Is Nutro a good choice for my puppy?

nutroGood morning, or evening, or afternoon, friends! Wherever you may be right now, we hope you’re excited to find out a little more about Nutro, and how their puppy food and dog food can benefit your little fluffy friend. As always, we’ve brought you the low-down on all the nutrients, ingredients, variety, and flavors so that you don’t have to do it yourself.

Quick Review: Top-5 Dog Foods From Nutro

Nutro Grain Free Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken, Lentils And Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food 24 Pounds (Discontinued By...
Best Grain Free Food

Nutro Grain Free Puppy

  • 28% protein
  • Contains- for eyes and brain function
  • Vitamins A, C, K, and E
NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dog Kibble, 30 lb. Bag
Best Puppy Food


  • 26% protein
  • Fish oil’s - glucosamine here
  • Fat’s at a healthy 15%
ULTRA Puppy Canned Puppy Food 12.5 Ounces (Pack of 12)
Best Wet Food

Nutro ULTRA Puppy – Chunks in Gravy

  • Protein’s at 9%, 6% - fat
  • Spinach, pomegranate, blueberry, pumpkin
  • There’s avocado in here - B vitamins
Nutro Max Puppy Food, Natural Chicken Meal And Rice 30 Lbs.
Best Nutro MAX

Nutro MAX Puppy

  • Zero corn, no wheat, and no soy
  • No milled by-products from chicken
  • 28% protein
NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Lamb & Sweet Potato, 11 lb. Bag
Best Hypoallergenic Food

Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet

  • 22% protein and 13% fat
  • Whole heap of healthy nutrients
  • Pretty nifty feeding guide

Who is Nutro?

Nutro is over ninety years old, and their headquarter resides in Tennessee. The company is owned by Mars Inc., who acquired them in 2007. Like a lot of successful dog and puppy food brands, they also make cat food and have a strong focus on producing what they call ‘clean’ food- or kibble and chow that’s made without genetically modified ingredients.

The company also takes part in and runs quite a few charitable initiatives, such as a program that upgrades dog parks, and local pet food donations throughout the States. What do you think, isn’t that great?

What’s unique about Nutro?

Nutro dog food reviewNutro makes a wide range of different formulas, which is why we’ve included Nutro large breed puppy food reviews AND Nutro small breed puppy food reviews amongst our regular features. So we can save you time shopping, we’ve summarised the three brands that Nutro make- Nutro,Max, and Ultra.

Nutroalways uses either salmon, venison meal, lamb, or chicken as the key protein ingredient. You’ll find there are several lines depending on whether your puppy or dog requires a hypoallergenic (Limited Ingredient), gluten-free (Grain Free), weight loss (Lite and Weight Management), or even just a luxurious snack (Petite Eats). There’s also a Wholesome Essentials range under the Nutro brand, which includes special breed-specific meal options from toy to large, as well as life-stage-specific kibble for puppies, mature dogs, and veterans. There are a lot of chicken and lamb recipes in the Wholesome Essentials range, but you’ll also find venison and salmon.

Nutro dry dog foodThe Max line of dog foods offers both grain-free and regular options, but you’ll find absolutely zero corn, or wheat, or soy in any of them. When grains are used, they will typically be whole rice, oatmeal, or sorghum. The two former ones are really gentle on digestion, and the latter is usually gluten-free. There are actually fewer veggies and fruits in these recipes than you’ll find in the Ultra line, for example, but it’s still super healthy and draws on multiple protein sources like chickpeas and peas.

Ultra offers a mix of proteins, but always with real, boneless chicken in the top spot. You’ll find superfoods dotted all through these formulas, like chia seeds, flaxseeds, kale, spinach, and blueberries for vitamins and antioxidants. There aren’t any recipes in the Ultraline that are totally grain-free, but we’re definitely digging the all-natural nutrient sources.

Why the Nutro dog food reviews and Nutro puppy food reviews?

