This Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Review is based on what Big Heart Pet Brands, the manufacturer of Nature’s Recipe, provide on their website. There you will also find more information about the company itself and other products they offer.
Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian is a dry kibble-type of dog food. The company claims that their use of soybean meal in this formula is the key to a dog’s shiny coat and healthy skin. They also claim that ingredients such as corn or wheat are known to cause allergies, therefore they crafted the formula without using them. The formula, though, has one non-vegan ingredient, and the company does not intend to change it.
Read our full review to find out why Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian received a low rating from us.
Ingredients in Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian
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.
Top 5 Ingredients
- Brewer’s Rice. Rice is often used in dog foods as a source of carbohydrates, which are important to your dog’s healthy bowel movements and energy levels. Nature’s Recipe, however, uses brewer’s rice, which is a processed rice product made from the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of rice. It is thought that this type of rice lacks the nutrients that the ground whole white or brown rice has. You can read a bit more about it over at Paws For Reaction.
- Soybean Meal. According to AAFCO, soybean meal is a “product obtained by grinding the flakes which remain after removal of most of the oil from soybeans by a solvent or mechanical extraction process.” Besides the fact that soybean meal is considered a pretty cheap source of protein, the PETA survey back in 1994 has concluded that dogs, who did not eat soy products, were in a better health than those who did.
- Barley. Another source of carbohydrates, barley is the third most abundant ingredient in Nature’s Recipe. As mentioned above, carbs are important for dog’s health and energy levels. It is, however, packed with gluten. Therefore, if your dog is allergic to gluten, Nature’s Recipe Formula might not be suitable for them.
- Canola Oil. Oils are important in a dog’s diet, because they help to keep their coats shiny and prevent skin itchiness. Canola Oil, however, is surrounded by controversy. Some say that it is even related to the mustard gas used in warfare, which is not true. We do believe that, though it is not toxic, there are healthier alternatives to canola oil, such as coconut oil. That is, because canola oil comes from a largely-GMO source, and was created from rapeseed. You can read more about it on Green Dog Pet Supply.
- Dicalcium Phosphate. As the fitfh most abundant ingredient in Nature’s Recipe Formula, dicalcium phosphate is often not recommended to be used in dog food. Although it acts as a source to both calcium and phosphorus, it is included in the dog food formulas to add texture and hardness. Even though it is not harmful in small amounts, dicalcium phosphate is not something we are excited to find in the ingredients list. Note: many other dog foods contain dicalcium phosphate, but we have decided to give Nature’s Recipe a lower rating because it appears in the Top 5 of most abundant ingredients in their formula, while in others it does not.
Other Interesting Ingredients
- Vitamin D3. A crucial ingredient in a dog’s diet, Vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis, muscle weakness, diabetes, heart conditions and high blood pressure. Nature’s Recipe, however, produces D3 out of sheep wool, making it non-vegan. To our knowledge, this is currently the only ingredient that makes this formula non-vegan.
- Onion Extract. While it not be dangerous in tiny amounts, onions are considered as very harmful to their health and can even lead to death. The thiosulphate, found in onions, can basically destroy your dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. Even though it appears that this formula has minuscule amounts of onion extract in it, we do not understand why such a potentially deadly ingredient would be used in dog food.
Guaranteed Analysis of Nature’s Recipe Vegetarian
|Crude Protein (min)||22%|
|Crude Fat (min)||8%|
|Crude Fiber (max)||4.4%|
|Omega-6 Fatty Acid* (min)||1.9%|
|Omega-3 Fatty Acid* (min)||0.6%|
*Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.
AAFCO Nutritional Value Statement
Nature’s Recipe Healthy Skin Vegetarian Recipe dog food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
Nature’s Recipe claims to provide a premium vegetarian dog food formula for our canine friends. However, even looking at the most abundant ingredients, one can have doubts about such statement. We believe that ingredients such as Brewer’s Rice and Soybean Meal should not be included in a dog’s diet.
Furthermore, the company uses an animal-based vitamin D3, which could be easily changed into a plant-based source.
Moreover, they use onion extract in their formula, which can be potentially deadly to dogs. Because of these ingredients, we believe that there are way better formulas for vegan dogs out there and this product should not be used as a primary food source for a vegan dog. Nature’s Recipe does not even include two of the most important nutrients for vegan dogs, Taurine and L-carnitine.