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Nulo Dog Food Reviews

Nulo Dog Food Reviews
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Nulo was founded in 2009 by Michael Landa and Brett Montana in Austin, Texas. Existing investors were bought out by private equity firm Apex Partners LLP  in 2021. 

Nulo is made in US facilities in Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota, apparently by third party manufacturers. One online interview states the company uses a broad network of domestic and international manufacturing partners with a scope of facilities to produce their various product lines. 

Nulo offers dry, wet and freeze-dried raw pet foods, as well as meal toppers, treats and liquid hydration supplements.

For our Nulo dog food reviews, we’ll look at the food ingredient quality and safety. Our dog food review is based on these criteria.

Nulo Challenger Dry Food Review

Score: 5.4/10

Package Ingredient For Challenger High-Protein Kibble Northern Catch Haddock, Salmon & Redfish: Haddock, deboned salmon, salmon meal, turkey meal, chicken meal, organic oats, chickenfat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), organic millet, organic barley, acadian redfish, ground miscanthus grass, natural flavor, calcium carbonate, salt, dried pumpkin, dried blueberries, dried spinach, dried chicory root, dl-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, potassium chloride, vitamin e supplement, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin c), iron proteinate, niacin supplement, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, vitamin a supplement, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, biotin, dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin b12 supplement, vitamin d3 supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, rosemary extract

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Challenger Dry Food is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line are high with an average of 27% as calculated. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrate but starch is required for extrusion in dry foods like these. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Added Amino Acids: Protein from animals is more complete in amino acids than protein from plants – plus it’s more expensive. Foods with lower amounts of animal protein often need to add amino acids to compensate, so 2 or more added amino acids can be a marker of cheap, lower quality ingredients.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Challenger Dry Food line:

Ultra-Processed: On the ingredient safety side, this line loses significant points for being an ultra-processed dog food. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods: These recipes contain ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases. 

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

Benefits 

Here are some noteworthy benefits of this line:

Probiotics: It’s good to see that these dry foods contains probiotics and that they guarantee the colony forming units (CFUs). This measure determines the number of bacterial cells in a probiotic.

Organic Produce: These recipes use organic produce and grains which means they are non-GMO and crops are not sprayed with pesticide/herbicides.  

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Nulo Freestyle Dry Food Review

Score: 4/10

Package Ingredients For Nulo Freestyle High-Protein Kibble Turkey And Sweet Potato Recipe: Deboned turkey, turkey meal, salmon meal, chickpeas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), sweet potato, yellow peas, deboned trout, pea fiber, natural flavor, yeast culture, dried chicory root, dried tomatoes, dried carrots, dried blueberries, dried apples, salt, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2- polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), iron proteinate, niacin, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride source of vitamin B6), selenium yeast, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract.

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Freestyle Dry Food is considered a high risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 32% as calculated, which is higher than we like to see. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrate but starch is required for extrusion in dry foods like these. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Freestyle Dry Food line:

Ultra Processed: On the ingredient safety side, this line loses significant points for being an ultra-processed dog food. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases. 

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

Benefits 

Here are some noteworthy benefits of this line:

Probiotics: It’s good to see that these dry foods contains probiotics and that they guarantee the colony forming units (CFUs). This measure determines the number of bacterial cells in a probiotic.

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Nulo Frontrunner Dry Food Review

Score: 3.6/10

Package Ingredients For Nulo Frontrunner High-Protein Kibble Beef, Barley And Lamb Recipe: Deboned beef, chicken meal, oats, barley, brown rice, turkey meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), ground flaxseed, deboned lamb, natural flavor, millet, ground miscanthus grass, brewers dried yeast, potassium chloride, dried egg product, dried blueberries, dried apples, dried chicory root, salt, DL-methionine, choline chloride, taurine, calcium carbonate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, ferrous sulfate, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, manganese proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, biotin, dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, rosemary extract

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Frontrunner Dry Food is considered a high risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 36% as calculated, which is higher than we’d like to see in a dry dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrate but starch is required for extrusion in dry foods like these. Excessive carbohydrate are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. High carbohydrate diets often mean lower protein, which holds true here with 27% average protein. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Added Amino Acids: Protein from animals is more complete in amino acids than protein from plants – plus it’s more expensive. Foods with lower amounts of animal protein often need to add amino acids to compensate, so 2 or more added amino acids can be a marker of cheap, lower quality ingredients.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Frontrunner Dry Food line:

Ultra-Processed: On the ingredient safety side, this line loses significant points for being an ultra-processed dog food. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases. 

