If you’re in the market for good food for any breed puppy, take a look at Nutrisource Dog Food. Nutri Source is a member of KLN Family Brands and is a dog food brand you can trust. We’re going to take a closer look at everything you need to know about this dog food brand and why it’s such a good choice for your puppy in our Nutrisource dog food review.
- About the Brand
- How is puppy food different from adult dog food?
- When to Switch to Adult Food
- Good 4 Life System
- Dog Food Review
- How Does NutriSource Dog Food Measure Up to Other Brands?
- Final Verdict on NutriSource Dog Food
About the Brand
Nutrisource was founded by Darrell Nelson in 1964, and the brand has been in the family for three generations. Darrel started the company with his son Kenny, and the brand was originally called Tuffy’s Pet Foods. Today, Kenny’s son, Charlie, is in charge. Nutrisource dog food is and has always been made in Perham, Minnesota, and they are big believers in supporting small towns.
There are four types of Nurtisource dog foods: the original Nutrisource, Pura Vita, Choice, and Element. The family-owned company understands how important every part of the process is, from food handling to nutritionally balanced ingredients to knowing how to deal with customers. Each bag comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, showing how much the company stands behind its products.
How is puppy food different from adult dog food?
Food meant for puppies and food meant for adult dogs have different formulas because puppies and adult dogs have vastly different nutritional requirements. While they may use the same list of ingredients, the amount of each ingredient varies. The main variations are in the amount of fat, protein, and minerals.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), a non-profit organization that determines the standards of safety and quality for all animal feed in the United States, recommends that food for puppies contains a minimum of 22.5 percent crude protein and 8.5 percent crude fat. In contrast, adult food should have at least 18 percent crude protein and 5.5 percent crude fat.
Puppies also require more minerals, but the same amount of vitamins. So, if a puppy eats regular adult dog food, it won’t get enough protein or fat and will be missing some of the nutrients it needs for proper growth.
Why are fat and protein so important? Each ingredient is important for dogs in its own way. Protein plays several important roles in the body, especially in a growing puppy. Protein builds and repairs muscle and is needed to form skin cells and connective tissue, grow hair, and support the immune system.
Not all proteins are created equal, though. When looking for food for your puppy, choose animal proteins like chicken, lamb, or beef over plant proteins. Look for ingredients like real meat and meals. Things like beef or chicken meal are ok but avoid any by-products. Puppies can eat fruits, veggies, and grains safely, but these should never be the main ingredients in any recipe. If you choose to feed your pup dog food products with grains, look for things like white rice and choose pet foods with whole-grain ingredients.
Fat is important because it supports brain and vision development, which are key to making sure your puppy grows up healthy. They also provide the fatty acids your pup needs for healthy skin and a shiny coat. Fats are also necessary to carry nutrients to cells, protect against infection, help your pup absorb fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, K, and E.
Another difference is that food for puppies is often more calorically dense, meaning that more calories are packed into a smaller volume of food. Because puppies have smaller stomachs, calorically dense food helps ensure that they get the necessary number of calories in a small amount of food.
Puppy food is also formulated to help them grow at the right rate, which is why there are puppy foods that are formulated especially for large and small breed puppies. Using the right type ensures that your puppy attains optimal growth. Growing too fast can lead to many health problems, including skeletal deformities, shorter lifespan, and adult obesity. Obesity is important to avoid as it can cause diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, osteoarthritis, and a suppressed immune system.
It is very important to maintain a slow and steady growth rate with a large breed puppy. Any dog that is expected to be at least 60 pounds as an adult is considered a large breed. Large breed food is different from regular as it has less fat, calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous to ensure that the bones grow at an appropriate rate. Large breeds are prone to developing osteoarthritis as adults, and proper growth as a puppy can help prevent issues later in life.
Small breed puppies have some special dietary needs, too. Small dogs have insanely fast metabolisms, which means they need more calories per pound than large breeds. Most puppy foods for small breeds are high in calories. Small dogs also have to eat as many as six times a day because their high metabolism puts them at risk for low blood sugar. If they don’t get enough food, they can develop signs of hypoglycemia, including lethargy, weakness, and in severe cases, seizures.
When to Switch to Adult Food
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer as to when to switch to adult dog food. Most dogs stop growing between 12 and 18 months, but some giant breeds continue growing until 24 months. Small dogs may reach their adult size as early as 9 months.