We’ve decided to make a special Nutro dog food review- and included a Nutro Max dog food review too- because we appreciate the fact that the brand makes healthy, natural food for our best friends. They do so by:

  • Avoiding the use of synthetic, non-natural preserving agents, flavors, or colors;
  • Leaving out the by-product ‘fillers’ from chicken;
  • Skipping out the corn ingredients, wheat, and protein from soy;
  • Implementing strict quality measures for manufacture;
  • Drawing on either a lot of different protein sources or just one meat- depending on your puppy or dog’s dietary restrictions;
  • Using genuine meat as the top, key ingredient in many- if not all- of their recipes.

Summing it up, Nutro is definitely one of the healthier brands in terms of ingredients. They make high-quality food that complies with stringent safety and nutrition standards, and they have a reliable reputation as part of a larger, international company. Let’s take a look!

The Nutro dog food reviews

The Nutro Grain Free Dog Food Reviews

  1. Nutro Grain Free Puppy

Nutro Grain Free Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken, Lentils And Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food 24 Pounds (Discontinued By...
10 Reviews
Nutro Grain Free Puppy Farm-Raised Chicken, Lentils And Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food 24 Pounds (Discontinued By...
Real chicken, as well as chicken meal, atop the ingredients list for this puppy food that’s entirely gluten-free. Please don’t get chicken meal confused with by-product chicken meal, as while the second is commonly used as a filler, the first is a rich source of dehydrated real-meat protein.
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  • 28% protein; an excellent amount of those developmental building blocks that all shapes and sizes of puppies require;
  • Contains- for eyes and brain function- EPA alongside DHA;
  • Apples, carrots, blueberries, peas, and sweet potato all give healthy boosts of Vitamins A, C, K, and E;
  • Iron, copper, manganese, all fantastic for preventing those mineral deficiencies;
  • Perfect for pups of up to 8 months!


  • Contains potato, which some dogs may be less able to tolerate.
Our Verdict: 5/5
This one’s a fitting choice for puppies of any weight between 10 lb and 200 lb! That’s especially great if you’ve got more than one pup and more than one breed!
  1. Nutro Grain Free Natural Adult

NUTRO GRAIN FREE Adult Natural Dry Dog Food Lamb, Lentils and Sweet Potato, 24 lb. Bag
61 Reviews
NUTRO GRAIN FREE Adult Natural Dry Dog Food Lamb, Lentils and Sweet Potato, 24 lb. Bag
A non-GMO, grain-free lamb dinner for adult dogs who can’t handle gluten. It’s particularly soft on digestion because sweet potato is the main source of carbs, which is always a plus!
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  • Multiple protein sources, from chickpeas, peas, lamb, lentils, and chicken;
  • Zinc, along with healthy Vitamin E, is particularly good for maintaining resilient skin;
  • Real lamb meat’s the first, leading ingredient, and contributes to a total of 25% protein;
  • Suited to mature dogs of up to around 65 lb, so just great for those smaller Huskies and Labradors, as well as more petite Daschunds and Yorkies;
  • Zero non-natural coloring agents or flavors.


  • Like the grain free version of Nutro puppy food that we’ve just recommended, it also contains potato.
Our Verdict: 5/5
This grain-free adult lamb and lentil formula is pretty excellent if you want to make sure your adult dog isn’t getting too much of any one ingredient. Because even dogs with zero intolerances can benefit from a wide variety of ingredients in their diet, this is a five-star option in our books!

The Nutro Puppy Food Reviews

  1. Nutro Wholesome Essentials Puppy

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dog Kibble, 30 lb. Bag
685 Reviews
NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE Large Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food, Lamb & Brown Rice Recipe Dog Kibble, 30 lb. Bag
Here’s one for the larger puppy breed owners- and as such, the recipe’s tailor-made for a longer development period that can often last up to over 12 months. Perfect for Great Danes, St Bernards, and other giants.
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  • 26% protein, mostly from real sources, and just great for building lean muscle mass in those larger puppies;
  • Made with some oatmeal, which is both super-soft on digestion and surprisingly high in protein;
  • Fish oil’s the natural source of glucosamine here;
  • Fat’s at a healthy 15%;
  • Absolutely zero milled by-product ingredients.