Rice: The use of rice in several recipes costs ingredient safety points because of potential arsenic contamination. Arsenic contamination is a significant concern with rice since it naturally absorbs arsenic which can contaminate the water it’s grown in. Arsenic is linked to chronic health issues.  

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

Benefits 

Here are some noteworthy benefits of this line:

Probiotics: It’s good to see that these dry foods contain probiotics and that they guarantee the colony forming units (CFUs). This measure determines the number of bacterial cells in a probiotic.

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Nulo Medal Series Dry Food Review

Score: 4.6/10

Package Ingredients For Nulo Medal Series High Protein Kibble Chicken and Peas Recipe: Deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, whole peas, sweet potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols & citric acid), lentils, pea fiber, deboned turkey, natural chicken flavor, yeast culture, salmon oil (source of DHA), dried chicory root, potassium chloride, dried carrots, dried tomatoes, dried blueberries, dried apples, calcium carbonate, salt, sweet fennel, dandelion, chamomile, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), iron proteinate, niacin, copper proteinate, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), sodium selenite, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract.

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Medal Series Dry Food is considered a high risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 32% as calculated, which is higher than we’d like to see in a dry dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrate but starch is required for extrusion in dry foods like these. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Medal Series Dry Food line:

Ultra-Processed: On the ingredient safety side, this line loses significant points for being an ultra-processed dog food. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.  

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

Benefits 

Here are some noteworthy benefits of this line:

Probiotics: It’s good to see that these dry foods contain probiotics and that they guarantee the colony forming units (CFUs). This measure determines the number of bacterial cells in a probiotic.

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Nulo Challenger Canned Food Review

Score: 6.8/10

Package Ingredients For Nulo Challenger Harvest Turkey Stew Recipe: Turkey, turkey bone broth, turkey liver, carrots, green beans, pumpkin, organic oats, dried ground chickpeas, ground golden flaxseed, dicalcium phosphate, salmon oil, egg whites, inulin, salt, potassium chloride, dried kelp, dried thyme, turmeric, natural hickory smoke, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin E supplement, dried parsley, manganese amino acid chelate, taurine, niacinamide, choline chloride, d-calcium pantothenate, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, selenium yeast, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement.

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Challenger Wet Food is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average 20% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which is high for a wet dog food. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Excessive carbohydrates are an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance. 

Excessive Added Vitamins: When vitamins come from whole food sources, they include the full spectrum of cofactors, which makes them safe and bioavailable. While a couple of added vitamins are acceptable, five or more implies the food is of poor nutritional value. 

Sugar: Sugar is often found in pet food to increase the palatability or as a preservative or humectant. Honey is an added sugar in this food. It is a low quality ingredient that can cause unwanted gut changes, obesity and insulin spikes. 

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Challenger Wet Food  line:

Highly Processed: Canned foods are heated before and during canning, which will cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods: These recipes contain ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases. 

Benefits 

There’s one noteworthy benefit in this line:

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Nulo Freestyle Canned Food Review

Score: 6.6/10

Package Ingredients for Nulo Freestyle Beef, Peas and Carrot Recipe Canned Food: Beef, Turkey, Beef Broth, Beef Liver, Peas, Carrots, Ground Flaxseed, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Agar-Agar, Salt, Choline Chloride, Natural Flavor, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Cobalt Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Freestyle Canned Food is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

Moderately High In Carbohydrate: The average carbohydrates in this line are 11% as calculated on a dry matter basis. This is acceptable for a wet food. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Freestyle Canned Food line:

Highly Processed: Canned foods are heated before and during canning, which will cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.

Natural Flavor: Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.

Benefits 

There’s one noteworthy benefit in this line:

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews

Nulo Medal Series Canned Food Review

Score: 6.7/10

Package Ingredients For Nulo Medal Series Lamb & Lentils Recipe: Lamb, turkey, turkey liver, lamb broth, turkey broth, lentils, carrots, salmon,ground flaxseed, guar gum, salt, agar-agar, potassium chloride, natural flavor, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, sodium carbonate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, cobalt proteinate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid.

Using our evaluation criteria, Nulo Medal Series Wet Food is considered a moderate risk dog food. Here are our concerns:

Ingredient Quality

Overall, there are several concerns when it comes to ingredient quality:

High In Carbohydrates: Carbohydrates in this line average or 12% as calculated on a dry matter basis which is acceptable for a wet dog food. 

Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals: This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.

Sugar: Sugar is often found in pet food to increase the palatability or as a preservative or humectant. Honey is an added sugar in this food. It is a low quality ingredient that can cause unwanted gut changes, obesity and insulin spikes. 

Ingredient Safety

Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nulo Medal Series Canned:

Highly Processed: Canned foods are heated before and during canning, which will cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species. 

High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients: These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, it leaves them with more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.

Benefits 

There’s one noteworthy benefit in this line:

No GMO Ingredients: This is a non-GMO verified line, which is good to see. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.

View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews 

Is Nulo A Good Dog Food? 

Based on our criteria, Nulo’s dry dog foods are considered moderate to high risk, while its three lines of wet foods are considered moderate risk dog foods.

Most of the recipes have high levels of carbohydrates. This is confusing since Nulo was founded stating the desire to reduce the high levels of carbohydrate fillers found in other major pet foods that contribute to obesity and diabetes in pets. Nulo dry dog foods average 27 to 36% carbohydratea as calculated. The wet foods average 11 to 19% as calculated on a dry matter basis. Some recipes are still considered high for canned dog food compared to others on the market. In addition, 3 of its dry foods, Freestyle, Frontrunner and Medal Series, have higher average carbs than protein.

The company says it doesn’t use potato, rice or tapioca but brown rice appears in the Frontrunner Dry line. They say they use low-glycemic carbs like oats, barley, sweet potato, chickpeas and lentils but these are still starchy carbohydrates. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance.

Like all kibbles, Nulo’s dry dog foods are ultra processed. Excessive heat during processing can cause significant loss of nutrients. The canned foods are also heated before and during canning. This requires the addition of vitamins and minerals to both dry and canned recipes to balance the foods to AAFCO standards.

All recipes have ingredients known to contain higher pesticide or herbicide residues, many in the top 5 ingredients. However, the company doesn’t appear to use any GMO ingredients, which is good to see.

Many of Nulo’s top ingredients are “meals,” the dehydrated version of meat, poultry and fish with fat and moisture removed. Nulo also states it has industry-leading high levels of animal-based proteins, yet there is at least one company reviewed on this website with higher levels. 

In its dry foods, Nulo uses a natural probiotic with a protective spore casing, giving it viability all the way to the digestive tract. Nulo guarantees the levels of added probiotics, which is a benefit.

Other Concerns

There are additional concerns that don’t affect Nulo’s score, but they’re worth mentioning:

Glam Ingredients: Some Nulo recipes contain glam ingredients. These are expensive or desirable ingredients like blueberries, kale or apples often added to appeal to consumers but because they’re below the salt, are present in minuscule amounts that contribute little or no nutritional value to your dog. 

Coconut Oil: The use of coconut oil doesn’t cost points but is a concern as research shows it can cause undesirable changes in the gut lining. 

Does Not Provide Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio: It’s also worth noting that Nulo does not state the omega6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most foods, it’s a concern because AAFCO allows a very inflammatory limit of 30:1. Diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease.

Does Not State Farmed Vs Wild Caught Fish: These foods don’t specify whether the fish is farmed or wild caught. Farmed fish is less nutritious than wild caught fish and does not contain the same healthy fatty acid balance. 

NULO DOG FOOD RECALLS

To date, there have been no recalls of Nulo dog foods.

Evaluation Criteria

We evaluate and score dog foods based on two criteria:

Are the Ingredients High Quality?

Here are some common low quality ingredients or markers we look for:

  • Is there excessive carbohydrate content, which can cause gut imbalances?
  • Does the food contain unnamed proteins, which are low quality?
  • Does the food use cellulose (wood pulp) as a source of fiber instead of real food?
  • Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added in place of real food nutrition?
  • Are there excessive added amino acids or plant proteins instead of expensive meat protein?
  • Does the food contain inflammatory processed seed oils?

How Safe Are the Ingredients?

Many ingredients come from unhealthy, inflammatory sources or are full of pesticides so we look for:

  • How processed is the food?
  • Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
  • Does the food contain ingredients known to be high in pesticides?
  • Does the food contain natural flavor, which are often MSG or animal digest?
  • Does the food contain rice, which is high in arsenic?

Each food is objectively evaluated by these criteria and a score is assigned using the average of ingredient quality and safety. This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. Dogs Naturally has partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dog food on the market. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria at DogFoodReviews.com.

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