Acme Canine’s Review of Nutro’s Wild Frontier Woodland Trail Recipe dog food

Miss Moneypenny (affectionately known as Penny) was asked to review Nutro’s new dog food Wild Frontier.  The particular variety was Woodland Trail Recipe whose number one ingredient is Venison meal.  Below is our analysis of how we pick the right dog food for a dog.

Does my dog like the dog food?
Miss Moneypenny is a 1 year old Bluetick Coonhound with no known medical conditions to require a special diet.  She was fed 1 ¼ cups twice a day as suggested on the bag’s feeding chart for a 55 lb dog.    This Bluetick Coonhound is not a discriminating eater so when she gobbled down the dog food we weren’t impressed.  It did meet one of the points we look at in a dog food; “the dog needs to like the food.”

Is my dog farting?
After eating Nutro’s Wild Frontier for approximately two weeks Penny did not have any gassiness.   Flatulence is a sign the dog food is not being digested properly.  It would be a good idea to look for another dog food if this was happening.

How many and how large are my dog’s stools?
The number of bowel movements each day did not change (approximately 2 a day) for Penny, but her stools did become soft causing us to wipe her butt on several occasions.  Since she is a healthy young dog this type of stool can indicate a variety of issues including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, maldigestion, malabsorption, or food intolerance.

Just like people, every dog is unique. Some foods work well for your dogs, while others won’t agree with their tummy.   This dog food may not be digestively best for Penny.

Knowing what is in your dog's food is as important.

Knowing what is in your dog’s food is important.

How much meat is in the first three ingredients?
The dog food nutrition label is similar to the nutrition facts box on packaged foods for people.  It is designed to help you compare products and to learn more about the food.  With dog food usually the first five ingredients are the most important.

Nutro’s Woodland Trail Recipe is advertised to be for 1 year old dogs and a high protein/grain free dog food with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients added.  The first five ingredients are venison meal, chicken meal, chickpeas, chicken fat and pea protein.

A quality grade meat meal can actually be a more abundant source of protein than the whole meat from which it was made.  Meat meal is a dried end-product of the cooking process known as rendering. Rendering is a lot like making stew — except that this stew is intentionally over-cooked so you end up with a highly concentrated protein powder.

The third and fifth ingredients include plant protein. Chickpeas contain about 22% protein and peas contain about 25% protein.

Peas, bean, lentils and chickpea are nutritious members of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.  These are quality sources of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. It is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.  Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

Another ingredient is chelated minerals or minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb and are usually found in better dog foods.

So Judging by its ingredients, Nutro Wild Frontier is an above-average dry product with above-average protein, above-average fat and below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Can I afford this dog food?
Lastly we look at price.  We received our 4 lb trial bag free since we were reviewing the product but the list price of this size dog food is around $27.00 or $0.42/oz.  We noticed Petflow sells a 24 lb bag for $59.99 and Chewy sells the same bag for $10 cheaper.

It is important to mention there is a connection between the price of a dog food and its quality, but it’s most accurate at the low end, and less when you get to the more expensive dog foods.  Nutro is on the higher cost end of dog foods.

Would Acme Canine recommend Nutro Wild Frontier Woodland Trail Recipe?
Would we give Nutro to Miss Moneypenny again.  Probably not with the change in bowel movements Penny had…but it is a quality dog food worth trying.

Should you try this dog food? It’s really up to you. If you have been feeding your dog low-quality foods and noticing your dog is pooping up a storm, has gas and really doesn’t like the food, then we would definitely encourage you to try a better quality.  The same is true if your dog has allergies, chronic diarrhea, recurrent ear infections, or a poor coat.

If your dog looks and appears to feel great, good for you!  They’re probably on the right food mix and don’t need to change.