Every dog is different, too, so two dogs of the same breed may stop growing at different times. Talk to your vet to determine when your puppy is ready to make the switch. To help you choose an adult formula, we included some information about recipes from NutriSource, including standards like the brand’s chicken rice formula and options beyond chicken, in this review.
Good 4 Life System
One thing that all Nutrisource dog food uses to provide the best possible nutrition for your pets is the Goof 4 Life system. It consists of four key ingredients that work together to support your dog’s overall wellness and GI health. These ingredients are:
- Sel-Plex. Sel-Plex is the only FDA-reviewed and approved organic selenium supplement, a form of organic selenium yeast. It’s easily digested, and dogs can use it more easily than inorganic supplements. Selenium is an antioxidant that may help to improve immunity, support reproduction, and prevent age-related cognitive decline.
- Bioplex. Bioplex is the proprietary name for the blend of trace minerals that NutriSource dog food adds to its recipes. Specifically, it’s an organic source of copper, zinc, iron, and manganese. It also contains an amino acid carrier that makes the nutrients bio-available to your dog. These trace minerals improve overall health and immunity and support reproductive health. Bioflow also helps maintain healthy skin and coat.
- Bio-Mos. Bio-Mos is a probiotic. It promotes good bacteria growth and keeps a healthy microbial balance.
- Lacto-Sacc. These probiotics contain two live bacteria and three extracts to further support GI health. Lacto-Sacc probiotics coat the outside of NutriSource kibble to aid in digestion. It also includes Yea-Sacc, a strain of yeast shown to work in the stomach to better colonize the GI tract.
Dog Food Review
The experts at Nutrisource have many great adult dog food recipes, but today, we’re going to focus specifically on what they have for puppies.
Wet Dog Food
The first we’re going to look at in our Nutrisource dog food review is this puppy canned dog food. What’s interesting about this recipe is that it’s formulated for all breeds, big and small, and is even great for all life stages.
Wet dog food is a great way to supplement your puppy’s diet and make sure they get a little extra hydration. This recipe is not grain free, but it does use brown rice instead of white rice to add some whole grain. It contains 8 percent protein and fat and is 450 kcal/can and customer reviews give it 4.5 stars.
The ingredient list is as follows: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Oceanfish, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Brown Rice, Barley, Dried Egg Product, Agar-Agar, Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Kelp, Vitamins (including Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Selenium Yeast, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Dried Brewers Yeast, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Salmon Oil.
Dry Dog Food
This recipe is formulated to meet AAFCO standards for all life stages in small and medium dogs. It is not meant for large-sized dogs reaching 70 pounds or greater in adulthood.
This chicken rice recipe contains all the ingredients your small to medium-breed puppy needs to grow strong, including omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids, taurine, and L-carnitine. It features 32 percent protein, 21 percent, and 535 kcal/cup. Dog owners love this recipe, with reviews giving it 4.7 stars.
The ingredient list is as follows: Chicken meal, chicken, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid),menhaden fish meal (a source of fish oil), oatmeal, barley, oil from sunflowers (preserved with tocopherols), flax seeds, dried plain beet pulp, brewers yeast, natural chicken flavor, potassium chloride, dried tomato pomace, salt, DL methionine, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, selenium yeast), choline chloride, vitamins (including vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vit E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lecithin, lactic acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), yucca schidigera extract, taurine, L-carnitine, calcium iodate, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.
The large breed puppy recipe pet food contains essential omega-3 and 6 fatty acids, taurine, and L-carnitine, just like the small and medium-breed puppy formula, but this chicken rice recipe uses ingredients especially for all stages of life of large dog breeds weighing more than 70 pounds as an adult.
This brown rice formula contains 26 percent protein, 14 percent fat, and 400 kcal/cup. Reviews are impressive with a total of 4.6 stars.
The ingredients are chicken, chicken meal, brown rice, barley, oatmeal, dried plain beet pulp, flax seeds, natural turkey and chicken flavor, chicken fat (preserved with tocopherols and citric acid), brewers dried yeast, menhaden fish meal (a source of fish oil), sunflower oil, dried kelp meal, potassium chloride, salt, DL methionine, minerals, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3, B12 and E supplements, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), lactic acid, yucca schidigera extract, taurine, L-carnitine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.
