite.
There are only three things that we didn’t love about Natural Balance. The first is that it only offers a single senior dog food option. While some of the other recipes may be suitable, it would be nice to see one that is specifically meant for older dogs. The same goes for weight control options. We’re happy that the brand has a recipe for overweight dogs, but it would be nice if there were more to choose from. The last thing we aren’t so fond of is the vegetarian dog food option. As we mentioned, vegetarian dog food isn’t the healthiest option for any dog, so we recommend talking to your vet before making the switch.
Something that we haven’t mentioned yet is that this brand has a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. If you’re not fully happy with your product, reach out to Natural Balance and they promise to make it right.
You might be wondering about how much Natural Balance dog food costs. As quality dog foods go, it’s on par with the better brands that you’d find in the grocery store. Natural balance isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s affordable enough to fit into most people’s budgets. And don’t forget about the satisfaction guarantee. Natural Balance will make it right if you don’t like your purchase, so you don’t have anything to lose.
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