  • Contains rice, in several forms, so it’s not for puppies who need to be going grain- or gluten-free.
Our Verdict: 5/5
Larger puppies also require relatively high levels of glucosamine and it’s sidekick chondroitin in order to help stave off joint problems. Chicken meal’s an awesome source of these nutrients within this Wholesome Essentials puppy kibble.
  1. Nutro ULTRA

Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food 4 Pounds (Discontinued By Manufacturer)
56 Reviews
Nutro Ultra Small Breed Puppy Dry Dog Food 4 Pounds (Discontinued By Manufacturer)
Tiny and even toy puppies are going to need small, small kibble pieces. That’s all taken care of in this Nutro Ultra dinner that’s a blend of several healthy proteins.
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  • Chicken is accompanied by both salmon and lamb for some variety and a super 29% protein!
  • Flaxseed’s a rich antioxidant source to help your tiny puppy fight off diseases;
  • There are so many colorful, flavorful veggies in here, and yes, fruits too, for vitamins;
  • Amongst these are kale, spinach, pumpkin, apple, blueberries, carrot, and even coconut!
  • 2% calcium, alongside DHA, zinc, and Vitamin E.


  • Made with some egg, so not ideal for small puppies who are allergic.
Our Verdict: 5/5
This puppy food’s specifically crafted for the shorter development phases of smaller breeds, such as Poodles, Chihuahuas, Daschunds, Yorkies, and Poms. We love that there’s even coconut in this recipe, yay!

The Wet Nutro Dog Food Review

  1. Nutro ULTRA Puppy

ULTRA Puppy Canned Puppy Food 12.5 Ounces (Pack of 12)
61 Reviews
ULTRA Puppy Canned Puppy Food 12.5 Ounces (Pack of 12)
Another blended protein formula, so great for a range of amino acids. Whole grains such as rice and oatmeal help digestion.
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  • Good for a (very) first food, when mixed in with water, as oatmeal and rice are soft on a puppy’s digestive tract;
  • Protein’s at 9%, and from salmon, lamb, turkey, chicken, as well as egg;
  • 6% fat is just right for a wet puppy food- providing a balance of energy for play and growth;
  • Contains spinach, pomegranate, blueberry, pumpkin, and also supplements for vitamins;
  • There’s avocado in here, too, and it’s dried avocado flesh- this is probably one of the very few safe ways for puppies to eat avocado, and it’s added for phytonutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, along with B vitamins!


  • This formula’s got wheat gluten, egg, and potato starch.
Our Verdict: 4/5
There are a few potential allergens in this food, but if you’ve got a puppy who’s not intolerant to anything specific, this offers a combined blend of proteins, a healthy total fat and protein content, and is soft on digestion.

The Nutro Max Dog Food Review

  1. Nutro MAX Puppy Food

Nutro Max Puppy Food, Natural Chicken Meal And Rice 30 Lbs.
29 Reviews
Nutro Max Puppy Food, Natural Chicken Meal And Rice 30 Lbs.
For puppies between the ages of 1 month and a year, we’ve included a Nutro Max dog food review because this brand’s SO popular with owners due to its use of only all-natural ingredients.
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  • Completely without any non-natural flavors, colors, or preserving agents;
  • Zero corn, no wheat, and no soy;
  • No milled by-products from chicken;
  • 28% protein, which is from peas, oatmeal, chicken meal, and chickpeas!
  • Fat’s derived from chickens- a nice, reliable, and identifiable source.


  • While this formula has none of the most common gluten-containing allergens (wheat and so forth), it does contain rice, and for this reason isn’t suitable for dogs who need to avoid gluten entirely.
Our Verdict: 4/5
While this isn’t a grain-free formula, it gets full stars from us because we love when puppy foods are made without yucky by-products or synthetic preserving, flavoring and coloring chemicals. Rather, all-natural always gets a big ‘paws up’ from us!