If you’re looking for a grain-free option for your small to medium-sized pup, Nurtisource has you covered.
This recipe uses turkey instead of chicken as the main protein. It contains 32 percent protein, 18 percent fat, and 446 kcal/cup. This recipe has 4.4 stars and a handful of great reviews.
The full ingredient list is as follows: Turkey, turkey meal, green lentils, red lentils, garbanzo beans, oil from sunflowers, whitefish meal, menhaden fish meal, natural turkey flavor, dried tomato pomace, potassium chloride, brewers dried yeast, salt, DL methionine, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, selenium yeast), choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement), lactic acid, preserved with tocopherols and citric acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), yucca schidigera extract, taurine, L-carnitine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.
Here’s a great grain-free option for large breed puppies, and a good alternative to a chicken-based recipe. It meets AAFCO guidelines for all stages of life for dog breeds that reach 70 pounds or more in adulthood.
The recipe is made up of 28 percent protein, 14 percent fat, and contains 428 kcal/cup.
The full ingredient list is as follows: Turkey, red lentils, garbanzo beans, whitefish meal, green lentils, peas, oil from sunflowers, menhaden fish meal, natural turkey flavor, potassium chloride, dried tomato pomace, brewers dried yeast, salt, DL methionine, choline chloride, minerals (including iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, selenium yeast), vitamins (vitamin A acetate, vitamin D3 and vitamin E supplement, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), lactic acid, preserved with tocopherols and citric acid, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), yucca schidigera extract, taurine, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, yeast culture, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract.
Adult Food Options
Knowing what to feed your puppy as they reach adulthood can be tricky, but it is sometimes easiest to transition them to adult food from the same brand that they’re been eating as a puppy. That’s why we thought we’d include a little bit of information about the adult dog foods Nutri Source offers in our NutriSource dog food review.
Here’s a quick rundown of the different product lines of pet food the brand has for your adult dog.
As you can tell from the name, this is the flagship line of products from NutriSource. There is a wide range of options for all breed sizes and life stages and recipes targeted to weight management and high performance. One of the great things about this company is that it has so many options to choose from. for adult dogs. You’ll find expected ingredients, like chicken rice recipes, but there are some with ingredients that might surprise you. Recipes include the following:
Dry Dog Food with Wholesome Grains
- Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe
- Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe Small Bites
- Adult Chicken & Rice Recipe Large Breed
- Beef & Rice Recipe
- Beef & Rice Recipe Large Breed
- Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe
- Lamb Meal & Rice Recipe Large Breed
- Trout & Rice Recipe
- Trout & Rice Recipe Large Breed
- Turkey & Rice Recipe
- Performance Recipe
- Super Performance Recipe
- Weight Management Recipe
- Senior Recipe
Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Chicken & Pea Recipe
- Chicken & Pea Recipe Small Bites
- Chicken & Pea Recipe Large Breed
- Lamb Meal & Peas Recipe
- Lamb Meal & Peas Recipe Large Breed
- Heartland Select Recipe
- High Plains Select Recipe
- High Plains Select Recipe Small Bites
- Prairie Select Recipe
- Seafood Select Recipe
- Seafood Select Recipe Small Bites
- Woodlands Select Recipe
- Woodlands Select Recipe Small Bites
- Weight Management Recipe
- Senior Recipe
Wet Dog Food with Wholesome Grains
Grain-Free Wet Dog Food
- Chicken Formula
- Lamb Formula
- Heartland Select
- High Plains Select
- Great Northwest Select
- Mediterranean Select
- Prairie Select
- Seafood Select
- Woodlands Select
PureVita is a limited ingredient option that uses single sources of protein. These recipes are packed with nutrients and formulated especially for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies who do better on a limited ingredient diet. There are grain-free and grain-inclusive options available in a range of flavors.
Dry recipes include:
- Chicken & Brown Rice Entrée
- Duck & Oatmeal Entrée
- Salmon & Potato Entrée
- Beef & Red Lentils Entrée
- Kangaroo & Green Lentils Entrée
- Pork & Peas Entrée
- Duck & Green Lentils Entree
- Turkey & Sweet Potato Entrée
- Small Bites Turkey & Sweet Potato Entrée
- Salmon & Peas Entrée
- Small Bites Salmon & Peas Entrée
- Venison & Red Lentils Entrée
Wet recipes include:
This is a small grain-inclusive product line that delivers complete nutrition at a lower price point using quality ingredients. Recipes include:
- Chicken Meal & Barley Recipe
- Turkey Meal & Barley Recipe
- Whitefish Meal & Barley Recipe
NutriSource Element features recipes with next-level nutrition to support whole-body and gut health. This line comes in four flavors, each containing at least 83 percent animal protein and made with healthy ingredients carefully sourced.
Element features Good for Life Plus, which includes the ingredient in Good for Life with added NVGEN, a mix of yucca schidigera, mannan fractions, and yeast extracts to promote ultimate GI health, ensuring your dog gets the most out of this high protein diet. Recipes include:
- Coastal Plains Recipe
- Open Waters Recipe
- Outback Trails Recipe
- Wildlands Recipe
How Does NutriSource Dog Food Measure Up to Other Brands?
Now that you took a look at our NutriSource puppy food reviews, let’s take a close look at how this dog food measures up to competitors.
One of the things that is so great about NutriSource dog is that it has a wide variety of recipes to choose from. When you consider only food for puppies, there are grain-inclusive and grain-free options and recipes for puppies that are small, medium, and large breed, each with wholesome ingredients to promote strong, healthy growth.
If you choose to stick with NutriSource dog food when your pup grows up, there are been more options. Customer reviews are favorable, and for the most part, the brand gets four and five stars.
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, as you saw in our dog food review, NutriSource promotes the inclusion of some key ingredients.
- Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids – These are commonly included in dog food because they are helpful in maintaining skin and coat health.
- Taurine and L-Carnitine – Taurie and L-Carnitine are amino acids. They are commonly included in dog food as it helps strengthen your dog’s bones, muscles, and eyes.
- DHA and EPA – These are omegas that help promote good cardiovascular health.
- Glucosamine: This ingredient is a supplement that is particularly important for adult and senior dogs. It promotes joint health and can prevent certain conditions, like hip dysplasia or arthritis.
Final Verdict on NutriSource Dog Food
If you’re looking for great food for your puppy, NutriSource has a few great options to try, especially if you’re looking for dry dog food. There are dry and canned dog food options for small, medium, and late puppies, each delivering the quality that NutriSource food is known for.
What we find really impressive about NutriSource is its extensive product lines of dog foods. We covered a little about these recipes and some of their ingredients in our NutriSource dog food review because we truly feel that number of adult dog foods available is all the more reason to choose NutriSource when your dog is a pup.
We are impressed with the variety. In addition to a variety of protein options, including adult chicken, lamb, ocean fish, and more, the company also offers pet foods with novel protein ingredients, like kangaroo, and recipes with grains and those that are grain-free.
You’ll find reliable dog food standards, like NutriSource chicken and rice dry dog food, and options with a more interesting ingredient list of chicken, lamb, ocean fish, and more. For example, Nutrisource chicken rice recipes that include grains use whole grains, not white rice, and you’ll find some interesting ingredients that appear in most dog food products, like beet pulp, chicken fat, and chicken meal.
You can find some of these foods in pet food stores, but most NutriSource pet food products are available online. Our final verdict is that NutriSource is a reliable pet food brand that people seem to love. As always, you should check with your vet if you have any concerns. Read the ingredient list, which you will find on the side of dog food bags from all brands, and share these delicious NutriSource dog foods with your pooch.
I grew up in a household that was filled with animals. I believe that my fate as a dog-loving person was sealed in early childhood since my parents owned several dogs of varying sizes and breeds. There was no choice but to take care of and learn about dog habits and the best animal care practices — otherwise, I’d be clueless about how to go about the creatures I was surrounded by day and night.
As a life-long puppy lover, I know a thing or two about dogs and how to go about caring for them in the best way possible. Although I’m not a professionally trained dog behaviorist, trainer, or veterinarian, all of my knowledge and experience with canines comes from a place of love and a deep-rooted passion for dogs and animals in general.
Seeing as dogs kept me company throughout every stage of my life, I decided to follow a different path in my academic life and obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Marketing Management and Digital Advertising, which ultimately allowed me to combine my professional training and personal experience by creating the ultimate dog lover’s resource website! Along with my husband, Dave, I run MySweetPuppy for like-minded dog lovers who want to have a single, clear, and reliable information source about anything and everything related to dogs and their well-being.