The Hypoallergenic Nutro Dog Food Review

  1. Nutro Limited Ingredient Diet Adult Large Breed

NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Lamb & Sweet Potato, 11 lb. Bag
31 Reviews
NUTRO Limited Ingredient Diet Natural Adult Large Breed Dry Dog Food Lamb & Sweet Potato, 11 lb. Bag
Limited Ingredient formulas are almost always crafted specifically to meet the dietary needs of those dogs who have allergies or intolerances. Here’s a yummy lamb recipe for large, mature dogs.
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  • Each and every Limited Ingredient recipe by Nutro is made without grains;
  • There is also zero chicken in this lamb dinner because chicken’s a fairly common allergen for canines;
  • 22% protein, a great figure for maintenance, and from lentils and chickpeas;
  • 13% fat isn’t too high, nor is it too low;
  • There are a whole heap of healthy nutrients in here, including manganese for tendon and joint strength, which can be important for larger-limbed dogs such as Great Danes;
  • There’s a pretty nifty feeding guide on this package, that makes it super-easy for you to adjust your dog’s meals according to his activity level.


  • There are, however, potatoes in this recipe.
Our Verdict: 4.5/5
here doesn’t appear to be a significant amount of glucosamine in this adult formula, because a lot of the time this is found in chicken meal and fish oil. On the other hand, it means that there’s only one kind of meat inside this recipe, which is what’s most important for dogs who require hypoallergenic food.


What do veterinary professionals think of Nutro dog food?

Nutro dog food is widely approved in the veterinary community. With their focus on quality ingredients and the varied option they offer our furry friends, this is considered a great store bought option. While it may not be considered a top tier food in the industry, it is a great option for pet owners on a budget. This food offers quality protein and a variety of diet options, making it a-okay in our eyes!

Can I mix any dog foods together for my puppy?

Well, not ANY dog foods, actually. If you’ve got a puppy, then it’s typically much, much better practice to feed your little friend with chow or kibble that’s received the AAFCO tick of approval as a certified puppy food. For puppies, AAFCO-approved food must have a minimum of 22% protein, fat at 8%, and 1% calcium, amongst other nutrients, as these are what their experts deem necessary for healthy puppy growth.

If you’ve got more than one dog, and are wondering whether it’s fine to mix in adult (or even senior!) dog food into your puppy’s dinner, then you should be aware that the resulting recipe may not have enough of the different nutrients that your puppy needs to grow.

Why are there so many puppy foods and dog foods with sweet potato?

Sweet potato is super-full of vitamins, soft on your puppy or dog’s digestive tract, and a mineral-rich source of energy, to name three benefits of the veggie! Sweet potato contains no gluten whatsoever and is replete with Vitamin A, which your puppy will use for so many things- nervous system function, a beautiful coat, strong muscles, and healthy eyes. Maybe you’ve noticed, a lot of the recipes in our Nutro dog food reviews that are made without grains will contain sweet potato instead- that’s because they offer a different way for your dog to get some carbs while being safe for dogs who can’t tolerate gluten.

What’s the role of iron in my puppy’s food?

Puppies and dogs need iron to prevent anemia, just like humans. In some puppy foods, like the one in our Nutro grain free dog food review above, this may be added in as a supplement (iron amino acid chelate) and also through more natural sources such as lentils, peas, and garbanzo beans. Iron works by helping your puppy’s blood cells to carry oxygen, and it works in harmony with both copper and protein for a happy and active puppy!

Last update on 2023-01-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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  1. Avatar
    Barbara Hall

    I have a 14month old Wooly Coat Alaskan Malamute – I switched her to Nutro Essentials Chicken Brown Rice and Sweet Potato because she was having a lot of trouble with stomach issues on a different brand (Diamond Natural Puppy Lamb). She started doing much better before the end of the first week on the Nutro. I know there is a big grain-free debate going on right now and I am wondering if it is harmful to her to give some grain free wet food with the dry I am feeding her. I feel like since she is getting the brown rice we should be ok – but I’m not sure. The vet thinks she should stay on puppy formula until 15-18 months of age. She loves the food and I only give her about 1 tablespoon of wet food twice daily. What do you think??

    1. Avatar

      You should stick to the vet’s advice.

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